Licence to puff with smart-card advocated

Issuing adult smokers with a smart-card licence might be the solution to reducing unlawful tobacco sales to children and helping adult smokers to quit, a law professor and a cancer expert wrote. 

They said the concept of a smokers' licence balanced the reality of mass demand for tobacco against the fact that smoking was highly addictive and led to premature death.

The system would require retailers to verify that all tobacco buyers were adults. This was a long overdue requirement, wrote Professor Roger Magnusson of the University of Sydney law school and Professor David Currow, CEO of Cancer Institute NSW.

Some 2.5% of children aged 12 to 17 were daily smokers, 2010 data showed. 

"Even if a licence results in some increase in secondary purchasing by adults for children, the overall reduction in access by minors would be substantial and could eclipse any other single tobacco control measure currently under consideration," the