AMA supports campaign to stop young people smoking

6 Apr 2003

The Chair of the AMA's Public Health Committee, Dr Paul Bauert, today urged young people to get serious about rejecting the harmful effects of tobacco.

Dr Bauert said Governments must put an end to tobacco companies enticing young people to take up smoking.

"In 2002, the tobacco giant, Phillip Morris, was fined $9,000 for targeting young women at youth fashion events in breach of tobacco advertising restrictions under the NSW Public Health Act," Dr Bauert said.

"Apparently unfazed by this we saw sellers targeting young people at youth concerts over the summer, such as the Big Day Out and Homebake.

"Cigarette girls employed by tobacco companies may make smoking look glamorous but this is sending the wrong message to teenagers."

Dr Bauert said the evidence is overwhelming that smoking is anything but glamorous. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tobacco Atlas:

  • Of everyone alive today 500 000 000 will eventually be killed by tobacco.
  • Fifty percent of young people who continue to smoke will die from smoking.
  • Every cigarette takes 7 minutes off your life.
  • Smoking is responsible for 90% of all lung cancer.

"In Australia, the tobacco sellers are raking in the profits from selling illegally to kids.

" A study in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health published last year stated that tobacco sellers would profit from over $100milliion in illegal sales to children.

"Governments need to get serious about enacting legislation to protect our children and young people and ensure the tobacco industry does not get any more long term clients," Dr Bauert said.

The AMA and the Commonwealth Bank support the Australian Network on Young People and Tobacco's initiative Tobacco, What Gets Up Your Nose? which is being launched in Sydney on Monday 7 April.

CONTACT: John Flannery (02) 6270 5477 / (0419) 494 761

Judith Tokley (02) 6270 5471 / (0408) 824 306

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