. . 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

Issue 42, February-April 2003

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 owners.

NSMA protests at the Empire
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 prosecuted. 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.

Lawful Protest
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.

TV Media
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 adverting signs.

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!

Police Called
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 instead.

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
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 them.

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.

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
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 space.

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.

A Smoking Neighbour
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 we propose.

Smoking Rooms
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 it.

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. Because the 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.

Lucy 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 on Channel 7
Brian McBride told Channel 7 that the NSMA would support non-smokers to win common law damages for nuisance and negligence by neighbours.

Bureaucratic Blinkers
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 agreed to. Unquote.

John Fraser
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.

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 them?

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 www.vctc.org.au/index.html

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.

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.

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 case. For more information visit, tobaccocontrol03.conference.net.au.

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 www.ashaust.org.au/pdfs/TFacMPNSW0303.pdf.

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 in at $22 billion.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Good Riddance
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
Courtesy ASH USA

Queensland Action
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 Commonwealth 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 2005.

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.


    The Non-Smokers' Movement of Australia Inc, Box K860, Haymarket NSW 1240.  
This page was last updated on 10th April, 2003.
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