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Tobacco plain packaging delayed again

2 November 2011 - 1:47pm

The plain packaging of tobacco in Australia has been delayed until December next year, as the government waits for the legislation to be passed through the senate.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the tobacco industry needed time to apply the changes - the first of its kind seen in the world.

"Plain packaging will remove the last channel for marketing tobacco in Australia and is part of a government strategy to reduce the toll from 15,000 tobacco-related deaths a year."

With the initial start date of July 1, 2012, all tobacco products will now have to be sold in plain packaging from December 1, 2012 if the bill is passed.

"I think that it is important that industry gets a reasonable timeframe to make an orderly transition to plain packaging," she said in a statement on today (2 November).

The plain packaging initiative aims to reduce smoking rates below 10 per cent.

Smokers with private health insurance may be able to receive assistance from their provider to participate in a quit smoking program.

Research shows that smoking is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and cancer.

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