Harbour upgrade worries
In regard to your news story on September 4 - Harbour upgrade plans continuing - I note that the subject now seems to be in the control of people who have no skills or experience in the subject and who dislike the past recommendations of those who have. It seems that fishermen who are bent on chasing the critically endangered bluefin tuna are now calling the shots. I have been personally involved in noting the behaviour of sand deposition in Lady Bay for longer than sixty years, particularly with reference to the outlet of the Japan Street storm water drain which once went directly to sea, and believe that the construction of a spur to partially enclose the boat harbour will prejudice our swimming beach. I suggest that council ask its consultants to estimate the rate of sand deposition to be caused by the spur and the annual cost of its disposal together with the recommended source of such funds.
Graham Keith, Warrnambool
No to climate emergency
So environmental warriors want local councils to declare a climate emergency. They want this yet ignore the fact that The Amazon is burning due to thousands of fires. The Amazon fires are a climate emergency, so why demand our councils to do it here when there is NO need to do so and for NO results. Very hypocritical. They would be better off doing something to save the lungs of the earth.
Helen Jorgensen, Portland
Vaping risks exaggerated
I write as health professional in the field of tobacco harm reduction in response to an opinion piece by psychologist, Dr Michelle Jongenelis on Thursday, August 29 on the subject of vaping. It is important that smokers are given accurate information about vaping so they can make an informed choice, not the scaremongering in Dr Jongenelis' piece.
Dr Jongenelis implies that the recent death of a US man from a serious lung disease was due to vaping nicotine. This is incorrect. It is now clear that most, if not all, of those affected in this outbreak were using contaminated black-market THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) oils.
Dr Jongenelis also exaggerates the risks of vaping. Vaping nicotine liquid is not risk-free, but it has not been linked to any serious respiratory harm or deaths in humans. The UK Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England have estimated that the long-term risk of vaping is likely to be no more than 5% of the risk of smoking. Most of the harm from smoking is caused by tar and carbon monoxide, which is absent from vapour.
The article claims that the vaping industry is largely owned by Big Tobacco. It is not. Only 10% of products in the US are controlled by the tobacco industry. No vaping products are sold in Australia by Big Tobacco.
Dr Jongenelis exaggerates the risk of nicotine poisoning. A recent review by the Australian Poisons Information Centres from 2009-2016 found that exposure was rare, most cases were mild and there were no serious adverse events or deaths. There have been 2-3 deaths from poisoning globally in children over the last 10 years.
Dr Jongenelis fails to mention that vaping nicotine is the most popular quitting aid globally and arguably the most effective method with 40 million current users. Smokers who switch to vaping have substantial health improvements, are exposed to dramatically fewer toxins, feel better and save a lot of money.
Conjoint Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn, Foundation Chair, Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association
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