LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

A group of professionals has commended the government’s intention to enhance smoking cessation services and maintain mass media campaigns.

A group of professionals has commended the government’s intention to enhance smoking cessation services and maintain mass media campaigns.

Smoking

CONGRATULATIONS on the excellent editorial ‘Opportunity missed to set a new standard’ (The Examiner, Aug 2) .

We commend the government’s intention to enhance smoking cessation services and maintain mass media campaigns.

However, most other smoking related actions within the Healthy Tasmania strategy are inadequate. Proposed actions punish smokers and children, are misdirected at illicit tobacco, and simply do not go far enough toward ensuring better health outcomes for fellow Tasmanians.

The government has abandoned the idea of raising the smoking age.

We are delighted about that because their proposal was aimed at criminalising smokers, an action which would maintain tobacco smoking as a “badge of coming of age” (to quote Imperial Tobacco). The Tobacco Free Generation Bill, presented by the Honourable Ivan Dean to the Legislative Council, is targeted at reducing the uptake of tobacco smoking among young Tasmanians.

It works by persuasion, sending all those born from 2000 the clear signal that there is no safe age for tobacco smoking. Instead of being punitive toward existing smokers and small retailers, it restricts retailers to their present customer base without expanding into future generations of Tasmanians.

Those of us who are doctors deal with the devastating effects of tobacco smoking almost daily.

We are personally affected when we have to tell patients and their families that they have a painful terminal illness.

We know that prevention is better than cure.

The Hodgman government has an opportunity to simultaneously improve the health of all Tasmanians and to reduce the burden on our public health system.

It is time for the government to respond to the calls of 'front line' workers in Tasmanian health facilities and support the Tobacco Free Generation.

Dr Nick Towle, Heybridge, Professor Mark Nelson, Hobart, Associate Professor Len Crocombe, Hobart, Dr James Markos, Launceston, Dr Collin Chia, Launceston.

City Mission

ONE must praise the City Mission for their wonderful effort in assisting those who have chosen drugs in our community.

Especially our youth who with poor future outlooks cucumber to peer pressure, lack of employment, hopelessness, thrill seeking, and lack of ambition.

Most of us are unaware it is a real problem in our beautiful city, but it is.

The problem has become so great even the City Mission is stretched to their limits, and needs help.

The City Mission not only supplies a bed, food and clothing but genuine interest, love, kindness and care from dedicated councillors.

In my retirement I volunteer a few hours a week in Morton House helping in their kitchen.

“I love it”, those who attend, some are down on their luck, some are just lonely and need companionship.

But there I get to meet these caring and loving councillors who go out of their way to offer assistance, kindness and direction, to these unfortunate drug affected people.

Well Done City Mission, but at least you have made a step in the right direct in this long journey.

Peter Doddy, Trevallyn.

Guide Dogs

I THINK guide dogs are absolutely marvellous. Guide Dogs Australia spokesperson Graeme White said “the organisation relied on the generosity of the community to continue its work”.

Wouldn’t you reckon the uncaring government would throw some funds towards such a marvellous charity? While the government can find $10 million to sink a ship, it can’t even help a blind person around the block.

A.R. Trounson, Needles.

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