Big Tobacco Wastes Government Time Looking For Non-existent Smoking Gun

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21st October 2010, 03:07pm - Views: 992

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Media Release Thursday October 21, 2010

Big tobacco wastes government time looking for

non-existent smoking gun

Big tobacco continues to run scared of plain packaging, bombarding the Department of Health

and Aging with freedom of information (FOI) requests in a desperate attempt to find ways to

stop the most significant health reform in decades.

The 19 requests from the industry require the department to scour for documents going back

almost 20 years, a well-known tactic to try to divert government resources away from getting the

job done.

Quit Executive Director Fiona Sharkie said this action shows a desperate industry continuing to

clutch at straws.

“Packaging remains the last bastion of advertising for big tobacco to market their deadly

products. Research shows that young people see cigarettes in plain packs as not looking good,

not tasting good, and would think less of people who smoke cigarettes in those packs.”  

“Plain packaging will remove any aspiration, sophistication and glamour away and potentially

save thousands of lives and stop many children from starting to smoke.” 

CEO of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Anne Jones said if the tobacco industry was

preparing to take legal action, it was bound to be fruitless.

“Plain packaging will go ahead, no matter how many cumbersome requests the industry tries to

lump on the government. There is nothing about plain packaging that is against any law in this


“Just last week Health Minister Nicola Roxon reaffirmed her commitment to introducing plain

packs in June 2012, and countries from around the world are expressing interest in following

our lead. It’s this domino effect the industry is scared of and will do anything to stop.”

“The evidence is clear: plain packaging will prevent many people taking up smoking, especially

children and teenagers. We’re talking about saving thousands of lives and no one – outside the

tobacco industry - would argue against that.”

To organise an interview with Fiona Sharkie or Anne Jones, please call

Jessica Longbottom on 0438 714 264

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