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How low can you go; Fruit cigarettes aimed at youth market.



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Media Release- Ann Corcoran MP S Sh ha ad do ow w P Pa ar rl li ia am me en nt ta ar ry y S Se ec cr re et ta ar ry y f fo or r H He ea al lt th h Federal Member for Isaacs

How low can you go; Fruit cigarettes aimed at youth market

“In an almost farcical addition to yesterday’s announcement of a deal being negotiated between the Australia Competition Consumer Commission (ACCC) and tobacco companies about correcting misleading information of “light” and “mild” cigarettes, a Melbourne newspaper is reporting the sale of fruit flavoured cigarettes aimed at young

women.

“Though smoking rates have lowered in Australia, young people are still taking up the habit at a much higher rate than the rest of the population. Currently 70,000 young people take up smoking every year and more than 90 per cent of Australians who currently smoke began as teenagers.

“It seems tobacco companies are still failing to understand that it is unethical to market a product that costs the health system and the community so dearly. No cigarettes are safe. There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco, 250 are toxic poisons, 50 cause cancers.

“There should be no mixed messages sent to young people about smoking. It doesn’t matter what the labels say, smoking any type of tobacco cigarette is harmful to your health. We can’t afford to be ambiguous about our approach to tobacco marketing.

“I call on the Howard Government to get serious about tobacco companies and

• Ensure the advertising campaign about “light” and “mild” cigarettes is not influenced by the tobacco companies.

• Follow the Labor Party’s approach and not accept political donations from tobacco companies. Tobacco donations compromise the ability to get tough on these companies and properly address the damage they cause.

Thursday April 28, 2005

For further information contact: Ann Corcoran MP on (03) 5995 2905 or Sofia Dedes on 0422 769 985.