THE sale of loose cigarettes and packs containing less than 25 cigarettes will be illegal next year.
This is according to section 24 of the Tobacco Control Act which was passed by the National Parliament last October and certified on January 26.
According to Post-Courier reports, the Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said yesterday that smokers and their suppliers have about 12 months to prepare for the reform.
“I have directed my department to act immediately to draft a National Executive Council submission and an instrument for the consideration of the Governor-General who has the power to issue a Notice under the Act nominating a date Section 24 comes into operation. This date will be made 12 months from the date of the Gazette Notice. This will give affected companies time to prepare for the reform,” Kase said.
“I want to be very clear about the transition arrangements for section 24 of the new Act. When in operation, this section forbids the sale of cigarettes in packets less than 25 and the sale of loose tobacco of less than 25 grams.”
“Implementation of a reform can be a complex process as change becomes known, accepted and made part of a new way of doing things. Since the Act was certified on January 26, the Department of Health has been working to ensure a smooth implementation process. This means realisation of the intended reforms at a pace that also recognises the need for a transition period for affected business to prepare themselves to make some changes to their businesses practices to meet the requirements of the new law.”
“The purpose of such measure is to discourage young people from buying tobacco products or to make them less attractive to young people. It is the smaller, and therefore cheaper packages of tobacco product which tend to be more likely to be bought by young people who often have less available money to spend,” said Mr Kase in a media release.