Call for new tobacco tax

ALL cigarette vendors in Victoria would face an annual licensing fee of at least $2000 under a plan by the state’s peak doctors’ group to reduce the availability of tobacco.

AMA Victoria says the levy would, for the first time, give government an accurate record of the number and distribution of cigarette vendors.

This would help ensure that laws around the sale of tobacco were better monitored and enforced.

The plan, which the AMA will make as part of its State Government budget submission, proposes licensing fees of $2000 would rise by $500 a year and raise $41.3 million over four years.

The AMA hopes licensing would be a barrier to the sale of cigarettes.

The AMA hopes licensing would be a barrier to the sale of cigarettes.

AMA Victoria branch president Dr Harry Hemley said he hoped licensing would be a barrier to the sale of tobacco, forcing smaller operators such as convenience stores and service stations to remove themselves from the market.

“Tobacco smoking is the largest single preventable cause of death and disease in Australia,” Dr Hemley said.

Health Minister David Davis said the Government would consider the AMA’s recommendation as part of the budget process.

source: www.news.com.

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