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October, 2014:

Observational study of the visibility of branded tobacco packaging and smoking at outdoor bars/cafes in Wellington, New Zealand



To collect data on tobacco brand visibility on packaging on outdoor tables at bars/cafes in a downtown area, prior to a proposed plain packaging law.


The study was conducted in the Central Business District of Wellington City in March 2014. Observational data were systematically collected on tobacco packaging visibility and smoking by patrons at 55 bars/cafes with outdoor tables.


A total of 19,189 patrons, 1707 tobacco packs and 1357 active smokers were observed. One tobacco pack was visible per 11.0 patrons and the active smoking prevalence was 7.1% (95%CI: 4.9-9.2%), similar to Australian results (8.3%). Eighty percent of packs were positioned face-up (showing the brand), 8% face-down (showing the large pictorial warning), and 12% in other positions. Pack visibility per patron was significantly greater in areas without child patrons (RR=3.1, p<0.0001). Both smoking and pack visibility tended to increase from noon into the evenings on weekends. Inter-observer reliability for key measures in this study was high (Bland-Altman plots).


Tobacco branding on packaging was frequently visible because of the way smokers position their packs. These results highlight the residual problem posed by this form of marketing. The results also provide baseline data for the future evaluation of plain packaging if a proposed law is implemented in New Zealand. Other results warrant further research, particularly the reasons for lower pack visibility and smoking when children were present.

Louisiana Tobacco Cessation

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A systematic review of health effects of electronic cigarettes

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Secret TPP treaty

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Davidoff London removes tobacco brands in favour of Vapelux electronic cigarettes

Tobacco Products Directive, Davidoff London has made the unexpected decision to remove several brands of cigarettes, in preference for high-tech electronic vaping hardware and compatible gourmet liquids from Vapelux

In a move certain to gain attention from both supporters and opponents of the Tobacco Products Directive, Davidoff London has made the unexpected decision to remove several brands of cigarettes, in preference for high-tech electronic vaping hardware and compatible gourmet liquids from Vapelux.

Eddie Sahakian, Managing Director of the flagship Davidoff store commented, “We have been advised and work closely with Nick Roman from Vapelux Ltd to ensure we have a complete range of high quality and genuine products suitable for the novice to intermediate user. Our customers are impressed by the selection which includes the popular Vapelux disposables, starter kits and the premium e-liquids, together with genuine hardware and accessories from various international brands”.

Ahead of EU regulations to be imposed on tobacco products, retailers are beginning to acknowledge the rise in popularity of electronic cigarettes, where industry experts predict this category to overtake conventional tobacco products revenue within the next decade.

“This looks like a very interesting move,” said Clive Bates, Public Health blogger at The Counterfactual and Former Director, Action on Smoking and Health, “to the extent that tobacco vendors replace their cigarette brands with vapour products, they are shifting into a better, more credible business model. The customers are looking for a new value proposition – from vapour products they can find much of what they like about smoking, but without the serious health risks and other downsides of smoking.”

The Davidoff London supply agreement puts London-based Vapelux in a commanding position amongst the pantheon of electronic cigarette brands. David Taylor, CEO of Vapelux Ltd, says: “It is very encouraging to see that such a classical and timeless retailer has decided to stock our entire product range. Davidoff London has been established for many years predominantly in tobacco and smoking accessories with many famous clients including Hollywood superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger and others, but they have made a very wise decision in dedicating display space to this exciting new category. Our ethos is to educate the general smoking public that there is something inherently different and elegant available and I am very happy that Davidoff London also shares this vision.”

A London based company, Vapelux Ltd was launched in 2012 as it saw a gap in the market for superior and well-designed e-cigarettes, which not only tasted good, but were also attractively packaged. The strategy to invigorate the e-cigarette sector worked quickly and effectively for Vapelux.

Davidoff aside, Vapelux has a range of notable clients, ranging from stockists such as Harrods, Selfridges and Partridges of Sloane Square to reputable clubs like Annabelle’s and Cirque du Soir, as well as boutique hotels and prominent casinos amongst other exclusive outlets.

The e-cigarette company has also made quite a name for itself by being the brand of choice for a host of celebrities across the spectrum of music, TV, films and sport. Just some of the well-known names enjoying more than a puff or two of Vapelux e-cigarettes include, JLS, Cheryl Cole, Chipmunk, DJ Tiesto, Joleon Lescott, Ryan Babbel, Rob Kardashian, as well as top models including, Thammy Caldeira and Stefanie Raschke. Arg and Mark Wright – both of The Only Way is Essex fame, have also been spotted relishing the cool and flavoursome aromas of Vapelux.

“We were the first to make e-cigarettes fashionable in the industry,” says Adam Taylor, Creative Director for Vapelux Ltd, “and we pride ourselves on extreme quality. We’ve been able to give smokers the choice of an alternative to tobacco with stimulating flavours.”

“A report by Public Health England, part of the Dept of Health, earlier this year, stipulates that there are an estimated 1.3 million e-cigarette users in the UK with the e-cigarette market expected to be worth £340 million by 2015. That’s quite a significant number and Vapelux is proud to be part of that industry.”

CEO David Taylor adds:

“There has definitely been a change in the e-cig world and as people are becoming more educated in vaping they are shifting to more sophisticated equipment and e liquids. Vapelux saw this trend at a very early stage and have produced and manufactured e-liquids in the UK. We also have starter kits that are specifically made for ease of use. As a company Vapelux are making massive strides and the reason is the company maintain their ethos of producing the highest quality products, materials and service. We are market leaders because we care about the customer and give them the ultimate solutions and where better to have them than at Davidoff.”

Self-affirmation theory and cigarette smoking warning images



The present study examined self-affirmation theory, cigarette smoking, and health-related images depicting adverse effects of smoking. Previous research examining self-affirmation and negative health-related images has shown that individuals who engage in a self-affirmation activity are more receptive to messages when compared to those who do not affirm. We were interested in examining the extent to which self-affirmation would reduce defensive responding to negative health images related to cigarette smoking.


Participants included 203 daily smokers who were undergraduate students at a large southern university. Participants completed a battery of questionnaires and were then randomly assigned to one of four conditions (non-smoking image control, smoking image control, low affirmation, and high affirmation). Analyses evaluated the effectiveness of affirmation condition as it related to defensive responding.


Results indicated that both affirmation conditions were effective in reducing defensive responding for those at greatest risk (heavier smokers) and those more resistant to health benefits associated with quitting.


Findings are discussed in terms of potential public health implications as well as the role defensive responding plays in the evaluation and processing of negative health messages.

KPMG Report – Illicit tobacco in Australia

CTA says: Gee, read the KPMG disclaimer!

“This report on illicit tobacco consumption in Australia (“Report”) has been prepared by KPMG LLP in accordance with specific terms of reference (“terms of reference”) agreed between British American

Tobacco Australia Limited, Philip Morris Limited and Imperial Tobacco Australia Limited (together “the Addressees”), and KPMG LLP.

KPMG LLP has agreed that the Report may be disclosed to any party on the basis set out herein. KPMG LLP wishes all parties to be aware that KPMG LLP’s work for the Addressees was performed to meet

specific terms of reference agreed between the Addressees and KPMG LLP and that there were particular features determined for the purposes of the engagement.

The Report should not therefore be regarded as suitable to be used or relied on by any other person or for any other purpose. The Report is issued to other parties on the basis that it is for their information

only. Should any party choose to rely on the Report they do so at their own risk. KPMG LLP will accordingly accept no responsibility or liability in respect of the Report to any party other than the


And the terms of reference were :

1.2 The purpose of this report

British American Tobacco Australia, Imperial Tobacco Australia Limited and Philip Morris Limited have commissioned KPMG LLP to conduct an independent report to estimate the size of the consumption of illicit

tobacco in Australia. The purpose of this report is: 1.To provide an overview of the nature and dynamics of the legal and illicit tobacco markets in Australia of the legal and illicit tobacco markets in Australia,

and2.To provide an independent estimate of the size of the illicit tobacco market in Australia. This report covers the twelve months (July 2013 to June 2014) up to the end of the first half of 2014 (H1 2014).

This H1 2014 report measuring the consumption of illicit tobacco in Australia is the first of two reports that will be tobacco in Australia is the first of two reports that will bepublished for 2014. KPMG has been appointed to produce

bi-annual reports on the illicit trade for the industry in Australia.


Meanwhile it seems KPMG swings with the wind, or rather finds results according to the client paymaster:

KPMG report funded by tobacco money spelling doom and gloom for the catering industry clinically decimated by University of HK report

Whereas KPMG reports for the City of Ottawa show the complete opposite to what KPMG submitted with a different paymaster


and University of Bath TobaccoTactics says:

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Totally Wicked vs. the EU’s tobacco directive

The EU’s five-year process of revising the tobacco products directive (TPD) has resulted in a nearly-unmitigated disaster. Eschewing at every opportunity science-based (or even rational) policy, a conflicted, unaccountable bunch of commissars, (I mean commissioners) working in secret and in concert with like-minded petty mandarins, crafted a destructive, corrupt framework for dealing with tobacco. Many of us who are devoted to public health – specifically interested in reducing the dreadful toll of smoking via harm reduction and disgusted with this measure foisted on an unsuspecting populace – hoped some entity with credibility and resources would tackle the TPD legally.

At last, this has been addressed: the UK-based electronic cigarette (eCig) and vapour product company Totally Wicked (TW) has not only launched a formal legal challenge, but has passed two big hurdles: on 31 July their brief gained acceptance from the UK’s administrative court to bring a judicial review action challenging the TPD’s article 20 as to process and substance. And on 6 October, earlier this week, the administrative court judge acquiesced in furthering the TW litigation all the way towards a hearing in the EU court of justice (ECJ), next spring in Luxembourg.

“How did the current TPD version come to be so miserably wrong? The perverse requirements of the extraordinarily lengthy section dealing with electronic cigarettes and vapour products, now known as article 20, are more stringent than those applied to cigarettes”

Everyone agrees that smoking is the most important, catastrophic – yet preventable – cause of disease and death in the western world: while 100 million lives were lost to tobacco in the last century, reliable estimates predict one billion were cut short in the 21st. The lethal use of tobacco derives almost entirely from the smoking of cigarettes. The ostensible goal of the TPD revision was to reduce the toll of smoking, an especially important issue in Europe, where about 30 percent of the population smokes, and where almost 700,000 die each year from it.

How did the current TPD version come to be so miserably wrong? The perverse requirements of the extraordinarily lengthy section dealing with electronic cigarettes and vapour products, now known as article 20, are more stringent than those applied to cigarettes. The Byzantine process of making legislative and regulatory policy in the EU cannot be understood, or even described, in an opinion piece of reasonable length. Suffice it to say that the three-headed lawmaking organs – the commission, the European council and the parliament – simply evaded (or when necessary, ignored) the legal framework mandated by the treaties which created the EU; many of the proposed regulations fly directly in the face of both the substance and the spirit of these pillars of the EU.

Saying it could have been worse is unacceptable as an explanation of the irresponsible measure facing European smokers and eCig users (‘vapers’) now. During much of the TPD debate, calls for requiring medicinal regulation seemed to hold sway – which would have surely removed these breakthrough devices from the market completely for years, perhaps permanently. When the parliament, encouraged by the accumulating evidence of eCigs benefits and small-to-negligible risks, and moved by a newly-voice outcry of consumers themselves, voted convincingly last October to regulate them as consumer products instead, it seemed that the sun had broken through the clouds of ignorance, agenda and corruption which enshrouded the issue.

In as astounding feat of legalistic broad-daylight larceny, the commission and council resolved – in secret – over the ensuing months to veto, in effect, the voice of the people and create a new eCig paradigm that amounted to creating an entirely new TPD as regarding eCigs. Flouting the law-making principles as well as the underlying science regarding reduced-risk nicotine delivery products, the resultant document was presented as basically a fait accompli to the parliament in January, with the threat of having to start the process all over again hanging over their heads.

Therefore, despite the clear evasion of the tenets of consultation, scrutiny by national parliaments, proportionality (‘lightest touch’), impact assessment and effect on commerce and free movement of goods – all fundamental to the EU – the current iteration presents strictures on eCigs which will surely drive most (if not all) of them off the market, leaving those remaining far less effective in helping smokers quit. Vapour products will be especially hard hit, just as the market for these customised devices are taking over from the standardised ‘cigalikes’ mainly sold by ‘big tobacco’.

What are the alleged bases of the severe restrictions on eCig marketing? Ignorance and fear account for some: the media and politicians benefit from fear-mongering and alarmism about eCig bogeymen; yet the evidence behind such concerns is absent. ‘Nicotine poisoning’ and an apocryphal ‘gateway effect’ of eCigs luring teens into smoking are two of the most common myths. Doing some actual research – not a common activity among our lawmakers, unfortunately – would reveal these as the fictions they are.

Another factor is not so easily countered: brazen corruption. It has been suspected that ‘big pharma’, in an effort to protect their lucrative market for nearly-useless nicotine replacement products (patches, gum, etc.) and drugs (both ineffective and potentially toxic) have been supplying generous quantities of financial incentives to both regulators and ‘public health’ non-profits to spread the mantra of eCig hypothetical risks. Indeed, a few months ago, emails to members of parliament from a pharmaceutical company lobbying against eCigs by citing false and half-true allegations came to light.

Clearly, article 20 of the TPD, created in shadows and in haste, must be scrapped, having failed in all spheres: science, policy and process. It is to be fervently hoped that the Totally Wicked litigation will succeed in the upcoming months in the ECJ, and an intelligently and responsibly revised TPD can be made into a valid regulatory structure: protecting EU residents from poorly-made or contaminated nicotine-delivery products, protecting children (via packaging regulations and age restrictions on sales and marketing) from inadvertent exposure, and informative labelling. It is difficult, frankly, to be overly optimistic, despite the overwhelming evidence for change: remember that the EU’s guiding lights have stubbornly maintained the perverse ban on snus despite numerous science-based calls for its revocation. Stringent regulations contained in the current TPD will merely drive ex-smokers back to deadly cigarettes and discourage desperate, addicted smokers from quitting at last.

About the author
Gilbert Ross is the executive director and medical director of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)
Follow ACSH on Twitter @ACSHorg

Indonesia: court upholds tobacco tax to fund health

Good news on tobacco control from Indonesia is rare. Recently, however there was a victory in the area of tobacco tax.

On 1 January 2014, Law No. 28 of 2009 on regional taxes was introduced, which allows local provinces in Indonesia to charge a local tax to cigarettes. The tariff is 10% of cigarette excise.

This tax collectively amounts to about USD 796 Million, a significant sum. Following successful international examples for funding tobacco control, a minimum of 50% of the funds raised from the tax are to be used for health promotion, in particular through public anti-smoking campaigns and enforcing smoke free public spaces. This means local governments have the authority to decide on strengthening tobacco control measures for their provinces and cities.

Unfortunately, five smokers challenged this cigarette tax policy in the Constitutional Court, calling for its abolition. Their argument was that the policy harms the constitutional rights of cigarette smokers as consumers by requiring them to pay both excise tax and local cigarette tax. They argued this amounts to double taxation, which is prohibited by the tax law and is unjust.

However public health won, and the suit was rejected by the Constitutional Court in May 19, 2014. In the judgment, the Court stated that in accordance with Law No. 11/1995 on Excise Tax, the subject of excise tax is manufacturers, distributors, and importers, while its object includes cigarettes, cigars, tobacco leaf and tobacco strips. In the provisions of Articles 26 and 27 of the Local Tax Law on the other hand, the object of local cigarette taxes is consumption of cigarettes and the subject of this tax is cigarette consumers. “Thus, there is a difference between the object and the subject of excise tax in comparison to the object and subject of local cigarette tax,” said one of the Constitutional Judges.

The Court ruled that the cigarette excise tax paid together with local cigarette tax is the “politics of taxation” to increase state revenues as well as provide compensation on the negative health impacts of smoking. According to the judge, “Simultaneous excise tax and local cigarette tax have positive impact on reducing cigarette consumption and improve society’s health.”

Several benefits will arise from the Court’s rejection of the suit and implementation of the tax. The first is that the local cigarette tax will increase cigarette prices, thereby making cigarettes less affordable, and in turn likely direct reducing smoking uptake among children. The second benefit is local governments will receive increased funds as revenue to go towards local development and increased living standards. A third benefit is the increased funding available to be used exclusively for health promotion and law enforcement. This includes anti-tobacco campaigns and strengthened enforcement of tobacco control regulations such as non smoking areas.

Together, these measures will change the scenario of tobacco control at the local level and enhance local government efforts to better protect children and the poor from the harms of tobacco. It represents a welcome step forward in a country that has been dubbed a paradise for tobacco companies due to lax regulation.