Those of you lucky enough to be residents of the glorious Apple Isle might want to sit up and pay attention – particularly if you’re young and have an affinity for sucking down the occasional hot boy.
The Tasmanian State Government is hell-bent on enacting some form of public health legislation aimed at curbing the state’s issues with smoking.
The state’s rate of smoking is among the worst in the nation – and in particular, the uptake of smoking among people aged between 18 and 24 is sitting at around 32%.
The Government is aiming to become Australia’s “healthiest state” by 2025, with particular areas of focus to tackle obesity and smoking.
The Government’s radical proposal would see the legal age for smoking raised from 18, to 21 – or potentially even 25.
State Liberal Health Minister Michael Ferguson stated that Tassie’s current rates of durrie munching are unacceptable.
“We are proposing that we lift the legal smoking age potentially above 18, to potentially 21 or potentially 25.”“We have unacceptably high rates of smoking, we know that every cigarette is doing you damage and, despite our best efforts through public health over a number of years, we’re still nowhere near we’re we need to be.”“We have over 20 per cent of Tasmanians regular smokers, we have very high rates of youth smoking and one-third of young teenage mothers smoking during pregnancy.”“We’ve got to own up to this and be willing to have a genuine community debate.”
Similar legislation is already being considered by Parliamentary processes, but this new proposal is likely to supersede it. The bill currently being considered is the brainchild of MLC Ivan Dean, and would have seen tobacco completely outlawed for everyone born after the year 2000.
Dean remains outwardly adamant that his bill is the superior of the two. ‘Course Dean was also the guy who, whilst serving as an Alderman on the Launceston City Council, held up official proceedings for an entire week because someone had called him a “dickhead” during a council meeting. So, y’know. He’s that kind of guy.
The State Government’s full public health plan is not scheduled to be delivered for public consultation until the middle of next year.
Source: ABC News.