Australian Health Minister - orders facebook probe..

October 9, 2009 - Health Minister Nicola Roxon says her department is investigating reports big tobacco companies are using social networking sites like Facebook to hook young people onto cigarettes.

University of Sydney PHD student Becky Freeman told a conference in Darwin the tobacco industry is abusing the internet because the web does not have the same advertising controls as print and television.

Ms Roxon says it looks like tobacco companies are trying to get around Australia's strict regulations."I don't think it's good form for tobacco companies to be out trying to hook young people onto tobacco when we know the harm that it causes," she said.

"So we take a very dim view of these reports. But I have asked my department to get the details, find out how much this is happening and to advise me on any actions that can be taken if that's appropriate."

Reference: Roxon orders facebook probe, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), 10/7/2009.

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