RETROGRADE STEP

Press reports from Australia, which prides itself to be among the first countries in the world to impose smoking bansin public places, say that flag carrier Qantas has had the audacity to reintroducethe sale of cigarettes on its international flights. The airline claims “increased demand” for its decision. The move has been slammed by the […]


Press reports from Australia, which prides itself to be among the first countries in the world to impose smoking bansin public places, say that flag carrier Qantas has had the audacity to reintroducethe sale of cigarettes on its international flights. The airline claims “increased demand” for its decision.

The move has been slammed by the Australian Medical Association with its president, Dr Rosanna Capolingua,being quoted as saying that after all thework of the anti-smoking lobby, it is aretrograde step.

“We’ve worked really hard in Australia to educate people not to smoke, to try and remove the perverse influences that encourage people tosmoke. We’ve had a good result withan improvement to health outcomes and the saving of lives. For Qantas totake this step, seems to be a backward,a retrograde step.”

Anti-smoking lobby groups have joined the AMA criticism, saying theywere extremely disappointed with the Qantas decision.

This is the same company that will cut 1,500 jobs by Dec. 31 and cancel a planned 8 percent boost in capacity for its 2009 fiscal year.

Apart from being disappointed,nay disgusted, with the decision, ourguess is that instead of “increased demand”, Qantas is probably resorting to selling fags to compensate for a major downturn in revenues.