The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Australian tobacco strategy targets industry

The Australian government plans to target tobacco industry interference, advertising and promotion, and cigarette affordability during the next six years.

The government announced these plans when it unveiled the National Tobacco Strategy (NTS) 2012-2018 on 2 January 2013.

Non-government organisations (NGOs) played a large role in helping create the strategy and will continue to play an integral part, says the strategy.

Following the rollout of plain packaging in Australia last December, the strategy aims to build on tobacco control successes through reducing the prevalence of smoking and its associated health, social and economic costs, and the inequalities these cause.

Manager of Tobacco Control Policy at Cancer Council Victoria, Kylie Lindorff, said that Australia had set a high benchmark with its new strategy in terms of what a comprehensive tobacco control programme should look like. “I hope other countries will follow with similar aspirational strategies that reflect their own country’s stage in the tobacco control journey,” she said.

Although Australia leads the world in important aspects of tobacco control, such as packaging, Kylie points out that other countries are also pushing boundaries, such as Brazil with its ban on all flavourings and New Zealand’s impressive tobacco tax policy. 

"We all need to work together and support each other through the inevitable challenges that the tobacco industry will throw our way." - Kylie Lindorff, Cancer Council Victoria

“Australia has been taking on the tobacco industry over its challenges to the tobacco plain packaging legislation,” Kylie says, "but one country alone can’t win the global war: we need to work together and support each other through the inevitable challenges that the tobacco industry will throw our way.”

The strategy features a range of priority areas that are outlined below.

  • Protect public health policies from tobacco industry interference.
  • Eliminate the remaining advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products.
  • Reduce tobacco products’ affordability.
  • Increase smoke-free areas.
  • Strengthen mass media and public education campaigns.
  • Improve access to evidence-based cessation services.
  • Consider further regulation of tobacco product content disclosure and supply.

The strategy also references the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), and commits to Australia continuing to act on its obligations to the treaty.

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