|The Non Smokers' Movement of Australia|
Protecting the rights of the Non-smoking majority from
and from the tobacco industry's propaganda.
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Issue 52, July 2005
The Great Outdoors Swindle
Fake "outdoor" areas won't allow the smoke to escape.
Be afraid, be very afraid. Some State governments continue to kowtow to tobacco-friendly interests when interpreting the term "outdoor areas", the only spaces where smoking will be permitted in pubs and clubs after indoor smoking bans eventually begin. How much do clubs and pubs donate to political party coffers? There's no such thing as a free lunch.
The ACT government has already legislated that a 75%/25% enclosed/open area can be regarded as "outdoors". Such "mostly-enclosed" areas would simply become the new smoking rooms at pubs and clubs when total smoking bans begin.
ClubsNSW's website (information for members and guests) boasts "The long awaited definition of an outdoor area has now been finalised by the Government and virtually mirrors the definition now in place in the Australian Capital Territory".
We know that NSW legislation has not actually been finalised but we must lobby the new Premier solidly to avoid such legislation overturning all of the past work in gaining total bans in all hospitality venues. The "partly enclosed" loophole is also a possibility in Tasmania, Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia and, of course, Northern Territory which hasn't even set a date for smoking bans. Our protests will continue until we are satisfied that all workers and patrons obtain their rights to clean air, free from the poisons in tobacco smoke.
Non-Smokers' Movement, along with partners in the Smokefree Australia Coalition calls on all State governments to make their policy on smokefree areas clear, unambiguous, uncomplicated, and determined by scientific research, public health, occupational health and safety principles. Smoking should only be permitted where it is first demonstrated that it is safe to do so, i.e. only in areas with "full open-air natural ventilation", as stated in the recommendations of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (agreed by all parties in Nov.2003).
The Queensland model is simple. When total smoking bans begin there in mid-2006, there will be designated and unserviced outdoor smoking areas measuring less than half of the total of all outdoor areas.
"Well, Madam, it's our outdoor area."
Action Point- Members please write to your Local MP, State Premiers and Ministers for Health, calling on them to follow the Queensland model when defining outdoor smoking areas at pubs and clubs.
Australia now has the lowest smoking rate in the world (17.4% of Australians over 14 years of age smoked daily in 2004) and we sincerely congratulate those engaged in Tobacco Control over the past decades for this achievement, in the face of public apathy and ignorance, in the face of smokers' addiction, defiance and denial, and especially in the face of some political parties' hypocritical acceptance of donations/sponsorship/ funding from the Tobacco Industry. The latter continues, with the Prime Minister's own party continuing to deny any sniff of influence from the peddlers of the world's deadliest drug. After all, as they say, it is still a legally available product.
The National Tobacco Strategy, 2004-2009 is a statement of resolve of federal, state and territory governments endorsed by the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy in Nov.2004, to reduce the harm caused by tobacco smoking in Australia. It points out that "No company trying to introduce cigarettes into Australia today would succeed in getting them onto the market." p.19 How can any political party, least of all our national leader's party, continue to accept tobacco funding when such a statement is made?
In the face of such hypocrisy, we must not only fight for strong, watertight laws to protect our rights to clean, tobacco-free air, but we need to make certain that those laws and regulations are enforced and upheld.
For example, the new, half-baked smoking bans in pubs and clubs in NSW are so confusing that some non-smokers will refrain from saying anything for fear of being caught out or embarrassed. Please continue to question why any hospitality venue allows smoking at all, breaching health and safety laws, discrimination law, and duty of care, and above all, every body's basic rights to clean air.
In our January newsletter I mentioned that we had presented (in absentia) a NSMA Stinkies Award to Mr. John Thorpe, President of Australian Hotels Association, for his dedicated efforts towards delaying smoking bans in pubs all over Australia. I'm sure you will be delighted to know that The Establishment has also recognised Mr Thorpe, this time as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), for his dedication to the hospitality and tourism industries. NSMA's letter to the local press, which reaches Mr Thorpe's own hotel, was printed soon after, telling readers that Mr. Thorpe had been too modest, and we told of his additional work for the tobacco industry, his encouragement of a culture of smoking in pubs and his saying that hospitality venues should accommodate smokers
Why continue to accommodate smokers when smoking causes not only their own but others' death or disability. Tobacco related disease continues to kill approx. 19,000 Australians, more than combined deaths from breast and skin cancer, road accidents, suicide, diabetes, AIDS, war and murder.
Let's continue to demand our rights to clean, smokefree air and, in doing so, provide less and less venues and opportunities for smokers to add to our biggest health burden.
Margaret Hogge (Pres.)
Qld. Health Poster
BOOK REPORT: Geoffrey Blainey's "Black Kettle and Full Moon" Penguin The Master storyteller and historian, in his guided tour of a vanished Australia, brings to life for the modern reader the sights and sounds and smells of another time, from the gold rushes to World War 1. Chapter 11, "To tipple and to smoke" tells of tobacco arriving in the First Fleet, of the increase in smoking with the invention of the safety match, of roll-your-owns, of tobacco gifts from Australia to soldiers.
Tobacco Industry advertising through Television, Film, and Theatre.
***Bollywood Good News from the centre of film-making in India, Bollywood. The Government of India has banned smoking scenes in Indian films and, if an earlier film with smoking is shown, prior warnings of the dangers of smoking are to be shown. When will our Government do the same?
***Formula One Grand Prix Motor Racing Big Tobacco couldn't miss an opportunity to spread their evil message and have apparently squeezed a previously unscheduled Grand Prix into the calendar in Australia prior to the October 2006 deadline. Watch for a flurry of Marlboro, Gauloise, Camel,etc. logos in our young people's magazines following that date, as the industry wrings every drop of so-called "news and comment" out of the last legal advertising opportunity.
Tobacco advertising at Formula One Grand Prix events in the European Union is banned from 31July 2005, however there are no controls preventing viewers watching coverage from such places as Hungary or Australia, so the orgy continues.
***Community Theatre Non-smoking Actors expected to Light Up for Real. No prior warning was given before four authentic cigarettes were smoked during a recent local community theatre opening night near Sydney. Children sat in the front row in the small theatre, and the smoke was extremely offensive. Following spoken and written complaints, warnings were given prior to performances, but the smoking continued for the remaining season. Performances may be exempt from smoking bans (we will be calling for total bans) but the smoking would have been more convincing and far less harmful if the non-smoking actors had simply pretended to suck and blow on the offending cigarettes. They wouldn't use real bullets, would they?
At the same time, professional actors were very convincing in "Ruby's Last Dollar" at Sydney's Opera House. The play was about gambling addiction, and all of the cigarettes remained unlit.
***Sherlock Holmes on ABCTV The 1902 detective and Dr. Watson, as well as two upper-class ladies are depicted as cigarette smokers in a BBC/WGBH production shown on ABCTV lately. Hardly necessary to the plot, and highly questionable as authentic for the era. Our complaint to ABC calls for them to at least show Cancer Council's warning commercial which is being used in some cinemas, giving prior advice to young people of "Tobacco's Tactics".
Sherlock Holmes on Our ABC
***ASHES Test Commercial, on SBS TV. The commercial advertising the coming Test broadcast clearly showed an image of Benson & Hedges in the background. This is a breach of Tobacco Advertising Prohibitions Act and is being reported to Federal Dept. of Health & Ageing.
ASHES Test Commercial on SBS TV
Keep a list of television shows which depict smoking scenes write to Broadcasting Authorities calling for warnings to be shown prior to the shows. Let's de-normalise smoking in the eyes of children.
NSMA stalwart, Leicester Warburton sent us an edited extract from The Guardian about::-
Semi-Retirement for the Man who saved Millions of Lives. Sir Richard Doll
For what he has achieved, Sir Richard Doll is not particularly well known in Australia. Yet this distinguished 92 year-old man is regarded as one of the world's great medical detectives who has saved millions of lives. Professor Jeffrey Tobias, consultant Oncologist at London's University College Hospital, calls it a scandal that Sir Richard has not been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine."If the prize is intended to honour a person who brought the greatest happiness to the greatest number, then I cannot imagine there is an individual on the surface of the planet who is better qualified or more deserving."
Richard Doll was born in 1912 at a time when smoking was just becoming popular. His father, a GP, promised his son 50 pounds if he refrained from smoking until he was 21, not because he thought it was harmful but because he thought it was a waste of money. "I was determined to get the money, Sir Richard says, "but I had a younger brother and whenever we had friends at the house, he would say "Oh, Richard's not going to smoke until he's 21!" And I finally said "I can't stand this any longer give me a cigarette!" He consumed two ounces of pipe tobacco and five cigarettes a day during his time as a medical student and an officer during the World War II, but his findings soon encouraged him to give it up.
The incidence of lung cancer increased steadily throughout the 1930s, but no one knew why. Hospital beds filled up with people who arrived with choking coughs and soon graduated to emphysema and mouths full of blood. During the war this became the second biggest cause of death after military action. When the conflict ended, Richard Doll began working for the Medical Research Council where Bradford Hill, an epidemiologist was about to conduct a study of lung cancer rates. Hill had become aware of Doll's patience and analytical skills and asked him to assist. At the time the most likely cause of lung disease was believed to be atmospheric pollution. Doll's own hunch at first was that it was caused by the increase in the tarring of roads.
The big breakthrough did not come until 1949 after Doll and Hill had visited hundreds of patients in London Hospitals who had been diagnosed with lung cancer or were suspected of it. These were asked to answer detailed questionnaires on family history, diet and previous diseases and even if they had worked on the roads. These patients were checked in the following months. With non-smokers the diagnosis would change. If they were heavy smokers it was usually lung cancer. In 649 cases of lung cancer there were two non-smokers!
To check whether just London was the cause, the research covered other parts of Britain but results were similar. Follow up surveys produced similar results. Only in later years would the effect of passive smoking also be seen. The Department of Health considered the results for a year before announcing that it would be very serious if smoking was reduced, not because tax would decrease but because they like people to die off at 65 to save their pensions.!
Doll and Hills' final report in 1954 following a survey of 34,000 doctors, revealed that men born between 1900 and 1930 who smoked cigarettes all their lives died on average 10 years younger than lifelong non-smokers. Those who gave up at age 60, 50, 40, or 30 years, gained, respectively, three, six, nine or ten years of life expectancy. From the incidence of smoking in the UK in 1974 of 45%, it has now dropped to just over 25%. The UK Cancer Research unit calculates that, even so, 6.3million have died from smoking-related diseases in the past half-century.
Thanks to the dedication of Sir Richard Doll and Professor Hill many more millions have led a longer, healthier, and happier life all around the globe.
Now, admitting coffee is his drug of choice,Sir Richard has at last moved into semi-retirement but still takes a keen interest in further research findings as the quest to warn the public of the dangers of smoking goes on.
Sir Richard Doll died this month, July 2005, aged 92. We respect his memory and revere his legacy.
Buy a Non-Smokers' Movement Red and White Umbrella Only $20 each or two for $30 (inc. Postage) Great protection from the sun, the rain, and the odd smoker. Around Australia State and Territory Legislation smoking bans in indoor licensed venues.(some exemptions, mostly in the case of casinos. Some loopholes outdoor definitions.)
NSMA wishes CEITC success in lowering the horrific toll from tobacco amongst indigenous Australians The Cancer Council Making it Better Effective Public Health Advocacy Conference - 29/30 August 2005, Northcott Centre, Parramatta - see www.cancercouncil.com.au
Burswood Casino, Western Australia Burswood's Controllers, Kerry Packer and co. have warned that smoking exemptions must extend to a major casino upgrade, saying that international high-rollers won't bother coming if they're banned from smoking while gambling. Both government. and opposition are being dazzled by the prospect of extra revenue, and appear ready to turn a blind eye to the discriminatory and hazardous conditions they know will occur. We have voiced our protest, and urge members to follow. Do gambling revenues speak louder than healthy workers?
Smoking near Schools
With the success of many local councils around Australia banning smoking near playgrounds, on beaches, and at sporting events, we are calling on Education Departments to ban smoking on school grounds (this still occurs in Victoria) and to ask them to call on school communities to ban smoking within a ten metre zone of all school grounds. Children are very impressionable and are extremely unlikely to heed health warnings from teachers, parents and other advisors who are seen to smoke. Let's put smoking out of sight and de-normalise it in the eyes of children.
Smoking in Cars with Children
The debate continues, especially in Western Australia, with support from Democrats, RAC motoring organisation, and AMAWA, the Australian Medical Association.
Meanwhile, we are waiting for statistics from NSW Police, to indicate whether smoking while driving is seriously regarded as "not being in proper control of a vehicle"
Secondhand smoke in a car is 23 times more harmful than in a home or pub. In addition, the process of smoking while driving is riddled with potential dangers.
NSMA Banner above traffic in Sydney on World No-Tobacco Day 31 May 2005
Smoking Neighbours protecting yours and your children's health. Recently, on Channel 9's A Current Affair, a woman athlete told how her asthma had started up again due to smoke-drift from her neighbour's strata property. We have contacted Channel 9, and hope to assist the complainant to gain her rights to clean air in her own home, every body's (and especially children's) basic right.
We continue to work towards gaining some effective sample smoking ban by-laws for use by Strata Corporations. 3rd Australian Tobacco Control Conference 23-25 November 2005 Sydney Convention Centre www.TobaccoControl2005.com
The Guernsey smokefree experience We can all be inspired by a terrific story from the Channel Island of Guernsey (population 60,000)
On 30 March 2005, the local parliament decided to ban smoking in public, in line with Ireland and New Zealand. The Guernsey Adolescent Smokefree Project (GASP) has sent us their inspiring booklet, called "We did it so can you" identifying 15 recurring themes of their campaign, which has led to a reduction in adult smoking from 28% to 19% in the past ten years.
Sincere congratulations to Guernsey and thanks for the inspiration, already in place with the our more positive name-change for our newsletter.
We did it, so can you
Sweden now has smoking bans in all indoor workplaces, since July 2005.
India :See previous article about bans on smoking scenes in Indian films.
Scotland smoking bans to begin in all indoor workplaces, including pubs and clubs, on 26 March 2006.
Czechoslovakia The Czech republic passed a law banning smoking in public places and restricting cigarette sales from January 2006.
Japan the Japanese Imperial Palace will end a century old custom of presenting gifts of cigarettes to official staff and palace volunteers in March 2007, due to the harm of smoking. It makes you wonder how recipients feel about their gifts from now until the 2007 "deadline".
According to Finance24, British American Tobacco manufactures cigarettes in 64 countries and produced 853 billion cigarettes last year. The company, as well as other Western tobacco companies, are trying to expand beyond the region, where several countries are enacting public smoking bans and restricting advertising. The deadly tentacles continue to reach out.
"Sir Thomas Beecham was travelling in a No-smoking compartment of a train ( remember those?) A woman opposite him lit a cigarette and said "I'm sure you won't mind if I smoke." Beecham: "not at all provided you don't mind if I'm sick" Undeterred, Madam said "You don't seem to realise who I am. I'm one of the director's wives. Beecham: "Madam, if you were the director's only wife I would still be sick". SMH 27-Jun-1982
Consumer Report, from NSMA member.
Negative attitude to new Non Smoking Laws
On Sat.23rd July, we were looking for a quiet drink in Newtown (near Sydney). Passing by Kelly's Bar on King St., we noticed ashtrays on all available tables, so decided not to run the gauntlet to find the non smoking area, but walked further along and noticed the Zanzibar, which we had been to several times before, was plastered with non smoking signs in the downstairs bar, so we decided to go in.
We ordered a couple of drinks and sat down thinking how nice this was at last when I noticed a sign at the bar. I wrote it on the back of one of their bar mats. "Due to customer complaints to the Health Department this area is temporarily non smoking. We will rectify this as soon as possible". We asked the barman about the sign. We said that we liked the non smoking bar and suggested that there was nothing to fix.
He mentioned the drop in custom. We said that it was because they didn't market to the 83% who don't smoke but instead to the 17% who do. His eyes glazed over in disinterest and he said we should talk to the manager, who conveniently was not there at the time. So we wrote two letters, one to the manager and one to the Licensee. We eagerly await their replies.
Non-Smoking Area - Beer Coaster
Martin Sharp Quits the 63 year-old Australian Pop Artist of the 1970's, responsible for much of Luna Park's artwork, was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to Art and his support for young artists. He smoked 75 cigarettes per day before he gave up last year after a triple by-pass heart operation. Says he now has more time for his art. Story from SMH.
The Smoking Gun
An 11 year-old boy was arrested for holding up a supermarket with a realistic replica toy gun on 23July, and demanding cigarettes. He was charged with assault, using a weapon to avoid apprehension, and robbery with an offensive weapon. Questions arise Was the boy already addicted to cigarettes? How had he obtained cigarettes in the past? Was he being supplied by older children or by adults? Did his parents smoke? From Cub Reporter Lynne Fairy.
A Slice of History SunHerald compilation from Dec1984, How to Complain
Smoking in San Fransisco if a dispute arises between smokers and non-smokers, smokers must give way by law.
In NSW the best that non-smokers can do if to ask the boss nicely for segregation. If the atmosphere is getting too dense on a plane you can ask for a passenger comment card, for what it's worth. If you feel really strongly about smoking, join or write to The Non-Smokers rights Movement 399 Pitt Street, Sydney or BUGAUP PO Box 80 Strawberry Hills 2012.
Smoking in Prisons - Protecting prisoners as well as prison workers.
We are told that smoking cannot be banned in prisons because prisons are regarded as residential institutions.
Tobacco is a legally available drug of addiction and its use in enclosed spaces can cause immediate harm to others. Alcohol is similarly a legally available drug of addiction, but its use does not necessarily harm others unless it is abused.
Victoria's Minister for Health advises us that "a Bill is currently in Parliament to prohibit smoking in enclosed workplaces from 1 March 2006 and in enclosed licensed premises from 1 July 2007"-proposed reforms for prisons:-
"Prisons The smoking ban in prisons will include enclosed areas of prisons but will provide exemptions for cells and exercise yards". We have received pleas for help from prisoners who are locked into cells with smoking prisoners and whose health has deteriorated due to their exposure to secondhand smoke. They are entitled to the same protection as the politicians who are responsible for making the laws. We will continue to speak up on their behalf. Every body has the right to clean air, free from the poisons in tobacco smoke.
Inviting Comments from Members:
Comments are invited on the following topics and concepts:
The Grim Reaper and Mr Butts
Protest Rallies We continue to make ourselves seen and heard at various venues, mostly at Parliament House and various pubs and clubs, and Corporate Annual General Meetings. Direct action gives us the opportunity to contact the public and to call attention to our aims, to gain every body's rights to clean smokefree air. Members can contact us at the office or by e-mail to organise others nearby to join in. Banners supplied.
NSMA Members Outside Parliament House
|The Non-Smokers' Movement of Australia Inc, Box K860, Haymarket NSW 1240.|
|This page was last updated on 26th October, 2005.|
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