PROTEST FOR MORE SMOKE-FREE HOTELS AND CLUBS
A dedicated group of NSMA members braved the scorns and insults of boozy
hotel patrons to stage a very successful protest outside a leading Sydney
pub and blues music venue on 28 February 2003. We were drawing attention
to the fact that a full twenty years after the 1983 Occupational Health
and Safety Act was passed in NSW the hospitality workers in these places
are still treated as second-class citizens whose health and well-being is
treated as expendable in the interests of bigger profits for hotel
NSMA Members demand smoke-free hotels
The OHS Act provides that "no employer will subject any employee
to any known health risk". Many court cases have established beyond
reasonable argument that passive smoking is now a "known health risk".
Therefore, every hotel owner in Sydney is guilty of breaching this
Act; night after night, year after year, and yet none of them are
We say enough is
enough; we must force some prosecutions as the only way to make them sit
up and take notice.
Mandatory Laws Overdue
The Non Smokers' Movement staged this peaceful protest outside the Empire
Hotel in Parramatta Road Annandale in Sydney.
Members who like to attend
the musical performances by well known bands at this major venue, even
including the Rolling Stones in January 2003, have repeatedly complained
about the fact that the majority of the audience are non smokers yet
there is no real provision of genuine non smoking seating. Under the
current agreement between the NSW Government Task Force and the Hotel &
Clubs Industry they are all supposed to provide some smoke free sections
in all areas including their bars and lounges on a voluntary basis from
July 2003 with a view to it becoming mandatory from July 2004.
Voluntary Agreements Don't Work
The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has been working overtime to
forestall the health lobby's push for legislation specifically banning
smoking in hotels and clubs. The way they have achieved delay is to
promise the Government's Task Force that they will voluntarily bring in
restrictions on smoking from 1 July 2003 and they will promote that fact
from 1 January 2003. Of course we are well into the year and there is no
sign of any "promotion" because there is no of intention of doing
anything meaningful. This is the same old "self regulation is better"
ploy used so successfully to forestall government action
on tobacco advertising for many years. Eventually it happens but the
industry has profited, and the public has suffered, by the many years
delay the industry has bought for itself.
Our members sought to get patrons to sign a petition demanding more smoke
free accommodation for the 80% of the population who are non-smokers. We
displayed large banners saying "PASSIVE SMOKING KILLS" and "SMOKEFREE
PUBS & CLUBS IN 2003". These three and five metre long banners were
kindly supplied by ASH Australia, in connection with their ongoing
campaign for pubs and clubs to "GO SMOKEFREE IN 03". We also displayed
placards to the passing traffic in the busy streets saying "HONK YOUR
HORN FOR MORE SMOKEFREE PUBS". This all resulted in a lot of horn-honking
as well as abusive comments from the Friday night yokels intent on a big
night out. It was notable that ordinary people supported us and only the
louts and drunks had a lot to say in opposition.
Three TV Stations attended the rally
Good Media Cover
A press release was put out emphasising the positive aspects for
everyone, including that smoke-free pubs and clubs will also help
smokers. Surveys consistently show that the vast
majority of smokers want to quit. If
the number of venues allowing smoking decrease dramatically; more smokers
will quit - particularly the young "social smokers". It will also help
business because all truly objective studies show that profits improve
when businesses go smoke-free. This is because the large majority of
people currently deterred by smoke danger will be encouraged to come to
smoke-free venues. Most of the Sydney TV stations sent a crew along to
film the event but at this stage we have not seen anything go to air.
This could be partly due to the hotel management coming out with strong
warnings to them that they must not film any part of their hotel or their
Democrats Support Campaign
Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans MLC, State Leader of the Australian
Democrats, was invited to attend the rally because of his years of
tireless campaigning against the tobacco industry. He also gave
interviews to the TV media attacking the State Governments continued
delay in giving the same occupational health rights to hospitality
workers as enjoyed by every other worker in the state. The manager was
determined to convince Arthur that he was trying to do the right thing
and in fact had introduced a small smoke-free
area into the hotel. Our members, who have been inside, confirmed this
but the fact is; it is the same old magic line system that was used years
ago in buses and planes. The air space is common to both smokers and
non-smokers and the smoke does not seem to know that it should not cross
the line. We told the manager, it is tokenism and is not good enough!
Management were quick to call the police to try to have us moved off the
footpath on the grounds that we were obstructing people trying to enter.
When the police observed that this was not really the case, they put it
to the manager to state what he wanted done? Faced with the truth of the
matter, and in the presence of a Member of Parliament, the manager had to
back down and say there was "no problem" as long as we did not harass his
customers. The police then put the question to us; were we harassing
people? We said no, we are just approaching people to sign a petition for
more smoke-free areas in the hotel. The Constable then said "OK that is
fine - in fact I will sign that petition for you"! Needless to say the
manager was not impressed so he gave up on the police and called his
Lawyer forgoes Dinner to make a meal of it.
Just as we were packing up to leave one very hungry lawyer arrived
complaining that he had been pulled out of his restaurant dinner to come
and warn us off his clients premises. In the best Perry Mason tradition
he lectured us of the dire consequences of interfering with the rights of
his client to conduct his business for profit and if we did anything to
harm that we would be individually sued for loss of earnings forthwith.
The Owner Manager tried to chime in occasionally but was told several
times to "say nothing - leave it to me". We gave him a polite hearing for
10 minutes and then assured him we had heard it all before and anyway he
had no case against us because the manager had told the police there was
"no problem" for them to address.
An invitation to passing traffic to join in the protest
We also suggested that if he really wanted to give his client some good
legal advice he should start with his obligations under the 1983
Occupational health and Safety Act. This rather stung them both into loud
assurances that they knew all about that Act and that they fully complied
with it. They insisted they had spent a lot of money on new ventilation
fans which protected their staff from smoke We left after agreeing
to disagree on that. They said we could expect to hear more from
Large Banners supplied by ASH Australia
More Hotels To be Targeted
The Non Smokers' Movement will attempt to join forces with ASH Australia
and the NSW Cancer Council, and other members of the health lobby to
stage more visible protests at hotel venues and outside Parliament House
in an attempt to force more attention to the lip service
and double-speak by the Australian Hotels Association. Their clear
intention is to do nothing meaningful until government forces legislation
upon them. We will try to convince the government that, since that is the
case, they may as well introduce the legislation forthwith and not waste
more time procrastinating with a devious industry.
ACTION AGAINST SMOKING NEIGHBOURS IN PERTH
We salute the courage of Dianna and John Forrest in Perth, Western
Australia, for taking the bold step of suing their next door neighbour
because of the constant and intolerable invasion of their home by
cigarette smoke. We devoted Update No. 40, October 2002, to other cases
where people had no right to clean air because their neighbours
considered their right to smoke on their balconies and common
areas to supersede anyone else's right to clean air.
Dianna and John Forrest explain to TV crew how smoke
pollution enters their home from the neighbour's property
It is the same old classic argument about conflict of
rights and we hope that Dianna will succeed in getting a big win for
non-smokers' rights on this one. We know she is being brave because the
conventional legal and bureaucratic argument by politicians is that you
can't stop people from smoking in their own homes. We must turn this
around to support every owner's right to unpolluted air in their own
homes. The fact is that more and more smokers don't smoke in their homes,
they smoke outside on patios and balconies so their dangerous smoke is
not inflicted on their own families but is inflicted on their neighbour's
families. The very admission of that fact should be enough for any court
to give a decision in favour of the non smokers. Smokers who wish to
smoke at home should contain all their pollution by closing their windows
and doors and keeping it to themselves. The present situation where non
smokers have to close their windows and doors to keep out other peoples
garbage is simply not acceptable.
No Protection For Non Smoker's Health
The Forrest case was foreshadowed on Channel Seven's Today Tonight
program on 14 February 2003. Dianna and husband John
calmly and logically pointed out that they had no protection against
health damage from the constant smoke pollution coming in their windows
and doors due to the neighbour smoking within 4 metres of their living
The potential health damage is now of great concern because Dianna
is pregnant with her first child and is determined to do the right thing
by avoiding known health risks. They had approached the neighbour with a
request for him to come to some arrangement to contain his smoke
pollution on his side of the fence. He had done nothing constructive and
the dispute escalated when his smoking visitors made the
pollution worse and told Dianna to move to the country if she could not
stand the close city living and the smoking which goes with it.
Call For Tobacco Company help
The smoking neighbour adopted the usual smokers' rights argument that he
was entitled to smoke in his own property and anyone who did not like it
could move somewhere else. His lack of logic and understanding of the
issues was proved by his pathetic statement that if the Forrests sued him
he would call on the tobacco companies to defend him because he was an
addicted smoker and they had an obligation to
protect a consumer of their product. He firmly stated his intention to
keep smoking outside in his courtyard patio and therefore was not trying
to reduce the problem. In typical arrogant smoker's style he considers
the non smokers are the problem not him!
Another Case Also Featured
The same program also showed John Fraser's problem with neighbour's
smoking on their balcony and causing the pollution to fill up his
adjacent home unit. He said that in the middle of summer he was forced to
keep all his doors and windows firmly shut to keep the pollution out. The
neighbour also refused to even consider smoking at the other end of the
balcony because the smoke would then go into her unit and affects her
small daughter. It is hard to believe that smokers can be so selfish and
bloody-minded in their determination to indulge in their drug taking
habit and inflict the consequences on other innocent people.
Smoking neighbour intends to keep smoking - not his problem
Appeal to Fund Case
Brian McBride was as also interviewed on the Channel Seven program as
President of the Non Smokers' Movement of Australia. He said the Movement
would support Dianna by launching an appeal to fight what would be an
important test case on the obligation of smokers to
confine their pollution to their own premises. The implications would be
far reaching and could establish a clear responsibility for smokers to
only smoke where they were not affecting anyone else, even in their own
homes. There will be more about this appeal in our next Update after
details are finalised.
Change In Tenancy Laws Required
Brian also told the reporter that the Residential Tenancies Act must be
amended to facilitate segregation of public housing into smoking and
non-smoking units. (He gave a long interview but only a short segment was
broadcast). He said this is the sensible approach that gives a win - win
solution. All the smokers are grouped in their blocks of units so no one
is worried about their neighbours smoke drift. All the non-smokers would
be grouped in other blocks so they can enjoy an unpolluted lifestyle.
The concept makes commercial sense also because the heavier maintenance
repainting etc, which is required on smokers' accommodation will all be
concentrated together and there will be no mixing with smokers following
non smokers with successive tenancies. It is a simple policy decision and
there is no good reason why the government could not introduce it.
They are just afraid of disturbing the sacred smokers' cow again.
Change in Corporate Body Laws Required
NSMA has also written to the Minister asking for a change in the Strata
Titles Act to allow Corporate Management Bodies to make local rules
banning smoking within and around their total complexes in the interests
of the health, comfort and safety of all occupants and visitors. This Act
of Parliament limits what actions such bodies can regulate in and around
their home units and at present it does not give them enough power.
Surely it is reasonable to allow a majority of owners to make such
beneficial rules on vitally important issues like health and safety.
There is no doubt that smoking in any building is a major fire risk and
there have been thousands of deaths and millions of dollars in damage due
to this one single cause which could be largely prevented by the action
Another logical answer would be to bring back "smoking rooms" as they had
in the olden days. Every new house already has special purpose rooms such
as bathrooms and toilets so why not have smoking rooms so that all the
pollution can be contained in a way which affects the smokers and
no one else. However, given the general arrogance of smokers who have
been brought up with the idea that they can move around and smoke
anywhere they like, it would be too much to expect their compliance.
Forced segregation is the only way to go and we will keep pursuing
A Current Affair Competition
When Channel Nine's A Current Affair Program got wind of the fact that
Channel Seven were doing this story on "Smoking Neighbour's Disputes"
they linked in with the Daily Mail in Brisbane, who were doing a Sunday
paper feature on the subject, to cobble together a quick parallel story
and aired it on the same night as Channel Seven so as to be in direct
competition. They did a much shorter interview with Dianna Forrest and
added the story of Lucy Couper in Canberra. We have previously made
reference to Lucy's long-standing dispute and legitimate suffering at the
hands of her smoking neighbour in earlier editions of Update.
reporter just threw the story together quickly without any attention to
the correctness of the facts they allowed the smoking neighbour to say on
air that she had quit 12 months ago and made Lucy look as if she was
paranoid about smoking problems.
was rightly upset about the presentation and is talking to lawyers about
suing the TV station. We have commended her for having the courage to
speak up about this disgraceful pollution by drug addicts who don't
hesitate to lie about their habits when it suits them. We have assured
Lucy that thousands of viewers will emphasise with her situation and that
she did a good job for the cause by drawing widespread attention to the
problem. We will continue to try to help Lucy in her battle with the ACT
Housing Authority who cannot accept the need for smoke-free housing as a
valid reason to be relocated to new premises.
Brian McBride told Channel 7 that the NSMA would
support non-smokers to win common law damages for nuisance
and negligence by neighbours.
For several years we have been trying to get the NSW Department of Fair
Trading, which administers the Strata Schemes Act and tenancy matters, to
recognise the seriousness of the smoking neighbour problem. However they
won't accept that it is a generic problem and insist that it must be
dealt with case by case.
Their latest reply from Director General, D. B.
O'Connor, dated February 2003 states in part, quote:
"Over the years the legislation has been used to resolve similar
disputes, such as disturbance from cooking
smells which have moved through a
strata building via air conditioning systems. Each of these cases has
been considered on their merits. The Department has no particular views
on the smoking issue and believes that the matter is one for each strata
scheme to consider independently having taken into account any possible
health and safety issue. The smoking issue in strata schemes has been on
the agenda of the last two national conferences of State Government
strata agencies and as yet, a common position on the issue has not been
John Fraser shows how balcony smoking by a neighbour comes
into his home unit - forcing him to sell out and move.
More Pressure Required
We understand that a further meeting of these agencies to consider
possible reforms will take place later this year. We will invite all the
health lobby agencies to make submissions to get passive smoking
pollution elevated to something more than a cooking smells issue. It is
unacceptable in 2003 for any well-informed government agency to glibly
say "We have no particular view on the smoking issue". This must surely
prove negligence by the Government where they are a major landlord for
many thousands of tenants. However, the most likely way to bring about
quick reform of the Act is to get a big win in a test case such as
the one Dianna and John Forrest are considering to uphold their rights
to clean air in their own home. A
legal win would guarantee widespread changes.
BAD NEWS ON ROLAH McCABE CASE
On 6 December 2002 the Victorian Court of Appeal overturned the District
Courts previous damages award of $700,000 to dying smoker Mrs Rolah
McCabe. The case had been won in dramatic circumstances (as reported in
Update No. 39) when the court threw out the entire defence of the tobacco
company on the grounds that it had unfairly withheld or destroyed
documents that would have assisted Mrs McCabe's case against them.
Roxanne Cowell, daughter of Rolah McCabe, says the family is devastated
by the overturning of the verdict. Just a few weeks after Rolah died, her
family has been ordered to pay pack the whole $700,000 plus interest and
legal costs for the tobacco company. It is completely beyond the reach of
McCabe's family to cover the legal costs of BAT, which will be several
million dollars. Even if they sell their homes they probably won't be
able to come up with the amount. BAT is clearly trying to teach people a
lesson, showing people that if you try sue a tobacco company this is what
will happen to you.
The McCabe family will now re-appeal to the High Court,
but if they lose they will be financially ruined.
Roxanne says that the drama has greatly impacted on the lives of all the
family. She is concerned about her sons and how they will live if they
lose this case. However, the family is determined to take the battle on
to the High Court and their lawyer Peter Gordon is equally determined to
win this case for them.
Losing both their parents in twelve months was trauma enough for a
grieving family. To now be held accountable for the action started by
their parents is too much to ask of them. When we note that this company,
British American Tobacco, made an operating profit of about $6 billion
last year it could well afford to spare the battling McCabe's further
suffering. However tobacco companies have proved over the years that they
don't know what the words "moral obligation" mean. If it does not have a
dollar sign in front they can't read it!
Propaganda from Nick Greiner & Co
Of course British American Tobacco (BAT) headed in Australia by our all
time No 1 health hypocrite, ex NSW Liberal Premier Nick Greiner, quickly
put out a sickening press release which read in part, quote:
"We have never sought to deny anyone
their day in court, all we wanted was to have ours and a chance to defend
ourselves. We are therefore pleased with the decision by the Court of
Appeal. Since the original decision by Justice Earnes to strike-out our
defence, our company has suffered considerable damage to our reputation.
We hope this decision allows us to put forth our side of the story and
repair the damage. " Unquote.
Can you believe their snivelling whine about "a chance to defend
ourselves"? What chance have they given to the millions of customers whom
they have deceived over the years with their advertising lies and never
ending assurances that smoking would make them wonderfully glamorous and
successful and would not harm them in any way?
Can you believe their hypocrisy in talking about "repairing damage" to
them while they are in the very process of spending millions of dollars
to prevent their customers from repairing the fatal damage done to
The only good news out of all this is that the media have given great
exposure to the cruelty and greed of Nick Greiner's company and hence
they have suffered even more damage to their already tarnished
reputation. We wish the McCabe family every success
in the high Court and we hope that real justice will finally be done.
Details of Decision
An analysis of the Victorian Court of Appeal decision in McCabe v British
American Tobacco, delivered 6 December 2002 is available on the VicHealth
Centre for Tobacco Control website under
'What's new' at
SMOKING IN BARS - SLOW PROGRESS
Simon Chapman, professor of public health, University of Sydney, Editor,
Tobacco Control, has pointed out a paradoxical lesson in how public
health law should not be made. Those least exposed to passive smoking -
the relatively transient patrons of restaurants, public transport,
cinemas, shopping malls and even TABs -are protected by legislation such
as the NSW Smoke free Environment Act 2000. Those most exposed - bar and
casino staff - are the least protected. Some have even argued that bar
staff aren't forced to take the jobs - the exposure comes with the
territory. Imagine this being said of occupational hazards like asbestos,
toxic dusts and fumes or ear-damaging noise levels.
Simon makes a good logical point but when you depend on politicians to
make logical as opposed to political decisions you will be waiting a
long time. We non-smokers have to be grateful for small mercies like
protection from smoke even it is a transient experience in a restaurant
or a plane.
One of the major problems with hotels and clubs is the youthful profile
of their employees. Our surveys have shown they are either smokers
themselves or they are too scared of losing their jobs to stand up for
their occupational health rights. The really disgusting hypocrisy of the
politicians is that they are prepared to go along with these young
workers foregoing their rights to occupational health as long as they
keep quiet about it.
Bar Smokers Would Quit
A Melbourne study published last month in the international journal
Tobacco Control showed that 70 per cent of regular nightclub and bar
patrons who smoked report smoking more than normally in these settings -
and one in four said they would probably quit if smoking were banned in
bars. Bars are romanticised by some as the last bastions of smoking. But
to the tobacco industry, they are nicotine classrooms where a combination
of alcohol and teams of tobacco company sales staff in perky outfits work
to induct and consolidate smoking as an
integral part of a good night out. If
they lose bars, they lose the last remaining venues for sales promotions.
Most telling of all, an internal Philip Morris document states the
economic arguments often used by the industry to scare off smoking ban
activity were no longer working, if indeed they ever did. These arguments
simply had no credibility with the public. The world doesn't end with
smoking bans. Even Philip Morris and BAT have banned smoking at work.
Australia's bar staff deserve the same protection in law that we all
enjoy. Politicians may turn a blind eye to the fate of scared young
workers. However we should not turn a blind eye to such politicians when
we go to the ballot box.
Reference: The Sydney Morning Herald for 17/12/2002.
SMOKING IN CARS CAN CAUSE BUSHFIRES
This has been a disastrous summer for drought and bushfires. The subject
has made people even more aware of what a serious fire hazard is caused
by carelessly discarded cigarette butts. Many reports were aired over
talkback radio and there has been general debate about banning smoking in
vehicles all together similar to mobile phones. One caller says if you
stop people smoking in vehicles, truckies will pull up on the side of the
road for a smoke and then throw out the butts. Some callers say they will
put their foot on it and put it out. Another caller asks are freeways
going to have ashtrays?
Most car journeys are of short duration and most times there are other
people in the vehicle including children. Therefore we have no doubt
there is an overwhelming case to ban smoking while driving and we will
continue to support these calls.
TOBACCO CONTROL CONFERENCE
Don't miss the 2nd Australian Tobacco Control Conference if you
can make it to Melbourne
for some of three days, April 9th to 11th, 2003. We are grateful to
committee member Margaret Hogge who will speak at the Conference on
behalf of The Non smokers' Movement of Australia. She will speak about
our objectives, achievements and ongoing role.
The key speakers for plenary sessions will include:
Dr Frank Chaloupka: The economic benefits of Tobacco Control. Dr Ann
McNeill: Preventing Harm and Addiction. Dr Michael Cummings: Product
disclosure and industry regulation. Prof. Alistair Woodward: Second hand
smoke and consequent health risks. Prof. Simon Chapman: Tobacco industry
document disclosures. Plus many other noted experts in their fields. The
after dinner speaker will be Peter Gordon, solicitor who represented
Rolah McCabe and hence this will be a most interesting insight to that
For more information visit,
Tobacco Facts For MP's
ASH Australia has just put online its new "Tobacco Facts for MPs" (NSW)
factsheet - showing why tobacco is a major issue
for the coming state elections.
The sheet outlines voter concern on health,
the blowouts in NSW health costs caused by tobacco, smoking costs
triple those of illicit drugs, why
properly funded media campaigns are essential, latest on the push for
smokefree pubs and clubs in 2003, and Big Tobacco's latest attempts to
target youth. The sheet is at
Smoking costs us $22 Billion
A new Report shows that smoking, alcohol and drug abuse cost us more than
$34 billion back in 1998/99. Tobacco makes up the bulk of the bill, coming
USA ENVIRONMENT AGENCY FINALLY WINS
In 1993, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a report
classifying second-hand tobacco smoke as a Group A carcinogen (i.e. a
substance known to cause cancer in humans). The tobacco cartel filed a
lawsuit against the EPA report. Rather than file its lawsuit in the
Washington DC/Maryland area where the EPA is located, the tobacco cartel
filed its lawsuit in North Carolina where Judge William Osteen, a former
tobacco lobbyist, presides. Not surprisingly, Judge Osteen ruled against
the EPA, saying it used bad science. Of course, Judge Osteen was neither
a scientist nor a statistician. The EPA appealed.
In the meantime, the EPA stood by its report, as did every other health
and scientific organisation in the world.
Nevertheless, the tobacco cartel and its front groups continued
to spread the lie that the report was
invalid. Now, almost 10 years later, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals unanimously ruled in the EPA's favour. Judge Osteen's opinion has
been VACATED (as if it never existed).
Nothing really changes, however, the EPA report continues to be a
scientific document that classifies second-hand smoke as a Group A
carcinogen; the evidence against second-hand smoke grows stronger every
day and now, even the tobacco cartel admits that tobacco smoke causes
cancer. In spite of all this, the American Federal Government still
refuses to act to bring in over-riding occupational health bans on
smoking in the workplace and leaves it to each state to battle the
tobacco industry one by one.
ASH REPORTS ANOTHER BREACH
Anne Jones, CEO of ASH Australia, has been quick to report that Philip
Morris agents are at it again selling Marlboro cigarettes via cigarette
girls in a stall at a big youth event in Sydney. The event, called The
Field Day, was on New Years Day in the Domain Park in Sydney. A report
has been sent to NSW Health Legal Branch. The NSW Minister for Health has
said he will make the fines for tobacco companies over
a million dollars if they keep targeting youth at these types of events.
Let's see if he is as good as his word on this.
ACT TO BAN SMOKING IN ALL LICENSED PLACES
There is good news that the ACT Legislative Assembly is to consider
banning smoking in all licensed venues. However the bad news from
Canberra is that our affiliated branch of ASH Canberra is considering
closing its doors because of the ridiculously high public liability
insurance that is being quoted for many such organisations, including our
own. The NSW Government has led many small charity groups up the garden
path by telling them they only needed a minimum of $2 million cover to
become incorporated. Now that they are incorporated no insurance company
will look at less than $10 million public liability plus $10 million
product liability whether you make a product or not. The Minister for
Fair Trading cannot provide answers and just ducks the whole issue as
market forces at work so you just have to shop around. Since GIO was
privatised we are just being led like lambs to the slaughter and the
government could not care less.
MP CALLS FOR BAN ON BAT PRODUCTS
Tanya Plibersek, Federal MP for Sydney, has launched an email
campaign to discourage people from buying all products made by British
American Tobacco. In April 2002 Rolah McCabe was awarded landmark damages
from BAT but now the Victorian Court of Appeal has overturned that
verdict. As reported earlier in this newsletter, BAT have vindictively
pursued the embattled children of the now deceased Rolah McCabe to repay
all money plus their multi-million dollar costs. We agree that this is a
scandalous example of corporate ruthlessness and lack of moral or ethical
values. Full marks to Tanya for showing rare political courage with such
a direct attack on the tobacco industry and we encourage our members to
support her campaign.
LEAVE A BEQUEST TO NSMA IN YOUR WILL.
Please think about this to keep the good work going into the future
Vale Janet Hudson
In December 2002 we received the sad news that Janet had passed away
after a long battle with cancer. Until eighteen months ago Janet had been
one of our most reliable volunteer helpers. Her cheery smile and friendly
manner made her a good friend of all the team who regularly worked with
her on enveloping and mailing out the newsletters. She will be sadly
missed. We extend our condolences to her
family and assure them that the generous bequest which Janet left to the
NSMA will go towards continuing the fight for more clean air in clubs and
hotels which were high on the list of Janet's personal objectives.
One of the good results of the coming NSW state elections is that
Parliamentary Secretary for Transport; Kevin Moss is retiring from
politics. Kevin has had his head firmly in the sand regarding smoking on
state railways for as long as we have been corresponding with him. He
steadfastly refuses to believe that anyone smokes on railway stations in
contravention of railway by-laws. He never seemed able to understand what
a "covered area" was and even had the media correct him over some of his
gaffes. He is a typical "do nothing" politician whose only interest in
recent years has been to hang on long enough to collect his wonderful
superannuation. We say good riddance and - thanks for nothing.
New York Bans
On December 18, 2002, the New York City Council approved the Smoke-Free
Air Act of 2002. The act will go into effect 90 days after the Mayor
signs it and will provide a smoke-free workplace for all New York City
workers, including office, restaurant, bar,
bingo, bowling, and nightclub workers. This will effectively ban all
smoking - with some minor exceptions- in the city's bars and restaurants.
They have decided to follow the brave Californian move of five years ago
that has proved a major success. Many other city and local jurisdictions
are expected to follow this major breakthrough.
Comment on American affairs is sent to us by activist Joe Cherner, whose
motto is a quote by the famous Margaret Mead, and which is very relevant
to the NSMA, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can
change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has".
Courtesy ASH USA
Queensland Alcohol and Drug Foundation has called for greater enforcement
of anti-smoking laws following a new study by Institute of Health and
Welfare which found of 15% of teenagers who admit to smoking, also admit
they buy cigarettes illegally from retailers.
Canberra ASH Action
Our friends in Canberra have asked our members to join in complaints they
are making about possible breaches of legislative bans on tobacco
advertising. With the Australian Grand Prix due on March 6-8, is the
newsprint industry in breach of the legislation applying in the Federal
with the promotion of a tobacco product? For example see the Canberra
Sunday Times "Souvenir Wall Poster", Sunday 2nd March . A double page
spread promoting the Grand Prix, with a Formula One car promoting a
particular tobacco brand. The tobacco sponsorship of the Australian
(Melbourne) Grand Prix will conclude in 2006 but meanwhile we need to be
vigilant and report any snide advertising such as these posters obviously
aimed at our youth.
South Australian Action
Smoking could be banned in all South Australian pubs, gaming lounges and
nightclubs under recommendations by a Parliamentary taskforce. The hotel
industry believes if this is given the green light, it will mean job
losses. The Labor Member for Reynell, Gaye Thompson, is the Chair of the
Parliamentary taskforce. She says the report will go to the Minister by
end February. It is believed the bans are recommended to start in
THANK YOU FOR DONATIONS
Please accept this sincere THANK YOU to all those generous members
who included something extra by way of a donation with their last renewal
form. This helps to counter the drop off in memberships we are
experiencing because many of our long term members are retiring
and going on to reduced incomes etc.
We need new and younger members, so spread the word by passing
on this newsletter and inviting friends and neighbours to join - even
at the concession level of $25 p.a.
The Non-Smokers' Update is the quarterly newsletter published
for 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.