Question - Tobacco Price Boards
Thursday 8 September 2022, Question without notice
Ms ARMITAGE question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
(1) Is the state Government considering a proposal to require retailers to remove price boards for tobacco products from public view?
(2) If so, can the state Government provide further details about these and other related changes it is contemplating regarding the sale of tobacco products in Tasmania?
(3) What, if any, consultation has the state Government undertaken with regard to these moves with the retail sector?
(4) I note the recently released Tasmanian Tobacco Action Plan made no mention of this - if this is the case - so why has this apparent change of policy come about?
(5) If the Government is not considering removing price boards for tobacco products from public view, then why has it been reported to me that a health department officer has verbally informed a retailer that such a move is about to take place?
I thank the member for her questions.
(1) One of the action areas in the Government's 2022 -2026 Tasmanian Tobacco Action Plan is to:
Create supportive environments that protect Tasmanians from tobacco industry harms. We will strengthen laws to protect more Tasmanians from smoking products …
The Tobacco Action Plan further describes how this will be achieved:
Strengthen laws to reduce the visibility and availability of smoking products ...
The Department of Health is exploring options to strengthen laws as described in the Tobacco Action Plan. Price boards are one of the few remaining visual cues in retail premises that refer to tobacco, so it is appropriate that the ongoing use of price boards is considered as part of this action.
(2) Options for strengthening laws are still under development by Department of Health officers.
(3) When policy options to meet the aims of the Tobacco Action Plan in this area are developed, consultation with relevant stakeholders will be undertaken. The consultation will be in line with Australian obligations under the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. I will give that website in case anyone wants to go there, member for Launceston. It is https://fctc.who.int/who-fctc/overview.
(4) As noted above, the 2022-26 Tasmanian Tobacco Action Plan makes specific references to strengthening laws to reduce the visibility of tobacco products, and price boards are one of the few remaining visual cues in Tasmanian tobacco retail premises along with product availability notices - for example, 'Tobacco Products Sold Here' - and mandatory signage - for example, 'If you give or sell cigarettes to anyone under 18 you are breaking the law - and Quitline stickers, that sort of thing.
(5) As noted above, the Tasmanian Government has not yet considered this issue. It is an option being assessed by officers at a departmental level.