ACOSH Advocacy in Action - 20 February

Welcome to the fourth edition of the ACOSH Advocacy in Action e-bulletin for 2020. We aim to provide topical information on advocacy for tobacco control in Western Australia, Nationally and around the world. Please forward to others who may be interested. Thank you for your support.

The work of ACOSH is generously supported by Healthway and Lotterywest.

Parents right to worry about e-cigarettes and kids, says Cancer Council

“New research highlighting parents’ concerns about the availability and promotion of e-cigarettes to teenagers supports the need for further action to protect young people, Cancer Council Australia said today.

A poll of more than 2,000 parents conducted by Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital showed that almost three quarters (73 per cent) of parents were concerned that their children might try e-cigarettes and almost half (49 percent) agreed that “the sale, supply, and use of all types of e-cigarettes should be banned in Australia”. The overwhelming majority supported tighter restrictions aimed at preventing teens from using these products.

Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Tobacco Issues Committee, Libby Jardine, said parents were right to worry that e-cigarette companies were using unethical tactics and loopholes to sell their products to vulnerable young people.

“The Federal Government has taken a strong evidence-based stance on e-cigarettes to protect kids and young people and should be commended for holding strong in the face of aggressive industry lobbying.”

See also
Poll Report: E-cigarettes, vaping and teens: Do parents know the dangers? – The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne

#VapeTricks has almost 300 million views on TikTok. Here’s why that’s not cool – ABC News



A future for the world’s children? A WHO–UNICEF–Lancet Commission

“A WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission, made up of leading child health experts from around the world, has produced a landmark new report on child health and well-being.

The report, A future for the world’s children? constitutes the first comprehensive, independent report to reposition every aspect of child health through the lens of our rapidly changing climate and other existential threats.”

One of the key areas identified included:

Regulating commercial marketing to children

“Children worldwide are also highly exposed to advertising for products nominally for use by adults only, such as alcohol, tobacco and e-cigarettes, with exposure to advertising associated with greater consumption.

“… E-cigarettes are a new but worrying threat, particularly in HICs. Exposure to e-cigarette adverts was prevalent in US youth, who had medium-to-high exposure to e-cigarette adverts from the internet (38·6%), newspapers (29·6%), shops (53·2%), and TV (35·4%). E-cigarette advertising is not regulated in the USA, where youth exposure to television e-cigarette advertisements, measured by target rating points, increased by 256% from 2011 to 2013, with young adult exposure increasing by 321% over the same period. Adverts for these products in the USA reach more than 24 million young people.”

See also
WHO Key summary & Resources



Doctors hit back at ‘big tobacco’ bid to sell vaping products in Australia

“Doctors are fighting an application by global tobacco giant Philip Morris International to sell its “heat not burn” products in Australia, warning there is “no evidence” the product is any safer than smoking cigarettes.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and Australian Medical Association have written to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, asking the regulator to reject the application until the health impacts have been properly studied.

“Claims that heat not burn products pose a lower risk to health due to their milder exposure to toxicants have recently been refuted,” college president Harry Nespolon said in a letter to the regulator, seen by the Herald and The Age.”



Want to work for a pariah industry? Big Tobacco fears it is unable to attract top staff

Read the latest blog from Emeritus Professor Simon Chapman AO on difficulties encountered by the tobacco industry in recruiting talented employees.


US: Vaping execs tell lawmakers that e-cigarettes are not meant for young people

“Executives from the five largest e-cigarette companies defended their products on Wednesday as House lawmakers pressed them about rising youth nicotine addiction.

The company leaders appeared for a hearing before a subpanel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee just one day before the Trump administration’s limited vaping ban will take effect.

Executives from Juul, Reynolds American, NJOY, Logic and Fontem told lawmakers that they did not deliberately market to young people.”

Evidence presented to the US congress strongly suggests otherwise.

See also:
Hearing on “Vaping in America: E-cigarette Manufacturers’ impact on public health” – House Committee on Energy & Commerce



How Juul gets kids addicted to vaping: it’s even worse than you think

“Massachusetts is suing the e-cigarette company for its predatory ads to children.

“…According to the lawsuit, the e-cigarette company hired young-looking models, photographed female models in “sexually provocative” poses, and purchased advertising space for these images on countless websites frequented by underage consumers, including,, and Nickelodeon’s and – sites where pre-schoolers play games.”

See also
E-cigarette maker Juul buys ads on Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon to target kids –



How Should Global Tobacco Control Efforts Be Prioritized to Protect Children in Resource-Poor Regions?

“The tobacco industry’s aggressive marketing of tobacco products and electronic (e-)cigarettes is well documented. Yet existing restrictions on tobacco and e-cigarette marketing are poorly implemented in most low- and middle-income countries. Ongoing challenges include weak implementation and enforcement of some aspects of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and a lack of consensus among health professionals on how to address the tobacco industry’s health claims related to e-cigarettes and other novel tobacco products. We argue that, despite these challenges, countries must prioritize the implementation and enforcement of restrictions on tobacco and e-cigarette marketing as these products represent not only a serious public health threat but also a violation of children’s rights.”

Stella Aguinaga Bialous, DrPH and Yvette van der Eijk, PhD – AMA Journal of Ethics



UK: New call for crackdown on smokers as menthol cigarette ban is just months away

“Menthols, menthol rollies and skinny cigarettes will be banned under new smoking laws due to come into effect in May.

It’s part of a four year phasing-out period that stems from the new EU Tobacco Product Directive laws, which entered into force in May 19, 2014 and became applicable in EU countries on May 20, 2016.

“…Unlike conventional cigarettes, cigarillos, which have an outer wrapping of tobacco leaf, are exempt from the menthol ban, as well as from existing legislation requiring cigarettes to be sold in minimum pack sizes of 20 and in plain standardised packaging.

“…Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “Getting round the ban by launching a mentholated cigarillo, which is essentially a cigarette wrapped in tobacco leaf, is breathtakingly cynical even for the tobacco companies.

“Their own research tells them menthol makes it easier for young people to start smoking because it masks the harshness when they first try to inhale.”



NZ: Get ’em off the stinkies: Is vaping really that bad?

“Left unregulated for almost two years, the vaping industry has been described as the Wild West. Young people are on the receiving end of aggressive recruiting to the habit through flashy parties, catchy jingles on hit music stations and marketing by popular influencers. Everyone agrees – there needs to be rules but the Government is struggling to find the right balance between attracting smokers to switch without encouraging teens to pick up the habit. But there could be an upside to the vaping revolution, Amelia Wade investigates.”


Opinion: Thank you, taxpayers, for smoking

“As Australians have weaned themselves off tobacco, one part of the country has become more addicted to cigarettes and smoking. The federal budget. So addicted is the budget to the revenues gleaned from smokers that if this year the government delivers a surplus, it will be solely due to the nation’s smokers.”


Tobacco Control Tweet of the Week

“Philip Morris has a Director of Social Impact?
Looking forward to first report on the Social Impact of a product that kills millions of consumers when used precisely as intended?” said Dr Olivia Doll, Senior Lecturer at the Subiaco College of Veterinary Science.


From the archives – Philip Morris’ Corporate Affairs Conference 1998

Philip Morris was discussing at a Corporate Affairs Conference in 1998 how to counter the ACOSH 10 point plan for tobacco control in Australia.

The last slide in their presentation was a prediction of what was likely to be achieved by the “antis” by 2020 if implementation of the 10 point plan maintained its momentum.

“Given the predictions by Philip Morris in 1998 there is still much for us to do including strict regulation of nicotine levels, comprehensive contents labelling, reduced number of retail outlets, tobacco users licensed, and significant legal payments by Big Tobacco to cover the massive costs of smoking to the Australian community,” said Maurice Swanson, Chief Executive ACOSH.



Tobacco Control News

E-cigarettes highlight the challenges of dealing with plastic waste –

Outdated EU cigarette tax rules blamed for slow drop in smoking – The Guardian

Tobacco giant pulls its pouches after weight cut by ‘technical issue’ – The Sydney Morning Herald

‘It’s Insidious’: How Juul Pitched E-Cigs to Native American Tribes – TIME

Embattled e-cigarette company Juul raises $700 million in debt, amid financial strain and regulatory pressure – Business Insider Australia

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