Governments are right to ban smoking

THE Tasmanian government is yet again endorsing another bold policy.

Fresh from its move to legalise gay marriage, the Apple Isle is proving itself to be far more proactive about social and health issues than some other states.

Under the proposed law, anyone born after the year 2000 would be banned from buying cigarettes when they turn 18, meaning smoking would begin to be effectively phased out in six years.

It looks like the law will not pass in its current form due to the opposition of Labor’s coalition partner, the Greens, who say a prohibition approach is not effective and that education is the answer.

Indeed, education is part of the answer. But it is not the only one.

We all know that smoking causes cancer, emphysema and myriad other nasty diseases. 

We all know that more than half the people who light up regularly will die from smoking. 

We see it on the television, on billboards; we learn about it in school and read it in the news. But it doesn’t stop nearly 20 per cent of Australians smoking.

Last decade’s bans on smoking in restaurants, pubs and some public areas helped make smoking a minority culture.

The recent move to plain-packaging laws is another proactive step. 

When it comes to something as deadly as smoking, government intervention can only be a good thing.

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