How health buffs want smokers to be forced to get a SCRIPT for cigarettes from the pharmacy as part of a radical plan to quit smoking Aussies forever
- Smokers may soon be banned from buying cigarettes from regular stores
- A proposal to limit the sale of cigarettes to pharmacies is currently being examined
- Another severe restriction could be that smokers need a prescription to light up
- There are even calls to cut sales for good to anyone born after a certain year
- Researchers say one in seven deaths in Australia is related to tobacco products
Smokers could be forced to get their cigarettes from pharmacies on prescription under a new plan by anti-smoking advocates.
The hardline proposal is part of a university’s plan to quit smoking forever, and involves permanently stopping the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after a certain date.
Associate Professor Coral Gartner, of the University of Queensland’s Center for Research Excellence on Achieving the Tobacco Endgame (CREATE), says smoking may never be banned, but there must be an ‘endgame’ goal to make tobacco use permanent. , causing nearly ‘one in seven deaths’ in Australia and is responsible for ‘nine percent of the disease burden’.
Smokers could be forced to get their cigarettes from pharmacies on prescription, experts at new anti-smoking research center have suggested (stock image)
‘Examples of proposed endgame approaches include regulating the content and emissions of tobacco products to make them non-addictive and less palatable, or to completely remove the most harmful products from the market based on their toxic profile,’ wrote Professor Gartner in an article for the Medical Journal of Australia news publication In sight.
Proposed strategies for reducing supply range from reducing the number of tobacco retailers, limiting sales to certain categories of suppliers (eg Pharmacies), ending sales to anyone born after a certain year, gradually cessation of commercial cigarette sales and regulated or non-profit making markets. models. ‘
Although 2.3 million Australians light up every day, the prevalence of smoking is less than 15 percent – one of the lowest rates in the world.
Professor Gartner says 15 percent is the “critical point of an endgame becoming politically viable.”
One of the strategies that the federal government has already implemented is to increase the cost of tobacco products through incremental tax increases.
The government has increased excise and customs duties on tobacco by 12.5 percent every year from 2013 to 2020, the most recent last month.
Excise taxes also rose another 25 percent on a one-off basis in 2010, representing a total excise tax increase of 125 percent over the past decade.
This has pushed the price of a 25 pack of Malboro cigarettes up to about $ 50 over the past decade.
A 2020 chart from Daily Mail Australia showing the average increase in cigarette prices over the past 20 years
Although 2.3 million Australians light up every day, the prevalence of smoking is less than 15 percent – one of the lowest rates in the world
But in a rare show of generosity, last week’s coronavirus-delayed federal budget saved smokers another double-digit tax hike for the first time in nearly a decade.
The Australian government collects about $ 17 billion in tobacco taxes annually.
However, this has led to a surge in the black market tobacco trade as organized crime syndicates flood the Australian market with cheap smoke.
The illegal tobacco trade is worth about $ 600 million annually, according to the Australian Border Force.
But Professor Gartner says concerns about illegal tobacco are exaggerated.
“Evidence suggests that the potential negative effects of other tobacco control strategies are exaggerated, such as speculation about increased black market sales in response to regular packaging,” she said.
“It is a challenge to end the cigarette epidemic, but it delivers enormous health gains that are greater than possible with other health interventions.”
By 2025, the Australian government is aiming to reduce the number of smokers to 10 percent of the population.
Budget winner: No additional 12.5 percent taxes included in Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s 2020 economic bailout – unlike in the past eight years