Tobacco Free Generation Legislation

The Tobacco Free Generation amendment has been introduced into Parliament .

The Amendment has been referred to a Parliamentary committee, and the submissions can be viewed on the Website for the Parliament of Tasmania. The committee Report can be viewed here.

The Committee made the following key findings:

1. There does not appear to be any significant legal impediment to the operation of the Bill in delivering the policy intent.

2. The Parliament should take a measured and cautious approach in considering a Bill which could limit or ‘extinguish’ fundamental rights relating to age, equality and liberty.

3. The Bill raises some practical legal issues in relation to online sales and the impact of the Bill on tourism/tourists. The proposer of the Bill may wish to give consideration to amendment of the Bill to avoid negative impacts on tourism.

4. Should the Bill be supported, appropriate education programs would be required to effectively implement the Bill. This would incur a cost and would be a matter for the Government of the day.

Legal advice  has been provided to the Legislative Council Committee “A” on the Tobacco Free Generation, by Mr. Neil Francey, attached to a response from Hon. Ivan Dean,  160513 Ivan Dean Response (commenting on advice from Dr Gogarty).(MoA 03.05.16 Final – Annexure )

Advice on ethics and international Human Rights issues was provided to the Committee by Dr. Yvette van der Eijk. 

There is a wonderful submission from Lois Ireland, a retailer from Flinders Island – it is number five on the list of submissions. She refused to be intimidated by Imperial Tobacco, and no longer sells cigarettes because,  “I made a conscious decision to stop gaining a profit from a product that I knew to be highly addictive and that was causing long term health issues with those who I knew personally as members of my community”.

Other excellent submissions were from Dr Adrian Reynolds MBBS (Melb), BSc (Hons), MPH, FAChAM (RACP) Statewide Clinical Director,  Alcohol & Drug Service, Department of Health and Human Services; Professor Jon Berrick ; and Drs Nick and Michelle Towle. In addition, world renowned tobacco control experts Dick Daynard and Laurent Huber from ASH, Dr. Harry Lando, Professor Judith Mackay, Dr. Seana Gall from the Menzies Research Institute,

Extract from Menzies Research Institute comments re – Public Health Amendment (Tobacco-free Generation) Bill 2014.

“Practicality of this legislation

This legislation is likely to be effective because it will have both direct and indirect effects on smoking. Direct effects will be through limiting the supply of cigarettes, whereas indirect effects will occur as smoking becomes rare among younger people contributing to its ‘denormalisation’ which is crucial to reduce smoking uptake.4 The legislation will initially only affect a small proportion of the population; however, over time, as the members of the ‘Tobacco Free Generation’ increase, its effects will multiply. The most recent data from the ABS on the Tasmanian population from 2011 shows there were 3,454 males and 3,145 females aged 17 that would become eligible to purchase cigarettes when they turned 18. If we apply the most recent prevalence of smoking in 17 year olds in Tasmania from the 2012 Australian Secondary Students Drug and Alcohol Survey (ASSAD) 17% of males and 18% of females were identified as current smokers.5 Therefore, if this legislation had been implemented in 2012 there would have been 587 male and 566 female smokers prevented from purchasing cigarettes. The fact that it affects only small numbers of people directly is likely to be of benefit in terms of implementation.”

A Fact sheet explaining the Amendment can be found here and clause notes.

Ivan Dean MLC was interviewed by Damien Carrick for the ABC Law Report on 22 September  2015. Listen here.

Watch the SBS story and interviews with Tasmanians about the Amendment.

This proposal has been recognised internationally and endorsed at a major world conference on Public Health priorities for the 21st Century in India in 2013. “Adoption of policies to prohibit the sale of tobacco to all persons born after 2000, to ensure tobacco free millennium generations (as proposed by Tasmania and Singapore).”

For more detailed information go to the FAQ page.

If you want to provide feedback  or ideas about the Amendment to Hon. Ivan Dean at Parliament House in Hobart –  contact him here – or write to:

Hon. Ivan Dean, Parliament House, Hobart, TAS. 7000.

Or telephone: (03) 6212 2300


The Tobacco Free Generation
The Public Health Amendment (Tobacco Free Generation) Bill 2014 is an amendment to the Public Health Act 1997  which will gradually phasing out the sale of tobacco products in Tasmania.

The Amendment WILL:

• Stop the sale of tobacco products to anyone born since the year 2000, the tobacco free generation.
• Prevent the supply of tobacco products by licensed tobacco sellers, or their agents, to members of the tobacco free generation.
• Provide (with penalty) that members of the tobacco free generations must not give false identification to tobacco sellers.
NOT prevent members of the tobacco free generation from smoking, or attempting to purchase tobacco products.
NOT penalise any member of the tobacco free generation for smoking.
NOT prevent friends and family from giving tobacco products, such as a few cigarettes to members of the tobacco free generation, however, they must not SELL tobacco products to them.
NOT prevent “botting” of cigarettes by members of the tobacco free generation. They would be able to scrounge or borrow cigarettes, and would not be penalised.

In effect, the Amendment gradually raises the age for tobacco products to be sold to a person, from 18 years to 21 years, then again to 25 years. It signals: no acceptable age for tobacco use, and no rite-of-passage to such an age.

The Amendment:

• Provides for reviews of the legislation, which must then be tabled in Parliament, when the tobacco free generation reach the age of 21 years, in 2021 and again in 2025.