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Nobody happy with parks smoking ban

| March 28, 2014

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.

TFWA expanding upward in Singapore

| March 28, 2014

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.

PMI schedules annual meeting for May 7

| March 28, 2014

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.

Damning verdicts on e-cigarette research

| March 27, 2014

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/.

Canadian doctors call for authorization of sales of e-cigarettes with nicotine

| March 27, 2014

A group of doctors, professors and health advocates are calling on the Canadian federal government to authorize the sale in Canada of e-cigarettes containing nicotine.

Writing in The Gazette on behalf of the group, Gaston Ostiguy said e-cigarettes offered a safer and more acceptable alternative to regular cigarettes for smokers to appease their addiction.

No doubt, tremendous strides had been made over the years to impose a strict regulatory framework on regular cigarettes, he said, and more could be done. But it was wishful thinking that one day nicotine use would be eradicated. The vast majority of smokers wanted to quit, but studies showed that only 10 percent of them were still abstinent after trying to quit during the previous year.

“In such a context, we believe that the time has come for tobacco control to move beyond the usual approaches of education, total nicotine cessation and prevention,” Ostiguy said. “In a landmark report published in 2007, the Royal College of Physicians makes a compelling case why harm reduction should no longer be ignored by health authorities to lower the death and disease caused by tobacco use.”

Ostiguy’s piece is at http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/time+authorize+sale+electronic+cigarettes/9655937/story.html.

Challenge to public-place e-cigarette ban

| March 27, 2014

New York City’s ban on e-cigarettes is being challenged by a smokers’ rights group that filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to overturn the legislation, according to a story by Mara Gay for The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition.

E-cigarettes were added to the city’s 2002 Smoke-Free Air Act, which originally had banned tobacco smoking in public places.

An attorney for the plaintiffs said there was no tobacco-industry or e-cigarette-industry involvement in the lawsuit.

The story is at http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304179704579461514072087696?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304179704579461514072087696.html.

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