Policy priorities

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Policy priorities


There is strong evidence that a sustained, multi-sectoral approach is necessary to reduce the burden of tobacco-related illness in Australia. Involvement from all levels and sectors of government, along with non-government, community and health organisations is central to effective and comprehensive tobacco control. Table 1 summarises the evidence-based policy priorities aimed to continue to decrease the tobacco-related cancer burden in Australia. The evidence to support these recommendations is contained in the Effective interventions section of this chapter.


Table 1. Strategy for reducing cancer burden due to tobacco use

Continue to reduce the affordability of tobacco products
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Continued, staged increases in tobacco excise and customs duty Australian Government See Effective interventions
Minimise strategies to undermine the effects of increases in duty e.g. specialing, discounting, value packs, and 'multi-buys' Australian Government See Effective interventions
Ensure legal sanctions and enforcement strategies are in place to reduce likelihood of future growth in illicit trade Australian Government See Effective interventions
Strengthen mass media campaigns
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Fund mass media campaigns at appropriate reach and frequency to impact quit attempts and smoking prevalence Australian Government, state and territory governments, NGOs Savings from averted health care costs exceed campaign costs See Effective interventions Non-continuation of tobacco mass media funding from July 2012
Maximise effectiveness through coordination with other control strategies and other mass media campaigns Australian Government, state and territory governments, NGOs See Effective interventions
Eliminate remaining advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Standardise state requirements regarding display of tobacco products to eliminate exemptions Australian Government, state and territory governments See Effective interventions
Restrict internet advertising of tobacco products Australian Government See Effective interventions
Enforce tobacco companies to report regularly on expenditure on any form of promotion and marketing activity Australian Government See Effective interventions
Reduce exceptions to smoke-free environments
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Reduce exceptions to smoke-free environment policies and standardise policy across states and territories State and Territory Governments See Effective interventions
Strengthen efforts to reduce smoking in disadvantaged populations
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Supplement mainstream tobacco control programs with evidence-based targeted interventions for high-risk groups Federal and State governments, Australian National Preventive Health Agency See Effective interventions
Build partnerships between organisations with tobacco control expertise and community/health groups working with disadvantaged populations Governments, NGOs, health and community groups See Effective interventions
Target smoking in Indigenous communities to reduce the health gap due to tobacco-related illness Australian Government, state and territory governments, Indigenous health and community groups See Effective interventions Closing the Gap funding expires mid-2013
Regulate the contents, product disclosure and supply of tobacco products
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Enforce plain packaging laws Australian Government See Effective interventions
Enforce laws prohibiting supply of tobacco products to minors Australian Government See Effective interventions
Provide access to evidence based cessation services
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Improve access for disadvantaged and high-risk groups, and pregnant women See Effective interventions
Research and evaluation
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Evaluate and monitor current initiatives for effectiveness NHMRC, cancer research organisations See Effective interventions
Commission research to develop effective targeted tobacco control strategies for disadvantaged populations NHMRC, cancer research organisations Modest, funded on a project by project basis See Effective interventions
Commission research to inform regulatory policies on tobacco products NHMRC, cancer research organisations Modest, funded on a project by project basis See Effective interventions
Disseminate evidence to international tobacco control community See Effective interventions


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Overview   Impact   Link   Policy context   Effective interventions   Policy priorities   Position statements