Technical Paper 2:
Tobacco Control in Australia: making smoking history
Since the Preventative Health Taskforce released its discussion paper and an accompanying technical paper on tobacco in October 2008, a major development has been the adoption by Parties to the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of several instruments that will be used by nations to guide implementation of their international obligations under the FCTC to discourage tobacco use. The FCTC is the first treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO. As of 13 May 2009 it had 164 Parties, including Australia and all other WHO member states in the Western Pacific Region.
In addition, there have been several developments in Australian states and territories, as well as overseas, relevant to the policies proposed in the Taskforce’s reports. These include the release of the Victorian Tobacco Strategy, which sets out implementation dates for a number of key reforms; passage of the NSW Public Health (Tobacco) Act; and passage through the Lower House of a bill outlining several reforms with all party support in Western Australia.
Finally, several thousand further studies relevant to the health effects of smoking and the effectiveness of policies to discourage tobacco use have been published over the past six months.
This paper summarises just the major studies and developments since October 2008 considered relevant to consideration of the Taskforce’s strategy for tobacco control.