¿Por qué nosotros no? Acción Ciudadana por la Salud y el cambio de la Ley Española de Tabaco

Tasmania considers cigarette ban for anyone born after 2000

27/08/2012 The Telegraph

August 22, 2012

A week after Australia upheld its world-first laws plain packaging laws, Tasmania's upper house unanimously passed a motion to introduce the ban from 2018.

The measure was proposed by Ivan Dean, a Tasmanian independent MP, who said the ban would be easy to enforce because the state already has restrictions on sales of cigarettes to minors. It would be the world's first such age-based ban and is also reportedly being considered in Singapore and Finland.

Mr Dean, a former police officer and mayor, said the ban would prevent young people "from buying a product that they can't already buy" but would not affect adult smokers.

"This would mean that we would have a generation of people not exposed to tobacco products," he said.

"It would be easier for retailers to enforce because when they ask for ID, all they would need to see if the person was born after the year 2000 ... As the generation reaches 18 years, there will be fewer of them smoking and while some of those first turning 18 might smoke, as time goes on fewer and fewer ...

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... will."

The state government, which will now consider whether to back the proposal in the lower house, indicated support for the ban.

"Saying that those people who sell cigarettes legally cannot sell cigarettes to a certain age is appropriate," said Michelle O'Byrne, the state's health minister. "We do it now. What the smoke-free generation would say is that, potentially, anyone from the year 2000 would not be able to buy cigarettes ever, because every year, it would just get that little bit older."

The measures follows a decision by the High Court last week to uphold the country's new plain packaging laws after an appeal by some of the world's biggest tobacco companies, including Japan Tobacco International, Imperial Tobacco and British American Tobacco. From December 1, cigarettes in Australia will be sold in drab olive packs with brand logos replaced by large graphic health warnings.

The federal Attorney General, Nicola Roxon, said after the court win last week she does not plan to ban cigarettes, but noted that if tobacco were a new product it would probably not be allowed.

The island state of Tasmania has the country's highest rates of smoking, with one in four young people smoking compared with one in five nationally.

While the proposal was today backed by health advocates and antismoking campaigners, retailers warned it will turn the island into a "nanny state".

"There needs to be awareness and education programs rather than throwing the book at today's youth, said Russell Zimmerman, from the Australian Retailers Association. "It puts back virtually you into to a nanny state rather than allowing consumers to make their own, informed decisions." As the clamour has grown for an outright nationwide ban on cigarette sales, critics have argued that such a step could lead to bans on other products such as alcohol or fatty foods.

However, Professor Simon Chapman, an antismoking advocate from the University of Sydney, said a ban on cigarettes would not lead to a "slippery slope", mainly because tobacco was far more deadly than other products.

"If the slope is slippery, it's the most unslippery slippery dip I have ever seen in my life," he said.

"The risks of smoking are just so off the table ... We started banning tobacco advertising in 1976 and there has been no other commodity where there has been anything like a serious move to do what we have done with tobacco." The opposition in Tasmania, the site of some of Britain's harshest penal colonies, said the proposed ban was excessive.

"What's next, 50 lashes for people who break the rules?" said Jeremy Rockliff, a Liberal party spokesman.


Tobacco on Pace to Kill One Billion People This Century

22/08/2012 The Atlantic

In 1996, an article in the British Medical Bulletin predicted that "if not prevented, there will be an appalling future increase in tobacco-related disease, disability and death" in developing countries. The authors cited, among other reasons, "intensive and ruthless marketing by multinational tobacco companies" as the greatest impetus for tobacco's rise in the developing world. At the time, 3 million deaths worldwide were attributable to tobacco. The study's authors predicted that by 2025, 10 million deaths per year would be attributable to tobacco use. And not just that, but that 7 million of those deaths would be in third-world countries.

Despite moderate decreases in smoking in the United States, the pervasive influence of cigarette manufacturers continues in the developing world in such a way that we appear on-pace to meet that prediction. The recently released Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) is the largest of its kind, having surveyed 14 low and middle-income countries -- Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, ...

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... Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vietnam -- and compared this to data from the U.S. and the U.K. Overall, the data account for 3 billion people over the age of 15 and represent 852 million tobacco users.

Manufactured cigarettes are, by far, the most widely used form of tobacco consumption in the countries surveyed by the GATS. Accounting for 82 percent of tobacco consumption, they drastically overshadow regional smoking products like cigars, cigarillos, pipes, waterpipes, kreteks, bidis, and papirosy. They have failed to gain a majority only in India, where smokeless tobacco is favored. Their prevalence is easy to account for -- as the authors point out, "These products are technologically designed to mask harshness, provide particular taste sensations, and increase nicotine delivery."

Manufactured cigarettes are notoriously associated with increasing smoking among females. Even though tobacco use is disproportionally found in men (48.6% percent of men in the low and middle-income countries smoked, as opposed to just 11.6 percent of women), women are increasingly starting to smoke at younger ages. In the 25-34 age bracket, the mean age of initiation was similar for both sexes.

As smoking becomes more common for women in these countries, demographics may begin to reflect those seen in the U.K. and the U.S. Although the rates of male smoking in these two countries are low, the rates for women are among the highest.

As these trends continue, the burden of the worldwide deaths (along with the economic and healthcare costs) will fall increasingly on low and middle-income countries such as those surveyed. This represents an inversion from the current state, in which high-income nations shoulder most of the costs of tobacco-related disease.

Not only are people starting to smoke more -- particularly in Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey -- but quit rates are also low. They are less than 20 percent in China, India, Egypt, Russia, and Bangladesh. In commentary that accompanies the survey, it is pointed out that in many low-income countries, "for every 9,100 US dollars received in tobacco taxes, only one dollar was spent on tobacco control." Quit rates are noticeably higher in countries with programs in place for discouraging tobacco use and helping with quitting, such as the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, and Uruguay.

As the world looks to countries as models for tobacco use, Uruguay deserves note. It was included in GATS precisely because of its stringent anti-tobacco policies, including mandated graphic labels that take up 80 percent of cigarette packaging, sales tax increases, and bans on tobacco advertising and on indoor smoking in public places. Earlier this month, the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC) released a report indicating that the prevalence of tobacco use in Uruguay has decreased by 25 percent over three years.

Among other promising data, 70 percent of Uruguay's smokers expressed regret for every having taken up smoking, and in the five-year period covered by the survey, over two-thirds of smokers at least attempted to quit. Positive health changes are already being seen, and may in part be attributed to these policies. The ITC found a 22 percent reduction in the rate of hospital admissions for heart attacks and a 90 percent decrease in air contamination in enclosed public spaces in the year after they were enacted.

These numbers indicate that while the forecast is grim -- the GATS predicts that at this rate we stand to see one billion tobacco-related deaths during the twenty-first century -- change is possible.


Australian court OKs cigarette logo ban

15/08/2012 ByDavid W Freeman - CBS NEWS

(AP) CANBERRA, Australia - Australia's highest court upheld the world's toughest law on cigarette promotion on Wednesday despite protests from tobacco companies that argued the value of their trademarks will be destroyed under new rules that will strip all logos from cigarette packs.

The decision by the High Court means that starting in December, tobacco companies will no longer be able to display their distinctive colors, brand designs and logos on cigarette packs. The packs will instead come in a uniformly drab shade of olive and feature graphic health warnings and images of cancer-riddled mouths, blinded eyeballs and sickly children. The government hopes the new packs will make smoking as unglamorous as possible.

"This is a victory for all those families who have lost someone to a tobacco-related illness. For anyone who has ever lost someone, this is for you," Attorney General Nicola Roxon and Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said in a joint statement. "No longer when a smoker pulls out a packet of cigarettes will that packet be a mobile ...

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... billboard."

British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International are worried that the law will set a global precedent that could slash billions of dollars from the values of their brands. They challenged the new rules on the grounds that they violate intellectual property rights and devalue their trademarks.

The cigarette makers argued that the government would unfairly benefit from the law by using cigarette packs as a platform to promote its own message, without compensating the tobacco companies. Australia's constitution says the government can only acquire the property of others on "just terms."

The court, which ordered the tobacco companies to pay the government's legal fees, withheld its reasons for the judgment on Wednesday. They'll be released later this year.

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