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Government must force compliance.

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Laurie Ferguson Shadow Minister for Population Health and Health Regulation

Government must force compliance 7th of November, 2006

Shadow Minister for Population Health, Mr Laurie Ferguson today said that the Government must act immediately to stop tobacco manufacturers and retailers stockpiling cigarettes in order to slow down the impact of the new range of anti smoking graphics which have to be placed on new cigarette packets.

Mr Ferguson said “the explicit graphic warnings which are printed on cigarette packets have played a significant role in encouraging people to quit or not take up smoking. The graphic warnings have exposed the gruesome impact that smoking has on people’s health.”

“When the explicit cigarette warnings were introduced earlier this year, it took months for them to finally appear on retail shelves. Tobacco companies fearing the impact that new explicit warnings will have on their business stockpiled to the extent that most smokers did not see the new packets well into 2006.”

“This conduct is unacceptable and must be stamped out. Government must force tobacco companies to comply with regulation”.

“The current fiasco around the Dunhill Blue split packets provides a vivid example of why the Government must act with alacrity. The manufacturers have sold hundreds of thousands of these offensive packets only to claim that they are a special promotional edition. Sadly neither the ACCC or the Department of Health have done anything about it.”

Mr Ferguson said Canadian studies demonstrate that a fifth of smokers were likely to smoke less if cigarette packets have explicit graphic warnings printed on them”.

A Beazley Labor Government will tighten restrictions on tobacco advertising and make sure that tobacco manufacturers are held accountable for all their actions including full compliance with the aims and objectives of regulation.

Contact: Laurie Ferguson 0418601716