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New Warning on Chewing Tobacco

Monday, September 19th, 2011

cheapest glamour cigarettesHealth officials and police have issued a new warning on the use of illegal chewing tobacco after their biggest find in three years.

The municipality has seized 62 kilograms of naswar in recent weeks. In the most recent raid, police and municipality officials confiscated 40kg of boxed naswar from a Sharjah-registered car at 7.30am on Thursday. The car owner was fined Dh10,000.

“It was ready to supply the markets,” Adel Al Suwaidi, the manager of the municipality’s Public Health and Environment Department, said yesterday.

“The problem is they sell it to children. I have received so many complaints from families. The mothers they say their children look drunk, they look high.”

Another 10kg was found in a shoe shop, hidden under a wooden staircase, RAK Police said. The shop owner was fined Dh5,000 and closed for a week.

A total of 8kg was seized from two shoe repair stores, the owners of which were each fined Dh1,000; further, the stores were closed for three days. And 4kg was found at a grocery store, leading to a Dh3,000 fine.

RAK Police said the latest raid came after a tip-off from an Emirati addict, 16, who divulged the secrets of the naswar trade to the police after advice from his mother.

The boy agreed on the condition that police protect him from his father’s temper.

The open use of naswar and betel leaf has declined in the past 10 years after a crackdown by the municipality.

Use in RAK was largely eradicated three years ago after the municipality closed a processing centre.

While the red and green spittle from naswar and betel leaf use no longer colour RAK’s pavements, their trade is still common.

The municipality believes most of the tobacco or even Glamour cigarettes smokers now comes to the emirate in a processed form. It has pledged to work with other emirates to stop the naswar trade entirely after Thursday’s raid.

“It disappeared for a while but this problem will never be finished,” said Mr Al Suwaidi. “It is like cigarettes. The problem has declined but this time we were really shocked to find this quantity inside the car.”

As municipality officials discussed how to ban the tobacco, a Pakistani driver was chewing the sticky tobacco outside their offices.

“From the day I was small I took this,” said the addict, a driver in his 50s from north Pakistan. “It’s not good but what can I do? It only costs me a riyal [dirham] and a half for one day.”

He said he travelled to RAK from Rams village to buy naswar in the Nakheel district, the only area in the emirate where it is now sold.

Although traditionally the preserve of Asian men, the tobacco has received a boost among Arab teenagers who have found it easier to buy than traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes, shisha and dokha after an anti-smoking campaign by the RAK Municipality and the Ministry of Health.

Most are unaware of naswar’s dangers.

“It’s the same as a cigarette but healthier,” said a Pakistani lorry driver, 45, who chews twice a day. “I don’t smoke or drink, I only have naswar. Cigarettes are a problem for the lungs but this is natural. It has no chemicals.”

Mohammed, 30, an Egyptian, shook his head at a nearby table.

“Now Emirati children are using it like they use midwakh [tobacco pipes],” said Mohammed, who did not want to give his last name. “It gives cancer.”

Parvaiz Iqbal, a cashier, aged 35, disagreed. “Not if you clean your teeth,” he said. “Then it’s OK, it’s healthy.”

The RAK smoking cessation centre has dealt with a handful of betel and naswar addiction cases, despite the fact that their use is far more common than cigarettes in some areas and equally dangerous.

“Maybe they don’t consider themselves smokers so they are less likely to seek help, but we know that its use is increasing,” said Dr Mohd Amin, the director of primary health care in RAK. “We have to make people aware that this is tobacco and it has all the problems of tobacco and people need to give it up as they need to give up smoking.”

Dangers of Chewing Tobacco Detected

Friday, May 20th, 2011

cheap monte carlo cigarettes onlinePoor labelling on chewing on chewing tobacco products is putting people’s health at risk, the BBC reports. A report from the Race Equality Foundation and the Action on Smoking Monte Carlo and Health (ASH) foundation reveals that more than 80% of chewable tobacco products are sold with inadequate labelling or health warnings.

Many do not even state whether they contain tobacco. Chewable tobacco is particularly popular amongst ethnic minorities from South Asian countries such as Bangladesh. A large number of immigrants from these countries are hooked on chewing tobacco, in the form of paan, the BBC reports, but many underestimate the health risks they pose. Chewing tobacco has been linked with gum cancer, mouth disease and heart disease, and is highly addictive.

The NHS website gives the following advice regarding paan: “Many families enjoy chewing tobacco in paan at home. You don’t need to spoil this tradition by stopping the ritual altogether – try chewing paan without the tobacco in it. This is much safer and you won’t be putting yourself or your family at risk.”

Chewing tobacco carries many of the same health risks as smoking. Quitting smoking is not easy, but with the right help, it is never too late to give up the habit. Speak to a trained medical professional for more advice about smoking cessation options. The benefits of quitting are huge; you will reduce your chances of developing serious illnesses, boost your finances, improve your fertility and enhance your general fitness.

Vermont – Anti-smoking group proposes tax increase, public survey agrees.

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Vermont’s anti-tobacco forces are pressing lawmakers to boost the state’s per-pack tax — now $2.24 — in hopes of offsetting planned budget cuts to anti-tobacco efforts, raising more money for the state and discouraging people from lighting up. A new survey shows strong public support for an 81-cent increase in Vermont’s tax on a pack of cigarettes — a finding the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Vermont is using to support its drive for the tax change, reported the Burlington Free Press.

The poll showed even stronger support — 88 percent — for raising taxes on other tobacco products such as cigars and chewing tobacco, according to the report.

Representatives of the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont joined Tuesday, February 1st with officials of the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and the Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council to propose the increase, which they say would raise $10.2 million in new revenue for state government, drive some smokers to quit and save millions in health-care costs. A coalition of 45 health and consumer groups is backing the cigarette tax increase. They say the tax hike is needed to restore several million dollars to smoking prevention programs and to discourage young people from buying cigarettes. Under the plan, Vermont’s cigarette tax would rise to $3.24 a pack.

Gov. Peter Shumlin has proposed a $2.1 million cut in the state’s tobacco control efforts. The anti-tobacco lobby says nearly five times that amount could be raised — and some tobacco-control programs spared — by slapping $1 more onto Vermont’s per-pack tax. (Increase Vermont’s cigarette tax from $2.24 to $3.24.)

The increase would prompt 2,000 smokers to quit and prevent 3,600 children from taking it up, according to the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont. It would raise money for the state, which is facing a budget shortfall of about $176 million for the fiscal year starting July 1, and reduce Medicaid expenditures, said coalition coordinator Tina Zuk of Colchester.

State Rep. George Till, D-Chittenden, a physician who’s among the bill’s sponsors, says using tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in Vermont.

Cigarettes sell for about $6.50 a pack in Vermont, and about 17 percent of adults smoke.

Governor Shumlin opposes the tax increase. He says Vermont is getting more money than it expected from the tax this year because neighboring states have increased their tax rates. Vermont state government has reaped about $4.9 million more in cigarette-tax revenues in this fiscal year than it forecast, mainly because of price-conscious smokers from neighboring New York who head east to buy for less, Agency of Human Services Secretary Doug Racine said. In New York, the state tax on a pack is more than $4.

Shumlin says the state’s smoking prevention programs can still be effective with the cuts that he’s proposed.

The Vermont Grocers’ Association opposes the increase, which it contends will drive smokers to buy somewhere else, not quit. “No one wants to see increased smoking,” said Jim Harrison, president. “We want to see decreases. However, just changing the tax rate — it has other unintended consequences. We’ve seen it time and time again, especially when small geographic states like Vermont increase the rate. It shifts sales to neighboring states, the Internet, Indian reservations.

Vermont is dealing with a $176 million deficit. The measure will now be reviewed by several different committees in the House.

Vermont’s anti-tobacco forces are pressing lawmakers to boost the state’s per-pack tax — now $2.24 — in hopes of offsetting planned budget cuts to anti-tobacco efforts, raising more money for the state and discouraging people from lighting up.

A new survey shows strong public support for an 81-cent increase in Vermont’s tax on a pack of cigarettes — a finding the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Vermont is using to support its drive for the tax change, reported the Burlington Free Press. The poll showed even stronger support — 88 percent — for raising taxes on other tobacco products such as cigars and chewing tobacco, according to the report.

Representatives of the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont joined Tuesday, February 1st with officials of the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and the Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council to propose the increase, which they say would raise $10.2 million in new revenue for state government, drive some smokers to quit and save millions in health-care costs. A coalition of 45 health and consumer groups is backing the cigarette tax increase. They say the tax hike is needed to restore several million dollars to smoking prevention programs and to discourage young people from buying cigarettes. Under the plan, Vermont’s cigarette tax would rise to $3.24 a pack.

Gov. Peter Shumlin has proposed a $2.1 million cut in the state’s tobacco control efforts. The anti-tobacco lobby says nearly five times that amount could be raised — and some tobacco-control programs spared — by slapping $1 more onto Vermont’s per-pack tax. (Increase Vermont’s cigarette tax from $2.24 to $3.24.)

The increase would prompt 2,000 smokers to quit and prevent 3,600 children from taking it up, according to the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont. It would raise money for the state, which is facing a budget shortfall of about $176 million for the fiscal year starting July 1, and reduce Medicaid expenditures, said coalition coordinator Tina Zuk of Colchester.

State Rep. George Till, D-Chittenden, a physician who’s among the bill’s sponsors, says using tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in Vermont.

Cigarettes sell for about $6.50 a pack in Vermont, and about 17 percent of adults smoke.

Governor Shumlin opposes the tax increase. He says Vermont is getting more money than it expected from the tax this year because neighboring states have increased their tax rates. Vermont state government has reaped about $4.9 million more in cigarette-tax revenues in this fiscal year than it forecast, mainly because of price-conscious smokers from neighboring New York who head east to buy for less, Agency of Human Services Secretary Doug Racine said. In New York, the state tax on a pack is more than $4.

Shumlin says the state’s smoking prevention programs can still be effective with the cuts that he’s proposed.

The Vermont Grocers’ Association opposes the increase, which it contends will drive smokers to buy somewhere else, not quit. “No one wants to see increased smoking,” said Jim Harrison, president. “We want to see decreases. However, just changing the tax rate — it has other unintended consequences. We’ve seen it time and time again, especially when small geographic states like Vermont increase the rate. It shifts sales to neighboring states, the Internet, Indian reservations.

Vermont is dealing with a $176 million deficit. The measure will now be reviewed by several different committees in the House.

The Flavoured Tobacco Controversy

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

taste cigarettes tobaccoThe tobacco industry has been accused by many of using flavored tobacco cigarettes to deceive young smokers. However many other countries indirectly support flavored tobacco cigarettes. Admittedly the worldwide campaign against cigarette smoking has caused significant damage to the once strong big tobacco market.

However the tobacco industry has not rested from inventing new ways of reaching its targeted market. As the world focuses on stopping the growth of smoking tobacco, big tobacco appears to be working hard to shift and grow its market in the area of chewing tobacco.

Most young people are quitting smoking cigarettes and starting on chewing tobacco under the delusion that chewing tobacco is healthier and less harmful than smoking tobacco. On the contrary chew tobacco is as harmful as any tobacco use as shown through oral cancers such as mouth, tongue, gum and throat cancers that devastate lives.

As a way of giving a go one more time on the younger market, tobacco companies have been in controversy of introduced flavored cigarettes as a way of attracting young smokers to cigarettes. This apparently is a big problem especially in developing countries such as Kenya and Tanzania. Ironically these governments have been extremely vocal in opposing the introduction of regulations against flavored cigarettes.

Worried about the fate of over 40 000 farmers of tobacco in Kenya alone, these countries has instead lobbied for the introduction of regulations that are tolerant of the future of the tobacco industry. This effectively means these countries have absolutely no intention to introduce smoking laws and regulations that particularly target use of flavored cigarettes to target the youth.

In the United States for instance, the use of flavored cigarettes has been out-rightly rejected making it difficult for tobacco companies to use this tactic to get young people nicotine dependent. It would appear developing countries do appreciate the purpose of regulations opposing flavored cigarettes yet are terrified by the economic impact of the regulations running full throttle.

It would appear the new wave of campaign against tobacco use should target developing countries. These types of campaigns will only be successful if they can convince or at least offer an alternative to tobacco farming to developing countries such as Kenya and China with 350 million smokers. As the screws tighten in developed countries concerning tobacco regulations, big tobacco is shifting market focus and tobacco growing contracts to developing countries.

Not only will tobacco companies develop new strategies such as flavored cigarettes to counter the effects of a dwindling market due to anti-smoking campaigns, they will also continue attempting to participate in policy making process at the country level. The United Nations through the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) has made it clear that governments should be watchful of a desire by big tobacco to influence tobacco policy.