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April 12th, 2013:

Scotland: Pensioner stabbed wife with kitchen knife in row over cigarette


Scotland: Pensioner stabbed wife with kitchen knife in row over cigarette

A woman suffered five stab wounds that left her permanently scarred after an argument that began when her husband asked her for a cigarette. Medics said her injuries were potentially life-threatening.

Source: STV – 11 April 2013

Wales: Man fell to his death while smoking on window sill

A man who was sitting on the window sill of his bedroom to smoke fell 20ft to his death, an inquiry heard.

Source: South Wales Argus – 11 April 2013

Gwyneth Paltrow: I smoke one cigarette per week

Gwyneth Paltrow, who is known for her strict diet and intense fitness regimens,  has admitted In a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar that her guilty pleasure is to smoke a cigarette once a week.

Source: Yahoo! News – 11 April 2013

Researchers identify novel approach to study COPD and treatment efficacy

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have pinpointed a genetic signature for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from airway cells harvested utilizing a minimally invasive procedure. The findings provide a novel way to study COPD and could lead to new treatments and ways to monitor patients’ response to those treatments. The study is published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Source: Medical Xpress – 11 April 2013

USA: NYC voters like cigarette display ban plan

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows New Yorkers strongly support Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to keep cigarettes out of sight in stores.

Sixty-eight percent of city voters back the idea while thirty percent oppose it.

Source: Wall Street Journal – 11 April 2013

US budget: Obama unveils a plan to smoke big tobacco

President Obama seems intent to use his budget proposal as a weapon against tobacco with an attempt to raise the federal tax on cigarettes from $1.01 per pack to $1.95 – a $0.94 increase.

JTI plain packaging

Download PDF : JTI Plain Packaging Advertising Campaign 06 04 2013 Scotland

JTI advert 08 04 2013

Plain packs would not increase tobacco smuggling

Plain packs would not increase tobacco smuggling

Ingrid Torjesen

Monday, 25 March 2013

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There is “no good evidence” that moving to standardised cigarette packs would encourage more smuggling, a report by MPs and peers has concluded.

One of the arguments tobacco companies put against moving to plain packs is that they could be easily be illicitly copied by counterfeiters.

But the report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health inquiry into the illicit trade in tobacco products, published today, says that existing packaging is already “cheaply and readily” copied and that enforcement agencies do not rely on pack design to test whether packs are illegal but use a number of security features instead. These security features could also be present on standardised packs.

Group chairman, Liberal Democrat MP Stephen William, said: “Contrary to tobacco industry propaganda there is no good reason to think that standardised packs will increase illicit trade.”

The government consulted last year on mandatory standardised packs. The results of that consultation, held from April to August, are still being considered.

Last December Australia became the first country in the world to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes. There all tobacco company logos and colours are banned from packets which are a uniform colour with anti-smoking messages and photographs. The tobacco company name and brand are allowed in small print at the bottom of the pack.

Customs seizes illicit cigarettes, smuggled goods

Customs seizes illicit cigarettes, smuggled goods
(04-12 16:50)

Hong Kong Customs smashed two transshipment smuggling cases at Tuen Mun River Trade Terminal Customs Cargo Examination Compound on April 10, resulting in the seizure of a batch of illicit cigarettes and some suspected counterfeit goods with a total value of about HK$2.4 million.
Through risk assessment, officers inspected a 20-foot container declared to contain “handbags” from a river trade vessel which was to be transshipped to Australia. Under x-ray examination, Customs officers discovered that the consignment was camouflaged with about 150 large suitcases and a total of 0.6 million sticks of illicit cigarettes were found at the back of the container. The unmanifested cigarettes, with a total value of about HK$1.5 million and a local duty potential of HK$1.02 million, were seized for follow-up investigation.
On the same day, another 20-foot container declared to contain “cleansers” destined for the United Arab Emirates was also examined. Upon inspection, over 53,000 bottles of suspected counterfeit shampoo, valued at about HK$890,000 in total, with false trade origin descriptions were found.

Big Tobacco Already Resisting Obama’s Proposal To Fund Universal Preschool With Cigarette Taxes

Big Tobacco Already Resisting Obama’s Proposal To Fund Universal Preschool With Cigarette Taxes

By Tara Culp-Ressler on Apr 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm

President Obama unveiled his budget proposal on Tuesday morning, confirming early reports that his initiatives include an expansion of universal preschool programs by raising revenue from additional tobacco taxes. Obama’s preschool plan is winning praise from both anti-smoking advocates and early childhood education proponents, but it isn’t popular with everyone. Even before the specific details were made available on Tuesday, the proposed tax increase garnered criticism from the powerful companies that comprise Big Tobacco.

The current federal tax on cigarettes is about $1 a pack, and President Obama’s proposal would increase that by an additional 94 cents. That hike would raise $75 billion to help subsidize preschool for children whose families who earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty line, in a national effort to encourage more four-year-olds to enroll in pre-K programs. The tax increase would also raise $1.6 billion for the Early Head Start program and $15 billion for other programs.

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids has praised the policy, noting that higher tobacco taxes are a proven method of reducing smoking rates as well as a reliable revenue source. The advocacy group also points out that the majority of Americans support increasing taxes on tobacco products. In a statement released last week in regards to Obama’s forthcoming budget, the Campaign described the proposed tax as “a health win that will reduce tobacco use and save lives, a financial win that will raise revenue to fund an important initiative and reduce tobacco-related health care costs, and a political win that is popular with voters.” Total annual public and private health care expenditures caused by smoking are estimated at $96 billion.

But Big Tobacco’s powerful lobbying arm disagrees. “We oppose another federal tax increase on tobacco products,” a spokesperson for the Altria Group, the biggest lobbying organization representing the tobacco industry, told the Huffington Post on Friday. “[I]t is important to remember that the largest federal tobacco tax increase in U.S. history was enacted less than four years ago. We think it is unfair to single out adult tobacco consumers with another federal tobacco tax increase to pay for a broad, new government spending program.”

Although the tobacco industry characterizes universal preschool as a “broad, new government spending program,” expanding American children’s access to pre-K programs actually represents an investment with significant economic returns. Investing in early childhood education reduces future societal and economic costs in at-risk children’s lives. Some studies project that those investments eventually end up paying for themselves.

Of course, Big Tobacco has a long history of resisting tax increases on its products. Just last year, a proposed cigarette tax in California — which would have raised a much-needed $810 million for the state’s budget by imposing a $1 tax increase on tobacco products — was narrowly defeated after Big Tobacco lobbyists poured about $50 million into efforts to take down the bill.

D-MYST The Agency pull the plug on TV smoking > Liverpool News > News

A group of young people from Liverpool descended the OFCOM headquarters in London yesterday to show that over 10,000 people across the city support them in their plight to stop TV smoking.

SmokeOff, promoted by D-MYST The Agency, is a campaign which targets OFCOM asking them to follow their own guidelines with regards to smoking on television.

OFCOM guidelines state “Smoking must not be condoned, encouraged or glamourised in programmes likely to be widely seen or heard by under-18s unless there is editorial justification.” Yet many programmes like Coronation Street and Eastenders regularly contain smoking scenes, at times when young people are watching.

On Thursday 4 April, D-MYST representatives aged between 11 and 18 presented OFCOM with over 10,000 postcards all signed by people across Merseyside who have shown support for the SmokeOff campaign.

The campaign hopes to reduce child exposure to smoking and help decrease the number of young people who start smoking.

D-MYST spokesperson Lilly Mae Paulucci, 15 from Garston said: “When programmes like The Simpsons and Friends show people smoking, it encourages young people to start. We believe the media should stop showing tobacco images in TV programmes viewed by under-18s before the watershed.

“We want to make sure that all future pre-watershed programmes are smokefree and we’re really pleased with the support we’ve received so far.”

Studies have shown that a child who smokes one cigarette doubles their chances of becoming a regular smoker by the age of 17.

For help quitting smoking contact your local NHS Stop Smoking Service on 0800 195 2131.