The Andrews Labor Government’s latest crack down on tobacco advertising is now complete, with tightened up laws passing the Parliament last night.
The legislation will take effect in time for the 2019 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island – making it impossible for tobacco companies to circumvent the laws when they try to introduce new forms of advertising and sponsorship, especially in sport.
The tightened-up laws come after the Labor Government intervened to ensure overseas Formula 1 teams would not display any kind of tobacco advertising on their cars and uniforms at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
The legislation extends the definition of tobacco or e-cigarette advertising to include words or designs closely associated with a tobacco manufacturer.
It’s all about cracking down on the sneaky ways big tobacco tries to wriggle around the rules by identifying new and indirect ways of marketing their dangerous and deadly products, and making sure our greatest sporting spectacles aren’t used as vehicles to peddle smoking.
The legislation also repeals a rarely-used exemption for tobacco advertising at certain events, making it a non-negotiable that tobacco advertising is banned for good.
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable chronic disease and death, with about 4,000 lives lost each year in Victoria due to smoking. Smoking costs $3.8 billion in healthcare costs and lost productivity each year.