Smoking is a huge burden
ISABEL Bird's article (The Examiner, November 26) highlights that the Launceston General Hospital has more emergency presentations than Hobart and has had 110 per cent growth in the past decade.
As Health Minister Sarah Courtney says, people are presenting much sicker with complex needs. Hospitals are failing, doctors and nurses struggling; exhausted paramedics in ambulances are ramped on doorsteps.
There is a reason for this. Patients with smoking caused respiratory diseases, cancers and heart disease fill our hospitals.
More than 5000 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients alone are admitted every year and stay for more than 26 days at a time, costing well over $10 million. Smoking is the biggest cost driver. Why can't the government be just as decisive on tobacco smoking as on COVID-19? COVID-19 has a case fatality rate of under 3 per cent. Tobacco smoking has a case fatality rate of 66 per cent. Mr Gutwein, Ms Courtney and public health officials have done an outstanding public health disease prevention job on COVID-19. Tough, decisive, exemplary action. Saved lives and money.
We need to reduce the uptake of smoking and introduce the T21 legislation and raise the tobacco sales age to 21 years.
Let us see your determination and strength once again Mr Gutwein.
Dr Kathryn Barnsley, Smoke Free Tasmania.
Human need to admit facts
M. SEWARD (The Examiner, November 14) in questioning global warming and the conclusions drawn from historical data makes a case for the lack of accuracy in how records were measured. He then cites the amount of bitumen, concrete and steel on the planet not to mention the number of trees reduced in certain areas.
All actions brought about by us humans.
Bitumen for more cars. Steel from coking coal. Concrete delivered by fossil-fuelled plants and vehicles. Trees felled by fossil-fuelled equipment and transported by the same etc. Can we just stop nitpicking and accept that we, us humans, have a major impact on the environment we live in - including the impact on our climate?
Adam Holmes (The Examiner, November 14) is worth the read for the most important point of all in citing the Keeling Curve: "Like all areas of science, it is constantly refined and improved with every paper, it doesn't give exact predictions - it details the probability". We have been living these probabilities for some time now.
Tony Newport, Hillwood.
Domestic violence problem
THE Examiner's attention to the issue of family violence is greatly valuable, and I would like to draw your attention to something many people are unaware of; the barriers facing those leaving abusive relationships who are co-owners of their home. Homeownership and co-ownership prevent victims from being eligible for public and most other social housing, even if they have documentation of significant violence showing it is unsafe to return.
With shelters and other emergency accommodation unable to cope with the demand, and rentals being hyper-competitive even for those with excellent rental references for tenancies it seems obscene that the public safety net that social housing should provide is withheld. I consider this a matter worth further attention in this publication.