In the Hodgman Liberal Government’s continuing pursuit to make Tasmania the healthiest state by 2025, today we tabled our Public Health (Healthy Tasmania) Amendment Bill 2017 in Parliament.
The Bill encompasses important initiatives outlined in our Healthy Tasmania Five Year Strategic Plan, launched last July, with a particular focus on reducing obesity levels and continuing to reduce rates of smoking.
Our Plan is supported by $6.4 million of new investment to ensure Tasmanians get the information and skills to make positive and healthy changes in their own lives.
On the eve of World No Tobacco Day, the Bill amends the Public Health Act 1997 to deliver three specific smoking-related actions:
– increasing penalties for selling or supplying smoking products to a child;
– introducing laws to regulate electronic cigarettes but not ban “personal vaporiser products”; and
– targeted campaigns through Quit smoking information to be provided at the point-of-sale. This is a first.
It also contains other changes to complement the Healthy Tasmania actions and strengthen the Public Health Act, such as making it clear that all smoking, regardless of the product being burned or vaporised is banned in smoke free areas, including personal vaporiser products and other non-tobacco products such as herbal cigarettes or shisha pipes.
To further support this the Government increased the Tobacco Seller’s Licence Fee to $731.34 from January 1, and we have a team of Tasmanian Health Service nurses that run a statewide program to encourage pregnant women to quit smoking.
The Budget includes more than $2 million for a range of preventative health programs including Cancer Council Tasmania’s Quit social marketing program and Quitline smoking cessation support.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is getting on with job of fixing the health system and preventative health is a key platform of that to help ease pressure on our hospitals.
Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health