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Along with World Health Organization (WHO) director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and South African health minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Bloomberg will launch the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Cape Town on March 7.

Q: What is your long-term vision for the global fight against tobacco?

A: If we could completely eliminate tobacco use today, it would prevent nearly one billion early deaths this century.

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Smoking kills. We’ve known that for some time and for years the question of whether to continue investing in tobacco stocks has been a thorny one for the industry as, after all, they are regarded as one of the strongest defensive plays in the market. For many money managers, tobacco avoidance is the preserve of so-called SRI funds — that is socially responsible investment. [...]

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The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union says it is a breakthrough that the Ministry of Health now admits the need to update the law for non-burning tobacco products.

The 1990 legislation, written for chewing tobacco, may inadvertently ban new ‘heat-not-burn’ products – a matter currently before the courts. [...] the Ministry of Health prosecutor said that legislation needed to be brought up to date and that these changes were ‘in train’, according to Stuff.

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Using a technique that is opening the door to more complex analyses of the human genome, researchers have identified dozens of new genetic variations that affect blood pressure. Scientists discovered the new genetic regions — and confirmed the role of many previously known ones — by looking specifically at cigarette smoking behavior, one of many lifestyle factors that impact blood pressure.

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The legalization of cannabis isn’t the only pending policy issue involving what people are smoking. The question of how many people smoke cigarettes and what, exactly, they’re doing to their bodies and minds while they’re doing it is also a serious public health question. [...] “It would be rather naïve to think that all smokers want to stop smoking, and that all smokers are able to stop smoking,” said Dr. Gaston Ostiguy, [...]

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in 14 women who gave birth in the United States in 2016 admitted to smoking cigarettes during pregnancy. "Maternal tobacco use during pregnancy has been linked to a host of negative infant and child outcomes, including low birthweight, preterm birth, and various birth defects," the CDC reports. 

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Fifteen years ago, this month, the final negotiating meeting for the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) ended in Geneva. WHO used its treaty making right for the first time to tackle a major global health threat. Four million people died that year (2003) from tobacco-related diseases.

As with all complex negotiations, each country had to make some compromises. [...]

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China can keep children from smoking by raising tobacco taxes continuously to maintain a minimum per-packet retail price of 20 yuan (HK$24.62, US$3.15), according to a survey by the University of International Business and Economics. “More than 78 per cent of interviewees said tobacco prices should be raised between 20 and 29 yuan to prevent children from smoking,” said Zheng Rong, director of the World Health Organisation [...]

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"We have raised prices for a number of brands in our portfolio for commercial reasons," tobacco company Philip Morris [...] confirmed. The company notified retailers that prices for most of its cigarette and loose tobacco brands would be raised [...] by NIS 1 for a packet of cigarettes and NIS 2 for loose tobacco.

Philip Morris has a 58% market share of tobacco brands' activity in Israel in 2017, followed by Globrands with a 31.5% share and Dubek with 10.4%.

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Several California localities have passed bans on flavored tobacco products (menthol cigarettes, cheap flavored cigars, etc.) as a way to limit their appeal, especially to teenagers who might be tempted to try them. Unfortunately, the bans always include flavored electronic cigarettes. Because virtually all vaping liquids are flavored, that means a ban on a product that isn't risk-free—but is far less risky than combustible cigarettes. [...]

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Tobacco control advocates have called on the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure that tobacco products would be showing new graphic health warnings on the negative effects of smoking by March 3.

The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (Seatca) and HealthJustice Philippines said tobacco companies should communicate the new graphic health warnings, which are only valid for two years.

 

 

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Vaping can expose users to toxic chemicals and increases their risk of having a heart attack, according to a pair of recently released studies.

“Most people think that ‘oh it’s just water vapor’ but no. This study would suggest that there is more in this vapor than simply water,” Donna Pasiechnik, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Saskatchewan tobacco manager cautioned.

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A tobacco company and the Ministry of Health are locking horns in court, for a week-long battle over the sale of a new tobacco device.

Philip Morris is defending two charges over the sale of its HEETS tobacco stick, used in the IQOS electronic smokefree device.

It heats the tobacco sticks without burning, so that nicotine vapour can be inhaled.

But the Ministry of Health says the product isn't legal in New Zealand.

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MPs have rejected pleas from tobacco companies asking them to change the Liberal government’s tobacco reform bill so they can advertise a new kind of heated tobacco product as being less harmful to consume than cigarettes.

A Conservative move that would have changed advertising rules to allow for relative-harm comparisons of cigarettes and tobacco “heat sticks” went up in smoke Wednesday, [...]

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Most adults recognize that nicotine is the ingredient in tobacco that makes them want to smoke.

Nicotine is present in combustible cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and Food and Drug Administration-approved nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) used to help smokers stop smoking.

However, a majority of people erroneously believe nicotine is the ingredient that causes cancer from smoking traditional cigarettes, according to a recent study [...]

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The use of vapes, also known as e-cigs, has surged in populations of college students across college campuses as an alternative to cigarettes, according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Studies from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the UC Office of the President reveal that around 16 percent of the college-age population and 8 percent of University of California students vape or handle similar nicotine products. [...]

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Some 3,000 anti-tobacco experts and policy makers are convening this week in Cape Town to confront an industry flush with profits and determined to expand the market for its deadly product.

The 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, meeting from March 7 to 9, will review the latest research on e-cigarettes, debate which policies best blunt tobacco sales, and take stock of worrying trends across the developing world.

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The ongoing battle between smokers and non-smokers apparently extends to the workplace.

More than 40 percent of non-smokers believe they should get three to five extra vacation days per year, to compensate for all the time their smoking co-workers spend on cigarette breaks, a recent survey says.

A nearly equal percentage of smokers, however, believes that non-smokers are not entitled to any additional vacation days.

 
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Assembly Bill No. 1586, has been referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee, where it remains under consideration, and would impose a “wholesale sales tax rate for [electronic cigarettes and similar tobacco-substitute smoking devices] and their components . . . at a rate of 75%.” This bill intends “to impose a tax burden in line with a similar tax burden imposed upon cigarettes under the cigarette tax act,” [...]

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Experts told Parliament that a post-Brexit Britain should think about axing the most draconian EU-wide e-cigarette regulations to encourage people to quit smoking tobacco.

The Science and Technology Select Committee heard oral evidence [...] that the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD2) ban on promoting e-cigs, and its restrictions on liquid strength and product capacity, all put the public at risk. [...]