Mining billionaire and anti-cancer campaigner Andrew Forrest believes the legal smoking age in Australia should be raised to 21.
Mr Forrest said: “We need to stop fuelling big tobacco preying on our vulnerable youth.”
He and his wife fund the organisation, The Eliminate Cancer Initiative, which aims to push for changes in legislation and take on the tobacco industry.
Mr Forrest said both the Federal and State governments should stop young people from smoking until they are at least 21 years old.
According to Mr Forrest, 90 per cent of adult smokers begin the habit as children and the law should be changed to address this issue.
“By the time they reach 21, they are hooked and become lifelong customers of big tobacco,” he said.
“When tobacco causes many times more cost to the nation than it ever brings in revenue and creates extreme suffering before palliative care and death there is something seriously wrong with any government in the world, particularly ours, tolerating it.”
This comes just days after the owners of the Free Choice Tobacconist in Bondi Junction were served with a $72,000 fine for selling cigarettes in packages without health warnings.