The Hodgman Liberal Government has an ambitious goal for Tasmania to have the healthiest population in Australia by 2025.

Addressing Tasmania’s high rates of chronic disease, due to choices such as smoking is a priority.
Shockingly one in five or 70,000 Tasmanian adults smokes daily. Tasmania also has the highest rate of teenagers smoking during pregnancy. This is not acceptable.

IMG_0426Today I was pleased to help launch the latest campaign which warns Tasmanians about the impact of smoking.

Smoking can and does have appalling effects on the human body. Campaigns such as this one, which depict the full, shocking impact which smoking-related cancers have on quality of life, have been proven effective in reducing the rates of smoking.

We must continue to inform Tasmanians, particularly children and young people, of the deadly effects of smoking. I thank Quit Tasmania and Cancer Council Tasmania for their continuing efforts in the fight against smoking-related diseases.

Keeping ourselves healthier for longer and managing our risk of chronic disease is an integral part of living happy, productive and fulfilling lives.

It is also critical for the sustainability of the health system, which currently faces the challenge of ever-increasing demand on acute services.

In December, I released the Healthy Tasmania Five Year Strategic Plan – Community Consultation Draft.

The Consultation Draft outlines that smoking and obesity will be priorities. We have already received strong community feedback to the proposal to raise the minimum legal smoking age to either 21 or 25.

International evidence supports raising the minimum legal smoking age as a means of targeting the most at-risk age category for smoking uptake. Studies show that most smokers take up the habit before the age of 25. There would likely be significant health benefits for the community and savings to the health system over time if the rate of people taking up smoking was reduced.
The public have until 19 February to have their say on the proposal.

The consultation draft can be found at this link

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