The World Health Organization (WHO) is urging China to make its tobacco products warnings more graphic, according to a Xinhua News Agency story.
The WHO believes that China’s text warnings, including “Smoking is hazardous to your health,” no longer deter people from smoking.
A report by the WHO and the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project says that China can bring down smoking prevalence by including large-format graphic warnings on packaging.
Dr. Bernhard Schwartlander, the WHO’s representative in China, was quoted as saying that smokers had a better chance of noticing graphic health warnings.
Meanwhile, Liang Xiaofeng, vice director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that smoking-related diseases severely threatened public health, and that graphic warnings might be the most direct and effective way to curb smoking.
The WHO frequently tries to put pressure on China and is currently telling it also how it should tighten its tobacco advertising regulations still further.
The government of Macau believes there is currently no need to change its tobacco smoking restrictions in casinos into full bans, according to a story in the Macau Business Daily.
Casinos and gaming venues are allowed to set up smoking areas that take up no more than 50 percent of their public space, but they are under no obligation to set aside any area for smoking.
Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Cheong U said yesterday that the government would continue addressing the issue and make relevant improvements. However, he said, “We’re in no rush to amend the legislation.”
Legislators, on the other hand, for the most part are in favor of a full smoking ban in casinos.
Legislator Lei Cheng I had tabled a motion calling on the government to implement a full smoking ban in casinos on the grounds that secondhand smoke affected the health of casino workers.
Volunteers from Imperial Tobacco’s factory in the Philippines recently proved their mettle in competition against crews from other industries in a national firefighting skills competition.
A team of fire officers at the Philippine Bobbin Corp. were trained by the local fire chief before taking part in the event near Cavite.
Competing alongside 15 other teams from across the country, the Imperial team’s efforts earned it the prize for “best new team.”
The contest consisted of three practical assessments: a rescue test, a pressurized water hose test and a fire extinguishing exercise. There was also a firefighting theory test.
“I’m very proud of the team—they fought hard against experienced teams and finished in a good position overall,” said factory manager Carlos Saez-Diez Reberdito.
“I know that if we were ever to have a real fire, the PBC team are well prepared. They’re an example of our values and engagement in action.”
The Ethiopian tobacco monopoly is expected to be sold, either to the foreign investors who already own a share of the enterprise and who are currently negotiating a full acquisition, or, failing that, through some other form of sale, according to a story by Dawit Taye for The Reporter.
Currently, the state owns 78 percent of the National Tobacco Enterprise (NTE), having sold the rest of the shares in 1999 to Sheba Investment PLC.
As well as cigarette manufacture, the monopoly enterprise is involved in importing tobacco products, issuing permits for the importation of tobacco products and running tobacco farms, which would be part of the package offered for sale.
Some people are questioning the wisdom of selling the NTE. They believe it is a strategic enterprise since its products have a direct impact on the health of users.
Others question the wisdom of privatization on the grounds that the NTE currently makes an impressive profit.
The Toronto Board of Health has said it will tackle the issue of e-cigarettes “later this spring,” but for the moment it is not declaring a position, according to a story by Jenny Yuen for the Toronto Sun, quoting board chairman Joe Mihevc.
“There are certainly some benefits to it,” said Mihevc. “I think it would be fair to say the public health community is debating this.
“On the pro side, one can argue it’s a contribution helping the people who want to stop smoking. You get the nicotine but not the harmful carcinogens into your system.
“On the other hand, it’s the social normalization of it—the impact it has on youth and children. That’s the debate.”
E-cigarettes containing nicotine are basically banned in Canada.
If they contain nicotine or if a health claim is made about them, they fall within the scope of the Food and Drugs Act and require approval by Health Canada before they can be imported, advertised or sold in Canada.
“No such products have been approved,” said Health Canada spokesman Gary Scott Holub. “Without this scientific evidence, Health Canada continues to advise Canadians against the use of these products.”
The first Michael Russell Oration is due to be given on June 27, during the opening session of the First Global Forum on Nicotine, which is to be held in Poland.
The oration has been established by Knowledge-Action-Change as an annual event, to be delivered to honor the work and memory of professor Michael Russell, one of the pioneers in the study of smoking behavior, clinical interventions and public policy action, who died in 2009.
Knowledge-Action-Change describes itself as an organization committed to the development and promotion of evidence-based policies and interventions in the field of substance use and related areas of public health and public policy.
Each year the oration will be given by a leading researcher, practitioner or commentator in the field of nicotine use.
The inaugural oration will be delivered by professor Peter Hajek, the director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary College, University of London.
The forum is due to be held at the Marriott Hotel in Warsaw on June 27–28.
It will be staged by KAC and is set to examine the current state of the debate about the use of nicotine across the globe; critically examine the science relating to the safety and use of nicotine; allow politicians, scientists, manufacturers, distributors and consumers to exchange views; and facilitate the development of links to enable ongoing dialogue between different sectors.
KAC stages public health and addictions conferences and runs the Nicotine Science and Policy website www.nicotinepolicy.net.
The forum’s website is at http://gfn.net.co/; the program is at: http://gfn.net.co/programme; and registration is available at: http://register.kachange.eu/gfn2014/.