Tobacco chaos: the society pays

Prevention of disease and death is a big problem for the government. Mass death by road and rail accident or natural disasters creates grave consequences in the society.

But one of the silent killers, tobacco has yet to truly define despite massive anti-smoking drive around the world. Initiatives for tobacco control are not satisfactory, although smoking kills 57,000 people over the age of 30 years and causes 382,000 disabled people in a year.

In order to combat tobacco use, 100 percent smoking areas, ban on advertising of tobacco pictorial warnings on tobacco packages \ and high taxes are recognized as effective measures together with the awareness of the effects of tobacco. But the group opposes these initiatives argue about the decline in employment, income and its impact on the poor. But it is important to ask whether we should accept and encourage the killing of such products at the expense of people’s illnesses and deaths.

Tobacco growing and production benefits the owners of the company and certain sacrifices of farmers, workers and consumers, but they (farmers, workers and consumers) that are used for tobacco control. In accordance with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the parties (the government) should take measures to increase taxes on tobacco. But the tax measures failed to adequately raise prices on tobacco, which might otherwise be a deterrent to tobacco use.

Thus, although the price of everyday goods will increase significantly, the price of tobacco products do not increase accordingly. In a study conducted by the World Bank (WB) and World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 10 per cent increase in the price of tobacco significantly reduces mortality and morbidity in developed and developing countries.

Among the damage of tobacco, one is its agriculture. Tobacco cultivation in the agricultural land and the felling of trees for the treatment of tobacco leaves is the cause of the destruction of forests and creates a shortage of food was accompanied by serious disturbances in the ecosystem. We live in a small country with a huge population. Tobacco in arable land threatens food security, environment and human health. Tobacco is an aggressive invasion of many of the barns, it is cultivated in 74,000 hectares of land, which indicates a 68 percent increase in tobacco in the last couple of years.

Tobacco farming is not only a threat to food security; it harms the people in each stage, as well as – agriculture, manufacturing, and fabrication of treatment – because during the harvest of all family members, regardless of whether men, women and children, work in tobacco fields. Children are unlikely to go to school at the time. Tobacco has a serious impact on the lives of the poor. Studies show that 50 percent of children suffering from malnutrition can be saved if 69 percent of money spent on tobacco can be used as food.

Tobacco companies claim that high taxes will reduce income and employment. Studies show that tax revenue increases with a decrease in tobacco consumption. World Bank studies show that the annual cost of bidis can buy 485 billion eggs, or 29 billion kilograms of poultry meat, or 1.4 million tons of rice and 2.3 million rickshaws. Income received from the tobacco tax could be used for alternative employment for the poor. Tobacco taxes can take advantage of the government from three perspectives: firstly, the increase in revenue, and secondly, to improve public health and, finally, to earn income will facilitate the creation of jobs for the poor workers of tobacco.

Nothing could be more important than human life. Section 11 and Section 18 (1) of the Constitution of Bangladesh, a ban on drinking alcohol and even harmful Ayurvedic beverage was mentioned and it is important for tobacco control has been highlighted in the framework of Article 6 of the International Convention on Tobacco Control Treaty Framework Tobacco Control (FCTC) .Very often, the tobacco companies pride themselves as the highest tax payers. From this it should be able to suggest how much profit they make the imposition of the burden of disease and illness in society. Thus, it is irrational to apply to the company to pay compensation to the victims? In this context, it is also important to increase the tax on tobacco products in the national budget due recognition of the need to improve public health, environment and economy.

Budget 2012: Tobacco set to get dearer

Price of tobacco products may be a growth in the near future. The Union Ministry of Health wrote to all States to either tax or an increase in VAT on all tobacco products – cigarettes, beedis, smokeless tobacco (gutka and pan masala), tobacco and tobacco leaves.
Tobacco is a known risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of death, and almost 40% of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and lung disorders.
Studies have shown that a 10% rise in prices will lead to beedi 9.2% decrease in consumption of beedi, while 10% jump in cigarette prices would reduce cigarette consumption by 3.4%. In India, 10 lakh deaths every year are tobacco alone. It is assumed that by 2020 tobacco will account for 13% of all deaths in India every year. Almost 35% of adults (aged 15 and older) consume tobacco in India (47% men and 21% of women).
Some countries have begun charging a high rate of VAT on tobacco products – Rajasthan (40% VAT on all types of tobacco products), Gujarat (25% VAT), Odisha (25% VAT) and Jammu and Kashmir (30% VAT on all tobacco products).
Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Keshav Desiraju in his letter said: “Tobacco use leads to a heavy burden of disease, disability and death in this way imposes high medical costs and productivity. According to a study conducted by the health value of the Indian Council of Medical Research, the cost of treatment of all three diseases caused by tobacco – cancer, pulmonary disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease accounts for approximately 25% of total government expenditure on health care. ”
He added: “One of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco consumption by making the unit price is higher to make them inaccessible or sensitive populations, such as poor or children or youth. We believe that the levy or increase in VAT on all tobacco products / materials will support the to prevent new initiation into tobacco use and to encourage smokers to quit. “Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, executive director of the Association of Voluntary Health India, said the upcoming budget of the Union all tobacco containing products should be subject to a high level of excise duty and VAT” to save the next generation of health. If the tax on tobacco goes up, government revenues will increase, while spending on health will go down. Today, tobacco products are affordable and easily accessible to minors. ”
Experts say that the taxes on tobacco products in India falls well below the level recommended by the World Bank – from 65% to 80% off the retail price. Taxes on beedis is very low, averaging only 9% of the retail price, whereas taxes on cigarettes account for about 38% of the retail price. About 5,500 people take tobacco in the day. It is believed that a tax increase as a percentage of the retail price of 7% to 33% beedis and from 43% to 58% on cigarettes leads to a conservative 14 million smokers to quit and 27 million children never start. This will save 69000000 years of healthy life for the next 40 years.
The growth will also generate about Rs 73000000000, or an additional 1.2% of government revenue. A study conducted by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy in 2010, showed that the impact on the health of 52.8% price increase will be 4.6 million beedi prevent premature mortality among smokers and generate Rs 36.9 billion for the government. The increase in cigarette prices by 158% to prevent additional 1.8 million premature deaths among smokers and generate 146.3 billion rupees.
More than 120 million Indians smoke tobacco and 10% of the world’s smokers live in India. Almost a third of Indians – 57% of men and 11% of all women – consume some form of tobacco products, and many use more than one type of tobacco products. Beedis are the most popular tobacco products in India. Beedis accounts for almost 85% of the total number of smoked tobacco in India. By volume, cigarettes account for less than 15% of all tobacco smokers, but account for nearly 85% of the taxes on tobacco products.

Shops caught selling cigarettes to underage children

As part of a trading standards exercise by the City of Edinburgh Council, two trained volunteers tried to buy cigarettes in various locations.
Two convenience stores in the south west of Edinburgh have been fined after selling tobacco to minors.
As part of a trading standards exercise by the City of Edinburgh Council, two trained volunteers tried to buy cigarettes in various locations.
During the test purchases, two shops in the south west of the city sold the cigarettes illegally to the under-age teenagers.
The businesses now face a £200 fixed penalty. If caught again, they will see an increased fine of £400 and could be stopped from selling cigarettes.
Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environment Leader, said: “Trading Standards officers have been busy visiting shops across the city to remind retailers of their responsibilities when it comes to selling tobacco.
“Retailers generally react well to visits from enforcement officers, and have found their advice useful, but the results of the most recent test purchase exercise are disappointing and highlight the importance of continued action.
“I hope these fines will serve as a stark warning that retailers must abide by the legislation. It is important that young people are aware that they will be challenged by responsible shopkeepers if buying cigarettes.
“I would urge the public to contact us with any information about underage tobacco sales in their neighbourhoods.”
The council carries out test purchases on businesses to make sure they are complying with age restrictions on the purchase of various products.
Prior to the tests, council trading standards officers visit shops and let them know that they will be carrying out checks in the near future and provide information packs on how to comply.
By Catie Guitart
local.stv.tv

Investors going for sin stocks: Tobacco, alcohol, gambling

Sin is in on Wall Street as investors pick vice over virtue and pour money into drinking, smoking and gambling stocks.
“Socially irresponsible,” or “vice” stocks, especially tobacco, are paying off for investors who are focusing on these industries’ financial, not social, attributes. Shares of tobacco companies Lorillard, Philip Morris and Altria are up 34%, 29% and 15%, respectively, this year — smoking past the 1% year-to-date gain by the Standard & Poor’s 500.
Alcoholic beverage stocks aren’t falling off the wagon either. Diageo and Brown-Forman are up 14% and 13%. And gaming stocks such as Wynn Resorts and Churchill Downs are each up 14% — a welcome offset to what’s shaping up to be a disappointing year for stocks at large.
“Vice stocks are showing they are a necessary part of a diversified portfolio,” says Jerry Sullivan, manager of the Vice fund, which invests in those industries. Fund-tracker Morningstar says it has returned 10.3% this year.
“You have to get beyond the point of saying, ‘I don’t like this’ or ‘I don’t like that,’ ” Sullivan says.
Investors are seeing several desirable attributes of vice stocks, including:
•Stability and predictability. Demand for alcohol has remained stable, except for beer which has been declining, says Esther Kwon, stock analyst at S&P. And while demand for cigarettes has been falling, the declines are slow and predictable, she says. Vice stocks are appealing to investors nervous about the stock market and looking for something more predictable, S&P’s Sam Stovall says.
•Dividend yields. Investors craving any income in a world of low interest rates can’t ignore tobacco companies. Savings accounts generate 1% or less in annual interest at best and the S&P 500 yields roughly 2% in dividends. So yields of 5.7% and 4.7% at Altria and Lorillard are very appealing, says R.J. Hottovy of Morningstar.
•Reasonable growth prospects. While demand for many “vice” products might be stable, if not slighly declining, there are growth opportunities, Hottovy says. In the U.S., there has been growth in demand for smokeless tobacco, he says. For Wynn and other large casino companies, there’s untapped demand in Asia, Kwon says. Regional operators continue to expand casinos that go alongside horse racing, Sullivan says. “These companies are not in the business of being liked,” he says. “Investors do see them deliver profits and grow.”
By Matt Krantz
usatoday.com

54 p c of state population consumes tobacco

The use of tobacco in Bihar has assumed an alarming proportion. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS)-India, 54 per cent of the population in Bihar consume tobacco in one form or the other. The most common form being smokeless consumed by nearly 49 per cent of adults. India is the oral cancer capital of the world, 90 per cent of which are attributed to tobacco use. Smokeless tobacco use is the major cause of oral cancer in the country.
Under a grant from the Bloomberg Initiative (BI) to reduce tobacco use, an NGO Hriday (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth) is implementing a project entitled, ‘Awareness to Action through Multi-Channel Advocacy for Effective Tobacco Control in India: Capacity Building in Five Indian States’. The states are: Bihar, Haryana, Orissa, Karnataka and Uttarakhand. Hriday has partnered with the Socio Economic and Educational Development Society (Seeds) and the State Health Society (SHS), Bihar, to implement the project in five districts of the state, Bhojpur, Darbhanga, Katihar, Samastipur and Vaishali, and two districts under the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP), Patna and Munger.
The collaborative effort has resulted in a number of positive developments in advancing tobacco control in the state. The state government has accordingly set up administrative infrastructure for an effective implementation of the Control of Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) provisions and NTCP objectives which includes appointment of nodal officers for tobacco control in all the 38 districts. SHS, Bihar, executive director (ED) Sanjay Kumar said, “The nodal officers will be responsible for coordinating all the tobacco control activities in their districts.” He has also given a directive to form a steering committee under the chairmanship of the DM of the district concerned.
The state HRD department has issued notification to the district education officers of all the 38 districts to declare action programme to make schools in their districts free of tobacco. The schools would have to ensure that apart from the schools concerned, the nearby areas are also free of tobacco as per the guidelines of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). That apart, principal secretary, health department, Amarjeet Sinha said that a State Tobacco Control Coordination Committee (STCCC) has been constituted for effective implementation of the programme.
Under the programme, the SSPs of the districts concerned and range DIGs have been entrusted to oversee that the COTPA is properly implemented, besides conducting surprise checks at hotels, restaurants, government/private buildings and public transport. Kumar said that civil surgeons in all the 38 districts have been directed to print slogan, ‘Choose Life Not Tobacco’, on all the OPD slips for raising awareness among people about tobacco control. For the first time in the state, a capacity building workshop for the state police officials would be held here on December 2.
timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Cigarette Consumption

After World War II, U.S. consumption of cigarettes showed a long and steady period of growth, until it reached a peak of 640 billion in 1982. Since then, the decline has been about equally steep and steady. By 2002, consumption was down to 400 billion cigarettes.
The difference between U.S. cigarette production of 565 billion pieces and consumption of 430 billion pieces
in 2002 (shown below) largely is exports, which is discussed later in the report.
What has happened to reduce the consumption of cigarettes? First, according to periodic survey data published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the proportion of the adult population of smokers stopped increasing and began declining shortly after the first Surgeon General’s report on the health effects of tobacco in 1964. After the proportion of adult smokers reached nearly 43% in 1966, it subsequently declined to about 23.4% in 2001.
Consequently, the size of the adult smoking population not only has failed to grow, it actually has declined from a peak of about 55 million in 1983 to a current level of about 49 million (a number about equal to the 1960 smoking population).
U.S. Consumption of U.S.-Grown Cigarette Tobacco
Since farmers grow tobacco, they likely are more interested in the consumption of cigarette tobacco than of cigarettes. From a peak of 1.17 billion pounds (processing weight) in 1963, U.S. annual cigarette tobacco consumption has declined to 747 million pounds in 2001.
The drop in pounds of tobacco smoked is a reflection of the declining number of smokers combined with a smaller amount of tobacco in each cigarette. A long steady decline in the amount of tobacco in cigarettes began in 1953 and continued to the late 1970s. For the first half of this century, cigarettes contained about 2.7 pounds of tobacco per thousand pieces. Since 1980, the tobacco content
has averaged about 1.7 pounds per thousand pieces—a 37% reduction from the level of the 1950s.
The utilization of U.S.-produced tobacco in cigarettes has been further reduced by the substitution of foreign-grown tobacco. The proportion of foreign tobacco in U.S.-manufactured cigarettes has been increasing since 1950. In 1950, foreign tobacco content amounted to 6%, but by 2001 it reached 48%.
The share of foreign tobacco in U.S. cigarettes might have been expected to decline in response to the 75% domestic content law that took effect January 1, 1994. However, the tariff rate quota, which replaced the domestic content law in September 1995, does not serve as an effective import barrier because of its generous size and because manufacturers can recover the duty they pay on imported tobacco if it is subsequently exported in cigarettes. During the September 13, 2001 through September 12, 2002 quota year, 247.4 million pounds declared weight were imported under the 332.2 million pound limit (amounting to 74% of the quota).
How do the combined forces of a gradually declining population of cigarette smokers, a declining per capita consumption rate, a reduced quantity of tobacco in each cigarette, and the substitution of foreign tobacco for domestic tobacco in cigarettes translate into consumption of domestic tobacco by U.S. smokers?
A simple linear projection puts the consumption of U.S.- grown tobacco by U.S. smokers at 203 million pounds in the year 2005.
nationalaglawcenter.org

Oneidas’ won’t sell brand-name smokes, boosts other stores

VERNON — The smokers are coming back!oneida store
Local gas stations and convenience stores appear to be experiencing an uptick in sales over the last couple of weeks as the Oneida Indian Nation’s supply of mainstream brand cigarettes dwindles.

In June, a New York state law that ensures that taxes are paid when Indian retailers sell popular brands of cigarettes went into effect.

The state’s Indian nations had not been charging the tax, which enabled them to undersell non-Indian retailers on popular brands such as Marlboro, Camel and Lucky Strike.

Now, tribes such as the Oneida Indian Nation have opted to sell only Indian cigarette brands because they don’t want to pay the taxes.That’s sending smokers back to the non-Indian stores.
“I don’t like the brands they are selling,” said Sue Fort, who was buying a pack of USA Gold Lights at FasTrip, a Mobil gas station with a convenience store outside Vernon. “I won’t buy there anymore.”She’s not the only smoker who has shifted her buying habits.

Paul Badhan, who owns FasTrip, said he started noticing the change around two weeks ago.
“It was hurting us real bad,” he said of the Oneidas’ cigarette selling. “Gas and cigarettes are our main business. We think it’s going to be better for us now.”
Years in the making New York state and its municipalities lost millions in tax revenue as Indian tribes grew their retail cigarette business.

And the governments weren’t the only ones who lost out.
Gas station and convenience store owners have pointed to drops in sales of gas and other goods. That’s because smokers often buy other things at the same time they pick up their cigarettes.
“Now people come in and then we sell a lot more stuff,” Badhan said.
Though Indian tribes are required to pay taxes on cigarettes and other items sold to non-Indians, they did not do so despite the efforts of a succession of state governors.

Cigarette wholesalers operating in the state have long had to pay certain cigarette taxes up front rather than having retailers pay them.
Indian tribes have maintained that wholesalers who sell to their retailers should not pay the tax. Many wholesalers sold cigarettes to Indian retailers without charging for the tax. That has meant the Indian stores had a price advantage.

In summer of 2010, New York state decided to crack down on the policy, but the tribes sued. In June, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state.

Many of the tribes, including the Oneidas, manufacture their own cigarettes and will be selling those exclusively when they run out of their supplies of mainstream brands.

“Our customers are able to purchase lower-cost cigarette brands manufactured by the Nation in its own factory on Nation lands,” Oneida Nation spokesman Mark Emery said. “Other cigarette brands not manufactured on Oneida Indian Nation homelands will be available to our customers as long as the current supply in our stores lasts.”

Is it working?
Robert Batson, Albany Law School’s government lawyer in residence, said the law appears to be having its intended effect.
“It’s cutting off their access to out-of-state manufactured cigarettes,” he said. “The wholesalers are complying with the law.”
James Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, said the impacts on convenience stores would be positive but wouldn’t completely solve the problem of cheap Indian cigarettes.
He said anecdotal evidence across the state shows sales increases in some, but not all, non-Indian stores.

“In some cases, the improvement has been significant, but it’s not universal,” he said.
Calvin also said many people now are smoking the cheaper Indian-brand cigarettes.
“Those products are still being sold in huge quantities at the SavOn stores and other tribal stores in New York,” he said.
Many smokers say they won’t make the switch, even if the Indian cigarettes are cheaper.
Mike Collins of is one of them. He likes his signature red-pack Marlboro and had been buying them at a SavOn.

But now, there are none there to be found, he said.
“My wife likes the Indian cigarettes, but I don’t like the taste,” he said as he prepared to drive away from Badhan’s FasTrip. “I’m going to have to pay the tax.”
And what about the SavOn?
“I don’t even go there to buy gas,’ he said.

New Jersey considers new taxes on alternative tobacco products

Little cigars, which are taking increasing space on area tobacco-shop shelves, are shaped and smoked just like cigarettes. But tobacco productsbecause New Jersey taxes them differently, they cost nearly one-third the price.
Over the past several years, increased state and federal taxes have helped turn some smokers on to less-taxed tobacco products, local shop owners and anti-smoking groups say.
New Jersey has a $2.70 tax per cigarette pack, and the federal government has a $1.01 excise tax it enacted two years ago.
That sixth-highest cigarette tax in the country may entice more smokers to quit or prevent others from starting, said Karen Blumenfeld, executive director of Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, a New Jersey-based anti-smoking group. But inconsistencies in taxes among various tobacco products cause some smokers to simply switch products, she said.
“We are lagging, as are many other states, with the other types of tobacco products. The industry has caught on to the fact that there’s this loophole with regard to other smoked tobacco products, and they’re cheaper,” said Blumenfeld, who wants a uniform pricing that would tax all tobacco products as cigarettes.
New Jersey collected nearly $742 million in cigarette taxes last year. That was a 4 percent drop, or $33.1 million less, compared to 2008, state Treasury Department data show.
Yet revenue from other tobacco products — such as cigars, little cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, and roll-your-own — shot up 26 percent in that time, generating $3.7 million more from lower tax rates.
The state has a wholesale tax on these products that is 30 percent of the price the wholesaler pays the manufacturer, Treasury spokesman Bill Quinn said.
“If I had to buy cigarettes for seven, eight dollars, I’d consider quitting,” said Dave Schubiger, 52, of Barnegat Township, who bought a 10-pack carton of little cigars for about $22. Had they been cigarettes, it would have cost him nearly $75.
“Price is a big thing; plus, I like them,” he said.
In New Jersey, little cigars in particular have been targeted by proposed legislation that seeks to tax them the same as cigarettes.
“The additional tax will make little cigars less appealing to current cigarette smokers seeking a cheaper alternative,” reads the proposed bill sponsored by state Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex, Passaic.
The Office of Legislative Services estimated in 2010 that the bill would increase tax revenue from $6 million to nearly $9 million. The office estimated more than 5 million packs of little cigars were sold in fiscal year 2010.
But rising taxes will not stop people from smoking, although future increases may hurt New Jersey businesses that are being undercut by other states that have lower tobacco taxes and, likewise, cheaper tobacco, said Jeff Melchiondo Sr., owner of Tobacco Road in Barnegat.
The tobacco shop Melchiondo runs with his son sells cigars, pipe tobacco, cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and little cigars.
“Whether cigarettes are selling for $2 a pack or $8, people will still smoke — that may put more weight on the roll-your-own market if that is not taxed any more. The little-cigar smoker may go back to roll-your-own instead,” he said.
Roll-your-own cigarettes have been popular, but that tobacco is taxed more heavily than pipe tobacco, which can be used instead. Roll-your-own tobacco has a federal tax of $1.55 per 1-ounce pouch. Pipe tobacco, on the other hand, has a federal tax of about 18 cents per 1-ounce pouch.
Nationally, nearly 3.6 billion fewer cigarettes were manufactured from January to July than last year, a 2 percent drop, data from the federal Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Bureau show.
Meanwhile, pipe-tobacco manufacturing picked up substantially — by about 5.7 million pounds, or about 44 percent.
Bob Tyjewski, manager at Smoker’s Haven in Galloway Township, has seen roll-your-own-cigarette sales double in the past few years. The shop keeps roll-your-own tobacco and pipe tobacco together on a shelf.
“Going to roll-your-own is an economic move, not because you got tired of what your cigs4us.biz/marlboro-cigarette like. It’s a matter of nickels and dimes,” he said.
Tyjewski said he is losing business to other states. New Jersey is behind only New York, Hawaii, Connecticut, Washington, and Rhode Island in the highest cigarette taxes.
Pennsylvania and Delaware’s cigarette tax is $1.60 a pack.
Tyjewski has even seen the reverse — he has regular New York clients heading to Atlantic City who buy cartons of cigarettes. New York’s cigarette tax is the highest in the nation, at $4.35 per pack. They save $16.50 in state taxes per carton.
“The government, they don’t want you to smoke, but you can bet they spent that tax money,” he said.
Absecon resident Bharat Patel, manager of Northfield News and Tobacco in Northfield, said little cigars and roll-your-own have increased significantly in the past few years due primarily to the price of cigarettes.
In New Jersey, about 14 percent of the adult population — about 1 million people — are smokers, data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. The national median is about 18 percent.
At Tobacco Road, little cigars come in two brands: Cheyenne and 1839. They come in full flavor, light, menthol, cherry, peach and others.
Little cigars are more profitable for Tobacco Road to sell than cigarettes which, unlike little cigars, are available nearly everywhere and have low profit margins in order to compete, Melchiondo said.
Now, the shop sells as many packs of little cigars as they do cigarettes, he said.
“People will still buy them as long as they’re reasonable enough. If these go up to 3 or 4 dollars a pack, then they’ll go back to buying the roll-your-own stuff, probably,” he said “As long as there are savings involved, I think a market will still be there.”
By Brian Ianieri:
609-272-7253
BIanieri@pressofac.com

Cigarette vending machines banned in England

The sale of tobacco from vending machines has been banned in England, with anyone caught selling cigarettes in machines facing a fine of £2,500.
The Department of Health said the ban had been introduced to prevent under-age sales to children and to support adults who were trying to quit.
The rest of the UK is expected to implement a similar ban next year.
Some pub landlords say it is a further threat to a livelihood that has already been damaged by the smoking ban.
But Cancer Research and the British Heart Foundation have welcomed the move.
According to the Department of Health, nearly all adult smokers started smoking before they turned 18.
‘Unsupervised’
Of the children who regularly smoke, 11% buy their cigarettes from vending machines.
It is also estimated that 35 million cigarettes are sold illegally through vending machines to children every year.
Under the new rules, pub landlords will still be able to sell cigarettes from behind the bar but they must ensure all tobacco advertising on vending machines is removed. Any person found guilty of displaying cigarette adverts on a vending machine could face imprisonment for up to six months, a fine of £5,000, or both.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said smoking was “one of the biggest and most stubborn challenges in public health”, with more than eight million people in England still smoking, causing more than 80,000 deaths each year.
He said: “Cigarette vending machines are often unsupervised, making it easy for children to purchase cigarettes from them.
“The ban on cigarette sales from vending machines will protect children by making cigarettes less accessible to them – we want to do everything we can to encourage young people not to start smoking in the first place.”
Jo Butcher, the National Children’s Bureau’s programme director of health and wellbeing, welcomed the ban and said a person’s lifetime smoking or non-smoking behaviour was “heavily influenced” by decisions in their adolescence.
“Children and young people tell us that external influences make it even more difficult for them to choose healthier lifestyles.
“It’s essential that we create environments that improve health and tobacco legislation is an important part of public health protection and promotion,” she said.
Protection
Charities have also welcomed the ban.
Betty McBride, director of policy and communications at the British Heart Foundation, said thousands of children at risk of this “deadly addiction” regularly got tobacco from vending machines, “which conveniently don’t ask them to prove their age”.
“These children are often blissfully unaware of the damage smoking does to their health and, by the time they realise, they’re hooked.
“Scrapping these machines cuts off an easy source of tobacco for existing young smokers and makes it harder for a new generation to start.
“We’re encouraging landlords to remove machines completely now so they – and any left-over branding – don’t act as dusty old adverts for tobacco,” she said.
Eileen Streets, director of tobacco control at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said she hoped the ban would play a “significant part in stopping many children becoming the next generation of lung cancer victims”.
Other measures
Jean King, of Cancer Research UK, added: “Tobacco kills half of all long-term users and is responsible for one in four cancer deaths.
“Cancer Research UK is determined to protect children from tobacco marketing and through our Out of Sight Out of Mind campaign we are continuing to work for legislation to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes.”
But the British Beer and Pub Association described the ban as “an unnecessary measure”.
A spokesman said the machines were there for the convenience of adult customers, and that the association did not believe they played a role in childhood smoking.
Although cigarettes can be sold by bar staff, the spokesman said many pubs would not opt to introduce that, as it raised issues about having a “high-value” item behind the bar and interfered with serving drinks.
One London pub landlord, Bill Sharp, said the ban was another “nail in the coffin” of his livelihood.
“I can understand them removing it from public places because that’s a view, a health issue, call it what you will.
“But when [smokers have] got to stand in the street and they can’t even buy their cigarettes in the pub, then where is it left? There’s no point in them going to a pub. They going remove real ale from pubs next?”
Other measures to protect young people from the dangers of smoking are also on the way.
In April 2012, large retailers in England and Scotland will have to get rid of all tobacco displays. Small shops will be expected to comply from April 2015.
Wales and Northern Ireland plan to implement similar regulations.
The government is also due to begin a public consultation before the end of the year on whether to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes in order to lessen their marketing appeal to young people, help make health warnings more effective and help reduce the number of smokers.
BBC.co.uk

China's smoking habit drive chronic diseases up

During a recent weekday lunch, middle-aged Wu Zhixin had a plate of shredded pork noodles glistening with oil and washed it down with a paper cup of vodka-like alcohol. Then she lit a cigarette.
“No smoking,” a waitress called out. Wu nodded, but finished her Double Happiness brand cigarette before stubbing it out on the tiled floor.
Scenes like this are typical and illustrate the challenges China faces in tackling the explosion of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, two top killers here.
“I smoke because I work in sales and it helps me cope with the stress of meeting targets,” said Wu, a slightly overweight woman who smiles warmly but has stained teeth. “I know it is bad for me and I’m trying to quit, but I’m still very healthy now, and I’m optimistic about my future.”
Newly prosperous, China is facing a very changed health picture from a generation ago when it was still largely poor and agrarian – and the diseases plaguing Chinese have changed too.
Heart disease, cancer, and respiratory disease have replaced hepatitis, diarrhea and malaria as desk work replaces farming, cars replace bicycles, and smoking remains stubbornly popular.
Chronic diseases account for more than 80 percent of deaths, in China, or nearly 8 million in 2008, according to the World Health Organization. The epidemic comes as the United Nations’ General Assembly holds a high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases in New York next week.
Compared to the United States, China has three times the death rate from respiratory diseases like emphysema. By another measure, Chinese are healthier, with only a quarter of the population overweight, compared to two-thirds of Americans.
Chronic diseases are costly. The World Bank estimated in a July report that reducing the death rate of cardiovascular disease – conditions that cause heart attacks and strokes – by just 1 percent a year over three decades could generate an economic value equivalent to 68 percent of China’s GDP last year, or about $10.7 trillion.
China’s breakneck economic development over the past 30 years has pulled hundreds of millions out of poverty and moved many people into cities. But a broken health care system and inadequate state insurance mean getting treated for serious diseases can impoverish many families. Unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles have helped accelerate an explosion in chronic diseases.
Lu Nanxu, 28, a programmer at an IT services company in Beijing, knows he needs to exercise and eat less to shed some of the 215 pounds (98 kilograms) on his 1.7-meter (5-foot-8-inch)-tall frame that categorizes him as obese, but he doesn’t.
“I have plenty of time to exercise, but I’m too lazy,” he said with a sheepish grin at a Japanese fast food joint. “When I finish work, I prefer to go home and surf the Internet or watch movies on my computer.”
Lu said he used to be a competitive ice-skater when he was growing up in Harbin, a city in frigid northeastern China, but as an adult, he stopped exercising.
“It’s not only exercise, but I would have to control my eating and that can be very difficult,” he said as he polished off a dinner of braised thinly sliced, fatty beef and fried chicken with rice and steamed vegetables, a side of mashed potatoes, and a soft drink.
A high-salt diet is also a major problem in China. Experts believe high blood pressure is the leading preventable risk factor tied to stroke and . On average, the Chinese consume twice as much salt as the recommended maximum set by the WHO, according to the organization’s food safety expert in Geneva, Dr. Peter Ben Embarek.
Unlike in the U.S., where salt is usually consumed through processed foods like bacon, cheese and fast food, the high sodium intake in China comes from the liberal use of soy and oyster sauces and the flavor-enhancer MSG, which is added to soups, stews, instant noodles and other foods. The popularity of pickled mustard greens, cabbage, radish and other vegetables also contributes.
The average Chinese person consumes 11 grams (0.4 ounces) of salt a day, compared to Americans, who eat 8.5 grams (0.3 ounces), Embarek said. “We believe that it’s one of the places where if you can reduce it just a little bit, not even down to the maximum recommended level, but just a little bit, you will swiftly see a positive impact in public health.”
Another big killer is smoking, which is linked to 1 million deaths in China every year. More than a quarter of adults in China smoke, roughly 350 million people – a number about equal to the entire U.S. population.
In May, China tried to ban smoking in indoor public places. But in a country where half of all male doctors smoke and cigarettes are commonly presented as gifts, such restrictions are usually ignored.
Restaurants in Beijing are reluctant to turn away customers who light up. The Beijing Capital International Airport became the first in China to go smoke-free this spring, three years after all public venues were supposed to for the Olympics.
At China’s top cancer hospital, the Cancer Institute and Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in southeastern Beijing, large no-smoking signs are prominently displayed on every floor and the rule appears to be strictly observed. That’s unusual. In many county hospitals people light up in waiting rooms and along corridors outside wards.
In the cancer hospital’s lung oncology department, a 55-year-old man sat slumped in a chair, tapping his foot nervously as he waited for his father to emerge from a consultation. The man, who would only give his surname Li, said the news that his 70-year-old father was diagnosed two weeks ago with lung cancer shocked him into immediately giving up his pack-and-a-half daily smoking habit, as well as drinking.
“The scans showed a spot on his left lung that was this big,” said Li, indicating with his fingers a circular shape of about an inch in diameter.
“It was not difficult for me to quit smoking. I have to do it for myself and for everybody around me,” he said. Li said he was fortunate that insurance provided by his government job would cover most of the expenses for his father’s treatment.
Others are not so lucky. After decades of underfunding the health care system, China recently poured $124 billion into building hospitals and expanding state insurance coverage, but there are still many for whom a serious chronic illness – like cancer – can wipe out a family’s life savings.
After only one round of chemotherapy, 25-year-old Wang Yuanjin fears he won’t have enough money to continue the treatment that is keeping his leukemia at bay. Wang was working a summer job before starting postgraduate studies at a university when he was diagnosed several weeks ago with the disease.
Already the disease has cost his family 110,000 yuan ($17,200). That has forced his parents, soybean and wheat farmers from Henan who make about 10,500 yuan ($1,600) a year, to borrow from relatives and friends. Only about a third of the total so far will likely be reimbursed by state health insurance, Wang estimates.
The cost of treating leukemia is so high that some of those diagnosed simply give up on treatment. Wang has moved into a tiny room near the hospital and is writing a blog seeking donations for a bone marrow transplant. The cost: 600,000 yuan, or $94,000.
“My father is going to go home and sell whatever he can sell,” he said.
More information:
WHO disease scorecards: http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/en/index.html
U.N. meeting: http://www.ncdalliance.org/summitfaq