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October 14th, 2011:

Implications of the Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area on Tobacco Trade and Public Health in the SAARC Region

Download PDF : Tobacco_Free_Initiative_SAFTA

Tobacco should be excluded from free trade agreement

Editor—The World Health Organization estimates that by 2030 tobacco will become the world’s biggest single cause of death and disease, killing 10 million people each year.1

Eight cigarette smugglers jailed

Eight Indonesian nationals have been jailed for smuggling contraband cigarettes over the past two days. — ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN

By Elena Chong

Eight Indonesian nationals have been jailed for smuggling contraband cigarettes over the past two days.

Four of them – Jamal, 41, Hasan, 28, Linggo Laksito, 31, and Abdul Salam, 29 – were each given two years’ jail on Thursday for importing 1,375 cartons of duty-unpaid cigarettes and not paying goods and services tax on the goods on board Dahlia II at Jurong River on Tuesday.

The unpaid excise duty and GST amounted to $118,976 and $10,348 respectively.

Background story

Refer to an earlier article on the story here. Pictures: Cartons of illegal cigarettes seized from 2 Indonesian vessels

On Friday, four more Indonesians on board wooden coaster K. M. Seni Jaya, who were arrested on Tuesday night, were given between 18 months and 22 months for smuggling 1,164 cartons of assorted cigarettes at the same location.

Global assembly praises NZ tobacco control

Global assembly praises NZ tobacco control

New Zealand’s advanced work in tobacco control praised at global assembly

The scientific session on tobacco cessation at the World Medical Association General Assembly in Montevideo, Uruguay has praised New Zealand’s “end-game thinking” approach to tobacco cessation.

Dr Richard D. Hurt, founder and director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Centre, said that while most counties focus on reduction in tobacco consumption New Zealand has a vision of a smokefree society and has the courage and political will to achieve this.

New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) Chair Dr Paul Ockelford, who is attending the Assembly, says that while New Zealand has been fortunate that successive governments, supported by health professionals and the wider community, have been proactive in tackling this public health issue, we have a moral and social responsibility to continue the momentum towards a smokefree New Zealand.

The NZMA position statement on tobacco control outlines the key steps that need to be taken and aligns strongly with today’s recommendations by international experts. These include plain packaging and graphic warnings to replace all brand imagery and a call for the Government to extend the smokefree environment legislation to cover all locations where young people are present.

Action to make it more difficult for minors to obtain cigarettes is also recommended with targeted research into smoking cessation to ensure that at risk population groups, such as Maori and Pacific Peoples, are reached.

“New Zealanders can be proud of our aspiration to be smokefree by 2025. It is a testament to this commitment and our progress to date that we are recognised in this way by the international community,” says Dr Ockelford.