According to a report by The Guardian on November 2, Australia is currently undertaking a three-day deliberation on comprehensive tobacco reform laws. The goal is to discourage smoking and address the health risks associated with e-cigarettes.
Experts were questioned about this matter by senators, with their main focus being on whether such reforms would fuel black market transactions for tobacco and e-cigarette products.
The proposed reform draft suggests banning the addition of specific ingredients, such as menthol, in tobacco and e-cigarette products, as well as requiring more explicit and impactful warning labels on tobacco packaging and each cigarette.
Furthermore, new measures will be implemented to prevent the promotion and sale of e-cigarettes, such as the requirement for plain packaging for e-cigarette use.
However, the tobacco, e-cigarette, and retail industries, as well as their lobbyists, strongly oppose this reform, arguing that it will lead users to turn to the black market, thereby increasing smoking rates and crime rates.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Convenience Store Association, Theo Focarelli, stated at a hearing on Thursday that the reform’s public health objectives “will not be achievable”.
In simple terms, Australians are not quitting smoking. They are instead turning away from legal tobacco products and opting for cheaper, unregulated black market tobacco and e-cigarettes,” he stated.