Advocacy in Action - 7 March

Welcome to the fourth edition of the ACOSH Advocacy in Action e-bulletin for 2019. 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.

Tobacco control in Australia – the poster boy for public health success

Luo et al (2019) have quantified the number of lung cancer deaths averted in Australia through tobacco control.

Highlights identified by the researchers:
• Almost 2 million lung cancer deaths have already been prevented over the period 1956 to 2100.

• Lung cancer will continue to be a significant public health concern in Australia.

• Achieving zero smoking by 2025 would result in 360,000 more lung cancer deaths being averted by 2100.

• Highlighted the urgent need for more effective and targeted tobacco control strategies to be implemented.

“There will, of course, be hundreds of thousands of deaths averted from other cancers, cardiovascular disease and other diseases of the lungs caused by smoking during this same period,” said Maurice Swanson, Executive Director, ACOSH.



Quebec Court of Appeal upholds ruling ordering tobacco companies to pay billions to smokers

“Quebec’s highest court has upheld a historic ruling that ordered three major cigarette companies to pay more than $17 billion in damages to smokers in the province.

Imperial Tobacco, JTI-Macdonald and Rothmans, Benson & Hedges were appealing a Quebec Superior Court decision from 2015 stemming from what is believed to be of one the biggest class-action lawsuits in Canada.

Bruce Johnson, a lawyer representing the smokers who brought the class action, called it a tremendously important ruling for the public health system.

“For all intents and purposes, the judgment has been 100% confirmed. There has been an extensive review of the evidence — 422 pages in which the unanimous court found the tobacco companies intentionally misled the public. They created a false controversy in science. They intentionally misled the public as to the dangers of their products with the intent of getting them addicted to a virtually useless product,” he said.

Global News 

See also
Quebec’s top court rejects appeal of landmark $15B tobacco ruling – CBC

The Appeal Court deepens the findings against the tobacco defendants  – Eye on the Trials, An Information Service on Tobacco Litigation




WA health experts disturbed by Philip Morris policy interference

The Australian Medical Association (WA), Cancer Council WA and ACOSH published a media release to call out the clear conflict of interest of the multinational participating in the WA Parliament’s Inquiry on Personal Choice and Community Safety that may make recommendations regarding e-cigarettes.

Related media
Philip Morris fights to lift WA’s ‘nanny-state’ ban on vaping – The West Australian

Big tobacco is calling on the WA government to legalise smoke-free products containing nicotine – 10 News First

Big tobacco in town – 6PR with Steve and Basil

It’s not hard to see behind the smoke of big tobacco’s big sell in WA – WA Today

‘Big tobacco’ muscles in on WA vape debate – WA Today




Why do we need to protect public health policy from interference by Philip Morris?

Because Philip Morris and other tobacco companies have a 70-year history of deceit and lies about the health effects of smoking, as part of a deliberate strategy to keep smokers smoking, while at the same time continuing to recruit children and young people to smoking.

Read examples of their egregious behaviour in this latest article by ACOSH.



Number of children vaping doubles in five years, new research shows

‘The number of children and teenagers trying vaping has doubled in five years, official figures show. A report from Public Health England (PHE) shows around one in six children aged between 11 and 18 has tried e-cigarettes, with many saying they liked the flavours.’  – The Guardian

See also
E-cig use among kids doubles in England ; enthusiasts still trying to ignore it – Prof Stanton Glantz, Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education



Statement from US FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on forceful new actions focused on retailers, manufacturers to combat youth access to e-cigarettes as part of FDA’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan

“As the number of children using e-cigarettes remains at epidemic levels, our enforcement work has been one cornerstone of our efforts to protect youth from the dangers of tobacco products…”

“Today, we’re taking several new actions, focused on both retailers and manufacturers, as part of our commitment to combat youth access to e-cigarettes.”



Juul targets UK retailers

The use of e-cigarettes by youth in the UK has doubled between 2014 and 2018, a period before the introduction of Juul e-cigarettes.

“UK data has reveiled that the prior use of e-cigarettes increases by a factor of 12 the odds of future use of traditional cigarettes. The UK does not need retailer starter packs for Juul e-cigarettes.

“Juul e-cigarettes are the most popular brand used by high school students in the US which has recorded an epidemic increase in vaping by middle and upper high school students,” said Maurice Swanson, Executive Director, ACOSH.



10 questions for Philip Morris International on their “transformation”

“Like salivating foxes outside a henhouse, Big Tobacco companies like Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco are deep in global charm offensives, trying to convince the public, the corporate world, governments and public health leaders that they have changed. They want to be embraced as health promoters!” said Emeritus Professor Simon Chapman AO.


Philip Morris charm offensive blowing smoke

Tobacco giant Philip Morris is trying to convince health organisations and politicians that it is now interested in producing so-called ‘risk reduced’ tobacco products.

The World Health Organization continues to reject overtures from Philip Morris International and refuses to have any dealings with the Philip Morris funded ‘Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.’

As noted in this edition of Advocacy in Action, the same tactic was evident at last week’s hearings before the WA Parliament’s Select Committee on Personal Choice and Community Safety, chaired by Hon Aaron Stonehouse MLC.



WA Aboriginal Tobacco Control Strategic Leadership Team

ACOSH met with the WA Aboriginal Tobacco Control Strategic Leadership Team on 26-27 February, hosted by the Aboriginal Health Council of WA.

Representatives from the Kimberley, Mid West, Pilbara, Goldfields, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and Perth metropolitan region attended the meeting.

The team shared success stories, barriers and brainstormed joint state-wide initiatives to effectively address Aboriginal smoking and tobacco control in WA.


From the Archives

This defensive statement was made in Perth in 1989 by Mr Ron Berryman, Tobacco Institute of Australia.

“Cigarettes are harmful but … So are potatoes. Cancer-causing that is. Tobacco is in the same family. You inhale the fumes of potatoes when you are cooking them.”



Tobacco Control News

Ferrari drops tobacco branding from name for Australia F1 opener – Daily Mail Australia

How big tobacco keeps cancer rates high in countries like mine – The Guardian

HK closer to completely banning e-cigarette sales, promotion – China Daily Hong Kong

Cigarettes ‘may impair body’s ability to fight skin cancer’ – ITV Report

Warning: Smoking kills you — and the planet –

Harmful effects of nicotine – Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol

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