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Tar and nicotine yields to be printed on cigarette packs



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JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR HEALTH, THE HON. M.J.R. MACKELLAR, AND THE MINISTER FOR BUSINESS AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS, THE HON. JOHN MOORE

TAR AND NICOTINE YIELDS TO BE PRINTED ON CIGARETTE PACKETS

As from August 1982, the tar and nicotine yields

of all cigarettes manufactured in or imported to Australia

are to be printed on cigarette packets.

From that date the maximum permitted tar and

nicotine levels are 18MG and 1.6MG per cigarette respect­

ively, with further reductions in these levels to be

discussed with industry later.

These measures were announced today by the Minister

for Health, the Hon. Michael MacKellar, and the Minister for

Business and Consumer Affairs, the Hon. John Moore. The

announcement follows acceptance by the Commonwealth Govern­

ment of recommendations 40 and 41 proposed in the report from

. the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare - 'Drug

Problems in Australia - An Intoxicated Society?'

Following discussion between the Departments' of

Health, Business and Consumer Affairs and Primary Industry,

the Australian Government Analytical Laboratory and the

tobacco industry, the industry and Government have agreed

jointly to adopt a voluntary code for cigarette packet labelling

The Ministers said that while a nine-month 'lead­

time ' was necessary for some manufacturers -- because of the

new requirements -- many brands could be carrying the tar and

nicotine yields labels sooner.

The Ministers said that once the voluntary code had

been in operation for at least 12 months, a further reduction

of the maximum permitted tar and nicotine levels would be con­

sidered in consultation with industry.

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2 . f

Agreement with industry on a uniform testing

methodology for determining carbon monoxide yields of cig­

arettes is expected shortly.

Once this agreement is reached, the most effective

means of supplying this information to the general public

will be determined.

The Ministers said that the Government agreed with

the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare that smoking

at any level is harmful to health. However, recognising the

difficulty of persuading people to stop smoking, the Govern­

ment believed that progressive reduction of tar and nicotine

yields would go some way towards alleviating the health risks

The new labelling will enable smokers to make an

informed choice as regards brand. .

The Australian Government Analytical Laboratory

will routinely test the stated tar and nicotine yields print­

ed on cigarette packets.

The Ministers said the adoption of the Voluntary

Code by industry is consistent with the Government’s policy

of industry self-regulation. They were pleased that industry

and the Government could work together to achieve the Govern­

ment's announced intentions for tar and nicotine yield labell

ing.

CANBERRA, 12 November 1981