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March 11th, 2010:

Passive smoke harms teen arteries

smoking in cars

First published: March 7, 2010

Source: SCMP via Reuters

Children as young as 13 who have evidence of second-hand smoke in their blood also have visibly thicker arteries, Finnish researchers have reported.

Their study suggests the damage caused by second-hand tobacco smoke starts
in childhood and causes measurable damage by the teen years.

“Although previous research has found that passive smoke may be harmful for
adult blood vessels, we did not know until this study that these specific
effects also happen among children and adolescents,” Dr Katariina Kallio of
the University of Turku in Finland, who led the study, says.

Reply to Vines – Letters to the Editor, SCMP

antique typewriter

From: James Middleton []
Sent: Saturday, March 06, 2010 5:07 AM
To: ‘Letters to the Editor'; ‘
Subject: Reply to Vines

Your correspondent Stephen Vines (SCMP March 5) states ‘Business is booming in bars where a blind eye is turned to smoking. The crackdown has also led to an enormous increase in sales of counterfeit cigarettes and smuggled tobacco.’

Hong Kong laws need changing to fall in line with first world countries where the onus is on premises’ managers to enforce no smoking laws within or lose their licences ; the current legislation is deliberately flawed and has no such requirement. After the 50% tobacco tax increase last year the sale of duty paid cigarettes here dropped by more than 30% (3.79 billion in 2008 – 2.88 billion in 2009) whilst revenue from excise tax increased 2% above 2008.

Meanwhile the stepped up enforcement by Customs Department  against illicit tobacco increased arrests by 91% in 2009 above 2008 but found less seizures since the syndicates reduced volumes (109 million sticks 2007, 79 million in 2008 versus 59 million in 2009) for fear of being caught. Your correspondent should as a prudent journalist do some research before he continues to bitch and moan based on flawed facts and his stated ‘enormous increase’ is actually a significant decrease.


Action on Smoking and Health Report

ash logoDownload ASH’s report on:

The Effects of Increasing Tobacco Taxation: A Cost Benefit and Public Finances Analysis here.

Smoking is bad for your car’s health

scene from the movie I-SpyFirst published: March 7, 2010

Source: The Mirror

Cigarette sparks car fireball with two girls inside

A parked car with two girls inside exploded in flames early yesterday when
one of them lit a cigarette.

The pair, aged 19 and 20 years, suffered severe burns to their hands and
faces as they escaped from the blazing vehicle.

Tobacco tax hikes “good for the health”

tobacco tax stampFirst published: March 6, 2010

Source: Reuters via Kate Kelland’s blog

LONDON (Reuters) – Raising tobacco taxes by 5 percent above inflation in Britain would help 190,000 smokers to kick the habit and save the nation’s health system over 20 million pounds a year, campaigners said on Saturday.

A report by an independent economist for the anti-smoking group ASH said tax hikes would also cut smoking-related absence from work, saving 10 million pounds a year, and boost annual government tax revenues by more than 500 million pounds.

“An above-inflation rise in the price of tobacco is good for the health of the individual as well as for the health of the country,” said Howard Reed, the economist who wrote the report.