Tobacco Asia

Volume 18, Number 3

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12 tobaccoasia FRONT PAGES 卷首新闻 Sri Lanka Ceylon shuns warning labels Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC), Sri Lanka's largest manufacturer of tobacco products, announced that it had filed a Special Leave to Appeal in the Supreme Court over a lower court ruling that required the company to stick graphic health warnings onto its cigarette packs. The earlier decision by a lower court dismissed a writ application filed by CTC, the local subsidiary of British American Tobacco, against the man- dated graphic warnings that were to cover 80% of the surface of cigarette packs, although it did advise to reduce the space for the warnings. In a statement to the Colombo Stock Exchange, CTC stated: "As a respon- sible corporate citizen, CTC is always compliant with all existing laws and regulations in the country. However, the judgment does not provide clear or adequate directions on the remaining requirement under the said regulation." In its judgment the Appeal Court dealt with the regulation that required graphic health warnings by mandating the Ministry of Health to amend it by allocating a surface area between 50% and 60% for the health warnings. UK Cigs ban for new millennials Doctors in the UK have recommended a ban on all sales of cigarettes to any person born after the year 2000. The British Medical Association (BMA), which has a strong track record of successfully lobbying the government to institute bans on smoking in various places, will now try to advance its agenda of passing this ban into law. Should it ever succeed, the measure would result in a paradoxical future where some adults would have a legal right to buy cigarettes, but other adults would not. Colin Wragg, head of UK corporate affairs at Imperial Tobacco, told Retail Express: "Successful age verification The study, which appeared in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, looked at 537 smoking- related articles published in national and regional newspapers in New Zealand for the period between November 1, 2011 and October 31, 2012. Even in the cases where the tobacco industry was allowed to convey its own stance, it was always challenged by various "public health experts". Over 50% of all articles about the tobacco industry still promoted opinions sympathetic to the country's anti-tobac- co lobby. The industry, depicted as "big tobacco" and "tobacco bullies", was unequivocally told that it should voluntarily withdraw their products from the market if they "really had a concern for others." Worldwide Scientists defend e-cigarettes Margaret Chan, the director of the World Health Organization (WHO) received an open letter written by a group of 53 highly-respected scientists from from Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia, advising the health watchdog to resist the urge to suppress electronic cigarettes by classifying them as tobacco products. In their letter, the scientists asked WHO to recognize the significant drop in death and disease rate accomplished when smokers switch to less dangerous alternatives and stressed that products like e-cigarettes could play a significant role in achieving the UN's objective of reducing the number of cases of non-communicable diseases. "Even though most of us would prefer people to quit smoking and using nicotine altogether, experience suggests that many smokers cannot or choose not to give up nicotine and will continue to smoke if there is no safer alternative available that is acceptable to them," the letter said. They also called e-cigarettes "part of the solution" and insisted that severe schemes, such as 'No ID, No Sale!' and 'Citizencard' have contributed to a decrease in youth smoking to the lowest ever figure of 4% in 2011. Before considering new legislation, government must give greater consideration to the effective enforcement of existing laws and proof-of-age schemes as a means of reducing under age sales. We believe that this can and should be achieved through education and information, not by legislation or an infringement of personal liberties." In its official response to the proposal, the Tobacco Manufacturer's Association said: "The BMA should reject this nonsensical measure and instead focus on measures likely to reduce young people's access to tobacco like a ban on proxy purchasing, education programs, and eradicating the illegal tobacco widely available in our communities." New Zealand Study finds media bias Researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand analyzed the coverage of tobacco-control issues in various newspapers for the past 12 months and have found that media outlets use a positive tone when covering actions to reduce smoking. Where negative opinion was presented, it tended to be in editorials, opinion pieces, and letters to the editor rather than news items, suggesting that these are the main outlets in which people can express pro-smoking views. The study, entitled "Newspaper Coverage of Tobacco Control in NZ" and authored by Professor McGee, medical student Sophie Bang, and Dr. Marsh from the Cancer Society Social and Behavioral Research Unit in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, found that newspaper articles were three times more likely to place emphasis on actions increasing tobacco control measures rather than reducing them, and to report these actions in a positive, rather than negative light.

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