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Launch of report on outdoor tobacco smoking bans

| October 20, 2015

The UK’s Manifesto Club and Forest (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Tobacco) are due to launch tomorrow a new report, Smoked out: The hyper-regulation of smoking in outdoor public places.

Dolan Cummings, the author of the report, will speak at the event; as will the director of the Manifesto Club, Josie Appleton, and the director of Forest, Simon Clark.

The report’s launch and a panel discussion are to be held at the Institute of Economic Affairs, London, from 18.30 until 20.15.

Billboards with cigarette ads to be dismantled in Indonesia

| October 19, 2015

Billboards that advertise cigarettes and are displayed around schools in North Jakarta, Indonesia, will be dismantled in the near future, according to a story in the daily Tempo.

Mustafa Kemal, head of North Jakarta Education Sub-Department Regional I, stated that the existence of such billboards is unethical and could potentially influence students to smoke.

“If there are students caught smoking, either inside or outside of schools during school hours, they will be sanctioned,” he said.

Such sanctions would include summoning a child’s parents and revoking their Jakarta Smart Card.

Graphic warnings on cigarette packs due in the Philippines

| October 19, 2015

Health groups in the Philippines have reminded the government and the public that graphic images and warning texts should be printed on the labels of all tobacco products by Nov. 5, in compliance with the Graphic Health Warnings (GHW) Law, according to a story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Sections 6 and 15 of the GHW Law, or Republic Act (RA) No. 10643, give tobacco manufacturers no more than one year from the issuance of the initial set of templates to comply with the printing requirements, according to a statement issued jointly by HealthJustice, Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance and New Vois Association of the Philippines. Irene Reyes, managing director of HealthJustice, said the department of health published the templates in November 2014.

“The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, to which the Philippines is a party, mandates governments, within three years of entry into the agreement, to pass and implement a law requiring tobacco products to carry effective health warnings,” Reyes said.

Under RA 10643, which was signed into law by President Aquino last year, all tobacco products in the Philippines must display a photographic warning accompanied by text printed on 50 percent of principal display surfaces, such as the front and back of cigarette packs. The law also prohibits the use of “misleading” terms such as “light,” “mild,” “low tar” or other words that suggest a particular variant is less harmful.

The deadline for the Philippines to implement graphic warnings and text was September 2008, making the country seven years late in fulfilling its obligation.

Smoking among women set to rise in South Korea

| October 19, 2015

Although the smoking prevalence among South Korean woman is low compared to the smoking rates among women of other developed nations, there are fears that the Korean rate is going to increase, according to a story in The Korea Herald citing the results of a government study.

About 10 percent of South Korean women in their 20s are smokers, and women in this age group account for the largest portion of female smokers in South Korea; so the smoking prevalence among women of all ages is likely to rise if young females continue to smoke as they become older.

As of 2014, 4.3 percent of all Korean women aged 15 or older smoked, which was a lower rate than the average smoking prevalence for women in countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which stood at 15.7 percent. The rate in France was 20.2 percent, while that of Japan was 8.2 percent.

However, the smoking prevalence rate for Korean female teenagers, which stood at 5.7 percent, was higher than those for all age groups except those comprising women in their 20s and 30s.

Overseas studies have shown that women’s empowerment is associated with increasing women’s smoking prevalence rates, especially among young women.

The World Health Organization’s 2010 report found that in countries where women have higher empowerment, women’s smoking rates were higher than men’s, independent of the level of economic development and of the level of income inequality.

Italy to ban smoking in cars with pregnant women

| October 19, 2015

Italy’s cabinet last week approved the introduction of a ban on tobacco smoking in cars in the presence of children or pregnant women, according to an ANSA story.

Other measures to be introduced include a ban on smoking in the vicinity of paediatric hospitals and clinics, and of gynaecology, paediatric, obstetric and neonatal wards.

And the new measures include tougher penalties for people found selling tobacco products, electronic cigarettes or tobacco and nicotine next-generation products to minors.

The new provisions, which include those aimed at bringing Italy into line with the new EU Tobacco Products Directive, such as the application to tobacco products packaging of bigger graphic health warnings, are expected to become law by Christmas.

Ireland’s cigarette prices increased again

| October 19, 2015

The price of cigarettes in Ireland is being increased by 50c, bringing the cost of a 20-piece pack to €10.50, according to a story in The Journal.

Cigarette duties have been increased in each of the past four budgets.

The cigarette duty hike was the only tax increase in October’s budget.

The Irish Cancer Society welcomed the move, saying it would encourage people to stop smoking and would ultimately save lives.

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