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Government Action Needed on Young Smokers

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Tags: Health, Young People

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

Evidence smoking rates in young Tasmanians have risen by 6.7% in the last 3 years is very concerning.

According to analysis from health economist, Martyn Goddard, in the last three years Tasmania is the only Australian state where smoking rates have increased among young people

People rarely start smoking after their mid-twenties. The government needs to find the best legislative path that limits young Tasmanians accessing cigarettes.

We need to be doing everything we can to make it harder for young people to get cigarettes and to “denormalise” smoking. It's up to governments to send a clear message that smoking is not a rite of passage.

Smoking rates have gone down dramatically in every other age group which is good news. This proves policy changes like pricing and plain packaging, as well as quit campaigns, work.

In the last 3 years, 800 young Tasmanians have started smoking. On average, smokers die ten years earlier and two out of every three will die from smoking-related conditions.

If policy makers stand idly by, more of our young people will live a life with poor health and die early.