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Tobacco companies not trustworthy, according to Victorian study

Friday 8 July, 2005

The tobacco industry is a clear winner in the shonky stakes with a new study revealing that less than 1% of Victorians think that tobacco companies always tell the truth.

New research from the Cancer Council Victoria shows that almost four out of five Victorians think tobacco companies either never or mostly do not tell the truth when it comes smoking issues.

Quit Victoria's Executive Director, Mr Todd Harper, said the results were not surprising, given the tobacco industry’s track record at withholding important information from the public.

""This is an industry whose objective is to sell more products, and therefore addict more smokers and this has not changed over time. They are the same today as they were yesterday, as they were five years ago and as they were twenty years ago.""

“All you need to is look at the horrifying story of 'lights’ and  milds’ fraud to see how reluctant the tobacco industry has been to tell the truth in the past. They knew all along that these products were no less dangerous than other cigarettes, yet concealed levels of harm to protect profit.”

Mr Harper said the public was increasingly aware to the backdoor tactics of the tobacco industry, and would continue to be wary of any attempts by the industry to paint themselves as model corporate citizens.

“Victorians are a pretty savvy bunch of people, and the results of this study show they are unwilling to have the wool pulled over their eyes when it comes to smoking issues.”

Results include:
· 0.8% of Victorians think tobacco companies always tell the truth
· 84% of people 50 or over believe that tobacco companies never, or mostly do not tell the truth
· 81% of people between 30-49 believe that tobacco companies never, or mostly do not tell the truth
· 68% of people between 18-29 believe that tobacco companies never, or mostly do not tell the truth
· 85.2% of former smokers believe that tobacco companies never, or mostly do not tell the truth
· 79.8% of never smokers believe that tobacco companies never, or mostly do not tell the truth
· 71.3% of smokers believe that tobacco companies never, or mostly do not tell the truth

ends

Edwina Vellar,
Media Manager
ph: (03) 9635 5400
mob: 0417 303 811
email: Edwina.Vellar@cancervic.org.au

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