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Study indicates smokers guided by empathy

| March 26, 2015

Health warnings are more effective when they suggest that cigarette consumption harms smokers and others, than when they suggest only that they harm smokers.

This is the conclusion of a pro-bono study that was initiated by the Neuromarketing Science & Business Association (NMSBA) and that was said to have used neuromarketing techniques.

The ‘Neuro Against Smoking (NAS) Project’ study was said by NMSBA in a press note issued through PRNewswire to have been held in 24 countries spanning six continents.

The study was said to have found that pictorial health warnings were more effective than were text messages only, no matter in which country they were applied.

And it found that warnings about harm done to the smoker and others were more effective than were warnings only about the harm done to smokers. Again, this finding held true no matter which country was being studied.

More details of the study are at: [http://www.nmsba.com/neuro-against-smoking]

India to allow sales of unauthorized flue-cured

| March 26, 2015

The sale of unauthorized flue-cured tobacco will be allowed at auction floors in India, where currently leaf is being sold in Andhra Pradesh, according to a story in the Hindu, relayed by the TMA.

This was announced by the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman.

The government levies a penalty of 7.5 percent of the selling price plus Rs2 per kg for unauthorized flue-cured sold by registered growers, and 15 percent of the selling price plus Rs2 per kg for unauthorized flue-cured sold by unregistered growers.

Each registered flue-cured grower may sell a maximum of 270 kg.

Police called in over false cigarette price list

| March 26, 2015

British American Tobacco Malaysia has urged the public not to spread further a false cigarette price list that has turned up on social media, according to a story in The Star.

In a statement, the company said the price list was false and that a police report had been lodged over the matter.

“We therefore urge members of the public not to spread this false price list,” said the statement. The price list is believed to have been circulated on social media since March 24.

No further details were given.

Another call for tobacco manufacturer levy in the UK

| March 25, 2015

The former UK health minister Paul Burstow has called on the government to impose a levy on tobacco manufacturers and use the funds raised on research aimed at cutting smoking rates in areas where tobacco sales are highest, according to a PoliticsHome story.

Burstow was quoted as saying that with the number of people quitting smoking through the National Health Service’s (NHS) stop smoking services down by 19 percent last year, it was clear that smokers needed more help to quit.

Burstow said that he was bringing before parliament a bill with cross party support calling for government research into a levy on the basis of tobacco sales, and into how the money raised could be used to cut smoking rates.

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last year had announced that a levy on tobacco manufacturers and importers would be considered, and the opposition Labour Party had supported the idea.

Burstow said that last week’s budget statement had confirmed that the consultation on this matter was continuing. But he said that his bill went further in calling for research into how best the funds could be used to reduce the harm caused by tobacco.

Independent research has apparently indicated that £500 million could be raised from tobacco sales.

With the costs to society of smoking in England estimated at almost £13 billion a year, including a £2 billion annual cost to the NHS for treating diseases caused by smoking, it was time to get serious about tobacco companies’ responsibilities, Burstow said.

Drawing a levy on the enormously profitable sales of tobacco manufacturers was one way to work towards the ambitions of the NHS Five Year Forward View and would be a rallying cry to get serious about prevention.

It would put a significant dent in the funding gap facing the health service, and, critically, it would save lives.

Questions over practicalities of Tasmania end-game

| March 25, 2015

A parliamentary private member’s bill put forward in Tasmania, Australia, which would ban from 2018 the sale of tobacco products to people born after 2000, has been sent for scrutiny by a committee after doubts were raised about enforcement, according to an Examiner story relayed by the TMA.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson and Dr. Vanessa Goodwin, leader of the government in the Legislative Council, questioned the feasibility of enforcing the proposed regulations, which were the brainchild of independent MP Ivan Dean.

Goodwin said “we do not believe selective prohibition is the answer and maintain doubts about the efficacy of this particular proposal”.

And she was quoted as saying there were a number of concerns about practicality and enforcement that needed to be addressed if parliament were to proceed with passing the bill.

Dean said he was more than happy to send the bill for a short inquiry with tight terms of reference.

Competition fierce for US’ worst e-cigarette lie

| March 25, 2015

A US public health expert is aiming to identify the worst e-cigarette lie, and competition is fierce.

But while this exercise has about it an air of levity; the selection criteria indicate the seriousness behind it:

1)      the extent of the misinformation provided to the public about e-cigarettes and;

2) the amount of probably damage to the public’s health resulting from the misinformation.

The Worst E-Cigarette Lie Championship can be accessed on the Rest of the Story blog, which is written by Dr. Siegel is a Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health: http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/march-e-cigarette-madness-regional.html.

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