22,000 deaths a year caused by tobacco and alcohol consumption and related illnesses.

Tobacco, like alcohol and other drugs, has a tremendous social and economic impact on the health and wellbeing of Australian communities.

In an effort to make smoking less appealing the Government is about to introduce the plain packaging legislation. Another step in the right direction would be to ban political donations from both the tobacco and alcohol industry heavyweights.

While the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) strongly commends reported decisions that some Federal Opposition Backbenchers plan to side with the Government to pass plain packaging legislation, political donations that buy “favours” must also be eliminated.

The Chief Executive Officer of the  Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA), Mr David Templeman, said “Politicians of all persuasions should be more concerned about the good health of their constituents and not be swayed by big business bent on sales, no matter whether its tobacco or alcohol.”

“ADCA acknowledges and supports the current moves for plain packaging, as well as the latest action taken by the Australian Greens to amend electoral laws to ban donations to political parties by tobacco companies,” Mr Templeman said. “But let’s not just focus on tobacco, let’s extend the initiative to ban donations from both tobacco and alcohol industry giants.”

Mr Templeman said there was proven evidence that both smoking and drinking contributes to high levels of cancer incidence which could result in death, require lengthy stays in hospital, or result in life-long medication.

“The Cancer Council of New South Wales has found that the national daily smoking rate for those aged 14 and over is 16.6 per cent, with the Cancer Council of Australia linking alcohol consumption to some 22 per cent of Australia’s breast cancer cases, and increasing bowel cancer in men,” Mr Templeman said.

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA)