The Non Smokers' Movement of Australia Inc.  
Protecting the rights of the Non-smoking majority from tobacco smoke
and from the tobacco industry's propaganda.

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Clean Air Update

Issue 15, November 1996

  FOI Shows Refshauge Halved NSW Quit Funding!

The Non-Smokers Movement's Freedom of Information request re the NSW Quit campaign has confirmed our worst fears. The NSW Quit campaign budget has been halved by specific order of the Health Minister, Dr Andrew Refshauge

The Quit budget to CEIDA had been $1 million with $535,300 to Health areas.. An undated Briefing Note states 'The Minister's Office have requested that the funding allocated to the Sales to Minors Campaign (i.e. the Quit campaign) be revised and not exceed $500,000'. This was despite 1996 Quit planning which stated ,'In 1983 28.1% of girls and 21.8% of boys smoked. By 1989 these had declined to 16.9% and 12.8% respectively. By 1992 .. figures had risen to 21.9% for girls and 17.3% for boys'.

The cut in Quit funds comes after a long period of decline. The impact of the 'sponge' ad in 1984 was that 88% of smokers surveyed recalled it. A departmental review of Quit chaired by Professor Simon Chapman in 1992, 'A Pale Ghost of What it Used to Be' complained that the Quit campaigns of the early 1990s had lacked impact of the early 1980s. The budget had remained at just over $1 million- a big decline given inflation. Not only has the review been largely ignored but now- 15 years later the budget is halved!

'It shows a complete lack of commitment by the Minister to any action on tobacco. The smoking rate in his office ins very high and his commitment to preventive health is negligible', said NSMA President Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans. "He is grandstanding on waiting lists while letting the kids of Australia get hooked to repeat the death rates of old. It is known that Philip Morris gave $60,000 to the Labor Party.'

Professor Stanton Glantz of California the National Heart Foundation's guest lecturer for 1996 has pointed out that the strategy of trying to stop minors buying is a poor one. These type of campaigns are liked by the industry as they make smoking an 'adult custom', which makes smoking more desirable to kids. The 'sales to minors' campaigns have little effect except to make the Minister look good. Glantz pointed out that while campaigns are busy telling kids not to smoke, they were not targeting adults or the tobacco industry. The adult smokers are not challenged and the industry is left alone to plan its marketing without any unpleasant flak.

Action Point 1

Write to NSW Premier Bob Carr or Opposition Leader Peter Collins and demand that Quit be maintained at least at Victoria's levels of funding. Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000

No NSW Action on Smoke-Free Indoor Air

The NSW Government looks like it is going to ignore not one but two private members' bills designed to ban smoking in restaurants, pubs and clubs. Dr Peter Macdonald has a bill that NSMA helped draft in the lower house and the Reverend Fred Nile has a bill in the upper house. The Nile Bill is modelled on the ACT legislation but deletes the air quality standard, (which was the fault in that legislation as the legal argument over measurement is so complicated that it could possibly lead to an unenforceable situation, as happened in the Burswood Casino case.) However, the Government is refusing to support either until its taskforce on passive smoking reports in February despite the fact that it is likely that the taskforce will recommend the same type of action. It is hard to believe that the whole taskforce exercise was anything other than a timewaster as a tripartite committee of employers, Government and Unions under the auspices of Worksafe recommended smoke-free indoor air as soon as possible in 1991. (No consumer input even needed).

Advertising Regulation in Turmoil

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) want to introduce a new system of advertising regulation which will cost them less and have even less public input. The CEO of the Australian Consumers Association (ACA), Louise Sylvan has called the new system 'Self-Protection', and has proposed a consumer alternative.

Long-term members of the NSMA may recall the long battles on advertising regulation. which were effectively solved by a fairly farcical system of 'self-regulation'. Consumer objections to the effect of advertising on health, and tobacco advertising in particular, forced two enquiries into the regulation of advertising in 1985 and 1991 to try to get more consumer input. The Trade Practices Commission ruled largely in favour of the advertisers and the Australian Consumers Association (ACA) spent a lot of money in 1992 unsuccessfully appealing to the Trade Practices Tribunal.

After the little-publicised victory for the advertisers the Advertising Standards Council (ASC) remained. The ASC implemented a series of 'Codes of Ethics' which had been written by groups with an effective majority of advertisers, and which were couched in very general terms. The Council had a majority of public members, but these were appointed by the Chairman and did not represent any organised group, so industry representatives tended to dominate. Its deliberations were not public, it had no appeal and by the time it acted on an ad, the ad was often finished anyway. It was funded by a levy from advertising industry members. ASC decisions were implemented in that TV stations and publishers voluntarily agreed to abide by its decisions. The ASC was unsatisfactory, but marginally better than nothing. It has now collapsed as its funding system was destroyed, so there is currently no system except 'you can sue if you don't like it'. Some people think that offensive ads are increasing to try to get the new standards body up.

The AANA proposes a new system with two bodies entirely managed by the advertising industry- the public will have minimal input. The Advertising Claims Board will deal with 'truth in advertising' and the Advertising Standards Board will deal only with 'taste and decency'. The 'Truth Board' is a tribunal of three appointed by the advertisers and will need a cool $3,000 down payment before it considers anything. The 'Decency Board' has a variable panel of five, all appointed by the AANA.

The unspoken conclusions of the debate in the early 1980s were that health workers had to ignore the advertising regulation system to get cigarette advertising banned. Advertisers for their part probably thought it was worth letting tobacco advertising go to take the pressure off the rest of the farce. The two positions remain. Advertisers seem to think that all that matters is 'commercial free speech', which is the right to put out any image or message that they can afford. If the children of the world take up smoking or all get fat that is not their problem. Consumers think that if you have that much economic power, there is an obligation to use it responsibly, and the recipients of the messages should have some say in what they cop. But in these days of economic fundamentalism the 'debate' may be totally dominated by who will pay. Write to a Minister today!

More Tobacco Sponsorship Exemptions

The Federal Health Minister, Michael Wooldridge approved sponsorship of the Solar Challenge race by a tobacco company, Wills, who then declined to do so. The race was 'an environmentally friendly race designed to promote clean air'. The previous government provided support of about $110,00 a year to it. Aust 22/10/96

Tobacco Industry Gags Professors

The Tobacco Institute's case against the National Health and Medical Research Council's passive smoking task force, in which they allege that the Council has not considered all the evidence on the issue has resulted in a gagging of 3 speakers from the AMA's conference on passive smoking. The draft report and the speakers have been suppressed for months as the case is sub-judice. The non-speakers were Assoc-Prof Simon Chapman, Prof Alastair Woodward, and Assoc. Prof Konrad Jamrozik. So much for the Industry's protestations that they are for 'freedom of speech'.

Court Ruling Undermines Tobacco Ads

In a landmark ruling the NSW Supreme Court held that tobacconist's shops are public places. This would mean that tobacco ads would be banned. The case was brought by the Health Dept against Macquarie Tobacconist in Liverpool which had six Benson and Hedges Cricket Posters which lacked the 25% health warning. It was one of 36 legal actions they have launched. under the 1993 Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act. SMH 10/10/96

But a technicality that the prosecuting officer was not 'properly appointed 'resulted in another prosecution in Moree being thrown out of court. The tobacconist had a team of lawyers led by Ian Barker QC. SMH 18/10/96

Tobacco Industry Inside Stories

Rothmans spent $60 million a year on the Winfield Cup in its last years. Where did it go?

Plans are afoot to market cigarettes in cartons of 1000 instead of 200s so that the cartons can be used as ads in the stores and overcome the point of sales regulations. The regulations allow displays of packs.

Rothmans (Aust) has made a profit of $11 million in the 6 months to September, a 15% earnings increase. Courier-Mail 31/10/96 Philip Morris (US) had a 15% growth in profit also, with revenue rising 4.3% to $US17.41 billion.

There are rumours of another cigarette price war. Philip Morris vice president, Geoffrey Bible recently read the riot act to his Australian arm as they had lost 2% of market share, principally to Rothmans. Rothmans is cashed up, reputedly with $177 million in kitty. A price war could send Wills broke, leaving two manufacturers in Australia.

Tobacco Industry Seeks Deal on Liability

A US proposal to give the tobacco industry immunity from prosecution and limit the Food and Drug Administration's power of regulation over tobacco if it pays $US130 billion over the next 15 years, and promises to limit advertising and promotion to children. ASH (US) opposes the settlement arguing that the amount is paltry- only $8.7 billion a year when tobacco costs the US $100 billion a year. it is also estimated that the whole amount would be covered by the rise in the share price, which would roughly double overnight. Currently the US Justice Department has broadened the investigation into whether the tobacco industry representatives lied to Congress in their 'It is not addictive statements', and their statements that they did not deliberately alter the nicotine content of cigarettes.

Business Week International 7/11/96, ASH Review (US)

It must be noted that after US elections the Republicans control both houses of parliament and the tobacco and gun lobbies were the most generous funders, giving almost all their money to the Republicans. The Republican campaign cost $399 million, Clinton's Democrats spent only $240 million. Clinton won the White House, but the money difference may well have determined the close-fought parliaments. Effectively the bad guys bought the most powerful government in the world, and if this tobacco measure passes it may be a result of this. Meanwhile Clinton is likely to be in trouble over his Whitewater land deal, a botched attempt to make some money!

ASH (US) has taken legal action to force OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Authority to speed up its work on Smoke-Fee indoor air. They had suffered a lot of political pressure and stated that it might take 10 years to report. In court they admitted that they had one person working on 300,000 documents! The case continues.

President Clinton announced new rules regarding tobacco advertising and availability. The rules will ban cigarette sponsorship of sporting events, teams and cars although corporate sponsorship will be allowed to continue. The rules will also ban brand-name merchandise, single cigarette sales, "kiddie packs" and require photo identification with proof of age for sales to young people and restrict vending machines to licensed venues. It will also limit advertising in "youth" magazines, billboards and advertising near schools. Adelaide Sunday Mail 25/8/96.

Martin Meehan, a Massachusetts Democrat has turned over a confidential 1964 report written by two tobacco officials for Britain's Tobacco Research Council. It shows that the heads of major tobacco companies and their lawyers worked together to develop strategies for handling health research and the exchange of results. The document discloses that executives from Philip Morris and the Liggett group understood the dangers of tobacco and firmly held the belief that nicotine was the crucial reason for people's need to smoke. This directly contradicts the tobacco companies' current stance and the testimony of directors at the 1994 congressional hearings. PNG Post-Courier 3/10/96.

It looks like Australia could be following the lead of the US in litigation as a direct result of the recent success in Florida. A 200 strong register of smokers who are considering action against tobacco companies for damage to their health has been set up in Australia. Sun Herald 8/9/96


The Repatriation Medical Authority has guidelines which state what exposure to passive smoking will lead to payment of benefits for Ischaemic Heart Disease due to passive smoking. It is 'immersion in an atmosphere with a visible smoke haze in an enclosed space for at least 20 hours for a period of time totalling at least 5 years (or for at least 5,200, hours....) provided such period or the last period of which, if now ended, did not end more than 15 years before the clinical onset of ischaemic heart disease..' Instrument 140 of 1996. While this is not of any general legal significance, it is an acceptance of a dose leading to an obligation, which is a precedent of sorts.

New evidence has emerged linking benzo(a)pyrene to changes in the P53 gene which cause lung cancer. This merely gives more evidence of the mechanism of a known link. The finding was reported in the Journal, Science and caused a small, temporary drop in tobacco shares.

A new study by Dr Chris Murral of Harvard has found that within 25 years smoking will be the biggest cause of death in the world. In 1990 it caused 3 million deaths, by 2020 it would cause 8.4 million. W. Aust 18/9/96

A study done by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found that people who were financially and socially disadvantaged were more likely to smoke, with low levels of education, low earnings and broken relationships corresponding with high levels of smoking. Smoking is twice as high among single mothers and 1.5 times higher among unemployed males as those who had jobs. Smoking is also of higher incidence in the country than the city. Of particular concern is Aboriginal smoking: in 1994 54% of Aboriginal males and 46% of females over 13 were smokers. This results in high incidence of coronary heart disease, lung cancer and chronic bronchitis in indigenous communities. Overall, the study showed that the health effects as a result of smoking were becoming less severe for men but not for women. The Age 25/10/96

The AIHW report 'Tobacco Use and Its Health impact in Australia' found smoking cost Australia $650 million annually and caused 15% of all deaths.

Non-Smokers Movement AGM

The NSMA Annual General Meeting was held on October the 9th at BJ's Eatery in Glebe. The committee elected were: President: Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, Vice President: Brian McBride, Treasurer: Jim Proctor, Secretary: Katherine McKernan and six committee members Liesel Scholem, Brian Robson, Tim Brokenshire, Owen Graham, Murray Howlett and Mitchell Smith. If you have an issue you wish to discuss please don't hesitate to contact them through the office. Members are welcome to attend the meetings, on the second Wednesday of every month at 6pm.

The Inaugural 'Stinkies' Awards

The entertainment at the meeting was the inaugural "The Stinkies" awards for those who have freely lent their services to the promotion of tobacco. A small group had collected nominations for the meeting to vote on. There were seven closely contested categories. The first award was given to the best magazine cover promoting smoking. This was hotly contested by 'Queensland Brides' magazine, which had a cover that recommended getting hitched with a cigar but the magazine was pipped at the post by a forgettable entry, 'Amnesia', which had Kimberley Davies puffing away on a cigar of phallic proportions.

The next award was given for the best gratuitous tobacco promotion. The nominations ranged from Marlboro grand prix puzzle fun for kiddies to the winner, the Service Station Magazine which claimed that its tobacco advertisements were trade ads not for consumers eyes.

The glamour awards, female celebrity "bad girls" and male celebrity "young hunks" were won by our own home-grown Aussies. Yes, Elle McPherson was repeatedly caught with a ciggie (if one can't eat, one needs something to put into one's mouth) and Jason Donovan trying to catch the kiddies eyes with a teddy bear and a smoke. The NSMA does not want to focus exclusively on the bright young things of today so we also gave an award for Lifelong Devotion to Nicotine. This award was won hands down by that old timer (whoops I mean old rocker) Keith Richards, who is a walking promotion for the maxim live fast, die young or look like me!! In these "comfortable and relaxed" times the NSMA felt that a family values award should be included - but with a nineties twist! So, we gave our Proud Parent award to Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher who announced their intention to have children with cigars!

And last but not least, the award for smoking in the movies - this had to go to the highest grossing film of the year - Independence Day which was littered with cigar and cigarette butts. (We would also like to note the Phantom- the movie bans smoking from the phantom cave) We look toward next years awards with eagerness!!!

Wills Threatens Steve Woodward

Wills Tobacco has threatened to sue Steve Woodward, the ex-Director of ASH, for his speech at the AMA conference on passive smoking. Woodward said that Wills might be forced to close its Sydney plant because of falling consumption, and alleged that production at the Sydney plant has more than halved from 500,000 packs a day to around 200,000. Will stated that their market share had risen from 28.7% to 29.6% since 1995, and the Sydney plant made 700-800,000 packs a day.

Smoke-Free Air

A Corporate Air Travel Survey carried out by IATA (International Air Transport Association) found that two thirds of business passengers favour a complete ban on smoking o all international routes, and an extra 11% want it banned on most flights. Reuters Geneva 28/10/96

A survey by the Centre for Behavioural Research found that 69% of people including 15% of smokers, preferred non-smoking areas in cafes. Only 9% wanted smoking freely permitted in gambling area and only 15% in hotels. 61% said that smoking should only be allowed in special areas of gambling houses and 55%. in special areas of hotels. Age 19/9/96

League footballer Laurie Daley reacted angrily to an article alleging he smoked. He stated "I have never smoked..It is an issue I fell strongly about..I am very conscious of my responsibilities as a role model to children.. I believe I am owed an apology for my image being tarnished'. BSM 6/10

Cricketer Norm O'Neill Gets Throat Cancer

Norm O'Neill was a famous batsman who retired in 1967, then worked as a commentator and in the sponsorship section of Rothmans until he was made redundant when sponsorships were closed down. He is now 59, and was diagnosed as having throat cancer when he complained of a nagging, dry sore throat. He will have chemotherapy and radiotherapy, then possible surgery to remove his voice box. He said 'I do not want to discuss smoking or any possible connection it might or might not have with my present situation'. Sun-Herald 3/11/96

In the same vein, the widow of David Maclean, who did Marlboro commercials and died of lung cancer last year is suing Philip Morris for failing to warn her husband of the dangers of smoking, though he had to smoke up to 5 packs per take to get it just right. SMH 18/9/96

New York City has joined the 17 US states suing to recover the cost of tobacco-caused illness. Minnesota has claimed that Philip Morris is destroying evidence.


    The Non-Smokers' Movement of Australia Inc, Box K860, Haymarket NSW 1240.  
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