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June 9th, 2015:

Ukraine’s decision to withdraw its complaint at WTO: an evidence-based move

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Qatar- Call for banning tobacco ads on TV, newspapers–Call-for-banning-tobacco-ads-on-TV-newspapers

(MENAFN – The Peninsula) A senior GCC official has called on member-states to ban depiction of characters smoking in TV serials and dramas and bar advertising of cigarettes and other tobacco products in any form of media in the region.

The official told information ministry undersecretaries from the GCC states at their meeting here yesterday that an anti-smoking awareness campaign must be launched specially targeting vulnerable groups like school students and women.

“School students and women are the targets of cigarette and tobacco companies,” said Dr Mariam Azbi Al Jalahma, Assistant Undersecretary, public health ministry of Bahrain.

The meeting discussed a memo from the GCC Secretariat-General on measures to fight smoking in the region. Mariam said an anti-tobacco agreement reached among the GCC states earlier must be enforced.

She said characters must not be shown smoking in TV serials and dramas telecast in the region. Such plays must be banned as also promoting smoking through ad campaigns in the local media, whether print or electronic.

This was a preparatory meeting for the 23rd meeting of information ministers from the GCC states. Qatar doesn’t have an information ministry.

Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad bin Jassem, of Qatar Media Corporation, represented Qatar at yesterday’s meeting. The Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage is in-charge of media and information affairs in Qatar.

Santa Clara Co. Supervisors Pass Ordinance Raising Legal Tobacco Purchasing Age

Starting next year, anyone buying tobacco products and electronic smoking devices in unincorporated Santa Clara County must be at least 21 years old.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday that will raise the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The ordinance goes into effect on Jan. 1., 2016 and does not apply to incorporated cities within the county.

Supervisor Ken Yeager introduced the ordinance during the board’s May 19 meeting and said he hopes cities within the county will pass similar legislation.

Supervisor Joe Simitian asked during last month’s meeting if there were preemption issues to the ordinance.

County Counsel Orry Korb said that his staff looked at the state law regarding preemption and said that the county would “likely prevail” in any challenges to the ordinance.

“Tobacco is still the number one cause of preventable death,” county Public Health Officer Sara Cody said.

Cody cited an Institute of Medicine study released in March that showed raising the legal purchasing age for tobacco products would decrease the smoking rate by 12 percent and smoking-related deaths by 10 percent.

Businesses will be required to post signs provided through the county stating the minimum age to buy tobacco is 21 and that anyone who violates the ordinance will be fined.

Retailers must also ask for identification from the buyer before selling a tobacco product.

The county is the first statewide to pass such an ordinance.

“In our county we have been a national leader in protecting the health of our residents, particularly our children and youth, from the harms of tobacco,” Cody said.

Last year, the county passed a law prohibiting the sales of flavored tobacco in unincorporated areas and amended its no-smoking policy to include restrictions on using and selling e-cigarettes.