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Australian State Mulls Cigarette Sales Ban for a 'Tobacco-free Generation'

by Krishna Bora on August 25, 2012 at 7:08 AM
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 Australian State Mulls Cigarette Sales Ban  for a 'Tobacco-free Generation'

An Australian state was considering a ban on cigarette sales to anyone who was born after the year 2000 in an initiative that would see a "tobacco-free generation".

The small island of Tasmania has been asked to support the novel scheme under a motion unanimously approved by the state's upper house late on Tuesday.

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"This would mean that we would have a generation of people not exposed to tobacco products," Legislative Council member Ivan Dean told the ABC.

The move came just days after the national government won its legal fight to introduce plain packaging to help curb smoking rates.

Under the proposal, Tasmania would lift the age at which people can legally buy cigarettes -- currently 18 -- each year by a year.
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"It would be easier for retailers to enforce because when they ask for ID, all they would need to see is if the person was born after the year 2000," Dean said.

Tasmanian Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne said the idea of a smoke-free generation was worth exploring.

"I have asked the Commissioner for Children to conduct an analysis of the proposal, which I believe is worthy of serious consideration," she said in a statement.

Australia has some of the toughest laws on tobacco consumption in the world and prohibits smoking in restaurants, bars and most other indoor spaces, but the national government has said it has no plans to ban it altogether.

From December 1, tobacco products will have to be sold in drab, uniform packaging with graphic health warnings after global cigarette firms lost a constitutional challenge against the world-first plan.

The World Health Organization has welcomed the introduction of the plain packets law and expressed hope for a "domino effect" for countries mulling similar moves, including Britain, Canada and New Zealand.

Source: AFP
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