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Victoria supports limiting retail availability of tobacco products

A recent Cancer Council Victoria survey found strong public support for limiting the availability of tobacco products, according to anti-tobacco smoking group Quit Victoria this week.

Quit Victoria policy manager, Kylie Lindorff, said the survey revealed significant and rising levels of public support for limiting the number of venues from which tobacco products can be purchased.

“Overall, nearly three in four adult Victorians (73%) said they would support a law to limit the number of tobacco product-selling venues,” Ms Lindorff said.

“At present, tobacco is sold in more than 8,000 Victorian retail outlets, is more available than bread and milk, and can be sold by anyone, almost anywhere.

Quit Victoria said this is not in the community’s interest and added that effective action to reduce the widespread availability of tobacco products is needed, while reducing tobacco availability is a key policy priority for Quit Victoria ahead of November’s state election.

“Quit calls on all parties to introduce a licensing scheme for tobacco retailers, including a publicly available register of licensees,” Ms Lindorff said

A licensing system would facilitate better communication with retailers, provide funding for more effective enforcement of state legislation, and a framework for reducing tobacco product availability in the longer term, Quit Victoria said.

“Our policy also calls for the prohibition of tobacco vending machines and ending the retail promotion of tobacco.”

Ms Lindorff said the public’s appetite for reform was not limited by age, gender or economic status, with support for reducing the availability of tobacco products exceeding 70% across all income brackets.

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