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Enhanced taxes can reduce number of tobacco users

Journalists and development activists at a participatory discussion here today demanded enhancement of taxes on tobacco products for the sake of saving many people from various non-contagious diseases caused by tobacco consumption.

They viewed more than 45.9 million people use tobacco products, both smoke and smokeless, and 1.2 million of them are infected with various diseases like lung cancer, brain haemorrhage, heart and respiratory tract infections and around 57,000 of the infected patients die every year. Moreover, around Taka 51 billion are being spent for treatment purposes of the infected patients yearly.

Anti Tobacco Media Alliance (ATMA) and Tobacco Control Coalition jointly organised the ATMA’s regional meeting at the conference hall of Association for Community Development (ACD) demanding enhanced taxes on all tobacco products including bidi and cigarettes.

Ehsanul Amin Emon, Project Coordinator of ACD, who spoke on the occasion as focal person, said proper execution of the tobacco control law has become an urgent need to protect many non-smokers from passive smoking. He said Bangladesh is one of the highest tobacco using countries that has now become a matter of grave concern.

Social movement is also needed to ensure hundred percent smoke-free public places and transports for freeing millions of second hand and passive smocking from various harmful effects, he added.

He defined that the frequent and indiscriminate smoking in the public places and transports affected the non-smokers more than direct smokers.

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Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Tobacco News

 

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Ian Paisley against plain packing for cigarettes

Democratic Unionist Party MP Ian Paisley jnr lobbied the Government against its plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes, claiming it would make it easier for tobacco smugglers on both sides of the Border. The letters were sent in March and are the latest in a series of correspondence received by the Government expressing opposition to Minister for Health James Reilly’s proposals.

The Bill on plain packaging is expected to go to Cabinet in the coming weeks, and Government sources said it is being strengthened in the Attorney General’s office in anticipation of challenges in the Supreme Court, the European Court of Justice and at the World Trade Organisation. Others to have lobbied on the issue include United States congressmen and governors, as well as some of the world’s biggest tobacco companies, such as Philip Morris Ltd, the British arm of Philip Morris International, which is responsible for brands such as Marlboro.

Mr Paisley has campaigned against plain packaging in the UK, and initiated an open letter signed by 52 MPs two years ago which said “there is no reliable evidence that plain packaging will have any public health benefit”.

Plain packaging
Earlier this year, he also delivered a letter signed by 73 MPs to the British health secretary expressing opposition to plain packaging.

Japan Tobacco International, the maker of Glamour and LD cigarettes, is based in Ballymena in Mr Paisley’s constituency, and he says it employs 1,000 people and “makes a significant contribution to the local economy”.

The letters sent to Irish Ministers and civil servants include his House of Commons and constituency addresses and Mr Paisley warns of the “many negative consequences to plain packaging that need to be taken into consideration” before plain packaging is introduced, even though he “supports the Government’s objectives to reduce and prevent youth smoking”.

Mr Paisley sent the letters to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan, as well as Martin Fraser, the secretary general of Department of the Taoiseach and David Cooney, the secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Dr Reilly has said he intends on making the Republic “tobacco free by 2025” and claimed “no amount of lobbying will divert us from our goal”.

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Tobacco News

 

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Bill bans smoking at all times in home day cares

The Assembly approved a bill Monday that would ban smoking inside home day care centers even after the children have left, a regulation that targets lingering “third-hand smoke” and has been adopted by 12 other states. The chamber passed the measure by Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, on a 55-8 vote, with some Republican lawmakers opposed.

Smoking already is banned in homes that function as day care centers during their operating hours to prevent kids from being exposed to secondhand smoke. But Hall says recent research shows even off-hour smoking places children at risk.

“Exposure to second- and third-hand smoke is a real danger to the health of these young, developing individuals,” he said. Hall also was behind a law to require smoke-free environments for foster homes. Assembly GOP spokeswoman Amanda Fulkerson said members of her party were concerned about the government imposing regulations on business owners in their off-hours and the structure of the bill.

Supporters of the ban say the danger comes from smoke and cancer-causing compounds penetrating furniture, toys and other objects, which children can touch with their mouths. Researchers recently have started focusing on the effects of third-hand smoke, including a 2013 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, an U.S. Department of Energy lab managed by the University of California system. The study found the lingering smoke damages DNA in human cells and is especially dangerous for children and difficult to eradicate from clothes and carpets.

If the bill passes the Senate and is signed into law by the governor, California would join 12 other states that already ban smoking in home day cares at all times — while 25 others only forbid smoking when children are inside, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database. The CDC says local law enforcement and health departments enforce California’s existing law, and state regulators say they enforce it based on complaints and during inspections.

Hall says day care providers can still smoke cigarettes outside their homes if children have left their care. The bill doesn’t specify penalties for smoking inside during off-hours at the state’s 36,000 facilities, but existing rules call for an infraction and a $100 penalty for lighting up in the presence of children attending day care.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Tobacco Facts

 

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British American Tobacco aims to create ‘vintage’ cigarettes market

Dunhill cigarettes

Britain’s biggest tobacco firm has turned to the wine industry for ideas on how to give its cigarettes some cachet.

British American Tobacco is bringing out premium packets of Dunhill cigarettes, containing details of the lineage of the leaf used, along with the year of harvest.

Its aim is to create a market in limited edition vintage cigarettes, similar to that found in fine wines.
The firm is trying to cash in on the move by consumers towards premium brands. Its packs of 20 will cost a hefty £18 – double the price of a standard pack

The packets could prove controversial among health campaigners, who may claim it is an attempt to glamorise a product that can kill.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Tobacco Facts

 

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Smoking Long or Ultralong Cigarettes Increases Risk of Lung Cancer

Smokers of Long or Ultralong Cigarettes Are at Greater Risk for Lung and Oral Cancer Than Smokers of Regular and King-Size Cigarettes, According to Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Center for Global Tobacco Control

“We found that smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes have higher concentrations of tobacco specific carcinogens in their urine than smokers of regular or king size cigarettes,” said Constantine Vardavas, MD, senior research scientist, Harvard School of Public Health.

Vardavas and colleagues compared urine tests among 3,699 smokers of regular, king-sized and long or ultralong cigarettes using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) from 2007-2010. Smokers of king-sized cigarettes accounted for 53% of total smokers, smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes constituted 31.5%, and smokers of regular-sized cigarettes made up the remaining 15.4% of the smoker population. They found that smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes had significantly higher levels of NNAL — an indicator of tobacco-specific carcinogen — in their urine. In addition, researchers found that older smokers, non-Hispanic blacks, and females had a greater tendency to smoke long or ultralong cigarettes.

“While the significant risks of smoking are well known and accepted, very little information exists on the health risks of different sizes of cigarettes,” said Darcy Marciniuk, MD, FCCP and President of the ACCP. “This study indicates that there is an added risk to those smoking long and ultralong cigarettes.”

CHEST 2013 is the 79th annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 26-31 in Chicago, Illinois. The ACCP is the global leader in clinical chest medicine, representing 18,700 members who provide patient care in the areas of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine in the United States and throughout the world. The mission of the ACCP is to promote the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. For information about the ACCP, visit the ACCP website or follow the ACCP on Facebook and Twitter and the meeting hashtag, #CHEST2013.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Tobacco News

 

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Smoking With Asthma During Pregnancy

New research from the University of Adelaide has shown for the first time that pregnant women who smoke as well as having asthma are greatly increasing the risk of complications for themselves and their unborn children.

In the first study of its kind in the world, researchers from the University’s Robinson Institute compared data from more than 170,000 Australian women over 10 years.

The results have been published online ahead of print in the European Respiratory Journal.

Lead author Dr Nicolette Hodyl says: “We know that being pregnant and having asthma poses risks to both the mother and the baby. We know that smoking poses risks to both the mother and the baby. But now we also know that the combination of these conditions represents a very dangerous situation.

“Asthma and smoking are separately linked during pregnancy to increased risk of bleeding from the birth canal before labor, urinary tract infections, premature rupture of membranes, low birth weight and preterm birth (less than 37 weeks of pregnancy).

“The combination of asthma and smoking greatly increases the risk of these complications during pregnancy.”

Dr Hodyl says 5.8% of pregnant women who were not asthmatic and non-smokers experienced a preterm birth. “For asthmatic women, the preterm birth rate increased to 6.5%. Among smoking women, 9.4% experienced preterm birth. And for asthmatic women who also smoked, the rate of preterm birth jumped to 12.7%, which is more than double the normal rate.

“This is an alarming statistic. We hope that pregnant women begin to understand the seriousness of this situation to their health and the health of their child,” she says.

Dr Hodyl says the research also uncovered another worrying statistic: about a quarter of pregnant women with asthma are smokers.

“While the rates of smoking have been decreasing in recent years, it is very concerning to us that many pregnant women with asthma are also smoking,” she says.

Quitting smoking during pregnancy is very difficult, and therefore pregnant women need as much support as possible from family, friends and health professionals. Our results show that even a reduction in the number of cigarettes women smoke per day can lead to some improvement to the risks to their child. However, the potential for poor health outcomes for both the mother and child should not be underestimated.”

This research has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2013 in Tobacco Articles

 

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Ratings Rationale in Tobacco Industry

Standard and Poor’s rates the securities maturing in 2016 through 2023 A, or five steps below top grade; those due in 2024 through 2033 A-, one level lower; and the 2035 maturity BBB+. The ratings reflect the likelihood of timely payments, tobacco company credit quality, the deal’s structure and the presence of about $57.3 million in a liquidity reserve account, S&P said.

The 1998 accord that 46 states struck with Phillip Morris USA (PM), Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and Lorillard Inc. (LO) required the companies to pay more than $200 billion to resolve their liability in litigation over health costs related to smoking cheap cigarettes. About $101 billion of municipal debt is backed by the payments, which are based on cigarette shipments.

Tobacco munis produced a 0.48 percent year-to-date total return through June 20, compared with a 2.13 percent loss for the broad muni market, according to Barclays Capital indexes.

A Louisiana tobacco bond maturing in May 2039 traded June 21 at an average yield of 5.88 percent, with the spread averaging 2.16 percentage points over benchmark munis of the same maturity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. On Jan. 2, the tobacco bond had an average yield of 3.73 percent, a risk premium of 1.03 percentage points.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Tobacco Facts

 

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