It is time for governments to support retailers in the transition to a smoke‐free society

Coral E Gartner, April Wright, Marita Hefler, Andrew Perusco and Janet Hoek
Med J Aust 2021; 215 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51312
Published online: 15 November 2021

Phasing out tobacco retailing is gaining traction as the natural next step in controlling the tobacco pandemic

The commercial tobacco trade is a complex system involving multiple actors, from tobacco growers and manufacturers to the importers and wholesalers that distribute products to retailers, who onsell to consumers. Consumers who purchase and use products form the demand side. Governments can influence each actor through policy, but have historically focused on the demand‐side measures in the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC; Articles 6–14). These outnumber the supply‐side measures (Articles 15–17), which have primarily focused on constraining tobacco product manufacturers. Calls are growing for governments to increase attention on retail supply — the critical link in the supply chain between manufacturers and consumers.1

  • 1 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2 Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT
  • 3 Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
  • 4 University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand



Coral Gartner is the chief investigator in a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant (GNT1198301). Andrew Perusco holds an Australian Government Research Training Scholarship administered by Australian National University. The manuscript was written as part of the activities of the NHMRC‐funded Centre of Research Excellence on Achieving the Tobacco Endgame. The funder played no role in the study design, manuscript preparation, or the decision to submit it for publication.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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