Fruit-flavoured cigarettes will be banned in South Australia under a State Government plan to curb smoking rates by 2010.
Substance Abuse Minister Carmel Zollo yesterday released the state's Tobacco Control Strategy - a five-year plan aimed at reducing the harm caused by smoking.
Ms Zollo said the cigarettes - which are available in SA - were designed to lure young people into smoking. (Corpwatch: Philip Morris and Brown & Williamson Corp. are two major producers of flavored cigarettes in the US and abroad.)
"With flavours such as strawberry and green apple, these cigarettes are clearly not going to appeal to 50-year-old male smokers. They attract young people, particularly teenage girls and children," she said.
"Sweet flavours and pastel-coloured packaging do not make fruity cigarettes any less deadly. There is no such thing as a safe cigarette."
Independent MP Nick Xenophon has previously called for the cigarettes to be banned. However Opposition Leader Rob Kerin said if the Government wanted to legislate to ban the cigarettes, they should "sit now and do it". He was referring to the Government's move to shut down Parliament until after next year's election.
"They had the opportunity to do all of these things," he said.
"Parliament should not be getting up for as long as it has."
The Tobacco Control Strategy also sets a target of reducing smoking prevalence among adults from 21.9 per cent to 17 per cent in the next five years.
Ms Zollo said smoking was the single biggest cause of premature death, disease and disability in Australia.
Meanwhile, QuitSA will start a television and radio campaign on January 1 to encourage smokers to quit now, rather than put it off until later.
The key message of the campaign is "Quitting smoking is hard. Not quitting is harder."
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