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Budget 2012: Minister welcomes move on duty-free tobacco



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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP Minister for Health

MEDIA RELEASE

8 May 2012

Minister Welcomes Move on Duty-Free Tobacco

The Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, welcomed the Budget measure to reduce the amount of duty free cigarettes and tobacco that people are allowed to bring into Australia.

At present, in-bound travellers are able to bring in 250 cigarettes or 250 grams of cigars or tobacco products tax free. From 1 September 2012, this will be reduced to 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products.

“This initiative reduces the number of tax free cigarettes that can be brought into the country and brings duty free tobacco into line with the Government’s tough stand on reducing tobacco consumption,” Minister Plibersek said.

The new Budget measure is on top of the Government’s comprehensive anti-smoking strategy which has included the world’s first plain packaging legislation, the 2010 increase in tobacco excise, significant investment in anti-smoking social marketing campaigns, the restriction of the advertising of tobacco products on the Internet and subsidising nicotine replacement therapies and other quit smoking support.

Australian Government action on tobacco control has helped to reduce the daily smoking rate among Australians aged 14 years and over from 30.5 per cent in 1988 to 15.1 per cent in 2010.

“We are determined to meet the target of reducing the national adult daily smoking rate to 10 per cent by 2018 and to halve the national adult daily smoking rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 47 per cent over the same period,” Minister Plibersek said.

“Smoking means death, disease and distress. All are preventable. It kills an estimated 15,000 Australians a year, taking a tragic toll not only on smokers themselves, but on their families and friends.

“The Government is determined to reduce this toll and the heartache that it causes,” said Ms Plibersek.

For more information, please contact the minister’s office on 02 6277 7220