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WHO launches smoke-free celebrity campaign targeting youth

World No Tobacco Day, which took place on May 31 this year, was themed “Tobacco – a threat to development.”

http://www.ecns.cn/2017/06-02/259994.shtml

The Chinese arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a “smoke-free next generation” media campaign on June 1, inviting Chinese celebrities to encourage youngsters not to smoke. Four young Chinese celebrities, actor Wang Jia, actress Guan Xiaotong, Yiyang Qianxi of the music group TFBoys, and visual artist Chen Man, were invited to join the campaign.

“Tobacco is a threat to any person. It brings suffering, disease, death, and impoverishes families. I had never thought about smoking before, and after the event I am more determined not to smoke,” Yiyang Qianxi, member of the TFBoys, said.

“Smoking is harmful not only for the smokers, but also for nonsmokers through passive smoking,” Guan Xiaotong added.

Tobacco control is a global health issue, and reminding young people of the danger of smoking plays an important role in curbing the tobacco epidemic.

According to WHO, up to 10 billion cigarettes per day are smoked, and more than seven million deaths are linked to tobacco use every year. WHO predicts that the number of deaths caused by tobacco might grow to more than eight million a year by 2030, intensive action is not taken.

In fact, more than half of adult men are smokers in China, two-thirds of whom started smoking as young adults.

“There is absolute nothing cool or fashionable about developing lung cancer, oral cancer and yellow teeth. In other words, there’s nothing cool about smoking, But, there is something empowering about choosing to live a healthy, smoke-free life,” said Dr. Bernhard Schwartländer, the WHO representative in China.

Tobacco endangers the lives of millions of people around the world. It threatens our future and the development of economies and the environment. Tobacco harms our health and destroys our efforts to build a healthier, more prosperous and peaceful world.

Please say no to tobacco.

High cigarette prices can really make you quit smoking

WHO says increased taxation on tobacco is least expensive and most effective tool in reducing smoking worldwide.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2017/05/high-cigarette-prices-quit-smoking-170525092939544.html

Tobacco remains one of the major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, lung and cardiovascular diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that tobacco is responsible for the death of around seven million people across the globe every year.

Over the last two decades, there has been a significant reduction in the percentage of people smoking every day across the world, but the WHO says a lot more needs to be done to deter people from smoking cigarettes.

In a bid to curb consumption, governments have been enforcing stricter regulations on tobacco products and their usage.

Several countries are increasingly implementing strategies to tighten their tobacco policies in the hopes of deterring smoking, especially among young people.

Raising taxes on tobacco products is seen to be one of the least expensive and the most effective tools in countering the influence of tobacco companies. But it is also the least implemented, with only 10 percent of the world’s population currently living in countries with sufficiently high taxes.

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A 2010 WHO report found that 78 percent of those aged 15 years and over in the WHO member states were non-smokers.

By 2025, the number of non-smokers is expected to rise to around 5 billion out of a projected 6.1 billion people aged 15 and over.

Currently, nearly a third of all men are smokers, making the prevalence of smoking among men considerably higher than among women. Over the past 30 years, smoking among men has decreased by 10 percent.

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The price of a pack of cigarettes

Increasing prices and adding tax measures on tobacco products has been used to decrease the demand for cigarettes.

Many countries have successfully used tax policies to regulate the price of cigarette products. In Australia, a pack of cigarettes can cost up to $18, making it the most expensive country to buy cigarettes.

A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in 2016 found that the smoking rate in the country was at an all time low. In the last 20 years, smoking had decreased by almost 50 percent.

The study showed that less than 13 percent of Australians are daily smokers and fewer people are starting to smoke.

The report cites Australia as having one of the lowest smoking rates in the world, in part because of their implementation of increased taxes on tobacco products, plain packaging, and more restrictive smoke-free environment laws.

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Illicit trade in tobacco products

The tobacco industry and other interest groups argue that increased taxes on tobacco products allows an illicit black market trade in tobacco to thrive.

But the WHO says that high-income countries with taxes on tobacco products do not face widespread issues related to illicit trade, while low-income countries continue to do so, precisely because of weaker tobacco-control programmes and taxes. Nearly 80% of the world’s smokers live in low to middle-income countries.

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Anti-smoking drive features tobacco tax hike

The government will increase the tobacco tax from July 4 in an effort to curb smoking, particularly among low-income smokers, according to the Public Health Ministry.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1260018/anti-smoking-drive-features-tobacco-tax-hike

 

The tax hike is part of the wider enforcement of the Tobacco Products Act 2017 which will come into effect on the same day.

The ministry announced the tobacco tax hike as it rolled out an anti-smoking campaign themed “Tobacco, A Threat To Development” to mark World No Tobacco Day Wednesday.

The ministry also announced it will introduce tougher regulations on electronic cigarettes from the middle of the year.

The ministry said its campaign intends to hammer home the message that smoking incurs huge economic losses through the budget spent on treating people suffering from smoking-related illnesses.

The ministry said people need to become aware that smoking causes serious illnesses, including cancer. Smokers die 12 years sooner than their average lifespan and suffer a great deal of trauma from treatments for an average of two years before they die.

Meanwhile, the head of Chulalongkorn University’s Drug Dependence Research Centre, Jitlada Areesantichai, said there was no evidence to support the popular belief that smoking electronic cigarettes can help wean a person off smoking conventional cigarettes.

She said many e-cigarettes are imported and sold illegally, mostly through websites.

New models of e-cigarettes are also promoted, which motivates young people to try out the products. This leads to many more becoming addicted, she said.

The researcher noted the centre was currently studying the amounts of nicotine in the e-liquids which fill the various types of e-cigarettes.

Research conducted by the centre on consumers of e-cigarettes found the subjects started smoking the e-cigarettes from the age of 16 out of curiosity and because friends asked them to smoke.

She said youngsters took up smoking e-cigarettes because they thought it would make them look cool and believed it would help them give up smoking conventional cigarettes more easily.

However, the study found many remained hooked on conventional cigarettes.

Smoking may cause bone degeneration, osteoporosis in youngsters

Smoking as a habit typically begins in high school or the college years, when bones are still developing. It also interferes with calcium and vitamin D absorption in the body.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/fitness/smoking-may-cause-bone-degeneration-osteoporosis-in-youngsters/story-loCO9GllLujrar6epnuDbI.html

Youngsters who smoke may be at risk of developing low bone density — a condition that may lead to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, experts say.

“Smoking has a negative effect on the bones, causing loss of bone mass and, eventually, premature osteoporosis when young people take up smoking,” Raju Vaishya, senior orthopaedic surgeon, at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Smoking as a habit typically begins in high school or the college years, when bones are still developing. It also interferes with calcium and vitamin D absorption in the body.

Besides, in case of a bone injury, a person who smokes is more likely to have a longer period of recovery and greater risk of complication, doctors noted.

“Smoking during the years of bone-building puts you at risk of osteoporosis in later stage. Smoking after 30 will speed up loss of bone mass almost twice as faster,” Vaishya added.

Smoking kills over one million people in the India annually, according to The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India report. The economic burden of tobacco consumption is around Rs 104,500 crore per annum.

In a study, recently published in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society, smoking was found to be an independent risk factors for low bone density among both men and women.

Each additional pack-year of smoking raised the odds of having low bone density by 0.4%. The participants with normal bone density had an average of 36.6 pack-year of smoking, while those with low bone density had an average of 46.9 pack-years of smoking history.

Mumbai: Over 40 NGOs, Tata Hospital join hands against tobacco

Mumbai: To mark ‘World No Tobacco Day’ which falls on May 31, more than 40 Non-Governmental Organisations, (NGOs) in collaboration with the Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel have formed a coalition to reduce the consumption of tobacco in India.

http://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/mumbai-over-40-ngos-tata-hospital-join-hands-against-tobacco/1077580

Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi, professor and surgeon of Tata hospital, said that every third person in India consumes tobacco in different forms. He stated that the theme, ‘Tobacco- a threat to development’ specifically highlights the link between the use of tobacco products, tobacco control and sustainable development.

Dr. Chaturvedi further said that 33 per cent of tobacco users die a premature death due to cancer, heart attack, lung diseases, stroke etc. A smoker loses 8 years of his life due to this addiction.

“Tobacco is responsible for nearly 50 per cent cancers in India and 90 per cent of mouth cancers. Half of the mouth cancer patients die within 12 months of diagnosis,” said Dr. Chaturvedi.

Dr. Vijay Satbir Singh, additional chief secretary Public Health Department said that the main aim is to regulate the consumption of tobacco by implementing the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA Act).

“The main challenge is to enforce traders to implement the warning signs and stop selling loose cigarettes. Stern action will be taken against those who are not following the law,” said Dr. Singh.

What is COTPA Act?

The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 was enacted in 2003 to prohibit advertisement of tobacco products and to regulate them in India.
The Act prohibits smoking of tobacco in public places, except in special smoking zones in hotels, restaurants and airports and open spaces.
Advertisement of tobacco products including cigarettes is prohibited.
Tobacco products cannot be sold to person below the age of 18 years, and in places within 100 metres radius from the outer boundary of an institution of education.
Tobacco products must be sold, supplied or distributed in a package which shall contain an appropriate pictorial warning, its nicotine and tar contents.

On World No Tobacco Day, a pledge to free millions from the poverty trap called smoking

Shin Young-soo calls for stringent policies and taxation as deterrents to tobacco use, as the habit not only kills but keeps entire households in long-term ill health and poverty across Asia and the Pacific

http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2096334/world-no-tobacco-day-pledge-free-millions-poverty-trap

In a small fishing village in Vietnam, 27-year-old Duong pockets US$2 from his weekly earnings of US$15 from fish sales, and looks forward to the pack of cigarettes he will buy with it.

His wife tells him she needs another US$2 to buy rice for the rest of the week. Duong stops to think, and then walks to the nearest store to buy his favourite pack.

We have long known tobacco use is bad for health. Less well known is how this hurts poor and vulnerable families. Millions of stories like Duong’s play out across Asia and the Pacific every day: meagre household resources are spent on tobacco, instead of food, shelter and education. For already impoverished families, even a small diversion of resources from basic necessities can have a huge impact. And that is before the impact of tobacco-related illness, the costs of which can plunge poor families even further into poverty – or prevent them from escaping it.

The WHO Western Pacific region is home to nearly 400 million smokers, with some countries there having the highest male smoking rates in the world – at over 90 per cent. Most tobacco-related deaths in the world occur in low- and middle-income nations. In the Western Pacific, about three people die every minute from tobacco-related diseases.

In China, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of tobacco products, a WHO-commissioned study found the death of a head of household, or “breadwinner”, from tobacco-related illness results in significant average yearly loss of household income – and the effect is long term. Households do not start to recover financially until at least 10 years after such a death.

Contrary to the tobacco industry’s claims that sales are good for the economy, tobacco use hurts economies and hampers their growth – through the microeconomic costs imposed on households and macroeconomic costs including the health costs of treating tobacco-related illness. There is also lost productivity and participation in the workforce as most tobacco-related deaths occur among working-age adults.

The good news is that we know what to do. Strong policies to reduce tobacco use work. The single most effective intervention is to use tobacco taxation to increase prices – and, in doing so, discourage consumption. Tobacco tax increases also deliver more revenue to governments: it’s a win-win situation.

The theme for this year’s World No Tobacco Day, on May 31, is “Tobacco is a threat to development”. Tobacco use traps the poor in a vicious cycle of poor health and poverty. The sustainable development agenda has no room for a product that kills half of its users, with a particularly devastating impact on the poor.

Dr Shin Young-soo is the WHO regional director for the Western Pacific

Support World No Tobacco Day – say “no” to tobacco

To support the World No Tobacco Day 2017, the Department of Health (DH) today (May 31) held a sharing session to remind the public again of the hazards of smoking and to urge smokers to quit smoking as early as possible.

http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201705/31/P2017053100249.htm

Speaking at the sharing session, the Director of Health, Dr Constance Chan, said that the World Health Organization (WHO) has marked May 31 as World No Tobacco Day annually. The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2017 is “Tobacco – a threat to development”, with the aim of demonstrating the threats posed by tobacco to the world’s sustainable development, including public health and the economy. Dr Chan strongly urged members of the public to say “no” to tobacco and to continue supporting the Government’s efforts in tobacco control.

“With the collaborative efforts of the Government and various sectors over the years, the work on tobacco control in Hong Kong has attained pleasing results, with a drop in overall smoking prevalence from 23.3 per cent in the 1980s to 10.5 per cent in 2015. Nonetheless, casualties and economic loss directly and indirectly caused by tobacco remain tremendous. Local studies revealed that tobacco-related fatalities reach nearly 7 000 people annually and the economic loss resulting from tobacco-related health problems is estimated to be about 5.5 billion every year,” Dr Chan said.

“Smoking is a causative agent of many cancers as well as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Smoking causes harm not only to the smoker but also to their family members and friends due to the secondhand smoke induced, which increases their risk of cancer and many other chronic diseases as well as the chance of children developing respiratory symptoms,” Dr Chan added.

Sharing the research findings on local smoking-related mortality and morbidity conducted by the University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Chair Professor of the School of Public Health of the HKU, Professor Lam Tai-hing, pointed out that at least one out of every two elderly smokers died of tobacco-related diseases. He said that the Government must continue to adopt various tobacco control measures to encourage smokers to quit the habit.

The Head of the Tobacco Control Office of the DH, Dr Lee Pui-man, introduced in the sharing session 12 new pictorial health warnings on cigarette packets, which better inform the public about the specific hazards of tobacco use to smokers and their families. Experience and evidence from the WHO and around the globe also demonstrate that pictorial health warnings are an effective intervention, and increasing the size of pictorial health warnings on cigarette packets is now an international trend.

“The graphics and designs of health warnings should be updated regularly so as to maintain their salience and enhance the impact. The Government updates pictorial health warnings coupled with multiple tobacco control measures to discourage members of the public from smoking and encourage smokers to quit,” Dr Lee said.

Smokers who intend to quit smoking can call the DH’s Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline on 1833 183, where registered nurses provide professional counselling services on smoking cessation and will also refer service users to suitable social service agencies for follow-up when necessary. To enhance smoking cessation services to smokers, the DH will launch a pilot public-private partnership programme this year to trial a new mode of smoking cessation service supported by family physicians.

In addition, the DH will collaborate with a renowned medical institution, Mayo Clinic, in the United States to organise an online training programme on tobacco dependence treatment, which will be rolled out within this year. Family physicians joining the programme will acquire skills and knowledge on smoking cessation via e-learning, and their capacity in providing smoking cessation services will be further enhanced through training and assessment. The programme aims to ensure that they can provide quitters with effective evidence-based treatment.

In addition, two patient representatives shared their experience of smoking at the sharing session, ranging from smoking-related diseases to successfully quitting the habit. They urged other smokers to quit smoking as early as possible and to seek help on smoking cessation if necessary.

Where smoking is the leading cause of death and ill health

Rich countries are hit the hardest but poor ones may soon follow

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/05/daily-chart-22

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TODAY is World No Tobacco Day. Although in most countries the proportion of people who smoke continues to fall, campaigners see the glass as half full. In 24 countries smoking causes the largest share of the overall burden of disease, measured in years lost to ill health and premature death. In another 37 countries it ranks second. Most of these 61 countries are rich. Although their smoking rates are falling, much of the decline is because fewer young people are picking up the habit, rather than because older smokers are quitting. The harms from smoking affect people most seriously after middle age, so countries where smoking became popular a generation or more ago are worst affected—for now.

In poor countries, smoking is still a less important cause of death and disability than several other things, such as dirty water and malnutrition. Few African and Asian women light up—smoking is often socially acceptable only for men. In many of the poorest countries, smoking is still uncommon—though in some it is on the rise. As developing countries grow less poor, other harms will dwindle and smoking will start to look deadlier by comparison.

World No Tobacco Day: Poor almost three times more likely to smoke

360,000 NI residents still estimated to smoke, with men more likely to light up

http://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/health/world-no-tobacco-day-poor-13117577

People in the most deprived areas of Northern Ireland are almost three times more likely to smoke than their better off counterparts according to the Public Health Authority NI.

Considered by the World Health Organisation to be a blight on health, the environment and household income, the international health organisation also revealed today – on World No Tobacco Day – that globally, there are 226million adult tobacco users living in poverty.

And in low income countries over 10% of a smoker’s budget can be spent on tobacco products, meaning less money for food, education and health care.

“Tobacco use hits the poorest people the hardest and exacerbates poverty,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO.

“Spending on tobacco products often represents more than 10% of total household income.

“(It) is a deadly product that kills more than 7million people every year, and costs the global economy more than $1.4trillion annually in healthcare expenditure and lost productivity.”

“In addition to posing a serious threat to health,” she added, “tobacco use also threatens development in every country on every level and across many sectors – economic growth, health, education, poverty and the environment – with women and children bearing the brunt of the consequences.”

Closer to home, the Public Health Authority said it is currently estimated that around 320,000 people aged 16 and over smoke in Northern Ireland, with men (23%) slightly more likely to light up than women (21%).

But, in line with global trends, they said there is also a strong link between smoking prevalence and deprivation here, while those in manual occupations are three times more likely to smoke than professionals.

The 2015/16 Health Survey NI found that 36% of respondents in the most deprived areas used tobacco, but this figure is just 13% among the more well off.

And while the number of smokers is falling, with 80% of those who still do forgoing the addiction in their homes and cars, there is still more work to be done.

“Protecting people from tobacco smoke is a key objective set out in the Ten Year Tobacco Strategy for Northern Ireland,” said Colette Rogers, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement from the Public Health Agency.

“Therefore, the Public Health Agency would welcome a ban on smoking in cars as a means of protecting young people from exposure to second-hand smoke, improving people’s health and helping to reduce the uptake of smoking in Northern Ireland.

“Smoking remains the single greatest cause of preventable illness and premature death in Northern Ireland so we urge smokers to quit by seeking the help of their local stop smoking service.

“In Northern Ireland there are more than 650 free PHA-funded stop smoking services which are run by specially-trained staff who can advise on the best way to stop smoking.

“Services are offered in many community pharmacies, GP practices, HSC Trust premises, and community and voluntary organisations, and can be set up in workplaces.”

Study: China Struggles to Kick World-Leading Cigarette Habit

Most smokers in China, the world’s largest tobacco consumer, have no intention of kicking the habit and remain unaware of some of its most damaging health effects, Chinese health officials and outside researchers said Wednesday.

http://www.voanews.com/a/china-smoking/3879050.html

An estimated 316 million people smoke in China, almost a quarter of the population, and concerns are growing about the long-term effects on public health and the economy.

The vast majority of smokers are men, of whom 59 percent told surveyors that they have no plans to quit, according to a decade-long study by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Canadian researchers with the International Tobacco Control project.

Such numbers have prompted efforts to restrict the formerly ubiquitous practice. Major cities including Beijing and Shanghai having recently moved to ban public smoking, with Shanghai’s prohibition going into effect in March. In 2015, the central government approved a modest nationwide cigarette tax increase.

But Chinese and international health officials argue that more is needed, including a nationwide public smoking ban, higher cigarette taxes and more aggressive health warnings. Such actions are “critically important,” Yuan Jiang, director of tobacco control for the Chinese Center for Disease Control, said in a statement released with Wednesday’s study.

A public smoking ban appeared imminent last year. The government health ministry said in December that it would happen by the end of 2016, but that has yet to materialize.

“They have to figure out what’s important as a health policy,” said Geoffrey Fong of Canada’s University of Waterloo, one of the authors of Wednesday’s study. “Every third man that you pass on the street in China will die of cigarettes. …When you have cheap cigarettes, people will smoke them.”

In line with global trends, smoking rates among Chinese have fallen slowly over the past 25 years, by about 1 percent annually among men and 2.6 percent among women, according to a separate study published in April in the medical journal The Lancet.

Yet because of China’s population growth — 1.37 billion people at last count — the actual number of smokers has continued to increase. Rising prosperity means cigarettes have become more affordable, while low taxes keep the cost of some brands at less than $1 a pack.

Sixty percent of Chinese smokers were unaware that cigarettes can lead to strokes and almost 40 percent weren’t aware that smoking causes heart disease, according to the study, which was released on World No Tobacco Day, when the World Health Organization and others highlight health risks associated with tobacco use.

Judith Mackay, an anti-tobacco advocate based in Hong Kong, said China has made strides with the public smoking bans in some cities and a similar ban covering schools and universities, but that’s not enough.

“This is the first time there has been a report looking at the overall picture of where China stands,” said Mackay, senior adviser at Vital Strategies, a global health organization. “The reality is, it’s falling behind.”

Mackay blamed behind the scenes lobbying by China’s state-owned tobacco monopoly for impeding efforts to toughen tobacco policies. The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Government agencies and research institutes in China, Canada and the United States funded the study.