Quit is a program of Cancer Council Victoria.

Cancer Council and Quit Victoria are not separate organisations. They share the same physical address, email domain and their employees work for the same company. Quit is a program or business unit of Cancer Council Victoria.

This may come as a shock to Victorian MPs being pressured by the organisation to pass new laws banning e-cigarettes.

“In terms of electronic cigarettes, Quit Victoria and Cancer Council Victoria endorsed the measures in the proposed legislation. We believe this legislation will minimise the potential risks of e-cigarettes, particularly for children and adolescents, yet still allow the realisation of the potential benefits of e-cigarettes into the future.

As I have said before, I very much appreciate the input from the cancer council and also Quit in relation to this, and Todd Harper and Sarah White have been particularly helpful.

Mary Wooldridge MP - Hansard - Thursday, 1 September 2016

Why did we think they were separate orgs?

MPs and the public could be forgiven for thinking Quit Victoria and Cancer Council Victoria are separate organisations.

The two page (but ludicrously one sided) “E-cigarette Fact Sheet” distributed to Victorian MPs suggests four organisations supporting it, not three.

fact sheet header

The accompanying letter gives no hint that Sarah White is employed by Cancer Council Victoria as program director for their Quit service. Her public profile on LinkedIn confirms this is the case.

letter sigs

We were amazed to discover no registered organisation called “Quit Victoria” at ASIC or the Australian Business Register. This week an association advocating for people with nicotine dependence was formed that registered under the name ‘Quit Victoria’. We believe they are happy for Cancer Council to continue using the name for their program but would like them to be clear that it is just that.

Why it matters

People mistake Cancer Council and Quit Victoria for two distinct voices in violent agreement. This appears to have occurred in Victorian parliament where bans on e-cigarettes are currently being debated.

Cancer Council are ignoring an expert report from Royal College of Physicians endorsing e-cigarettes while, in the words of one of their own employees this week, “over-interpreting dubious information”.

Decisions that affect people’s lives should be based on evidence, not who can shout the loudest or change their voice.