Two old announcements from a Health Department

Two announcements from the Western Australian Health Department.
In June 1988, in Western Australia the Health Department in full-page
advertisements in local papers declared: “The statistics are
frightening. Smoking will kill almost 700 women in Western Australia
this year. If present trends continue, lung cancer will soon overtake
breast cancer as the most common malignant cancer in women”. What was
frightening was not the statistics but the fact that a Health
Department should lie about them.

In 1987 the same Health Department
in its own publications had said: “Suggestions by some commentators
that lung cancer deaths in women will overtake breast cancer deaths in
the next few years look increasingly unlikely…female lung cancer
death rates have fallen for the last 2 years.(“Cancer in Western
Australia”, May 1987)It was predicted, correctly, that breast cancer
would far outweigh lung cancer for the next 14 years. (“Cancer
Projections”, 1987} One message (false) for the public, another (true)
for the professional. ( HealthDept1) ( HealthDept2) Installed 20 May