In Tasmania, Australia last week, a bill was introduced to the Legislative Council that would create a “Tobacco Free Generation.” You can read the draft text of the bill here>.
The phrase tobacco free generation is used widely and it often has different meanings. Some use it to describe a social movement that encourages young people not to smoke and to get involved in tobacco control efforts.
However, “Tobacco Free Generation” is a unique concept that refers to proposed legislation that no one born after a certain date (often 2000) will ever be allowed to purchase tobacco products.
Essentially, the age to buy tobacco products will just keep increasing.
For example, in 2018, no 18 year olds will be able to buy tobacco products, essentially increasing the age to purchase tobacco products to 19. However, in the following year, 2019, 19 year olds will not be able to purchase tobacco products.
This solution allows current smokers to keep buying tobacco products if they so choose, but it will prevent tobacco addiction from spreading to the next generation.
Tasmania is not the only government considering this concept.
The organization Tobacco Free Generation (originally TFG Singapore) also has a proposal for a law. In addition to the legislation, they are focused on creating a social movement towards a tobacco free generation.
In Tasmania, a vote on the proposed bill has been delayed because the bill was sent to a Legislative Council committee. If the bill does pass, Tasmania would be the first to pass a “Tobacco Free Generation Proposal” and with that, would become a leader in tobacco end-game strategies, not to mention saving the lives of Tasmanians for generations to come.