Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lolly cigarettes to be butted out

AUSTRALIA'S state and federal health ministers will ban fruit-flavoured and chocolate cigarettes, saying they are used by tobacco marketers to lure children into smoking.

The agreement came at the Australian Health Ministers' Conference in Melbourne yesterday, along with an accord to step up regulation of the tanning industry.

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said she would also ask Customs Minister Bob Debus to ban the importation of flavoured cigarettes.

"Each state and territory is going to take steps to make sure that these cigarettes - which are targeted towards children, are about enticing children to smoke- will not be available for sale," Ms Roxon said.

"We don't see that they should be in the market. There is no positive about these flavoured cigarettes. They are particularly targeted to children."

The tobacco cigarettes, with flavours such as lemon, orange, strawberry and apple, are currently available alongside plain-flavoured cigarettes in several states and territories.

Some governments, including NSW and South Australia, have already banned the flavoured cigarettes.

Ministers also agreed to build on steps taken in Victoria to regulate the solarium industry.

"We have adopted some national principles that will be put in place," Ms Roxon said.

Other announcements from the conference include $15 million in federal funding to train 24,000 mental health workers in 1200 workshops.


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