2013 May 31 – Time To Get Rid Of Tobacco Vending Machines
Time to get rid of Tobacco Vending Machines
World No Tobacco Day call to end exploitation of vulnerable smokers
On World No Tobacco Day (May 31)*, health groups are calling on governments to end the selling of tobacco from vending machines.
Health groups ASH Australia, Lung Foundation Australia and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand are among those backing the policy.
Says ASH Chief Executive Anne Jones: “Vending machines are for impulse buying, and should be limited to convenience products – not addictive, lethal drugs.
“There’s no other drug you can get from a vending machine – let alone an addictive, lethal drug that kills 15,000 Australians every year.”
While other countries have ended tobacco sales from machines, in Australia only the ACT has taken the step. There are an estimated 10,000 machines in licensed venues across the country – but the real number could be much higher, since records are either secretive or poorly maintained.
Says Professor Matthew Peters, President of the Thoracic Society: “The tobacco industry knows pubs, clubs and casinos are great places for undermining people’s attempts to quit smoking. That’s why they’ve installed thousands of these machines in licensed venues to keep smokers smoking and to attract those trying to quit.
“We hear many accounts of people relapsing because they were in a licensed venue, had a few drinks, had ‘just one’ cigarette that led them back into a cycle of addiction and nicotine dependence.”
Adds William Darbishire, Chief Executive Officer of Lung Foundation Australia: “We need to help the most vulnerable, motivated people who have just quit and may be sucked back in by incidental exposure to cigarette vending machines.”
The theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day is ending all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship – and the health groups say there’s no better time than now to close this advertising loophole.
Says Anne Jones: “The vending machines themselves can still be used – to sell convenience products that don’t kill people or prey on their vulnerability.
“If one government can close this loophole, others can follow – and support the National Tobacco Control Strategy signed by all nine Australian health ministers.”
*More on World No Tobacco Day at www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/en/
|Anne Jones OAM, ASH Australia||ph: (02) 9334-1876; m. 0417-227-879|
|Prof Matthew Peters, TSANZ||m. 0407-499-440|
|William Darbishire, Lung Foundation Australia via Bridget Dixon||ph. (07) 3251-3644|
|Stafford Sanders||ph. (02) 9334-1823; m. 0412-070-194|
ASH website: www.ashaust.org.au