In a radical new anti-smoking campaign promising to phase out smoking in Australia, smokers could be forced to buy cigarettes with a prescription or at a pharmacy.
A new centre at the University of Queensland is studying the ambitious strategy of stubing out cigarettes for good.
Associate Professor Coral Gartner, the Director of the Centre for Research Excellence on Achieving the Tobacco Endgame (CREATE), said the goal of the centre will help Australia become a smoke-free country.
“Australia’s smoking prevalence is just under 15 per cent, but we will need a well-designed endgame strategy if we are to achieve close to zero smoking,” she said.
Strategies to be discussed include reducing the number of distributors of tobacco and limiting sales to specific suppliers.
Other endgame tactics include ending sales and phasing out commercial sales of cigarettes to those born after a certain year.
Gartner says the centre will concentrate on figuring out what could be an acceptable endgame objective and timeline.
“An effective tobacco endgame strategy should accelerate the decline in smoking prevalence while assisting governments, retailers and people who smoke to transition to a smoke-free society,” she said.
Currently, the Australian government has an aim to reduce the rate of smoking to 10 per cent by 2025.
Currently, in Australia, about 2.3 million people smoke cigarettes every day-less than 15% of the adult population.
Since 2010, the prevalence of smoking has decreased at a sluggish average rate of about 0.4 per cent per year.
Almost one in seven deaths were caused by smoking.