Review of Tobacco Control Legislation

Closed 18 Mar 2019

Opened 18 Jan 2019

Overview

The Department of Health (Department) is undertaking a thematic review (review) of its tobacco control legislation and is seeking input from stakeholders.

As part of the Legislation Act 2003, the Australian Government introduced changes to the sunsetting arrangements for legislative instruments such that they automatically cease to apply, unless an active decision has been made to retain them. The aim of the arrangement is to ensure that legislative instruments are kept up to date and only remain in force so long as they are needed.

The Department’s tobacco control regulations are due to sunset on 1 April 2022. Before this occurs and consistent with the Legislation Act 2003 a thematic review of these instruments and their enabling Acts is being undertaken.  

This review applies to these Acts and Regulations:

Given the age of the TAP Act and TAP Regulation it is timely to undertake a comprehensive review to ensure their effectiveness and efficiency.

The TAP Act prohibits the publication of tobacco advertisements within Australia (subject to certain limited exceptions). The TPP Act sets out requirements for the packaging and appearance of tobacco products.

While the TPP Regulations are effective and efficient in achieving their aims, under sunsetting arrangements the Government recognises that regulatory frameworks can be improved.

Why We Are Consulting

We want to hear from interested stakeholders. Your responses will aid in identifying opportunities for regulatory changes. The Department will be undertaking two broad phases of consultation to inform the review:

  • Phase 1: will seek your views and suggestions on the current legislation via online responses.
  • Phase 2: will seek to collaboratively explore options for regulatory improvements via targeted stakeholder workshops.

This review will also be informed by consultation inputs provided as part of the development of the National Tobacco Strategy 2018-26.

 

How to give us your views:

Interested parties are invited to make a submission via the Online Survey link below and follow the instructions.

Share your views on some, or all of the consultation questions or simply express your views or ideas to improve the Department’s existing tobacco advertising prohibition and plain packaging legislation.

If you have any questions or comments, get in touch with us via email at tobaccoreview@health.gov.au

 

How we will use your responses

Your response is being provided to the Department and will be used to inform the identification of options for regulatory changes. These options will be discussed and developed within targeted stakeholder workshops (Phase 2).

The responses received to this online consultation process may be made available to designated experts, contractors or consultants who are contributing to the consultation.

The views expressed in the responses are those of the individuals or organisations who submit them and their publication does not imply any acceptance of, or agreement with, these views by the Department.

The Department may publish responses on the website to inform the community and stakeholders. However, the Department retains the right not to publish responses at its discretion, and will not place on the website, or make available to the public, responses that contain offensive or defamatory comments or which are outside the scope of the consultation.

Before publication, the Department will remove personally-identifying information from responses, such as personal email addresses, telephone numbers and personal/organisation addresses.

Please note the Department will be unable to accept:

  • confidential information that you do not wish to make public;
  • comments which, in the opinion of the Department, are inappropriate; and
  • responses received after the consultation deadline (11.59PM AEDT on 18 March 2019).

 

Protection from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry

Australia is a party to the global tobacco control treaty, the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Australia has an obligation under Article 5.3 of the FCTC when “setting and implementing public health policies with respect to tobacco control…to protect these policies from the commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry”. The internationally agreed Guidelines for Implementation of Article 5.3 recommend that parties to the treaty “should interact with the tobacco industry only when and to the extent strictly necessary to enable them to effectively regulate the tobacco industry and tobacco products.”

In line with Australia’s obligations under Article 5.3 of the FCTC, consultation with the tobacco industry and organisations/individuals that may be working to further industry interests will be undertaken to the extent required consistent with Article 5.3.  This is so the interests of these stakeholders are not privileged in any way during the course of the consultation process.

The Guidelines for Implementation of Article 5.3 also include an overarching principle of transparency when governments are dealing with the tobacco industry or those working to further its interests. To help meet this obligation all respondents are asked to disclose whether they have any direct or indirect links to, or conflicts of interest, or receive funding from the tobacco and/or e‑cigarette industry.

 

What Happens Next

The insights gained through this public consultation process will help inform the development of options for modernising, streamlining and simplifying the advertising prohibition legislation. These options will ensure that the advertising legislation is consistent and contemporary in addressing potential gaps and limitations, including those resulting from the constantly emergining and changing technological landscape. It will also inform a refinement and review of the plain packaging legislation.

Any insights and/or options canvassed as part of the consultation process will be refined during targeted stakeholder workshops as part of Phase 2 of consultations. It is anticipated that these workshops will seek to collaboratively explore options for regulatory improvements in more detail to assist with the scoping and drafting process.

Audiences

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
  • Seniors
  • Men
  • Women
  • Carers and guardians
  • Families
  • Parents
  • Young people
  • Academics
  • Non-government organisations
  • State government agencies
  • Commonwealth agencies
  • Local governments
  • Health professionals
  • Health workforce
  • General public
  • Community groups
  • Businesses
  • Health staff
  • HPRG (TGA) Staff
  • Prescription medicines
  • Complementary medicines

Interests

  • Regulatory policy
  • Tobacco
  • Chronic disease
  • Policy Development