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September 23rd, 2011:

Movies with smoking make less money


Objective To determine the relationship between presence of smoking in films and total box office receipts.

Methods Regression analysis of box office receipts as a function of film rating, production budget, year of release and presence of smoking for 1232 films released in the USA between 2002 and 2010.

Results R-rated films made, on average, 87% (95% CI 83% to 90%) of what PG-13 films of similar smoking status made and smoking films made 87% (95% CI 79% to 96%) of what comparably rated smoke-free films made. Larger budget films made more money. There was no significant effect of release year or G/PG rating compared with PG-13-rated movies.

Conclusions Because PG-13 films without smoking (median $48.6 million) already make 41% more money at the box office than R-rated movies with smoking (median $34.4 million), implementing an R rating for smoking to remove it from youth-rated films will not conflict with the economic self-interest of producer-distributors.

Hong Kong’s Free-Market Economy Needs More Freedom: The Ticker

Clear the Air says: Hong Kong Tobacco tax should incorporate a regular additional cost for  local inflation to be effective !

Description: Ticker: Hong Kong, 7.9

Hong Kong is an economic paradox with few peers.

It’s routinely ranked the world’s best place to do business by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, which publish the annual Index of Economic Freedom. That’s because of Hong Kong’s free entry of foreign capital, first-world legal system, low taxes and duty-free port.

Eyed from another angle, Hong Kong should worry the libertarians out there: Its leader is picked by Beijing and a handful of oligarchs tower over the economy. It also has the only state-backed Disneyland, and it uses a pegged currency.

If Hong Kong were as free as many believe, inflation might not be surging 7.9 percent, the fastest pace since 1995. The peg to the U.S. dollar is fueling bubbles in the city’s economy. Hong Kong’s dollar has weakened 7 percent against the Chinese yuan in the past two years, driving inflation and a surge in property prices. Tidal waves of mainland cash are pouring in to profit from the currency mismatch.

That year-over-year jump in July consumer prices spooked markets and has hedge fund managers likeWilliam Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management LP betting on a policy shift that markets have been trying to time for years.

Fortunes could be made by correctly timing a big upward revaluation in Hong Kong, or when the city scraps the peg it’s maintained since 1983. New York-based Ackman is homing in on such a surging-dollar trade. He’s buying Hong Kong dollar call options, which give investors the right to buy the currency at a set price by a specific date.

Hong Kong could always peg its dollar to the yuan. Yet that would shackle the outlook of a highly developed economy to a developing one. To reach its incredible potential, China must first avert economic overheating, keep bank loans from 2008 stimulus efforts from going bad and avoid social instability. Hong Kong may want to maintain some distance as China sorts out these and other challenges.

In the meantime, Hong Kong has a worsening inflation problem on its hands. And the answer may be quite simple: The free-est economy should give real freedom a try.

(William Pesek is a Bloomberg View columnist.)

SFH attends UN closing plenary meeting

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow,
continued his programme in New York, the United States, on September 20 (New
York time). Dr Chow attended the closing plenary meeting of the United
Nations high-level meeting on prevention and control of non-communicable
diseases (NCDs) this afternoon.

The two-day high-level meeting was attended by senior ministers and experts,
health officials, leading academics and industry leaders from all over the

The attendees adopted a declaration calling for a multi-pronged campaign by
governments, industry and civil society to set up by 2013 the plans needed
to curb the risk factors, such as tobacco and alcohol use, behind the four
groups of NCDs – cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory
diseases and diabetes. The declaration also stressed that the overall toll
of NCDs is estimated at 36 million, or two-thirds of the deaths worldwide,

“Evidence showed that major NCDs share a core set of modifiable behavioural
risk factors, such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, smoking and the
harmful use of alcohol,” Dr Chow said.

“Health promotion and preventive interventions are cost-effective in
reducing NCDs’ morbidity and mortality. Hong Kong supports the call by the
United Nations to promote, establish and strengthen policies and plans for
the prevention and control of NCDs,” he added.

Dr Chow stressed that the current NCDs challenge is greater than previously
realised, and that, with the Government assuming a leadership role,
stakeholders in all sectors need to collaborate to create a supportive
environment to achieve better health.

He called on individuals in society to take up their own responsibility for
their health, and to make responsible choices when it comes to lifestyle

Dr Chow will proceed to Atlanta on September 21 (New York time).

Source: HKSAR Government

Baseball seeks ban on chewing tobacco and dip

World Anti Doping Authority (WASA)   – WADA will soon ban nicotine (in smokefree products) use by athletes

MLB Baseball are just jumping the gun to ready for the inevitable.


A Global Tobacco Epidemic
Tobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable death, according to the World Health Organization.
Increasingly, the burden of tobacco use is greatest in low‐ and middle‐income countries that have been targeted
by the tobacco industry with its deadly products and deceptive marketing practices. The result: A global tobacco
epidemic of preventable death, disease and economic harm to countries and families.

A Global Tobacco EpidemicTobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable death, according to the World Health Organization.Increasingly, the burden of tobacco use is greatest in low‐ and middle‐income countries that have been targetedby the tobacco industry with its deadly products and deceptive marketing practices. The result: A global tobaccoepidemic of preventable death, disease and economic harm to countries and families.

Download PDF : 0366

UN Declaration

Political declaration of the High-level Meeting of the
General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of
Non-communicable Diseases

Political declaration of the High-level Meeting of theGeneral Assembly on the Prevention and Control ofNon-communicable Diseases

Download PDF : UN1149777


Why plain packaging will not stop youths smoking

23 September 2011 12:51AM
one really must be skeptical about the credentials of the author of this
article who just got married and needs the money. His own website tells the
story that he is a ‘ghostwriter’ for his clients’ ideas., but he does not
take any money from the tobacco industry or its fronts – and pigs can fly
The tobacco industry and its supporters state openly that point of sale
display bans will fail and plain packaging of the ‘silent salesman’ (their
remaining advertising opportunity alongside product placement in the movies)
will also fail. So if these moves will fail and even the worldwide domino
will fail then what does Big Tobacco have to worry about ? Why all the huff
n puff ? Ah yes, smuggling will increase is their retort – well since
tobacco documents online and BAT Clarke’s own admissions show the extent the
tobacco companies control the ‘General Cargo Trade and Duty Not Paid
product’ supply, it is time to start imprisoning tobacco executives for
conspiracy to defraud world treasuries of excise income.

Rents, food drive inflation to 6.3pc

South China Morning Post – 23 Sept. 2011

Consumer prices in Hong Kong surged 6.3 per cent in real terms in August, up from the 5.8 per cent recorded in July.

The nominal inflation rate was 5.7 per cent, seemingly lower than the previous month’s 7.9 per cent. But minus the effects of the government’s one-off relief measures, the real rate of increase in the underlying inflation rate in August was 6.3 per cent, showing that inflationary pressure remained strong.

An economist yesterday warned that higher rents and food prices would continue to drive up inflation, but he believed that the US government’s latest credit easing measures, announced on Wednesday, and soaring prices for rice imported from Thailand, would have little impact.

A government spokesman attributed the rapid increase in the inflation rate to last year’s lower base of comparison, when the government temporarily waived public housing rentals in a one-off relief measure.

“Private housing rentals and food prices remained the two major contributory factors,” the spokesman said.

The latest inflation rate announcement came after the introduction of “Operation Twist”, the US Federal Reserve’s latest recession-fighting strategy, and possible soaring rice prices amid the Thai government’s plans to buy rice from the country’s farmers at above-market prices.

Raymond So Wai-man, the dean of the business school at the Hang Seng Management College, believed these two factors would have little impact on Hong Kong.

“Operation Twist will not affect mortgage interest rates, so that will not have much effect on our inflation rate,” So said.

“And in terms of rice prices from Thailand, Hong Kong can import rice from other places like Vietnam and mainland China. Moreover, rice is only one of the many food items bought in this city. Its influence on inflation is very minimal.”