Media Statement 27 March 2015
Tasmania praised again for tobacco reforms
Recognising that we stand at the crossroads of the tobacco epidemic with the future in our hands, the latest Editorial from the prestigious international Journal the Lancet Respiratory published on March 26 has praised Tasmania for its efforts:
“Some courageous governments are already leading the way. The Tasmanian upper house is currently considering an amendment to the Public Health Act 1997 to make it illegal for retailers to sell, supply, or gift tobacco products to anyone born after Jan 1, 2000—the Public Health Amendment (Tobacco-Free Generation) Bill 2014. If successful, the amendment could be made law as early as 2018, allowing Tasmania to create the first tobacco-free generation.”
The Editorial goes on to urge a close monitoring with culpability recognised of tobacco industry misconduct:
“On March 13, The Lancet published a three-paper Series calling for a tobacco-free world by 2040—the aim is to see less than 5% of adults using tobacco products by that year. To this end, it is imperative that an ambitious tobacco reduction target is included in WHO’s post-2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals. To succeed, there must be close monitoring of the tobacco industry’s behaviour, with culpability for misconduct, and governments should emulate Tasmania’s courage and strive to phase out the sale of tobacco products completely.”
“SmokeFree Tasmania applauds all those politicians and organisations who are supporting the Public Health Amendment (Tobacco-free Generation) Bill 2014”. said former WHO tobacco expert, and Past President, Asia Pacific Association for the Control of Tobacco, now living in Tasmania, Dr. Harley Stanton.
Contact: Dr. Harley Stanton 0418 344 703 or Prof. Haydn Walters 0419 770 086
4 FEB 2015
Bouquets and brickbats to the Liberal Party
SmokeFree Tasmania today congratulated the Tasmanian Liberal Party and Prisons management for banning smoking in the last remaining areas in Risdon prison. However, SmokeFree was concerned about recent news that the Liberal Party accepted $11,000 from tobacco company Philip Morris in 2013.
“We strongly applaud Minister Dr. Vanessa Goodwin and the prison management for removing the toxic tobacco smoke from the prison, in a planned and sensible program, that ensured a safe transition.” SmokeFree Tasmania Convenor Kathryn Barnsley said.
“Rene Hidding deserves a special mention for his tenacity in pursuing this issue since 2006, when he first announced the Liberal Party commitment to banning smoking in prison”. Ms. Barnsley said.
Former Corrections Minister in the Labor/Green government, Nick McKim announced in June 2013 that the remaining areas of the prison would go smoke free in February 2015. The prison hospital, remand centres, the women’s prison have all been smoke free for some time.
“However, we were alarmed to learn that the Tasmanian Liberal Party received a donation in June 2013 of $11,000 from big tobacco.
This is the equivalent of accepting only $20.00 for every Tasmanian killed by the tobacco industry last year. An outrageous price for a life. “Ms. Barnsley said.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) released figures this week on donations from the tobacco industry and other donors. Philip Morris made substantial donations to the Liberal Democratic Party $35,000, which only has one member; the Liberal Party $70,000 and the National Party $23,000.
We understand that the donation to the Tasmanian Liberal Party was made shortly before Tony Abbott announced that the Liberals would no longer take tobacco “blood” money.
However, at a time when we need strong government action to reduce unacceptably high smoking rates in Tasmania, we need to have confidence that the judgement of our politicians is not clouded through financial sponsorship from tobacco companies” Ms. Barnsley said.