The National Retail Association (NRA) has created the inaugural ‘Dirty Mirror Award’ and bestowed it on the Australian Medical Association (AMA) for its “breathtaking hypocrisy in public affairs”.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the AMA deserved the award for its efforts to protect the monopoly over nicotine vaping enjoyed by doctors and pharmacists.
“Doctors are set to make a lot of money from prescribing nicotine products for vaping, and then sending customers on to pharmacies so they can get a slice of the vaping action,” Lamb said.
“The only businesses in the equation who are not making money from nicotine vaping are Australian retailers. So, it’s understandable that in its public positioning the doctors’ union has sought to protect that monopoly at all costs.
“In doing so, they have attacked mum and dad retail businesses who would like to transition away from selling cigarettes and move to vaping, which has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as a less harmful alternative to smoking.
“So, for using anti-tobacco day to stop Australian businesses reducing their reliance on tobacco; for happily agreeing that GPs and chemists should take money for vaping but no-one else; and for all-round extraordinary hypocrisy, we happily nominate the AMA for the Dirty Mirror Award.
“In fact, the self-interest is so breathtaking, we wonder if the AMA has taken a Hypocritic Oath.”
Lamb said although rank hypocrisy and self-interest was rife in Australian political debate, the doctor’s union had clearly stood out from the pack among the 2021 entries.
She said the NRA would continue to run anti-smoking campaigns and would continue to advocate on behalf of retailers who wanted to shift away from cigarette sales.
“In handing over this award, we have to admire the brazen self-interest of the AMA, but perhaps doctors ought to kick their own vaping habit before lecturing others.
“It’s a case of physician heal thyself, or maybe just take a good hard look in the dirty mirror.”
The National Retail Association is the voice of modern retail, representing more than 30,000 stores across Australia. It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast-food sectors for close to 100 years.