Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

February 4th, 2013:

Tobacco display ban in Scotland to come into effect on 29 April

Cigarettes displayed in cabinet

The cigarette display ban will come into force on 29 April

Continue reading the main story

Related Stories

The Scottish government has announced that a ban on the display of cigarettes in Scotland’s large shops will come into effect on 29 April this year.

Self-service tobacco vending machines will also be banned on the same day.

Smaller retailers will be given until 6 April, 2015, to fully comply with the new legislation.

At the end of last year Imperial Tobacco lost its legal challenge against the ban after bringing the issue before Supreme Court judges.

The company had claimed the act was outside the competence of Holyrood as sales supply and product safety were matters reserved to Westminster.

A panel of five judges unanimously ruled against the company, saying its challenges were not well-founded.

Continue reading the main story

Display ban dates

  • Large retailers – 29 April, 2013
  • Vending machines – 29 April, 2013
  • Small retailers – 6 April, 2015

The Scottish government believes the steps will remove the temptation for young people to take up smoking.

Public Health Michael Matheson said: “We know that reducing the number of people that smoke will have wide benefits for Scotland’s health and evidence shows that these bans will help prevent young people from taking up smoking.

“That is why we believe this is the right approach for Scotland and I am delighted that we are now in a position to implement these bans, which is a key step in maintaining Scotland’s position as a world leader on tobacco control.

“We have worked closely with retailers to set this date. We appreciate that smaller retailers need extra time to make the necessary changes and so we have decided that April 2015 represents a fair timescale for implementing the display ban for them

World’s biggest cigarette warning labels’s_biggest_cigarette_warning_labels.51593.0.html

World’s biggest cigarette warning labels

04 Feb 2013. Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawanarong plans to introduce graphic warnings that will cover 85 per cent of a cigarette pack, making them the world’s largest, The Nation reported.

The new warnings will become mandatory 180 days after publication in the Royal Gazette, The Nation said on its website. Ten graphic pictures have been selected to accompany the warnings. Warnings currently cover 55 per cent of a pack, The Nation said. (pi)

Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report now available in seven languages

The Canadian Cancer Society released “Cigarette Package Health Warnings: International Status Report” in Seoul, South Korea during the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) fifth Conference of the Parties in November 2012.   The report is a third edition, and it is now available in seven languages.  Previous editions were published in 2008 and 2010.

The report ranks 198 countries/jurisdictions based on the size of their health warnings on cigarette packages, and lists countries that have finalized requirements for picture warnings.  The report finds that considerable progress in this policy area is being made internationally.

Key Findings:

  • 63 countries or jurisdictions have finalized picture warnings, an increase of 29 from the 34 that had implemented by 2010.
  • More than 40% of the world’s population is covered by the 63 countries or jurisdictions that have finalized picture warning requirements.
  • 47 countries or jurisdictions have warnings covering at least 50% of the package front and back, up from 32 in 2010 and 24 in 2008.
  • Australia now has the largest warnings in the world at 82.5% of the package front and back.  Australia also implemented plain packaging to prohibit tobacco company colors, logos, and design elements on the brand part of the package.

Thank you to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for their assistance with the translations.

English and French versions of the report can be found on the FCA website, which is accompanied by an FCA news item:

The report can also be found on the CTFK website:








Smoking culture breeds smog tolerance > Global Times

Illustration: Liu Rui


Smoking culture breeds smog tolerance

Global Times | Matthew Dalton
Published on February 04, 2013 19:38

Illustration: Liu Rui

As I am writing this, the air is “hazardous” as it has been for countless days over the past month. Days of wearing masks when I go outside has got me thinking about how things have gotten this bad and why little is being done to stop it.

We all know the most common answer. Putting limits on air pollution means lost revenues and hurting the economy. Because of this, China decides that it would rather continue breathing in harmful air because the economic benefits outweigh the dangers. It can’t quit.

Now let’s take things down a notch or two, from a national level, to an individual level.

Just like smog, smoking can lead to cancer, heart disease, and birth defects. These threats have been proven, and are hurting and killing the ones we love and care about on a daily basis.

And just like smog, decisions are made by smokers day after day to ignore these risks and to continue to smoke. And their decisions don’t just affect them, but, thanks to secondhand smoke, the people around them.

The reasons why people smoke are many. Some do it because it looks cool, others because it feels good, and more yet because of peer pressure.

But in the end, the decision is made to breathe in toxic air. And, as everyone knows, once you start, you become addicted, and it’s very hard to quit.

However, when we scale up, the same factors apply. Just as air pollution is largely driven by the government’s addiction to GDP over improving air quality, the smoking industry continues for the same economic reasons.

The National Tobacco Corporation (NTC), the State-owned tobacco monopoly, itself makes up a massive 7 to 10 percent of government revenue. Should the government actually enforce the smoking laws that have been in place for years, the NTC would be affected, and as a result, government revenue would decline.

And we are all aware that that this is sadly unlikely in this “getting rich is glorious” society.

The NTC which produces the dangerous smoke people choose to breathe and the factories which produce the smog we unwillingly breathe hold massive influence when it comes to government decisions.

The result is a smoking culture pushed by big tobacco and a country which continues to be blanketed in air pollution, all in the name of GDP, without heed to people’s lives.

There is a catch in all of this, however. As the quality of life decreases and GDP continues to be a priority, China may find that its rich, along with the businesses they are attached to, will increasingly flee the country.

It may also find that foreign firms might opt for a more livable country to do business as well. This may already be happening, diminishing China’s current GDP efforts.

Aside from GDP, ignorance is perhaps an even more disturbing cause for China’s current society of smoke. We might be well-informed about the dangers of smog and smoking, but the sad truth is many in China are not aware of the dangers.

According to the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project in 2009, a mere 68 percent of Chinese smokers believe that smoking can lead to lung cancer, and just 54 percent of smokers believe that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in nonsmokers.

There is a major lack of awareness in China over the harm smoking can cause, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if this deficiency was intentionally caused by the interest groups previously mentioned.

However, if so many smokers refuse to believe the harm cigarette smoke causes to their bodies, it diminishes the danger posed by hazardous air pollution, making ignorance yet another reason why the smoking culture is detrimental in efforts for cleaner air.

In such circumstances, while people discuss GDP growth as the main driving force for the harmful smog we are often exposed to, we should also consider China’s smoking culture and all that comes with it as just as detrimental.

After all, if the air inside the restaurant is just as dirty as the air outside, the psychological impact of the pollution is lessened.

Until this smoking society is done, dangers will continue to be ignored, and the population will continue to get sicker.

In China, like it or not, we all are smokers.

The author is a Beijing-based freelance writer.

Posted in: View Points

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) | Kick it! | DZone it! |