Tobacco Laws and Advertising

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Lucky Strike... It’s toasted, how far we have come from the game changing advertisement from the American Tobacco Company when they began using the slogan in 1917 “purported to remove harmful corrosive acids and to "sterilize" tobacco” - the slogan was used to rebut recent medical findings that tobacco smoke was harmful to humans. (Heimann 1970) In comparison to the highly restrictive environment the tobacco industry now finds its self in they are two worlds apart.

Since the evidence put forward by General Surgeon Luther Terry on January 11, 1964 which linked tobacco consumption to a variety of debilitation and fatal diseases many governments have struggled to resolve conflicting calls to action. (Durand 2007) Inundated by health lobby groups looking for complete bans on advertising and probation of tobacco products to the other side of the spectrum have been reminded of the right of free “commercial speech” that belongs to industries. As such policy makers have responded in a variety of ways; most have denoted (taken away?) the industries right to self-regulation while others have initiated partial or complete advertising and promotional bans. (HoekI 1991)

Two major reasons are typically given to justify regulation that limits or prohibits tobacco promotions: (1) Increased restrictions will curb tobacco consumption; and (2) As advertising is assumed to play such an important role in developing the habit in young people, removing the appeal will lead to a decline in ‘smoking initiation’. (Prof J J Boddewyn, 1994)The two arguments reply heavily on the view that advertising possesses the power to persuade consumers to adopt new behavioral patterns so according to this reasoning the removal of this marketing tool would reduce the tobacco manufactures ability to attract new users resulting in a decline in consumption. (HoekI 1991) Different governing bodies have been established worldwide to tackle the tobacco challenge the main one being The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). (REF) http://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/18-9-what-the-fctc-means-for-australia

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was the first international treaty negotiated developed under The World Health Organization (REF). http://www.who.int/fctc/implementation/en/ FCTC was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic, promoting public health through tobacco-control policies at a country level. (REF) http://www.who.int/fctc/about/en/index.html The Australia became a signatory to the FCTC in December 2003 and thus Australia is legally bound to preform the full range of obligations outlined in their policies. Australia also implements tobacco-control at a Federal and state level, which we will examine next.

Advertising and promotion of tobacco products in Australia has been Progressively restricted since the 1970’s. It was first implemented bans on radio and television advertising in 1976, bans in all newspapers and magazines soon followed and came into effect in 1989 under The Tobacco Products Advertisements (Prohibition) Act 1989. (Cancer council 2012) The TPA Act 1989 was repealed in 1992 and replaced with The Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act or otherwise known as the TAP Act. The TAP Act 1992 was introduced to provide a national standard for tobacco advertising and the objectives of the act are to: 1) Limit the exposure of the public to messages and images that may persuade them: a) to start smoking, or to continue smoking; or b) to use, or to continue using, tobacco products 2) To improve public health.(REF)

The Act put restrictions in place by putting a ban on:
* All promotion of smoking; including the purchase/use or range/brands of tobacco products; * All advertising in print media, films/videos, television or radio, advertising on tickets, billboards and transit advertisements; and * Promoting of sponsorship by tobacco companies at sporting events. (REF)

As well as...
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