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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 95

Ms O'DWYER (HigginsMinister for Revenue and Financial Services) (12:12): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill will increase the rate of excise duty on tobacco by way of four annual increases of 12.5 per cent a year. The first of these changes will occur on 1 September 2017.

This bill aims to increase the price of cigarettes via taxation, which research has shown is one of the most effective ways of reducing tobacco consumption and preventing the uptake of smoking. Higher prices encourage smokers to quit or reduce their consumption while also discouraging potential smokers, including young Australians, from taking up the habit.

This is an important change as smoking remains a significant health problem in Australia. Recent research has shown that up to 1.8 million people, around two-thirds of Australia's smokers, will die from smoking related causes if they continue to smoke.

These excise increases will bolster the government's broader tobacco strategy, which uses a variety of policy interventions, to minimise the prevalence of smoking.

Full details of the measure are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

Debate adjourned.