New laws passed in Australia will make it a criminal offence to hold or even look at a cigarette and convicted smokers will have to sign the Tobacco Smoke Register for life. From next year, standardised olive drab packaging will be used to camouflage brands in shop displays which must have an air filtration system. Cigarettes will have to be kept in alarmed, deadlocked metal cabinets under special lighting conditions. Smokers indulging outside their workplaces will be monitored by a company nominated tobacco safety officer.
Ministers rejected a proposed amendment requiring electronic fingerprint scanning at shop entrances as excessive but say manufacturers will be allowed to adorn their packs with gruesome and disgusting pictures of corpses, rotting teeth and black lungs. Furthermore, any traders handling tobacco products will be required by law to wear a mask and protective surgical gloves before entering anywhere that cigarettes are stored.
Under the new laws, offenders will face penalties of up to 1.1 million Australian dollars (£700,000) for a company and in addition to hefty fines, individuals caught having a crafty smoke in a public place, could face 10 years in prison or 15 years if caught supplying tobacco products to a minor. Tobacco companies have complained that some Australian heroin dealers have only received a police warning and community service.