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Fri, 22 Feb 2019
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Too much time on his hands: NYC mayor introduces 7 new bills to eradicate smoking

© iStock
A series of seven bills aims to reduce the number of smokers in New York City by 2020.
In an effort to get New Yorkers to quit smoking, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday announced seven bills aimed to cut the number of those addicted to the vice by 160,000 by 2020.

The legislation includes raising the minimum price of tobacco, including increasing per-pack prices to $13 from $10.50, which is expected to raise $1 million for public housing; limiting the number of retailers with tobacco licenses and cutting the current retailer number in half; creating a retail license for e-cigarettes and capping the number of those licenses; upping the cigarette license fee to $200 from $110; requiring residential building owners to create and disclose a smoking policy to current and future residents; banning smoking in building common areas; and barring pharmacies from selling tobacco products, which would begin when current licenses expire next year.

"Even though tobacco is a leading cause of premature death across the country, Big Tobacco will stop at nothing to hook people on these deadly products," de Blasio said in a statement. "We are sending a loud and clear message that we will not let their greed kill any more New Yorkers without a fight. These new laws will not only help reduce the number of smokers in our city, but also save lives."


Smoking ban sparks riot in UK prison

Birmingham Prison
© Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Prison
Inmates were transferred to Birmingham Prison after launching a wrecking spree at another jail - when they were banned from smoking.

The damage ran into hundreds of thousands of pounds as sinks and TVs were trashed and cells flooded at Category C HMP Haverigg in Cumbria.

All jails have to be completely smoke-free by September.

On Tuesday lags in the prison's Langdale wing of HMP Haverigg, in Cumbria, staged a peaceful protest after they were told tobacco would not sold as part of the all-out ban. But anti-riot units were scrambled after violent confrontations broke out, the Mirror reported .


Aping the West, Turkey to strengthen smoking ban

No smoking sign in Turkey
© Azer News
The campaign against smoking will be toughened in Turkey. The country seeks to strengthen the smoking ban in a bid to reduce the risk that threatens lives of millions.

Back in 2008, Turkey introduced legislation banning smoking in workplaces and enclosed public spaces. The smoking ban also covers public transport. Penalty for smoking in public and enclosed places is 88 TRY (about $25).

The Turkish Health Ministry announced that the ban may also be introduced on smoking in private cars.

The Ministry also said single standards will be applied to imported tobacco products, as well as those manufactured in Turkey.

Comment: From the book, "Smoke Screens: The Truth About Tobacco" by Richard White:
The 1600s were a time of smoking regulation. In Russia, first-time offenders were whipped, had their noses slit, and were sent to Siberia. Second-time offenders were executed. In Turkey, under the rule of Sultan Murad IV, smokers were castrated for their habit and up to 18 smokers a day were being executed. China also killed smokers, by decapitation.
Will history repeat itself?

See also: The Health & Wellness Show: The Truth About Tobacco with Richard White


Estonia bans smoking in prisons

Estonia prison
© Tairo Lutter/Postimees/Scanpix
Viru Prison in Jõhvi, Northeastern Estonia. April 2017.
The Estonian state is to ban smoking in prison exercise areas beginning Oct. 1.

Ministry of Justice spokesperson Dagne Mihkels told ERR that inmates in Estonian prisons are already currently limited to just three cigarettes per day, and that a greater change to the smoking policy took effect in 2010.

"Opportunities for smoking in prisons are already currently very limited," Mihkels explained. "Inmates can currently only smoke in the exercise area, and up to three cigarettes per day, which are dispensed to them by prison guards, so prisons don't facilitate chain smoking anyway. If needed, inmates will receive treatment for nicotine addiction."

The ministry spokesperson noted that the ban on smoking inside prisons entered into force in 2010.

"Before that, inmates could smoke as many cigarettes per day as they were able to buy," he recalled, "And so the 2010 change had a significantly greater impact than the current change. Some people at the time talked about the threat of a prison riot, but such thoughts remained more lore."


Smoking banned in Lebanon parks, city-owned buildings

No smoking in Lebabon
© Valley News - James M. Patterson
The City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt a smoking ban in Lebanon's parks and outside city-owned buildings.

The ban, which includes chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes, is scheduled to take effect on July 1.

It forbids smoking in about a dozen public areas throughout Lebanon, but city officials say they're planning to build several designated smoking spaces.

"What we are not saying is that smoking is going to be banned everywhere or that smokers do not have the right to smoke," Paul Coats, Lebanon's director of recreation and parks, cautioned the council on Wednesday night.

Coats said his department has been considering a smoking ban for years, but wanted to wait and see how other communities implemented similar restrictions. With Wednesday's vote, Lebanon joins Claremont and Newport, two other Upper Valley communities that ban smoking in some capacity on public property.

Comment: The Fascist war on smoking tobacco continues. See:

Lies, Damned Lies & 400,000 Smoking-related Deaths: Cooking the Data in the Fascists' Anti-Smoking Crusade


Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, a smoker for 50 years, quits then gets lung cancer

ronnie wood
© Norman Seef
Ron Wood, 1979
Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has revealed he was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.

During a routine health check, his doctor asked if he could also check his heart, lungs and blood - and discovered what Wood describes as "a supernova burning away on my left lung... He asked me what I wanted to do and my answer was simple: 'Just get it out of me.'" The cancer hadn't spread to his lymph nodes, meaning that after a five-hour operation, Wood is healthy for now.

Wood, who smoked for 50 years before giving up when his wife gave birth to twin daughters, told the Mail on Sunday that he hadn't considered chemo - but not because he didn't think it would work. "It's more I wasn't going to lose my hair. This hair wasn't going anywhere. I said, 'No way.' And I just kept the faith it would be all right." He had to wait for a week before receiving his test results: "There was a week when everything hung in the balance and it could have been curtains, time to say goodbye."

Wood warned: "People have to get checked. Seriously have to get checked. I was bloody lucky but then I've always had a very strong guardian angel looking out for me. By rights I shouldn't be here."

Comment: Specifically, he quit in May 2016. By May 2017, they were cutting a tumor out of him.


Britain investigates British American Tobacco on suspicion of corruption

British American Tobacco
© Getty Images
The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into suspicions of corruption at British American Tobacco and its subsidiaries.

The maker of cigarette brands including Dunhill and Lucky Strike said in a statement that it intends to cooperate with the investigation. It did not provide any further details.

Last year, the tobacco giant said that it had appointed an external law firm to conduct a full investigation into historical allegations of misconduct in Africa. At the time it also said that it was liaising with the SFO.

Earlier this year, BAT announced that it had created a board sub-committee to monitor matters relating to that investigation. It also said it had started a project in 2016 to review and strengthen its compliance procedures.


Israel moves to ban smoking

No smoking!
© Fotolia/vege
Israel's Health Ministry has moved to shut down all smoking rooms in public buildings, except for certain medical and mental health facilities.

To address the public health effects caused by smoking, the Parliament's Drug Abuse Prevention and Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committees are also supporting legislation that will allow lawsuits totalling NIS 40 billion against tobacco companies operating in the country.

Ya'acov Litzman, Israel's health minister, told a Wednesday committee session that the ministry intends to get tough on anti-smoking legislation, possibly in response to past criticism of taking it easy on tobacco companies.

The new legislation will include banning smoking in parts of hospitals, sports facilities, retirement homes, kindergartens, parking lots, playgrounds, zoos, restaurants and other public places, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Comment: Smoke, Lies and the Nanny State


Rise in prison violence after smoking ban in Wales prison

Parc Prison
A rise in the number of violent and self harm incidents at Parc Prison could be linked to the smoking ban, a review has found.

The report said the ban at the Bridgend site had been well-managed and some prisoners had since stopped smoking.

But it said tobacco and other contraband was still getting in and it was concerned about drones being used.

The prison's director Janet Wallsgrove said the number of violent incidents increased but were now dropping.

Although no analysis has been carried out, the review said the ban "might be a factor" in the rise in violence.

Comment: Given the stress-reducing benefits of smoking tobacco, the rise in prison violence is not surprising. See:

A comprehensive review of the many health benefits of smoking Tobacco


Fascist anti-smoking crusade: Prisons in Scotland to ban smoking by 2018 (Update)

HMP Barlinnie in Glasgow
© Robert Perry/TSPL
HMP Barlinnie in Glasgow.
Smoking will be prohibited in Scotland's jails by the end of next year under plans announced by prison chiefs.

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) says it intends to make all jails north of the border "smoke-free" by November 2018. The move is designed to tackle the "unacceptably high risk" posed to the health of prisoners, staff and visitors by passive smoking. ]

The announcement was accompanied by the launch of a major report on prison workers' exposure to second-hand smoke.

The large-scale study led by the University of Glasgow - described as the most comprehensive analysis of its kind in the world - found workers' exposure to such smoke is similar to that experienced by someone living in a typical smoking home in Scotland.

Comment: For the truth about tobacco and why the PTB want to stamp it out, see: