The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement has recently released its final report on the illicit tobacco situation in Australia after a four year study. The review looked into the significant differences in the estimates of the size of the illicit market and has recommended that the Australian Taxation Office continue to enhance its methodology with the Crime Commission and also include these illicit tobacco figures in its ‘drug’ reporting statistics. The future control of illicit tobacco was the main feature of the review with overall support for many aspects of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, despite Australia not being able to ratify the Protocol until certain legislative amendments are passed. Dr Rob Preece of CCES, who gave evidence to the Committee, supports all recommendations made in the report, in particular those legislative and other reforms that are consistent with the WHO’s Protocol such as enhanced licensing, control over cigarette manufacturing equipment and introducing a track and trace system for all tobacco products. The Committee’s full report can be viewed here.
Dr Rob Preece