August 1, 2013

New tobacco tax is an investment in our children’s future

Lung Foundation Australia backs the move to make cigarettes more expensive and encourages any action that makes it harder for children to start smoking.

Lung Foundation Australia CEO William Darbishire said they supported good tobacco policy and endorsed increased taxes, which had demonstrated a reduction in the smoking rate and the uptake of smoking.

Lung Foundation Australia backs the move to make cigarettes more expensive and encourages any action that makes it harder for children to start smoking.

Lung Foundation Australia CEO William Darbishire said they supported good tobacco policy and endorsed increased taxes which had demonstrated a reduction in the smoking rate and the uptake of smoking.

“Even though the new tax is primarily a financial decision, the health benefits from making it harder to access cigarettes are immense,” Mr Darbishire said.

“We’ve heard people suggesting higher taxes will generate a black market in cigarettes but the bottom line is that fewer people will be smoking and fewer kids will be able to afford to take up the habit,” he said.

“We now need to see these funds being invested in lung health programs and supporting people and their families who struggle with the impact of lung disease every day.

“Lung disease doesn’t discriminate and, while not all people who smoke have lung disease and not all people who have lung disease have smoked, we know smoking can be a contributing factor in what is the unspoken health problem in Australia.”

Estimates reveal more than seven million Australian’s aged 35 years or older may be at risk of lung disease.

One in seven Australians aged 40 years or older have a progressive and irreversible lung condition called COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) that affects their ability to breathe and can have a significant impact on their quality of life.

“We need to make lung health a priority in Australia and ensure people are talking about the vital importance of lung health,” Mr Darbishire said.

 “When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.

“Lung disease affects many Australians and their families and we at Lung Foundation Australia have seen the impact this has on millions of people first hand.

“In fact more people die from lung cancer than from breast, ovarian and prostate cancer combined and yet people don’t want to talk about it or take action to the address the impact of lung disease on society.”

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For more information or to arrange an interview, call Damon Cavalchini on 07 3251 3643 or 0411 609 681.