Frequently Asked Questions
PUBLIC HEALTH AMENDMENT (TOBACCO FREE GENERATION) BILL 2014
The Amendment will not penalise or criminalise smokers or those in possession of tobacco products, nor will it prohibit the growing of tobacco. This is not “prohibition”; it is a gradual phase out of the commercial sale of tobacco products in Tasmania.
Is this Prohibition? Will there be a ‘black market”?
No, because current nicotine addicts will not be deprived of cigarettes, so there won’t be any desperate buyers.
For a black market to succeed you need demand. Demand will be reduced gradually over time and smoking rates will fall. This is not a sudden measure, it is a very slow phase in over forty years and more.
As there would be fewer than 1,000 Tasmanian adolescent smokers achieving the age of 18 years in the year 2018 (depending on smoking rates at that time), then around three people per day, would have their 18th birthday, and may seek to purchase cigarettes. Therefore there would be no more than three people around Tasmania each day who would have been seeking to buy cigarettes. From Burnie to Launceston to Scottsdale to Dover and in between. This widely scattered group would not be located in any one place, and would have little or no impact on individual sales outlets.
Young people who smoke now mostly “bot” cigarettes from their friends or family, around 62%. That might continue for the first couple of groups who turn 18 and 19 , however, it is expected that the numbers of children taking up smoking will continue to fall, and this need to get cigarettes will soon decline. The tobacco industry say that this new generation will get cigarettes online. The fact is they won’t need to, because it fewer of them will be smoking, and those that are will still be able to get cigarettes from friends without penalty.
The process of the Tobacco Free Generation implementation is very slow, over many years, and so there is no immediate impact likely to trigger a sudden demand for cigarettes.
The advantage of the Tobacco Free Generation proposal is that it avoids any problems that might otherwise be associated with an end to sales of tobacco products, because it is so slow and gradual. It allows retailers to have many years to adjust to selling other products, and in fact most purchasers will buy consumer goods other than tobacco with the money freed up from tobacco.
Is this Age Discrimination?
No – says the Anti-Discrimination commissioner in a letter to the Government. Robin Banks – TFG not Age Discrimination