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'A tobacco-free world': Global pact against illicit tobacco trade takes effect soon

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
© AFP (file)
A global pact to battle the illegal tobacco trade kicks in this week, with the World Health Organization hailing it as "game-changing" in eliminating widespread health-hazardous and criminal activity.

The treaty, which aims to create an international tracking and tracing system to halt the smuggling and counterfeiting of tobacco products, will take effect on Tuesday.

When the so-called Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products achieved the 40 ratifications needed for it to take effect last June, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted that it was a "historic day" and that the world had taken "a vital step towards a tobacco-free world".

And when the pact was first announced in November 2012, Tedros's predecessor Margaret Chan described it as "a game-changing treaty".

Comment: See also:


Smoking

Groningen, Netherlands working on banning smoking on the streets

Smoking ban in Groningen, NL
© Wikimedia Commons/Oxfordian Kissuth
The city of Groningen is working on banning smoking in open areas and on the street in certain places in the city. The municipality's Management and Traffic Committee discussed this ban on Wednesday evening, AD reports.

The city wants to change its General Local Regulation to declare parts of the public space smoke-free. The initiative for declaring smoke-free areas will lie with institutions in the city, and not the municipality itself. For example, a hospital can submit a request to the municipality to ban smoking on the square in front of its entrance. The municipality can then, on the basis of the adapted General Local Regulation, prohibit smoking on that spot.

The enforcement of the smoking ban will also be primarily the institution's responsibility. But if a smoker lights a cigarette in a smoke-free area and refuses to leave, the police can be called in. What penalty the smoker will face, is not yet clear.

Smoking

New Jersey legislators seek to extend smoking ban to boardwalks, other recreational spots, including burial sites

American Spirit cigarettes
© The Federalist
The new state law banning smoking at New Jersey beaches and parks won't take effect until January, but some lawmakers are already pushing for the concept to go farther to more outdoor public places.

It took 12 years from the time New Jersey banned smoking in restaurants and bars to extend that prohibition to beaches. But just two months later, a push is on to include the boardwalks and many other recreational spots.

"We know that the leading cause of preventable disease and death in our state as well as our nation is cigarette smoking. And that can be prevented," said state Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer.

Turner has introduced S2908. A companion measure, A4423, has been proposed by Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, D-Burlington.

Comment: People should be protected from ignorant politicians who should be more concerned with the air we breathe.


Smoking

Ridiculous! South Korea proposes smoking ban while driving

Smoking while driving
© change.org
A lawmaker's recent proposal to ban smoking while driving is causing controversy.

Supporters say it will prevent drivers from being distracted while smokers claim it will infringe on their rights.

Under the traffic law, the use of cellphones or watching programs on digital multimedia while driving are banned because they are distractions.

Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Bak Maeng-woo proposed the revision bill to fine drivers up to 200,000 won if they smoke while driving, claiming that getting a cigarette and lighting it also hinders a driver's focus.

Smoking

Lithuania proposes new smoking restrictions

Lithuania smoking ban
© AFP/Scanpix
Lithuania has proposed this week new smoking restrictions. Under new amendments, plain cigarette packaging would be introduced in Lithuania, the display of cigarettes would be banned and smoking in residential balconies, outdoor cafes, beaches and other places would also be prohibited.

Under these amendments, plain cigarette packaging will be introduced in November, 2022 and it will only feature the name of the company and product in a state-approved standard type and colour, and any logo elements or signs will be banned.

The amendments to the Law on the Control of Tobacco, Tobacco Products and Related Products have been drafted by the Ministry of Health in cooperation with other institutions.

Stop

Israeli government prohibits sale of nicotine vape

JUUL vaping e-cigarette
© JUUL/screenshot
Starting September 1, the Israeli government will prohibit the sale of a small piece of plastic that looks like a disk-on-key device but is filled with highly concentrated nicotine. This device has been causing millions of young Americans to become addicted.

The import and sales of JUUL vaping e-cigarette will not be allowed, Prime Minister (and health minister) Benjamin Netanyahu decided this week following urgent requests from Health Ministry officials, who said the product poses "a grave danger to public health."

The small container's contents, which is inhaled, is so inconspicuous that some students even use them during class and charge them by plugging the devices into their laptop computers.

In each JUUL pod, there are 59 milligrams of nicotine for every milliliter of liquid, an amount much more potent than the six to 30 milligrams in other e-cigs. Although the US Food and Drug Administration has not barred its sale and import, the European Union has prohibited it because its limit of nicotine is 20 milligrams per milliliter.

Comment: See also: The epidemic of junk science in tobacco smoking research


Smoking

Fascist anti-smoking crusade continues: Sri Lanka stops cigarette sales in over 100 towns

Pack of cigarettes
© adaderana.lk
Over 100 towns across Sri Lanka have boycotted the sale of cigarettes with the aim of making the country tobacco-free, the Health Ministry said.

According to the ministry, the Public Health Inspectors Union launched several programmes across the country to educate locals on the ill effects of smoking and as a result, shop owners and businessmen in many towns stopped selling cigarettes.

Twenty-two towns in Jaffna, 17 towns in Matara and 16 towns in Kurunegala joined others in boycotting the sale of cigarettes. Currently, 107 towns are part of the drive, Xinhua news agency reported.

Comment: See also: The epidemic of junk science in tobacco smoking research


Smoking

New York governor signs fascist bill to ban smoking where child services are provided, including homes

Man smoking a cigarette
© Pixabay
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation designed to protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

The bill prohibits smoking in facilities that provide child care services, including private homes that provide child services, such as a day care.

"The dangers of secondhand smoke are indisputable and we must do everything in our power to protect children from this public health hazard and the life-long misery that comes with it," Cuomo said. "This measure will bring us one step closer to a strong, healthier New York for all."

This adds to existing legislation that prohibits smoking near schools and where after-school programs are held, as well as a ban on electronic cigarettes on all public and private school grounds across the state.

Comment: The 'dangers of secondhand smoke' is a myth based on junk science. See:


Smoking

E-cig vapor disables key immune cells in the lung and increases inflammation

e cig
© CC0 Public Domain
E-cigarette vapour boosts the production of inflammatory chemicals and disables key protective cells in the lung that keep the air spaces clear of potentially harmful particles, reveals a small experimental study, published online in the journal Thorax.

The vapour impairs the activity of alveolar macrophages, which engulf and remove dust particles, bacteria, and allergens that have evaded the other mechanical defences of the respiratory tract.

The findings prompt the researchers to suggest that while further research is needed to better understand the long term health impact of vaping on people, e-cigarettes may be more harmful than we think, as some of the effects were similar to those seen in regular smokers and people with chronic lung disease.

Vaping is increasing in popularity, but most of the current body of research has focused on the chemical composition of e-cigarette liquid before it is vaped.

Comment: E-cigs have the opposite effect of natural tobacco, which has been shown to lower inflammation and boost immunity, along with many other benefits, see: Also check out SOTT radio's: The Health & Wellness Show: The Truth about Tobacco and the Benefits of Nicotine

And for more on the harms of e-cigs:


Smoking

Students in Copenhagen, Denmark banned from smoking during school hours

Finlands proposals to go smoke-free
© Pixabay
A majority of local politicians at Copenhagen Municipality are keen to ban students from smoking during school hours.

A total ban proposal will be discussed by the municipality's children and youth committee today, and the idea has the support of the leadership of several city schools, though they admit that enforcing the ban could prove challenging.

"It is impossible to enforce such a ban, but I still believe that it's a good idea," Henrik Wilhelmsen, the head of Nørrebro Park School, told DR Nyheder.

Students to lead way

A smoking ban would mean that students won't be permitted to smoke on or outside school property during school hours.