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Media Release

Cancer Council applauds Minister Hunt’s strong stance on e-cigarettes

September 4, 2019

Cancer Council has applauded federal Health Minister Greg Hunt for his continued strong stance on e-cigarettes, in the face of increasingly aggressive tobacco industry lobbying to push e-cigarettes despite growing evidence of their harms. 

Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO, Cancer Council Australia said Australia was fortunate to have robust processes that protect the community from the influence of commercial lobbying and that Minister Hunt’s position was aligned with the current evidence. 

“When it comes to commercial lobbying, it doesn’t get much worse than the tobacco industry and their allies, with their long history of seeking to subvert public health policy to push its profit-making,” Professor Aranda said. 

As a signatory to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Australia has a commitment to protect public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry. 

“We are also fortunate to have health ministers and officials in all federal, state and territory jurisdictions who understand the importance of Australia’s evidence-based policy processes. 

“Recent media reports of scaled-up industry lobbying to promote their products further highlights the importance of using evidence, not industry interests and opinions, to underpin public health policy. 

“There are clear indications that e-cigarettes are causing serious health harms in young people. As the evidence against e-cigarettes mounts, the industry appears to be lobbying governments more aggressively to push its products. It’s an old industry tactic, to confuse opinion with evidence and infiltrate the halls of power. 

“Minister Hunt has been a strong supporter of the evidence and the importance of proper process throughout and should be applauded for continuing to stare down industry lobbying.” 

Professor Aranda said Minister Hunt had further shown his support for evidence-based public health policy, with his recently renewed commitment to drive down smoking rates and leading a new prevention strategy. 

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