Smoke Signals

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‘Guns don’t kill people, (bad and mad) people kill people’ … oh really? Alan Moir

The arguments that carried Australia’s 1996 gun law reforms

Former Prime Minister John Howard and all Australia’s states and territories united to introduce sweeping gun law reforms just 12 days after the then world’s worst civilian firearm massacre. When they…
I support nudging smoking choices by taxation policy, packaging, warnings and information campaigns. But redefining adulthood is a step too far. Lana Veshta/Shutterstock

When is a smoker an adult? Why we shouldn’t raise the legal smoking age to 21

The Tasmanian government is considering whether to raise the age at which people can legally purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 or possibly even 25. California is also moving to increase the legal…
No 1: today’s smokers are all hard core, addicted smokers who can’t or won’t give up. Zentinel/Shutterstock

Ten more myths about smoking that will not die

Last week, I wrote about factoid-driven myths that just refuse to die. In less than a week, the piece has had more than 1.184 million readers. There’s plainly a big appetite for smoking myth busting, so…
No 1: Women and girls smoke more than men. prudkov/Shutterstock

Ten myths about smoking that will not die

Across forty years I’ve come to recognise many factoid-driven myths about smoking that just won’t die. If I asked for a dollar each time I had to refute these statements, I’d have accumulated a small fortune…
A younger Simon Chapman with his dad, Alec Chapman. Author provided.

Dying with dignity with dementia

My father Alec, who died peacefully at 89 in his sleep, had dementia and lived in a nursing home for the last seven years of his life. After Mum died, he lived alone in their Mittagong home for about a…