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Wednesday, 27 September 1972
Page: 1200

Senator WILLESEE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Acting Minister for Health. Does the voluntary code on the advertising of cigarettes to which the Department of Health is a signatory prohibit the appearance in television advertising of any person under 25 years of age who is smoking? If so, can the Minister explain why the Department's own anti-smoking advertisement which was criticised in the Senate last week shows a young girl of 10 years with a cigarette in her mouth?

Senator GREENWOOD -I think that Senator Willesee's question is carping. I do not know what he thinks may be achieved by it. I am sure that the voluntary code on cigarette advertising does indicate that where there is advertising of cigarettes designed to promote cigarettes the companies concerned have agreed not to use persons under the age of 25 years. I would emphasise that the purpose of that code, voluntarily undertaken, was to lessen, in the promotion in the advertising of cigarettes, the appeal of smoking to young people. The advertisements that have been put out under the authority of the Department of Health are clearly directed towards deterring young people from smoking. It is a fact that in at least one of the advertisements I have seen there is a very young person with a cigarette in the mouth. The caption states that we do not want this to happen. I fail to see why that ought to be linked with the voluntary code and the restrictions therein upon using young people to promote the sale of cigarettes, when the whole purpose of the Department's advertising is to deter people from smoking. That is why I said that 1 could not understand the. point that Senator Willesee was seeking to make.

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