An initiative aimed at deterring young people from smoking, which was first recommended to the Tasmanian Government in 2017, has been delayed due to COVID-19.
The deployment of the Smoke Free Generation campaign was recommended in the Tasmanian Tobacco Action Plan, which was handed to the government in 2017 and expires in 2021.
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A dedicate website, Facebook page and Instagram account were set up as part of the campaign. The Instagram account was last updated in January 2018 and the Facebook page in January 2019.
Wellbeing Minister Jeremy Rockliff declined to say why the platforms had not been updated.
He said "planning had started to deliver the Smoke Free Generation campaign along with a new website".
"This includes social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook," Mr Rockliff said.
"The campaign was to commence in Term 1 of the 2020 school year, however due to key staff within Public Health Services redirected to assist with the COVID-19 response, it has been delayed."
Mr Rockliff said Cancer Council Tasmania was asked to progress the campaign and it was expected to start up during Term 3.
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According to a Tobacco Control Plan progress report presented to the government in November 2019, an average of 559 Tasmanians die each year from smoking. That's increase on the average of 502 Tasmanians reported as dying each year from smoking in the original 2017 action plan.
The social cost of tobacco use in Australia was $136.7 billion in 2015-16.