|Non Smokers' Update|
QUEENSLAND AND TASMANIA TO GO SMOKE-FREE BY 2002
STATE GOVERNMENTS IN BOTH QUEENSLAND AND TASMANIA HAVE INDICATED THEY INTEND TO BRING IN SMOKING BANS IN RESTAURANTS AND OTHER PUBLIC AREAS BY 2002. THEY HAVE BEEN PRESSURED INTO THIS ACTION BY THE WONDERFUL BREAKTHROUGHS ACHIEVED WITH LEGISLATION IN OTHER KEY STATES. NSW BANS BECAME EFFECTIVE ON 6 SEPTEMBER 2000 AND VICTORIA WILL GO SMOKE-FREE FROM 1 JULY 2001.
A report on progress in all states follows later in this newsletter.
The NSMA is proud of being part of the Smoke-free Olympics Taskforce set up three years ago by ASH Australia in conjunction with other health agencies. The Taskforce had meetings with SOCOG management and contributed to the development of a policy confining smoking to designated outdoor areas only. These would be at the back of the spectator stands or similar non-entrance areas. I am pleased to report from my own personal observations that they did it according to the book at the West Ryde Swimming complex used for some of the aquatic events.
Olympic Fumeurs Confined Outdoors The photo shows the signs clearly designating an outdoor location on the lawns about 30 metres from the nearest entrance to the spectator stands. At the main Homebush venues I could not find any equivalent designated outdoor areas. I asked at least six staff at different locations just where these outdoor locations were. The answer tended to be; I don't know, but if it is out of the stand areas it will be OK to smoke.
LACK OF SIGNS
There were "no smoking" signs at the entrances to some venues but no indication of designated outdoor smoking areas. People could be seen moving out of the stands into the open air where they would just light up under the usual assumption that if it's outdoors it is OK. I actually pursued the matter up to supervisor level at the Pavilions area but my explanation of official SOCOG policy was all news to her! Anyway, to be fair I have to say the good news was that there were very few smokers to be seen. I wanted to take some photos of them close to crowded areas but I really had to search to find a situation worth photographing.
The only area where I noticed problems were the food and facilities areas under the main stadium stands. Although there were some signs over the food outlets, smokers tended to move ten paces towards the toilets and stand in the passageway smoking. I did not visit any of the other venues and would be pleased to hear comments from members. More research is needed to see if we won the gold for the best ever smoke-free games but I think we probably came close.
NO GOLD FOR SANDY HOLLWAY
No doubt Sandy deserved a gold medal for his organisational work. As CEO of SOCOG in the critical early days of planning he did an excellent job. However he let the side down badly with his strong defence of Nick Greiner as a respected Director of the management team. We tried to point out that any person shown to be blatantly hypocritical and untruthful on issues of public health should have no role in the world's major event promoting good health through sport. How can the Chairman of British American Tobacco Australia have any credibility promoting the "drug-free" Olympics?
Sandy tried to be diplomatic by going along with his political masters but in the end they dumped him very unceremoniously. As we told him in several letters "if you lie down with dogs you must expect to get up with fleas". I hope one day he will reveal all the internal fighting that went on and whether any of the Directors ever had the courage to challenge Greiner at Board level. Meanwhile Sandy, enjoy your silver medal.
The Non-Smokers' Update is the quarterly newsletter published for the members of The Non-Smokers' Movement of Australia Inc. Contributions or comments should be forwarded to the editor, Brian McBride, at the address shown on the front cover.
THOSE STINKING BUSES AGAIN!
Kevin Boards Another Smelly Westbus The photo shows one of our newest members boarding one of the smelly Westbus services from Castle Hill to the city. His name is Kevin Mossberger and he came to us somewhat in desperation at the bureaucratic run-around he has received from the authorities. He started complaining to smoking bus drivers about the stink of cigarette smoke in the buses when he gets on board. The explanation is quite simple and is not denied by the drivers. They say they are allowed to smoke on the bus while waiting between trips. The letter of the Transport Act only says they cannot smoke while "conveying" passengers.
Kevin started out in 1999 to point out that when a bus is defined as a "no smoking" vehicle that should mean no smoking at any time, not just when passengers are present because the contamination of the environment remains well after the smoking has stopped. The fine particles in cigarette smoke carry a high electrostatic charge and this is why they penetrate and cling to fabrics etc. and are very hard to remove. We all know you can smell a smoker's home or car the minute you step into it.
For twelve months Kevin has waged a paper war with the bus company, the Department of Transport, the Department of Fair Trading and his local Member of Parliament, Wayne Merton. It all seemed to involve buck passing along the line to the State Department of Health. In August 2000 all Kevin could get out of them were these profound words: "A public place by definition is when the public is entitled to use it or it is open to or being used by the public. The legislation does not cover a bus when the public is not entitled to use it". At this point Kevin decided to call us into the battle and we are very pleased to take it up for him.
Due to the pressure of other events we have not really kicked off yet but we will start by slamming Westbus in the local media in the Hills area. They have had a bad year already with complaints of late running school buses, long delays and full buses on the city run and even one bus running out of fuel during the Olympics. We will then ask Dr Chesterfield-Evans to raise the matter in Parliament and if necessary move for an amendment to the Transport Act or the Regulations to make these no smoking bus areas permanently clean and comfortable for the public. If a bus driver must smoke between trips he should do it outside the bus.
NOTICE OF AGM.
The Annual General Meeting will be held at 7 PM on Wednesday 13 December. A dinner will be held following the meeting to celebrate this year's great victory on smoking bans in restaurants. All details are in the enclosed insert. Please return it with your booking or ring the office for details.
REVIEW OF PROGRESS IN STATES.
The usual suspects, led by the Australian Hotels Association have done their best scare-mongering, that tourism will collapse if Japanese visitors cannot puff their heads off, and hotels and casinos will become abandoned wastelands if the Government dares to include them in smoking bans. However to their credit the Health Minister, Wendy Edmond and the labor Premier, Peter Beattie have stood their ground and proceeded with trying to get their state into line with other states by 2002. The draft legislation to be debated in 2001 will ban smoking in all restaurants and cafes and enclosed public places similar to NSW legislation. Of course, it remains to be seen how much watering down the tobacco lobby will achieve as frantic lobbying continues.
Cancer Fund applies pressure
The Queensland Cancer Fund and the local branch of the AMA have done a good job in pressuring the Government in a situation where Queensland was obviously looking backward in not accepting the need for action that was clearly demonstrated by the other major states. The Cancer Fund has also strongly criticised the two-year delay and pointed out there is no need for delays that will only prolong damage to workers health. The legislation will also bring in further restrictions on point of sale advertising and of course there has been vocal objection by the Retail Traders Association of Queensland, which says such prohibition tactics will only backfire, and result in more smoking! It is great to see them getting so desperate they can't even mount credible arguments anymore.
It is also good to see Queensland health Minister, Wendy Edmond also using the current momentum to do something positive to stop aboriginal children from taking up smoking. She has announced a new campaign so lets hope it translates into some real results. Our indigenous people and the underprivileged of the world at large are sitting ducks for the unconscionable promotion of tobacco by Nick Greiner and his fellow ghouls.
Jai Meets Shane? New Olympic long jump hero is now up for the "high jump"; will he be more successful than Shane Warne in quitting smoking? Jai Taurima won the silver medal for the long jump after a non-recommended training regime including late nights with drinking and smoking. He is now being offered the same financial sponsorship as Shane Warne to quit. Let us hope he is more successful.
Draft legislation to tighten smoking in public areas was unveiled in Tasmania early in October. The public have been invited to comment on the legislation before it goes to Cabinet for a final decision. If passed, the legislation would see smoking banned in restaurants, casinos, workplaces and outdoor sporting and cultural events by the end of 2002. Quit Tasmania's Michael Wilson has welcomed the draft legislation, while the state AHA director Daniel Leesong says the new laws would be unworkable, and would result in jobs being lost in the hospitality industry.
However the Hospitality Workers Union has also welcomed the Bill, which will cover all workers including workers in hotel bars. In that sense, the legislation is stronger than in the mainland states which have stopped short of protecting those workers because of the trenchant opposition of the AHA which unashamedly puts the tobacco industry and proprietors profits ahead of the health of their employees.
It's all happening now! The Health lobby are mobilising for another attack to get government to extend the limited bans on smoking in restaurants to more general bans. This would outlaw smoking in virtually all enclosed public places similar to the NSW legislation. A Coalition of health forces has been formed to carry the fight to the Government.
The Brack Labor government in Victoria has committed itself to bringing in bans in restaurants by 1 July 2001. Another encouraging development is that the Victorian Liberal party is proposing to debate a motion at its state conference to extend the bans to all enclosed public premises as covered by the NSW legislation. The tobacco control lobby has a well-funded base in the QUIT organisation, which receives a proportion of state tobacco revenue. It is great to see them actively in the front line of the media almost on a daily basis grabbing every opportunity to bag the industry. Executive Director, Todd Harper, is doing an excellent job because every initiative in Victoria has flow-on value to other states.
NEW SOUTH WALES
The NSW Smoke-free Environment Bill went through the final debate in the Upper House and became law on 6 September 2000. Our previous President, Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, gave an excellent speech in support of the Bill and also tried to strengthen it with an amendment. He proposed that local councils be given the power to ban smoking totally in public areas under their control. This would have helped us greatly in the next move to control street smoking but unfortunately the amendment was not adopted. (Copies of Arthur's speech are available from his office 02 9230 2303).
The twelve months delay in implementation of Section 10 of the Act is the big issue here at present. This section obliges the owner of premises to ensure that cigarette smoke from any area where smoking is permitted does not "spread" into adjacent non-smoking areas. This section was designed with clubs and hotels in mind because there are smoking bar areas adjacent to non-smoking dining or bistro areas in most of these. To be "reasonable" the Government has given them twelve months to install walls and to modify air conditioning systems before the penalties will apply.
The problem is that many sidewalk cafes and coffee shops have removed most of their front walls to open up exposure to the outside alfresco dining areas. Hence we are being flooded with complaints that indoor diners are still copping the smoke drifting in from the nominal "outside" areas. The proprietors throw up their hands and say the smokers are outside so they are not breaking the law. Complaints to the NSW Department of Health are politely met with explanations of the 12 months delay in applying section 10 which would force the proprietor to re-install walls or provide positive pressure ventilation to avoid prosecution for breach of the Act.
The problem is particularly bad where the outside areas have covered awnings, which trap the smoke and funnel it into the indoor eating zones. We advise our members to keep on phoning and following up with written complaints to press for a solution to the alfresco dining problem without having to wait twelve months for the hotel/club solution, which is a different issue entirely.
Action Point 1.
Ring 02 9391 9111 with complaints of smoke pollution in the eating areas of any NSW restaurant, cafe or coffee shop. Follow up with written details to NSW Dept. of Health, locked bag 961, North Sydney, 2059. Ask for a reply on action taken. Help Your Local Cafe or Coffee Shop.
If your local proprietor is a friendly hard worker, too busy struggling with the GST and Business Activity Statement, to have caught up with the requirements of the new legislation; you can give him a little help. Just ring the NSW Department of Health information line 1800 658 014 and, after the beep, leave your name and address to be sent a "Proprietors Kit". This consists of a brochure outlining the obligations of proprietors to put up signs and to tell smokers they must leave the premises or face a $550 fine. Also included are several signs with order forms for additional supplies.
You can give them to your local proprietor who should at least give you a free coffee for your trouble. Also assure him that you will be patronising the place more often now that your health and comfort are being properly considered, instead of catering to the nicotine addicts. If you don't want signs ring 1800 251 528 which is the consumers information line. A recorded message will tell you all about the introduction of the new legislation. We are told that these information lines will be updated with further information from time to time.
The 25 Metre Rule
A related issue is the congregation of smokers around the entrances to non-smoking areas. We have kicked off this campaign with a petition delivered to the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Mr Frank Sartor. The petition requests the Council to impose smoking bans within 25 metres of any doorway or entrance to an enclosed public place where bans apply under the Smoke-free Environment Act. We expect an initial fob-off reply but we will keep at it until the Council provides a fully argued and documented case to support its no-action position, if that is the case.
We will then use that ammunition in the context of the next Council elections. If there appear to be genuine legal problems we will use the documentation as a basis for approaching Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans to bring in a private members Bill to achieve the original goal of legislation to protect the public from enforced passive smoking in any situation.
All is quiet on the Western front, as they used to say. Well not really although they are entitled to a well earned rest having run the good race to beat all the other states to achieve smoke-free restaurants legislation way back in 1998 They were the first state although ACT was, of course, the first Territory to achieve it in 1994. Our friends in the WA health lobby, including ACOSH, are now campaigning for tobacco companies to act responsibly towards their customers. Over 820,000 Australians have died from smoking related causes since Sir Richard Doll's landmark study was published in 1950 and hundreds of research papers have confirmed the dangers of smoking.
Sir Richard visited Australia this year and helped remind us that we have witnessed fifty years of needless death in this country. Ed note: You may wonder why you no longer receive the quarterly newsletter from ACOSH with your Update. This is because they have stopped producing it in hard copy but it is available on the Internet at www.acosh.org.au.
Pity our poor friends at the NT Dept. of health trying to make progress with NT politicians. Those pollies have a lot in common with the original Marlboro cowboys. They despise any namby pamby southerners unless they front the bar with a fag in their mouth like "real" men. They will probably try to secede from the rest of the country before they will consider bringing in anti-smoking legislation. We won't spoil all the good news by dwelling on them now, but we will give a more in depth review of their position in the next Update.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (ACT)
Our colleagues at Canberra ASH are steadily pushing for tighter controls on "exemptions" granted under their early-days legislation. Their newsletter, Ashes To Dust, indicates a huge increase from 16 certificates issued at November 1998 to 99 certificates issued by December 1999. These certificates are issued to licensed clubs, restaurants and bars claiming to comply with higher air conditioning standards. The sooner we can kill the idea that dilution of poisons with higher airflows is acceptable the better. Thank goodness the other states have gone for the total ban solution that is the only acceptable one.
SUPERMARKETS SHOULD BE LIABLE
The guilt of tobacco companies for making a deadly product is becoming ever more clearly established. Therefore it is logical that the vendors of these deadly products should also be legally liable if they continue to promote and sell to the public without any attempt to recognise their own responsibilities. They have a special role in the sale of cigarettes. They provide preferential sales counters, with special display cases and special staff to handle a very profitable product. They provide no warnings or disclaimers of their own; they just rely on basic government warnings.
If you go to your local supermarket to buy a bottle of milk you will have to enter through turnstiles and then queue up for a while to pay for your purchase. However if you want to buy a packet of cigarettes you just walk up to the dedicated counter for cigarettes and choose from an extensive display. Separate staff usually serve on these and if they also serve on an adjacent checkout, they will immediately turn from the checkout and serve the smoker with cigarettes. It is clearly preferential treatment.
Shareholders Getting Worried
We have been approached by non-members who are shareholders worried about the future liability of companies like Coles, Woolworths and Franklins. Their concerns are primarily about future loss of profits rather than any anti smoking motivation. They see their companies facing billion dollar damages actions in the future. One shareholder of Coles is Andrew Fleisher and he is trying to get a resolution debated at the Annual General Meeting to stop selling tobacco products. You can contact Andrew by writing to him at PO Box 764, North Ryde NSW 1670.
We are taking up the cause by appealing to any of our members who may be shareholders in these companies. It will probably take twelve months to consolidate information and mount a campaign in the lead up to next years annual meetings. We envisage protests outside these stores handing out leaflets for shoppers to make their feelings against tobacco known to the managements. We will also seek out shareholders among the shoppers to give them voting forms to have matters resolved either at management or AGM level.
Coles Counter of Death When you see that the CEO of Coles Myer earned $4.5 million last year we are entitled to expect that he and his fellow Directors will demonstrate spectacular accountability in line with their spectacular salaries. Action Point 2. Write in to NSMA with your details or any family or friends who may hold shares in these major supermarkets. If you don't own shares you may like to consider buying a minimum parcel to participate in the future action.
KEN BISHOPS FIGHTS ON
Previous issues indicated that Ken had taken on his local Tin Can Bay Bowling Club in Queensland about not providing any non-smoking areas, even for dining. Because he has a proven medical sensitivity to smoke pollution he won a case under anti-discrimination laws. The Club agreed to introduce smoke-free areas from 1 July 2000 but then reneged on the deal. Hence he is taking a further case to the Federal Court for enforcement of the Agreement. This will cost money and some of our members responded to the appeal in the last Update. A modest amount has been subscribed but not nearly enough, so we appeal again for more contributions or pledges. The case may be overtaken by the foreshadowed new legislation in Queensland but it is important to keep going on these cases because them become tactically very important in influencing the decision makers.
It is just these sorts of politically embarrassing cases that politicians discuss behind closed doors. They can't stand the idea of media flack flowing from court cases showing that the government is not doing its job in protecting the health of citizens. Anything that keeps them focussed on the "need" to do something about the passive smoking problem is well worth supporting with our funds.
Action Point 3. Send your contribution or pledge of future payment to: NSMA KB Appeal, Box 6 trades Hall, 4 Goulburn Street, Sydney 2000.
LET'S BAN STREET SMOKING
It is quite disgusting that you can't walk down a public street without being assaulted by the stinking products of combustion of someone's drug taking habit. What sort of wimps are we to lamely say, Oh well it's a free country; we can't really stop them, we just have to put up with it. We don't have to put up with it without protest, and the NSMA will press on with demands that the public be protected from this disgraceful form of public pollution. If you think this is a bit radical ask yourself these questions:
QUICK QUIZ ON YOUR LOGIC
Q1. What are the three basic physical necessities to support human life? Answer: 1 FOOD 2. WATER 3. AIR
Q2. How much contaminated food am I prepared to knowingly accept from others, and how am I protected from it? Answer: Absolutely nil and I am protected by specific laws, which restrict the actions of others and punish their negligence if necessary.
Q3. How much contamination of drinking water or other beverages am I prepared to knowingly accept from others, and how am I protected? Answer. Absolutely nil and I am protected by specific laws that restrict the actions of others and punish their negligence if necessary.
Q4. How much contamination of my air space am I prepared to knowingly accept from others and how am I protected? Answer. I breathe air contaminated with deadly tobacco poisons every time I walk down the street. Because I don't complain there are no specific laws to protect me.
NO LOGIC JUST BLUFF
So where is the logic in demanding rigorous protection for food and water while being prepared to accept a high level of contamination of the air we breathe? There is no logic; it is simply a result of social evolution over 400 years where one part of the community has managed to bluff the other part into accepting the consequences of their nicotine drug taking. Because they were initially mainly men and because they were strongly motivated by their dependence on the drug they were in a position to force their standards on the others.
All through those 400 years of evolution every other facet of social development has steadily produced a more civilised society with higher standards of living. The one exception is the continuation and promotion of this filthy nicotine drug taking habit.
TIME TO ACT
Now is the time to recover the position. It won't take 400 years if we get off our backsides and shout down those apologists for drug taking and its inevitable pollution. We need to ostracise the tobacco pushers like Greiner and his mates until they are no longer credible in the ears of politicians. We need to take to the streets to demand that our political "leaders" start to lead instead of meekly standing by while others do the hard work of moulding public opinion. We do not seek to rob anyone of their perceived right to take drugs.
All we demand is that they confine it and its polluting consequences to their own homes and not to parade it in public places for all to share. That is a very liberal and reasonable proposition. Let them do what they like provided they take full responsibility for all the consequences. Such responsibility starts with controlling their air pollution and street litter and ends with meeting their own medical costs.
SMOKING IS IN THE GENES
Predisposition to smoking is in your genes, according to new US research from Virginia Commonwealth University. Researchers analysed over 700 twins,and found predisposition to smoke was 60% genetic, 20% as a result of family environment, and 20% due to individual's experiences. Researchers stress however that 'bad genes' were no excuse for smoking
IS THIS A POLICE STATE?
No parking in driveway - No feet on seats - No eating - No drinking - No smoking - No skate boards - No roller-skates - No ball games - No pets - No swimming - No animals - No incinerators - No power craft - No trespassing - No littering - No spitting - No bill posters - etc. etc.
These restrictions are not the signs of a police state. They are the restrictions inevitably necessary to control an ever more congested and interactive society. They are necessary to balance the reasonable rights of one group and prevent them from being inconvenienced by another inconsiderate or selfish group who think the world is there to serve only their needs. If we added NO SMOKING IN PUBLIC STREETS would our great country suddenly be converted into a police state? I don't think so. In fact if you can justify the vast majority of the above restrictions on the grounds of mere inconvenience or perhaps minor property damage, you can justify a lot more restrictions on the grounds of better public hygiene and health.
Here we go again with the health argument to justify controls on smoke pollution. It is a kind of conditioned response resulting from years of getting nowhere with politicians or lawyers unless you could prove that smoke pollution was about to kill you. We can, of course, now prove exactly that, but it should not be necessary to win freedom from enforced exposure to a suffocating cocktail of chemicals every time you walk down the street.
IT IS OFFENSIVE
Such extreme pollution is plainly offensive to the average person and that alone should be a good and sufficient reason to ban it from all public areas. If we add the proven health risk of passive smoking surely we have a good case for our leaders to listen to us. There are more points that can be made but I rest my case pending some feedback from members as to whether we should moderate our plans on this subject. Don't forget the kind of people we are trying to control. They are the great unwashed for the most part.
Some People Have to be Told Would you believe it would be necessary for a doctor to put up a sign in his surgery: Please do not spit in rubbish bin! Well it is true and if you don't believe the photo ring me and I will give you the address to see it for yourself. Should we let these people set the standards of air quality and acceptable behaviour for us? Remember it is not what happens to us but what we do about it that really matters. Action Point 4. Write in with your vote on whether we should press on with a campaign to force bans on street smoking or whether you think it would be counter productive as the health lobby are telling us.
THE GRIM TOLL
So you thought those grim reaper ads about the death toll from aids were rather chilling. Well just contemplate these smoking toll projections from the World Health Organisation:-
By 2020 tobacco will be the worlds leading cause of death and disability. By 2020 tobacco will kill more than 10 million people annually. Smoking will eventually kill 250 million children now living. Well kids lets hear it for The Hon. Nick Greiner, Chairman of the World's No.2 killer company, Order of Australia, and respected Director of the worlds best-ever drug-free Olympic games. Oh, and don't forget to nominate him for a knighthood when you are a little older.
Our apologies for the error in the list of anti tobacco sites published last time. The correct one for Action on Smoking and Health Australia is www.ashaust.org.au. We are compiling a more extensive list to be included as an insert in the next newsletter.
NEW ZEALAND ON THE MOVE
Brian McBride presents NSMA campaign information to George Thompson from Otago University. George Thompson from the School of Medicine, Otago University, Wellington NZ, visited the NSMA office on 25 October 2000. He was very keen to find out details of NSMA campaigning strategy and the lessons learned along the way to the magnificent win of smoke free restaurants in NSW this year. Brian McBride was pleased to tell him the background to the 1997 legislation and the private members bills we were instrumental in fostering. Although the main thrust got side tracked by collusion between the two major parties it never-the-less was the major breakthrough which put the issue much higher up on the political agenda. The sudden capitulation by the Government in 2000 would not have happened so soon without the solid fighting that went on in 1996/97.
Good NZ Health Minister George is optimistic that the current Minister, Annette King, is influenced by the developments in Australia and will press on with plans to bring in legislation soon.
OVERSEAS ACTION USA
Many of the USA states have had strong restrictions on smoking in restaurants and even bars as far back as 1995. In spite of determined efforts by the tobacco lobby to spread misinformation, the world did not stop turning, nor did proprietors start losing money. Surprisingly, they lag behind Australia with occupational health laws banning smoking in the workplace. Attempts to tighten up federal laws received a big set back this year when the US. Supreme Court ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could not regulate tobacco products.
The major anti smoking groups like ASH are now pursuing the Presidential candidates Al Gore and George Bush in the hope that some progress can be made with new legislation to give the FDA the power it needs. This will allow more effective federal action to complement the good progress made with state laws. You can follow the overseas action on ASH's web site www.ash.org.
NIGERIAN PLEA FOR ADVICE
Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans MLC, has passed on a copy of this email request for advice:
The Rothmans Company has been aggressively sponsoring Disco dances in Nigeria for the last two years. Statistics now indicate that this sponsorship has tremendously increased youth smoking by more than 30%. They also buy airtime on radio and television stations where they stay for up to 30 minutes non-stop. We have been trying to find a means to stop this advertising but have not found any due to the weak anti tobacco laws in this country. How is this regulated in your country?
Dr. Samuel Ogbede
Chairman, St John's Rehabilitation Centre
PO Box 1189, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
We remember these promotions in Australia only too well. The tobacco companies disguised the disco promotions as band competitions. They provided pretty tobacco girls to mingle with the youngsters handing out free "sample" cigarettes with a wrapper entitling them to vote for the best band and to win other prises. NSMA is proud of its efforts in getting these promotions outlawed. We rostered members to stage picket protests inside and outside the venues. We made the cigarette girls fully aware of their "good" deeds in giving samples of addictive drugs to kids, many of whom would be under age, with no questions asked. Some members are proud to have been arrested for this good cause. Anyway, Arthur has passed on valuable advice to Samuel. You can wish him good luck, at the above address, because he will certainly need it.
TOBACCO SURVEY SHOWS SMOKE FREE VENUES PULL MORE CUSTOMERS
Research commissioned by Philip Morris has shown strong support for wider smoking restrictions. The research indicates more customers would attend venues such as hotel bars, nightclubs and gaming venues if they were smokefree. Quit Victoria's Todd Harper says it's disappointing that despite having the results of the survey, Philip Morris lead the Melbourne restaurateurs to believe that smoking bans would be bad for business. (Age 7 Oct p8)
AUSTRALIAN CLASS ACTION STILL UNDER REVIEW
As reported in Update 32, a Federal Court decision on 27 July ruled that the Tobacco Control Coalition (TCC) must provide $300,000 as a security bond before the case can proceed. They only have until 31 December 2000 to put up the money or the case will not proceed. If three hundred people put up a security deposit of $1000 each that would raise the necessary funds. Are any members of NSMA interested in helping this action go ahead? Remember we raised a similar guarantee of $60,000 to allow the landmark Liesel Scholem case to go ahead and to achieve a stunning victory against smoking in the workplace.
The TCC Judgement can be seen at www.austlii.edu.au. If you have any millionaire friends who might help this historic action against the tobacco industry go ahead put them in touch with TCC on 02 9334 1750.
Action Point 5. Talk up support amongst your friends and business acquaintances. Send in an offer to contribute to the bond. If the case is won the money is refundable because costs will be paid by the tobacco industry.
EUROPE STILL A SMOKING PROBLEM
Every returning visitor comments on how bad the smoke pollution is in most European countries. There were some signs of action against advertising but early in October 2000 the European Court of Justice ruled that a planned European-wide ban on tobacco advertising was illegal. The judges decided that the European Commission acted illegally when introducing a directive to phase out tobacco advertising by 2006.
Representatives from both pro and anti-smoking groups will now meet in Geneva to formally present their case in a bid to draw up an International Convention regulating tobacco use. This follows the other bad news that the USA Supreme Court ruled in July 2000 that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) could not control tobacco by classifying it as a real drug to be stringently regulated like every other toxic drug. The tobacco industry will not give up until they have spent every last dollar on every last lawyer around the globe to defend their god given right to mislead and kill people.
US SMOKING RATES STATIC
Click to Enlarge. US adult smoking rates in 1998 were 24.1%, which is about the same as a year earlier and only 1.4% lower than 1990 despite anti-tobacco campaigns and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). (International Herald Tribune 7 Oct p3)
MARLBORO MAN RUSSELL CROWE
Jeffrey Wigand, the man portrayed in the film 'The Insider' has received an award from a Geneva health group for his work on preventing smoking. He leaked the tobacco industry documents that have had disastrous financial consequences for the industry through resulting court cases. It is truly ironic that the well-known Australian actor, Russell Crowe, who portrayed him in the film, has gone over to promoting the tobacco industry. He appeared on Channel Nines Sixty Minutes program in Sydney on 22/10/00 and deliberately held a packet of Marlboro up to his chin as he lit his cigarette on camera.
He is no doubt taking money for this established Hollywood practice called "product placement". Remember the secret industry memos showing how Sylvester Stalone was paid $500,000 "on the side" to make sure he did plenty of smoking in his films. Our member, Billy McCall, has sent a strong rebuke to Channel Nine for allowing this scene to go to air and thus expose his children to cigarette advertising by a person who is in a position to influence young viewers. The NSMA will also lodge a formal complaint with the Australian Broadcasting Authority.
A new US study has found that smoking may be a cause of depression in teenagers, with teens who smoke four times more likely to develop symptoms. Researchers at the Children's Hospital Medical centre in Cincinnati have speculated that nicotine and other by-products of smoking may have a depressive effect on the central nervous system. Ed: We can confirm that smoking teenagers, particularly girls, is a major cause of depression in parents!