The Queensland Government looks set to introduce mandatory licensing for tobacco retailers and wholesalers.

It will soon begin four months of consultation with business and industry groups before implementing the change.

The move will affect about 260 wholesalers and 8,000 retailers in Queensland including newsagents, petrol stations and supermarkets.

There are a raft of regulations surrounding how tobacco products are advertised and displayed in shops in Queensland but there is currently no licensing scheme.

The new push comes from a recommendation by Parliament’s Health Communities, Disability Services and Domestic Violence Prevention Committee, which was tasked with investigating the possibility in late 2015.

The committee found a licensing system could help track the number of outlets, prevent the sale of products to minors, and regulate the availability of tobacco products by looking at the density of outlets in certain locations.

In 2011 the Queensland Government banned the display of smoking related products at all general retailers and tobacconists.

Cancer Council Queensland estimates smoking costs the Queensland economy more than $6 billion each year through health care costs, impacts on household finances and lost production in the workplace.

Extracted in full from ABC.