Leading public health academics believe governments should establish a deadline for prohibiting the sale of cigarettes through shop owners, including supermarkets, and identify other revenue sources other than tobacco excise taxes.
It comes after a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) on Monday indicated that 1,466 people (52.8 percent) agreed with the Victorian Cancer Council’s recommendation to phase out cigarette sales in retail outlets.
“Sometimes the public is ahead of the policy,” associate prof Coral Gartner added.
Gartner and her colleagues stated in a second MJA post released that it is time for governments to focus on supply rather than consumer protections like plain-packaging regulations and tobacco-harm warnings.
“Ending the regulatory exceptionalism that has maintained the legal status of tobacco products as a consumer good” is urgently needed, according to the post.
“Cigarettes do not meet modern consumer product safety standards,” Gartner and her colleagues shared.
“It is normal for governments to remove unsafe products such as contaminated food, asbestos, and lead paint from the market.”
The successful defence of Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws against international trade disputes demonstrates that governments have the right to introduce tobacco control measures to protect the health of its citizens, even when these measures reduce commercial profits and have an impact on international trade.”
While Australia may appear to be a global leader in tobacco control because to plain packaging legislation and graphic warning labels, other countries have gone even further, Gartner told Guardian Australia.