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Victorian Liberals commit to life saving tobacco reform

Wednesday 18 May, 2011

Leading health groups have congratulated the Victorian Liberal Government for supporting the plain packaging of cigarettes.

Victorian Health Minister David Davis stated his support for plain packaging yesterday during a press appearance.

Quit Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said Mr Davis joined the NSW Liberal government in supporting selling cigarettes in plain packs.

"It says a lot that the Liberal Health Ministers in the two most populated states in Australia understand this policy's importance in bringing down the toll tobacco takes on the community."

"We hope that Federal Liberal Leader Tony Abbott follows the lead of his state counterparts and does what's right for the health of Australians."

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said there was evidence that plain packaging would work.

"Research by the Cancer Council Victoria and other highly reputable organisations around the world have found that young people believe cigarettes in plain packs are less appealing, won't taste as good and are smoked by people who are less stylish and sociable."

"Cigarette packaging is the single most important advertising tool the tobacco companies have. 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."

Heart Foundation (Victoria) CEO Kathy Bell said plain packaging would also reduce deception about the harmfulness of cigarettes.

"Why should we allow a product that kills 15 thousand Australians every year to be marketed like a fashion accessory? It's not a normal consumer product - let's not allow it to be packaged like one."

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