Youth Clothing Chain's Actions Irresponsible

Monday 23 June, 2003

Quit Victoria has labelled the actions of national youth clothing chain Supré as totally irresponsible following revelations that the chain is selling a tee shirt emblazoned with the words 'smoke to be thin'. Quit purchased one of the tee shirts from the chain's Dandenong store this week.

Executive Director Todd Harper says given community concern about the numbers of young girls taking up smoking, Supré have shown an appalling lapse of judgement.

""It is beyond belief that a clothing chain, that according to it’s website targets young girls, would actively promote such an irresponsible message.""

""There have been considerable efforts by health groups, schools and parents to communicate the serious short and long term consequences of smoking.

“A round 6000 women die in Australia each year from smoking related illness - t his tee shirt trivialises the leading cause of preventable death among Australian women.""

“Only this week we’ve seen the release of new data showing that every year in Australia around 43,000 children move from experimentation to established smoking.”

“Research has shown that this habit is deadly in the long terms, and in the short term causes wrinkles, affects women’s fertility and can even make period pain worse.”

Mr Harper says the tee shirt is not only irresponsible, but may be illegal.

“We’ve had legal advice that this tee shirt breaches the Federal Government’s legislation which bans tobacco advertisements. The maximum penalty that can be imposed for this breach is $12,000.”

“We will be referring this matter to the Federal Government for investigation, and would expect them to take firm action on this issue.”

ends

Smoking rates amongst Australian schoolgirls

14 years

15 years

16 years

17 years

22%

24%

28%

30%

Source: Changes and use in tobacco amongst Australian secondary students: results of the 1999 prevalence study and comparisons with earlier years, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Volume 26 Number 2, April 2002

Further information:
Zoe Furman,
Media Communications Manager