ACOSH Advocacy in Action - 25 June

Welcome to the latest 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.

Dear subscribers to the ACOSH Advocacy in Action e-bulletin – Please keep safe during this challenging period for public health.

Graphic attached reproduced with the kind permission of AMA WA.

Australian Government proposes strengthening its stance against e-cigarettes containing vaporiser nicotine

“To reduce the risk to public health through addiction to nicotine and nicotine poisoning, the Australian Government intends to ask the Governor-General in Council to make regulations from 1 July 2020 prohibiting the importation of e-cigarettes containing vaporiser nicotine (nicotine liquids and salts) and nicotine-containing refills unless on prescription from a doctor.

“The Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, requested the Department of Health to work with the Australian Border Force on a new approach to regulating e-cigarettes containing vaporiser nicotine.

“The prohibition would remain in place for 12 months to allow for public consultation on the regulation in Australia of nicotine products by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (the TGA) in the form of an amendment to the Poisons Standard. This would mean that vaporiser nicotine products, including nicotine-containing e-cigarettes would require a valid prescription (except for tobacco cigarettes or TGA-approved smoking cessation products such as gums, sprays and patches). As part of this consultation the proposal will also be considered by a Ministerial advisory committee. A final decision is expected to be announced early in 2021.”

See also
Prohibition on importing e-cigarettes containing vaporiser nicotine – Therapeutic Goods Administration

New e-cigarette liquid laws will keep Australians safe – Cancer Council Media Release

AMA supports Australian Government’s stance on e-cigarettes and vaping – AMA Media Release

Government to impose 12-month ban on most e-cigarette imports – NewsGP

Vapers will need a doctor’s prescription to import liquid nicotine under new proposal – ABC News



Continued Deadly Progress: New review finds declines in tobacco use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population with self-determination and leadership critical to reducing tobacco use further

“The Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre has published a new Review of tobacco use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The review was led by Ms Emily Colonna and Associate Professor Ray Lovett of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program at the Australian National University. The review shows substantial progress has been made, with significant reductions in tobacco use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and that further reductions are achievable. To accomplish this will require Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guidance and leadership in legislation and policies; social marketing; comprehensive programs; and research and evaluation.

“Lead author Ms Colonna says, “Substantial progress has been made in reducing tobacco use which will translate to substantial reductions in tobacco-related morbidity and mortality”.

“Co-author Associate Professor Lovett says, “Expanding the evidence base on what works to reduce tobacco use, incorporating knowledge from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and service providers is essential. All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples need to have access to effective and appropriate tobacco reduction programs and initiatives”.

Related media
Smoking rates for Indigenous Australians are dropping faster than the general population – SBS News



Australian Government Response to the Inquiry into Use and Marketing of e-cigarettes

“Following a referral on 25 May 2017 from the Minister for Health and Sport, The Hon Greg Hunt MP, the Committee inquired into and reported on the use and marketing of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and personal vaporisers in Australia.”

“This response addresses the five recommendations made in the Report on the Inquiry into the Use and Marketing of Electronic Cigarettes and Personal Vaporisers in Australia published by the Committee on 28 March 2018. It has been coordinated and prepared by the Department of Health, with input from relevant Commonwealth agencies.”




Australia’s decisive win on plain packaging paves way for other countries to follow suit

“The decision, handed down on June 9 by the World Trade Organisation’s appeals body, that Australia’s plain packaging tobacco control policy doesn’t flout WTO laws marks the end of almost a decade of legal wrangling over this landmark public health policy. And more importantly, it paves the way for other nations around the world to follow Australia’s lead.”



The Tobacco Industry’s Subversive Lobbying During COVID-19

“We know that smoking damages the immune system and increases susceptibility to viral infections and pneumonia. And a World Health Organization review of the current evidence shows that smokers are more likely to fare worse than non-smokers if infected with COVID-19. Even with these facts—even during a pandemic—tobacco companies are unrelenting in their efforts to keep people smoking.”


‘Big tobacco wants our youth’s lungs’: rise of smoking in Jordan

“Figures published by the Guardian on Tuesday show that the Middle Eastern kingdom of Jordan has surpassed Indonesia to have the highest smoking rates in the world. Including e-cigarettes and other “smokeless” products, more than eight in 10 Jordanian men are nicotine users, according to a 2019 national survey carried out in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

“Jordanian men who smoke daily consume an average of 23 cigarettes a day, the survey found. “In Jordan we consider someone who smokes a pack a day to be a light smoker,” Hawari says. “We have people who smoke three, five, seven packs a day. It is like it was in the 1950s or 1960s in other places.”

Related media
Jordan smoking rates highest in world amid claims of big tobacco interference – The Guardian

How did Jordan end up with the highest smoking rate in the world? – Today in Focus Podcast



Cannabis vaping: Understanding the health risks of a rapidly emerging trend

“The rapid emergence of youth vaping has completely changed the landscape of adolescent substance use in Canada and has become a pressing public health issue of our time. While nicotine remains the most common substance encountered in vaping devices, cannabis vaping is now reported by one-third of youth who vape.

“Though cannabis vaping is thought to generate fewer toxic emissions than cannabis smoking, it has been associated with several cases of acute lung injury and often involves high-potency forms of cannabis, exposing youth to several acute and long-term health risks. The low perceived riskiness of cannabis as a substance and of vaping as a mode of consumption may bring a false sense of security and be particularly appealing for youth who may be looking for a ‘healthier way’ to use substances.”



Tobacco Tactics: Ernst and Young

“Even prior to the merger of Ernst & Whinney and Arthur Young, Ernst and Young’s founding companies had a long history of working for tobacco companies, stretching as far back as 1932.

“The company’s long standing relationship with the tobacco industry ranges from auditing accounts to producing reports used by tobacco companies to lobby against greater regulation and taxation.

“In 2010, the company stated that it worked with “10 of the 12 tobacco companies listed in the Forbes 2000”.



Political ineptitude, public anxiety and the undermining of the WHO

“Given the WHO’s leadership in a decades-long struggle to counter the tobacco industry’s duplicitous behaviours and prevent the enormous harms their actions have caused, anti-WHO rhetoric is alarming. Weakening the WHO’s credibility and capacity to provide leadership is just one element of a rising anti-public health discourse, which insists that free-market approaches to public health problems are a superior alternative to government regulation aimed at reducing the power of the market that created the problems in the first place. These activities are distressing and dangerous, particularly in the context of COVID-19.

“Within tobacco control, this emphasis on market-based solutions rather than robust policy measures is most apparent in some ‘tobacco harm reduction’ circles. A small group primarily acting outside the public health research community seem to have interests remarkably well aligned with those of tobacco companies, perhaps because many of them are recipients of these companies’ financial largesse. Rather than push for reducing the availability and attractiveness of, and access to, the most deadly products, they promote the widespread availability and uptake of multiple types of tobacco and nicotine products.”


ACOSH Advocacy Action 1971 – 1999

ACOSH has published an online resource on advocacy strategies and achievements of ACOSH from its establishment in 1971 to 1999.

The aim of the resource is to assist health professionals, students of public health and other health sciences, in public health advocacy by providing case studies on successful advocacy for tobacco control in WA and nationally.



Tweet of the Week

“Australia has 128,768 registered drs, but <10 have been willing to prescribe nicotine via #vaping. Hardly a vote of confidence,” said Emeritus Professor Simon Chapman AO.

Read Professor Chapman’s latest blog Australia to allow prescribed access to e-cigarette nicotine

Tobacco Control News

Exposure to e-cigarette information and advertising in social media and e-cigarette use in Australia: A mixed methods study  – Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Vaping Cardiovascular Health Risks: an Updated Umbrella Review – Current Emergency and Hospital Medicine Reports

To Protect the Health of African Americans, FDA Must Act Now to Prohibit Menthol Cigarettes – Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids