|The Non Smokers' Movement of Australia
Protecting the rights of the Non-smoking majority from
and from the tobacco industry's propaganda.
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Issue 55, July 2007
Speed up Laws to Stop Smoking in Cars with Kids
Congratulations to the Government of South Australia (and to all involved in developing the new law) for implementing the first legislation in Australia to protect children from secondhand tobacco smoke in cars. The legislation took effect on World NoTobacco Day 31 May 2007.
Why has it taken so long to gain this legislation to protect our children in what can only be regarded as the smallest room they enter? Do governments really believe that "smoker education" will protect these young bodies?
Could the delays be due to children being voiceless and voteless, to tobacco revenues, tobacco sponsorship of political parties, apathy, ignorance or all of the combined?
Secondhand smoke contains more than 250 chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic (cancer-causing), including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl, chloride, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers.
Because their bodies are developing, infants and young children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke.(cont.page 3)
Dear Members and Supporters
As many of you may be aware, my husband Richard died earlier this year from an aggressive brain tumour, following 15 months of intensive treatment. Richard led a full, rich life and faced death courageously. He has always been a strong supporter of every body's rights to smokefree air.
I have spent many hours in hospital wards unintentionally eavesdropping on smokers confessing to teams of doctors that they smoke, but with very little direct advice or support from those doctors to help smokers to escape from their addiction. I also know that those very expensive teams of medical professionals waste countless hours visiting wards where smoker patients are not available as they've just "ducked outside for a ciggie". Are these "absent smoker-patient" costs included in the already exorbitant costs of tobacco in our health system?
Life goes on and, in gradually picking up the pieces, I find it incredible that our Governments continue to delay in supporting non-smokers' basic rights, and in continuing to allow tobacco's stranglehold on our nation.
Non-Smokers' Movement will continue to fight for everyone's rights to clean air, and against hazardous discriminatory practices which allow smokers to indulge in their addiction to nicotine at the expense of everyone's health and comfort nearby.
News about Dr. Arthur Chesterfield-Evans
(A Former President of Non-Smokers' Movement)
Arthur has lost his seat in the Upper House of NSW Parliament. He has served NSW citizens with distinction for nearly 9 years (June 1998 - April 2007), striving to "keep the bastards honest". We truly appreciate his untiring efforts in tobacco control and in challenging the major parties' pathetic and tardy attempts at legislation. He is currently working towards Democrats maintaining representation in Federal Parliament.
Well done, Arthur, Team and Family, and Thank you Our sincere condolences, also, to Arthur on the recent death of his mother, Enid, also a supporter of Non-Smokers' Movement.
Some interesting, smokefree movies : "As It is in Heaven", "Music and Lyrics". Dangerously smoky "documentary" : ABC's "Curtin"
Question: With most public places now smokefree in Australia, is it time for rigorous research into the most effective methods of quitting tobacco, in order to assist the next generation of quitters? Your comments would be appreciated. See website.
STOP SMOKING IN CARS WITH KIDS
Both babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant and babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) than babies who are not exposed to cigarette smoke.
Exposure to secondhand smoke decreases lung efficiency and impairs lung function in children of all ages. It increases both the frequency and severity of childhood asthma. Secondhand smoke can aggravate sinusitis, rhinitis, cystic fibrosis, and chronic respiratory problems such as cough and postnasal drip. It also increases the number of children's colds and sore throats. In children under two years of. age, secondhand smoke exposure increases the likelihood of bronchitis and pneumonia. Additionally,exposure to secondhand smoke increases both the number of ear infections a child will experience, and the duration of the illness
There has been overwhelming public support for laws to protect children in cars from smoke, even amongst smokers.There is no excuse for anyone who smokes in a vehicle where children are present. All smokers have been aware for years of the dangers of secondhand tobacco smoke.
Such laws, to protect children, can be policed in much the same way as seatbelt laws. In fact it is easier to detect a person smoking in a car with children than to see whether a child is wearing a seat restraint. Of course, if police can't see a cigarette, they can certainly smell it if the car is pulled over. When smoking bans exist and are publicised, children who can do so will be more likely to speak up to protect themselves and their younger siblings or friends.
Certainly, enforcement concerns should not be a barrier to protecting children from secondhand smoke For as long as people continue to smoke in their cars our Governments must legislate to protect our most vulnerable citizens, in the same way as they protect children from other forms of assault and child abuse. Federal Secretary for Health Christopher Pyne, in December 2006, called on all State Governments to bring in this legislation. This fell on deaf ears, the same as when former Workplace Federal Minister Tony Abbott developed National Occupational Health and Safety (NOHSC) Guidelines in late 2003, calling for immediate smokefree workplaces throughout Australia.( Funny how the Federal Liberal Ministers can't seem to get tobacco under control.)
Tasmania is also considering smokefree cars with kids. Other States may move now, instead of continuing to "wait and see". NSW Nationals have agreed to support their Member MP Keith Robinson in bringing the matter forward in NSW Parliament. Maybe Victoria, Queensland and WA will do so also.
This must be regarded as a national health priority, something which is not only necessary, but also rapidly attainable. We've had the education campaigns - now it's time to get tough on the recalcitrants who fail to grasp the gravity of their actions near their children.
We don't need major funding, special equipment or training, simply some effective legislation around the nation, supported by tough prosecutions of those who continue to ignore young people's rights to smokefree air.
Overheard in peakhour traffic. "Quit coughing in the back seat, Tommy - I can't hear the traffic news. Did you hear me, Tommy - quit that coughing noise or I'll have to stop the car and spank you!!"
NSMA Members and Supporters - Contact your Local MPs and demand that children gain the same protection as all public transport users - smokefree transport.
Call to Ban Children from all Smoking-Allowed Areas of Pubs, Clubs and Restaurants.
NSMA calls on all State Governments to ban children from all smoking areas of pubs, clubs and restaurants, for the following reasons:.
1. Secondhand Smoke can be as Unsafe Outdoors as it is Indoors.
A recent Technological Report from Stanford University in California, available to read online, advises that in certain circumstances (similar to outdoor Smoking areas of pubs, clubs and restaurants) it is as unsafe outdoors as indoors.
The study, "Real-Time Measurement of Outdoor Tobacco Smoke Particles," by N. Klepeis, et al, appears in the May issue of the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. A copy can be downloaded at: http://www.tobaccosmoke.org/files/private/Klepeis_etal_OTS_Preprint.pdf. A photo is available at http://newsphotos.stanford.edu/.
"Based on our findings, a child in close proximity to adult smokers at a backyard party also could receive substantial exposure to secondhand smoke."
The author added: "If people realize that being near outdoor smokers can result in potentially large exposures to toxic air pollution, they may decide they do not wish to be exposed in a variety of outdoor settings. This realization may lead to an increased number of smoking bans in public locations."
The study also was co-authored by Paul Switzer, Professor of Statistics and of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford.
2. Flawed Definition of "Enclosed" - Who says it's safe?
In NSW and Victoria: unless Worksafe agencies are prepared to declare as safe the so-called outdoor areas which are up to 75% enclosed and which allow smoking, children's health should not be put at risk .Children should not be allowed to enter such areas.
3. De-normalising smoking in the eyes of children.
Pubs and Clubs bosses claim that a large percentage of their patrons are smokers. Consequently, children who are taken outdoor areas will be see many, many smokers in the areas where they are accustomed to playing, unless of course, some outdoor areas are declared smokefree. In order to prevent another generation from becoming addicted to nicotine, it is essential that our governments do everything possible to de-normalise smoking in their eyes. Children should not connect smoking with normal pleasurable recreational activity. There is nothing normal about smoking.
Avalon RSL, previously smokefree outdoors, now taken over for smokers.
Tobacco's Stranglehold on Pubs, Clubs and Pollies
Tobacco companies have apparently been assisting pubs and clubs to ensure that smokers are "accommodated". The "hospitality" industry is so greedy for gambling income to boost their profits that they will do almost anything to hold onto every smoking gambler who has so far regarded pubs and clubs as their "last bastions" for indulging in their tobacco addiction. Hence, the Smokers' Palaces which have been frantically added onto pub and club premises.
Pubs and Clubs have disregarded workers and non-smokers to date but now need their support as well to pay for these ridiculous additions which will of course allow noise and smoke to billow out into neighbouring areas. Democracy isn't Cheap - No, Democracy is Priceless !! While Victorian and NSW smokers sulked about being "discriminated against" on 1st and 2nd July 2007,and having to go outside to their newly built "Smokers' Palaces" pub and club bosses continued to deny the "H" word - Health. It seems the only time they came near it was when they initiated the scare campaign that children will be exposed to secondhand smoke if smokers go home rather than stay at pubs and clubs.
John Thorpe, President of Australian Hotels Association (AHA), last year declared that "Democracy isn't cheap" following negotiations with NSW Labor Government which led to the farcical definition of outdoors as being up to 75% enclosed. AHA is a major sponsor of NSW Labor. More recently, some Local Councillors have delayed pub and club Development Applications for smoking areas, asking pesky questions about health and safety and secondhand smoke and noise in the neighbourhood. As a result, John Thorpe has suggested that AHA might not sponsor prospective local councillors in the next elections. Could it be that local government hopefuls don't want any of AHA's tobacco-tainted funding, and that, in fact, democracy is priceless?
"No Sir, Democracy isn't cheap. It costs us a bundle!"
P.M. Howard, Health Minister Abbott, and Treasurer Costello - when will you quit your dependence on tobacco?(sponsorship, that is) And, of course, your cosy relationship with "Nicotine" Nick Greiner? Meanwhile, we await the federal Liberal Party's response to our renewed questions on donations from Big Tobacco. We point out that tobacco continues to kill more Australians than any other product and that every death from tobacco was preventable. It does seem odd that, despite advice from tobacco control experts that smoking rates will be reduced by judicious taxing, the current Budget leaves tobacco alone.
Paying Tribute to some of the Hospitality Industry Clean-Air Battlers
Following our monthly Committee Meeting on 3rd July in Sydney, a few NSMA members went to the Sydney Hilton Hotel, which has at last gone smokefree indoors on 2nd July 2007. We are aware that we have further battles regarding the farcical definition of "enclosed", and we deplore the delays, but we felt it was a fitting time to show our appreciation.
We paid tribute to the many battlers who had fought for clean, smokefree air in all public places and particularly in the so-called hospitality industry. These included Sue Meeuwissen who had won her discrimination case against the Hotel Hilton 10 years before. Other heroes are Marlene Sharp, Steven Kane (the Masked Barman) from Moama and Phillip Edge, from South Australia.
World No Tobacco Day 31 May 2007
Another day of saying to the kids "Don't do this you'll die!", then lighting up another cigarette. Smokers - How do you think your kids feel when they watch you light up? It's just like holding a gun to your head in front of the kids, only when you smoke, the kids cop the bullet as well, from the toxins in secondhand smoke.
Quit Smoking Near your kids. Better Still, Quit smoking For your Kids !
On World No-Tobacco Day, NSMA volunteers demonstrated this message and distributed flyers at Channel Seven's morning telecast, as well as at a local shopping mall, a public hospital and an RSL Club. World Health Organisation (W.H.O) specifically supports smokefree environments on World No Tobacco Day 31 May 2007and spells out the basic Human Right to clean air, free from the poisons in Secondhand smoke.
WORLD NO-TOBACCO DAY 31 MAY 2007
WHY GO SMOKE-FREE?
Second-hand tobacco smoke kills and causes serious illnesses. 100% smoke-free environments fully protect workers and the public from the serious harmful effects of tobacco smoke. The right to clean air, free from tobacco smoke, is a human right. Most people in the world are non-smokers and have a right not to be exposed to other people's smoke. Surveys show that smoking bans are widely supported by both smokers and non-smokers.
Smoke-free environments are good for business, as families with children, most non-smokers and even smokers often prefer to go to smoke-free places. Smoke-free environments provide the many smokers who want to quit with a strong incentive to cut down or stop smoking altogether. Smoke-free environments help prevent people especially the young from starting to smoke.
Smoke-free environments cost little and they work! Preventing smoke from neighbours As a result of the Highgate Decision in Sydney in November 2006, smoking tenants and their landlord-owners were told to prevent smoke from escaping from their property into other properties in the strata block. The adjudicator ruled that tenants and owners must "comply with provisions of Strata Scheme Management act 1996 s.117 (1) (a) by ceasing to use or enjoy lot 75 in strata scheme 49822 of which lot they are occupiers, in a manner or for such purpose as to cause a nuisance to occupiers of other lots by taking necessary action to prevent smoke odour from their (or their tenants') cigarettes entering other lots and common property." It should be pointed out that nobody was told not to smoke in the property, simply to prevent smoke drifting from their home into common property and other homes. NSMA is currently assisting several Strata occupiers to gain smokefree air for their families in apartment-type housing. Nobody should have to barricade themselves and their families into their home to avoid the toxins in secondhand smoke from neighbours. See our previous Newsletter with advice for similar situations, and please contact us for assistance.
Oceanic Tobacco Control Conference 2007 Auckland New Zealand 4 - 7 September 2007
Visit Website: www.smokefreeoceania.org.nz
Smoking in Prisons and other Residential Institutions
No employee or inmate of a prison should be subjected to secondhand smoke simply because a large proportion of prisoners is smokers. Alcohol and illegal drugs are not allowed in prison so why do non-smoking staff and inmates have to put up with the discrimination of being trapped with the smoke? Smokers should not be allowed to spread their smoke indiscriminately - they should only be allowed limited use of a Designated Smoking Area. NSMA will again take up this issue with governments.
Smokefree Public Transport Waiting Areas
NSMA has called on all State Governments to ensure that public transport waiting areas are smokefree.There should be an effective smokefree area in which transport users can wait. Public Transport itself has been smokefree for many years but those who use it often suffer from assault from secondhand smoke simply while waiting. If authorities want people to get out of their cars and use public transport they must make it safe and attractive. - smokers often stand in the queue, selfishly puffing away in children's and adults' faces Taxpayer-funded Butt Bins at Bus-Stops- When these bins are provided, they are regarded by smokers as an invitation to smoke right near everyone else. Also, butts continue to mount around bus-stops, because smokers take one last drag then simply toss their butts while getting onto the bus.
Smokefree school grounds
We find it difficult to understand why some State governments have a blanket ruling smoking is not allowed at all in all school grounds, but that this decision is left to individual schools in , for instance, Victoria.
Children should not be subjected to secondhand smoke anywhere and should certainly not connect smoking with normal school activities. NSW Education Dept., on request from NSMA is reminding all School authorities that even when the grounds are leased for non-school events, such as music festivals, smoking is not allowed. Local students are not then faced with the hypocrisy and confusion of seeing smoking one day and not the next.
Smoking on stage
It's difficult to understand the reasoning behind the current exemptions which continue to allow the ridiculous practice of smoking on stage "for authenticity".NSMA calls on all Australian governments to lift exemptions and remove this anomaly
Smoking on stage is no longer allowed in Scotland or England. We haven't heard yet whether audiences are walking out in droves demanding ticket refunds, but anyone who is subjected to tobacco smoke on or from an Australian stage should complain long and loud to producers who allow this ridiculous and dangerous practice to continue. Children should not be allowed to enter theatres where this practice continues.
No performer, smoker or otherwise, should be expected or allowed to smoke indoors in any public place. Actors have been "faking" other dangerous acts since time immemorial - killing, raping, committing suicide, drinking poison, etc. Any actor worth his or her salt can fake smoking a cigarette, pipe or cigarette - prop-makers can supply cold tea for whisky and fake bullets for guns - they can also supply short white sticks for cigarettes.
|The Non-Smokers' Movement of Australia Inc, Box K860, Haymarket NSW 1240.
|This page was last updated on 12th October, 2007.
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