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June, 2009:

‘I might just stay home and smoke’

Fox Yi Hu – SCMP

Smokers lit up as usual to enjoy the final Saturday night of puffing in bars – before a full ban takes effect on Wednesday – with some feeling frustrated but others thinking it may help them quit the habit.

Non-smokers working in bars said they looked forward to the clean air that was long overdue.

Jacob Bluhme, a smoker and shipping company sales director, said he had already encountered smoking bans in Los Angeles, Chicago and Singapore.

“I hate the smoking ban,” he said, drawing on a cigarette in a Lan Kwai Fong pub. “Hong Kong is like my last safe haven.”
He said he might go out less at night as a result of the ban. “I might just stay home and have a cigarette on my balcony,” he said.

At the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, June 30, smoking will no longer be permitted in bars, nightclubs, clubs, massage venues, mahjong parlours and bathhouses.

But Christen Ho, 29, said she was comfortable with the ban, which she said would help her quit smoking. “I intend to quit anyway, so this can help a little bit,” Ms Ho said in a pub.

The full ban may worry some pub managers, but Warren McInnes, manager of The Keg on D’Aguilar Street in Central and a non-smoker, said he felt great about the whole thing.

“I will be extremely happy with the smoking ban when it comes into effect,” he said, adding that he believed the full ban would not have a big impact on his business.

The Keg would still sell cigarettes under the full smoking ban, as it was easy for smokers to walk a few steps and light up outdoors, he said.

“In a small bar like this, people can step outside and smoke.”

Bartender Sheela Guoung said she had long been hoping for clean air in her workplace.
“I’ve had coughing problem for six months. I need fresh air,” she said.

The punishment for lighting up in a smoke-free establishment will be a fine of up to HK$5,000.


CTA, James Middleton

Dear Tobacco Control

last week I had a discussion with a friend who used to manage a bar in Shatin / Tai Wai. He is still  a shareholder of the Railway Tavern in Shatin.

He told me his directors had said they thought TCO would take a lenient view on continued smoking and that they expected it to take 6 months before anything happened if they continued smoking and that in any case, they had no legal onus to stop people smoking in the pub.

The article below is clear what needs to be done and that is to follow overseas legislation on making the licensee responsible to prevent smoking in his premises or face the loss of the liquor / sauna / mahjong / night club licence. Licensees are already bound not to serve drunken people by law and the same should happen with smoking. In the meantime TCO should write to all licensees to inform them that their liquor / other licence renewals might be affected by allowing smoking to take place on their premises.

The comments of the mahjong parlours to continue to provide cigarettes is another reason why premises managers should be made responsible under the law with the threat of loss of licence for non compliance.  It works everywhere else in the world so why not here ?

It seems obvious that smokers will step outside the bars and pubs and the Government must look at similar legislation overseas that bans smoking within 10 meters of a building entrance and on restaurant and bar patios.

We concur with your statement on smoking in cars with children present and look forward to the Government following overseas jurisdictions on plain packaging of cigarettes, point of sale displays and the regulation and control of tobacco ingredients as enacted by the US FDA and signed into law.

Kind regards,

James Middleton

Activists advocate tougher laws to close loopholes on lighting up

Dan Kadison – SCMP

Even with the smoking ban going into full effect this week, anti-smoking advocates say there is still a lot more work to be done in the city.

First, the smoking ban was not completely effective, said James Middleton, chairman of the anti-tobacco committee Clear the Air. “I think overall most Hong Kong people are law-abiding and will comply.”

Still, the government needs more tobacco control inspectors, a law to ban smoking at venue entrances and outside seating areas and fines for landlords.

“At the moment, there’s no onus on the landlord,” he said. “They don’t put the legal onus on the landlord.”

The burden was on the person smoking – and it would be the locals who would face the brunt of the penalties, as tourists can fly out before paying their fines, he said.

“[Preventing] smoking in cars is probably the next thing that must happen, especially with children present,” Mr Middleton said. “They’ve done tests in the UK which show that the contents of the car, even with the window open, are up to 100 times more toxic than in a bar.”

Smoking in condominiums had also been targeted in other cities, he said.

Where should people smoke then? “Dig a hole in the ground and then they’re ready to go when they’re dead,” he replied.

Anthony Hedley, chairman of the department of community medicine at the University of Hong Kong, said the government should institute an annual “progressive tax hike” on cigarettes and close a loophole which allows tobacco companies to advertise on products such as watches.

“There are many other issues. There’s a long shopping list. Just to name one is the point-of-ale advertisements. We’ve still got faulty legislation at that level,” he said. “I was in Thailand recently and their point-of -sale registration is very effective. You can’t display cigarettes front-of-house in a 7-Eleven or any other shop. They have to be covered up.”

One government official said he had a “wish list” of his own. Ronald Lam Man-kin is the head of the Tobacco Control Office.
“We are trying, of course, to strive for a smoke-free environment,” he said. “So the next step forward may include, for the protection of children, forbidding smoking in cars or putting in place some smoke-free movie [content] restrictions. But that’s just a wish list.”

Judith Mackay, director of the Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control, said Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Mongolia were doing well with their anti-smoking measures, but more steps had to be taken. “I tend to rejoice in the fact that we have got this far because I remember what it used to be like.”

Shops should sell cigarettes in plain brown packs and Hong Kong should understand its obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, she added.

Tobacco Industry Interference with Tobacco Control

Danvers state rep takes smoking to the airwaves

By Cathryn Keefe O’Hare/

Danvers – Danvers State  Rep. Ted Speliotis is getting a bit of radio and TV time, as a result of sponsoring a bill that would prohibit people from congregating while smoking within 25 feet of commercial doorways.

Speliotis describes it as having a less draconian effect than some have supposed, which is that it would effectively prohibit smoking in downtowns. The bill, H-2162, would allow smokers to walk along the street, but not to congregate in doorways, he said this week.

He was on Dan Rea’s nighttime talk show on WBZ radio recently and on Emily Rooney’s Greater Boston show on Channel 2 last week, explaining the law.

The issue has been smoldering in Danvers since the Cigars R Us store opened in the Square about five years ago. The bench outside invites the smokers to sit and relax while they smoke. But, some nearby businesses and a number of residents haven’t always been happy about the wall of smoke — nor sometimes the comments from the men.

Town Meeting member John Zavaglia asked Danvers Board of Health in 2006 to prohibit smoking within 25 feet of a public doorway, noting the health hazard it presents to children and to people like his wife, who has asthma. The health board said they had no policing ability, so Zavaglia turned to Town Meeting. When this proposal was snuffed out at the local level back in 2007, he turned to Speliotis for help.

John Palmisano, owner of Goodie’s Ice Cream Shop, and Nick Pasciutto, owner ofGiogi Salon, had said in a March 2007 Danvers Herald interview that they had asked the owner of the Cigars R Us to curtail the smoking, since it bothers their customers.

“It’s a matter of respect,” Palmisano said at the time. “We’ve talked to Frank (Ciampa, the cigar shop owner) before, but nothing changes,” Palmisano said.

Ciampa asked the town for an exception to the indoor smoking law because of its desire to provide a relaxing atmosphere for its customers to enjoy a smoke. No surprise: Not allowed.

So, now the state might chime in on the issue, although a similar bill didn’t ignite any passions in the Legislature last year.

“This is the first year it has really gotten a full-blown hearing,” said Speliotis, who also noted that the responses he has had from the public have “shocked” him because they are almost all in favor of the proposal.

“I am hoping we can get the American Cancer Society and other groups together to support it,” he said.

John Zavaglia praised Speliotis for his support.

“Smoke all you want, but smoke 25 feet from entrances at supermarkets, eating establishments, and other public places so people, but especially children, the elderly, asthmatics and other high-risk individuals don’t have to walk through a wall of smoke,” Zavaglia said.

World’s Youngest? Boy, 2, Can’t Quit Smoking After Dad Teaches Him Nasty Habit

A 2-year-old boy from the city of Tianjin in China is the world’s youngest smoker, or at least the youngest to admit it. Except the toddler didn’t admit it — his dad did, after teaching Tong Liangliang how to light up.
Liangliang’s dad said his son was born with a hernia, and being too young for an operation, has taken up smoking to help him deal with the pain.
Now the toddler smokes a pack-a-day, and won’t quit. He screams and throws himself on the floor if he is refused a cigarette.
The Guinness Book of World Records is unlikely to accept the feat, as it has refused such requests before on the grounds that it “promoted a harmful habit.”

Click here to read more from

Malibu to ban public smoking

Olivia Damavandi, Malibu Times

The Malibu City Council on Monday voted to adopt an ordinance that would prohibit smoking in public open spaces beginning July 31.

The ordinance, as proposed, would ban smoking within 20 feet of a public event, such as a farmers’ market. It would also ban smoking within 20 feet of outdoor dining areas on public or private property, such as hotels and supermarkets.

Businesses with outdoor dining areas would be also required to conspicuously post and maintain “no smoking” signs within the area.

The cost to implement such an ordinance has not yet been determined, but will be based on the amount of public outreach and level of enforcement, a city report states.

All council members except John Sibert, who did not attend the Monday meeting, supported the ordinance. However, Councilmember Sharon Barovsky said she would not support the ordinance unless it required the implementation of smoking waste receptacles, or freestanding ashtrays, at least 24 feet from business entrances. Where that is not possible, the waste receptacles must be located at the furthest points from the entrances, she said.

Barovsky argued that while banning smoking in dining areas and at public events would improve air quality, it would actually increase pollution. People would smoke outside the prohibited area and drop their cigarette butts on the ground when they are finished, she said.

Furthermore, she said, the purpose of the city’s ban on smoking at the beach would be defeated, as littered cigarettes would ultimately end up there.

Councilmember Jefferson Wagner agreed with Barovsky, and said, “Most of the [cigarette] butts will end up in the storm drain. I feel that we do need to provide some kind of receptacle.”

“To write an ordinance that doesn’t provide for the unintended consequences of that ordinance isn’t a good idea,” Barovsky said.

But City Attorney Christi Hogin disputed that business owners would not be responsible for individuals who littered their cigarettes outside the prohibited smoking area because they would be doing so on public property enforced by Sheriff’s deputies.

“Don’t tell me there’s going to be a cop there every time someone puts a cigarette out on the street,” Barovsky said to Hogin.

The council had listed the smoking ordinance as one of its top priorities in May, after the American Lung Association’s annual report card gave Malibu an “F” grade along with 60 percent of cities within Los Angeles County.

Longtime Malibu resident William McCarthy, a professor of public health at UCLA, told the council in February that a measurable decrease in lung cancer rates, particularly in California, has been noted in places such as Calabasas that have adopted ordinances banning smoking. The majority of the population will benefit from adopting the ordinance, he added.

Residents have also voiced their support for the ordinance not only for its health benefits, but for environmental ones as well.

“The Pepperdine fire happened from someone allegedly throwing a cigarette butt out of their car,” Marshall Thompson said before the council in February. “It’s obnoxious, and it’s a public health issue.”

The council directed staff to make a second reading and adopt the ordinance on July 13.

Hong Kong stubs out entertainment smoking

Tom Qian, Shanghai Daily – 2009-6-23

HONG Kong will ban smoking at places of entertainment from next month, China News Service reported today.

The venues include bars, club houses, nightclubs, bathrooms, massage parlors and mahjong rooms. People under the age of 18 are forbidden to enter these entertainment venues, according to laws in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The regulation takes effect on July 1.

Smoking rooms will not be set up in these venues as each room costs 300,000 yuan (US$43,879), the Hong Kong Tobacco Control Office under Department of Health said.

The Hong Kong government banned smoking in public, excluding these six venues, on January 1, 2007. Smoking is banned in all restaurants, offices, parks, beaches, schools and colleges, hospitals and elevators. Offenders can be fined up to HK$5,000 (US$645).

The number of smokers in Hong Kong last year was 754,800, a drop of 2 percent since the introduction of the ban, Liu Wenwen, chairman of smoking and health committee said.


2009-06-09 17:34:18 来源: 中国新闻网(北京) 跟贴 13 条 手机看新闻
中新网6月9日电 据香港媒体报道,香港控烟办表明,酒吧、会所、夜总会、浴室、按摩院及麻雀馆等6类娱乐场所,将如期在下月1日实施全面禁烟。
吸烟与健康委员会主席刘文文表示,2007年实施禁烟后,全港食肆收入上升13%,吸烟人数减少2个百分点。 (本文来源:中国新闻网 )

Most Swedes support ban on outdoor smoking

IceNews – Daily News

By Luna Finnsson

A new survey by Synovate that was commissioned by the Swedish Network of Tobacco Prevention reveals that 73 percent of Swedes support a ban on smoking in the outdoor dining sections of restaurants. This would suggest that Swedes are getting tired of second hand smoke, even within the well-ventilated realm of the great outdoors.

The Local newspaper reports that the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union (HRF) is demanding the government extend its existing 2005 ban on smoking in all licensed premises. The original ban proved very popular with Swedes, leading the Parliament to establish a goal of expanding this notion against exposure to passive smoking in public by 2014.

Whether it will continue to apply only to public restaurants and bars or extend into the open-air realm of public life has yet to been seen. But the days of smoking in public in Sweden could be drawing to a close, especially since younger Swedes are the ones most in favour of extending the ban.

The survey suggests that a great majority support banning smoking in all public places and on all public transport. Some 86 percent of the respondents, including two-thirds of regular smokers, support the parliament’s 2014 goal. While non-smokers were twice as enthusiastic about the ban, a surprising 40 percent of smokers also back an extension of the ban.

Ireland was the first nation to implement a nationwide ban on public smoking in 2004. But Bhutan has taken it one step further by completely banning the sale and smoking of all tobacco products in public, the only nation on earth to do so.

President Obama Delivers Historic Victory for America’s Kids and Health over Tobacco

Statement of Matthew L. Myers – President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids – June 22, 2009

President Obama today struck an historic blow against the greatest public health menace of our time by signing into law bipartisan legislation that grants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products. Coming 45 years after the first Surgeon General’s report linking cigarette smoking to lung cancer, this long-overdue law is the strongest action the federal government has ever taken to reduce tobacco use, the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. This new law will protect our children from the tobacco industry’s predatory marketing, save countless lives and reduce the enormous health and financial burden that tobacco use imposes on our nation. Today is a great day for America’s kids and health.

We thank President Obama for his leadership and strong support of this legislation. This new law is a tribute to the leadership and tenacity of its lead sponsors in Congress, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA). We thank them and the many other members of Congress who have played leadership roles, including House Speaker Nancy Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), who shepherded the legislation through the Senate this year. We also thank and congratulate the more than 1,000 public health, faith and other organizations across the country that came together in one of the strongest coalitions ever to unite behind public health legislation.

The enactment of this new law by itself does not end the long battle against tobacco use, but it is a giant step towards achieving the goal of significantly reducing – and eventually eliminating – the death and disease caused by tobacco. Achieving this goal will require an aggressive and comprehensive effort by all levels of government. We look forward to the FDA effectively implementing this law and using the strong authority it has been given to fundamentally change how tobacco products are manufactured, marketed and sold in the United States. FDA regulation is intended as a critical complement, not a replacement, for the successful work that has been going on at the state and local level. State and local leaders must continue and, in fact, step up their efforts to implement proven measures to reduce tobacco use, including higher tobacco taxes, smoke-free workplace laws and well-funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

It is our hope that this legislation will lead to dramatically greater federal activity to help reduce the death and disease from tobacco use. Health care reform provides a critical opportunity to expand national tobacco prevention and cessation efforts. We also look forward to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stepping up its tobacco prevention and cessation initiatives, and the National Institutes of Health playing a leading research role in support of these efforts.

It is also important that the United States provide leadership in the global fight against tobacco use as the tobacco industry increasingly targets developing countries to sustain profits as smoking declines in the U.S. and other developed countries. The U.S. should ratify the international tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and support efforts to implement it effectively around the world.

Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 Americans each year, sickens millions more and costs the nation $96 billion annually in health care bills. Every day, another 1,000 kids become regular smokers – one-third of them will die prematurely as a result. Yet, until now, tobacco products have escaped the FDA’s common-sense regulations that apply to every other product we consume, from food to drugs to cosmetics. The new law grants the FDA the authority and resources necessary to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products. Among other things, it will:

· Restrict tobacco advertising and promotions, especially to children.

· Stop illegal sales of tobacco products to children.

· Ban candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes.

· Require large, graphic health warnings that cover the top half of the front and back of cigarette packs.

· Ban misleading health claims such as “light” and “low-tar.”

· Strictly regulate all health claims about tobacco products to ensure they are scientifically proven and do not discourage current tobacco users from quitting or encourage new users to start.

· Require tobacco companies to disclose the contents of tobacco products, as well as changes in products and research about their health effects.

· Empower the FDA to require changes in tobacco products, such as the removal or reduction of harmful ingredients or the reduction of nicotine levels.

· Fully fund the FDA’s new tobacco-related responsibilities with a user fee on tobacco companies so no resources are taken from the FDA’s current work.

More information on the new law can be found at

Tobacco Tax Raised in Bid to Curb Smoking

Agence France-Presse in Beijing – Jun 22, 2009

China has raised taxes on tobacco by six to 11 per cent in an effort to pad state coffers and curb smoking in the world’s largest cigarette market, according to the government and state press.

Tobacco wholesalers have also been hit with a five per cent levy according to new tax rates that went into effect on May 1 but were announced over the weekend, the State Administration of Taxation said in a notice on its website.

“Efforts to increase the tobacco tax and lift tobacco prices have proven the most effective in reducing smoking among smokers of all income levels,” the China Daily quoted the Chinese Association of Tobacco Control as saying Monday.

“It will prevent young people from smoking and encourage more smokers to quit the harmful habit.”

Tax on more expensive brands of cigarettes went up from 45 per cent to 56 per cent per carton, while the tax on cheaper tobacco saw an increase to 36 per cent from 30 per cent, the administration said.

China is the largest producer and consumer of cigarettes in the world with up to a million people dying of smoking-related diseases each year, the newspaper said. This figure could rise to up to three million by 2050, it added.

The Asian giant has a total of 350 million smokers and a growing army of young people are picking up the habit, it added. Half of all males in the mainland smoke, it said.
The tax administration said the new levies would “moderately improve” revenues, while the China Daily said the move would add up to 30 billion yuan (US$4.4 billion) annually to state coffers.

China’s government has said it expects a record deficit this year due to efforts to fund a 585-billion-dollar stimulus package to offset the global financial crisis.

State revenue, meanwhile, declined 6.7 per cent year-on-year in the first five months of this year, the report said.