Could a scheme for licensing smokers work in Australia?

Roger S Magnusson and David C Currow
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.11098
Published online: 16 December 2013

In reply: We thank Chapman for his comments and note that our article1 offers support for his proposal for a smartcard smokers licence for retail tobacco sales.2 Recent data from the Australian Health Survey indicate that nearly 6% of 15–17-year-olds are current smokers, and over 4% smoke daily.3 This figure is likely an underestimate.3 Given these statistics, tobacco control policy must continue to embrace adolescents. As adolescent smokers move into adulthood, many stay smokers: without unlawful supply of tobacco to adolescents there would be significantly fewer established adult smokers. A smokers licence does not require us to prioritise reducing smoking uptake by adolescents over reducing smoking by established smokers, or vice versa. Both are important supports for this policy. We welcome continuing discussion about how best to reduce the impact of tobacco on the health of our community.

  • Roger S Magnusson1
  • David C Currow2

  • 1 Sydney Law School, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Cancer Institute NSW, Sydney, NSW.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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