|The Non Smokers' Movement of Australia
Protecting the rights of the Non-smoking majority
from tobacco smoke
and from the tobacco industry's propaganda.
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|Non Smokers' Update
NSMA SUPPORTS MOVES AGAINST OUTDOOR SMOKING
Momentum is building for more bans on outdoor smoking. People are sick of having to run the gauntlet of foul polluted air around every doorway to every restaurant or city building. We have been in the vanguard of this campaign pushing for smoking to be restricted to designated outdoor areas only.
Our actions have included:
* Submissions to the Olympic Organising Committee to have more extensive bans in outdoor areas as well as the obvious bans in enclosed areas. We were pleased to see the outcome in 2000 was a strong attempt to restrict outdoor smoking to designated areas only instead of the usual unlimited freedom that smokers have always presumed to take.
* Support for bans in the grandstand areas of major sporting venues like the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Football Stadium.
* Collection of signatures and submission of petitions to Sydney City Council that they should adopt bylaws banning footpath smoking as some cities in America have already done.
* Threats of legal action against Parramatta City Council for subjecting players to passive smoking in council owned tennis complexes.
* Letters to all NSW State politicians demanding extension of covered area bans on railways to include all "paid" areas hence including all uncovered platforms.
The recent front-page story in the Bankstown Torch Newspaper in Sydney shows a smoker polluting the air around children in a Council owned playground.
We were pleased to see that concerned parents have complained and rightly so. Progressive councillors Helen Westwood and Lyn Abrahams brought the issue before Bankstown Council in September 2001. The Council agreed to survey users of children's playgrounds to see if they would support a ban on smoking in these areas. Council conceded that it had a duty of care to protect children using their playgrounds. Passive smoking represented a danger to such children. Most councillors agreed that it was wrong for parents to smoke in close proximity to their children. However Councillor Max Parker said the proposal was "stupid" because when smoking outside the smoke "just goes up into the atmosphere". He assured Council that smoking around children's playgrounds would not hurt anyone. That's right Max, I suppose you can't even smell their stinking fumes either! The proposal is not "stupid"; it is the people like Cr Parker fighting for the rights of these nicotine addicts to the detriment of everyone else.
NSMA has written to Bankstown Council to remind them of the latest evidence that even 30 minutes exposure to passive smoking can affect the hearts of adults let alone children. It has been shown that exposure of children under six to passive smoking can result in permanent health damage. We pointed out that it should not be just an issue of proving health damage before they act.
They should weigh up the rights of little children to have a clear unpolluted environment to play in, against the rights of other adults to indulge in addictive drug taking behaviour on public property. We have urged them to introduce bans in all sporting ovals, playing fields and tennis courts under their control
Action Point 1: Write to Mr Richard Colley, General Manager, Bankstown Council, PO Box 8, Bankstown 1885, and express your views about banning smoking in all council owned sporting & playing facilities, starting with these playgrounds.
FEDERAL ELECTION ISSUES
The Labor Party has announced a five times increase in funding of anti smoking campaigns if elected to government on the 10 November 2001. Shadow Health Minister Jenny Macklin said they would:
Increase funding from $2.5 to $12 million a year by 2004. This would be taken from funding which the government is wasting on other TV ads. Commit to reducing smoking levels to 15% by 2006. Apply 50% of this increased funding to targeted areas like aboriginal smoking. Stop all subsidies to tobacco company research. Launch enquiry into additives. Force content disclosure on packs. Deglamourise all packaging etc. The Liberal Party has offered no new initiatives and will continue with the current $2.5 million level of expenditure and some current plans to control additives and packaging. Both Parties are still only offering to spend token petty cash amounts when compared to the $8.2 Billion the government receives from taxes on tobacco. NSMA also wants the Federal Government to commit to ongoing substantial price increases as their really effective way of reducing consumption. Neither Party has promised to do this.
The AMA have put this spending into its proper context as follows.
AMA Says More Than Election Promises Needed
AMA Vice-President, Dr Trevor Mudge, responded that anti-smoking plans announced by the Federal Opposition are welcome, but only go part of the way in meeting required action as set out by medical and anti-smoking groups in Australia. Dr Mudge said an increase in annual funding for tobacco control programs to $12 million a year by 2004 is a good start, but falls well short of the necessary extra $100 million over four years as detailed in the AMA's 2001 Budget submission.
The AMA recommends that the Commonwealth increases the financial deterrent to smoking by increasing tax rates on tobacco, with a view to raising an additional $100 million per year in revenue to be spent on mass media campaigns, smoking cessation services, product regulation, reducing sales of cigarettes to children and support for smokers with mental illness. "Increasing taxes on tobacco would provide the necessary funding, and such a move would require considerable political courage," Dr Mudge said. "While the AMA strongly supports the introduction of cigarette 'shock packs' to Australia, a transition to more bland and unattractive packaging is a move in the right direction, as are plans to make packets more honest and informative about the health risks of smoking."
"The AMA supports the Shadow Health Minister's plan to reduce the smoking rate to 15 per cent of Australians. This target is achievable now that the rate is currently down to 20 per cent under retiring Health Minister, Dr Wooldridge. Too many Australians die or become gravely ill because of smoking. Any action to reduce the death rate must be supported by the Australian community. More importantly, as a community we must do everything in our power to stop young Australians from taking up smoking in the first place."
Twelve Months Later and no progress
In December 2000 Brian McBride made one more determined attempt to enforce the no smoking laws on his suburban railway station at Seven Hills. He started with the local Station Manager who was hopelessly ineffectual. He moved on to the District Supervisor who offered tea and sympathy but did nothing. He wrote to various members of Parliament starting with an ex local member Pam Allen, then on to the current local member Wayne Merton. Of course another round of letters were sent to the Transport Minister Carl Scully and to the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Kevin Moss. He then moved on from letter writing to personal interviews. Firstly with Wayne Merton who then set up a meeting with the Shadow Minister for Transport, Barry O'Farrell.
This was all before going into civil disobedience mode staging a demonstration protest on Central Railway Station in May 2001. That led to a round of promises from Station Manager, John Tsiros, which he promptly failed to honour. Then it was time to talk to Kim Finnemore, Operations Manager, who seemed to be a very Gung Ho gentleman giving the impression that he would get things done. However he proved to be a big disappointment also. He got all confused about the NSW Smokefree Environment Act 2000 suddenly being of great significance on the 6 September 2001.
It was pointed out to him that State & City Rail Operations have had "No Smoking" laws in abundance dating back to 1921. They had a mighty rewrite in 1994 and they were revised again and re-issued as a very clear prohibition in regulation 15(1) in 1999. In short they have anti smoking bylaws coming out their ears but they seem totally unable to enforce any of them. We have been pleading with them to do something about these laws for at least 20 years. The Operations Section finally issued a ridiculous internal memorandum on 8 October 2001 stating that the NSW Smokefree Environment Act had formally come into effect on 6 September 2001, when in fact it came into full effect as far as they were concerned a full twelve months earlier. They stated their idea of "enclosed" areas mainly defined by doors or doorways. However the real weakness was an instruction to approach smokers in a "non confrontational" way and ask them to move to a "more open" area to smoke. Not a word about fines or real enforcement.
The interview with Barry O'Farrell on 19 October went well and he undertook to obtain the required information under FOI to prove our allegations that there has never been any real attempt to prosecute or impose fines. He then will ask questions of the Minister in the House to seek undertakings for a change in their approach to enforcement.
Thirty Minutes Exposure Increases Risk
The latest research from overseas shows that even thirty minutes exposure to passive smoking is enough to do measurable damage. The August edition of The ASH (USA) Smoking & Health Review reports on three new reputable research studies which conclude: - Children who live with parents who smoke indoors may as well be living in a smoky bar. - People who are routinely exposed to a lot of second-hand smoke, such as workers in bars, can triple their risk of developing lung cancer. - Doctors now have evidence that the coronary circulation of healthy non-smokers was affected so badly by 30 minutes exposure that parts of their hearts looked like those of smokers. The latter study is especially important because death from ETS induced heart attacks can happen very suddenly. This should be of special concern to everyone already at increased risk because of age, a previous history of heart problems and factors such as being overweight, insufficient exercise, high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
Experts stress that there is no safe lower level of exposure to the deadly chemicals in tobacco smoke since even minute amounts can cause cancer. Similarly it appears that even short time exposure can damage a non-smokers heart. The world authorities are all agreed on the "no safe level" argument but Australian authorities are reluctant to support members in situations where exposure is minimal. A member in Sydney demanded several times that WorkCover NSW either advise him that there was some safe level or support his objections to a minimal exposure situation. WorkCover ducked for cover and refused to answer the question! They will have to be dragged into court one day to force them to answer. They can't have it both ways.
In NSW and some other states we have entered the grey zone where the good news about extra laws banning smoking, is countered by the bad news that there is a complete lack of any political will or adequate mechanism to enforce those laws. It is a deliberate policy of public self-regulation. In other words the authorities are relying on concerned individuals kicking up enough fuss to gradually educate proprietors that they should finally comply. The authorities, which have been given no additional resources, just hope that they can slide by without anyone really noticing. We have had 20 years of this nonsense with the NSW State Rail Authority but let us hope it won't take another 20 years to get the bans on smoking in restaurants operating smoothly.
Victoria's Restaurant Smoking Bans Successful
Victoria's smoke free dining laws were introduced on 1 July have been welcomed by the Restaurant and Catering Association of Victoria, however, they regret pubs and clubs are not covered. Clubs CEO Mark Fitzgibbon says the recent damages award to a former barmaid is 'an important reminder' to clubs and pubs to fulfil their legal obligations to employees. He feels a blanket ban on smoking in clubs could affect business. Fitzgibbon but says 'total prohibition is inevitable'. An incremental approach is required. His organisation is conducting research to establish the social and economic impacts of smoking bans. Past research conducted by the club found that for every member lost through smoking bans a new customer was gained.
Casino To Monitor Smoking
Melbourne's Crown casino will step up air monitoring in gaming rooms following worker's concerns about increased levels of smoke. Crown will conduct tests and a risk assessment over the next 8 weeks. Crown employees say smoke levels have increased since the introduction of smoke free dining in Victoria, which has pushed smokers from the complex's eating areas out onto the gaming floor. The LHMU (Union) says air ventilation in the gaming areas to reduce the effects of passive smoking is inadequate. The Casino plans to introduce an 'air curtain' system to shield dealers and pit crews from smoke. The Union is seeking to have smoking banned from the complex. Workcover have confirmed an improvement notice was issued to Crown that requires the casino to conduct air monitoring tests for 8 weeks.
Still Selling To Minors
In August 2001 the Victorian Health Minister, John Thwaites, reported that 143 retailers around the state had been caught selling cigarettes to minors. Another report said a 15-year-old Melbourne boy bought alcohol, cigarettes, tickets to an R rated film and placed a TAB bet all in the one day. The boy said buying these items, restricted to people over 18 years, was 'easy'. Following the case of the Lane Cove shop keeper in Sydney who put up illegal advertising signs directly opposite his local school in spite of being warned twice, it is quite clear that many of our shop keepers are greedy grafting little criminals who don't give a damn about anything except the next dollar in their till.
Premier Calls For Extension Of Non-Smoking Areas
Steve Bracks says he will be encouraging gaming venues to extend smokefree areas further. Many venues said they would comply if legislation were introduced banning smoking in gaming areas. However one venue owner said he had tried to establish a non-smoking area but it had not been used by gamblers because 80% were smokers. Fortunately that strong campaigner, Independent MP Susan Davies, continues to challenge both the Government and Opposition to push for the smoking bans to prove it was serious about cutting down on problem gambling. It is clear that to ban smoking in pokies venues is a good way to curb the excess pokies gambling crisis.
Australian Hotels Association Still Pushing
At the AHA National Convention held in Melbourne, Simon Birmingham called for AHA members to be active in resisting a blanket ban on smoking in hotels. They brought out an American "Expert", Beverly Swanson of the Californian Licensed Beverage Association, who dutifully said the effect of blanket smoking bans has been 'devastating' in California. She was also interviewed on ABC radio in Melbourne to spread the great gospel according to Philip Morris. The Kiwis joined in with the CEO of New Zealand Hospitality Association said he didn't believe blanket bans have public support.
Fortunately Todd Harper and his Quit Vic. team managed to get some air time to counter these claims very effectively.
Smoke Ban No Drawbacks
Restaurateurs in many Melbourne suburbs are happy with the State government's new ban on smoking which came into effect on 1 July 2001. Restaurateurs say the new law has not affected their business, except they all comment there are a lot more cigarette butts on the footpath outside their restaurants. However some hotel owners are not happy. Chris Shine, Operations Manager, P J O'Brien's Pubs, points to a loophole in the new anti-smoking legislation; where patrons are allowed to smoke when people are eating provided they outnumber the diners. He criticised the need for a substantial physical divide between smoking section and non-smoking section; the current confusion for patrons; the difficulty of getting smokers to stop once they are outnumbered by diners. However he conceded that smokey pubs could be putting off potential diners.
Clean Harbour Project
The NSW Government has launched a new project to get smokers to put their butts into ashtrays provided outside city buildings. This is intended to stop the butts finishing up in their usual location which is Sydney Harbour.
The poster shows a group of young people standing ankle deep in water with hundreds of cigarette butts littering the scene. However it is a small token project which will not even be noticed by the majority of office smokers. At least it does recognise a long standing problem.
Teacher Wins Passive Smoking Case
In what's being described as the first case of its kind in Australia, a Melbourne schoolteacher, who blames passive smoking in the staffroom for his chronic lung disease, has won a six-figure payout from the Victorian Government. However WorkCover were quick to say they won't treat this as a precedent. You have to wonder which side they are on, money or health.
South Australian News
Every State Should Have A Body Count Clock!
In July 2001 The Tobacco Control Unit of SA Health Department erected a body counting clock on King William Street, Adelaide, which will show how many people have died from smoke related causes. This has caused a flurry of talk-back radio callers supporting the idea because smoking causes more deaths than any other substance in Australia. Some said they think it's a ghastly idea that's almost sending a punitive measure to smokers. One woman said if one of her family members died she would hate to see a body counting clock reminding her of the death. Such comments reflect the underlying problem with too many Australians. They prefer to sweep it under the carpet and ignore the very real damage tobacco is doing even to their own families. We should press for the erection of such clocks in every main capital city.
Sydney could start by simply switching the Olympic days countdown clocks to this use.
New Campaign Targets Parents
A new campaign has been launched in South Australia and Victoria aimed at encouraging parents to quit. Research has shown that about one third of Victorian smokers - or about 275,000 Victorians - are parents. In South Australia it is estimated 83,000 smokers are parents. It's hoped the new campaign will not only encourage adults to quit, but may also have a positive effect on youth smoking rates, following research that shows children whose parents both smoke are twice as likely to smoke as children whose parents do not smoke. The new campaign was launched simultaneously in both states by their Health Ministers. The campaign has been developed jointly by Quit SA and Quit Vic with funding support from the state governments.
Smokers Are Non Productive
Dr Andrew Ellerman of Quit SA has been on the radio talking up the latest hard research showing that smokers do not work as hard as non-smokers, and they take more sickies. Some health groups now suggest that smokers should pay for their smoko breaks. It is certainly happening in U.K. where council smokers are required to work an extra half hour to make up lost smoking time.
Smoke Free Dining extended. on 6 September 2001
A year ago smoke-free legislation was enacted in NSW banning smoking from all enclosed public spaces and the grace period of a year for pubs and clubs to introduce smoke free dining has come to an end. The last enclosed public place where smokers can indulge in their habit is the front bar of a hotel. Spokesman for the AHA said the staged introduction was 'sensible' and showed the Government was in touch with smokers. Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union's national deputy, Tim Ferrari, said his union would continue to fight for bans on smoking in workplaces.
NSW Health Minister Craig Knowles says enforcement of the laws will be phased in. This is pollie-speak for saying we haven't allocated any extra resources for enforcement and we will rely on public self-regulation as usual. It is now October and many clubs have done nothing about fully segregating their dining areas.
Send in names of any clubs or hotels which you consider have still got smoke pollution drifting in from adjacent areas. We will compile a list and formally submit it to the Department for corrective action or prosecution.
Getting Serious About Hospital Bans
The NSW Health Department has had a smoke free policy for years but it will now be applied outside to include all hospital grounds from 1 September 2001. Julianne Quain of the NSW Southern Area Health Service says it is a brave step. She says smoking inside hospital facilities was stopped in 1988. Consultation with staff and members of the community has been undertaken to consider how the new policy can be implemented. There will be designated smoking areas introduced for 12 months period and they will be reviewed in September next year. Nicotine patches will be available on prescription for patients. The areas included in the Southern Area Health zone are Queanbeyan, Yass, Goulburn and the south coast.
Still Conning the Young Women
The Herald Sun on 10 August carried an expose on the Wavesnet company, this time exposing a new range of sponsors critical of Philip Morris and Wavesnet. The article details a new series events badged as Glisten and featuring Alpine cigarettes and surprise. Surprise aim at a young female market. The sponsors of the event including De Jour tampons and Napoleon cosmetics had no idea PM was behind the events in Sydney and Melbourne, and showed their displeasure at the deception.
Another Passive Smoking Risk
Philip Clark on 2GB interviewed Prof Keith Cartright about a suggestion that meningococcal is transmitted by smoking. He says there is a modest increase in the risk of transmission through smoking or passive smoking.
Smokers Rights Party
Yes another little mouthpiece for the tobacco industry has emerged from the drug haze of the north coast beaches to warn the public that clubs and pubs will lose patrons when the smoking bans come into effect on 6 September. His name is Dennis Robinson, President of Smokers' rights Party, so you can add that one to your dartboard along with the famous Dr Whitby, remember him?
NSW Homes Nearly Smokefree
Almost three in four of NSW homes are smoke-free zones. According to a study by the Central Sydney Area Health Service, 72 percent of homes have restrictions on smoking inside.
Quitathon in November
Smokers from across the western area of Sydney are being urged to join a Quitathon organised by the NSW Cancer Council to raise funds for cancer research. The Quitathon, which is sponsored by Nicabate, offers quitters and their sponsors prizes if they quit in November. The event is being supported by several celebrity ambassadors, including Rugby League great Tommy Radonikis, jockey Jim Cassidy, and Charlotte Dawson.
New Kids Campaign
The NSW Government is to target parents with children under the age of six with an anti-passive smoking campaign. NSW Health Minister Craig Knowles, said on Sydney radio that there is no longer any doubt that damage done to the lungs of children under the age of six can be life long damage. He also said there are now links between passive smoking in young children and SIDS. The new program will target parents in a four-year $2.4 million campaign on passive smoking and its effects on children under six.
The campaign will include mass media advertising; health professionals identifying children who are exposed to passive smoking in homes and cars; and seeding grants to groups and area health services to develop specific information for their local communities. A consortium of health organisations has been established to ensure it hits the mark. They include the Cancer Council of NSW, Asthma NSW, the National Heart Foundation (NSW Division), and the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Association.
What about passive smoking adults?
Government funding programs are usually aimed at helping the poor smokers. Hence it is nice to see some funding for child passive smokers. But what about the real need to fund campaigns to protect adults from passive smoking. There has been good progress on legislative fronts but that action needs to be backed by more implementation funding. If the government started funding the Non Smokers Movement with a few of these $2.4 million programs we would reduce smoking rates to less than 10% in a few short years. This would be achieved by forcing smokers out of all public areas whether indoors or outdoors. Faced with this situation smokers will give up in droves.
Web Site For Children
Life Education Australia and the AMP have launched a new Health Star website for children at www.healthstar.com.au.
Finger Lickin' Good
Tasmania's new smoking legislation also come into effect on 1 September 2001. (What a great day for so much anti smoking action we should make it National Non Smokers' Day). The Tasmanian Health Minister Judy Jackson has called the new laws the best legislation of its type in Australia. The laws ban smoking in all enclosed public and work places with the exception of some gaming and bar areas. Fines will apply to individuals and businesses although the Government will not enforce the law - they expect the hospitality industry to self-regulate. However, there was much criticism from both sides. Firstly, Quit Tasmania and the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Worker's Union said it was not tough enough, and did not fully protect workers. Then a hotel owner, Mr Benson of the Marrawah Hotel, says he would like to thank the Tasmanian Government for throwing up another piece of legislation that is so grey, that if it was a racehorse and it came from Goondiwindi, it would win the next Melbourne Cup! He says the definition of finger food, where smoking is allowed, is so "grey" it is not funny. Anything more than "finger food" has to be in a smoke free area.
AHA Spin Doctors Flat Out
It has been claimed that hotels in regional areas will be the hardest hit by new smoking regulations. The State Director of Australian Hotels Association, Daniel Leesong, says smaller hotels have already sacked kitchen staff and closed kitchens or changed their menus. One Tasmanian publican has restructured the operation of his two hotels in a bid to retain patronage. He has cut all meals from one venue and the other will offer only snack food and a bistro menu. He doesn't see how the laws will reduce smoke in pubs or protect the public from passive smoking.
But Media Is Supportive
The editorial in The Advocate on 31 August said Tasmania's new laws banning smoking are welcomed. Although it inconveniences a few, it is in the greater good "Each small step taken to reduce the negative impacts of smoking and improve the health of Tasmanians has to be welcomed".
ACT Election Promises
The ACT Liberal party has announced $1 million annually in funding for drug rehabilitation programs, plans to deter smoking, including the total banning of smoking in hotels and clubs and the elimination of sale of tobacco products through vending machines. They plan for a postal plebiscite to gauge support for possible prescribed heroin and injecting room trials. The ACT Labor party today promised an increase in spending per capita on mental health care and a one off funds injection of $1 million. A poll shows Labor's lead for the October election has fallen to five points.
Marijuana Should Stay Illegal
Major Brian Watters, chair, Prime Ministers committee on drugs, was interviewed on local radio about a seminar on many issues related to drugs following a forum in Canberra on 19 October 2001. He said at the national level there was a bipartisan approach to drugs. The Government has been pursuing a Tough on Drugs policy. However there is a possibility that the Labor party will decriminalise marijuana. The smoking of marijuana by protesters outside the Parliament pushing for this was an absolute disgrace he said. The mixed messages are the problem. Evidence from overseas shows that making it more socially acceptable and easier to get hold of does not solve the problems. Watters says the number of drug deaths has dropped by 90% in Victoria and the Bureau of Crime Statistics has released figures saying there has been a drop in heroin use, due to a drought of supply. He says the Australian Federal Police and Customs have been doing a good job on this and it has become not worth the trouble for big dealers to try to trade in Australia. He says tobacco is still the greatest gateway drug. Large amounts of Ecstasy has been seized by Customs; and the worry is that these drugs will take over from other drugs in popularity. The best thing is to get a message across and a value system that will stop kids from using drugs. He says policing is a good idea as well. Rehabilitation is effective in about one third of cases, and it takes a few times to get it right. A comment was made that the fine for lighting up in a taxi is more than the fine for being found with marijuana.
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN NEWS
Smoking No Joke
Some Western Australian comedians have formed a group called Comedians Against Pollutants. In a bid to make their workplace smokefree the comedians will perform a weekly smokefree gig at the Hyde Park Hotel.
Another WA Pub Bans Smoking
A second hotel in Western Australia has banned smoking. Publican Spencer Black of the Earl of Spencer Inn in Albany said the decision to enforce a smoking ban resulted from the successful damages claim made by former bar attendant Marlene Sharp. Mr Black said his primary concern is having a safe workplace. He said more positive than negative feedback has been received. The AHA's state director said he did not expect a rush of hotels to follow suit.
New ACOSH Web Site
For all the latest facts, campaigns, secrets and legislation information on Australian tobacco and other smoking and health links go to the Australian Council on Smoking and Health's new website www.acosh.org.
Club Fumes At Smoke Fine
The Bunbury United Soccer Club in Western Australia says its fine of $2500 for allowing people to smoke in an enclosed area has placed its future under a cloud. The club's manager says the club's weekly bingo nights have been unfairly singled out by the Health Department. The successful prosecution came after the club had received two written warnings. Bunbury SC says it should have the same exemptions as other WA hotels and the Burswood Casino.
Smoke Free Nightclub
A new Under-18s nightclub has opened its doors to Gold Coast youth. Visions, on Green Glen Road Ashmore is a non-smoking dance club at night and a youth centre during the day.
Casinos To Ban Smoking
Conrad casinos in Brisbane and the Gold Coast will enforce smoking bans from October 1. Four restaurants will be smoke Free, as well as all gaming tables and a significant number of the gaming machines. All of level two of the casino, including the Two-Up bar will also be smoke free.
New Tobacco Advertising Laws In Queensland
Tough new tobacco laws were introduced in Queensland in May 2001. Queensland's Retail Traders and Shopkeepers association says legislation to restrict the display of tobacco products will affect business. They say in Victoria it's been estimated that Victoria's new cigarette advertising and display restrictions which came into force in January 2001 would cost three quarters of a million dollars in lost profits for a major convenience chain store, and $6.8 million a year for a big supermarket chain.
Insurance Risk For Hospitality Industry
The Queensland Heart Foundation and Cancer Council are warning that compensation claims are likely to rise unless the hospitality industry protects staff and patrons from passive smoking. The warning comes after more than twenty compensation claims.
Watchdog To Investigate Tobacco Industry
The ACCC will investigate the Australian tobacco industry's conduct after a motion passed through the Senate with Democrats support. Democrats Senator Lyn Allison says the ACCC will review the industry's performance based on its responsibilities under the trade practices act. The ACCC has set a deadline of 30 April 2002 to finalise a report. Following the announcement that 'lights' and 'mild' terms will be banned on cigarette packs by the Canadian Government, Dr Andrew Penman of the NSW Cancer Council has also called for the Australian government to ban the terminology. He said there is new evidence which suggests light cigarettes are to blame for a worldwide increase in adenocarcinoma, a particular type of lung cancer which occurs deep in the lungs. 40% of female smokers in Australia smoke lights compared to 28% of men.
Passive Smoking Asthma Link
Adults whose partners smoke are almost 5 times more likely to develop asthma. Researchers in Finland also found that adults exposed to passive smoking at work were twice as likely to develop asthma.
Can You Believe Their Hide?
Nick Greiner's mates at BATA (British American Tobacco Aust.) have launched an awareness campaign aimed at retailers on the fines for selling illegal tobacco. BATA's Brendan Brady says Australians must understand that every dollar lost in the illegal tobacco trade resulted in less money for the government to spend on health, housing, education and transport. The tax office has established a number and email for those wanting to report chop chop traders the number is 1800 060 062 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hypocrisy of a tobacco company worrying that the government will be short of money to spend on health is unbelievable!
Gloria Blesses the Drug Pushers to Third World
A ceremony was recently held in the Philippines for a new $300 million Philip Morris plant. The event was attended by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who supported and praised Philip Morris for deciding to locate its largest manufacturing plant in the Philippines. She labelled Philip Morris as "socially conscious", according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Another report said a new study showed that the average age of Filipino students when they first used cigarettes was 11. That should make for a lot of socially conscious citizens, even if they don't live that long.
Terrorists Delay Class Action
11 September 2001 will go down in history as a day that changed the modern world. In one horrendous hour the terrorists unleashed their wrath on the United States and left scars that may never heal.
Included in the disruptions that followed is a class-action lawsuit against four tobacco companies in USA. It remains on hold while some involved in the case wait to hear from family and associates who were in New York when terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Centre. Some 25,000 smokers are suing the tobacco companies over their own personal disasters. We wish them all well.
US Hotels Go Smoke Free
First it was office buildings, then airplanes, then restaurants and nightclubs. Now, the hotel room may also be on the endangered list as one of the country's last remaining safe havens for smokers. A fledgeling movement to make U.S. hotels smoke-free got a strong boost when Woodfin Suite Hotels, owner of 18 hotels in 11 states, said its six California properties will go smoke-free starting 1 September 2001. The announcement followed a similar move by Howard Johnson International Inc., which said in June that its hotel on Pocahontas Trail in Williamsburg, would become the chain's first smoke-free property.
This follows an announcement on Aug. 1, that Apple Core Hotels would turn its 80-room Comfort Inn Midtown in New York City's Theatre District into a smoke-free property. Hotel owners said they hope to make up for any lost business by winning over guests who prefer the smoke-free environment, but most admitted the move is largely experimental and traveller reaction will be closely watched before any major expansion of their programs.
Apple Core's Chief Operating Officer said his company decided to take the no-smoking plunge for the simple reason that demand is high. He knows of no other hotels in New York with a similar policy, but there is tremendous demand. People are very upset when they've been promised a smoke-free room and they get a smoked-in room instead.
Survey Of Candidates
Joseph W. Cherner, President of SmokeFree Educational Services, Inc. has been questioning candidates for election to New York City Council about their support for more public smoking bans. He then published the results on his web site www.SmokefreeAir.org. We should be doing more of this in Australia if only we had the resources to do it.
USA Companies lead the Way
There are reports of increasingly tough controls on smoking in company premises in America. Kimball Physics, which makes electron optical equipment forbids smoking anywhere on company grounds, indoors or outdoors. Employees are not allowed into the building if they even smell of cigarette smoke. Many hospitals also ban smoking anywhere in the grounds, including the parking areas. The city of Eugene, in Oregon has banned smoking within 10 feet of business entrances. Some companies ban it anywhere in front of their buildings.
Australia Should Follow
This is certainly the way Australia should be moving and we must keep up the pressure for total outdoor smoking bans. Smoking is a private drug taking habit and eventually it should be confined to the smokers' own homes. It is no different to other junkies sticking needles in their arms and similarly it should be kept out of public view. Some of our health lobby colleagues will throw up their hands at such a hardline approach. However, they should have the vision to realise that this is the final logical and democratically acceptable answer to the tobacco death toll problem, quite apart from the non-smokers rights issues. It should not offend civil libertarians to say that we don't mind what drugs you take, just keep them at home and don't presume to force the unwelcome pollution and other consequences on everyone in public venues.
LETTERS TO EDITOR (Edited)
What a wonderful newsletter! I often don't have time to read them but today I have made the time. Regarding the trains problem, politicians would like to see more people using public transport. I'm sure many people don't like being subjected to smoke on the platforms. There would also be reduced cleaning costs. If someone collapsed while breathing in passive smoke they could sue the railways. Even an employee could sue for having an unsafe workplace. Your newsletter has inspired me to donate $100 to keep up the good work.
Dr Tanya Kravchenko
Ed. Tanya kindly sent in an article published in the May 2001 edition of the Medical Journal of Australia. It is titled: "Has the ban on smoking in NSW restaurants worked? A comparison of restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne: By Simon Chapman, Ron Borland and Anita Lai. This was a very professional analysis of the differences between the extent of smoking in Melbourne restaurants, where it was still allowed, during the first twelve months that the bans were operating in Sydney restaurants. It is too long to repeat in detail but here are the abbreviated results and conclusions.
RESULTS: No patrons were seen smoking in 78 Sydney restaurants during 156 hours of observation of 2646 diners, compared with 176 smokers among 3014 Melbourne diners over 154 hour of observation. 31% of Sydney restaurants had experienced smokers attempting to smoke indoors after the legislation was introduced. 6% reported instances of smokers refusing to stop smoking when asked. 79% of restaurants had received favourable comments from patrons about the smoke free laws. 81% of restaurant staff interviewed either supported or strongly supported the new law. Since introduction of the legislation, 76% of restaurants reported normal trade, 14% increased trade, and 9% reduced trade.
CONCLUSIONS: Smoke free restaurants do not require "smoking police" to enforce bans and present few ongoing difficulties for staff. They attract many more favourable than unfavourable comments from patrons, and do not adversely affect trade.
Health Risk For Failed Quitters
A Swedish lung expert has told an international conference that quitting smoking and starting again is even more dangerous than never trying to quit. Dr Bo Lundback of Sweden's' National institute for Working Life says a study of 1000 smokers shows lung function worsens more quickly after a failed quit attempt. The study shows there are still benefits in trying to quit but smokers should be determined before trying to quit.
Bush Backs Off Tobacco?
Thomas Novotny, the US delegate working on an international treaty to reduce cigarette smoking worldwide has quit. The Bush administration says Novotny quit for personal reasons but other sources say he had become frustrated over the Bush administration's decision to soften its stance on Key issues.
Tobacco Cash Misses Targets
Delegates to a conference of state legislators in the US have been told that states are using their share of the $400 billion master settlement agreement to cover day to day running expenses. The conference was told that only 5% of the $40 billion distributed to states so far has been spent on anti-smoking programs.
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.
Spanish Lawsuit Against Tobacco Giants
The Government of Andalusia in Spain will make history when it files a lawsuit against five international tobacco companies in October 2001. The government is seeking reimbursement for public health expenses incurred in treating smokers. The Head of Andalusia Health Department said that the main goals of the lawsuit would be to prove that tobacco companies have a legal responsibility for health-care costs and to set a precedent that could be useful in other cases in Spain and throughout Europe.
ED: What a pity the Australian Government has not got the will to follow the example of America's success with legal actions to recover costs.
British Mp Is Tobacco Director
Prospective leader of Britain's Conservative Party, Kenneth Clarke, is also a director of British American Tobacco, for which he earns $300,000 a year. He has come under fire for being a party to the company's smuggling of billions of cigarettes to the Third World.
Real Enforcement How to Do It
The South China Morning Post reported that a police raid halted a party for cigar connoisseurs in a leading Bangkok hotel in September. The organiser faces a fine for violating Thailand's tobacco control legislation that prohibits any promotional or publicity campaign for any type of tobacco product. Another report said that two South Africans were jailed for 20 days after being unable to pay a fine for smoking indoors in a public place in Bankok. Rene Rivkin be warned!
Good News For Asia
We are pleased to note that Thailand has just passed legislation to establish a health promotion foundation with two percent of annual state revenue from tobacco and liquor tariffs. The Senate voted 94:3 to endorse an amendment to the Health Promotion Fund Bill proposed by cabinet.
LEAVE A BEQUEST TO NSMA IN YOUR WILL.
MANY PEOPLE LEAVE MONEY TO AGENCIES WHICH ALREADY RECEIVE GOVERNMENT PLUS SUBSTANTIAL CHARITY FUNDS. OUR ACTIVE ANTI SMOKING WORK HAS NEVER RECEIVED ONE DOLLAR OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT AND WE RELY ENTIRELY ON THE GENEROSITY OF MEMBERS. YOU CAN ENSURE THAT THE GOOD FRONTLINE WORK WILL CONTINUE BY REMEMBERING NSMA IN YOUR WILL.
Please contact us if you need assistance with bequest procedures.
Workplace Smoking NZ Shows How
Heinz Watties in Wellington, NZ, have really made their plant smokefree. Workers who want to smoke will have to change out of their work clothes, leave the site and smoke in a designated off site smoking area. The company's HR manager says many workers have already chosen to quit.
What A Wonderful World
BAT will invest about $1billion over 10 years to build the first foreign owned cigarette factory in South Korea. The announcement is significant in a country where regulations and monopolies have effectively shut out foreign brands. Over two thirds of South Korean men smoke.
There has been a win for the tobacco company at the centre of a record $6B damages claim. The damages verdict against Philip Morris has been slashed to just $193M. Charles McCoy has argued his terminal lung cancer could have been avoided if the company had warned that smoking was dangerous.
Passive Smoking Heart Attack Risk
A study by researchers in Greece using 750 heart patients has revealed that one in five heart attacks suffered by non-smokers could be triggered by other people's cigarette smoke.
This information comes in the wake of Japanese research that showed that non-smokers who spend 30 minutes breathing passive smoke have a higher risk of developing heart disease. Quit Victoria executive director Todd Harper said it is unfair and unsafe to expect people to work in smoke filled environments, and called for all enclosed public places, including bars and gambling venues, to be smoke free.
Internet sites still exhibiting cigarette advertising shows the slow response of the government to complaints about the advertising from ASH Australia. The provisions of the tobacco act 1992 were intended to stop people from being persuaded to smoke. There are still 19,000 deaths a year from smoking related illness. The aim of ASH is to make tobacco companies accountable and get governments to set up appropriate laws and support services for those who want to quit smoking. ASH's complaints to the federal health department were passed on to the DPP. It is languishing there while the single greatest cause of preventable death in society continues to be promoted.
USA Moves To Protect Kids
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hopes to clear the lungs of millions of children exposed each year to secondhand smoke through a public relations campaign that encourages parents who smoke to light up outdoors. The EPA has found that children who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to suffer from bronchitis and pneumonia, wheezing and coughing spells, ear infections and more frequent and severe asthma attacks. Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers. It has been classified by the EPA as a known cause of lung cancer in people, resulting in several thousand lung cancer deaths in non-smokers each year. Joining the EPA in the $1.5 million campaign are the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, the Consumer Federation of America and the National Association of Counties. The counties organisation, for example, agreed to help gather parent signatures to commit to smoking outside as part of the overall public relations health campaign. The consumer group said a new survey indicates that 70 percent of parents who smoke and who claim to have been previously unaware of the harmful effects would take their tobacco outside to protect their children.
A BRIEF AGM WILL BE HELD AT 7.00 PM AND THE DINNER WILL COMMENCE AT 7.30 PM. MARLENE'S BARRISTER, PETER SEMMLER QC WILL BE THE GUEST SPEAKER AFTER DINNER. HIS TALK WILL BE VITALLY INTERESTING TO ALL NON SMOKERS AND SHOULD NOT BE MISSED.
A LEAFLET INSERT FOR BOOKING IS INCLUDED IN THIS NEWSLETTER FOR ALL NSW MEMBERS. THE COST IS $35 PER HEAD. ANYONE REQUIRING FURTHER DETAILS SHOULD RING OR FAX THE OFFICE ON TEL/FAX 02 9264 6243.
Notice re AGM 28 November 2001
Nominations for election to the Committee or any Notices of Motion should be lodged at the office on or before the 14 November 2001.
|The Non-Smokers' Movement of Australia Inc, Box K860, Haymarket NSW 1240.
|This page was last updated on 4th August, 2012.
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