Posts Tagged ‘Secondhand Smoke’

(Russian) Европа против ароматных сигарет

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

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(Russian) Штраф за курение в общественных местах в России может составить 3 тысячи рублей

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

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(Russian) Сегодня – международный день отказа от курения

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

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(Russian) Правительство одобрило антитабачный законопроект

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

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The Global Adult Tobacco Survey

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

In countries like the United Kingdom and the United States, smoking is now accepted as a definite health hazard. Research has indicated clear links between smoking and a wide range of potentially lethal illnesses. Whereas at one time almost everyone smoked, this is no longer the case and in many people’s eyes smoking is now regarded as an anti-social activity.

This is not the case in the developing world. The largest survey to date on international tobacco use has revealed that in many developing countries nearly half of all men and one in ten of all women are regular users of tobacco.

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey looked at smoking trends among people aged from 15 years and above in 16 sample countries. 14 of these were low or middle-income countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam, while the United States and the United Kingdom were included as comparisons.

By the use of extensive sampling it was possible to estimate the smoking habits of 3 billion people and this indicated that there are 852 million tobacco users in these countries.

49% of men and 11% of women used tobacco, with cigarette smoking being the most popular; 41% of men and 5% of women. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 6 million people die from tobacco-related causes each year, which is surely a good enough reason to quit.

Countries with the highest numbers of quitters, not surprisingly include the UK and the US, but also Brazil and Uruguay. It is significant that tobacco controls are the strongest in these four countries.

Other countries such as China, India, Russia and Egypt have little or no control and in these countries quit rates are the lowest. So-called smokeless tobacco is very popular in some countries. This is generally chewed or taken as snuff. In India and Bangladesh, where smokeless tobacco use is very high, oral cancer rates are among the highest in the world.

Given that China has the world’s highest population, it is not surprising that it has the highest number of tobacco users. 53% of men and 2% of women use tobacco, totalling 301 million people. One of the problems in China is the complete lack of regulation. It seems that China National Tobacco, a government-owned company, is the sponsor of dozens of elementary schools, where students are subjected to pro-tobacco propaganda, suggesting in some cases that there is a link between smoking and academic success.

Russian smoking rates are even higher than those in China. 60% of Russian men and 22% of Russian women use tobacco, but it is Indonesia that tops the world where nearly 70% of men over the age of 15 are cigarette smokers.

Indonesia is the world’s fifth-largest producer of cigarettes and there is an enormous pro-tobacco lobby. Indonesia is among a small handful of countries that have not signed up to the WHO 2005 tobacco treaty. Cigarettes are very cheap and large hoardings advertising cigarettes and tobacco products are everywhere to be seen. In addition, tobacco companies routinely sponsor sporting events and concerts, a practice that has been banned in most other countries.

With its population of 240 million, 200,000 Indonesians are estimated to die each year from smoking related illnesses. Although laws were passed in 2009 calling for tighter controls, the country’s powerful tobacco lobby has effectively blocked all regulation attempts.

The influence of these pro-tobacco forces should not be under-estimated. As tobacco use in the industrial world continues to decline, the tobacco industry is continually seeking new markets. New factories have opened in the developing world and in countries like Indonesia the tobacco industry is a major employer.

Any restriction in smoking and the consequent cut in the number of cigarettes being purchased would cause a shrinking of the market, leading to a reduction in output that could have an extremely damaging effect on the country’s economy.

Countries in the developing world are also subjected to fierce marketing strategies and mass media advertising campaigns. Since men have always smoked more than women, women are particularly targeted. The campaigns take pains to make smoking seem glamorous and equate tobacco use with Western themes, such as freedom and gender equality.

What the campaigns obviously fail to point out is that smoking kills up to half of its users. As mentioned above, nearly six million people die each year from the results of smoking and 600,000 of these are non-smokers who have been exposed to second-hand smoke. Tobacco use accounts for one in ten of all deaths with approximately one person dying every six seconds.

If current trends continue, according to WHO, by 2030 the annual death toll will have reached eight million and by the end of the present century smoking will have killed a billion people.

Public Hearings Will Start in Russia on Anti-Tobacco Law

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The Ministry of health of the Russian Federation introduced for public hearings a draft law on the protection of the health of the population from the tobacco smoke and the consequences of tobacco consumption.

Russia Fights Tobacco

Monday, May 21st, 2012

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Japan fights tobacco

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

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New York’s outdoor smoking ban: Will the world follow?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

New York is introducing an outdoor smoking ban. But could the UK and other countries follow suit, asks Tom de Castella.

It is a city heralded for attracting incomers from around the world, but New York has just become less hospitable to one group -- smokers.

Under measures approved by local authorities, swathes of outdoor public places including beaches, municipal parks and even Times Square have become tobacco-free.

And with smoking legislations, as with so much else, where New York leads, the rest of the world can find itself following.

After the city banned smoking in restaurants, bars and clubs in 2003 -- itself following Los Angeles, which introduced similar curbs a decade earlier -- it helped drive a global trend.

France, India, Ireland and Italy were among the nations which introduced bans after New York. Scotland prohibited smoking in enclosed public spaces in 2006 and the rest of the UK followed the year after.

So it is not surprising that the latest development in New York is attracting global interest.

The city’s latest anti-smoking measures cover public golf courses and sports grounds as well as plazas like Herald Square.

Smoking will be allowed on pavements outside parks, and car parks in public parks. One area the ban does not cover is “median strips” -- known as the central reservation in the UK -- the sliver of land in the middle of a large road.

City authorities say they hope the new law will be enforced by New Yorkers themselves. But if someone refuses to stop, the public is advised to inform park wardens, and should someone refuse to stop smoking they could be fined.

The New York ban itself comes after Spain outlawed smoking near hospitals or in school playgrounds from January 2011. But whether other countries follow suit largely depends, of course, on whether the move proves effective.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office has cited studies suggesting that sitting three feet away from a smoker outdoors can expose people to the same passive smoking risk as would occur indoors.

Not all those who oppose smoking believe the ban is justified, however.

Michael Siegel, professor of community health sciences at Boston University, wrote in the New York Times that the ban was “pointless” from a public health perspective and could, in fact, increase the risk of passive smoking by creating “smoke-filled areas” near park entrances.

Whichever way the debate in New York is resolved, it will be watched closely abroad. Prof John Britton, chair of the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group, says the very existence of the ban could have an impact on countries like the UK.

He says the risks of second-hand smoke outdoors are “quite small unless you’re right next to the smoker”.

However, Prof Britton believes that seeing such a system in operation would convince those who might otherwise argue that such legislation would be unworkable.

“They did it when smoking on the London Underground was banned [in the 1980s],” he says. “Then they did it with the smoking ban in July 2007. But once it comes in, not only do people accept it, they say ‘Why didn’t we do it before?’”

Indeed, smoking bans are coming into effect in countries where observers would not have easily imagined citizens giving up their cigarettes.

China -- home to one-third of the world’s smokers -- outlawed smoking in bars, restaurants and buses from 1 May 2011 and Russia plans to implement similar legislation from 2015.

This July will be the fourth anniversary of the ban on smoking in public places having reached all parts of the UK.

In the year following its introduction, more than two billion fewer cigarettes were smoked and 400,000 people quit, according to researchers at University College London.

As a result, the UK smoking lobby is watching developments across the Atlantic with trepidation.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, which campaigns against smoking bans, believes the New York initiative is “ludicrous” and that there is no evidence that anyone is at risk as a result of someone else smoking in the open air.

Some political leaders in the British Isles have already begun looking at tightening the law further.

In March 2011, the public health department in Jersey said it was considering whether to ban smoking in all motor vehicles on the island.

Martin Dockrell, director of research and policy at the campaign group Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), acknowledges that there is no clear evidence of a significant harm to health from second-hand outdoor tobacco smoke.

But he says there are compelling reasons for banning smoking in some outdoor areas, such as children’s play parks, as a means of shifting long-term attitudes.

And he argues that if such a ban is put into place, it will not be due to the influence of New York -- but because the tide of UK public opinion has hardened against smoking.

“It already has happened in the UK,” he says. “Glasgow has smoke-free parks. In the north-west of England there are a number of parks that have gone smoke-free.

“We’ll see more of this incrementally as more and more communities become non-smoking.”

Smokers and non-smokers alike will make up their own minds in the months ahead.

What remains to be seen is not just whether the new ban can make it in New York, but whether it can make it anywhere.

Around the world

Australia -- Smoking banned in airports, workplaces, government offices, health clinics

India -- Ban on smoking in public places introduced in October 2008. Direct and indirect advertising of tobacco is also forbidden

Russia -- Plans to outlaw advertising and promotion of cigarettes in 2011 and smoking in enclosed spaces by 2015

Spain -- Already had tough anti-smoking restrictions, but in 2011 these were extended to open areas near hospitals, schools and children’s playgrounds

Syria -- In 2010, became the first Arab country state to ban smoking in public places including restaurants, cinemas, theatres and on public transport. The restrictions apply to the nargile, or hubble-bubble pipe

Cheaper permit plan to stop smoking

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Australia -- Restaurants displaying no-smoking signs in outdoor areas would get a discount on permit fees under a plan to be considered by Adelaide City Council.

The significant reduction on outdoor dining permit fees will also apply to cafes and pubs that display the signs.

Councillor Michael Henningsen tonight will move that the council investigate the concept to help reduce smoking in the city.

A 25 per cent discount, worth an average of $215 a year, would be offered to permit holders prepared to display no-smoking signs on their tables and actively enforce the condition.

Mr Henningsen said the system would be self-monitored and the council would have no legal power to enforce the rule. But it would be able to remove the discount if a permit holder was non-compliant.

There are 325 outdoor dining permits in the city, issued at an average of $860. If half took up the offer, the council would lose about $35,000 in annual income.

Mr Henningsen said the council would canvas businesses before proceeding with the plan. Of the six businesses The Advertiser approached yesterday, none were prepared to implement the no-smoking signs.

Ziad Basheer, the owner of Cafe Piatto in Rundle St, said councils should implement smoking bans across the board, rather than leaving it up to individual businesses.

“The 25 per cent discount is a good incentive, but as long as there is a choice most places will maintain a smoking area,” he said.

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said the plan could be part of a “major overhaul of outdoor dining in the city”. “I’d welcome discussion to look at everything we can possibly do to turn the city into an outdoor dining mecca,” he said. “We need to reduce fees and make it easier for businesses to go through the permit process.”

Separately, the Cancer Council has called a new ad campaign opposing tobacco plain packaging laws misleading.

The Alliance of Australian Retailers -- backed by tobacco giants British American Tobacco and Philip Morris -- has placed an ad in today’s Advertiser asserting plain packaging will make it easier for criminals to sell cheap counterfeit cigarettes to children as young as 14.

Cancer Council chief Professor Ian Oliver said the suggestion was “absurd”.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon suspected the ad was “just the beginning of a large and co-ordinated campaign by big tobacco”.

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