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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3209

Senator XENOPHON (1:45 PM) —I thank the minister for his answers. Firstly, in relation to the issue of surveys, given that the government is bringing in $5.5 billion in the forward estimates and that the effectiveness of any programs in terms of people giving up can, I think, be determined in a matter of months rather than over a three-year period, has the government considered undertaking any additional surveys—in addition to the ABS surveys and the health surveys undertaken every three years—in relation to this specific measure, for both the tobacco excise increase and the other associated measures, to see how effective this can be in reducing smoking? Is there any mechanism to monitor that so that the programs could be modified to ensure the efficacy of measures to reduce rates of smoking? I may be mistaken, but I think that the minister may not have specifically addressed the issue of quit lines. What consideration will the government be giving to the resources of quit lines being stretched as a result of more people wanting to give up smoking because of the tobacco excise increase? Also, has the PBAC made a recommendation with regard to nicotine replacement therapy subsidies?