Scotland: Plain cigarette packaging wins government support
|Cigarettes and other tobacco products should be sold in plain packaging, the Scottish government has said.
The pledge makes Scotland the first part of the UK to officially support standardised packaging, following a consultation which began last year.
Scottish Public Health minister Michael Matheson announced the move in a new strategy to help people stop smoking.
He also set a target to reduce the number of smokers in Scotland from 23% to 5% by 2034.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of ASH Scotland, welcomed the government strategy, adding: “The tobacco-free generation is a vision well worth striving for – that a child born now in any part of Scotland will reach adulthood breathing clean air, being free from tobacco addiction, and living in a community where to smoke is unusual. We owe it to our children to make this happen.”
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “It’s excellent news that the Scottish government wants to introduce standard packaging for all tobacco products. Now it’s time for the UK government to follow Scotland’s lead and commit to legislation in the Queen’s speech in May.
“Australia has proved that introducing standardised packaging is easy to implement and causes no problems for retailers. There’s good evidence that standard packs are much less attractive particularly to children, which is why the public and the experts support this measure.
“It’s over six months since the consultation closed. What is the government waiting for?”
|Source: The Huffington Post – 27 March 2013
Children starting smoking has risen by 50,000 a year
|The number of children who have taken up smoking in the UK has risen by 50,000 in just one year, research suggests.
About 207,000 children aged 11 to 15 started to smoke in 2011, a sharp rise from 157,000 in 2010, Cancer Research UK said.
The charity said the figure equates to 567 children taking up the habit each day.
|Source: The Huffington Post – 22 March 2013
Tobacco duty increase ‘not enough’
|Tax on tobacco was increased in line with the previously defined duty escalator of 2% above inflation year on year in the Chancellor’s budget on 20 March.
However public health campaigners had been campaigning for an increase of 5% above inflation.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “This is disappointing. If the Government had increased tobacco tax by 5% as we requested it would have increased Government revenues and helped more smokers to quit smoking.”
|Source: AOL Money – 20 March 2013
EU: Ombudsman investigates big tobacco lobbyist on Ethics Panel
|The European Ombudsman is investigating the European Commission’s reappointment of Michel Petite, the former head of the Commission’s Legal Service-turned-lawyer for Big Tobacco, to the ad hoc ethical committee.|
|Source: Public Service Europe – 21 March 2013
E-cigarettes: A challenge to Big Tobacco
|Electronic cigarettes, once dismissed as a novelty, now pose a serious threat to cigarette companies. The Economist takes a look at e-cigarettes and their possible impact on the tobacco industry.
|Source: The Economist – March 2013
Smoking in Latin America: A bastion of tobacco addiction introduces a ban
|The Economist reports on the recent significant introduction of a smoking ban in Chile where over 40% of adults are smokers and a growing number of teenagers are taking up the habit.|
|Source: The Economist – 27 March 2013
South Africa: Current and future tobacco regulation
|Tobacco legislation in South Africa is constantly changing, and ignorant smokers may find themselves on the wrong side of the law with fines of up to R100 000. The article summarises existing regulations and possible future changes.|
|Source: All Africa – 18 March 2013
Parliamentary question: Standardised packaging
|Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he intends to publish his Department’s summary report of responses to its consultation on standardised packaging of tobacco products; and when he intends to bring forward any policy proposals arising from this consultation.
Anna Soubry: The Department has received many thousands of responses to the consultation on standardised packaging of tobacco products. A summary report of consultation responses will be published in due course.
The Government has an open mind on this issue and any decisions to take further policy action will be taken only after full consideration is given to the consultation responses, evidence and other relevant information.
|Source: Hansard – 18 March 2013
Parliamentary question: EU tobacco subsidies
|Jesse Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information he holds on the subsidies which have been paid by the EU for the growing or production of tobacco in each of the last 10 years.
Mr Heath: The EU tobacco regime was reformed in 2004 so that, among other things, direct payments to farmers linked to the production of tobacco would be phased out over the period 2006 to 2010. The effect can be seen in the following table which is based on EU budget out-turn data for those direct payments:
2006 – 811
2007 – 335
2008 – 301
2009 – 301
2010 – 296
2011 – (1)2.4
2012 – (1)0.5
2013 – (2)0.5
(1) Figures for 2011 and 2012 are believed to be in respect of residual payments related to applications under schemes prior to 2011. (2) Figures for 2013 represent the budget allocation.
|Source: Hansard – 11 March 2013
Parliamentary question: Tobacco workers
|Dan Jarvis: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) England were employed in the tobacco sector in the latest period for which figures are available.
Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.
Letter from Glen Watson, dated March 2013:
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many people in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) England are employed in the tobacco sector in the latest period for which figures are available.
Annual employment statistics are available from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES). Table 1 following contains the latest figures available, which show the number in employment in 2011 for industries considered to be in the tobacco sector.
National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at:
Notes: 1. Cells containing an asterisk ‘*’ represent disclosive data that cannot be published. 2. South Yorkshire refers to the former metropolitan county of South Yorkshire.
|Source: Hansard – 25 March 2013
BAT trials ‘less toxic’ cigarettes
|British American Tobacco has announced it has started testing “less toxic” cigarettes. The trial involving 250 German volunteers will last 22 weeks and uses prototype cigarettes with a new kind of filter and tobacco prepared following a new process.|
|Source: Morning Advertiser – 22 March 2013
Former U.S. Surgeon General joins E-cigarette board
|Former U.S. surgeon general Dr. Richard Carmona, who highlighted the dangers of secondhand smoke and supported a ban on all tobacco products, is joining the board of directors for NJOY Inc., the nation’s leading electronic cigarette company – a move that could bring increased legitimacy to e-cigarettes as a viable alternative to traditional cigarettes.|
|Source: The Huffington Post – 24 March 2013
UK cigarette industry controlled by Imperial Tobacco with a 44% value share
|The UK cigarette market experienced a 4% volume decline and 6% current value growth from 2010, to reach 44.9 billion sticks and £14.7 billion in 2011.
Despite the value of the UK cigarette market increasing in recent years, a long-term decline in volume sales has become more apparent. This is due to a number of factors which have affected consumer opinions regarding smoking, while new legislation has also has a significant effect on the volume of cigarettes being sold.
|Source: MyNewsDesk – 21 March 2013
Smoke alarm: mental illness and tobacco
|The dramatic decline in smoking rates in the UK and other countries in recent history is an achievement to be proud of. Millions have led happier and healthier lives as a result. But not everyone has benefited. Since 1993, smoking prevalence in the UK as a whole has fallen by a quarter, but among people with mental health disorders, it has hardly changed at all. Smoking and mental health, a joint report by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists released today, speaks of a group left behind by progress.|
|Source: The Lancet – 28 March 2013
Failure to stop smoking may be down to genes not willpower
|Scientists have identified genetic variants that increase a person’s likelihood of becoming a lifelong heavy smoker.
Researchers studied almost 1,000 New Zealanders from birth to the age of 38 to identify those at a greater genetic risk of smoking.
Participants with a high-risk genetic profile were more likely to smoke every day as teenagers. At 38, they had smoked heavily for more years, were more susceptible to nicotine addition, and were more likely to have failed in attempts to quit.
The results, reported in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, are based on genetic risk scores derived from previous studies that scoured the whole genetic code for associations with smoking.
Belsky, D., et al., Polygenic Risk and the Developmental Progression to Heavy, Persistent Smoking and Nicotine Dependence: Evidence From a 4-Decade Longitudinal Study, JAMA Psychiatry. [Arch Gen Psychiatry.] 2013;70(2):1-9. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.736
|Source: The Huffington Post – 27 March 2013
Cigarette relighting tied to tough economy
|In what is believed to be a first of its kind, a study by researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey has found that a trend of smokers relighting cigarettes is related to economic factors, and that the practice has implications for tobacco dependence treatment and policy.|
|Source: Science Daily – 18 March 2013
Smokefree workplaces linked to smokefree homes in India
|According to data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey India, 2009/2010, 64 per cent of adults who work in smokefree environments live in a smokefree home, compared with 42 per cent of those who work where smoking is permitted. The proportion of smokefree homes is higher in states with higher proportions of smokefree workplaces.
The authors of the study, from Imperial College London and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), say the findings suggest that the implementation of smokefree legislation in India may have resulted in substantial health benefits for the population, particularly for women and children.
|Source: Medical Xpress – 25 March 2013
Canada: Contraband tobacco use hinders smoking cessation
|People who smoke low-cost contraband cigarettes in Canada are less likely to stop smoking in the short term compared with people who smoke more expensive premium or discount cigarettes, according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Mecredy, G., et al.,Association between use of contraband tobacco and smoking cessation outcomes: a population-based cohort study, CMAJ March 4, 2013 First published March 4, 2013, doi: 10.1503/cmaj.111861
|Source: Medical Xpress – 04 March 2013
Financial incentives for smoking cessation in pregnancy
Smoking during pregnancy and in the postnatal period is a major cause of low birth weight and a range of adverse infant health outcomes. Stop smoking services can double quit rates, but only 17% of pregnant women smoking at the time they book for antenatal care use these services. In a recent Cochrane review on the effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions in pregnancy, financial incentives were found to be the single most effective intervention. We describe a single arm intervention study offering participation in a financial incentive scheme for smoking cessation to all pregnant smokers receiving antenatal care in one area in England. The aim of the study is to assess the potential effectiveness of using financial incentives to achieve smoking cessation in pregnant women who smoke, to inform the use of financial incentive schemes in routine clinical practice as well as the interpretation of existing trials and the design of future studies.
Marteau, T., et al.,Financial incentives for smoking cessation in pregnancy: protocol for a single arm intervention study, BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2013, 13:66 doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-66
|Source: BMC – 15 March 2013
Marijuana use may raise nicotine dependence
|People who have used marijuana may be more susceptible to the addictive properties of nicotine, researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.|
|Source: MediLexicon – 18 March 2013
The unequal health of Europeans: successes and failures of policies
Europe, with its 53 countries and divided history, is a remarkable but inadequately exploited natural laboratory for studies of the effects of health policy. In this paper, the first in a Series about health in Europe, we review developments in population health in Europe, with a focus on trends in mortality, and draw attention to the main successes and failures of health policy in the past four decades. In western Europe, life expectancy has improved almost continuously, but progress has been erratic in eastern Europe, and, as a result, disparities in male life expectancy between the two areas are greater now than they were four decades ago. The falls in mortality noted in western Europe are associated with many different causes of death and show the combined effects of economic growth, improved health care, and successful health policies (eg, tobacco control, road traffic safety). Less favourable mortality trends in eastern Europe show economic and health-care problems and a failure to implement effective health policies. The political history of Europe has left deep divisions in the health of the population. Important health challenges remain in both western and eastern Europe and signify unresolved issues in health policy (eg, alcohol, food) and rising health inequalities within countries.
|Source: The Lancet – 27 March 2013
15 April 2013 – Publication of “Saving Lives and Preventing Misery”, Memoirs of Professor John Crofton, by Dr David Kilpatrick
|Professor John Crofton (1912-2009) was one of the outstanding physicians of the 20th century. He led the pioneering medical team that first established that tuberculosis could be cured by combination chemotherapy (“the Edinburgh method”). He was also a prominent public health campaigner who did much to change public and political attitudes towards tobacco smoking and helped in the foundation of ASH.
His memoirs describe his childhood years, his student days and climbing holidays, his war years in the RAMC, his radical approach to the treatment of TB, his roles as Edinburgh University Vice-Principal and President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and finally his extensive public health campaigns waged after his retirement from medical practice.
The book can be ordered online (ISBN 978-178035-541-2) or by post from 15th April at a price of £18.
|Contact: FastPrint Publishing, 9 Culley Court, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6XD www.fast-print.net/bookshop|
22 April 2013 – European Primary Prevention Conference (EPPC)
|A conference focused on early tobacco-alcohol-drug prevention for young people and their families|
|Venue: Tallinn Health Care College, Tallinn, Estonia|
31 May 2013 – World No Tobacco Day 2013
|Every year, on 31 May, The World Health Organisation and partners everywhere mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2013 is: ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
20 June 2013 – ASH Scotland 40th Anniversary Conference: Towards a Generation Free From Tobacco
|Bringing together delegates from Scotland, the rest of the UK and across the world, the conference will provide an opportunity for tobacco control advocates, policy makers, researchers, health practitioners and community development professionals to learn from international good practice and innovation.
Themes to be explored include industry and regulation, protection from second-hand smoke, youth smoking prevention, cessation services in our communities and the role of advocacy in driving policy.
There will be a special focus on addressing health inequality and new ways of working with hard-to-reach groups.
|Venue: The John McIntyre Conference Centre Holyrood Park, University of Edinburgh, Scotland|
27 June 2013 – UK National Smoking Cessation Conference
|Key topics for 2013 include the NICE guidance on tobacco harm reduction, e-cigarettes, electronic aids to cessation, getting the most out of current treatments, smoking cessation and mental health, international comparisons of tobacco treatment, treating pregnant smokers and the politics of tobacco growing – making it an essential event for everyone in the smoking cessation and tobacco control fields.|
|Venue: Victoria Park Plaza, London|
Traffickers’ share of cigarette market has slumped to 9% amid joint efforts by HMRC and UK Border Agency to disrupt supply
Britain is winning the war against tobacco smugglers who target cheap cigarettes at poor smokers and children and deny the Treasury revenue, according to a parliamentary report.
In 2000, one in five of cigarettes smoked came from the black market. But by 2010-11 traffickers’ share of the cigarette market had fallen to 9%, according to the report on the illicit tobacco trade by the all parliamentary group on smoking and health.
Over the same period, the share of the UK’s hand-rolled tobacco market originating with smugglers fell from 60% to 38%, an inquiry by the group of MPs and peers found.
Joint action by HM Revenue & Customs and the UK Border Agency has disrupted smugglers’ efforts to bring in and distribute their products, as have partnerships involving local police forces, councils and NHS organisations, the report says.
Stephen Williams, the Liberal Democrat MP who chairs the group, said the success disproved the industry’s claims that high taxes on their products in the UK boosted the supply of illegal tobacco.
He said manufacturers’ claims that forcing cigarettes to be sold in standardised packaging would increase the illicit trade were “self-interested and at times seemingly disingenuous industry lobbying”.
Legal agreements the EU has concluded with the big cigarette firms to reduce trafficking has also helped make fewer available, the parliamentarians say.
Their report highlights how the previously easy availability of black market tobacco in the UK was partly due to producers deliberately exporting more cigarettes than were wanted to other countries, knowing that many would be smuggled back into Britain.
Sarah Woolnough, Cancer Research UK’s policy director, said: “This report is further evidence that the tobacco industry should not be listened to when developing health policies aimed at reducing the devastating impact of smoking.”
The Tobacco Manufacturers Association claimed that more recent data showed that “the level of cigarettes consumed that are not UK tax paid has risen from 17% in 2011 to 21% in 2012″ and that figures from the Office of Budget Responsibility last week showed the government expected to receive £200m less in tobacco revenue in 2012-13.
A spokesman for the association claimed the inquiry was biased because it had not given a fair hearing to the industry and did not mention firms’ contributions to reducing smuggling.
|Only one in 10 companies assisted their employees to quit smoking in the past year, according to a study.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Only one in 10 companies assisted their employees to quit smoking in the past year, according to a study.
Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society Kowloon and the University of Hong Kong surveyed 300 companies last month.
Most companies have no policy about smoking or are not aware of any, the survey found. Over 46 percent of respondents believe smokers have the right and freedom to smoke.
One in five companies say there are inadequate resources to implement a no-smoking policy and that it is not their responsibility.
More than 90 percent of respondents agree that staff smoking habits adversely affect the environment and company image.
Half supported different ways to encourage people to quit, including posting “No Smoking” notices in the premises.
University of Hong Kong school of public health head Lam Tai-hing said many of those who smoke do not have a complete knowledge of the adverse effects. “Secondhand smoking also negatively affects other employees’ health.”
Lam believes the most effective way of assisting smokers to beat the habit is to increase tobacco duty.
Ma Lik, a gardening manager, smoked three packs of cigarettes a day for 40 years.
“My health got worse about 10 years ago,” he said.
“I have tried to use nicotine patches to quit smoking but I smoked again due to my friends’ influence.”
Through a service by Lok Sin Tong, he was able to kick the habit.
Lok Sin Tong chairman Kwong Cho-shing said many companies lack resources to help employees overcome their nicotine addiction.
The organization is promoting a two-year pilot scheme for 50 companies so that they can set up quit-smoking policies, health seminars and cognitive behavior treatment services for their employees.
‘I only do it when I’m with my friends': Canadian public health campaign compares social smoking to farting
A Canadian anti-smoking campaign has drawn a comparison between social smoking and social farting.
The video shows a girl who defends her occasional flatulence the way someone would a casual smoking habit: ‘Just because I fart at parties now and then, it doesn’t make me a farter,’ she explains.
The ad concludes with a banner that reads: ‘Social smoking is as ridiculous as social farting.’
Scroll down for video
The creative video is part of the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Quit the Denial campaign that aims to convince people to give up cigarettes.
In the clip, the girl is seen farting in various group situations, much like a social smoker.
‘I’m a social farter,’ she says. ‘I really only do it when I’m out with my friends that fart.’
She and her friends stand in a circle and fart together, much to the disgust of nearby non-farters.
‘We hang out, we drink, we dance, just have some fun being together… farting,’ says the girl.
Ugly habit: In the clip, the girl is seen farting in various group situations (right), much like a social smoker, while disgusted non-farters stand nearby (left)
At one point she even pauses to pass gas on the dance floor, smiling as she leans forward.
And the woman even admits that her occasional flatulence can help her romantically: ‘Sometimes I’ll use farting as an excuse to meet a guy,’ she says.
The clip shows her approaching a man at a party. She asks him: ‘Do you want to go outside for a fart?’
He agrees and the pair stand on a doorstep together, smiling and farting.
Social smokers are defined as those who enjoy a cigarette in group situations such as bars and parties, but would never light up alone and therefore deny that they are smokers at all.
But the Quit the Denial campaign looks to demonstrate that indulging in an occasional cigarette still constitutes smoking, even for those who claim they are not addicted.
Some commenters on Quit the Denial’s Facebook page claim the video does not convey the right message.
But there is no doubt that it is a novel change from the usual anti-smoking ads, which often feature graphic pictures of cancer-riddled lungs and and mouths.
WATCH: Ad compares social smoking to social farting
Grey, saggy skin, wrinkles and jowls: The stop-smoking app that shows exactly what the habit will do to your face
Grey, saggy skin, wrinkles and jowls: The stop-smoking app that shows exactly what the habit will do to your face
- App shows smokers just how much they will ravage their looks
- Ages the face by up to 20 years to display effects of chemicals in cigarettes
- Has been designed to encourage younger people to quit before it’s too late
- 40 per cent of regular smokers took up the habit before they were 16
PUBLISHED:16:46 GMT, 19 March 2013| UPDATED:19:08 GMT, 19 March 2013
A new smartphone app has been created to show smokers just how much they will ravage their looks if they continue to light up.
The app ages the face by up to 20 years to display the damaging effects of the 4,000 chemicals found in each cigarette.
Produced by the NHS, the Smoking Time Machine, as it is known, is it has been designed to encourage younger people to quit before it’s too late.
Premature ageing: The app ages the face by up to 20 years to display the damaging effects of the 4,000 chemicals found in each cigarette
It is designed to highlight the effects of smoking, such as such as deeper wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, sagging jowls and a grey paleness to the skin. Above is 10 years of damage, according to the app
Kate Norman, from Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust, which has launched the app as part of its month-long stop smoking campaign, said: ‘Young people – and teenagers especially – don’t necessarily think the obvious consequences of smoking such as cancer and lung disease is going to happen to them.
‘But this app uses their face and shows them how they will look. It’s something that is very close to home and hard to ignore.’
The app user takes a photograph of their face and they are then aged by more than a decade into what they could look like as a smoker.
The result is a drastic picture of the effects the habit has, such as deeper wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, sagging jowls and a grey paleness to the skin.
The app designers also mocked-up how Kate Moss might look due to smoking
This photograph can then be saved and shared, as a constant reminder of what smoking is doing to a person’s appearance.
Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust worked with forensic profilers to generate a lifelike representation of the effects of smoking.
Research done by the team showed that 40 per cent of regular smokers took up the habit before they were 16.
Therefore, it is hoped that teenagers’ vanity will be an incentive to stop smoking early or preferably never take it up in the first place.
It is hoped that teenagers’ vanity will be an incentive for them to to stop smoking early – or avoid the habit in the first place
Forensic artist Auriole Prince from digital marketing company “Change my Face’ said: ‘This is the first time Smoking Time Machine has been used in a public health campaign and we think the app works brilliantly as a shock tactic to show people what will happen to their appearance if they carry on smoking.’
The app also details information on how to kick the habit through Cumbria’s Stop Smoking Service.
The campaign literature details how many of the chemicals in cigarettes are found in dangerous substances such as embalming fluid, jet fuel, bleach, and rat poison.
The Stop Smoking Service is encouraging smokers to think about the chemicals they are inhaling every time they light up. Many of them are known to cause cancer.
The app is available from today and can be downloaded from the iTunes store or Android Play store.
For more information: http://www.cumbriapartnership.nhs.uk/rollercoaster-smoking-time-machine-app.htm
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2295751/Grey-saggy-skin-wrinkles-jowls-The-stop-smoking-time-machine-app-shows-exactly-habit-face.html#ixzz2O22lyUuI
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Bloomberg Wants To Control Tobacco Displays – Rochester, News, Weather, Sports, and Events – 13WHAM.com
New York, N.Y. – First it was soda, now New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg is targeting tobacco users.
Under a new proposal, stores would be required to keep tobacco products
in cabinets, under counters, or behind curtains.
Bloomberg says the goal is to reduce the youth smoking rate.
Tobacco directive passes subsidiarity test
By Sophie Petitjean | Tuesday 19 March 2013
The draft directive on tobacco products, which bans menthol cigarettes and regulates the appearance of packs, has passed the subsidiarity test. Only eight national parliaments have sent a reasoned opinion to denounce the non-conformity of the text with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. This is 11 short of the required number to hand the European Commission a yellow card and force it to re-examine its proposal, in line with Protocol 2 annexed to the Lisbon Treaty.
The presidents of Parliament, Council and Commission received seven reasoned opinions before the official deadline of 4 March. These reasoned opinions were drafted by the Swedish parliament, the Czech chamber of MPs, the Italian Senate, the Greek parliament, the Danish parliament, the Romanian chamber and the Portuguese assembly.
The Swedish parliament writes that “The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) should cover those tobacco products which are traded freely on the common European market. The Riksdag considers that the regulation of snus should be a national matter and that the directive should not cover snus”.
– The chamber of Czech MPs considers that the aims of the directive could be better fulfilled with actions carried out individually at member state level and is opposed to the breadth of competences delegated to the European Commission. Just like the Swedish government, Czech MEPs are against the ban on flavoured tobacco products, against increasing the size of health warnings on smoking tobacco, and against introducing health warnings as pictures.
– The Italian Senate sent a reasoned opinion criticising the choice of the legal basis, alleging that the chosen article (114 on the internal market) aims to bring together member states’ legislation while the draft text allows member states to adopt different regulations, potentially stricter. It went on to voice its opposition to the wide-ranging executive powers granted to the Commission. Lastly, it denounced the violation of the principle of subsidiarity in relation to: new-generation tobacco products and the standardisation and the ban of whole categories of products – such as slim and menthol cigarettes and packets of ten cigarettes. “With this new proposal for a directive, the EU is seeking, for the first time, to take almost total control of the appearance, shape and design of the product and packaging, without there being, inter alia, any valid scientific evidence in support of the effectiveness of these measures in health terms.”
– The Greek parliament believes “the proposal for a directive fails to comply with the principle of subsidiarity, since there is nothing in the explanatory memorandum or the impact assessment report to suggest that the intended objectives can in fact be achieved more effectively at EU level”. MPs specifically complained about the provision banning menthol cigarettes or cigarettes of a diameter smaller than 7.5 mm.
– The Danish and Portuguese parliaments, as well as the Romanian chamber, complained of the non-conformity of the proposal with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.
The Chamber of Italian MPs also sent a reasoned opinion but after the deadline, while the Hungarian parliament and the Polish senate expressed their view on the content of the proposal.
On 19 December 2012, the Commission presented a draft directive amending Directive 2001/37/EC concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products. Key measures include: banning slim and/or flavoured cigarettes with a recognisable taste, such as vanilla, chocolate or mint. It also further regulates the appearance of packs, by adding health warnings (images plus text) to 75% of both front and back.
Under Article 6 of Protocol 2 annexed to the Lisbon Treaty, “any national parliament may, within eight weeks from the date of transmission of a draft legislative act […], send the presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission a reasoned opinion stating why it considers that the draft in question does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity”.
Copyright © 2012 Europolitics. Tous droits réservés
By Wilma Stassen, 18 March 2013
Tobacco legislation in South Africa is constantly changing, and ignorant smokers may find themselves on the wrong side of the law with fines of up to R100 000. Here’s what smokers should know, and new changes thay can expect in future.
Smokers in New Zealand will soon buy their cigarettes in boring brown packaging with graphic pictures of smoking-related disease and the brand name displayed in a small, plain font.
This island country is following the lead of its southwest Pacific neighbour, Australia, who was the first country to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products last December. Australia went ahead with the legislation despite legal threats from the tobacco industry and tobacco-growing countries.
The motivation behind this new legislation is to strip tobacco products of any “glamour” or marketing that might be attached to brand names, a move, experts believe will stop young people from taking up the habit in the first place.
“Plain packaging is not a ‘shot in the dark’, as the tobacco industry would have us believe,” said Patricia Lambert from the US-based Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.
“Credible international behavioural scientists conducted exhaustive tests to determine the effects of plain packaging as a public health measure on the general public before making recommendations to the Australian government. They have provided scientific evidence that the introduction of plain packaging will deter young people from becoming addicted to tobacco products and may also assist addicted smokers to quit.”
Last year, when congratulating the Australian government on the new legislation, the South African Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi – who has been driving stricter smoking regulation for this country as well – said plain packaging will also be introduced here sometime in the future.
“South Africa and other governments should first implement pictorial warnings that cover 75 percent of the front and back of every packet of tobacco or cigarettes. After that, they will be in a position to move towards plain packaging,” said Lambert.
Although plain packaging in South Africa is still several years away, there are other recent changes, or changes in the pipeline, to the Tobacco Control Act that can land a perpetrator with a fine of up to R100 000 fine.
“This legislation works so well, because people want it to work,” said Peter Ucko from the National Council Against Smoking (NCAS).
The law states that the person in control of a public place is responsible for enforcing the smoking ban. For instance, at a restaurant, the manager or owner should ensure the law is enforced, or at a cricket match, the managers or organisers of the event would have to train security personnel and other staff to ensure people only smoke in designated areas.
If the law is not enforced, any member of the public can lay a complaint by contacting the health department at the local municipality, or open a docket at the nearest police station. Some municipalities, like Cape Town, have a dedicated tobacco complaints line that deals only with these types of complaints.
Once a police docket has been opened, or a complaint has been laid and investigated, the offending party (be it a restaurant owner or events manager) will receive an official warning, and in other instances a fine.
According to Ucko, many fines have been issued to businesses and venues that have failed to enforce the law and admission of guilt fines paid.
Here is what South Africans need to know.
A number of tobacco laws are often misunderstood or plainly ignored.
– No smoking is allowed in a public enclosed or partially enclosed space, unless it is a designated smoking area. Currently no more than 25 percent of any premises may be allocated to the smoking area – up to R50 000 fine.
This law is occasionally ignored by restaurant, pub and night club owners who allow smoking anywhere on their premises or in areas larger than the prescribed 25 percent. This law also applies to partially enclosed areas such as sport stadiums and other event venues, where smoking is only allowed in designated areas – this does not include staircases and walkways.
– Tobacco products may not be sold or supplied to anyone under the age of 18 – up to R100 000 fine.
As with alcohol, no cigarettes or tobacco products may be sold or supplied to anyone under the age of 18. The law includes the sale of flavoured tobacco products used for smoking the hookah pipe, or hubbly bubbly, which is gaining popularity among the youth.
– Children under the age of 18 are not allowed in a designated smoking area – up to R50 000 fine.
Some restaurateurs allow families with young children to sit in the smoking section of a restaurant because adults in the group want to smoke. The restaurant manager is required to ensure that no person under the age of 18 is present.
– No smoking is allowed in a motor vehicle where a child younger than 12 years is present – up to R50 000 fine.
Under no circumstances is smoking allowed in any motor vehicle while there is a child under the age of 12 present. Despite the well-publicised dangers of second-hand smoke, many adults, including parents, still light up with children in the car thinking that opening a window is enough.
– Cigarettes may not be sold individually – up to R100 000 fine.
The law states that tobacco products may not be sold “loose”, and may only be sold in packages as prescribed in the regulations. Whilst the size of the package has not been specified, it must contain information such as the health warning and quit line number. Selling cigarettes individually make it more affordable to children who may not have been able to afford to buy a whole packet.
Regulation in the pipeline
There are several regulations proposed which are in the process of being passed into law. These regulations have been published in the Government Gazette and after receipt of public comment are currently being considered by the Minister of Health. The following regulations are expected to be published and come into force this year:
– Smoking will be not be allowedinside any building, and smoking in certain outdoor areas, for example, beaches , sport stadiums, etc. will be regulated. Smoking will not be permitted at all in outdoor eating or drinking places, covered walkways or parking areas or within five meters of any doorway, entrance to a public place, or window or ventilation inlet.
Under these regulations, smoking will not be allowed in any public building, and smoking rooms, or designated smoking areas will not be permitted inside buildings. Smokers will have to smoke in a designated area outside that is at least five metres away from windows and doorways.
Smoking will also be banned or controlled in certain outdoor areas, for instance parks or beaches.
Smoking will not be allowed in any drinking or eating areas, therefore no more outdoor smoking areas at restaurants, bars or pubs.
– Cigarette displays in shops.
Currently tobacco companies use displays at the point-of-sales to advertise and market their products. These displays are believed to encourage people, especially the youth, to start smoking and make it more difficult for smokers to quit. New legislation is being considered that will limit the size and number of tobacco product displays at retailers.
Regulation currently under discussion
There are also other tobacco regulations that are currently being discussed that will possibly become legislation within the foreseeable future.
– Graphic health warnings on tobacco products.
It is expected that the Minister of Health will order graphic health warnings to be placed on cigarette boxes and other tobacco packaging. In other countries, visual images of, for example, smoker’s lungs, or tobacco-related cancers, have proven more effective than the text warnings that currently appear on South African tobacco packaging.
Tobacco complaint lines:
Cape Town – 021 400 4291
Johannesburg – 011 407 6111
Bloemfontein – 0800 111 3000