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notsmokinjo

Increase Smoking Bans and Regulations

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Australia has pretty strict laws and regulations around smoking. We were the first in the world to ban tobacco advertising, then tobacco sponsorship from sporting events, we were the first to introduce graphic packaging, then uniform plane packaging (all brands are an olive green colour with huge graphic anti smoking ads), we also have a policy of prohibitive pricing. This means each 6 months the tax rate on smokes goes up, and mandatory prices also increase. Currently, the cheapest budget smokes on the market will cost you more than $1 per smoke and that's if they are on special. So that's the federal laws.... then there are state laws as well...

 

Victoria, where I live is one of the toughest states.. you can't smoke:

  • In pubs, clubs, outside dinning areas
  • You can't smoke in any public building
  • You can't smoke withing 10 meters of a school (including universities)
  • You can't smoke at sporting venues like the MCG
  • You can't smoke at within 10 meters of any junior sporting competition (so this is club level)
  • You can't smoke within 5 meters of the doorway to any public building, including shopping centers, hospitals, office blocks, club rooms, restaurants.
  • You can not smoke in prisons, not even in the yard. (we were the first state to do this and went through months and months of riots but now its just how it is, you go to prison your quitting, they'll give you NRT but that's it, no more smoking
  • Can't smoke on beaches
  • Can't smoke at kids playgrounds
  • can't smoke at skate parks
  • Illegal to smoke in a car with any passenger under 18, if you have more than 1 <18 in the car and are caught smoking you recieve one fine for each passenger >18 and its a big dine (couple of hundred I think) and 3 demerit points (you only have 12) so you have 4 kids in the car and get caught smoking you loose your license.

 

I have no issue with this, didn't have issues with it when I was a pack a day smoker.

 

Queensland introduced the no smoking in prison laws this year and have had less drama than we did.

 

So now, the ACT (territory, so sort of a state, where Canberra is) have tabled for public debate 37 law changes. These include two relating to smoking. They want to introduce the no smoking in prison law like Vic & Qld but they also want to raise the legal smoking age to 21. (Currently in Australia the legal age to drink, drive, vote & smoke is 18 (in the NT you can drive at 16)) ... and everyone is up in arms. Bring it on I say. Up the age to 21... the reality is how many new smokers wait until they are 18 to start smoking, sure there will be some but not that many, the extra 3 years will probably weed out that group of kids out of ever becoming smokers. The thing is, if it looks like the ACT is going to do it, Victoria will probably jump in and do it first because as a state we have to be first.

 

So do you think raising the legal age of smoking is going to benefit the level of smokers?

 

 

 

Edited by notsmokinjo
Forgot about the smoking in car law.
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Having a legal age to smoke never stopped anyone before. They could raise it to age 50 and it would matter not.

 

Now I do not know about AUS but here in the USA, as smoking laws get more strict, they are loosening up on drinking and marijuana laws.

 

Even though I do not smoke anymore, it still sucks to see they keep restricting tobacco. Two reasons -

 

1) People will just find something else unhealthy to do.

2) It demonstrates how easily rights can be taken away and instead of people fighting it, they applaud it. They forget their rights could be next.

 

But of course, they are doing these smoking bans to help peoples' health. meanwhile loosening 420 and booze restrictions. Well cause neither one of those are harmful.

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Are you asking if the number of smokers will decrease?   Current smokers who will now be underage when the law changes isn't going to stop them.

 

I would think that the already high prices plus the continual price increases will definitely cause the number of smokers to decrease, because it will become unsustainable for the average income person to smoke.

 

 

Edited by Wayne045
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I'm not sure the legal age change will do much on it's own. Look at all the stories around this site about when people started smoking and I think you'll find a lot of people were under age when they started. But I do think the combination of all the restrictions you listed above helps to tighten the noose around the neck of this industry of death so yeah ..... bring it on I say!

 

Cost of the product and feeling like a social outcast will do more to curb new smokers that anything else I think.

 

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Wayne yeah that is true. In AUS i think one lousy pack is like $20 USD or about $25 AUS ?

 

I do not get why the feds in any nation try to get people to quit smoking. Aren't they making decent bank from peoples' bad habits?

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Yes they do rake in the tax revenue but in countries who fund or partially fund health care, there is some incentive there to reduce the number of smokers.

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I think raising the legal age will make a difference. When i was a kido i could buy smokes and alcohol from age 14. That just could not happen anymore. Theyve really clamped down on the shops selling to underage kids. The shops are hit with massive fines. 

So of course kids will still smoke but i do think its harder to get them now. They cant just go and buy them like we all probably did. And raising the age can only help that. I wonder how the kids get their fags now? Older siblings maybe? Who knows. This on its own wont stop kids smoking but it might help a bit making them less accessible for longer. 

 

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14 hours ago, Jetblack said:

Wayne yeah that is true. In AUS i think one lousy pack is like $20 USD or about $25 AUS ?

 

I do not get why the feds in any nation try to get people to quit smoking. Aren't they making decent bank from peoples' bad habits?

 

14 hours ago, reciprocity said:

Yes they do rake in the tax revenue but in countries who fund or partially fund health care, there is some incentive there to reduce the number of smokers. 

 

Reci sort of answered your question there JB... yes they (the government) will be making decent bank from peoples bad habits but we have a public social health system (like Canada and other countries) that is funded by our taxes. So those idiots who smoke (like me) and get sick because of it, unless you choose to go private your treatment (even though it can be argued its self inflicted) is completely funded or subsidized by the government. Then if you are too sick to work we have social welfare and the possibility of a disability pension of sickness allowance. So the extra revenue they get from taxing smokes to the china and back is used to help fund these systems, and make those in your face public service adds we have and run programs like Quit. So even if a medication isn't fully subsidised after a certain amount of money spent you get it cheaper ($6-$7). Lots of smokers (and I have heard smokers say this) will argue, so what if I get cancer, medicare will pay for it and I wont feel guilty cos I already paid all those taxes.

 

I strongly suspect the amounts collected in taxes do not meet the amounts outlaid in healthcare to smoking related illnesses.

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14 hours ago, Jetblack said:

Wayne yeah that is true. In AUS i think one lousy pack is like $20 USD or about $25 AUS ?

 

OK so I just checked.... and this price is for 1 packet of 25 Marlboro in Melbourne today....

 

AUS $31

US $23

GBP £17

Euro 20

 

That is for Marlboro ... I used to smoke a budget brand but even so I would now be paying $46 per pack of 40 and that wouldn't have lasted me two days.

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2 hours ago, notsmokinjo said:

Lots of smokers (and I have heard smokers say this) will argue, so what if I get cancer, medicare will pay for it and I wont feel guilty cos I already paid all those taxes.

I strongly suspect the amounts collected in taxes do not meet the amounts outlaid in healthcare to smoking related illnesses.

 

They won't feel guilty if they get cancer?

That is true. No, instead they will feel like total shit. Cancer isn't exactly a "so what if I get it" ailment. Are they expecting to rot away while alive and think, "glad i paid my taxes so the hospital can prolong my suffering".

 

That was one of the main reasons i quit - I thought "what if someday I were diagnosed with cancer?" On this side of 40, one starts thinking about silly things like, "what shape is my health REALLY in?"

The cost of smoking was nothing - rollies cost about $10 a week even at 30 cigs a day.

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18 minutes ago, Jetblack said:

No, instead they will feel like total shit.

Yep, that's exactly what it feels like.

 

I mentioned it to show the psyche of some smokers here in Aus. Almost as if the excessive price is like a health insurance premium they pay. I never got that myself, I fell into the catagory of "If I am stupid enough to smoke then I deserve to pay it." Even from my position now I strongly believe, especially for people my age who were fully aware of the dangers of smoking, that smoking related illnesses should not be covered by medicare, regardless of how many taxes or tariffs I may have paid in my life. I think by choosing to pump my body full of poison I should void their responsibility to cover my health expenses, if not in full at least partially... now that there would be a deterrent, at least in Aus.

 

So maybe lets look at this another way... if you had the power to make legislation in relation to tobacco products what 3 things would you see as most effective. I agree in this instance it doesn't need to be plausible... I have included one that I never see happening... but well wishful thinking and all.... but seriously what 3 things can be done to make smoking prohibitive...

 

(I wish) Make it illegal - so totally impracticable, but once upon a time seatbelts weren't require, 0.05 bal for driving wasn't required... but those laws changed, people adapted and my generation knowns no different. So you'd have to faze it in. Set a date, anyone turning 18 after that date... smoking illegal... anyone over 18 already and a smoker has 5 years, to kick the habbit then the sale of tobacco products is illegal. its not perfect, but it is doable. BUT ITS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

 

1. Prohibitive Pricing - I actually agree with this policy. There are issues with it and while I never sacraficed food on the table for my kid, I suspect here would be some parents who would. If I didn't have my kid to feed I would have skipped food for smokes in the blink of an eye.

2. Heavy restrictions on smoking in public places, its almost like creating smoking ghettos. You really do feel like a leper having to walk across the road from the sport field to have a smoke then head back and you do think, what the hell am i doing?.. that, having to hunt out somewhere I could smoke, was the beginning of the end for me.

3. Back of the queue (even if going private) for anyone requiring medical treatment for smoking related illnesses where they have smoked (2nd hand smokers should not be penalised)... my only issue with this is where it is something like aspestosis or mesotheleoma or even secondary lung cancer from skin cancer (really common here) and the fact they have or did smoke at some point being used to deny or delay care. See nothing works perfectly. I know this is harsh, and i think everyone deserves and equal availability to care because I really am a bleeding heart pinko liberal labourite but if I have 1 cure and 2 dying people in front of me, both have lived equal lives in terms of good and bad but one smoked for 40 years and one never smoked a day in their life, I'd be giving the cure to the non-smoker.

 

So what would you magic 3 be.

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I don't think raising the age ,will make no difference at all...

When I was 11 ..who cared about the age limit..I managed to get a supply from anywhere I could....mostly older kids...

Education..bring education into the schools..very early.... Make the little people aware of the dangers ..

Hopefully with the knowledge ...they will think twice....of course your still going to have smokers ..no matter what is tried...

But alot might stay smoke free..

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55 minutes ago, Doreensfree said:

I don't think raising the age ,will make no difference at all...

When I was 11 ..who cared about the age limit..I managed to get a supply from anywhere I could....mostly older kids...

Education..bring education into the schools..very early.... Make the little people aware of the dangers ..

Hopefully with the knowledge ...they will think twice....of course your still going to have smokers ..no matter what is tried...

But alot might stay smoke free..

I think the most important factor will be in changing the perception of smoking as an attribute of coolness. Most of the kids want to be seen as cool and edgy, and cigarettes are a symbol of it, in the movies, tv shows, everywhere. Will this charm be taken away, that’ll be half of success. In this aspect it’s about emotions, not knowledge. I knew smoking was unhealthy and kept on smoking anyway. 

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10 minutes ago, brand.new.ela said:

I think the most important factor will be in changing the perception of smoking as an attribute of coolness. Most of the kids want to be seen as cool and edgy, and cigarettes are a symbol of it, in the movies, tv shows, everywhere. Will this charm be taken away, that’ll be half of success. In this aspect it’s about emotions, not knowledge. I knew smoking was unhealthy and kept on smoking anyway. 

I m with you..I smoked because it made me older.. cool ect !!!!

I'm thinking of education i schools at a very early age about addictions....

Before all those emotions appear....

Not just smoking ...addictions in general...

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Gday

Would the last smoker please lock the door and leave the key under the door mat.......

 

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I'm pretty sure kids these days are a lot more well informed about the dangers of smoking than most of us were growing up. It may still be seen as cool or edgy in some circles but I think those are fewer and fewer all the time. I'm guessing Vape is the new "cool" thing rather than smoking ciggies.!

 

I like what the Aussies are doing. Hitting people in the pocketbook while making smoking a severe social stigma as time goes on. Think about it for a moment. Just the cost of a pack of smokes is prohibitive so, if your friends or neighbours see you smoking a cig? They're gonna think you're an idiot :) Double whammie 😛

Edited by reciprocity
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On 7/9/2018 at 9:30 AM, notsmokinjo said:

1. Prohibitive Pricing - I actually agree with this policy. There are issues with it and while I never sacraficed food on the table for my kid, I suspect here would be some parents who would. If I didn't have my kid to feed I would have skipped food for smokes in the blink of an eye.

 

 

Okay, I'll do a couple of posts on this, first questioning the prohibitive pricing and then moving on to what I would do. So the prohibitive pricing, I can see why it is an appealing thought and it is something that the UK government has pursued as well, but with a little less gusto than in Australia. My objection to it has a number of facets.

 

The first being the socioeconomic demographics of those that do choose to smoke. It is those from the most deprived areas, with the most depressing outlook on life, with the least opportunities that are most likely to smoke and also smoke more cigarettes than those from more privileged backgrounds. Just think about that for a moment. In the UK, what we are doing in pursuing this policy is increasing the burden of tax on those least equipped to absorb it. Now here we probably see this from a different angle, in that we are largely currently succeeding in the path of quitting, but let's not lose our humanity. There is a perverse and unnecessary cruelty in a legal, highly addictive product further imprisoning in poverty those with the bleakest economic outlook.

 

Second objection.  Lying, cheating, selfish, morally bankrupt arseholes who chase the biggest profit they can make and to hell with the human cost.

 

Yes we are talking about too much of big business. Certainly we are talking about the tobacco companies. But, and its a big one, we are also talking about organized crime. At the end of the day I know that I want executives that are answerable to legislators rather than organized crime, supplying our (in the loosest sense) poison of choice. It is estimated in the UK that 20% of cigarettes are bought on the black market. You think the standard poison we willingly inhaled into our lungs is evil, you don't want to know just how much more deadly the black market stuff is. It is counter intuitive at a time where governments are seeing sense and loosening controls on some substances to create an additional environment where organized crime can thrive.

 

Last objection and it is just repeating a really good point JetBlack made previously. Careful what you wish for, rights being restricted, even if those are ones that we choose not to avail ourselves of, is a bad thing. What comes next and when will governments get to something you do care about?

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So coming on to the three things I would like to see done. Two of them pick up on things that have already been mentioned.

 

1. Restrictions on smoking in public places where meaningful. Not just because.

2. Measured education starting at an early age. Kids should understand from an early age that smoking is damaging, but avoid scaring the shit out of them, they are not equipped to deal with it. Traumatised kids is not the way to guilt trip parents into giving up. As they mature they are capable of processing additional information. If I recall correctly (and it was a very long time ago) we were shown a cartoon villain Nick O'Teen and then a little more in Biology, but there was really not a development of the education.

3. So here's the one thing that is slightly different. It is too easy to ignore the full horrors of what we let ourselves in for. So the one difference would be a license to buy tobacco. Not an expensive one, not a punitive one. But let's say every 5 years, a half day where you have to sit through a reminder of what can go wrong. Make it real, back it up with statistics of how many people it affects, back it up with real life stories. There's no point in saying smoke and your head will fall off if it's not what people observe happening. Make the options clear at the end and fully educate smokers on the support out there to quit at any time.

 

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5 hours ago, Sslip said:

1. Restrictions on smoking in public places where meaningful. Not just because.

 

This is why I never arced up over the restrictions here as the new ones came in.... especially the ones around kids. Sure its was inconvenient to have to leave a venue or walk out of your way to avoid a school, kinder, child care... but the restriction was meaningful... 1, the kids aren't exposed to 2nd hand smoke, and 2 the kids don't see it as much... the image they do see is of someone doing something undesirable. The no smoking in a car with minors I am 100% behind, even when it wasn't a law I never did it because it was such a selfish thing to do.

 

5 hours ago, Sslip said:

3. So here's the one thing that is slightly different. It is too easy to ignore the full horrors of what we let ourselves in for. So the one difference would be a license to buy tobacco. Not an expensive one, not a punitive one. But let's say every 5 years, a half day where you have to sit through a reminder of what can go wrong. Make it real, back it up with statistics of how many people it affects, back it up with real life stories. There's no point in saying smoke and your head will fall off if it's not what people observe happening. Make the options clear at the end and fully educate smokers on the support out there to quit at any time.

 

What a great idea... maybe also have a talk with someone suffering ill health because of smoking to the course. I actually see a lot of merit in this.

 

 

OK... re your objections to prohibitive pricing.... I was so glad you did your post, I was really hoping someone would. While I do support the prohibitive pricing because it really is a big incentive to stop (and while the current program is designed to end in 2020, I know at least 1 political party here is already discussing their next measures to extend the program at a branch level) I am torn because of the exact same reasons you spoke about. The socio-economic disparity between those that do and don't smoke is a real thing and prohibitive pricing is placing a higher burden on those who can least afford it... and a big part of me rails at that. And while I disagree with muted government policies to address this by changing welfare/pension payments so that its like a special eftpos card that prohibits the purchase of alcohol & tobacco... and I will march in the streets over that... I see how many people are quitting because of this policy. I see also those who are struggling because of it. Can we just say I am torn... I am falling more on the side of it being good even though in my heart hating it because it punishes those who can least afford it most. It really is a hard issue to resolve within myself.

 

 

Edited by notsmokinjo
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On 7/10/2018 at 8:11 PM, Sslip said:

Prohibitive Pricing

I totally agree that this at least makes people THINK about continuing to smoke. In the part of Canada where I live cigarettes are $15 for a pack of 20.This is good! People are not as free as they used to be about not minding others others bumming a smoke. The price is a high one for kids to pay. It’s a ridiculous price for anyone to pay! . And if kids don’t start they don’t have to Quit....so easy to say “I can stop any time.”

 

 I’m so grateful my kids don’t smoke....sure they tried it but fortunately never liked it. My parents never smoked but all of my siblings did. One paid for it with his life in his early 50’s.

 

I can honestly say I didn’t start smoking because it was “cool”. I started because I liked it & found it relaxing and my friends in the early days all smoked. Now none of them smoke and I am the last to Quit.... It was easy to get hooked. Now  wish I had never started. 

 

Health problems due to smoking are a late & unfortunate wake up call. If you’re lucky, stopping smoking will suffice. If you’re Not lucky you are a burden to an already strained Healthcare System and your quality of life goes downhill.

 

It’s not easy to Quit but until something happens to a person they really don't Worry about it.....very few people smoke for a lifetime without paying with their health. Best to Quit while you are young and have a full lifetime ahead of you to enjoy! 

 

 

Edited by Tyme2B
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I am a proud and unapologetic tobacco abolitionist, particularly when we're talking about commercially produced tobacco products (I'm a bit more flexible/noncommittal when it comes to folks growing their own for their own use, primarily because it's through the processing that companies have been able to manipulate the chemistry of the product for maximum addictiveness), and I support an agenda that ultimately makes commercially produced products completely illegal (and ultimately irrelevant and anachronistic). The approach would need to phased in allow for the continued practice of adult smokers who, at the time of enactment, "choose" to continue, though substantial resources would be directed to provide cessation support to them.  Individuals who are not of age at the time of the "structured elimination" would not be permitted to purchase or consume the products.  The easy and tired and hysterical references to "PROHIBITION" (that is, "We can't possibly eliminate tobacco because look what happened when we tried with alcohol!") simply doesn't apply to this situation, in large part because the global tobacco industry literally has no precedent for the deception, manipulation, and immorality of which it has shown itself capable in its advocacy for a product that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th Century.  And every time someone pauses to consider the (completely fictitious) threat on personal freedom that restriction or prohibition of tobacco seems to imply, it's another example of the extraordinary success of the decades-long rhetorical strategy of the industry of linking smoking with powerful ideals like "freedom" and "liberty."  We regulate and prohibit things all the time in the name of public health, and I don't hear too many clamoring for the "freedom" to eat food with lysteria or botulism, or--perhaps slightly more relevantly--to have unfettered access to cocaine or bath salts.  The difference, of course, is the bewildering amount of money and rhetorical energy spent in legitimizing and normalizing the cigarette.  

 

I'm pretty convinced that the world's position on and use of commercial tobacco will be among a small number of crucial issues (and ultimately disgraces) by which future generations will characterize the previous century.   I'm hopeful that its eradication in our current century will be one of the things by which the 21st is remembered.    

 

Christian99

16 1/2 Years Quit

 

 

 

 

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@Christian99, I find this genuinely interesting, but if it's not a discussion to have here then I'm happy to drop it.

 

When it comes to alcohol are you also in favour of prohibition and if not why the different stance? 

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No, I definitely don't hold this position with regard to alcohol (and, for that matter, cannibas, though that's a different issue entirely).  I haven't thought much about the alcohol issue, but I'd say that a guiding principle for me is whether there's a reasonable chance that moderate use of a product won't lead to significant harm.  Commerical tobacco fails that test for me in a couple of ways:  given its toxicity there's really no safe or least health-neutral consumption of cigarettes; more importantly, the product is absolutely designed to render moderate use impossible.  I wouldn't say that's the case with alcohol (which isn't to say that many lives haven't been ruined by it).  Cigarettes and their industry just strike me as uniquely offensive and deadly and warrant a special remedy, and we should be smart and courageous enough to figure out a way to eliminate them.    

 

I know my position is pretty aggressive and strident (maybe others would use a different adjective than "pretty!"), and people who read/hear it (especially those who don't know me in person) sometimes infer that I'm on some sort of nanny-state crusader.  I don't think I'm deluding myself when I say that I actually tend toward libertarianism when it comes to drugs and alcohol.  But given the history, carnage, and (industry) immorality of global tobacco, I can't in good conscience situate the mass produced cigarette in the category of other substances whose restrictions should be modest at best.  

 

By the way, I'm really intrigued by your idea to require a license to purchase tobacco; if done well, the "continuing education" piece could be a crucial moment to get quitting resources in the hands of smokers and showing that quitting is, in fact, possible.  I'm not at all opposed to an incremental approach like this that leads to my ultimate goal.  

 

C99

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By the way, the very best book I've read on the subject and the one that has most influenced my thinking on the issue is Robert Proctor's Golden Holocaust:  Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition (U of CA P, 2010).  I wouldn't call it a beach read (I'd characterize the genre as academic cultural history), but it's definitely worth one's time and attention.  

 

C99

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