With coronaviruses sweeping through the country and prompting widespread calls for tighter controls on the sale of tobacco products, Australia is in a state of crisis.
Key points:The coronaviral pandemic has forced some states to re-evaluate their tobacco lawsKey points:- The ABC has spoken to tobacco industry experts and public health experts about the risks of tobacco use in AustraliaToday, a new coronaviolid pandemic could lead to bans on some of the most popular cigarettes, including the popular ‘mugger’ brand of ‘bong hits’In addition, tobacco companies are worried that more people could be exposed to the virus if they try to buy them illegally from other countries.
It is not clear what impact the coronavillosis pandemic is having on tobacco industry operations.
But the Government has pledged to review the current state of Australian tobacco laws and have a national plan to prevent tobacco use becoming endemic in the country.
Key facts:Tobacco industry experts say the pandemic, which began in March, has forced the closure of some of Australia’s largest tobacco producers, including Cargill, and forced the introduction of new rules for tobacco products.
It has also led to some states re-evaluating their tobacco policies and have already started to tighten up regulations.
Some states have also announced bans on smoking and vaping in certain areas, while others are preparing to allow vaping only in certain circumstances.
However, experts say that while there has been a shift in attitudes in Australia, it is too soon to say whether the pandemics will lead to a wholesale shift in the way the industry operates.
“There’s been some changes in tobacco policy and policy is still evolving,” Dr Peter Walsh, from the Centre for the Study of Infectious Diseases, told the ABC.
“But in terms of the general public, what we have seen is the prevalence of tobacco consumption, particularly among young people and young adults in Australia has been decreasing over the past few years.”