This week we welcomed the passage of legislation to improve tobacco and e-cigarette controls. The Public Health (Tobacco and Other Products) Bill 2023 brought together tobacco legislation across eight different laws, regulations, and voluntary agreements, to simplify enforcement. New measures were also introduced to help Australia’s fight against tobacco and nicotine addiction.
The laws extend to e-cigarettes, which are proving to be a gateway for many young Australians to take up smoking. New reporting and information requirements for the tobacco industry were also included to provide urgent transparency and inform policy.
The AMA worked with the government, the opposition, and the cross bench to ensure the Bill was not weakened despite four amendments being made, making it clear to all involved that the Bill should not be delayed.
Earlier this month, AMA NSW President Dr Michael Bonning appeared before a Senate inquiry to speak in favour of the legislation telling the inquiry that “while Australia had made so much progress in tobacco control over the past few decades, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability”.
The AMA will continue to work with the minister on broader e-cigarette reforms which will begin on 1 January with imports of disposable use e-cigarettes banned.