In brief: Government slammed for inaction on silicosis reforms; Which students smoke, vape the most?; TSANZSRS 2021 virtual with a NZ hub

Government accused of tinkering around the edges of silicosis reform

Proposed reforms recommended by the National Dust Disease Taskforce are tantamount to just ‘tinkering around the edges’, the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) says.

The union says the reforms recommended by the government-endorsed Taskforce will only give extra protection for stonemasons, leaving other workers such as those in the construction industry, miners, quarry workers and tunnellers out in the cold.

“What’s currently on the table makes no sense. If we can make workplaces safer for one group of workers, why not make it safer for everyone?” said AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton.

“We know what’s needed to prevent people from dying from this horrific disease. But the Federal Government just wants to tinker around the edges.”

“It took two decades to make James Hardie pay and for the truth to come out about asbestos. It would be a disgrace if we allow history to repeat itself,”

Students still prefer smoking to e-cigarettes  

Australian students are five times more likely to be tobacco smokers than vapers, new research suggests.

A study carried out at the University of Queensland estimated the prevalence of ever, current and daily smoking of 45.2%, 8.9% and 5.2% among students , compared to 20.9%, 1.8% and 0.7% for use of e-cigarettes.

A parallel survey carried out in New Zealand where vaping is  less restricted, found that 37.6% of students were ever users, 6.5% were current vapers and 2.5% were daily users of e-cigarettes

Smoking rates were 50%, 10.4% and 5.6%, respectively, among NZ students.

Consistent with previous research, they also identified a strong gender influence, with male students more likely to smoke or vape.

“This indicates that men in a university setting are an important target group for smoking and vaping cessation health promotion,” they wrote in the study published in BMJ Open.

TSANZSRS 2021 will be virtual 

Like most medical conferences this year, TSANZSRS2021 will be fully virtual, with a NZ hub in Auckland. The conference themes remain unchanged; for TSANZ it is “Transformative strategies for improving global lung health” and for ANZSRS “Back to Basics”.

The meeting will be a weekend intensive program scheduled on May 1st and 2nd, 2021 and sessions will be recorded and viewed at the delegates leisure. For more information on the programme visit:

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