The Rural Doctors Association of Australia has welcomed the Federal Government's proposal to introduce plain packaging and more prominent health warnings on cigarette packaging.

RDAA President Dr Paul Mara said that smoking remained a major cause of ill health in rural and regional areas.

"Rural and regional Australians have significantly poorer health outcomes than their city counterparts" he said. "This includes higher mortality rates for diseases such as heart disease, lung cancer and diabetes".

"We know that smoking is a major contributing factor to these and other chronic health problems. We also know that a higher percentage of adults smoke in rural and regional areas".

"As the key providers of cradle-to-grave care for their communities, rural doctors often have to deal with the impacts of smoking through many stages of a patient's life. They witness these impacts first hand, both on the sufferers themselves and also on their families".

"Any program which is designed to reduce smoking rates is welcome, especially in rural and regional areas".

"RDAA strongly supports this move and commends the Government on this initiative".

Rural Doctors Association of Australia

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