Push for tobacco licensing

Quit Victoria is calling for all political parties to commit to reducing tobacco availability ahead of November’s state election, a move about three in four surveyed adults supported.

Quit Victoria policy manager Kylie Lindorff called for a licensing scheme to be introduced for tobacco retailers, including a publicly available register of licensees.

“At present, tobacco is sold in more than 8000 Victorian retail outlets, is more available than bread and milk, and can be sold by anyone, almost anywhere,” Ms Lindorff said.

“A licensing system would facilitate better communication with retailers and provide funding for more effective enforcement of state legislation.

“Our policy also calls for the prohibition of tobacco vending machines and ending the retail promotion of tobacco.”

Their calls were backed up by a Cancer Council Victoria survey, which found strong public support for limiting the availability of tobacco products.

“Overall, nearly three in four adult Victorians (73 per cent) said they would support a law to limit the number of tobacco product-selling venues,” Ms Lindorff said.

Latrobe Community Health Service primary prevention manager Christina Rush said removing or reducing the temptation, and ease of access to tobacco products, could work in conjunction with other laws and policies to prohibit smoking in public areas to reduce the overall incidence of smoking.

“According to the 2008 Victorian Population Health Survey, 29.6 per cent of adults in Latrobe smoke,” Ms Rush said.

“Cigarettes are very readily available at present.

“By limiting access to them, it can help set people on the right direction towards quitting smoking entirely – every one less cigarette helps.”

For help to quit smoking phone Quitline on 13 78 48, visit

www.quit.org.au or see the respiratory nurse at LCHS.