Calls for Doyle to resign!
LORD Mayor Robert Doyle has caused a storm by suggesting there is no evidence passive smoking causes lung cancer.
Source: The Age
Cr Doyle, who is also chairman of Melbourne Health, told 774 ABC Radio: ''I don't know of a case of cancer that has been caused by passive smoking.''
When told there has been, he said: ''Have there? Really? I don't know of one. I am happy to be corrected.''
The lord mayor was discussing plans by Monash City Council to consult residents about the possibility of banning smoking at outdoor cafes and sporting events. He said there had been no discussion at Melbourne City Council to extend smoking bans.
Mike Daube, professor of health policy at Curtin University and president of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, said: ''There is very clear evidence on passive smoking and lung cancer. The lord mayor should be ashamed of himself for making a comment like that. It sounds to me very ill-informed and irresponsible.''
Mr Daube said Cr Doyle was behind the times, with jurisdictions throughout Australia - including Western Australia - introducing laws to curb smoking at outdoor cafes.
''It is the sort of comment you used to get in the 1970s and '80s.''
The chairman of lung service at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Associate Professor David Ball, said no one knows the point at which tobacco smoke becomes safe.
Professor Ball, who has worked at Peter MacCallum for more than 30 years, said: ''The most sensible advice I would give to people is to avoid tobacco smoke altogether.
''We know that about 10 per cent of people who are lung cancer sufferers have never smoked, so the cause of their cancer is unclear and it would not be unreasonable to conclude that some of those people may have caught it from the cancer-producing substance in tobacco smoke that they may have been exposed to, either through their contact with relatives or close family members.''
Professor Ball supported banning smoking in outdoor dining areas.
''We think any strategy that reduces tobacco smoking is a good thing. Tobacco smoking is the biggest reversible cause of illness and cancer death in our society.''
Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie said: ''Exposure to second-hand smoke is a cause of cancer.''
She said the evidence was ''incredibly well documented''.
''Given that Robert Doyle is the chair of Melbourne Health, which includes the Royal Melbourne Hospital, he has probably got many doctors there he could check it with,'' she said.