A daughter’s crusade against tobacco

August 27, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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For three years Nicola Roxon has waged a war against ‘big tobacco’; lauded as a visionary by some and a nanny state advocate by others.


Nicola Roxon

Two weeks ago she and the government won an unprecedented victory when the High Court ruled in their favour, allowing a world first: plain packaging for cigarettes.

The news went global instantly and Nicola Roxon’s reputation as a preventative health crusader was sealed.

Kicking the Habit offers exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to Australia’s first female Attorney- General as she learns of the High Court decision, and explores the family history and motivations driving her crusade against big tobacco.

Nicola Roxon was 10 when her father died of a tobacco-related illness. The family had arrived in London for a year’s sabbatical and within three months of diagnosis, Jack Roxon was dead. He was Jewish.

‘Very quickly we knew it was serious and that he had cancer of various parts of the oesophagus. I don’t think I was really old enough to know how precious that last little bit of time was, but it was a very difficult family time and I don’t think it actually hit me that Dad was going to die ‘til he did,’ says Nicola Roxon.

Lesley Roxon says of her daughter’s fight against tobacco, ‘I feel very proud if that means other families like ours have their husband and father for many years’.

We also hear about a little known family connection. Nicola Roxon talks about her famous aunt Lillian Roxon, the ‘mother of rock-n-roll’ who took New York by storm in the 1970s. A firebrand feminist, she was a crucial role model.

‘Lillian Roxon was an amazing figure; she was a journalist at a time when there weren’t that many women journalists. She was this larger than life very colourful character. She was definitely a role model, particularly her interest in journalism was something that I was really interested in as a teenager,’ recalls Nicola Roxon.



One Response to “A daughter’s crusade against tobacco”
  1. david says:

    Now we have it TRUTH a personal cause used as a means to use her political influence on people This is not democracy , but a sinister form of dictatership an idealism Be very carefull to whom you bestow power over you.

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