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 45, November-December 2003


NSMA members led a combined protest with representatives of the Liquor & Hospitality workers union (LHMU) and Action on Smoking & health (ASH) on the first day of the new NSW parliamentary session on 2 September 2003. With union banners flying in Macquarie Street the crowd chanted "Big tobacco what a joke we don't want your stinking smoke".

With five different speakers on the loud hailers the Members of Parliament coming into the building could not avoid the shouted slogans "All you pollies make it fair give us smokefree air everywhere". Every speaker highlighted the hypocrisy of the MPs sitting in their smokefree workplaces doing their best to turn a blind eye to the fact that these workers are expected to put their lives on the line every day by working in tobacco polluted hotels and clubs. It is shameful that these politicians are not willing to give bar workers, musicians and entertainers the same healthy working conditions that are guaranteed to every other worker in NSW. The hospitality employees are being treated like second-class citizens and it is no wonder they are angry and ready to take to the streets.

Smokefree Coalition Partners
Smokefree Coalition Partners - Protest Rally at NSW Parliament House

United We Stand
The Smokefree in '03 Coalition comprises representatives from 8 organisations (see Update No. 44) with the general co-ordination of Anne Jones & Stafford Sanders of ASH Australia. The members apart from your NSMA include the Cancer Council of NSW, The National Heart Foundation and several unions covering hospitality workers. All members have agreed to work individually as well as jointly to give all workers in this state a healthy, smokefree workplace. The strategy is for all to speak with the same voice demanding that the NSW government remove the iniquitous exemptions from the Smokefree Environment 2000 Legislation that permits smoking in hotels & clubs but bans it everywhere else. All members are collaborating to make submissions to government MPs for maximum effect.

Bans Will Come Eventually!
Smoking in pubs and clubs in NSW is definitely going to be phased out, with the Carr Labor Government establishing a new working party on how and when it will be done. The working party will include representatives from pubs and clubs, the NSW Cancer Institute and relevant government officials. In an interview published in the Sunday Telegraph on 12 October 2003, the Assistant Health Minister, Mr Frank Sartor, confirmed that smoke-free environments were "an eventuality". He said, "I want the working party to work to the end game, beyond the next set of voluntary bans that come into place on July 1 next year. We're going to take a systematic but steadfast approach to progress to the point where people do not have to suffer other people's cigarette smoke. We want there to be a clear pathway, a clear timetable with certainty, and no surprises".
LHMU Members at Smokefree Rally
LHMU Members show their feelings at the rally

ALP endorsement
The Labor Government move follows the endorsement at the recent annual ALP State Conference where a motion was put by Tim Ferrari, Secretary of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union (LHMU) for enclosed areas to be smoke-free by 2005. The motion was carried unanimously and hence put some considerable pressure on the government to sit up and take notice of the affected workers. However the Government had not committed itself to a date. The time frame will apparently be discussed and recommended by the working party.

No Community Representation
NSMA is concerned that the working Party representation is too narrow and we have written to the Minister requesting that we be allowed to participate as a representative of the wider community. We accept that Frank Sartor, as Minister for the new Cancer Institute, and as one who has experienced personal tragedy through loss of his partner to cancer, will strongly pursue his stated objective, "That people should not have to suffer other people's cigarette smoke". However the chances are that the strong and devious Australian Hotels Association and Tobacco Industry lobby will delay things until they manage to get Frank Sartor moved to another portfolio and hence regain control by more delaying tactics.
Frank Sartor
Assistant Health Minister promises bans "eventually"

Weak Bans From July 03
Voluntary smoking zone bans were introduced on July 1 this year and Legislation is now being drafted to make these bans law. The present bans are weak and notional only, with smoke-free zones extending a full 1.5 metres from any bar serving area! Next year, pubs and clubs with multiple bars will be required to have at least one that is smoke-free. Mr Sartor said it was clear the community expected the Government to go further. "There's no doubt that community expectations are ahead of us in relation to smoking in public entertainment areas like pubs and clubs. There is an overwhelming body of public and professional opinion that says we have to phase out smoking." The key difference between this new working party and previous committees set up to examine smoking in clubs and pubs was the involvement of the NSW Cancer Institute. This Institute was a new body set up with considerable extra funding as a Bob Carr initiative at the last state election. Many anti-tobacco critics question whether it would not have been better to give these extra funds directly to the existing anti-smoking agencies and programs that are chronically under- funded.

Smoking Minister Refshauge Achieved Nothing
The results of a new Australian study released in September 03, questioned the effectiveness of smoke- free areas. The study of 20 Sydney clubs found smoke levels were sometimes higher in designated non- smoking areas than in smoking areas. Professor Simon Chapman, from the Sydney University Public Health Unit, said the issue would test the credibility of the new Cancer Institute. "When Andrew Refshauge was health minister, there was a committee set up to look at this issue, which produced voluminous reports but we're really still in the same position as we were then," he said. "This really is going to be a test of credibility for the Cancer Institute."

Union Tries To Expedite Members Protection
The Assistant National Secretary of the LHMU, Tim Ferrari, said the union was keen to see bans in place by the end of next year and not wait for 2005. "We know the risks of passive smoking the bans have to be put in place sooner rather than later," he said. NSMA believe that steps should now be taken to force prosecutions for breaches of occupational health laws as the best way to speed up the government's sluggish reform. We will take further initiatives along these lines.
LHMU Union Reps at Rally
LHMU Union Reps demand smokefree hotels and clubs for hospitality workers

Democrats Add More Pressure
The NSW leader of the Australian Democrats and former President of NSMA, Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, has lodged a private member's Bill to amend the Smokefree Environment Act 2000, by removing the exemption clauses. His Bill will provide an easy vehicle to implement the SmokeFree in '03 Coalition objectives if only the government could be persuaded to use it. The existing legislation was worded to effectively ban smoking in "all enclosed public areas" but then went on to make exceptions to licensed areas like hotels and clubs. It did not exempt dining rooms as such, and left considerable ambiguity about bistro type areas where food is served but which have a bar as well.

Dr Chesterfield-Evans' Bill, if passed, will end all this confusion and bring justice to the hospitality workers at the same time. Of course the bad news is that the government sets the agenda in Parliament and can block the Bill from getting a hearing until well into next year. Nevertheless the Democrats are to be commended for taking constructive steps to add weight to the general push to bring healthy working conditions to all these workers throughout more than 3,500 pubs and clubs in NSW. Of course, once a major state like NSW goes smokefree the others will follow in quick succession.

Stephen Kane Case Deferred
Previous Updates indicated the plight of Moama Bowling Club barman, Stephen Kane who was sacked for wearing a gas mask at work. He has taken a case for wrongful dismissal to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission. After several call-overs it is now scheduled for hearing in December 2003. Workcover and the Minister are squirming under the pressure, which forces them to speak up or shut up about real occupational health principles. Stephen has done a great job in waking up the sleeping dog and it is now yapping at the heels of Workcover and the Minister. This is, no doubt, having a big influence on discussions between the Health Minister and the Minister for Industrial Relations which are going on behind closed doors. His case has been an important factor in the government's new-found commitment to the certainty of total smoking bans in all workplaces.

Another Parliament House Rally
A few days after our Sydney rally on 3 September 2003, members of Tasmania's Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union staged a similar protest in front of Tasmania's ivory tower in Hobart. Union Spokesman, David O'Byrne, told the media their members were tired of being denied the same occupational health rights as other workers. They demanded that the state government act immediately to ban smoking in hospitality venues like hotels and clubs.
David Costello
David Costello from the Registered Clubs Association warns that bans could cost jobs

All members are notified that the AGM will be held on Wednesday 26 November 2003 at 7 PM in the 11th Floor Meeting Room at the Citigate Sebel Hotel, 28 Albion Street, Surry Hills, Sydney. Nominations for Committee and notices of motion must be submitted in writing to the Secretary before COB 12 November 2003. [The AGM will be at the commencement of the Farewell Dinner (see insert) to Brian McBride so attendees for the meeting only should advise the Secretary accordingly.]

Bad News For Rolah McCabe's Family
It was a sad day for justice on 3 October 2003 when the full High Court, sitting in Melbourne, dismissed the family's application to appeal against the unfavourable ruling of the Appeals Court. The historic battle against Nick Greiner's British American Tobacco (BAT) has gone through three stages. First, Rolah McCabe brought the action for compensation for having developed lung cancer from smoking BAT cigarettes. She "won" the case in the Victorian Supreme Court and was awarded $700,000 compensation. However the basis of the "win" was that Judge Geoffrey Eames accepted McCabe's lawyers submissions that BAT had destroyed documents that would have helped her win her case. He took the unusual step of striking out BAT's defence and ruling that they had denied her a fair trial, therefore in effect, there would be no trial. He would just give a verdict in her favour without BAT being allowed to run any defence.

BAT Wins Next Round
BAT of course, with money to burn, just took the case up to the higher Appeals Court where those judges ruled that Justice Eame's findings against BAT and its lawyers had gone "too far" and the company should have been allowed to run a defence. Therefore, they cancelled the $700,000 damages that had been awarded by a jury. However by this time the seriously ill Rolah McCabe had died from her lung cancer and hence it was her family of one daughter and three sons who had to pay this money back from her estate and also face up to enormous legal costs awarded against them.

The Family Fights On
The children had now lost everything! As if losing their mother was not bad enough, they now faced losing their homes to pay the legal costs for Nick Greiner's company and his lawyer mates who were laughing all the way to the bank. You would think that if Nick Greiner had one ounce of decency left he would have settled for the legal victory and not pursued the children to pay their costs, but no, BAT demanded their full payment. The children decided to fight on and took the issue to the next level being the Australian High Court.

No Joy From High Court
This was the third round of a very complicated case. Unfortunately the High Court upheld the Appeal Court's view that the Supreme Court could not strike out the defence of a party alleged to have destroyed documents in anticipation of a court case unless it amounted to an attempt to pervert the course of justice, or a contempt of the court. The family now faces legal costs of up to $1 million and must be quite devastated by the outcome. However, as reported in the last Update, there has been a new development while the court actions have been going on. One of the lawyers working on the tobacco company's team has spoken up about his inside knowledge of how the document destruction took place. These revelations may well establish that an attempt to pervert the course of justice was deliberately undertaken. In view of this the McCabe's Melbourne lawyer, Mr Peter Gordon of Slater & Gordon, has not ruled out the possibility of seeking a fresh trial based on this new evidence.

National Support Fund Needed
We have written to the McCabe family offering them moral support but of course it is financial support that is really needed. The heart breaking experience of the McCabe family is just what Nick Greiner and his mates want to see. There is no better way to stop all these winging lung cancer people from taking legal action than to put the fear of god into them that they will probably not have deep enough pockets to fight big tobacco and if they stumble they will probably lose their houses as well. To counter this iniquity what Australia needs is a vast national fighting fund set up to support all such cases and see them fought through to final victory. Such a fund would speed up the demise of this disgusting blight called the tobacco industry. There are many other winnable cases out there but their lawyers are cautious about urging plaintiffs to start actions when they see how a good case like the McCabe's can turn out so badly.

NSMA Members at rally
NSMA Members outside Parliament House

Please think about this to keep the good work going into the future.

Canberra ASH Celebrates 20 years
We send our congratulations to all the dedicated members of Canberra ASH who have kept the pressure on local legislators for the last twenty years and thus achieved some of the first effective smoking bans under ACT state laws. At the recent AGM Dr Alan Shroot was re-elected President. He is now in his twenty-first year as President since co-founding the organisation with Gareth Smith (teacher and activist) in June 1983. This has been a splendid achievement by them and their supporters in spite of many obstacles. Dr Ian Pryor, President, AMA ACT Division, made a presentation to Dr Shroot in recognition of his work in tobacco cessation and health care; and in promoting public awareness about tobacco issues, including environmental tobacco smoke. The ABC Canberra television weekly program "Stateline", did a segment on Dr Shroot's work and the twentieth anniversary celebration of Canberra ASH.

Important Submissions
Canberra ASH continues to work on many issues related to its constitutional objectives. The priority issues at the moment are the Legislative Assembly's consideration of the reform of the Smoke-Free Areas (Enclosed Public Places) Act 1994, and the National Tobacco Strategy Review, including the Federal Commonwealth's Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992. ACT Housing issues have also been a concern in ensuring the ACT Housing authorities comply with the ACT legislation, and in creating awareness about the desirability for separate smoking and non-smoking multi-unit facilities.

NSMA Also Lodges Submissions
In addition to our primary campaign of pushing hard on the fight for smokefree clubs and pubs, NSMA have supported the other health lobby members by putting in submissions to the same enquiries listed above for ASH Canberra. We have also made submissions to a similar review of state legislation currently being conducted in South Australia. We have stressed that outdoor restaurant areas, and indeed anywhere that food is served, should be smokefree. The only acceptable place for smokers is away by themselves in designated outdoor areas. More action must be taken to protect the public from street smoking and the dangerous concentrations around the entrances to buildings. It all takes time and we are indebted to hard working committee member, Margaret Hogge for fitting these tasks into her busy schedule.

NSMA Active In South Australia
Our man in Adelaide, Steve Patroni, has sent a report of their recent joint campaign with the Cancer Council and Heart Foundation to push for smokefree hospitality venues. The campaign resulted in over 4000 letters/coupons to MPs demanding that bans in hospitality venues must come in not later than 2004, and certainly not as late as 2010, which is being suggested by the AHA/Tobacco lobby.

More Canberra Action
A motion proposed by Democrats Senator Lyn Allison has been passed in the Senate calling upon the government to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), in accordance with resolutions of the 12th World Conference on Tobacco or Health. The resolution stated that the Senate: (a) Notes that tobacco currently kills 5 million people annually worldwide, half in middle age, and that this global epidemic is predicted to double in the first half of the 21st century, to over 10 million deaths per year; and calls on the Government to respond to the recommendations of the 12th World Conference on Tobacco in Finland, held from 3 August to 8 August 2003 by:

(i) ratifying the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) by January 2005, implementing and enforcing its provisions, and actively involving civil society in this process,
(ii) contributing resources and funding proportionate to Australia's gross domestic product for the implementation and monitoring of the FCTC,
(iii) urging the United Nations to include non- communicable diseases and tobacco control as part of its Millennium Development Goals,
(iv) including a plan for tobacco control as part of Australia's overseas development and poverty reduction agenda,
(v) not accepting funding or participating in the tobacco industry's youth, social responsibility, voluntary marketing or other programs, and
(vi) working towards greater coordination and co-operation between all sectors of the tobacco control movement, such as research, prevention, treatment, policy, advocacy, communications, and the world conference organising committee, with a view towards establishing a world association for tobacco control.

FCTC Is Good News For Third World
The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is the first treaty initiated by the World health Assembly, which is the governing body of the World health Organisation (WHO). Negotiations began in October 1999 and concluded in March 2003. The "Convention" was adopted at the World Health Assembly on 23 May 2003 and is now open for signatures and ratification by all nations. The tobacco industry has long been having a field day amongst the poor and illiterate peoples in third world countries. With no restrictions on their marketing and advertising tactics they were set to send the death rates soaring to new highs. Fortunately the FCTC provides a vehicle for the guidance of these governments to keep them in line with best practise on tobacco control. Finally our Federal Liberal Government will be obliged to drop tobacco company sponsorship of their annual conferences, which has been a standing disgrace for so many years.

Playground Cartoon
Couresy of the SMH - 15th September 2003

Smoking Bans In Children's Playgrounds
Further to our earlier protests to Councils about smoking around tennis courts and other sporting facilities it was great to see the action taken by two of Sydney's largest councils in September 2003. Both Liverpool and Hawkesbury Councils have introduced bans on smoking within 10 metres of children's playgrounds as well as at sports grounds and playing fields. At least one other council, Canada Bay is considering a similar ban but Dr Andrew Penman of the NSW Cancer Council says at least ten others might follow their lead. The issue will be raised with the rest of the state's councils at the NSW Local Government Association conference in November.

We commend these councils on taking their public health responsibilities seriously. The bans are recognition that the delicate lungs of children are particularly susceptible to the dangers of passive smoking. They are also an attempt to make smoking "abnormal" for children, which of course it should be. Indeed a major paper was presented at the 12th World Conference on Tobacco Or Health this year in Helsinki, Finland, about the rights of children not to be subjected to their parent's smoking.

Anti-smoking Cartoon
Courtesy of ASH in USA.

Prof. John Banzhaf of ASH USA said the introduction of the passive smoking issue into children's custody battles between parents represented a powerful new weapon in the war against smoking by providing a major incentive to quit and become a non-smoker by the time such issues get into the courtroom. Now when husbands and wives both seek custody judges can no longer automatically award custody based upon fault or gender. They are often faced with a difficult decision with two equally qualified parents seeking custody. In that situation, even a small factor could make a difference i.e., serve as a tiebreaker. Prof. Banzhaf told the conference that 16 states in the USA now formally accepted that subjecting a child to tobacco smoke pollution can be a factor in deciding custody because the law requires the judge to consider "the best interests" of the child, and therefore must act to protect the child's health.

This campaign is on the back burner for a while pending completion of the Pubs & Clubs protest actions. However the threat of using the Anti Discrimination Legislation against the ACT Department of Housing has already yielded some results. Once the Department realised that we were arranging top barrister, Neil Francey, to take up the case for Ms Lucy Couper (as reported in Update 44) they suddenly decided they could find a free standing house to get her away from the intolerable cigarette smoke pollution which she was experiencing from her immediate neighbour in a confined complex of older person's accommodation.

Lucy To Consider Further Action
It is so strange that authorities can spend three years saying "no - we can't do it" and then suddenly when the case is on the court house steps they find they can say "yes" after all! Happily, Lucy is now relocated to smokefree premises and is considering her position regarding going on with the compensation action. If it does proceed it will not be until sometime in the New Year.

At Least Apply Taxes To a Related Cause
Previous Updates have reported that all members of the health lobby have strongly criticised the last Federal Budget for missing a golden opportunity to use a $225m tobacco tax windfall (money wrongly collected by states) to increase funding on anti smoking programs. It is good to hear that lawyers for Miriam Cauvin are trying to make her case a very important test case on forcing this money to be applied to help the victims of tobacco, instead of it just going into consolidated revenue. We commend barrister, Neil Francey and his team for not giving up on this one.

Light Cigarettes Are a Con Job
A major court verdict in The USA early this year ruled that Philip Morris had deceived smokers into thinking "light" cigarettes were safer than regular ones. As a result the tobacco giant was ordered to put up the staggering amount of US$12 Billion dollars as a BOND while the class action on behalf of a multitude of smokers was finally resolved. Philip Morris went to court again in August to challenge having to pay the bond. However the court confirmed the ruling and gave them 60 days to put up the money. It is truly satisfying to see that the tobacco industry in America is no longer getting away with their "licence to kill" without suffering any consequences. It is high time our Federal & State Governments followed the USA example of suing the tobacco industry to recover the cost of health damage to the nation, particularly when they are forever crying out for more money to prop up the ailing hospital system.

Australia helps The World
Medical schools around the world have snapped up a unique Australian tobacco education program. The Smokescreen Education Program (SEP) was developed by Professor Robin Richmond from the University of NSW to reduce the high smoking rates among medical students. In a recent interview with the Sydney Sun Herald she said Australia was one of only a handful of countries that was progressing the anti-smoking message. We need to look beyond our own borders and act as a resource to people in other countries. It is estimated that 10 million people will die from tobacco use by 2030, with 70 per cent of those coming from developing countries. Almost 1 billion men smoke 300 million of those come from China while 250 million women also maintain the habit.

Child Wins Compensation For Cigarette Fire
Last Update reported on the injustice of tobacco companies being able to escape any liability for the enormous damage done by fires started by their incendiary cigarettes. An important break-through was achieved in USA in May 2003 when Philip Morris paid $2.9 million in compensation for burns to toddler Shannon Moore when she was just 21 months old. The settlement resolved a nine-year legal battle over burns received when her mother's car burst into flames. Her lawyers blamed the fire on the dangerous or defective design of a Marlboro cigarette, which is intentionally made to burn down to the filter even when not being puffed. The mother had let the cigarette drop on to the car seat where it continued to smoulder after she parked the car and got out.

The break-through is that the tobacco company "agreed to settle" whereas they normally fight these personal injury cases to the bitter end to deter other suits. However they said they viewed this as a unique case where they had an isolated opportunity to resolve the matter without going to trial. Well, it is step forward on the issue but there is still a lot which should be done, including banning quiescent burning self sustaining cigarettes

Plans To Censor Smoking In Films
The Federal Government is considering censoring films featuring smoking, banning cigarette vending machines and asking shops not to display tobacco products. The proposed changes to the regulations re advertising and sale of cigarettes are part of the Government's Department of Health and Ageing discussion paper released for discussion in August 2003.

The obvious increase in cigarette product placement in films aimed at young people has finally caught the government's attention. Of course NSMA and the other health agencies have been complaining about it for years and hopefully there will be some constructive action taken this time.

Thank You Vice President - Owen Graham
The Committee would like to record a public thank you to Owen Graham who has solved the difficult problem of finding another affordable office for us since we had to vacate the old Trades Hall office by 30 September 2003. He has provided the Movement with rent-free premises in part of his factory complex near Parramatta as an interim arrangement. The photo above records our very last committee meeting in the historic old building dating back to 1850. Our new postal address and phone & fax numbers are shown below as well as on the front page of this Update. Please make sure you use the new contact details for all future communications and be careful not to use old stationary.

NSMA Meeting
Last NSMA Meeting in the Trades Hall - 10th Sept 2003.

NSMA, PO Box K860
Haymarket NSW 1240

Letters To The Press

Go Smokefree Now
Our enthusiastic campaigner, Margaret Hogge, has succeeded in getting some letters to the editors printed in local papers. The following one even stirred their cartoonist to provide a cartoon to go with her letter published in the Manly Daily on 2 August 2003. "Well, now we've have had a month of the Health department's wonderful regulations which are supposed to protect pub and club workers and patrons from the well-known dangers of environmental tobacco smoke. Are there fewer smokers in pubs and clubs? Is there less smoke? No, the smoke is simply better trained and knows not to drift closer than 1.5m from the bar! Right! According to Worksafe there is no safe level of environmental tobacco smoke. Come on, Mr Carr, smokefree pubs and clubs now! Do it for the non-smokers, do it for the workers and do it for the smokers, most of whom want to quit anyway.

Margaret Hogge
Committee Member
Non Smokers' Movement of Australia.

Smoking Cartoon
Courtesy of the Manly Daily 2nd Sept 2003

Some 26 years ago in November 1977 I wrote the very first newsletter to the foundation members of the Non Smokers' Rights Movement, as it then was. Hence it is with some degree of nostalgia that I now write my final newsletter to you, our current members. There have been many other authors and co-authors over the years, most notably Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, during the middle ten years that he was President. However, it has always been our collective aim to maintain a good standard newsletter and to keep members well informed on the issues of the day.

Having reached the age of 71 and with some eyesight problems it is now time to say goodbye to the front line work of campaigning and retire into the background. I will be standing down at the AGM on 26 November at which time the Committee has seen fit to give me a farewell dinner. (See insert for details). I am very pleased to see a new breed of younger activists like Mrs Margaret Hogge emerging to take over the campaigning tasks jointly with our Vice President, Owen Graham and the other loyal members of the committee.

Battling Against the Odds In Early Days
If I am asked about things that stand out in 26 years of battling with authorities I have to say there are two most enduring problems that have persisted throughout. Firstly, I never cease to be amazed at the effort that is required to actually get non-smokers to speak up in support of their rights. If someone raises the subject in social conversation many non-smokers have endless complaints about the problem and how it has affected them. But when you question them about what constructive action they took the answer is usually nothing! Never has a problem been so complained about - with so little done - by so many. They just become spectators urging others to do the work.

Vested Interests Should Be Declared
The second injustice is the non-declaration of a vested interest by those in positions of authority to make decisions about smoking, but who themselves are smokers. Take the early days of fighting for smokefree railway stations. You would complain to a smoking stationmaster. He would reluctantly pass it on to a smoking district inspector who would fob it off as a minor complaint and take no action. If you had the stamina to follow up and get an interview with a management level person in the SRA you would find yourself sitting across a desk sporting a half full ashtray.

If you then took it all the way with a letter of complaint to the Minister you would get an acknowledgement but no action from the Transport Minister, for example the ex-smoker Peter Cox. Finally, if you resorted to civil disobedience with personal protests and standing up for yourself against belligerent smokers, you would be arrested by smoking railway police. I think the final irony for me was being arrested at a suburban station and being manhandled like a criminal into a city office. There the senior transport police officer sat back in his chair and lit up a cigarette before getting down to the interview about why I was making such a fuss about people smoking on railway stations. It had to be seen to be believed!

Over all the years of protests we have dealt with so many people in authority who were managers of bus companies, taxi co-ops, airlines, railways, workplaces, broadcasting authorities, restaurants or even parliaments. Never, in one case, did we find a single person who disqualified himself/herself on the grounds that he/she was a smoker. It is apparently unthinkable that a person who is addicted to a certain drug should actually declare that addiction as a conflict of interest relative to enforcement of laws about that drug. It is a strange anomaly that continues even today and it is an issue that I commend to my successors.

Teamwork Gets Results
The Non Smokers' Movement has only been a small part of a wider network of pro-health and anti-smoking groups who have achieved great progress in tobacco control. Most have emphasised the "smokers" health message but we have concentrated on the "non smokers" health and their rights to clean air. In this farewell message I would like to pay tribute to the great work done by these various agencies, in all states and territories. They have helped us make steady progress with our mutual fight against the tobacco industry.

There are too many to start naming them, but we should all thank Anne Jones, CEO ASH Australia, who has done a magnificent job as media spokesperson for the team over recent years. With increasing levels of news and more intense media attention this has been a very demanding, but very necessary job. She has taken a lot of pressure off other campaigners like myself, who would feel obliged to get into the media more often with the appropriate message, but who can relax because Anne takes care that everything is covered and in a very professional manner.

Brian and Angela McBride
Farewell from Brian and Angela McBride

I do record my appreciation of the support given to me by my wife, Angela, and family and friends over the years. Many of them did not feel comfortable about some of the publicity but they have stuck by me and I could not have continued without such support. I thank those members who have kindly written in with expressions of appreciation for the work I have done for the cause. Finally, I would like to say thanks - to you my readers - who have been loyal supporters over many years. I know you appreciate our efforts by the way you, not only renew your subscriptions, but offer very generous donations as well. I urge you to continue giving this support to my successors who will need your encouragement to keep up the good fight. There is still much to be done and the work should go on.

Farewell and best wishes to all from.. Brian McBride President 1977 to 1987 and from 1997 to 2003.

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, NSMA, PO Box K860, Haymarket NSW 1240.

    The Non-Smokers' Movement of Australia Inc, Box K860, Haymarket NSW 1240.  
This page was last updated on 23rd February, 2004.
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