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AustralianSuper to quit big tobacco in $900m blow for Philip Morris, British American Tobacco

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Tobacco taxes alone cannot stub out habit

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Where there’s smoke: Embattled MP’s brother caught selling smuggled Chinese ciggies

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Tobacco Endgame and Effective Tobacco Tax Policy

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Israel: Working To Increase The Minimum Age To Buy Cigarettes To 21

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Mumbai cancer specialists seek ban on smoking at all airports in India

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S&D calls for traceability of tobacco in Europe

An independent traceability system for tobacco products is urgently needed, according to the Socialists & Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament.

But some members of the European Parliament’s health and environment committee raised objections that would have delayed the adoption of the traceability system – something that would benefit the tobacco industry.

S&D wants to guarantee full implementation by 2019.

“We have no time to waste. Nearly 10% of the global cigarette trade is illicit,” said S&D spokesperson on this issue, Gilles Pargneaux MEP. “This poses severe risks to public health due to increased accessibility and affordability. Moreover, illicit tobacco trade evades revenue collection estimated at €10bn annually in Europe.

Tobacco is one of the most smuggled commodities in the world and the profits from illicit trade feed terrorism and international and local crime, including money laundering.

“Europe will have the first regional system to trace tobacco products and will set an example for other countries to follow. Countries like Turkey and Kenya already have such a system and they have had very good results. The credibility of the EU is at stake: we have to deliver and implement an efficient system that fights illicit trade and protects public health,” said Pargneaux.

In turn, S&D spokesperson on health, Miriam Dalli MEP, explained that the track and trace system adopted by the European Union is not the perfect solution but it works well. “Objecting to only end up without a system is not an option for us. We would only be playing into the hands of those within the tobacco industry who want to gain time and delay any transparent traceability measure. We can never accept this. It is vital to have a traceability system that is fully independent from the tobacco lobby.”

Singapore: Accidental tobacco sales to minors keep health officials on constant vigil

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has been actively dealing with the problem of tobacco being sold to underage buyers as it is seen as an increasing problem.

Cashiers at the respective shops were either new or judge the buyer based on their appearance, which has sometimes led to the shop’s tobacco license to be suspended.

HSA has been on their constant rounds to make sure this does not occur, by sending officials dressed in plain clothes.

They closely observe the situation which is going on inside the said shop, and if they find that the shop has sold it to someone who is underage, the shop’s license gets suspended or revoked.

A spokesperson for HSA told Channel NewsAsia that the penalty for selling tobacco products to under-aged buyers is a maximum fine of S$5,000, and S$10,000 for subsequent offenses. In addition, the tobacco retail licensee will also be suspended for the first offense and revoked for subsequent offenses, she said.

“If tobacco were sold to under-aged persons in school uniform or those below 12 years of age, the tobacco retail license will be revoked, even at the first offense,” the spokesperson added

A few months ago, Sally Ng, a minimart owner received a frantic call from her employee saying that a member of her staff had sold cigarettes to a student in uniform and that officers from the HSA saw it and revoked the shop’s tobacco licence.

In his defence, the employee who committed the offence said he did not see that the boy was in uniform, as he was holding his bag in front of him.

Sally Ng said the owner, though constantly reminded her employees to check the identity cards of customers who choose to buy tobacco products, failed to prevent the sale to minors.

In a major opeation Channel NewsAsia went to six of the shops to see what the underlying problem could possibly be regarding their offences, which revealed that the cashiers were new, foreign or judged the buyer based on their appearance instead of asking them for their identity cards.

Auckland smoking ban at footpath dining areas deemed ‘unfair targeting’

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Smokers face breath tests before surgery

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