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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:50 am 
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Alcohol a big factor in child harm, says study

CHILDREN are the victims of alcohol-related harm in more than a fifth of Australian households, a study has found, adding weight to calls for the price of alcohol sold in bottle shops to be increased to discourage high quantities being consumed in homes.

Most of the children were harmed by immediate family members or by other relatives, and the rest by the drinking of family friends, neighbours, coaches, religious leaders or others, according to the study, which is published in the latest edition of the international journal Addiction.

The lead author of the study, Anne-Marie Laslett, said children were commonly exposed to the heavy drinking of their parents and others at social occasions and that younger parents in families with young children tended to drink more heavily more often than those who became parents later in life.

''The realities of parenting are that people make a lot of changes to their lives to accommodate having children and do their best, but I don't think we really know as much as we could about how much drinking in private homes and spaces actually affects our children,'' said Professor Laslett, who is a research fellow at the Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre at Monash University in Melbourne.

While a study co-authored by Professor Laslett last year, The Range and Magnitude of Alcohol's Harm to Others, found alcohol was a risk factor in about 20,000 cases of child abuse in Australia, she said more studies were needed on drinking and child abuse in the wider population.

''We tend to mainly look at information about kids in the child protection system who are victims of alcohol abuse and we stigmatise those groups and say 'They've got problems, look at them' - but when we look at our own lives, we might find our drinking habits are not necessarily healthy to us or the children around us either,'' she said.

Researchers interviewed 1142 parents throughout Australia and found the most common form of harm that occurred to children through others' drinking was verbal abuse, including yelling and criticism. In the interviews, 3 per cent of respondents said their children had witnessed domestic violence, while 1 per cent reported that their children had suffered physical harm.

''I think we now need more research to find out how the kids are affected, if they suffer long term and if that could inform policies such as increasing alcohol price, as evidence shows increasing price decreases the amount people drink,'' Professor Laslett said.

The director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of NSW, Michael Farrell, said children could be badly affected by others' drinking, even in situations that might not be serious enough for child protection agencies to get involved.

While alcohol could exacerbate aggression in those people with a history of violent behaviour, he said, ''anyone who drinks too much can find themselves acting in an aggressive and difficult manner''.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nationa ... z1umUIt5AG


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:31 am 
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Tuesday's Dateline: China's Cancer Villages

Dateline reports on the increase in cancer cases in rural China, which is being blamed on toxic waste dumps.

The Chinese government claims it’s making serious efforts to clean up pollution, and in the densely populated cities it appears to be having success.

But does it just mean the most toxic industries are being moved to sparsely populated rural areas?

On Tuesday at 9.30pm on SBS ONE, Dateline reports from two farming communities which have been labelled ‘cancer villages’.

Untreated industrial waste poisoning the water supply is being blamed for an increase in cancer cases, which are up to four times the global average.

One couple tell reporter Adrian Brown that they've lost not only their 15-year-old son, but their entire livelihood, because their animals and land have been poisoned by a chromium dump.

With over 500 similar areas identified across the country by campaigners, what is being done to stop the growth of China’s pollution cancer?

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1650 ... r-Villages


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 5:39 am 
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Booze and pills a toxic cocktail

AN increasing number of people in Wyndham are mixing alcohol with legal and illegal drugs, according to health experts.

Research released last week shows the number of drug and alcohol-related ambulance call outs in Wyndham jumped from 654 to 696 in 2010-11.

Alcohol topped the list of ambulance call outs with 142, prescription sleeping and anxiety medication benzodiazepine was second with 89, followed by antidepressants with 49.

There were slightly fewer heroin and cannabis emergencies compared to the previous year, with paramedics responding to 17 and 22 call outs respectively.

The statistics were revealed in a report compiled by Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, a group that provides research to support changes to substance abuse policies.

Researcher Belinda Lloyd said a sharp rise in call outs linked with use of crystal meth was a major concern. "An increasing trend in the use of other drugs in combination with crystal methamphetamine also represents an increasing risk of serious harm," Dr Lloyd said.

Ambulance Victoria chief executive Greg Sassella said paramedics had introduced new treatments in response to the increase of psychostimulants such as crystal meth.

"Any delay in calling an ambulance for any drug overdose can cost lives. Our role is to save lives, not make judgments," he said.

Anglicare's drug and alcohol service on Market Road in Werribee is running at capacity but needs more government funding to expand.

It provides court-ordered substance abuse counselling and a needle exchange to help reduce infections spreading among drug users.

Centre manager Spiro Drakopoulos said he was concerned overdoses were high in Wyndham.

"It's certainly alarming in any municipality to see a rise in dangerous alcohol and drug use, and the figures make you wonder about the quality of drugs out there," he said.

"The purity might be higher, or it could also reflect there might be newer users who aren't as tolerant."

Mr Drakopoulos estimated 60per cent of the service's cases related to alcohol abuse, 20per cent to cannabis, and 20per cent to pills and different kinds of intravenous drugs.

http://www.wyndhamweekly.com.au/news/lo ... 57248.aspx


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:03 am 
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Cigarette giant British American Tobacco Australia chops up the prices

TOBACCO company British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) says it has been forced to start selling cheap smokes to try to win back market share from illegal products and to compete in the expanding "cheap" cigarette market.

BATA - whose brands include Dunhill, Winfield and Benson & Hedges - last week released "Just Smokes", which retails for about $11.50 for a pack of 25 cigarettes.

The company said the new brand is priced just above illegal counterfeit and contraband cigarette packs - which sell for about $8 to $10 for a pack of 25.

The average price for a pack of 25 smokes is $16.

Spokesman Scott McIntyre said since the government increased the tobacco excise by 25 per cent in 2010, the "cheap price segment" has grown 63 per cent, as smokers look for lower priced cigarettes.

"The tobacco industry is extremely competitive so if smokers continue to ask retailers for cheaper smokes, that's where the industry will battle for market share which will potentially see prices drop further," Mr McIntyre said.

"(Smokers) have been down trading to cheaper products or illegal cigarettes, so we've been forced to compete.

"If the government keeps giving us ad hoc excise increases, all they'll do is make the problem worse.

"They're trying to reduce smoking rates through excise but instead, it's making people opt for cheaper or illegal options."

Federal AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said "price is a very strong signal" that drives either more smoking or less.

"When we tell the government to increase the taxes on tobacco, every time the price goes up, consumption goes down," he said.

"That the opposite is occuring is very concerning for the AMA."

http://www.news.com.au/business/cigaret ... 6358487614


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:54 am 
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Big tobacco targeting teens, says Plibersek

THE federal government says big tobacco is deliberately targeting vulnerable teenagers by selling cheap cigarettes.

British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) has released a budget brand called Just Smokes, which retails at about $11.50 for a pack of 25.

That's much lower than the average price of $16 and only slightly higher than illegal counterfeit products.

BATA argues it has been forced to go downmarket because the government's decision to increase the tobacco excise by 25 per cent in 2010 has resulted in a massive growth in illegal tobacco and contraband.

But Health Minister Tanya Plibersek isn't buying the argument. ''By dropping their prices, British American Tobacco appears to be directly targeting vulnerable teenagers,'' she said yesterday. ''We know that young people are the most price-sensitive smokers of all.''

BATA spokesman Scott McIntyre says the government is to blame for the price war by increasing the excise.

''Our customers have been down-trading to cheaper products or illegal cigarettes so we've been forced to compete.

''If the government keeps giving us ad-hoc excise increases like they have in the past then all they'll do is make the problem worse.''

Mr McIntyre later admitted on ABC radio that cheaper cigarettes would probably result in more people lighting up.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/big-toba ... z1v9tYXdgU


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 7:17 am 
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Cheap cigarettes just a trap: Plibersek

Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has slammed a decision by British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) to start selling cut-price cigarettes.

The company says the burden of high excise is forcing it to market a cut-price product to compete with black market tobacco.

BATA spokesman Scott McIntyre says black market cigarettes retail for between $8 and $10.

The company's Just Smokes went on the market last week and are retailing for about $12.

Ms Plibersek says she is most worried about the effects on young people.

"We know that smokers are very price sensitive and we know that the most price-sensitive smokers are teenagers," she said.

"Young people who are just starting to smoke are more likely to smoke if cigarettes are cheaper."

She says she suspects the company's motives.

"What they're interested in doing is attracting new smokers and keeping existing smokers, and they'll do whatever it takes to do that," she said.

"Every time the Government has introduced something like plain packaging, like graphic health warnings, like increasing excise, they've (tobacco companies) said these measures won't work to reduce smoking rates.

"[But] they have worked to reduce smoking rates."

Supply and demand

Mr McIntyre says the issue is a matter of supply and demand.

"Our customers have been down trading to cheaper products or illegal cigarettes, so we've been forced to compete," he said.

"When we launched our campaign to highlight the unintended consequences of plain packaging this time last year, we made it very clear that cheaper cigarettes were coming.

"Not only is the industry being forced to compete against each other, we're fighting for customers alongside organised crime groups who obviously don't pay the 70 per cent excise to the Government."

The Government is planning to bring in plain packaging for cigarettes in December.

The laws specify all cigarette packets are to be the same shape with the same drab colour and print.

Court challenge

British American Tobacco is among a number of tobacco companies to challenge the laws in the High Court.

The companies are arguing the changes will extinguish their trademark, leaving only the names in a generic font as their distinguishing mark.

The hearing has concluded but the bench of the High Court has reserved its decision.

Meanwhile, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon is being honoured internationally for her initiative in the fight against tobacco.

Ms Roxon will receive a global champion award tonight at Washington's Georgetown University for introducing plain-packaging legislation in her former role as health minister.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-17/h ... ap/4016646


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 7:52 am 
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Cancer-causing chemical found in Japanese water

Water supplies were cut to more than 200,000 homes near Tokyo after authorities found it was contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical.

The city of Noda has stopped supplies to a major part of the city. Most of the neighbouring city of Kashiwa also has no tap water supply, the Jiji Press news agency is reporting.

Authorities have not determined the cause of the contamination although reports said industrial wastewater was suspected.

In Chiba and Saitama prefectures, which both neighbour Tokyo, authorities found water taken from the Tone River or one of its branches was contaminated with higher than allowed levels of formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is a colourless chemical with a pungent odour, classified as a human carcinogen by the Lyon-based International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Chiba stopped taking water from a branch of the Tone River after detecting elevated levels of formaldehyde.

The worst reading was seen in Saitama, which temporarily stopped taking water at a filtration plant that on Friday detected contamination of 0.200 milligrams of formaldehyde per litre, more than two times the national limit.

Water intake was resumed in Saitama Saturday as the level significantly dropped below the limit, according to prefecture officials.

"The water poses no health risks," local waterworks official Akiyoshi Fujimura said, noting none of it had been supplied to households and that the threshold itself was set on the assumption of consumption over a long period.

"We had hardly detected formaldehyde in check-ups before... We have to find the cause," he told news service AFP by phone, adding waste water from a factory could be responsible.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/intern ... ter/946772


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:14 am 
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Bin the gin, it's time for Dry July

The annual grog-free month may be met with a chorus of boos by the nation's bottleshop and pub proprietors but organisers say there are at least two good reasons to take part.

One - you won't wake up with a sore head, tequila breath and still wearing last night's jeans for a full four weeks.

Two - you can help raise more than $3 million for adult cancer patients in Australia, with the proceeds donated to hospitals around the country.

For the first time the Kiwis will also benefit from Dry July, with Auckland Hospital set to be given some of the cash.

Organisers hope to get 12,500 people in Australia and New Zealand to take part in this, the fifth annual staging of Dry July.

The idea for the grog-free month was, ironically, hatched in a pub in 2008 by co-founders Phil Grove, Brett Macdonald and Kenny McGilvary.

All three have lost family members to cancer as well as having brushes with the disease themselves.

They've persuaded actors Roy Billing, Ryan Corr and Jeremy Lindsay-Taylor and dozens of others to act as national ambassadors - all of whom will go booze free.

Registration for Dry July opened on Monday morning. For details visit dryjuly.com.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/brea ... 6361825045


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:45 am 
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A wasted decade: How one HRT scare has 'caused thousands of women 10 years of needless suffering'

Thousands of women have had a ‘wasted decade’ of suffering since the HRT scare, according to an international panel of experts.

A major reassessment of the research into hormone replacement therapy has concluded that menopausal women were the victims of ‘mass fear’ generated by findings from ten years ago.

Many of the conclusions reached by the 2002 study, including the raised risk of breast cancer, have now been overturned.
British doctors are calling for the rules on prescribing HRT to be rewritten, allowing a new generation to benefit from bone protection and improved quality of life.

At present, women in their 50s are told to use hormone replacement therapy drugs for the shortest period of time that is possible and not for longer than five years.

Some younger doctors have never prescribed HRT because they wrongly believe the risks of the treatment outweigh the benefits, it is claimed.
The new analysis of the evidence by leading experts – including clinicians from the US National Institutes of Health who worked on the original Women’s Health Initiative study – is published in a series of articles in Climacteric, the journal of the International Menopause Society.

The scare began in 2002, when the WHI study was halted three years early because researchers claimed women using HRT were at higher risk of breast cancer, heart disease and strokes.

This contradicted previous research which suggested oestrogen guarded against heart problems. Afterwards, an estimated one million women in the UK stopped taking the treatment – which was used by two million at the height of its popularity.

HRT is normally prescribed to menopausal women in their 50s to combat symptoms such as hot flushes and mood changes, although it also protects bones.

But in the WHI study, HRT was also given to women in their 60s and 70s who had gone through the menopause years earlier. The average age of the women in the study was 63 years.

Fresh analysis of the data found the extra health risks only applied to the older patients, who would not normally use HRT.

Indeed, the drug was shown to cut heart attacks among women in their 50s, who were at no higher risk of strokes and had a lower risk of death from any cause compared with those not taking HRT.

The reappraisal found that the evidence has changed over the past ten years, and there is now a consensus that the absolute risks for a woman of taking HRT in her 50s is ‘extremely low’, according to Climacteric joint editor-in-chief Dr Nick Panay.

TIMELINE: THE HRT SCARE

2002: US doctors publish early findings from Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study which is stopped because of safety fears. It states that long term use of HRT is linked to higher risk of heart disease, strokes and cancer.

2003: British experts at Cancer Research UK publish their Million Women Study (MWS) which claims HRT users are at double the risk of breast cancer. An estimated one million British women stop taking it.

2004: Second MWS report says the breast cancer risk for women in their 50s using HRT for five years is 50 per cent higher. UK doctors are advised by the MHRA regulatory body to prescribe the ‘lowest effective dose for shortest possible time’, with annual reviews.

2007: WHI researchers publish new analysis showing women on HRT are not more at risk of heart problems – and could be less at risk than non-users. MHRA reiterates its advice, and says HRT should only be used to prevent osteoporosis in women who cannot take other medicines. Another WHI analysis shows women in their 50s taking HRT have healthier arteries as a result, which could protect them against heart disease.

2011: Fourth MWS report says the increased risk of breast cancer from HRT reverts to level of non-users two years after stopping it.

2012: Reappraisal by international experts says HRT has ‘low risks’ and regulatory bodies must update advice about use.
He added: ‘The benefits far outweigh the risks for the majority of women choosing to use it.

‘We need the official authorities to recognise this and issue updated recommendations about HRT use which are less draconian.
‘This has been a wasted decade for thousands of women whose quality of life could have been improved. The big scandal is their risk of osteoporosis could have been reduced.’

Dr Panay, who is chairman of the British Menopause Society, added that the absolute risks of breast cancer for women using HRT were low.
Around one extra case occurs per 1,000 women taking HRT for one year and the risk only starts rising after seven years of use, he said.

He went on: ‘HRT is safe for women who need it in their late 40s and early 50s. The WHI study gave it to older women who would not normally take it.’

He said ‘mass fear’ was generated among women and doctors, and an ‘entire generation of younger doctors has never prescribed HRT’. WHI study leader Dr Robert Langer, of the Jackson Hole Center for Preventive Medicine in Jackson, Wyoming, said lessons had been learned.

He added: ‘Overgeneralising the results from the women who were – on average – 12 years past menopause to all postmenopausal women has led to needless suffering and lost opportunities.

‘Sadly, one of the lessons from the WHI is that starting HRT ten years or more after menopause may not be a good idea, so the women who were scared away over the past decade may have lost the opportunity to obtain potential benefits.’

WHI researcher Professor Matthew Allison, of the University of California, San Diego, said: ‘Being obese, not exercising or excess alcohol consumption confer higher absolute risks for breast cancer than HRT use.’

Current medical advice in the UK states that HRT should be offered only to women with serious menopausal symptoms and taken for the shortest time possible.

'THE MENOPAUSE HAS BEEN THE WORST TIME OF MY LIFE'

Mother of two Teresa Bunby, 52, has been going through the menopause for five years and has suffered ‘horrible’ symptoms.

But she refuses to take HRT even though she knows it could have eased her depression and hot flushes.

For her, the thought of taking drugs is a step too far because she has heard that HRT is linked to health problems including cancer and weight gain.

She said: ‘The menopause started when I was 47 and it’s been horrendous, the worst time of my life. I often feel down and depressed.

‘But I believe HRT causes breast cancer and other problems, and it makes you put weight on.

‘I decided to try to do it without drugs because I was also told the symptoms come back when you stop taking it. My GP said if I could, I should try doing without HRT.’

Mrs Bunby, from Hull, had a breast cancer scare two years ago which made her even more determined to avoid hormone treatment.

‘I decided I couldn’t put anything alien in my body that might increase the risk – it’s just not worth it,’ she added.

The divorcee, who helps look after her two grandsons, said she can manage to care for them despite her symptoms often making her feel ill.

She added the new research is unlikely to change her opinion of HRT. ‘It’s been five years and having got this far, I’m going to stick it out. It’s come too late to change my mind.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... ds-newsxml


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 7:33 am 
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Smoking parents doom kids

A GROUNDBREAKING study by Tasmania's Menzies Research Institute has shown a link between parents smoking and irreversible cardiovascular disease in their children.

The first worldwide research to examine the long-term effects on blood vessel health shows children exposed to passive smoking in their youth have a greater risk of heart attacks and strokes as they age.

Data collected for the Young Finns Study in Finland and the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study in Australia were analysed at the institute.

Menzies research fellow and study author Dr Seana Gall says study participants with data on parental smoking in childhood had their blood vessel health measured in young adulthood.

"We found that people who had been exposed to parental smoking when they were children had less elastic arteries, an early indicator of poor cardiovascular health," Dr Gall said.

"And more importantly, this was not explained by differences in classic cardiovascular risk factors, including the participants' own smoking status.

"And the effect was seen up to 27 years later, suggesting a long-term and irreversible effect of passive smoking in childhood on the health of arteries."

Quit Tasmania executive director Michael Wilson said the significant study was further evidence parents should not smoke around their children.

"My initial reaction to the findings was one of surprise at how validated they were," Mr Wilson said. "We have known for a long time that parents and smoking was an area we needed to concentrate on.

"For the last three years our campaigns have focused on parents and their smoking habits.

"We know if parents smoke, children are twice as likely to take up smoking."

Mr Wilson said Tasmania's traditionally high-smoking rates were on the decline.

"Some indicators are showing we are getting better," he said.

http://www.themercury.com.au/article/20 ... -news.html


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 8:04 am 
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Cancer is still No. 1 cause of death in Taiwan, report says

Cancer remained the No. 1 cause of death in the nation for the 30th consecutive year last year, responsible for 28 percent of the deaths recorded that year, according to the latest report released by the Department of Health.

Second was heart disease (10.9 percent), followed by cerebrovascular disease (7.1 percent), diabetes (6 percent) and pneumonia (6 percent).

Other top 10 causes of death were accidents (4.4 percent), chronic lower respiratory tract disease (3.9 percent), chronic liver disease (3.4 percent), hypertension (3 percent) and kidney disease (2.9 percent).

Suicide was once again absent from the top 10 after dropping out of the list for the first time in 2010. However, it was the 12th leading cause of death last year, claiming 3,507 lives.

The age-standardized death (per 100,000 per year) from all causes combined was 462.4, up 1.5 percent from 2010, but down 17.2 percent from 2009.

Last year, 42,559 people died from cancer, which translates into an average of one death every 12 minutes and 21 seconds, according to the report.

The age-standardized death rate for cancer was 132.2 per 100,000 population, up 0.5 percent from 2010.

Twenty percent of cancer-related fatalities were attributed to lung cancer, 18.8 percent to liver cancer, 11.6 percent to colorectal cancer and 4.4 percent to breast cancer.

Oral cancer took fifth spot at 5.8 percent, followed by stomach cancer (5.4 percent), prostate cancer (2.6 percent), pancreatic cancer (3.8 percent), esophageal cancer (3.5 percent) and cervical cancer (1.6 percent).

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/ ... 2003533856


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 7:11 am 
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Tobacco giants cower behind smokescreen

THE battle between public health and corporate wealth has never been so great or so important when it comes to tobacco.

One in two long-term smokers will die of a smoking-caused illness, resulting in 4000 Victorian deaths each year.

And yet the tobacco industry is constantly attempting to thwart efforts by governments to reduce the devastating impact of smoking on the community.

The World Health Organisation has singled out tobacco industry interference as one of the greatest threats to ending the global tobacco epidemic.

So on May 31, World No Tobacco Day, Quit Victoria is calling on governments across the world to remain vigilant to protect the health of their citizens from the vested and commercial interests of the tobacco industry.

Many Australians would be surprised if they knew how tobacco companies try to weaken efforts to restrict the ways in which they peddle their deadly products, particularly to children.

Ever since the Australian Government announced its intention to pursue plain packaging, we have seen the tobacco industry exploit every possible opportunity to mislead the community and undermine this crucial public health initiative.

Sadly, this is more of the same from an industry that time and time again has put profit over the health of the Australian public.

There were the bogus claims that plain packaging would cost $460 million in lost efficiency for small business, based on a report paid for by the tobacco industry.

The report, which formed part of a $9 million campaign last year against plain packaging, was based on the guesses of just six business owners, Curtin University Associate Professor Owen Carter found.

This sort of shoddy research is often relied upon by the tobacco industry and seemingly independent front groups such as the Alliance of Australian Retailers.

These front groups act as mouthpieces for the tobacco industry, in an attempt to lend a veneer of credibility and independence to their claims but the public usually see through it.

For many, it beggars belief that a company would stoop so low to protect its profits.

The Alliance of Australian Retailers' campaign backfired when Cancer Council Victoria research showed more than half of Victorians recognised the group was a front for the tobacco industry.

Big Tobacco's newest tactic is intimidation by litigation and it's displayed an appalling disregard for governments' sovereignty to protect the health of its citizens.

In the plain packaging High Court challenge, the lengths the tobacco industry will go to protect its bottom line became clear.

We saw Japan Tobacco argue it should be compensated if plain packaging laws result in fewer Australians dying or getting sick from smoking cigarettes.

Imperial Tobacco told the court it did not agree with the Federal Government's case that smoking causes lung cancer.

For many, it beggars belief that a company would stoop so low to protect its profits.

But tobacco companies have a long record of this sort of behaviour all over the world.

In Norway, tobacco companies are taking the Government to court over point-of-sale bans, and in Uruguay they are challenging graphic health warnings.

They are providing legal advice to the Ukraine and Honduras in their World Trade Organisation challenges to Australia's plain packaging laws, despite the fact neither country has a significant share of the Australian tobacco market.

But now that countries such as Australia are refusing to let Big Tobacco derail their efforts to protect their citizens from the harm caused by smoking, the industry has focused on countries less able or willing to defend themselves.

Developing countries have historically had limited resources to prevent tobacco industry expansion into domestic markets and Big Tobacco from interfering in tobacco control policy.

But Big Tobacco's opportunity is in fact the developing world's crisis and the net economic impact of growing and consuming tobacco only serves to deepen poverty.

In 2008, across the world, tobacco killed more people than tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.

Globally, we need to present a strong and united front to tobacco industry interference so we can finally end the pain, illness, suffering and costs caused by tobacco.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/tob ... 6368685795


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:27 am 
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Cancer risk on rise for women

WOMEN beware - more of you are getting lung cancer.

And if you're a smoker, you're particularly at risk.

Mackay's smoking rate of 16.8% is 1% higher than the state average with 19% of men and 14.3% of women over the age of 18 smoking.

Queensland Cancer Registry figures show the incidence of lung cancer among Queensland women is increasing by 2.3% each year while the incidence rate for men is falling by 1.4% a year.

Tomorrow is World No Tobacco Day and smokers are being encouraged to butt out to lower the rate.

Kathy Said classes herself as a regular smoker.

The 53-year-old, who works as a chef at CBD Hotel, said she had smoked for about 25 years.

"I smoke probably about 15 cigarettes a day," she said.

"I stopped for a couple of years but it was stress that made me go back to it.

"I don't drink; it's mainly while I'm working I go on smoke breaks. Every now and then I just need one; it helps me deal with stress.

"Over the years, I've seen a lot of my friends pass away from cancer and from smoking," she said.

"My husband and I want to give it away. He's worse than me, he smokes about two packets at day."

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Louise Baldwin said the different pattern of lung cancer incidence rates in males and females reflected historical differences in smoking behaviours.

"Tobacco smoking is by far the leading cause of lung cancer and today's rising mortality rates in women are a result of trends in smoking from 15-30 years earlier," Ms Baldwin said.

"World No Tobacco Day provides a great opportunity for current smokers to make a quit attempt and help turn this alarming trend around for future generations," she said.

"In the 1940s tobacco products were heavily promoted to Australian men, while in the 1960s and '70s the tobacco companies sought to exploit the female market with brand names like Slims, menthol cigarettes and packaging stylised to appeal to women.

"Current progress by the Australian Government to ban retail displays of cigarettes and introduce plain packaging will help to lessen the fashion appeal of cigarettes as a product and deter our youth from taking up this deadly habit."

With 32,000 Queensland school children aged 12-17 smoking weekly, there was still a lot more work to be done, Ms Baldwin said.

"It all starts with smokers leading by example and making a quit attempt."We know a person's risk of lung cancer is strongly related to how long they have been smoking and the number of cigarettes smoked.

"Compared with non-smokers, smokers have more than a 10-fold increased risk of developing lung cancer.

"Quitting smoking has immediate health benefits and reduces a person's risk of developing lung cancer as damaged cells start to repair, with overall lung function improving as soon as three months after quitting."

For information and support on how to quit smoking, phone the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20 or contact Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 78 48).

http://www.dailymercury.com.au/story/20 ... for-women/


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:16 am 
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'Westernisation' will see cancer rates soar: study

A new study says that cases of cancer around the world may increase by 75 per cent in less than 20 years.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer says that better living standards in the developing world will lead to higher rates of certain types of cancer.

That is partly because more people will live long enough for certain cancers to appear, but it is also because more people will be able to afford things like tobacco and the kind of diet associated with cancers of the stomach and bowel.

In Australia, the Cancer Council says we face a major burden on the health system unless Australians eat, drink and smoke less.

Dr Freddie Bray, who led the study, said researchers wanted to see how patterns of cancer are changing as countries become more developed.

"What we observe is an increasing cancer burden that will fall predominantly on those countries that are in the process of social and economic transitions," he said.

"And of specific note is the fact that because of these socioeconomic transitions, the types of cancer that are most common are indeed changing.

"So we do predict that the global burden will increase; in 2008, 12.7 million cases. We predict that will increase to 22.2 million cases so indeed a 75 per cent increase in the burden."

In the poorest countries, improved screening, vaccination and treatment programs are reducing the number of deaths of some cancers.

We do see declines in the likes of stomach cancer and cervical cancer. But that is being replaced by an increasing burden of cancers perhaps more associated with westernisation if you like.

But overall the researchers still predict instances of cancer will rise in those poor countries by more than 90 per cent.

"What we do see is in the few decades we've seen a reduction in certain types of cancer, particularly those associated with infection," Dr Bray said.

"So we do see declines in the likes of stomach cancer and cervical cancer.

"But that is being replaced by an increasing burden of cancers perhaps more associated with westernisation if you like.

"So we see increases, for example, in female breast cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. We see that in a diverse set of countries that are in this societal and economic change."

Australian cases rising

The Cancer Council of Australia says the study is significant because it draws on such a broad range of data from across the world.

"This data is particularly useful within the Australian context because it is a clear signal that we're only going to see an increasing burden of cancer on our health system," Craig Sinclair, the council's public health committee chairman, said.

He says cancer is already on the rise in Australia, where the deadliest forms are lung, stomach, breast and colon cancer.

"We have clearly an ageing population," Mr Sinclair said.

"Much better treatment means that more Australians are living much longer which can only be a good thing, but it also means as we live longer our risk of getting cancer is much higher.

"There's also been changes in the Australian context in terms of our lifestyle. We're probably being less physically active, we're eating more processed food and we're getting larger. So obesity is also a key contributing factor to cancer as well.

"All those things combined, with now quite good screening programs, means that a lot more people are being screened, whether it's for breast cancer or cervical cancer or bowel cancer and this is also bringing forward those cancers much earlier."

Mr Sinclair says 30 to 40 per cent of cancers can be prevented through lifestyle change.

He says unless governments act, they will face a major burden on the health system.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-01/w ... nt/4046294


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:07 am 
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At 163 cm tall and weighing in at 70 kilos, this is the average Australian woman

STANDING a modest 163cm tall, model Melanie tips the scales at 70kg.

Her body mass index makes her borderline overweight but she is the average Australian woman.

Yet when photos of her were shown to members of the public, most thought she was fat.

The typical Australian woman now weighs 70.1kg, up from 67kg in 1995, while men are heavier too -- 85.2kg compared with 82kg.

And this upward trend in size and weight does not augur well for our future health.

"One and a half million Australians are overweight so we're getting heavier,"Kristen Hazelwood, head of education and prevention at the Australian Diabetes Council, said.

"Being overweight contributes to two major health issues - heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Obesity is also linked to cancer, depression and kidney disease."

Hazelwood warned our children may be the first generation who don't outlive their parents but the nation still doesn't get how grave the situation is.

"It's not the pear shape that's the problem, it's the apple shape," she said.

Carrying extra weight around the abdomen, as Melanie does, is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.

Melanie, who is a paid model, knew her image would be used in a weight debate.

A diet high in junk food and a sedentary lifestyle are usually to blame for weight gain.

But Hazelwood said there was another factor at play: we're unhappy.

"We've forgotten how to enjoy life," she said.

"We tend to work too hard and we don't make time to get out in the fresh air. We're eating in front of the TV and because of our stress levels we tend to go for comfort foods."

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/d ... 6381374773


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