OPEN Tobacco control | 23 Apr 2013
The tobacco-free generation proposal advocates legislation precluding the sale and supply of tobacco to individuals born after a certain year. The measure is aimed at overcoming defects with current youth access laws that suffer from rite-of-passage and mixed signalling effects. Since its introduction in 2010, the proposal has attracted international attention, highlighting a number of matters that the present short article discusses. Efficacy issues, including retailer compliance, supply by surrogates and illicit sales, are addressed in the broader setting of community adherence to legislation. Encouragement for the likelihood of successful implementation is provided by historical precedents. In principle objections, relating to choice and generational fairness, are considered against the criteria of consistency and proportionality. It is concluded that the measure’s emphasis on the welfare of future generations and its regard for the interests of existing stakeholders provide a feasible opportunity for the ultimate eradication of tobacco supply in appropriate jurisdictions.
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