30th anniversary of Australian legal ruling on second-hand smoke

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In an article in the Lancet, Neil Francey wrote in celebration of 30 years since the Australian court found that second-hand smoke causes lung cancer in non-smokers and respiratory disease in children, which was the first decision of its kind by a superior court anywhere in the world.

Neil Francey acted as Counsel for Australian Federation of Consumer Organisations Inc (AFCO) throughout the AFCO versus the Tobacco Institute of Australia Limited (TIA) proceedings. He highlighted that the case arose from TIA’s advertisement on July 1, 1986 which was part of a covert strategy devised by international tobacco companies in 1977 to address the threat thought to be posed by public concern over passive smoking.

Francey reflects on what has been learnt since then, and cautions that, while the tobacco industry still engages in tactics to promote its harmful products and frustrate the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, “there is much work still to be done in tobacco control”.

You can read the full article here.