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Review of the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992

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TW 12/2002 31 May 2002

REVIEW OF THE TOBACCO ADVERTISING PROHIBITION ACT 1992 Australia's tough tobacco advertising prohibition laws are to be reviewed to ensure they are keeping pace with emerging advertising and marketing practices that entice people to smoke, Ms Trish Worth, Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, said today.

Announcing the review of the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992 on World No Tobacco Day, Ms Worth said Australia's legislation was now 10 years old.

Ms Worth said Australia was one of the first countries in the world to prohibit tobacco advertising and one of the first to legislate to phase out tobacco sponsorship of international sporting and cultural events by 2006.

"While the legislation has been very effective in reducing the exposure of the public to messages and images which may influence their decision to take up smoking or continue to smoke, it is time to consider whether more needs to be done in this area," Ms Worth said.

"I am particularly committed to taking effective steps to ensure that young people are not influenced to take up smoking by being exposed to indirect forms of promotion of tobacco products.

"The review will consider whether the objectives of the Act should be expanded to take into account new technologies such as the Internet, and advertising and marketing approaches.

"I anticipate that the review will commence within the next two months and will be conducted with the help of an expert advisory panel. There will be ample opportunity for public consultation at various stages during the review.

"It is important that we continue our leadership role in tobacco control as tobacco kills more than 19,000 Australians each year and we need to continue to be vigilant in protecting the health of the community by maintaining strict controls on tobacco advertising," she said.

Ms Worth said Australia also has one of the lowest rates of smoking in the developed world, according to the recently released Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2001 National Drug Household Survey.

"According to the survey, the number of Australians aged 14 years or more who smoke tobacco daily has dropped over the last three years to 19.5 percent," Ms Worth said.

Further information: Mark Williams, Ms Worth's Office, 0401 147 558 Kay McNiece, Dept. Health & Ageing, 0412 132 585