Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

World No Tobacco Day

Smokers Undeterred as Bills Keep Rising

Since the beginning of the past fiscal year (ended in March) the taxes collected on tobacco products are paid to the Health Ministry (50%), Education Ministry (25%) and Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs (25%) for anti-smoking campaigns

https://financialtribune.com/articles/people/65335/smokers-undeterred-as-bills-keep-rising

Iranians spend $1-1.5 million (40 to 50 billion rials) on tobacco products each day and the cost of treating tobacco-related disease is almost three times more than the amount spent on tobacco consumption.

During the past five years, the rate of tobacco consumption has only slightly decreased, studies conducted by the Health Ministry indicate. The rate is still high among adolescents and young people (the peak age for first trying of smoking has decreased from 13 to 10). The figure has also increased dramatically compared to the past decade, the Persian language weekly ‘Salamat’ reported.

“In 2006, Iranians smoked 50 billion cigarettes (worth $33.3 million). The figure reached 60-70 billion cigarettes in 2016,” said Dr Mohammadreza Madani, head of the Iranian Anti-Tobacco Association (IATA).

Another concern is the high prevalence of hookah (water pipe) for smoking flavored tobacco among young people. One hour of smoking hookah exposes a smoker 100-fold to the amount of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette. Even those people around a hookah smoker inhale smoke equal to 10 cigarettes.

Every year on May 31, the WHO marks World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health and additional risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2017 is ‘Tobacco – a threat to development.’

But irrespective of the programs to create awareness on the harmful effects of smoking, statistics show that 14-15% of Iranians from the 80 million population are regular cigarette smokers (more than 3% are women, and 20% men).

“Though most of the cigarette smokers are men, hookah smoking doesn’t vary by gender; 21.3% of women and 21.7% of men are hookah smokers,” Madani said.

Dodging Taxes

Iran is one of the nations that has signed the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), by which a country is committed to reduce the rate of tobacco consumption every year (by implementation of both price and tax measures as well as non-price measures to reduce demand for tobacco).

Pointing to Article 8 of the National Comprehensive Law on Tobacco Control, Madani said, “According to the law passed in 2006, every year taxes on cigarettes should be increased by 10%.”

“However, there have been always obstacles in its implementation. For example, in 2010 the figure decreased to 5% due to ‘manipulative tactics’ by the powerful tobacco lobby. Tobacco producers said that high taxes on cigarettes would lead to an increase in cigarette smuggling, and thus managed to reduce the tax.”

However, in January this year, lawmakers passed cigarette and tobacco tax slabs to be implemented under the sixth five-year economic development plan (2017-22).

Based on the new law, the tax slab on locally-produced tobacco and cigarettes is 10%; for local brands jointly produced by domestic and foreign manufacturers, it is 20%; for domestically produced cigarettes with foreign brand names the slab is 25%; and for imported cigarettes and tobacco, it is 40%.

Lawmakers also mandated the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade to announce the retail prices of cigarettes and all tobacco products to the relevant authorities for taxation purposes and for printing the tax rates on cigarette packs.

“Since the beginning of the past fiscal year (ended in March) the taxes collected on tobacco products are paid to the Health Ministry (50%), Education Ministry (25%) and Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs (25%). The Education Ministry is required to spend the money on increasing students’ awareness of harms associated with tobacco smoking,” Madani said.

Earlier, the tax money was given to the ministries of health and sports and youth affairs.

Facts About Tobacco

There are more than 7 million deaths from tobacco use every year, a figure that is predicted to cross 8 million by 2030 without effective and intensified action. Tobacco consumption is a threat to any person, regardless of gender, age, race, cultural or educational background. It brings suffering, disease, and death, impoverishing families and national economies.

Tobacco use costs national economies enormously through increased healthcare costs and decreased productivity. Some 80% of premature deaths from tobacco occur in low- or middle-income countries, which face increased challenges to achieving their development goals, the WHO website reports.

Tobacco growing requires large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers, which can be toxic and pollute water supplies. Each year, tobacco growing uses 4.3 million hectares of land, resulting in global deforestation between 2% and 4%. Tobacco manufacturing also produces over 2 million tons of solid waste.

By increasing cigarette taxes worldwide by $1, an extra $190 billion could be raised for development. High tobacco taxes contribute to revenue generation for governments, reduce demand for tobacco, and offer an important revenue stream to finance development activities.

Indonesian teachers group declares anti-tobacco stance

Ahead of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, Indonesia’s largest teachers group signed on Wednesday a declaration to underline the role of educators in supporting measures for tobacco control.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/05/24/indonesian-teachers-group-declares-anti-tobacco-stance.html

Created by the Indonesian Teachers Association (PGRI), the declaration consists of six points, which include teachers’ commitment to “protect students from the dangers of smoking” and “oppose CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] campaigns from the tobacco industry.”

Teachers also called on the government to create a comprehensive tobacco control regulations to curb cigarette consumption.

“Teachers have to be role models for their pupils by not smoking […] Exemplary acts by teachers are very strategic in the [anti-tobacco] campaign,” PGRI chairwoman Unifah Rosyidi said at the declaration’s signing event in Kuningan, South Jakarta, on Wednesday.

The event was organized by the National Commission on Tobacco Control (Komnas PT), a coalition of organizations that has been staunchly campaigning for tobacco related issues in Indonesia, one of the world’s biggest tobacco consumers.

Komnas PT chairman Prijo Sidipratomo welcomed the declaration, saying that it was in line with one of PGRI’s missions to support the country’s development.

“Some 25 percent of students’ daily time is spent at school, which highlights the role of teachers in shaping their way of life,” Prijo said. (rin)

World No Tobacco Day: Smoking robs your wallet, health – Cansa

On May 31 the world celebrates #WorldNoTobaccoDay.

Smoking-Infographic-2

Tobacco use is a threat to any person, regardless of gender, age, and race, cultural or educational background that causes over 18 types of cancer, and accounts for over 20 per cent of cancer deaths worldwide.

This is according to the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) which advocates stopping the use of any and all tobacco products.

According to Cansa, tobacco can be found in many forms, and all tobacco use is harmful.

“People only think of cigarette smoking when you talk about tobacco, but it goes beyond that. They need to be aware that hubbly bubbly and e-cigarettes are just as harmful to your health and the health of those around you.

“It’s not just the smoker who has increased risk of disease, but also people exposed to second-hand smoke,” says Cansa health specialist, Prof Michael Herbst.

According to Dr Oleg Chestnov, World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Assistant Director-General for Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Mental Health, on top of the health implications, tobacco products are getting more expensive and are creating a huge negative impact on the economy.

“The tobacco industry produces and markets products that kill millions of people prematurely, rob households of finances that could have been used for food and education, and impose immense healthcare costs on families, communities and countries,” said Chestnov.

Herbst said: “There is so much more you can do with an average R30 a day, instead of buying a pack of cigarettes.

“Have you thought about that? Giving up smoking one pack a day, will free up close to R1000 a month, which can be used in better ways than harming your health, and the health of those around you. The financial impact is huge.”

He said hookah, or hubbly bubbly use is especially concerning among the youth.

“The tobacco is no less toxic in a hookah pipe and the water in the hookah does not filter out the toxic ingredients in the tobacco smoke. Hookah smokers may actually inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers do, because of the large volume of smoke they inhale in one smoking session.

“In South Africa, hubbly and their related tobacco products, fall under the definition of ‘tobacco product’ as indicated in the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act (2007). This means that its use and sale have to comply with the regulations that apply to a tobacco product in the country.

“This includes the prohibition of the sale of hookahs and their products to anyone under the age of eighteen.

“Electronic cigarettes and similar devices are frequently marketed as aids to quit smoking, or as healthier alternatives to tobacco. This has not been proven, and e-cigarettes are not a better alternative to cigarettes.

“They still contain harmful chemicals, and it’s rather recommended to quit smoking by proven treatments. CANSA has a e-Kick Butt programme, which assists with quitting smoking (www.ekickbutt.org.za),” continued Herbst.

Cansa in a statement said it has played a significant role in contributing to tobacco control legislation in South Africa.

The organisation insist every one should be able to breathe tobacco-smoke-free air.

Offenses can be reported here: http://www.cansa.org.za/take-action-against-those-who-break-the-law/

According to Cansa:

Legislation is very clear about where people may smoke and where smoking is prohibited
It’s your right to complain when someone smokes in your presence
It’s also your right to take remedial steps if someone smokes in any area where smoking is prohibited
Adults may not smoke in a car when a passenger under 12 years is present
Smoking is not allowed in premises (including private homes) used for commercial childcare activities, such as crèches, or for schooling or tutoring
No person under 18 may be allowed into a designated smoking area
No smoking in partially enclosed public places such as balconies, covered patios, verandas, walkways, parking areas, etc.
The fine for the owner of a restaurant, pub, bar and workplace that breaks the smoking law is a maximum of R50 000 and for the individual smoker R500
The tobacco industry can no longer use ‘viral’ marketing like parties to target young people
The sale of tobacco products to and by persons under the age of 18 years is prohibited
Cigarette vending machines that sell tobacco products cannot be used to sell other products like crisps, chocolates etc.
For more info visit www.cansa.org.za or contact Cansa toll-free 0800226622 or at info@cansa.org.za as email address. Follow CANSA on Twitter: @CANSA (http://www.twitter.com/@CANSA) and join CANSA on Facebook: CANSAThe Cancer Association of South Africa and follow CANSA on Instagram: @cancerassociationofsouthafrica

Nigeria: World No Tobacco Day – Researchers Say Cigarette Promotes Bacteria, Reduces Immunity

As the world yesterday marked this year’s World No Tobacco Day, researchers have found that cigarette smoke and its components infiltrate bacteria in the body and reduce the immunity.

This is coming as the World Health Organisation, WHO, said moves to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products can save lives by reducing demand for tobacco products.

The researchers from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry researchers led by David A. Scott, found that Cigarette smoke and its components promote biofilm formation by several pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Klebsiella pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, report scientists.

In the findings released on this year’s World No Tobacco Day, the researchers who explored how cigarettes lead to infiltration of bacteria in the body said the mouth is the dirtiest parts of the body and smoking makes it worse.

According to them, puffing cigarettes can increase the likelihood that certain bacteria like Porphyromonas gingivalis will not only set up camp but will build a fortified city in the mouth and fight against the immune system.

Scott and his team identified how tobacco smoke, composed of thousands of chemical components, stating that tobacco smoke is an environmental stressor and promotes bacteria colonization and immune invasion.

Scott explained that Biofilms are composed of numerous microbial communities often made up of complex, interacting and co-existing multispecies structures. Bacteria can form biofilms on most surfaces including teeth, heart valves and the respiratory tract.

“Once a pathogen establishes itself within a biofilm, it can be difficult to eradicate as biofilms provide a physical barrier against the host immune response, can be impermeable to antibiotics and act as a reservoir for persistent infection,” Scott added.

“Furthermore, biofilms allow for the transfer of genetic material among the bacterial community and this can lead to antibiotic resistance and the propagation of other virulence factors that promote infection.”

In a related development, the World Health Organisation, WHO, has said that the moves to introduce plain (standardized) packaging of tobacco products can save lives by reducing demand for tobacco products.

In a statement to mark this year’s World no Tobacco Day, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan explained that “Plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products. It kills the glamour, which is appropriate for a product that kills people.

“It restricts tobacco advertising and promotion. It limits misleading packaging and labelling. And it increases the effectiveness of health warnings.”

The theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day – Get ready for plain packaging – highlights the new trend in global efforts to control tobacco products, which kill almost six million people annually.

To mark World No Tobacco Day, WHO is launching a new guide to plain packaging of tobacco products, which gives governments the latest evidence and guidance on implementing the measure.

World No Tobacco Day

Plain packaging & tobacco taxes: an antidote for manipulation and deception

plain-packaging

For 2016’s World No Tobacco Day, celebrated today, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) are calling on countries to get ready for plain packaging of tobacco products. Why, may you ask?

https://blogs.worldbank.org/health/plain-packaging-tobacco-taxes-antidote-manipulation-and-deception

The importance of this regulation is best explained in “Phishing for Phools” a new book by Nobel Prize Laureates in Economics, George Akerlof (2001) and Robert Shiller (2013). We humans think in terms of stories, Akerlof and Shiller observed, and our decisions are consequently determined by the stories we tell ourselves. Advertisers use this to their advantage by “graph[ing] their story” onto ours, and thereby influencing the decisions we make—in this case, to get us addicted to tobacco use, particularly teenagers and low-income people.

Australia passed legislation in 2012 to reduce the appeal of smoking by restricting the use of logos, colors, brand images, or promotional information on packaging other than brand names and product names displayed in a standard color and small font below hard-hitting warnings depicting the negative health consequences of smoking. In the two years following the law, tobacco consumption declined 12.8%, which some have attributed, in part, to the legislation.

Other countries are starting to follow Australia’s example. Similar regulations approved in France and the United Kingdom are set to begin implementation in 2016, and they are under formal consideration in several other countries across the world. Uruguay and Thailand already mandate that at least 80% of front and back of the packaging be covered with graphic health warnings. And Mauritius leads Africa in terms of requirements for tobacco packaging and labelling.

The arsenal of effective consumer protection regulations that contribute to reduce the social acceptability of smoking also includes advertising bans, smoke-free public spaces, and restricting sales to minors. In the United States as mandated to the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the 2009, “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,” regulatory agencies have authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, like any other drug.

Cigarette taxes also play an important role in tobacco control. Evidence presented by high-level officials from China, Philippines, Uruguay, and the United States at a global tax conference held at the World Bank this past week, shows that raising tobacco taxes increases prices, reduces consumption, and improves the public health by reducing ill health and premature death.

Expanding the Global Tax Base: Taxing to Promote Public Goods, Tobacco Taxes: (Pictured left to right) Patricio Marquez, World Bank Group, Fernando Serra, Ministry of Economy & Finance, Uruguay; Philip Cook, Duke University; George Akerlof, Georgetown University; Jason Furnman, US President’s Council of Economic Advisers; Jeremias Paul, former Under Secretary of Finance, Philippines; and Rose Zheng, University of International Business and Economics,  Beijing, China.

Expanding the Global Tax Base: Taxing to Promote Public Goods, Tobacco Taxes:
(Pictured left to right) Patricio Marquez, World Bank Group, Fernando Serra, Ministry of
Economy & Finance, Uruguay; Philip Cook, Duke University; George Akerlof, Georgetown
University; Jason Furnman, US President’s Council of Economic Advisers; Jeremias Paul,
former Under Secretary of Finance, Philippines; and Rose Zheng, University of International
Business and Economics, Beijing, China.

Contrary to the assumption that tobacco taxes are financially regressive, Jason Furman, the Chairman of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers, illustrated how the sum of benefits fully offset the additional cost of taxes on consumers—tobacco taxes disproportionately benefit lower income households because as tobacco taxes increase, better health ensues, less money is needed for smoking-related healthcare services, and labor productivity improves due to reduced sickness and absenteeism.

Raising tobacco taxes is also an easy way to raise domestic revenue for health and other priority investments, as it is done in the Philippines under the 2012 Sin Tax Law to expand health insurance coverage to 15 million poor families or about 45 million people, and in the United States after federal tobacco taxes were increased in 2009 by US President Obama to fund the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for low-income children. The 2015 excise tax increase at the wholesale level in China, which has increased the tax rate as a percentage of the retail price from 49% to 56%, is a significant step for China, not only because the country is the largest producer and consumer of tobacco in the world, but also to deal with the growing burden of non-communicable diseases. The experience of Uruguay, a country with one of the most comprehensive tobacco control laws in the world, shows that its application has significantly decreased smoking among adults from nearly 50% to about 20% over the past decade.

We have to be clear that tobacco control measures, such as plain packaging and higher taxes, are not part of a “nanny state” designed to hinder “free choice” in society. For those of us who have lost loved ones due to tobacco-related diseases, the story is a painful one. Simply told, our loved ones had become addicted to cigarettes, a product that unlike any other product on the market, kills when used as promoted by the “feel good” stories of manufacturers. Indeed, despite new year’s resolutions and promises to quit, they could not shake off the “urge” to smoke!

On this World No Tobacco Day, the international community needs to recommit itself to support countries in adopting plain packaging legislation to make tobacco use less attractive and increase taxes to make tobacco products less affordable. Improving public health and protecting future generations from the risks of tobacco use should be a priority in the global social contract. We owe it to the memory of our loved ones and to the millions of people who have died prematurely because of their tobacco addiction.

World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2016

Clear the Air says:

The rest of the world is starting to follow the WHO directive, except here, where the clocks are winding back instead of forward.

Hong Kong Health Bureau officials, having learned the Ombudsman is chasing their lack of effort and political will, have now decided they will press for

– Oops not plain packaging-

they will (following 3rd world country India who already did it) press instead for an 85% graphic health warning (replacing outmoded 50% current) on the packet, but the whole idea is to take away the glitzy colors which Big Tobacco uses on its ‘Silent Salesman’ packet, its remaining legal advertising gullible youth attractant fly paper

Whiskers middle class citizen food truck promoting Tsang took in HKD 6.297 bn last year in excise tobacco tax to the concrete pouring fund, and doled out a meagre HKD 160 million for tobacco control whilst HK continues to subvent the costs of smoking related health care as tobacco executives with impunity continue to smuggle (not control their supply chains) their own brands to get more market share =more deaths = defeat tobacco control existing flimsy methods.

Earlier, last month on May 20, France and Britain each began the implementation of plain packaging under new laws. Ireland is also preparing to introduce the measure this year; Hungary and Norway are in the process of developing laws to implement plain packaging; Singapore is undertaking a public consultation with a view to introducing plain packaging; and several other countries, including New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey, have either expressed an intent to implement the measure or are in the policy development process. Canada follows Australia’s lead and has sued Big Tobacco and won, CAD 15 billion for recovery of health care costs – why not here ?

Get ready for plain packaging

Plain packaging of tobacco products can save lives by reducing demand for tobacco products, and is recommended in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. “Plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products. It kills the glamour, which is appropriate for a product that kills people,” says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan.

Canadian Cancer Society praises federal consultation on tobacco plain packaging

http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/canadian-cancer-society-praises-federal-consultation-on-tobacco-plain-packaging-581415001.html

The Canadian Cancer Society commends Minister of Health Jane Philpott for launching a formal consultation toward implementing tobacco plain packaging in Canada.

The consultation document, announced today on World No Tobacco Day, provides a detailed outline of how plain packaging may be required in Canadian regulations.

“Plain packaging is highly effective and is supported by extensive research,” says Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. “If plain packaging were not effective, then tobacco companies would not be so strongly opposed to it. It is precisely because plain packaging will reduce sales that tobacco companies are objecting so loudly.”

“It is encouraging that the government is looking not only to eliminate tobacco-company promotion on packages, but also to standardize the shape of the package and to ban slim cigarettes,” says Cunningham. “Slim and superslim cigarettes target young women and associate smoking with weight loss, sophistication and glamour.”

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada, including about 30% of all cancer deaths. Among women alone, the number of lung cancer deaths is double the number of breast cancer deaths. Smoking kills 37,000 Canadians every year. The 2014 Canadian Community Health Survey found that 18% of Canadians (more than 5 million people) are smokers.

“Plain packaging is a key tobacco control measure to advance public health in Canada,” says Cunningham. “Today’s announcement of a formal consultation brings us closer to the day when plain packaging will be in effect to protect youth.”

“Tobacco companies should not be able to use the package as mini-billboards to promote tobacco,” adds Cunningham. “Tobacco is a highly addictive, lethal product and should not be sold in packages made to be more attractive. It is essential to provide protection from tobacco-industry marketing tactics, especially for children.” A growing number of other countries are requiring plain packaging, which will make it easier for Canada to do so. The international trend is very positive.

What are other countries doing?

Plain packaging was required in Australia in 2012, implemented in the UK and France as of May 20, 2016, will be implemented soon in Ireland and is under formal consideration in New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Slovenia and other countries.

What is plain packaging?

Plain packaging prohibits brand colours, logos and graphics on tobacco packages. Graphic health warnings and pictures still appear, but the rest of the package is a standard colour for all brands, such as the drab brown required in Australia. Package dimensions are standardized, eliminating slim and superslim packs as well as other attractive package formats recently introduced by tobacco companies.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website at cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333.

Mapped: The countries that smoke the most cigarettes

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/world-according-to-tobacco-consumption/

To mark World No-Tobacco Day, we’ve mapped the world according to cigarette consumption.

Those countries shown in darker colours smoke the most; those in lighter ones the least.

cig-per-adult

As with alcohol consumption, Eastern European countries dominate. Montenegro, where 4,124.53 cigarettes are smoked per adult per year, according to 2014 figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO), is the top of the pile, while Belarus, Macedonia, Russia, Slovenia and Bosnia also make the top 10.

The 20 countries that smoke the most

  1. Montenegro
  2. Belarus
  3. Lebanon
  4. Macedonia
  5. Russia
  6. Slovenia
  7. Belgium
  8. Luxembourg
  9. China
  10. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  11. Czech Republic
  12. Kazakhstan
  13. Azerbaijan
  14. Greece
  15. South Korea
  16. Austria
  17. Jordan
  18. Ukraine
  19. Estonia
  20. Hungary

Lebanon and China are the most tobacco-dependent non-European countries. Few regular visitors to Greece will be surprised to see it at 14th. Other popular summer holiday destinations not far from the smokers’ summit include Croatia, Turkey and Italy.

Britons, conversely, consume far fewer cigarettes – just 827.48 per adult per year – placing it 73rd on the list. The US is slightly higher, at 58th.

Residents of Guinea should be proud of the fact that they smoke the least of all those countries to feature in the WHO’s list. The Pacific nations also fare well, with the Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu among the 10 most tobacco-free countries.

There is also a clear relationship between wealth and tobacco consumption. Many of the world’s poorest countries can be found in the lower reaches of the rankings. Those with no data appear in grey on the map above.

The 20 countries that smoke the least

  1. Guinea
  2. Soloman Islands
  3. Kiribati
  4. Rwanda
  5. Samoa
  6. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  7. Vanuatu
  8. Suriname
  9. Malawi
  10. Tonga
  11. Mozambique
  12. Nepal
  13. Afghanistan
  14. Lesotho
  15. Trinidad and Tobago
  16. Burundi
  17. Tanzania
  18. Liberia
  19. Niger
  20. Sao Tome and Principe

New Zealand, Norway Plan to Require Plain Packs for Tobacco

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-31/new-zealand-backs-plain-cigarette-packaging-in-smoking-clampdown

New Zealand and Norway intend to force tobacco companies to remove branding on cigarette packets and other tobacco products as more countries follow the lead of Australia across the world.

The New Zealand government, which aims to become a smoke-free nation by 2025, is proposing plain cigarette packaging with all tobacco imagery removed and with prominent and gruesome health warnings covering at least 75 percent of the front of the packs. The Norwegian government will send a bill to parliament in June that would strip tobacco products of logos, Health Minister Bent Hoeie said at a conference in Oslo Tuesday.

Australia has led the way in plain packaging after legal challenges failed to overturn new tobacco branding laws there. The U.K., Ireland and France were the first European countries to back the measure, which prompted legal challenges from cigarette makers including Philip Morris International Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc.

“The louder they scream, the more effective the measure must be,” said Douglas Bettcher, a World Health Organization director who spoke in Oslo on the occasion of World No-Tobacco Day. “The tobacco industry’s nightmares are in fact lifesavers.”

Brand names will be allowed in New Zealand but regulations will standardize printing and placement, Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga said. The regulations are expected to take effect after legislation is passed later this year, he added.

New Zealand announced last week that the tax on tobacco will be increased by 10 percent each year for the next four years, driving the price for a standard pack of 20 cigarettes up to around NZ$30 ($20).

Norway will require cigarettes and snus — a form of smokeless tobacco — to be sold in dark green packs. Young people in the country have been smoking less though their use of snus has increased dramatically in the past decade, according to the government.

“It will look like the addictive and dangerous product it is,” Norwegian Health Minister Hoeie said. “We are moving toward a smoke-free generation. Someday tobacco will look as unbelievably outdated as smoking in airplanes.”