Welcome to Sott.net
Mon, 18 Feb 2019
The World for People who Think



Survey shows 6 out of 10 Thailand train passengers ignore smoking bans

Thailand train passengers ignore smoking ban
© Bangkok Post (file photo)
About six out of 10 train passengers violate tobacco control laws by smoking on board, according to findings from a survey by the Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Centre.

The survey was carried out among passengers on a total of 72 trains on four routes, according to Roengruedi Pathanwanit, deputy director of the centre.

These are the Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani, Bangkok-Nong Khai and Bangkok-Hat Yai-Surat Thani routes.

Conducted last year, the research was based on interviews with 578 passengers.

Dr Roengrudi said the study aimed to find out whether the smoking ban under the 2017 Tobacco Control Act had been well observed.


Malaysia to ban smoking at all restaurants, hawker stalls starting January 1

Smoking ban in Malaysia
© Straits Times (file)
Malaysia will enforce a smoking ban on restaurants, coffee shops and hawker stalls nationwide from Jan 1, Sin Chew Daily cited Deputy Health Minister Lee Boon Chye as saying on Thursday (Oct 11).

The ban will cover all air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned restaurants, coffee shops, open-air hawker centres and street stalls.

Dr Lee announced the mandatory ban while chairing a health forum at the Asian Institute of Medical, Science and Technology in Kedah.

Those caught smoking at prohibited areas will be fined RM10,000 (S$3,300) and eateries found not enforcing the ban will be fined RM2,500.

Comment: See also:


Fascist statewide smoking ban takes effect in Alaska

No smoking sign
© Zest Magazine
Take it outside! The "Smoke-free Alaska" law went into effect Monday, ensuring smoke-free workplaces and public places across the state. The measure extends an existing ban on smoking in public workplaces to private businesses.

Gov. Bill Walker signed Senate Bill 63 into law at a ceremony at Anchorage's Lucky Wishbone restaurant in July.

More than 25 years ago, the Lucky Wishbone was the first business in Anchorage to go smoke-free on April 19, 1990.

As of Monday, under the new ban, businesses must:
  • Post no smoking or vaping signs in plain view at all major entrances
  • Remove all ashtrays
  • Ask anyone smoking or vaping indoors to stop and go outside
Dr. Jay Butler is the State of Alaska Chief Medical Officer and praises the ban, saying the rules are based on science, protecting Alaskans' health and save money.

Comment: See also: 'Pretty coercive': Alaska legislature expands smoking ban to include bars, restaurants, and taxis


California governor vetoes ban on smoking at parks, beaches for third year in a row

© ThinkStock
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Saturday vetoed a proposed ban on smoking at state parks and beaches for the third year in a row.

Three bills passed by state legislators would have imposed $25 fines on the use of tobacco, marijuana and e-cigarettes at parks and beaches, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The measures cited wildfire concerns and public health as reasons to ban smoking in those outdoor areas.

"Third time is not always a charm," Brown wrote in his veto message, according to the LA Times.

"My opinion on the matter has not changed," he continued. "We have many rules telling us what we can't do and these are wide open spaces."


'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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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