Maroondah City Council is reminding residents of new tobacco laws which came into effect on 1 January 2011.
Councillor Alex Makin said only State approved registered tobacconists can display tobacco products or packaging in their store. All other retailers must store tobacco products out of view.
“While outlets are still able to sell tobacco, the new regulations mean that no tobacco products can be visible from anywhere inside or outside the outlet,” Cr Makin said.
“Prior to the law changes tobacco was one of the most visible and widely accessible products on the market, which gives the impression that smoking is more popular than it actually is,” Cr Makin said.
“Reducing the visibility of the product will further protect young people from exposure to tobacco marketing and promotion, and hopefully lead to fewer people adopting the habit,” Cr Makin said.
“It is also hoped that removing the products from display will make it easier for those wanting to quit smoking,” Cr Makin said.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of illness and death in Victoria, claiming around 4000 lives, causing 80 per cent of lung cancer cases and costing Victorians around $5 billion every year.
Retailers are permitted to display an A4 sized prescribed sign which indicates that tobacco products are available, and one prescribed price board.
To become a certified specialist tobacconist, 80 per cent of the retailer’s gross turnover must be made from the sale of tobacco products.
This is not the first change the State Government has made to the tobacco-related laws. Since 1 January 2010 key changes in Victoria have included:
- Banning smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 18 years;
- Banning the sale of tobacco at temporary outlets and providing State Government powers to ban youth-orientated tobacco products and packaging; and
- Implementing improved services to assist people to quit smoking, with an emphasis on supporting pregnant women and groups with high smoking rates.
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