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December, 2012:

How the new guardians of public health are investing heavily in tobacco companies

Download PDF : UK Public health investment tobacco BMJ 2012

The Rise of Uganda’s Tobacco Production

ARUA, Uganda, Dec 27 2012 (IPS) – Over the years with the demise of cotton production, tobacco has become one of Uganda’s key exports.
Six years after British American Tobacco set up regional headquarters in this East African nation, it has become a key tobacco producer for the company.

Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy, it accounts for about 34 percent of GDP, over 90 percent of export earnings, and employment of 85 percent of the population through farming, processing, transportation and marketing, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Crown St Mall: thank you for not smoking | Illawarra Mercury

Smoking will be banned in a redeveloped Crown Street Mall and Wollongong City Council-owned outdoor dining areas from the end of next year.

The decision was made after a Wollongong City Council survey found 80 per cent of people supported plans to ban smoking in the mall and 85 per cent supported plans to ban smoking from outdoor dining areas.

On Monday night Wollongong councillors voted 9-2 to make Crown St Mall a smoke-free zone from the start of summer 2013-14, which will coincide with the completion of the first stage of the mall refurbishment.

The council will phase in bans on smoking in council-owned alfresco dining areas as licences are renewed from January 1, 2013, for introduction on January 1, 2014.

The council survey found while the majority of residents opposed smoking in the mall, 57 per cent were in support of a designated smoking area in the mall.

However, a report from council staff said a designated smoking area was not considered feasible due to the constraints of NSW Government Legislation to be introduced on January 7, which prohibits smoking within four metres of the entrance or exit of any building the public can access.

“Also allowing smoking in some areas and not others creates a mixed message which may cause some confusion,” the report said.

Despite this Cr Ann Martin attempted to have a smoking area in the mall included in the proposal saying she was speaking for people who “will not and cannot” give up smoking.

She said a total ban could “alienate” some people from the mall.

However, Cr Bede Crasnich, a smoker for five years, said there was no excuse for anyone to be against plans to ban smoking from the mall.

Smoking deadlier for HIV patients than virus itself, study finds

Smoking deadlier for HIV patients than virus itself, study finds

Thursday, 27 December 2012 00:00 EDITOR Features Natural Health

A NEW study finds that Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) patients who receive good care but who smoke lose more years of life to smoking than to HIV, the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

The findings show the importance of including quit-smoking counseling in long-term HIV care, the Danish researchers said.

They looked at nearly 3,000 HIV patients who were treated in Denmark from 1995 to 2010 and received well-organized care with free access to antiretroviral therapy. The researchers found that more than 60 percent of the deaths that occurred among the patients were associated with smoking rather than HIV.

They also found significant differences in life expectancy between HIV patients who smoked and nonsmokers. For example, a 35-year-old patient who smoked had a life expectancy approaching 63 years, compared with more than 78 years for a nonsmoking patient who was the same age, according to the study, which appears online Dec. 19 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The loss of years of life associated with smoking was twice as high as that associated with HIV, and the increased risk of death among HIV patients who smoked was three times higher than among people not infected with HIV, according to a journal news release.

“Our findings emphasize the importance of counseling HIV patients on smoking cessation, as smoking may impact their life expectancy considerably more than the HIV infection itself,” wrote Dr. Marie Helleberg, of Copenhagen University Hospital, and colleagues.

Although the study tied nonsmoking to longer life in HIV patients, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

Tobacco Tax hikes work – it is high time Hong Kong had a big one to match Singapore tobacco tax levels (Marlboro HK$ 76 retail)

Download PDF : NZ

Macau casinos weigh the odds of imposing smoking ban

Download PDF : – Adobe Reader

Central Victorian councils call for ban on outdoor smoking | Bendigo Advertiser

Central Victorian councils call for ban on outdoor smoking

By Josh Fagan

Dec. 27, 2012, 1 a.m.

CENTRAL Victorian councils are calling on the state government to outlaw smoking in outdoor dining areas.

A voluntary smoking ban in al fresco dining areas has been rolled out in the Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

A number of local cafes and restaurants are taking up the program and the council is hoping more will follow in the new year.

Macedon Ranges manager of community safety Anne-Louise Lindner said it was part of the shire’s plan to take a proactive stance against smoking in public areas.

“I’m excited we’ve got a few businesses on board,” she said.

“What we’re going to do in January is have a one-on-one chat with business owners.

“Some people said they were worried about losing customers, but where it’s happened in other parts of Australia it hasn’t actually deterred business.”

The initiative makes Macedon Ranges the second council in Victoria to introduce a no-smoking al fresco program, following Baw Baw Council.

A bill was recently reintroduced to state Parliament by Greens member Colleen Hartland to introduce a statewide ban.

Ms Hartland said the government was ignoring the issue, while bans were in place or on their way in every other state or territory in Australia. The City of Greater Bendigo’s manager of environmental health and local laws Susannah Milne said she backed the ban.

“We would support a statewide approach for restrictions,” she said. “We’re waiting and anticipating a statewide approach.”

Figures from a Heart Foundation and Quit Victoria survey found more councils than ever were taking the lead on banning smoking.

A total of 45 councils (57 per cent) had a smoke-free policy in an outdoor area, up from 32 councils (41 per cent) in 2011.

But the report found only 5 per cent of councils were considering a ban on smoking in outdoor drinking and dining areas.

Heart Foundation Victoria chief Kellie-Ann Jolly said the actions of the Macedon Ranges and Baw Baw councils and others were a positive step.

“Throughout 2012, Victorian councils have told us that they’d like to see state government leadership to implement legislation to ban smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas,” she said.

Ms Lindner said the voluntary smoking ban was the first step in a policy that would be regularly reviewed.

Mount Alexander Shire Council environment director Johan Louw said there were “no immediate plans” for introducing smoking bans, but the council would be keen to work with the state government.

Vile images prompting smokers to quit

More quitters over plain-packs

Quit Victoria says plain cigarette packaging is encouraging more smokers to give up the habit.

Sky News27 December 2012



Replay: More quitters over plain-packs

Plain packaging

Images mandated for the packages of cigarettes under plain packaging legislation. Picture: Kym Smith Source: News Limited

QUIT smoking advocates are reporting that images of skeletal Bryan, gangrenous toe and cancerous tongue are prompting people to quit smoking.

Graphic health warnings on plain-packaged cigarettes are having an impact on smokers, with more people indicating they might finally quit the habit, Quit Victoria says.

Quit spokesman Luke Atkin said many smokers had told the organisation they could no longer have a cigarette without thinking about the devastating health effects of smoking.

Mr Atkin said they had also had an increase in calls to the Quitline from smokers who said the new packs were their final push to quit.

Quit is urging more Victorians to use the new plain-packaging as their chance to butt out for good in the new year.

All cigarette packs now sold in Australia must be olive-brown and carry large images of the health effects of smoking.

The disappearance of tobacco money | |

to me, Judith, kowm, sophia_chan, christine_wong, Lisa

The Virginian-Pilot
© December 26, 2012

The tobacco industry spends more than US$1 million an hour marketing and promoting its products, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office. The return on investment is gaspingly good – for every American who dies of a tobacco-related disease each year, two smokers age 26 and younger take up the addiction.

The key to the industry’s long-term success, of course, is to continue cultivating recruits, the sooner the better. Nearly 90 percent of new smokers try their first cigarette before age 18.

In 1998, when Virginia, North Carolina and 44 other states signed a historic legal settlement with the tobacco industry, officials nationwide pledged to devote a substantial portion of the revenue to smoking-cessation and -prevention programs. In particular, they wanted to reach teens.

The concept was simple: Americans had subsidized the public health costs associated with smoking for many decades, so it made sense to focus on curbing future costs.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that states devote 15 percent of tobacco revenue to prevention programs, and at first, many states met or came close to that goal.

Florida, a leader in the legal battle against the industry, developed what was arguably the most effective campaign aimed at teens. In a series of edgy commercials, would-be smokers were reminded of the industry’s long history of manipulating people and facts.

The ads apparently appealed to the rebellious nature of teens; state health officials credited the campaign with major drops in smoking rates among middle and high school students. Nationally, a similar pattern was observed – the proportion of students in grades 9 through 12 who smoked fell to 21.9 percent in 2003 from 36.4 percent in 1997, according to the CDC.

Sadly, that’s about when spending on tobacco prevention peaked, according to an analysis by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The percentage of tobacco revenue spent on tobacco education programs rose a bit in 2008, but the focus has dwindled as recession-strapped states diverted money to other needs.

In the current fiscal year, states are expected to collect close to $26 billion from tobacco taxes and settlement funds but spend only 2 percent of it on prevention and cessation efforts.

North Carolina has eliminated funding for prevention programs. And Virginia ranks 31st nationally, spending just $8.4 million a year – well below the CDC’s recommendations.

In tough times, some worthy programs have to be trimmed. But many young smokers and their loved ones – as well as taxpayers who’ve historically subsidized the health care of ailing smokers – will pay dearly for those cuts.

Lawmakers in Virginia, North Carolina and other states need to revive programs started as part of the tobacco settlement. For taxpayers, the return on investment is significant.

In Washington state, officials found that they saved $5 in hospitalization costs for every $1 spent on education programs in the first 10 years of their efforts.

That’s a healthy sum. And there’s an even bigger return, one that can’t be measured in dollars and cents: Lives saved.

Tobacco packs not displaying warnings to be banned

(Wam) / 26 December 2012

Imported cigarettes and other tobacco products which do not carry a graphic health warning on packs will be totally banned in the UAE from January 1, 2013, said a Saleh Badri, acting Director-General of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma) announced.

Badri said: “The move was in line with the Cabinet’s approval of a mandatory updated UAE standard on tobacco products that was published in the gazette on November 29, 2011.”

The decision will be executed in cooperation with all competent ministries and authorities nation-wide, he added.

Accordingly, all cigarette packs and other tobacco products in the UAE will be required to have a graphic picture showing the ill effects of smoking, he explained.

The Cabinet’s decision was to take effect on August 9, 2012.

Tobacco companies requested enough time to get rid of imported stocks of the products which already are in the local market and the packets of which do not comply with the graphic warning decision, the Esma official noted.