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July 5th, 2016:

Hiding cigarettes reduces smoking – study–study-2016070514#axzz4DWH5YaVx

Hiding tobacco away in shop cabinets has helped lower school student smoking to its lowest level in two decades, University of Otago researchers say.

The scientists have looked at the effect of the 2012 law change, which removed visible tobacco displays from behind the counter, and smoking by 14- and 15-year-olds.

They say there is strong evidence there has been a significant reduction in both experimental and regular smoking, when accompanied by enforcement measures for selling tobacco to minors.

The tobacco industry has a history of saying that tobacco control measures won’t work and predicting disastrous effects, even when the evidence suggests otherwise,” said lead researcher Professor Richard Edwards.

“They are currently making such arguments to oppose the introduction of plain packaging. This study shows once again that the industry is not to be trusted, and that implementing rigorous tobacco control measures will help protect children from becoming smokers.”

The study results have been published in the international journal Tobacco Control.

Hiding their light under a bushel

The proportion of children who had tried smoking but were not regular smokers fell from 23-24 percent in 2011 and 2012 to 17 percent in 2014

A pre-2012 study found children who frequently visited shops that sell tobacco, such as dairies, convenience stores, supermarkets and service stations, were at greater risk of trying smoking

In 2013 data comparisons showed the effects were eliminated or weakened

The study used data from an annual classroom-based survey of around 25,000 Year 10 students.

E-cig explosions blamed for facial injuries, severe burns

Dozens of lawsuits allege serious injuries caused by exploding batteries

The exploding cigar was a mainstay of slapstick humor back in the day. But there’s nothing funny about an exploding e-cigarette, according to those who’ve had the experience.

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed by consumers who say their e-cigs blew up, causing serious and expensive injuries. The Food and Drug Administration has found 134 reports of overheating, fires, and explosions of the devices in the U.S. between 2009 and January 2016, the Wall Street Journal reports. The FDA is phasing in rules covering the devices, which will eventually require government approval before they can be marketed.

Most of the lawsuits allege that the explosions and injuries were caused by the lithium-ion batteries used in the devices, which are mostly made by Chinese companies. The industry argues that the number of explosions and fires is small considering how many of the devices are in use and says many of the mishaps are the result of user error.

Severe burns

A jury in Riverside, Calif., recently awarded $1.9 million in damages to a woman who suffered severe burns when her e-cigarette exploded while hooked up to a car charger. Like most such suits, hers named the retailer, distributor, and wholesaler rather than the manufacturer, since it’s difficult to sue an overseas company.

The Journal article notes another case, that of Rachel Berven of Modesto, Calif. She had been using her vaping device — as the e-cigs are called — for about a year. One day she inserted a new battery and when she fired the device up, it exploded, ripping a hole in her mouth and spewing acid across her body, leaving her with three cracked teeth and scars on her legs and elsewhere.

In another gruesome case, a school counselor in California alleges that his e-cig exploded and tore through his eye, smashing two cheekbones and starting a fire.

Joseph Cavins said he was working at his computer on April 15 when his e-cig “suddenly exploded, striking Joseph in the left eye, continuing past his head, hitting the ceiling, ricocheting off the wall and landing on top of the computer station, where it started a fire,” according to his complaint in Orange County Court, Courthouse News Service reported. He has sued four distributors and retailers.

Cavins said the explosion smashed his orbital and sinus bones, “left several pieces of shrapnel inside the eyeball itself,” causing doctors to remove the eyeball. He will need more surgery to fix his broken bones, reconstructive surgery on his sinus cavity, and he and his wife have both missed work. He sued four distributors and retailers.

The vaping industry contends that many of the incidents are the result of consumers using the wrong chargers. Others involve the more complex “mechanical mods,” which are more customizable than the smaller, cigarette-like e-cigs.

“When used and charged properly, vapor products pose no more of a fire risk than any other product that is powered by lithium-ion batteries, like cellphones or laptops,” Gregory Conley of the American Vaping Association told the Journal.

Customs & Excise deal with manufacturer Luxembourg battles illicit tobacco smuggling

Luxembourg has signed an agreement with cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris Luxembourg (PML) to tackle the illegal trade of tobacco products.

The cooperation agreement was signed by Luxembourg’s Customs and Excise and ensure an exchange of information between the two operators to help identify potential illegal activities and discourage illegal practices.

Luxembourg’s Customs and Excise will therefore inform PML about control operations and seizures in the country, while PML will provide access to its database and its “Track and Trace” system, providing precise monitoring of the distribution and sales of its products.

PML also support the training of officials, including the staff of the Administration of Customs and Excise.”This agreement demonstrates that the authorities and the private sector must join in the fight against illicit trade and counterfeiting,” said Pierrot Reding, head of the excise division at Luxembourg’s Customs and Excise. “In addition, the counterfeit tobacco products do not meet any health standards. We must therefore remove as they emerge, “he added.It is the fourth time that Luxembourg’s Customs and Excise has signed a collaboration agreement in the fight against smuggling and counterfeiting.

Governor criticized for vetoing tobacco access legislation

Members of Youth for Youth Live and the author of the legislation that proposed to increase the age for legal access to tobacco in Guam from 18 to 21 reacted quickly to the governor’s veto of Bill 141-33.

Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz, author of the bill, on Friday criticized the governor’s veto shortly after learning of it. Cruz vowed to search for a 10th lawmaker to help override the veto. On June 17, the bill passed the legislature by a vote of 9 to 6, one vote shy of a veto-proof majority.

“In the days and weeks ahead, I pray we find a 10th vote. So many lives are depending on it,” Cruz stated, making known his intention to override the veto.

In his veto, Calvo called the measure “well-intended” and acknowledged the adverse health risks associated with tobacco and smoking. “What is troubling with this bill is that it constitutes a willful intrusion into the personal lives and choices of our citizens,” Calvo said. The governor suggested the issue would be much better left to the referendum process.

Sen. Brant McCreadie, a non-smoker and one of the six lawmakers who voted “nay” on the measure, also referred to the legislation as an intrusion. In an earlier interview with the Post, McCreadie said that because 18-year-olds are able to make decisions such as vote for elected officials, serve the country in military service and numerous other decisions that affect their lives and the lives of others, they should be able to make this decision for themselves.

Calvo continued in his veto message: “In a community where we ask people as young as 16 and 17 to commit their lives to serving in the military, it seems contradictory to say they can’t decide for themselves whether they should be allowed the personal decision to pick up a cigarette until they’re 21 years old.”

Still, Cruz maintained that this was a life-and-death issue. “Big tobacco companies are the most lethal drug dealers on the planet. And Gov. Calvo’s veto of a bill supported by physicians, public health professionals and our island’s youth gave these companies a license to keep on killing,” Cruz said.

“Cigarettes turn choice into a lifelong addiction funded by taxpayers, many of whom never smoked a day in their lives. When it costs 40 times more to treat a smoker than a nonsmoker, it isn’t about choice. It’s about saving lives, saving dollars and saving valuable public resources.”

Joining McCreadie in the nay column were Sens. Tony Ada, Frank Blas Jr., James Espaldon, Rory Respicio and Dennis Rodriguez.

Youth group hits veto

Meanwhile, Youth for Youth Live in a press release echoed the vice speaker’s sentiments. “We are writing today to express our disappointment with the recent veto of Bill 141-33, the Youth Protection Act of 2017.”

They told the governor that his veto message was off-point. Youth for Youth Live argued, “Smoking a cigarette or using any type of tobacco product might appear as a personal choice when entering adulthood, but growing up in a community that advertises and promotes tobacco use increases the likelihood of youth tobacco use.”

The organization told Calvo that the bill protects the youth against big tobacco companies that pour millions of dollars into targeting youth as replacement smokers and costs communities millions of dollars in health care.

“Clearly, this is a missed monumental opportunity,” the group wrote.

Like Cruz, the group called on one more lawmaker to vote to override the governor’s veto. “We write this in the hope that our legislators will see how important this bill truly is for our youth and for the future generations on our island,” the group stated.

“Senators, we are asking you to believe in us. Believe in the data we have presented you. Believe in the science behind addiction. Believe in the positive economic and emotional impact that saving lives would bring to our island if only you passed this bill. Believe in this bill, just as we believe, and trust in your efforts to create a healthier community for our island.”

HSA revokes, suspends licences of 6 retailers for selling tobacco to minors

Song Hui Kiosk had its tobacco retail licence revoked, while the licences of the other five were suspended for six months. PHOTO: HSA

Song Hui Kiosk had its tobacco retail licence revoked, while the licences of the other five were suspended for six months. PHOTO: HSA

SINGAPORE – The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has either revoked or suspended the tobacco retail licences of six errant retailers for selling tobacco products to minors under 18.

The six were caught via ground surveillance and enforcement activities conducted by HSA, it said in a press release on Tuesday (July 5).

Song Hui Kiosk in Ang Mo Kio had its licence revoked and will no longer be allowed to sell tobacco products, after it was found to have sold them to a 14-year-old in school uniform.

The other five retailers – Shivaranjani Minimart, 26 Foodloft, Al Kaaba Mini-Mart, Sin Hup Lee Store, and O A Jalil – had sold tobacco products to minors for the first time.


They will be prohibited from selling tobacco products for six months.

Since 2013, HSA said it has suspended 32 tobacco retail licences and revoked 22 others.

HSA reminded tobacco retail licensees that they are responsible for all transactions of tobacco products at their outlets, as well as the actions of their employees.

It also urged licensees to educate their employees on the law pertaining to the sale of such products, and for sellers to check the age of those who wish to buy them.

Anyone caught selling tobacco products to minors aged 18 and below can be fined up to $5,000 for the first offence, and up to $10,000 for subsequent offences.

In addition, the tobacco retail licence will be suspended for six months for the first offence, and revoked for the second.

Any outlet found selling tobacco products to minors in school uniform or to those below 12, however, will have their licences revoked at the first offence.

The public can view the updated list of tobacco retailers with suspended or revoked licences here.

Tobacco industry globalization and global health governance

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