The last bastion of tobacco advertising has been stubbed out. Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said the Senate today passed legislation restricting online tobacco advertising in Australia. “This legislation has extinguished the last remaining opportunity for tobacco companies to freely promote their harmful products to the Australian public,” said Ms Plibersek. “Sales of tobacco on the internet will be subject to the same restrictions as everywhere else, and online retailers won’t be able to spruik cigarettes with words such as ‘cheap’ and ‘tax-free.’”
The Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Amendment Bill 2010 brings restrictions on tobacco advertising on the internet into line with restrictions applying to other media, and to physical points of sale.
“Under the amendment, online tobacco retailers will need to carry health warnings and restrict access to sites to persons aged 18 years and over.”
Ms Plibersek said the new law complements the Government’s world-first plain packaging legislation, which removes tobacco companies’ ability to advertise on tobacco packaging.
Supermarket chains, specialist tobacco and cigar shops, and other retailers will be consulted as the regulations arising from the amendment are drafted during the next six months.
Ms Plibersek said every year smoking related illnesses kill around 15,000 Australians and are estimated to cost the community more than $30 billion.