The foremost issue facing smokeless tobacco (ST) in Australia is government regulation. The sale of ST in Australia
was progressively banned in Australia after Federal and State governments passed a series of laws in 1990.
At the time, little was known about ST and its health effects, so in a bid to reduce tobacco consumption as a
whole, all ST products were banned.
Since then, a plethora of new research has been undertaken proving that ST is, in fact, up to 98% safer than
smoking. Despite this new research, governments continue to freely sell cigarettes but place restrictions on
people who wish to use the safer alternative in ST.
Ironically, Australians are legally allowed to import ST for personal use. However, the tax imposed by Australian
Customs is at best exorbitant and ST users are often forced to resort to cigarettes as they are far cheaper and
simple to buy.
Many experts around the world now agree that because ST has been proven to be far safer than cigarettes, that
these products can be used as a harm reduction technique. In the United States and Sweden, many people use
ST to help them quit smoking, which for most smokers, is an extremely difficult task.
Overall, the main issue facing STAG and all ST users for that matter, is convincing Federal and State governments
to overturn the current bans on all ST products. STAG will continue to drive the ST message through government
lobbying and media whilst also encouraging further research to prove that the ban of ST is not only an antiquated
law, but one which can be seen as harmful to Australians.