The Association of European Cancer Leagues has given Belgium a poor score for its anti-smoking policies, according to an Expatica.com story.
In fact, Belgium scored 47 percent, which put it in 13th place on a list of what was said to be “some 30 European countries”; so it was in the top half, but only just.
Luk Joossens, of the Belgian Association for the Battle Against Cancer, said that prices for tobacco products in Belgium were too low to serve as a deterrent.
“Prices are lower than in neighbouring countries,” he said. “This is especially the case for rolling tobacco, where price levels here are much below those applied in France.”
“In the past five years, no new initiatives were launched to stop people from smoking. I am thinking about publicity in places where tobacco is being sold. In many European countries, this is against the law, but not in Belgium.”
The swots of the European class were said to be Ireland and the U.K., though it wasn’t mentioned how highly they scored.
The Philippines Senate wants to summon cigarette manufacturers and officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to explain why the country’s year-old “sin tax” law has failed to reduce smoking among Filipinos, which was the rationale behind the law.
According to a story in The Philippine Star, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the congressional oversight committee on comprehensive tax reform (COCCTR), said he wanted the BIR and BOC to provide accurate data on tobacco importation, cigarette production, tobacco taxes and cigarette excise.
Angara noted that there had been persistent reports of alleged smuggling of leaf tobacco and other cigarette-making materials.
He said he wanted to get information from the BIR and BOC officials about why smuggling continued to proliferate and whether there was truth in reports that some cigarette manufacturers were evading payment of cigarette taxes.
Angara said that he and his fellow lawmakers were unhappy with the presentations given by the BIR and BOC during the last hearing of the COCCTR.
“It’s really important for the BOC and BIR data to match, because if tobacco used for producing cigarettes are mixed with undeclared imported tobacco leaves, then [tax] collection will suffer,” Angara said.
Smokers and non-smokers alike have lodged complaints about a non-tobacco-smoking parks plan in Taiwan’s Taoyuan County, which aims to increase their number to 376 by next month, according to a story in the Taipei Times.
The county government defended the move as following Ministry of Health and Welfare policy.
In theory, the new plan could impact about 300,000 people—the number of smokers in the county’s population, according to Taoyuan County Department of Health data.
On hearing the news of the parks-ban expansion, [unnamed] smokers lodged complaints saying that the parks were open, public areas, and that because the smoke dissipated quickly, air quality was minimally impacted.
However, [unnamed] nonsmokers were quoted as saying the parks were the equivalent of a city’s lungs.
They said citizens exercised there and that clean air was important for children and pregnant women, who often used the parks’ recreational facilities.
The group of nonsmokers were said to have accused the county government of paying lip service to the policy.
They said that, in the years since it established designated nonsmoking parks, not a single fine had been issued.
The organizers of the TFWA (Tax Free World Association) Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference are opening up a second level of floor space at the Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore.
The event, which is due to be staged May 11–15, will, as last year, occupy underground level B2, but it will, in addition, take in the street-level Hall A.
The organizers say that the 18.5 percent increase in floor space will help accommodate “the nearly 250 exhibitors confirmed to date plus others in the pipeline.” “Wider aisles between the stands, more restaurant facilities and additional seating areas will further enhance the experience for both exhibitors and visitors,” they added.
Philip Morris International said yesterday that it would hold its 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders at 9 a.m. on May 7 in the Empire State Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt New York for the following purposes:
- To elect 10 directors;
- To ratify the selection of PricewaterhouseCoopers SA as independent auditors for the company for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2014;
- To vote on advisory resolution approving executive compensation;
- To vote on two shareholder proposals, if properly presented at the meeting; and
- To transact other business properly coming before the meeting.
Recent U.S. research that has been widely reported to have shown that e-cigarettes are ineffective for smoking cessation has been branded as “complete garbage” by a highly respected public health professor.
Researchers from the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UCSF (the University of California at San Francisco) published a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine that purported to show that e-cigarettes were ineffective for smoking cessation.
But a blog by Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, has debunked both the methodology used and the conclusions drawn.
Siegel’s blog is at http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/new-study-on-electronic-cigarettes-by.html.
Seigel was not the only person to attack the research. The American Council on Science and Health decried the fact that it was a “phony summary of a phony study” that got most of the attention.
The council’s verdict is at http://acsh.org/2014/03/jama-headlines-blare-gullible-press-swallows-hype-e-cigarettes/.