A total ban on the sale of fruit-flavoured cigarettes and a review of alcohol advertising were two of the initiatives to come out of today’s Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy meeting.
John Hyde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health, represented Western Australia at the meeting and said all States had committed to introducing new legislation banning the sale of fruit-flavoured cigarettes by December, 2009.
“While WA has banned the advertising of these youth-targetted cigarettes, we needed all States and the Commonwealth to agree to a complete ban so importers could not challenge restraint of trade across State borders,” Mr Hyde said.
“These fruit-flavoured cigarettes are aimed squarely at fashion-conscious youth - making a pungent cancer-stick taste sweet and appealing.
“They are turning up by the truck-load at rock festivals and other youth events and often become the first stage in a life of tobacco addiction.”
The Ministerial Council also backed WA's push to evaluate the benefits of packaging and other health warnings on alcohol products and venues.
“We need hard, objective data to see if graphic health warnings on alcohol packaging could be as effective as similar warnings on cigarette packets,” Mr Hyde said.
“We also want to know whether more targetted health warnings at the places people buy alcohol might help reduce alcohol-related harm.”
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