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Health groups welcome coalition support on plain packaging

Tuesday 31 May, 2011

Cancer Council Victoria and Quit have congratulated the coalition for pledging its support to plain packaging today.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said the announcement was especially timely and gave Australians, and the world, something to celebrate today on World No Tobacco Day.

"The Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and the coalition have put the health and wishes of Australians first by giving support to this reform, that research shows will make smoking less desirable, especially to young people."

"There should be nothing attractive about products that kill half of all long term smokers and 15 thousand people in this country every year. We congratulate the coalition for acknowledging this."

Quit Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said the importance of packaging in attracting new smokers couldn't be underestimated - and urged parliamentarians not to be swayed from their pledges by bully-boy tactics from the tobacco industry.

"Cigarette packaging is the single most important advertising tool the tobacco companies have, and they will fight tooth and nail to keep it. I'd urge all members of parliament to stick to their guns and continue to support this reform that will make tobacco less attractive to young people."

"In the past we've seen legislation that appeared to have the support of all parties fall over at the last minute because of tobacco company wheeling and dealings. Health groups like Quit and Cancer Council Victoria will only be able to say the job is done when water-tight plain packaging legislation is passed through both houses of parliament."

"Anything we can do to take desirability away from a product that kills one in every two long-term users is a good thing - especially when it comes to young people."

Find out the facts about plain packaging of cigarettes, including a summary of research evidence.