About tobacco reform

young person skateboarding The Tobacco Act aims to reduce the prevalence of smoking by encouraging people to cease smoking and by discouraging people taking up smoking, particularly young people. Why?

Smoking related disease is the single most preventative cause of death and disease in Australia.

  • 90% of smokers start smoking before the age of 18.
  • The younger someone starts smoking the more likely they are to become heavier, more addicted smokers and to suffer smoking related disease.
  • Teenage smoking rates are increasing.
  • In 1996 46% of current smokers aged 12-17 had purchased their last cigarette themselves, most commonly from milk bars.
  • If we can prevent children from buying cigarettes this will help prevent them becoming regular smokers.

In the City of Yarra (using 1993 - 1996 statistics from the Anti Cancer Council of Victoria), out of every 1000 deaths:

  • 146 will be due to smoking
  • 39 will be due to alcohol
  • 7 will be road deaths
  • 19 will be due to other drugs

In 1998 smoking caused around 4750 deaths in Victoria. That equals 90 Victorians every week. Compared to other causes of death:

  • illicit drugs killed 5 Victorians every week
  • road accidents killed 8 Victorians every week
  • alcohol killed 16 Victorians every week.

More resources

Victorian Government Health Information website - Tobacco

Quit website


Further information
Health Protection Unit
9205 5166

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