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Shock and gore propaganda in the UK

| December 31, 2013

The UK’s Department of Health (DoH) is reigniting its turn-of-the-year anti-smoking campaign with a £3 million push designed to provoke ‘disgust’ among television viewers, according to a story by Lara O’Reilly in Marketing Week.

This year’s ‘smokefree’ initiative from the DoH’s executive body, Public Health England, includes the ‘new news’ that smoking can be linked to damage to the brain.

It is said to follow up on research published in the New England Journal of Medicine that apparently found smokers were twice as likely to die from a stroke than were non-smokers.

The campaign, which launched yesterday, shows how smoking ‘dirties the blood’, which then travels around the body affecting the organs. The new push follows last year’s ‘distressing’ campaign that cost £2.5 million and drew 165 complaints from viewers, though it was later cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Counterfeit vaporizers raise safety issues

| December 31, 2013

US-based Ploom has warned that counterfeit versions of its Pax vaporizers can raise safety issues, according to a story.

Ploom’s vaporizers are smoking alternative devices that heat tobacco contained in pods to a constant temperature, vaporizing nicotine and flavors without burning the materials or producing smoke.

But Ploom says that certain counterfeit Pax products contain plastic materials that are not stable at operating temperatures.

It has advised consumers who have bought counterfeit Pax products to stop using them immediately.

Ploom says it has located manufacturers of counterfeit Pax products and initiated legal actions in China to stop the manufacture and sale of these products.

Move to put electronic cigarettes beyond reach of tobacco smoking prohibitions

| December 30, 2013

A senator in the US state of Wisconsin is sponsoring legislation that would make it clear that electronic cigarettes are not included in the state’s tobacco smoking ban, according to a WSAU report.

Glenn Grothman said the purpose of electronic cigarettes was to get people to stop using traditional cigarettes, which was something the state should be encouraging smokers to do.

While he had not heard more than a handful of complaints about businesses banning the use of electronic cigarettes, Grothman said he wanted to address the issue to keep it from becoming an ongoing problem as electronic cigarettes grew in popularity.

Grothman hopes to have a hearing held on the bill when the legislature returns in January.

Meanwhile, Melissa Horn of Health First Wisconsin believes changing the smoking ban so as to exempt electronic cigarettes is unnecessary because the current law includes no mention of the devices.

She said current interpretations of the law showed the devices were perfectly legal to use in public, though a business could move to ban them unilaterally.

Smoking stops created along bus route

| December 30, 2013

Taipei’s Department of Health has designated 27 bus stops along the Xinyi Road, one of the city’s busiest, as areas where tobacco smoking is due to be banned from next month, according to a story in the Taipei Times.

The bans are said by the TaipeiCity government to be in accordance with the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act.

They will be backed up with fines of between NT$2,000 and NT$10,000 for those who are found to have ignored them.
Department commissioner Lin Chi-hung was quoted as saying that while the law prohibited tobacco smoking in most indoor public places, outdoor places such as sidewalks and bus stops had not been listed as non-tobacco-smoking areas.

However, later in the story it was said that tobacco smoking was banned in 33 outdoor areas of Taipei and on 20 sidewalks.
The department was said to have included bus stops in the list of non-tobacco-smoking areas because it had received a growing number of complaints from passengers waiting for buses.

“We have joined with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation to promote the non-smoking movement at bus stops because we want to create a smoke-free environment in Taipei,” Lin said.

UAE readies for far-reaching tobacco law

| December 30, 2013

As the United   Arab Emirates prepares to implement its Anti-Tobacco Law on January 21, one health official has said that she has been in talks with the National Media Council (NMC) to prevent indirect promotion of tobacco through newspaper articles, according to a story in the Khaleej Times.

Dr. Wedad Al Maidoor, head of the National Tobacco Control Committee at the Health Ministry, said she was in talks with the NMC to prevent indirect promotion of tobacco through newspaper articles. “According to the law and bylaws, direct or indirect promotion of tobacco is prohibited…,” she said.

The law bans the growing or manufacture of tobacco for commercial purposes, and it sets out technical standards, including those to do with large front-of-the-pack health warnings, that have to be met by imported tobacco products.

It bans tobacco-product advertising and it prohibits tobacco products from being displayed near sportswear, health products, food, electronic products and any items aimed at young people. And it bans the sale of tobacco products within 100 meters of places of worship, and within 150 meters of kindergartens, schools, universities and colleges.

Shisha cafés will have to be at least 150 meters away from residential areas and their opening times will be restricted. Shisha cafés will not be allowed to serve customers younger than 18 years, and they will be forbidden from delivering shishas to apartments.

Wedad said that the Sharjah Municipality had already started implementing the law and had recently banned the sale of cigarettes in grocery stores. “Sharjah is the only city in the world that does not have shisha cafes,” she said.

Meanwhile, Wedad said that it would be the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior to enforce a law on smoking in cars carrying people under 12 years of age. “In New York, a person is fined even if caught smoking in a car with only a child seat present,” she added.

Big fines for high-speed train smokers who fail to toe the line in China

| December 27, 2013

Anyone caught smoking tobacco on China’s high-speed trains will be fined up to Yuan2,000 ($330) as of January 1, according to a story by Wang Fan for, quoting a railway safety regulation issued by the State Council.

But smokers won’t be the only people in the firing line. Fines of up to Yuan2,000 will be imposed also on people who, for instance, throw garbage from trains, walk on railway lines and jump off moving trains.

The penalties are said to be aimed at ensuring normal and safe operation of the railway system as China readies for its annual challenge of coping with an expected 258 million passenger journeys during the 40-day Spring Festival travel season.

Last year, the report said, a high-speed train travelling from Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, to Dalian, a port city in the province, had been forced to slow from 200 km per hour to 120 km per hr because the fire alarm had been triggered by a passenger’s smoking.

Suo Chao, spokesman for the Chinese Association of Tobacco Control, said lighting up on trains put other passengers’ health at risk and should be strictly prohibited.

“The rights of non-smokers have been long-ignored,” he said.

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