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August 1st, 2012:

Cigarette plain-packaging finds favour in New York

Mark Metherell
Published: August 1, 2012 – 3:00AM

IN THE face of fierce opposition to plain-pack cigarettes from some American politicians, Australia’s Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, has found high-profile allies.

Among them is the New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who was ”terrifically enthusiastic” about the cigarette plan when Ms Plibersek called on him.

Mr Bloomberg, a billionaire who has given $600 million to the world anti-tobacco campaign, spent an hour discussing the plain-pack plan, scheduled to take effect in Australia at the end of this year. That is pending the outcome of a High Court challenge to the decision, expected in the next few months.

The mayor has made a reputation for driving controversial public health measures in New York, including bans on smoking in bars and parks and curbs on the size of soft drink bottles, aimed at reducing people’s sugar intake.

Ms Plibersek said that on her way to see Mr Bloomberg, she observed protesters backed by soft drink trucks gathered outside New York’s City Hall, campaigning against the new beverage laws.

She also met the US Surgeon-General, Regina Benjamin, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, along with representatives of the Gates Foundation and the World Lung Foundation.

Moves to introduce graphic health warnings in the US have faced a legal challenge over a claimed infringement of freedom of speech.

Ms Plibersek said she found a lot of interest from the US officials in the way Australia had tackled anti-tobacco campaigns.

”They were very interested and very much on the same page about the things they need to do. They were really interested in what we have done and the measures we have taken,” she said.

”There was very strong interest and support for what we have done in challenging big tobacco.”

This story was found at:

Provide FEHD enforcement statistics please – how many smoking contravention tickets issued?

From: []
Sent: 01 August, 2012 17:58
Subject: Provide FEHD enforcement statistics please – how many smoking contravention tickets issued?

Dear James Middleton,

I refer to your email dated 28.7.2012.
The number of Notice of Fixed Penalty Smoking Offence to the smoking offenders from January to June this year by staff of this Department is nine, none of them involved public markets in North District.

I would also like to inform you that under the Fixed Penalty (Smoking Offences) Ordinance (The Ordinance) which took effect on September 1, 2009, any person who smokes or carries a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe in any designated no smoking areas (NSAs) or public transport carrier will be issued with a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of $1,500 by enforcement officers.

Officers of the Tobacco Control Office (TCO) would remain the lead enforcement agency under the Ordinance, and are empowered to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) at all statutory no smoking areas (NSAs) as well as in public transport carriers.  In addition, authorized public officers of this Department and a few other departments who are venue managers of designated NSAs in public venues they manage and empowered by The Ordinance will complement the work of TCO in those venues.  It is recognized that they have their normal range of venue management duties.  While enforcement under the Ordinance will form part of their routine management duties, it will not overtake their core work priorities.


CHU Kam-chong
District Environmental Hygiene Superintendent (North)
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

From: James Middleton []
Sent: 28 July, 2012 11:10
Subject: provide FEHD enforcement statistics please – how many smoking contravention tickets issued ?

Dear Ms Chu,

I refer to your letter in the SCMP.

Please provide the data on the number of fixed penalty smoking notices issued to offenders in 2012 by the FEHD in total and by your specific department also.

Department will enforce smoking ban

I refer to Pang Chi-ming’s letter (“Officials need to enforce smoking ban”, July 14).

We share your correspondent’s view that cooked food centres and public markets should be kept smoke-free.

To achieve this, authorised staff of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will take enforcement actions whenever smoking activities are spotted during their daily patrols.

Furthermore, joint blitz operations with the Tobacco Control Office to further deter people from smoking are being arranged in these venues from time to time.

To remind market-goers and diners, warning notices as well as life-size signs featuring tobacco control inspectors are also displayed at conspicuous places, such as lift lobbies and along the escalators. This is what is being done in the Shek Wu Hui Market Cooked Food Centre in Sheung Shui, the centre referred to by your correspondent.

We will continue to take appropriate actions to keep cooked food centres smoke-free.

Chu Kam-chong, district environmental hygiene superintendent (North), Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

Kind regards,

James Middleton