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December 19th, 2011:

Singapore Considers Widening Smoking Ban

Dec. 19, 2011

Smoking is banned in the majority of indoor locations in Singapore. Among them are shopping malls, cinemas and night spots.

Smoking is also not allowed in places such as bus stops, swimming pools and basement carparks. Designated smoking areas are allowed in certain premises such as eating establishments and entertainment outlets.

The authorities are now considering extending a smoking ban to public spaces such as common corridors and staircase landings in HDB blocks, parks and park connectors, and beaches.

Smoking corners in entertainment outlets, hawker centers and food establishments may also have to go. All these areas have been flagged as problem spots based on public feedback gathered by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

It launched an islandwide consultation exercise last month seeking views from the public whether they want smoking at these places banned.

The proposal to widen the smoking ban comes after the NEA caught an increasing number of people flouting the law. In the first 10 months of this year, it issued 4,462 tickets to errant smokers. Last year, the figure was 4,646. Offenders can be fined up to $1,000.

Reprinted courtesy of Straits Times Indonesia. To subscribe to Straits Times Indonesia and/or the Jakarta Globe call 021 2553 5055.

European governments should stop subsidizing films with tobacco imagery

The European Commission has recently completed a public consultation
on the future provision of state aid for audiovisual works.
Although not its main aim, the consultation provided an
important opportunity to challenge the way that EU governments
currently subsidize US and domestic films with tobacco imagery.
Given the growing evidence, initially from the USA but now from
seven European countries, of a causal link between exposure to
tobacco imagery in films and smoking initiation among youth,
recently brought together in updated WHO guidance,1 we call
on EU governments to end their subsidies that now amount to
E263 million over 2008–11 for films with tobacco imagery.

The European Commission has recently completed a public consultationon the future provision of state aid for audiovisual works.Although not its main aim, the consultation provided animportant opportunity to challenge the way that EU governmentscurrently subsidize US and domestic films with tobacco imagery.Given the growing evidence, initially from the USA but now fromseven European countries, of a causal link between exposure totobacco imagery in films and smoking initiation among youth,recently brought together in updated WHO guidance,1 we callon EU governments to end their subsidies that now amount toE263 million over 2008–11 for films with tobacco imagery.

Download PDF : eurpub.ckr183.full

Fine particle air pollution and secondhand smoke exposures and risks inside 66 US casinos.


Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.


Smoking bans often exempt casinos, exposing occupants to fine particles (PM(2.5)) from secondhand smoke. We quantified the relative contributions to PM(2.5) from both secondhand smoke and infiltrating outdoor sources in US casinos. We measured real-time PM(2.5), particulate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PPAH), and carbon dioxide (CO(2)) (as an index of ventilation rate) inside and outside 8 casinos in Reno, Nevada. We combined these data with data from previous studies, yielding a total of 66 US casinos with smoking in California, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, developing PM(2.5) frequency distributions, with 3 nonsmoking casinos for comparison. Geometric means for PM(2.5) were 53.8 μg/m(3) (range 18.5-205 μg/m(3)) inside smoking casinos, 4.3 μg/m(3) (range 0.26-29.7 μg/m(3)) outside those casinos, and 3.1 μg/m(3) (range 0.6-9 μg/m(3)) inside 3 nonsmoking casinos. In a subset of 21 Reno and Las Vegas smoking casinos, PM(2.5) in gaming areas averaged 45.2 μg/m(3) (95% CI, 37.7-52.7 μg/m(3)); adjacent nonsmoking casino restaurants averaged 27.2 μg/m(3) (95% CI, 17.5-36.9 μg/m(3)), while PM(2.5) outside the casinos averaged 3.9 μg/m(3) (95% CI, 2.5-5.3 μg/m(3)). For a subset of 10 Nevada and Pennsylvania smoking casinos, incremental (indoor-outdoor) PM(2.5) was correlated with incremental PPAH (R(2)=0.79), with ventilation rate-adjusted smoker density (R(2)=0.73), and with smoker density (R(2)=0.60), but not with ventilation rates (R(2)=0.15). PPAH levels in 8 smoking casinos in 3 states averaged 4 times outdoors. The nonsmoking casinos’ PM(2.5) (n=3) did not differ from outdoor levels, nor did their PPAH (n=2). Incremental PM(2.5) from secondhand smoke in approximately half the smoking casinos exceeded a level known to produce cardiovascular morbidity in nonsmokers after less than 2h of exposure, posing acute health risks to patrons and workers. Casino ventilation and air cleaning practices failed to control secondhand smoke PM(2.5). Drifting PM(2.5) from secondhand smoke contaminated unseparated nonsmoking areas. Smoke-free casinos reduced PM(2.5) to the same low levels found outdoors.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

WHO warns Chinese public of misleading tobacco industry research

BEIJING, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) — Research indicating that some cigarettes are less harmful is tobacco industry hype meant to mislead the public, a World Health Organization official warned on Monday as a heated debate rages in China over the credibility of tobacco science.

“Low-tar cigarettes, for example, don’t reduce the harm at all,” said Sarah England, a technical officer on tobacco control with the WHO Representative Office in China.

She said tar, nicotine and other smoke emission yields derived from smoking-machine testing do not provide valid estimates of human exposure and there is no conclusive epidemiological or scientific evidence that cigarettes with lower machine-generated smoke yields are less harmful.

The debate on tobacco science flared up in China after Xie Jianping, a researcher known for his studies on low-tar cigarettes, was honored with a seat in the elite Chinese Academy of Engineering earlier this month.

Xie’s accreditation was challenged by Chinese health experts, but some scientists and smokers also came out to defend the 52-year-old researcher, who has spent decades working with a tobacco research institute under the China National Tobacco Corporation (China Tobacco) — the world’s largest cigarette company.

Neither Xie nor authorities with the Chinese Academy of Engineering have publicly commented since the controversy heated up.

“The marketing of cigarettes with stated tar and nicotine yields has resulted in the mistaken belief that those cigarettes are less harmful. It is just a tobacco industry tactic. It is very misleading,” England said.

The WHO official compared low-tar cigarettes to a green bullet and cigarettes with standard tar levels to a red one, and said, “It is meaningless to say which is better, to be killed by a red or green bullet.”

“I recommend not going near the bullets. Quit smoking instead,” she added.

Yang Gonghuan, head of the China Tobacco Control Office under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), had previously blamed the tobacco companies’ low-tar promotion strategy for the 41.15 percent growth in cigarette sales in China from 2000 to 2010.

China is the world’s largest consumer of cigarettes. The country has 300 million smokers, and more than 740 million non-smokers are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke, according to experts’ estimates. About 1.2 million people die each year in China from smoking-related illnesses ranging from lung cancer to heart disease.

China is a signatory of the World Health Organization-initiated tobacco control treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), but implementation has been slow mainly due to interference from the country’s powerful tobacco industry, health experts have said. The FCTC requires nations to ban deceptive and misleading descriptions such as “low-tar” labels, they said.

Jonathan Samet, who chairs the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), told reporters in Beijing that he found Xie’s accreditation unusual.

“No one has made a conventional cigarette product safer,” Samet said. “A cigarette typically contains 7,000 dangerous chemicals and it is hard to say taking out one or two chemicals will make any difference.”

“And how do you know any cigarette is low risk without watching people use it for 20 years?” he said.

Funding for tobacco control ‘inadequate’

Updated: 2011-12-19 07:48

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

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BEIJING – Annual government funding for tobacco control is just several hundred thousand yuan for each province on the Chinese mainland, far below what’s needed and much less than the amounts provided in other countries, anti-smoking experts said.

In the United States, hundreds of millions of dollars are allocated annually for tobacco control research and projects, said Jonathan Samet, chairman of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Although we’ve seen the prevalence of both the smoking epidemic and lung cancer decline in the US, tobacco control is still an urgent and important issue, given that nicotine is highly addictive and we don’t want our children to take up smoking,” he told China Daily in an interview on Sunday.

In 2011, the US had about 221,000 new cases of lung cancer, while about 157,000 people died from the disease, according to estimates from the US National Cancer Institute.

“Unfortunately, less-educated people today suffer the most from smoking in the US,” said Samet. He said that the smoking rate among the college-educated was less than 10 percent, but it was 40 percent among those who hadn’t finished high school.

Samet said that the prevalence of smoking peaked around 1961 in the US, when half of the men and 35 percent of the women smoked.

Now, less than 20 percent of the US population smokes. The rates are about equal for men and women but vary widely across the country, he said.

Tobacco control campaigns in the US started in the 1960s, following the first report linking smoking and lung cancer. Most offices and public places have become smoke-free in the past 15 years.

“Increasing public awareness and changing social norms helped achieve the change,” said Samet, himself brought up by parents who smoked.

The change has improved the US public health situation. Lung cancer rates among men began to drop some 20 years ago, while in women they are just beginning to decrease, he added.

However, in China, the lung cancer rate has kept increasing in the past decade, said Shi Yuankai, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Cancer Hospital. “It’s about an annual increase of 5 percent.”

“That rising trend won’t be reversed within 20 to 30 years, due to both smoking and air pollution,” he said.

Usually, smoking goes way up and about 20 to 30 years later, there is an evident rise in lung cancer, Samet said.

In China, smoking rates began to increase after the late 1970s and then dropped slightly in the 1990s, said Yang Gonghuan, head of the China Tobacco Control Office under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

But in the early 2000s, the smoking rate “began to climb a little bit again”, she said.

Health experts attributed that change to Chinese tobacco companies’ low-tar promotion strategy, which was undertaken in response to rising pressure for tobacco control, particularly after China ratified the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005.

Between 2000 and 2010, China experienced a 41.15 percent rise in cigarette sales, official statistics show.

Samet said that reducing the amount of tar and nicotine in cigarettes didn’t change the risk to human health.

Asked to comment on China’s new “tobacco academician”, Xie Jianping, who was inducted into the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said: “That’s quite unusual and couldn’t happen in the US, where tobacco researchers are hired secretly by tobacco companies.”

Yang said the government’s monopoly on tobacco was the root cause of such a situation.

Unlike in the US, where the tobacco industry is regulated by health departments, specifically the FDA, China’s tobacco industry is regulated by the State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau, which also represents the China National Tobacco Corp.

Taking into account the huge costs of smoking, in terms of treating smoking- related diseases and the loss of lives, “the Chinese government should try to get out of the tobacco business,” Samet said.

China Daily

Tobacco firm donates school items to regions worth 20m/-

IPPmedia – 2 hours ago

By The guardian reporter The Alliance One Tobacco Tanzania Limited (AOTTL) has donated items worth 20m/- to schools in five regions in the occasion of 

Secondhand smoke exposure (PM2.5) in outdoor dining areas and its correlates.


Cancer Council Victoria, Carlton, Australia.



This study assessed the magnitude of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure when people smoke in outdoor dining areas and explored conditions influencing exposure levels.


Data were gathered from 69 outdoor dining areas in Melbourne, Australia, during April/May 2007. Sitting at tables within 1 metre of an active smoker, the authors measured the concentration of particulate pollution (PM(2.5)) using TSI SidePak Personal Aerosol Monitors. PM(2.5) data were recorded by the monitor at 30-second intervals, and data were collected over an average of 25.8 minutes per venue. Information was collected about the presence of overhead coverings and the number of patrons and lit cigarettes.


The average background level of PM(2.5) was 8.4 microg/m(3) (geometric mean (GM)=6.1 microg/m(3)), increasing to an average of 17.6 microg/m(3) (GM=12.7 microg/m(3)) over the observational period and 27.3 microg/m(3) (GM=17.6 microg/m(3)) during the time that cigarettes were actively smoked near the monitor. There was substantial variation in exposure levels, with a maximum peak concentration of 483.9 microg/m(3) when there were lit cigarettes close to the monitor. Average exposure levels increased by around 30% for every additional active smoker within 1 metre of the monitor. Being situated under an overhead cover increased average exposure by around 50%.


When individuals sit in outdoor dining venues where smokers are present it is possible that they will be exposed to substantial SHS levels. Significant increases in exposure were observed when monitors were located under overhead covers, and as the number of nearby smokers increased. The role of outdoor smoking restrictions in minimising exposure to SHS must be considered.



[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Health Promot J Austr. 2010 Aug;21(2):99-105.

Second hand smoke in alfresco areas.

Stafford JDaube MFranklin P.


WA Tobacco Document Searching Program, Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia.



There are moves to ban smoking in outdoor areas of pubs, restaurants and cafes. Some argue that this is unnecessary as exposure to second hand smoke (SHS) is minimal. The aim of this study was to determine potential exposure of patrons to SHS in outdoor areas of eating and drinking venues.


Concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were measured in the alfresco areas of 28 cafes and pubs. Data were collected on the number of smokers present during sampling and factors that could influence PM2.5 concentrations. PM2.5concentrations for periods with and without smokers were compared using paired and independent sample tests.


PM2.5 concentrations were significantly increased when there was at least one smoker compared to periods with no smoking (14.25microg/m3 and 3.98 g/m3, respectively). There was evidence of a dose response increase with mean concentrations for none, one and two or more smokers of 3.98, 10.59and 17.00microg/m3, respectively. The differences remained significant after controlling for other factors. When two or more people were smoking, average PM2.5reached levels the US Environmental Protection Agency warns may put particularly sensitive people at risk of respiratory symptoms.


Smoking increases PM2.5concentrations in outdoor areas to levels that are potentially hazardous to health.



[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Second-hand smoke ‘drifts’ indoors



FRESH AIR?: Matterhorn duty manager Kim O’Leary in the outdoor smoking area.


Even sitting indoors in a smokefree pub may not protect you from second-hand smoke.

Seven years after laws came into force banning smoking inside bars, Wellington researchers have found that the air quality inside pubs is being affected by “drift” from legal semi-enclosed outdoor smoking areas.

Further regulations may be needed to protect people indoors, they say.

The team of researchers from Otago University, Wellington, visited seven city bars on three separate occasions and measured particulate levels – one way to detect second-hand smoke – in outdoor areas, inside the bar close to the outdoor area, and further inside.

All outdoor measurements, and nearly all indoor measurements, were greater than World Health Organisation guidelines for air quality. Even deep inside the pub, average particulate readings were twice the maximum level.

When there was constant access between the indoor and outdoor areas – for example, a door left open – inside levels were much higher.

The group defined semi-enclosed outdoor areas as those with three walls, or four walls but no roof.

Lead author Professor Richard Edwards said it was worrying that even outdoor areas that met legal requirements were contaminating indoor areas.

“The most important finding is that you can get drift from those semi-enclosed outdoor areas to areas much further inside the pub.”

Bar staff were most likely to suffer from the exposure, especially at pubs that had bars in their outdoor areas, Dr Edwards said. He urged policymakers to consider tightening the regulations for outdoor areas. That could include ensuring that connecting doors and windows be kept shut as much as possible. “You might also change the criteria for the degree of enclosure that’s allowed.”

Places such as Queensland had laws requiring at least 50 per cent of outdoor seating in pubs to be smoke-free, he said.

“Lots of non-smokers do like to go outside on a nice day, so it becomes a question of whether part of that area should be smoke-free.”

Although the researchers would not identify which bars they tested, they confirmed that courtyards like those at Wellington bar Matterhorn, met the testing criteria.

Matterhorn general manager Zach Twentyman said the doors to the courtyard were opened during gigs but were otherwise kept closed.

None of his staff had complained about drifting smoke or asked not to work in the outdoor bar. “To be honest, most of them smoke.”

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‘Cigarette smoke should be treated like asbestos’


Gamze Dastan, 20, has lunch and a cigarette at a cafe on Phillip St, Parramatta. Picture: Adam Ward Source: The Daily Telegraph

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ATTENTION smokers: your days of puffing away in NSW restaurants are numbered – if the state’s councils have their way.

NSW cabinet is considering a proposal to stub out alfresco smoking across the state.

Local governments in the city and the bush have put forward the proposal to make a uniform law out of what they say is a patchwork of conflicting rules across jurisdictions.

Should smokers be banned in public? Tell us below.

Sydney City and Parramatta, the two councils with the most cafes and bars, are leading the push for NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner to bring in the blanket ban. Last week Parramatta launched an assault on cafe smokers, against the wishes of two-thirds of its business community.

Just 33 of 152 councils in NSW have outlawed smoking in outdoor dining areas – but they claim it’s a job for the state.

Councils have labelled current bans as sporadic, and say the “inconsistency is a catalyst for confusion and angst: among both the smoking and not smoking population”.

However, the state government risks breaking a memorandum of understanding signed during the election campaign, which promises to keep smoking as the status quo.

The Daily Telegraph understands a new smoking policy is before the cabinet.

Parramatta Lord Mayor Lorraine Wearne said a state ban would eliminate confusion from Sydney’s 44 councils that have different smoking policies.

“The state government needs to come on board and make it clear what is permitted and in what areas, instead of leaving it to councils to implement their own smoke-free policies,” she said.

Parramatta will ban smokers from lighting up in alfresco dining areas including its premier Eat Street from May 1, next year – despite studies finding up to 70 per cent of business owners thought the ban would have a major impact on their takings.

Sydney City Lord Mayor Clover Moore will also write to the state government “to lobby for introduction of legislation that uniformly prohibits smoking in outdoor dining areas on public land”.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the government could not comment until the issue had been through cabinet.

Action on Smoking and Health Australia spokesman Stafford Sanders said a state-wide ban was long overduefor NSW.

“Tobacco is a highly toxic, carcinogenic contaminant, “he said.

“There is no good reason why it should be treated differently to asbestos.”

A spokesman for Clubs NSW said clubs and hotels spent more than $1 billion building outdoor smoking areas to comply with smoking laws established by the previous state government.

The proposed ban is being driven by The Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW (LGSA).

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