Were we right about this important law all along? 129



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Prior to 1974, Australians were not legally permitted to consume alcohol before the age of 21. Today, young people only need to wait until they’re 18 to begin drinking and smoking. Now the Tasmanian government wants to reinstate the conservative, and perhaps more sensible, smoking laws of our heyday.

Tasmania’s government has unveiled an ambitious plan to improve the state’s health. It wants to make Tasmania the healthiest place in Australia by 2025, which means reducing smoking rates.

“We are proposing that we lift the legal smoking age… to potentially 21 or potentially 25”, said the state’s Health Minister Michael Ferguson. Around 20% of Tasmanians smoke, making it the second state in Australia most likely to light up.

“(In Tasmania) we have unacceptably high rates of smoking, we know that every cigarette is doing you damage… Despite our best efforts through public health over a number of years, we’re still nowhere near we’re we need to be”, added Mr Ferguson.

The Australian Medical Association is welcoming this idea. Spokesperson Tim Greenaway explained, “the important thing to realise is 100% of habitual smokers have started smoking by the age of 25”.

Greenway also added that two-thirds of all smokers die from diseases related to cigarettes, whilst smoking causes more deaths in Australia than drug and alcohol abuse combined.

Public opinion is divided though. Facebook user Mandy Goldfinch wrote, “even as a regretful smoker, no. You cannot take someone’s personal choice away from them if they have to participate in the… elections we have here once they turn 18”.

Whilst on the other hand, Joseph De Zylva commented, “the government has an obligation to promote public health measures that improve our health status. The less cigarettes consumed in Australia the better”.

Do you believe the legal age for smoking should be raised to 21, or even 25? Is 18 too young to make this important health decision? Did you smoke when you were a teenager?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I dint know how you would police this. You restrict the sale of cigerettes to under 21. They would just get someone else to buy them for them. Education is the best method of stopping cigerette smoking.

    4 REPLY
    • Yep create a black market for youngsters to get their smokes. Just like the war on drugs has done.

    • Yes I work in a convenience store & kids just wait outside & ask people to buy them . There’s always some moron that will..

    • If a law was made that made it illegal for anyone born after 1999 to buy cigarettes, eventually smoking would die out. Produce ID to buy, if you purchase for pre 99s you would be prosecuted, pretty simply really!

  2. I don’t think it will make any difference if the raise the age they can buy cigarettes, if people want to smoke they will find a way to buy them, drugs are illegal at any age but some still continue to find a way to get them

  3. not right you could legally go into hotels at 18 then but not clubs you had to be 21

  4. Just bite the proverbial bullet and ban them altogether

    5 REPLY
  5. Why don’t we just wrap everyone in cotton wool and feed them only what the experts say they can consume. We can moderate where they go and what they do in case should fall down and hurt themselves. What ever happened to freedom of choice ?

    5 REPLY
    • Yes. and government have freedom of choice on who they fund. Did you smoke? Yes. Well why should my taxes pay for your chosen disease.

    • umm NO Leone don’t smoke but if they are old enough to go to war and fight then are old enough to have a bloody cigarette before they die ..ok with you?

      1 REPLY
      • Absolutely agree!!!. Would still love one at times and everyone should have the choice. I do have private health insurance. One thing I don’t want to give up

    • Rosalind Battles true and the bloody government is happy to keep collecting the tobacco tax from all these smokers and NO I dont smoke

    • Your taxes don’t pay for a smokers disease Leone. The tax collected on cigarettes is millions more than the health care cost to smokers. If it wasn’t, smoking would be made illegal

  6. I didn’t even realise there was a law regarding smoking….well, I think Australia should try anything that will deter our young people from both smoking & drinking alcohol to excess….we need to get it in the schools early, at Primary school level to educate them on the risks involved in these habits….only then will the numbers drop…..Education is the key 🌺

    1 REPLY
  7. “Prior to 1974, Australians were not legally permitted to consume alcohol before the age of 21”. Incorrect! In Victoria it was 18. We weren’t allowed to vote until 21. As for smoking regrettably I was a full time smoker at 12 years old. So the age for smoking is a moot point. I was doomed to smoke. My nan let me light her smokes at age 5, my great uncle taught me how to roll a smoke around the same time, my mom used to get me to light her smokes at age 10 whilst she was breast feeding my young brother. So in reality it all starts in the home. Back then they did not have the science to show or tell us how harmful smoking was or the damage it did. Don’t smoke any more now. Took a heart attack to make me quit. A nasty nasty drug nicotine.

    2 REPLY
    • I smoked from the age of 11, used to sneak them from my mothers packet only 1 at a time. Gave up over 30 years ago but have just been diagnosed with lung cancer, so you do not clear your lungs completely after this time. I don’t think raising the age limit will work, the young ones will find a way if they want to smoke.

  8. So its OK to go to war and get killed but you cant smoke/drink until your 21/25. to kill yourselves. Raise the price of smokes and drink and educate from kindy onwards what it does to the body and self asteem.

  9. A cigarette executive once said, Cigarettes are sold mainly to the poor, black and stupid, so which one are you. Oh Yes the Asians are big smokers too.True story.

  10. I’d love to know how they intend to police this, hire a new branch, the cigarette and alcohol police force. Please, get over yourselves, it will change nothing

    1 REPLY
    • You have to have proof of age identity to buy cigarettes already. All that would change is the age you have to be.

  11. Apperantly its not only smoking leading to health issues if what we read is correct , its the food we eat.the drinks we drink. The air we breathe. The buildings we live in. In fact its life! So how can we ban that?..ideas please

    6 REPLY
    • Rome wasn’t built in a day. Our health won’t be fixed in a day either. So we fix our population’s health problems one at a time. Lets start with smoking.

    • Since I have had 2 close friends die this year who never smoked a cigarette their entire life and another 17 yo die of lukemia ya gotta wonder surely?

    • Same here Roselyn, picking on smoking is just all smoke and mirrors.
      Meanwhile behind the scenes, our water is poisoned with an industrial waste call fluoride and we were lied to that it’s good for our teeth, independent tests and studies have proved otherwise.
      Our foods and drinks have so many chemicals and toxins in them, and now they are trying to feed us roundup ready toxic GMO which will cause irreparable damage to our health and DNA. Watch “Seeds of Death” and other independent documentaries on youtube.
      They have been introducing more and more vaccines to jab into our newborn on the basis of FEARmongering, and the preservatives in some of these are extremely toxic.
      And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
      Meanwhile they have the gall to blame most illnesses and cancer solely on cigarettes, The TV ad ’16 types of cancer” caused by smoking, please give me a break!
      These governments dogsbodies and NGO’s must think we are so ignorant and so stupid that we believe anything.

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