Parents are rewarding their kids with cigs for doing their homework, a tobacco control research found. Levin-based smoking cessation trainer Sue Taylor declared that the “carrot and stick” tempt was a serious problem and had created a “schoolyard tobacco black market” where kids as young as 12 were selling cigs for up to $2 to other children. Their parents also used cigs as rewards to control smoking behavior and to “keep children out of the way”.
Mrs Taylor, chairwoman of the Maori Tobacco-Free Alliance, reported her findings were simply anecdotal, with many other stories coming from investigated members.
Levin’s Waiopehu College vice-principal, Guy Reichenbach, argued that parents rewarding kids for doing homework, or a schoolyard cigarettes black market, had “totally not” come to the school’s attention.
NZ First leader Winston Peters has analyzed the anti-smoking group and Maori leaders, saying usual Maori are being blocked with a massive tax on tobacco smoking that most of them don’t want.
Mr Peters, a smoker, was speaking at yesterday’s finance and consumption select committee hearing on the Customs and Excise Amendment Bill, which proposes four annual 10 percent tax increase on smoking products.
Approximately two thirds of inhabitants support the new legislation to moves to sell cigs in plain packages, explaining that tobacco industries will soon lose the fight to protect their brands’ originality. The state government will soon publish a consultation for to examine the new plan to remove all branding from all cigarette packages which are sold in England. The new decision has been accepted by state health groups too.
“Package designs are used for to advertise brand imagine, and also for to distract the attention of young people from cigarettes health warnings,” reported Professor John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Investigations. “Putting cigarettes into plain packages creates no problem for smokers who want to continue to purchase the smoking products, but it also protects kids and teenagers from becoming familiar with and perhaps identifying with specific brands.”
Branded cigarette packages are considered significant to the state profits of the tobacco companies, which are mounting a destructive lobbying campaign to maintain their rights to distinguish their smoking products.
But an independent investigation of 10,000 adults, leaded for Action on Smoking and State Health, found that 62% of people support plain packs while only 11% of them oppose it. The study also found that only 6% of investigated people believe that the cigarette industry can be trusted to “tell the real truth”.
Ash also declared that almost eight out of 10 people support smoke-free regulation, with the majority of the public in favor of such a legislation on smoking cigarettes in public places and on tobacco advertisements.
A federal judge has struck down a provision of a local tobacco control ordinance that bans outdoor advertising of tobacco products within the city. In a 23-page decision released yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock ruled the ban is unconstitutional. He said the city has no legitimate interest in prohibiting “non-misleading advertising” to adults to prevent them from making decisions of which the city disapproves.
The judge added that the city failed to show the outdoor advertising regulations are not more extensive than necessary to advance its substantial interest in preventing underage tobacco use. He went on to say that the city also made no effort in crafting the ordinance to determine what types of advertisements are most harmful to minors. He said a ban on all signs of any size seems “ill suited” totargetthe problems of highly visible billboards, as opposed to smaller signs.
“The broad sweep of the ordinance suggests that the (city) did not consider how to tailor the restrictions so as not to unduly burden the plaintiffs’ free speech rights and the rights of adults to truthful information about tobacco products,” Judge Woodlock wrote.
“Neither the city’s goal to prevent tobacco-related health problems among adults, nor its correlative goal regarding minors, provides a basis for the ordinance,” he wrote.
The suit was brought against the city by the National Association of Tobacco Outlets Inc.; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.;Philip Morris USAInc.; and Lorillard Tobacco Co.
Tobacco companies hailed the court decision as a victory for free speech.
“Tobacco companies have a constitutional right to communicate with adult consumers through retail advertising and this court appropriately recognized that,” said Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and associate general counsel, speaking on behalf of Philip Morris.
Andrew Kerstein, president of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, was also pleased with the decision. He said while his organization shares the city’s goal of preventing minors from gaining access to and using tobacco products, he feels the outdoor advertising ban went too far.
City Solicitor David M. Moore said the city hasn’t decided whether it will appeal the decision. He said all options are being reviewed.
Meanwhile, District 2 Councilor Philip P. Palmieri, a leading advocate of the tougher tobacco control ordinance, said he was disappointed by the court decision. He said while he strongly believes in the First Amendment, the ordinance was aimed at reducing the number of “unnecessary deaths” in the city caused by tobacco products.
“I am disappointed that the judge did not take into consideration the most basic and fundamental consideration of young children being impacted by this rule,” he said.
Last April, Worcester became the ninth municipality inthe stateto ban the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products by local health-care providers, including chain pharmacies and other drugstores. The ban was one of four amendments to the city’s tobacco control ordinance.
The other amendments also banned the sale of tobacco products at local institutions of higher education and the citywide sale of so-called blunt wraps — a cigarette-like rolling paper that is usually made from tobacco leaves.
In addition, cigarettes and tobacco products can not be advertised in areas where they can be viewed from public streets, parks, schools and institutions of higher education. That effectively banned the outdoor advertisement of tobacco products throughout the city.
Advocates of the amendments called the council’s action “historic,” adding that they will serve as an important first step to reduce the smoking rate in Worcester.
In drafting the ordinance, city public health officials pointed out that an estimated 31,265 smokers live in Worcester. They said 23.7 percent of adults living in the city smoke — a level that is 47 percent higher than the statewide rate of 16.1 percent.
Also, cigarette smoking among residents ages 45 to 64 is at the 23.7 percent level, which is 42 percent higher than the statewide level of 16.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the death rate among Worcester residents from tobacco is about 250 people annually, or roughly five deaths per week, according to public health officials.
Soon after the City Council adopted the ordinance, tobacco companies filed suit against the city, challenging the validity of the advertising ban. The city agreed not to enforce that provision of the ordinance while the lawsuit was pending.
The council pursued the tougher regulations because of the health harms caused by tobacco and the relationship between tobacco advertising and increased tobacco use. But the tobacco companies objected to the ordinance’s advertising regulation, saying it will impede their ability to market their products within the city.
“The plaintiffs do not claim that the city of Worcester lacks a substantial government interest in preventing youth tobacco use,” the judge wrote. “However, they argue that the city’s substantial interest is limited to protecting minors.
“They contend the city has no legitimate interest in prohibiting non-misleading advertising to adults to prevent them from making decisions of which the city disapproves,” he added.
Judge Woodlock said the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002 considered a similar First Amendment challenge to a statute prohibiting the promotion of compound drugs.
But the Supreme Court dismissed the notion that government has an interest in preventing the dissemination of truthful commercial information in order to prevent the public from making bad decisions with that information.
“The (Supreme) Court thus rejected the principal interest advanced by the city of Worcester in support of its advertising restriction,” the judge wrote.
Judge Woodlock also made reference to a decision made by the Supreme Court last year that effectively prohibits the city from seeking to remove a popular product such as tobacco, from the marketplace by prohibiting truthful, non-misleading advertisements directed to adults.
Under that court decision, the judge said, “Worcester may not prohibit tobacco advertisements in order to prevent adults from making the choice to legally purchase tobacco products.”
In December, the legal challenge of the city’s ban on the sale of blunt wraps was dropped. Meanwhile, Honey Farms has filed a challenge to the provision of the tobacco control ordinance that bans the sale of tobacco products on property owned by educational institutions.
Public Health South is pleased to announce that none of the retailers who were tested in a tobacco Controlled Purchase Operation in Oamaru last week sold cigarettes to an underage volunteer. This constitutes the best result for Tobacco Controlled Purchase Operations (CPO) in Otago in recent years.
Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health, Dr Marion Poore, congratulates the retailers, noting that this is a significant improvement on CPOs undertaken last year, in which four Oamaru retailers sold to an underage volunteer.
“By refusing to sell tobacco products and discount Atis cigarette to people under 18 years, retailers are not only complying with their legal obligations under the Smoke-free Environments Act, but are also playing an important part in reducing youth smoking rates,” says Dr Poore.
“Very few people start smoking over the age of 18, so preventing sales to minors saves lives. If retailers stock tobacco products, it is their responsibility not to sell to underage people”.
Retailers are recommended to always ask anyone who looks younger than 25 years for identification when selling tobacco.
Retailers who are caught selling tobacco products to people under the age of 18 will face prosecution. In addition, changes introduced by the 2003 amendments to the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 can result in repeat offenders being ordered not to sell tobacco products for up to three months.
A cigarette manufacturer has placed an unconditional apology to the Tobacco Control Cell for printing attractive advertisements of its cigarette brands in print media and magazines with the commitment to avoid serious violation of the ‘The Prohibition of Smoking in Enclosed Places and Protection of Non Smokers’ in future.
Sources told Business Recorder here on Wednesday that on November 22, 2011 the Executive Director, Health Services Academy, and in-charge of Federal Tobacco Control Cell ultimately decided to take some enforcement actions against the violators.
The Executive Director issued a formal detailed show-cause notice to the company to explain, within seven days of the receipt of the notice, why they were advertising cigarettes in violation of anti-tobacco rules.
According to sources in Tobacco Control Cell, the company has now submitted its reply to the said show-cause notice to the Cabinet Division and the Health Services Academy.
The said tobacco company has accepted patent illegality and violation of government rules and guidelines, and has also tendered an unconditional apology and given a guarantee that such print media campaigns will not be repeated.
Sources said that the civil society has urged the government to implement the Ordinance ‘The Prohibition of Smoking in Enclosed Places and Protection of Non Smokers’, and asked to take legal action against the cigarette manufacturer for publishing promotional advertisements in the media.
Sources said that the recent promotional blitz launched by a company by placing attractive advertisements for its cigarette brands in some sections of the print media and magazines has been termed illegal by Tobacco Control Cell working under health services academy.
According to tobacco advertisement guidelines issued by the government, cigarettes ads in the press should not exceed one square inch with 20 percent of its dedicated to health warning, virtually prohibiting such print advertisements.
In spite of the fact that these advertisements ran for two weeks in complete disregard of the law, the relevant authorities had failed to take any action on their own.
It were civil society organisations that brought the relevant authorities out of their slumber and demanded action by the authorities, even threatening taking the matter to the higher courts, if the authorities failed to stop such illegal activities.
Now the civil society awaits the action taken by the Health Services Academy over this illegal promotional campaign and admitted illegality by the multinational tobacco company.
Sources close to the affairs said that the units try to use influence over the Health Services Academy for not taking any action against them.
Efforts are underway to create some form of situation where the matter will be hushed up and forgotten altogether.
This just shows that the relevant authorities do not feel the courage to take any action when a multinational is involved.
Dr Javed Khan, Head of Pulmonary Medicine, Aga Khan Medical College Karachi, and Chairman of National Alliance for Tobacco Control, when contacted, stated that the illegality must not be allowed to be settled by a mere apology, even if unconditional, but strict legal action under the law must be initiated against the management of tobacco companies for such illegal advertisement campaigns which attract the youth.
He also stated that the situation becomes grave as more than 1,200 young children pick up the habit of smoking in Pakistan every day; while the use of Sheesha and other smokeless tobacco products, like Gutka and Naswar, is also increasing among the youth.
The use of products made by tobacco and betel leaf is one of the prime factors for the incidence of oral cancer in the country, which is as high as 40 percent.
Dr Sania Nishtar, President of Heartfile, said that this also highlights the need to have a proper and functional Federal Tobacco Control Cell which properly monitors the activities of the tobacco industry and which can keep an effective check on any violations.
She said, “This is also an issue of governance of health related matters which need proper attention.
The Health Services Academy needs proper structure and staff to perform its functions efficaciously”.
Feeling concerned over the delay in legal action against the company, a civil society organisation–The Network for Consumer Protection–has already filed an application in Islamabad’s Margalla Police Station for registration of a case against the tobacco company on the charges of violating anti-tobacco law and indulging in an illegal practice.
When contacted, official of The Network said that authorities should take immediate action against the company for resorting to an illegal practice; otherwise, the civil society will be constrained to think that these multinational companies are more powerful and resourceful than the government authorities.
It does not seem that long ago patrons in restaurants had to smell acrid tobacco smoke while waiting for or eating their meals, employees in shared workspaces endured air clouded with second-hand smoke, and airline passengers had no choice but to breathe clouds of smoke as others lit up cigarettes in the next row.
This casual acceptance of smoking was typical when the American Cancer Society‘s Great American Smokeout went nationwide more than 25 years ago in November 1977. That quarter century has marked dramatic changes in the way society views tobacco promotion and tobacco use. Many public places and work areas are now smoke-free which protects non-smokers and supports smokers who want to quit.
The Great American Smokeout helped to spotlight the dangers of tobacco use and the challenges of quitting, but more importantly it has set the stage for the cultural revolution in tobacco control that has occurred.
Due to the efforts of the American Cancer Society, individuals, healthcare providers and other groups that have led anti-tobacco efforts, there have been significant landmarks in the areas of research, policy, and the environment.
The American Cancer Association estimates 46 million adults in the United States currently smoke, and approximately half will die prematurely from smoking. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women and more than 80 percent of lung cancers are thought to result from smoking. Smoking causes nearly one in five deaths from all causes.
After a string of setbacks, anti-smoking advocates scored a victory, albeit a small one, when a Las Pinas regional trial court denied a petition of the Philippine Tobacco Institute to stop the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration from enforcing any form of regulation or supervision on tobacco products.
“This is indeed victory for the country! It’s high time public welfare is prioritized over the profit of an industry that ultimately kills its consumers,” Metro Manila Development Authority General Manager Cora Jimenez told the Manila Standard Monday.
The MMDA’s smoke-free campaign in public places along Metro Manila’s major and secondary roads was stopped by a Mandaluyong City RTC after granting the petition of two security guards nabbed by MMDA enforcers for smoking in a public place last September.
“Imagine how detrimental it will be for Filipinos if the petition of the tobacco industry was granted. The industry wants a government committee where it sits as a member to regulate tobacco products–this is not only ironic, but worse, puts the whole nation’s health at risk.” UN Global Cancer Ambassador Emer Rojas said, who also founded a tobacco control advocacy group of cancer victims.
The case filed by PTI argued the authority and jurisdiction of FDA to regulate tobacco products.
The petition said that based on Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, the Inter-Agency Committee on Tobacco has exclusive authority to implement RA 9211, which includes regulation.
The FDA and DoH responded petitioned the court that cigarette falls under their authority because of its impact on health.
“Finally, a victory for health! We eagerly await the actions of DoH and FDA on some violations of the tobacco industry including sale of cigarettes whose packs are without picture warnings,” lawyer Ipat Luna of Health Justice Philippines said.