No smoking until 21 under controversial new government plan

THE smoking age would be raised to 21 under a controversial plan before Australian governments.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the idea was put to state and federal health ministers at August's COAG meeting as part of philanthropist and iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest's "assault" on the tobacco industry.

The Saturday Telegraph revealed on the weekend that his plans include a shock move to sue "big tobacco" for potentially billions of dollars on behalf of smoking victims.

And it can today be revealed he also wants to push to lift the minimum smoking age from 18 to 21.

Mr Forrest - the sixth richest Australian, worth about $6.84 billion - has put aside $75 million as part his Minderoo Foundation's "Eliminate Cancer Initiative" for his battle against big tobacco.

One in eight Australians smoke and two-thirds will die of tobacco-related illnesses.

More at The Daily Telegraph

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