Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in Victoria. Of the 80% of long-term smokers who start before the age of 18, half will die of a smoking-caused disease. However if people don't start smoking in adolescence, there's a strong chance they never will.
The Victorian Government has released a package of proposals aimed to address the devastating toll of tobacco in Victoria with a particular focus on young people and smoking.
We want to show our support for these ideas. Quit has developed an e-submission which supports key proposals in the Government' s plan. By taking a few minutes to send an e-submission, you can voice your support and help put kids before cigs.
We know those who profit from tobacco will oppose the proposals, so the more submissions we can generate before September 18th the better the chances that Victorian kids will be protected from the harms of tobacco.
Visit the Quit website to send an electronic submission.
Details of the key proposals that need your support:
- A complete ban on tobacco displays in all stores within one year
Getting cigarettes completely out of sight in shops helps dismantle the idea that cigarette smoking is normal behaviour, and will reduce the rate of young people taking up smoking. Allowing the tobacco industry to display cigarette packs in shops in any shape or form, alongside everyday items like milk and bread, is basically an endorsement of tobacco promotion.
- Ban smoking in cars carrying children 16 years or younger
people are particularly susceptible to illnesses such as pneumonia, middle ear infection and asthma attacks when exposed to second-hand smoke, and being in a car with a smoking adult gives them a concentrated dose of second-hand smoke in a really confined area.
- Ban on smoking on school grounds
Making school grounds smokefree is all about health and role modelling. Smokefree schools are important because they protect students from second-hand smoke and also prevent them from being influenced by seeing others smoke. Adult environments like bars and clubs have been made smokefree, yet school grounds are not subject to similar laws.
- Power to ban particular youth oriented tobacco products and packaging
Products and packaging like split packs and fruit-flavoured cigarettes are very clearly marketed towards young people. With their colourful designs and sweet smells they may project an idea of fun and glamour that is at odds with the devastating health consequences of smoking.