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September 13th, 2011:

Greene County Daily World: Local News: You can win big money for quitting (09/13/11)

You can win big money for quitting

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

By Sabrina Westfall, Staff Writer

Research shows that 80 percent of adults have the desire to quit smoking, and Quit Now Indiana is offering an incentive to do so.

Indiana health officials have joined forces with MDWise Hoosier Alliance and ADVANTAGE Health Solutions to offer up to US$2,500 in rewards for those who stay tobacco free, whether smoking or chewing tobacco.

“Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to improve your health,” Indiana State Health Commissioner Gregory Larkin, M.D. said in a prepared statement. “We know there are a large number of Hoosiers who are ready to quit smoking and the Quit Now Indiana Contest is the perfect opportunity for many of them to make a serious quit attempt.”

The 2010 contest had more than 3,500 entrants, representing every county in Indiana.

Contestants must remain tobacco free for the duration of the month of October, which is 31 days.

Once the contest is completed, names of those entered in the contest will be drawn and given a saliva test to ensure they remained tobacco free.

“The 2010 Quit Now Indiana Contest was a great success. Indiana is committed to helping anyone who is ready to quit. Tobacco use is an addiction, not a habit. People are generally more successful if they seek help in quitting. The contest is a great way to prepare, set a quit date and break free from tobacco use,” Karla Sneegas, Assistant Commissioner of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation at the State Health Department said.

In 2010, Steve Williams, of Indianapolis, took home the $2,500 grand prize. Second place went to Craig Watson, of Elkhart, with $1,500 and $1,000 went to Nikki Wall, of Fort Wayne, for third place.

PHA calls for plain packaging before tobacco industry regains momentum – New Zealand Doctor

PHA calls for plain packaging before tobacco industry regains momentum

Public health Association  Tuesday 13 September 2011, 10:26AM

The Public Health Association (PHA) has written to the Prime Minister and Cabinet urging them to follow Australia and legislate for plain packaging on tobacco as soon as possible. The PHA believes the tobacco industry will quickly refocus its marketing efforts on the branding on cigarette packs, now the public display of tobacco products is to be banned.

Dr Keating said delegates to last week’s PHA annual conference applauded the government’s leadership in legislating to remove tobacco products from retail display.

But Dr Keating said there was also disquiet that the tobacco industry will waste no time in redirecting its investment toward ‘in-home’ marketing, probably even before the deadline for the dismantling of tobacco displays in retail outlets.

“We don’t want the government to lose momentum – plain packaging will help prevent the uptake of smoking particularly by young New Zealanders – avoiding the premature deaths of 5000 of them, reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and saving taxpayers millions.

“It is inevitable New Zealand will introduce the same legislation as Australia at some stage, so there is little point in delay, and much to be gained by acting now.

“Recent New Zealand research1 clearly indicates young people relate very strongly to cigarette packaging.

“There is no doubt branding functions as advertising, and tobacco executives have admitted as much in their internal documents,” says the PHA’s National Executive Officer Dr Gay Keating.

“Once bought and left lying around people’s homes, branded packets colourfully encourage young people to pick up the habit and make it harder for ex-smokers to stay smokefree.”

Trade Marks Amendment (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Bill 20

13 Sept. 2011

Download PDF : s276

Plain packaging is a weapon against the centrepiece of tobacco promotion

Australia’s plain cigarette packaging legislation is a weapons-grade public health policy that is causing apoplexy in the international tobacco industry, according to an article published in the latest Medical Journal of Australia.

Prof Simon Chapman, from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, writes that the legislation has led to desperate attempts by global tobacco companies to prevent the looming end to the industry’s centrepiece of tobacco promotion – the lure of the pack.

“After more than 15 years, the tobacco industry dodo is back and walking among us, attempting to fly,” Professor Chapman said.

“The tobacco industry’s current undisguised panic shows that plain packs will hit them very hard.

“Its blank-cheque advertising campaigns, imploring the government to desist, say to anyone with half a brain that the industry knows that plain packs will ‘kill their business’.

“That’s precisely the plan.

“From the beginning of the 20th century, when machine-manufactured cigarettes were first marketed, the advertising and packaging industries did all they could to portray cigarettes as a means of signalling personal identity to the young as they took up smoking.

“[For example] a callow youth who wouldn’t be seen dead with an Alpine felt assured by the promise of masculinity in pulling out a packet of Marlboros.

“But, from next year, all cigarette packages will look the same, distinguished only by the brand name in standard typeface.

“Australia’s historic plain cigarette packaging legislation is likely to have little effect on heavily dependent smokers, who tend to be brand-loyal and less image-conscious but, without branding, future generations will grow up never having seen category A carcinogens packaged in attractive packs.

“Today’s 19-year-olds have never seen local tobacco advertising and youth smoking rates are at an all-time low.

“Plain packs will turbocharge this trend, making smoking history,” Prof Chapman said.

The Medical Journal of Australia is a publication of the Australian Medical Association.

Plain packaging removes cigarettes’ appeal

Cancer Research UK Press Release

Removing branding and wrapping cigarettes in plain packaging helps remove the appeal of smoking according to new a Cancer Research UK-funded study published in Tobacco Control.

The researchers found that more women than men smoked less and found smoking less enjoyable when using the plain packs.

Some smokers also claimed that they would be more likely to attempt quitting if all cigarettes came in the dark brown unbranded packs used in this study.

In the first study of its kind nearly 50 young adult smokers used non branded cigarette packets in normal everyday situations for two weeks. The researchers then compared the reaction to this packaging to the reactions of using regular packs for two weeks.

The plain brown packs were given a fictional name with standard branding and the health warning “Smoking Kills”. Twice weekly questionnaires were followed up with face to face interviews for more in depth analysis of reaction.

Plainly wrapped cigarettes were rated negatively against the original packs. Taking out the cigarettes less often, handing out cigarettes less frequently and hiding the pack more were all reported as a result of the plain packaging.

Dr Crawford Moodie, the study’s lead author based at the University of Stirling, said: “Despite the small size of this study it adds an important real world dimension to the research on the way smokers respond to plain packaging. The study confirms the lack of appeal of plain packs, with the enjoyment and consumption of cigarettes being reduced. We’re now looking to build on this research to understand more about the impact of packaging on smokers.”
The UK government is expected to begin a public consultation on the future of tobacco packaging later this year.

Australia should be the first country in the world to wrap cigarettes in plain packaging. The Australian government has announced that all tobacco must be sold in plain packaging from July 1, 2012. Picture health warnings will also cover 75 per cent of the front and 90 per cent of the back of packs.

Jean King, Cancer Research UK’s director of tobacco control, said: “While a small study, this research provides important insights into the power of cigarette packaging. Colourful and slickly designed packs are one of the last remaining avenues for tobacco companies to market their deadly product, so it’s interesting to see what might happen if and when this is removed. It’s important to remember that smoking remains the single biggest preventable cause of death in the UK, so preventing more people from starting and helping smokers to quit is vital. We look forward to the possibility of removing the silent salesman of cigarette packets.”

Opinion on FOI requests made by tobacco companies

Is your confidential research safe?

Philip Morris International, creators of the Marlboro brand, have submitted a number of Freedom of Information (“FOI”) requests to the University of Stirling regarding its research on tobacco packaging and marketing and its influence on young people.

Stirling’s initial reaction was to reject the requests on the grounds that they were vexatious and of questionable motives. Stirling also argued that allowing such FOI requests would have adverse implications for any future studies it might wish to undertake and that it had a duty of confidence to the young people who participated in the study. Philip Morris refuted these allegations, arguing that their intention was not to obtain confidential information on the studies’ participants, irritate the university or disturb its research work but rather that the information would enable them to learn more about packaging.

In June of this year, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that Stirling had failed to respond timeously and had not issued appropriate reasons to reject the request and ordered the university to reconsider. Stirling then responded to Philip Morris stating that to comply with the requests would result in excess expense in processing costs, this being a legitimate reason for refusal under FOI legislation. Whether Philip Morris will appeal this decision remains to be seen.

This may be the most recent example of a tobacco company trying to utilise information collected by a public body, but it is not the first. Earlier in 2011 a number of tobacco companies (Philip Morris included) made FOI requests to the Department of Health regarding tobacco regulation and received the information sought. This comes as no surprise when you bear in mind that In June 2009 the Department refused to release minutes from a meeting regarding the prospect of basic packaging of cigarettes only displaying health warnings and brand name and that on appeal of that decision by the ICO, the ICO determined that the minutes should be released.

Whilst the tobacco industry maintains that its FOI requests have valid objectives such as better understanding the objectives of Government and ensuring the sufficiency of information used by Government in its decision making, it is not difficult to see how many view the actions of the tobacco industry as an abuse of public information laws by corporate giants for their own commercial advantage.

From the university’s perspective it is imperative that its internal procedures for dealing with such requests are robust and comprehensive and that such requests are at all times managed so as not to prejudice the on-going research activities of the university. To the extent that such research is sponsored by third party funds, it is also imperative that any obligations of confidence assumed by the university in favour of that sponsor acknowledge the university’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act.

For further information contact:

Dawn McKnight

T: 028 9034 8816

The Association Between Point-of-Sale Displays and Youth Smoking Susceptibility


Introduction: According to tobacco industry documents, tobacco displays within the retail environment assume a much greater importance with the loss of other marketing channels. The impact of these displays upon young people and their future intentions to smoke (susceptibility) is, therefore, of significant interest to public health.

Methods: A cross-sectional in-home survey was conducted in 2008 with young people (N = 1,401) aged 11–16 years, recruited from across the United Kingdom. We examine the salience of and attraction to cigarette displays at point-of-sale (POS), among youth, and whether this is associated with susceptibility. We concentrate exclusively on the 956 never-smokers.

Results: Logistic regression, controlling for known risk factors of youth smoking, found that noticing cigarette displays was associated with higher levels of susceptibility (odds ratio [OR] = 1.77, p < .05) and greater attraction to displays was associated with higher susceptibility (OR = 1.07, p < .001).

Conclusions: It is difficult, if not impossible, to safeguard young people from exposure to displays of tobacco at POS. That these displays were associated with increased susceptibility suggests that moves to place tobacco out of sight in the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, are justified.

Big tobacco uses The Castle in legal blue

BIG tobacco says the federal government’s plan to ban company branding on cigarette packs is as unjust as the commonwealth’s attempt to acquire Darryl Kerrigan’s home in the Australian film The Castle.

British American Tobacco Australia has told a Senate inquiry that Labor’s plain-packaging legislation is badly drafted and unfair.

Top silk Allan Myers QC said today the draft laws would “extinguish the most valuable uses of trademarks” without compensation.

“If the parliament wants to enact plain-packaging legislation, it’s pretty simple – they face up to the fact that they’re taking people’s property away and pay for it,” Mr Myers told the committee hearing in Canberra.

“The trademark in a broad sense is being appropriated for the benefit of the commonwealth.

“The acquisition of property simply doesn’t refer to marching in and taking someone’s house like in The Castle or some film.”

But other legal experts, including officials from the attorney-general’s and health departments, disagree.

Melbourne University law professor Simon Evans essentially told Mr Myers he was dreaming.

Prof Evans agreed trademarks were considered property under section 51(xxxi) of the constitution and they could not be acquired without just compensation.

But he argued the commonwealth was not acquiring the brands but rather restricting their use.

Prof Evans also drew on Darryl Kerrigan’s fictional battle to make his point.

“It’s not like The Castle where the commonwealth gets the benefit of the house in order to operate the airport,” the academic said.

“On current authority there is very little prospect that the High Court would conclude that the plain-packaging legislation effects an acquisition of those property rights.”

Prof Evans said there was “very little risk” big tobacco would win a High Court challenge because there was no transfer of property and the government would not use the trade mark.

Health department general counsel Chris Reid agreed.

“The department is quite confident here that there would not be an acquisition of property,” he said.

Australian National University law professor Matthew Rimmer told Tuesday’s hearing the same argument applied in relation to international intellectual property rights agreements.

The Gillard government wants all cigarettes to be sold in drab olive-brown packs from mid-2012.

It has two bills before parliament to make that happen: the main legislation and an associated bill to amend the Trade Marks Act.

Both have already passed the lower house and are expected to sail through the Senate with the support of the Greens.

BATA has said it will challenge the laws, once passed, in court.

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