In 2000 the former Minister for Health and Aged Care, Dr Michael Wooldridge, signed a voluntary agreement for the disclosure of the ingredients of cigarettes with three tobacco companies, Philip Morris Limited, British American Tobacco Australia Limited and Imperial Tobacco Australia Limited.
The term of the voluntary agreement was originally for a period of three years from December 2000.
Three variations have since been made to the initial agreement, all extending the period of the agreement. The first two variations each extended the period of the agreement for a further 12 months, continuing the agreement until December 2005. The third variation, in 2006, provided for the provisions of the voluntary agreement to continue in force indefinitely.
Under the agreement the companies provide annual reports to the government regarding the ingredients of cigarettes. The data are posted unmodified on the department's website, with current data replacing previous reports: Australian cigarette ingredient information.
In 2008, qualitative research was commissioned into the public health value of the current system of voluntary disclosure in Australia: Public health value of disclosed cigarette ingredients and emissions data.