A bold plan to end smoking in Australia has flagged prescription cigarette sales among measures aimed at slashing tobacco usage.
The University of Queensland study said Australia’s smoking prevalence stands at just under 15 per cent, but a detailed road map is needed to reduce that figure to zero.
Proposals by the Centre for Research Excellence on Achieving the Tobacco Endgame (CREATE) include reducing the number of tobacco retailers and restricting sales to particular outlets such as pharmacies.
“Australia is a global tobacco control leader and has been at the cutting edge of many new policies,” Associate Professor Coral Gartner, CREATE director, said.
“An effective tobacco endgame strategy should accelerate the decline in smoking prevalence while assisting governments, retailers and people who smoke to transition to a smoke-free society.”
Researchers also suggested ending sales to people born after a specified year and phasing out commercial cigarette sales.
Associate Professor Gartner said specific plans and a timetable had still to be determined.
“An effective tobacco endgame strategy should accelerate the decline in smoking prevalence while assisting governments, retailers and people who smoke to transition to a smoke-free society,” she said.
Department of Health figures showed about 2.3 million people smoke tobacco daily in Australia – less than 15 per cent of adults.
The habit causes almost one in seven deaths.
The Federal Government aims to reduce that figure to 10 per cent by 2025.
Smoking prevalence has been declining at an average rate of about 0.4 per cent per year since 2010.