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Thursday, 10 November 2011
Page: 8914


Senator McLUCAS (QueenslandParliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers) (19:17): While the advisers are seeking further information on that question, Senator, can I say that what we are trying to do is to stop people smoking cigarettes. That is the intention of this legislation. The intention is to remove a piece of marketing that they currently have in the cigarette packet, which is put into and taken out of a shirt pocket or a purse sometimes 20 to 30 times a day. Every time that happens, it is like a billboard. It is a reminder. You wonder why these packets are gold and silver, and glossy with beautiful silvery bits on them. They want them to look glamorous. These things kill people. They kill 15,000 people a year. Our job is to stop people using them. Our aim in this is to stop people smoking. Fifteen thousand families a year lose someone whom they love. Fifteen thousand people a year use our hospital system and our health system, and cost us an enormous amount of money. The intent of this is to stop that pain, anguish and cost to our community. That is the goal.

In January and February 2011, the department consulted with the following organisations representing small retailers about implementation of the plain-packaging measure: Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia, Australian Newsagents Federation, Master Grocers Australia, Service Station Association, Tobacco Station Group and National Independent Retailers Association. The consultations with the retailers took as the starting point the department's approach in testing visibility of font from one metre to enable ready brand identification in retail settings.