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November 22nd, 2012:

Smoking ban may reach all public buildings

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Smoking ban may reach all public buildings

Created: 2012-11-22 1:53:51

Author:Yang Jian

SHANGHAI plans to expand its smoking ban to all indoor public spaces, including office buildings, with tougher standards for violations, to improve compliance with the city smoke-control law put into effect in 2009, officials said yesterday.

The current law still permits smoking in some indoor areas, such as restaurant smoking sections, making it sometimes difficult to enforce, said Li Zhongyang, deputy director of the office of Shanghai Health Enhancement Commission, in a report to the Shanghai People’s Congress.

“Some 90 percent of local residents support imposition of a stricter smoking ban, according to an online survey done by the commission this year,” Li said.

Local law enforcement authorities tasked with smoking control requested the ban for all indoor areas to make enforcement easier, he said.

Office buildings of state-owned enterprises, government agencies and other public facilities including hospitals and campuses are now required to be smoke free. Smoking is also banned in Internet cafes, entertainment venues and hotels’ public areas under current legislation, but larger restaurants can provide designated smoking areas.

“Many restaurants are unwilling to forbid their customers to smoke for fear of affecting their businesses,” said Hu Xiaoming, a lawmaker who took part in several smoking compliance inspections this year. She said some local government buildings, especially those for governmental departments in suburban districts, failed to implement the ban, with some officials smoking during meetings or in their offices.

“An official even argued, ‘It is my right to smoke,'” she added.

“The fine should be more severe … Anyone found smoking in public areas should be fined,” said Qu Jun, deputy director of the local legislature’s law enforcement inspection team.

Fines won’t require warning

Smokers now can be fined up to 200 yuan (US$31.33), but only after they refuse to put out their cigarette.

While the new draft measure doesn’t call for raising fines, individuals could be fined without a warning beforehand, officials said.

The fines totaled about 313,000 yuan (US$50,237) this year with 179 public venues and 77 individuals cited.

The city imposed an indoor ban on smoking in most public places on March 1, 2009. The current law covers 12 kinds of public locations, including schools.

“The law has proved to be effective though there are still some inadequacies,” according to Li.

Some 76 percent of local public venues have signs displaying the hotlines to report anyone smoking illegally.

Citywide, more than 85 percent of local residents are aware of the law, according to the commission survey.

Smoking was reported this year at about 18 percent of locations where it is now banned, half that of three years ago, before the law took effect, officials said.

Officials said Internet cafes, entertainment venues and restaurants are most affected by illegal smoking.

Even though smoking in banned in public transportation, only half of local cabs are kept smoke-free, officials said.

Some 68 percent of taxi drivers ask passengers not to smoke but less than half of them insist if the request is refused, according to the commission’s survey.

“Public health experts at Fudan University have started to install PM2.5 monitoring machines in 30 local Internet bars for scientific study, and we will install more such machines to collect evidence and information for health education,” said Tang Qiong, an official of the city health commission.

Tobacco Taxes Saves Millions of Lives

Tobacco Taxes Saves Millions of Lives

November 22nd, 2012

MANILA – Hiking tobacco taxes in Asia would save the lives of nearly 30 million people.

Last week the Asia Development Bank released a new report assessing the effects of cigarette taxes on tobacco consumption in China, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, showing that increasing tax rates on tobacco products would discourage millions of people from smoking and would significantly raise tax collections.

According to the report, if taxes on tobacco products in the Asian countries were raised enough to hike the price of cigarettes by 50 percent, a cumulative USD 24 billion in extra tax revenues will be raised per year, and an extra 67 million current smokers in the five countries will drop the habit, which would lead to a drop of 27 million in the number of tobacco related deaths.

With a high proportion of smokers across the Asian countries, approximately 267 million people are expected to die from tobacco related illnesses.

The health benefits garnered from encouraging taxpayers to quit smoking will be felt most amongst low income earners, who will enjoy the biggest impact to their health and will also be able to shift a high portion of their incomes to more productive and healthy spending after the quitting

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Purisima prefers higher tobacco tax increases

Purisima prefers higher tobacco tax increases

Published on Thursday, 22 November 2012 00:00

By A Web design Company

said he would have wanted higher tobacco tax increases to maximize health gains.


While he would have preferred higher tobacco tax increases, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima thanked and congratulated the Senate for the passage of the excise tax reform bill on the third and final reading.

The Senate approved Senate Bill No. 3299, also known as “An Act Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco Products,” on Tuesday evening with 15 senators in favor of the excise tax proposal, while two voted against it.

SB 3299 is expected to generate P40 billion in incremental revenues from both tobacco and alcohol products on the first year of its implementation.

The expected incremental revenue to be generated under the said “sin tax” version is higher than the P15 billion to P20 billion that Senator Ralph Recto’s version would raise, and the P31.3 billion revenue that House-approved bill proposed to raise.

The estimated revenues under the Senate approved bill, however, are lower than the P60 billion expected under the original excise tax proposal backed by the Department of Finance.

“While we would have wanted higher tobacco tax increases to maximize our health gains, we understand that we work within the rigors of the legislative process to achieve our reforms,” Purisima said.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners in Congress in the bicameral conference committee to ensure that we optimize the health and revenue gains from this urgent reform agenda of President Aquino,” the finance chief added.

Purisima congratulated and thanked the Senate for the passage of the excise tax bill and also advocates who pursued the “sin tax” reform.

He said that the passage of the excise tax reform bill fulfills the Aquino administration’s objective of reaching P40 billion in incremental revenues in the first year and collecting funds to help finance universal health care.

“The version also provides moderate tax increases to protect the young and the poor from the ill effects of smoking and excessive drinking, achieving a unitary tax rate at P26 per pack with an excise tax burden of 60 percent on tobacco products in the fifth year, close to World Health Organization and World Bank recommended levels,” Purisima said.

Under SB 3299, tobacco products will account for the bulk of the P40 billion incremental revenues, with tax contributions estimated at P24 billion.

The remaining P16 billion will come from taxes on fermented liquor and distilled spirits.

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Bill to seek Australia like tobacco control measures

IANS / Bhubaneswar November 22, 2012, 12:06
Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda’s bill seeks plain packaging of tobacco products in India and is likely to be introduced in parliament on the second day of the winter session Nov 23.

The bill is similar to a legislation enacted in Australia recently.

“I believe that the Australian legislation is a step in the right direction and sets an example for government across the world,” Panda, an MP from Odisha’s Kendrapara constituency, said in a letter to union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad urging his intervention in the policy initiative.

The bill seeks to remove extraneous colours, embossing and misleading elements on tobacco packs, thus eliminating the “badge value” of all forms of tobacco product packaging.

Brand and product names can be used in a standardised, prescribed style, font and colour, it says.

“Tobacco has already claimed several millions of lives in India and across the world. These deaths are an outcome of preventable causes and it is high time that policymakers take some concerted action to check the menace,” Panda said in his Nov 16 letter to Azad a copy of which is with IANS.

Panda has also written to chairman of the standing committee on industry and chairman of the standing committee on health and family welfare for support

Ignoring the WHO project to reduce growing of tobacco and replace with other crops

Tobacco Production to Rise 18 Percent

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ZIMBABWE’S tobacco output is estimated to rise by 18 percent next year to 170 million kilogrammes, Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said.

Particulate mass and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons exposure from secondhand smoke in the back seat of a vehicle

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Particulate mass and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons exposure from secondhand smoke in the back seat of a vehicle

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