Dissenting Report by Labor Senators

1.1        Labor senators strongly oppose the recommendations in this report.

1.2        Labor's world-first plain packaging laws, along with its leadership on tobacco excise and other preventive health measures, have driven smoking to record lows. The recently-released National Drug Strategy Household Survey shows a continued decline in daily smoking, to 12.2 per cent of Australians. The Survey also shows that just two per cent of teenagers are smoking—suggesting that the scourge of tobacco could be eliminated over time.

1.3        But the fight is not yet won. 15 000 Australians a year still die from smoking-related disease. Anything that reduces tobacco regulation or re-normalises smoking would add to this tragic toll.

1.4        Labor will continue to follow the advice of independent experts on this issue—including the recent advice of the Therapeutic Goods Administration and National Health and Medical Research Council on e-cigarettes.

Senator Murray Watt

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