U.S. Supreme Court hears case on graphic tobacco ads

The government yesterday defended the graphic labels and advertisements of tobacco, the use of pictures of rotting teeth and diseased lungs, accurate and appropriate, to warn consumers about the dangers of smoking.
The Food and Drug Administration has asked the Court of Appeal on the decision to cancel the lower court, saying that such labels are unconstitutional violation of free speech rights of tobacco companies.
Mr. Mark Stern, a lawyer from the Ministry of Justice represents the FDA, said that the label shows, for example, a person smoking through a hole in his throat, and was necessary to show the true dangers of smoking, including addiction. “Teenagers are known to underestimate their ability to resist drug use,” he told the United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia.
“He (the labels) accurately and realistically portray the message that it’s really exciting Yeah, (they) do.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 45 million American adults smoke cigarettes, which are the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
Congress passed a law in 2009, which gave FDA broad authority to regulate the tobacco industry, including the labeling regulation. The law requires that the warnings of colors is large enough to cover the top 50 percent of a pack of cigarettes in front and rear panels and the top 20 percent of print advertising.
FDA has released nine new warnings in June last year shall come into force in September this year, the first change in U.S. cigarette warning labels in 25 years. Cigarette packs carry the warning text is the U.S. health care.
Reynolds American, Lorillard, Liggett Group Commonwealth Brands, which owns Imperial Tobacco Group in the UK, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco challenge to the rule, arguing that would force them to engage in anti-smoking propaganda against their own legal products.
“You do not have to be Sherlock Holmes to realize that the government is doing here: to tell people:” Quitting smoking now, “said Mr. Noel Francisco, a lawyer Jones Day in Washington, DC, which represents tobacco companies.
According to him, the label goes beyond the simple facts about smoking, rather than trying to disgust or rebellion of the people’s cigarettes.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon sided with tobacco companies in the decision in February say the warning signs were too large, and the government could use other tools to prevent smoking, such as raising taxes or using factual information on the label, not the horrible images.
One of the three appeal judges who heard the case yesterday also appeared on the question of what the government is going too far in trying to warn people about smoking.
“Can you have a text that says” Stop, if you buy it, you idiot? ”
And Judge Raymond Randolph thought that the government could also place warning labels on the car doors with the terrible images of road accidents to warn people about the danger of speeding.
Nevertheless, Randolph did not agree with the tobacco companies, saying that a single case, which shows the revelation only to provide commercial information that, does not stop using the product. The judge will decide the case later, but any decision can be appealed to the future and may eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court, especially in the tobacco law has led to divergent decisions in lower courts. REUTERS

Soda manufacturers of tobacco tricks

There seems to be not much similarity between the sale of soft drinks and cigarettes, but they are certainly closer.
A recent study showed a decrease in the consumption of soda in the U.S., and cola companies seem to be the adoption of marketing strategies used by tobacco companies to retain and attract customers, according to Forbes.com
Beverage Digest, which annually measures the amount of carbonated soft drinks (CSD) market in the U.S., according to soda consumption has fallen by 1% in 2011 compared to 2010, continuing a general seven-year-long recession. Meanwhile, the fall in consumption is that tobacco companies have long been accustomed to making up new strategies to maintain revenue.
Last year, the major tobacco companies in the U.S. increased cigarette prices by half, to compensate for the decline. Soft drinks are not as addictive as tobacco, so obviously, such an aggressive pricing policy, it is unlikely to work, however, the values of sales of CSD, is reported to have crept up. According to Forbes.com, the total retail sales of CSD rose by 2% to $ 75.7bln in 2011. How is this possible? Two words – energy drinks. Energy drinks have a higher retail price, so that instead of raising prices on traditional cola, the company actively promotes the beverage with a higher margin. Which brings us to the alternatives?
Another trick used by tobacco companies to stay in business use of alternatives like smokeless tobacco. Nicotine patches or gum, for example, are considered less harmful than cigarettes and typically attracts a lower excise tax. A similar story is observed with the non-carbonated beverages such as tea, water faucets, etc., which also increased sales by 0.8% in 2011 in the U.S.
Another point of the tobacco companies could be a useful tool – lobbying. In 2011 they were estimated to have spent up to $ 16 million on lobbying, according to Forbes.com. When it comes to soda manufacturers, here they managed to beat the confident brand of cigarettes. At PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Co drinks, and the American Association spent $ 70 million on lobbying last year.
Nevertheless, the aggressive lobbying of soda giant will not help prevent a law, recently applied in California, making them change their top-secret recipes. Scientific research has shown that Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola and Dr. Pepper all have a component that causes cancer in laboratory rats. 4-M is used for color and the scientists say, excessive use can cause cancer in humans, too.
Even if he thought people should drink more than a thousand cans of cola a day to get cancer, Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola continues to change their recipes. Otherwise, they would have to label their products as an increased risk of developing cancer – and it’s definitely not a good marketing ploy. New ash is currently sold only in California but it is planned that it will soon be distributed throughout the country. However, other countries will continue to be available to traditional beverage.
On a global scale, such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola is doing very well. Both are witnessing the growth of sales in Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, especially in emerging markets. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Coca-Coca sales rose 33 percent in Thailand, 15 per cent, in India, 12 per cent in China, 8 percent in Russia. While the company’s global growth rate is estimated to be around 5%.
In Russia, sales of carbonated drinks rose by 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, and now a group of activists calling for the court to ban Coca-Cola Light. To replace sugar producer uses chemicals that are believed to be about 200 times sweeter, and scientists warn it has a negative effect on the human brain. Activists say the drink labels mentioned nothing of these risks and to warn consumers.

Tobacco label fight

The federal government fought an uphill battle on Wednesday to convince the skeptical judge that the tobacco companies should be required to put large graphic pictures on cigarette packs to show that the habit kills smokers and their children.
Cigarette manufacturers said U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in the hearings that they may be forced to spread anti-smoking propaganda the government to “massive, shocking, terrible warning” on the products they sell legally. The Obama administration’s lawyers objected that the photos of dead patients and smokers, he wants all cigarette packages are “virtually uncontroversial.”
Leon has ruled that cigarette manufacturers likely to succeed in its lawsuit to stop the demand, which was to take effect next year. Leon usually blocked from taking effect until after the trial is resolved.
Leon found in his earlier ruling that the nine graphic images approved by the Food and Drug Administration in June, goes beyond the transmission of facts about the risks of smoking to health.
Leon also ruled the size of the labels suggests they are unconstitutional — the FDA requirement said the labels were to cover the entire top half of cigarette packs, front and back and include the number of quit smoking hotline. Labels were up 20 percent of cigarette advertising and marketing to turn the use of the images.
The judge showed no signs that he changed his position in favor of the government after an hour hearing on Wednesday. “It looks like they went to the place where you should look for a 10-minute video before you can even purchase a pack of cigarettes,” he said.
The packaging the government wanted to require included color images of human exhale cigarette smoke through a tracheotomy hole in his throat; plume of cigarette smoke enveloping the infant receives the kiss of mother, a pair of diseased lungs next to a pair of healthy lungs, the patient suffering from a mouth that seems to have cancerous lesions, a man breathing oxygen mask ; corpse on the table with a post-staples opening the chest, the women wept premature baby in an incubator, a man dressed in a T-shirt that shows the “No Smoking” symbol and the words “I Quit”
The Obama administration has appealed Leon’s preliminary injunction stopping the rule from taking effect. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is scheduled to hear the case April 10.
Congress instructed the FDA to require the labels by a wide bipartisan majority.

Stricter indicators on tobacco products

The Union Health Department’s notification which stipulates clear display of warning signs on tobacco products came into force on Saturday. The notification, issued on May 27, calls for separate warnings for smoking and non-smoking tobacco products.
For tobacco products used for smoking, the image displayed should be of cancer in the mouth or in the lungs. For non-smoking products, cancer on the neck and mouth should be displayed.
Over 40 per cent of the space on the front side of the packet should be allocated for the warnings. Apart from this, messages must be displayed both in the language written on the packet and in the local language. ‘Smoking Kills’ in the case of tobacco products used for smoking and ‘Tobacco Kills’, on non-smoking tobacco products must be clearly displayed.
The tobacco products without proper display of these warning signals will be seized, Narcotics Cell assistant commissioner Joseph Saju, who heads the District Tobacco Control Squad, said. He also requested the shop owners and traders not to sell tobacco products without the aforesaid warnings.
Tobacco products with horrifying pictures on cancer will serve as warning for people, members of Kerala Voluntary Health Services, who have been steering the campaign, said.

Tobacco worries – Jamaica in treaty contravention

The Jamaican Government seems set to face censure at a high-level international meeting which starts tomorrow in New York over its perceived failure to stand by its international obligations to stem tobacco cultivation in the country.
A Rural Agriculture Development Authority 2011 study has found that Jamaica is in breach of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to moderate cultivation, as hundreds of tobacco farms have sprung up all over the country.
Health Minister Rudyard Spencer is strenuously seeking to fend off accusations ahead of the United Nations meeting, which he is set to attend, that the Government lacks the political will to abide by the treaty.
Jamaica has been a signatory to the FCTC treaty since 2005.
The survey found that tobacco cultivation has expanded unimpeded over the past two years, with many farmers failing to use scientific or technologically advanced measures to determine maturity of the tobacco.
It also revealed that many other farmers are seeking a foothold in the industry because tobacco is raking in big bucks, running into millions of dollars.
The estimated value of the tobacco industry is some J$397 million at the farm gate. Speaking with The Sunday Gleaner, chairman of the Heart Foundation of Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control, Dr Knox Hagley, predicted that Jamaica faces embarrassment for its nonchalant attitude to tobacco cultivation when it attends the upcoming upcoming United Nations High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases scheduled for this month.
Hagley lamented that there is no clear-cut sanction for breaching the treaty, except embarrassment and public outcry.
Agriculture Minister Robert Montague said he was unaware of the effects of Jamaica’s obligation under the WHO treaty with respect to tobacco cultivation.
But Spencer said while he had received word that tobacco farming had become a lucrative endeavour in recent years, he was not willing to encroach on the agriculture minister’s domain by making far-reaching comments.
Hagley revealed that the failure of the Jamaican Government continues to be a cause for concern at the regional and international levels, with the most recent expression of dismay being an article in the British Medical Journal publication, ‘Tobacco Control’, on June 25.
The report has found that the number of tobacco farmers has swirled over the past two years, while ganja production is on the decline, even as consternation heightens in international and regional quarters that the Government lacks the will to do anything about problem.
As government representatives prepare to attend the high-level meeting, another challenge that it faces is that the piece of proposed legislation does not specifically address the issue of curtailing the tobacco cultivation in Jamaica.
In addressing the issue of tobacco control, The FCTC treaty that Jamaica signed and ratified in 2005, stipulated, among other things that alternative crops should be provided for the tobacco farmers.
However, the long-awaited legislation does not address the issue of tobacco cultivation.
Experts in the tobacco industry theorise that many of the former ganja farmers have turned their attention to the cultivation of tobacco which produces the increasing popular ‘beadie’ and ‘gabby’.
Spencer, in defending the Government’s position, told The Sunday Gleaner that he has encountered a plethora of unforeseen challenges getting legislation before the Parliament over the past four months.
Government anxious
“There is all the will in the world to get this legislation before Parliament. Dr Fenton Ferguson (opposition spokesman on health) supports it, Ronnie Thwaites (an ardent anti-smoking activist) supports it; the Government is anxious to bring it, but a set of circumstances has prevented it up to now.”
The minister said the bill was sent to the Attorney General’s Department, after which it was dispatched to Chief Parliamentary Counsel’s office, who said they were short staffed.
Spencer told The Sunday Gleaner that after a series of back and forth, his ministry finally received the bill.
However, he encountered another obstacle when his legal department decided that it could not be taken to Parliament in the form in which it was completed, forcing the health ministry to send it back to the Attorney General’s Department.
After a series of hiccups, Spencer said he expects the bill will reach his hands shortly.
By Gary Spaulding

Irene leaves N.C. crops in ruins

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. — Before Hurricane Irene smacked his tender tobacco plants sideways, David Parker was headed for a terrific tobaccocrop, maybe his best in 32 years of farming.
Now, as Parker rushes to save a few acres of shredded leaves before they rot on the dying stalks, the math looks different.
“I’ve never had a year I didn’t make money farming, but I think this will be the one that gets us there,” he said Wednesday, driving up a dirt road between a beaten-down cotton field and a 17-acre patch of dejected-looking tobacco.
The green-gold tobacco leaves — which normally this time of year would be spread wide, waiting to be plucked, dried at a careful pace and taken to market — were hanging straight down, shriveled, with the stalks leaning the way that the wind had pushed them.
That’s what this agricultural disaster looks like: wilted leaves, angled stalks, a tangle of cotton plants with fat bolls that had looked unusually promising but now might not open. Subtle stuff to everyone but the hundreds of farmers who, like Brown, now face what may be their worst losses ever.
“That’s not vacation cottages. It’s these people’s whole way of making a living, and the impact will spread throughout all the people and businesses that rely on farmers,” said Graham Boyd, executive vice president of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina.
“It’s a tragedy, just terrible, terrible stuff.”
State and federal officials say it will be at least weeks before the full extent of the farm losses are known, but the effect on tobacco, which is grown in much of the area where the storm punched hardest, is extensive.
“Most of the counties I cover, pretty much any tobacco still in the field is going to be close to a 100 percent loss,” said Dianne Farrer, a regional agronomist for the state who works in more than a dozen eastern counties, including some of the state’s biggest tobacco producers.
“I’ve talked to several growers, and they’re just disheartened,” she said. “If it’s leaned over or knocked over, they can’t harvest mechanically, and if they don’t get in and harvest what’s left by hand, by the end of the week it will be lost.”
Cotton damaged
Many cotton growers — often farmers who are also growing tobacco — could also take big hits. However, it will take awhile for them to be able to tell how badly the plants were damaged, unlike the tobacco that’s knocked over and tattered, Farrer said.
Farmers can get federally backed crop insurance, and many are covered for losses of 70 percent or 75 percent of their harvest last year, Boyd said. Most, though, expected a bigger crop at better prices this year, so the gap between real losses and the insurance payments could be huge.
It’s only designed as a safety net to help farmers pay the bills they piled up planting a year’s crops, not cover their expected profits, he said.
Farm crews usually make about four harvest-time passes through tobacco fields. First, they take the lowest leaves, which ripen first, then work their way up as the leaves turn gold, taking a few leaves with each round. The later rounds are the most valuable.
This year, drought had slowed the harvest. When the storm hit, many — including Parker —had done only one full round and part of the second. The real money was left vulnerable on the stalks.
Some of Parker’s friends were calling around Wednesday, sharing what they had heard from their insurance adjusters. Parker’s told him to send his crew out in the fields to straighten up the stalks and pack the soil down around their roots so they will stay upright and recover.
That works if plants are pushed over by an early-season storm while they’re still growing. But it’s a waste of time and labor this late in the season, Boyd said.
“That’s throwing good money after bad,” he said. “And if they order them to go out and harvest this stuff, a lot of it is going to be such poor quality they won’t get anything for it anyway.”
Parker told the adjuster it made no sense to dump $100 or $200 an acre pushing the plants up but that he’d do his best to harvest whatever might be salvageable.
He and his son, Josh, spent much of Wednesday morning shoulder to shoulder with their crew of about a dozen workers, yanking freshly cured tobacco that had been harvested before the storm out of a metal curing barn, then filling the barn with the first of the salvaged leaves to cure. In a few days, they’ll know how it turned out.
After the barn was loaded, Parker took a visitor on a ride to look at the battered tobacco and cotton fields across the highway from the barns. They were part of the collection of several small fields he farms that add up to 100 acres of tobacco — the real money-maker — plus 180 of cotton and 300 of corn that was badly stunted by drought.
These crops have to support Parker, his wife, a daughter in college, Josh, their work crew and, to a degree, the land owners he rents from, Parker’s propane supplier, the people at the transfer station where he takes the tobacco and everyone else he does business with.
The storm had been gone for three days, but the fields were still so muddy that his pickup quickly sank in up to the rear axle. He shook his head and climbed out: one more problem in a week of nothing but.
“It was the kind of crop you hope for, a real vintage year,” he said walking along, not even glancing at the battered plants on either side. “My experience of farming is you never get there, though. It gets pulled out from under you somewhere along the line.”

FDA requires cigarette packs to bear graphic warning labels

Warning: cover your children’s eyes.health warning
Cigarette packages will carry graphic images next year after the United States Food and Drug Administration announced new regulations regarding warning labels.
The labels, which will cover the top half of cigarette packages, include images of healthy and diseased lungs, a dead man and cancerous teeth. Nine images were chosen from 36 submitted to be placed on cigarette packages as warning labels.
The hope is these images will deter new smokers and be the final push for current smokers to quit.
The new warning labels will be required on all cigarette packs, cartons and advertisements by September 2012.
On the label
The new labels are not pretty and, in some cases, are very intense.
The intent is that they will have a significant public health impact by decreasing the number of smokers, resulting in lives saved, increased life expectancy and improved health, according to information from the FDA.
The warning labels are exciting for those working to educate people about the dangers of smoking.
“I think the images are a strong reminder of the dangers of tobacco,” said Stacy McCole, grant coordinator for Franklin County’s Healthy Community Partnership. “Studies have found them to be effective, so I do hope that they will deter people from starting.”
McCole added that although the images are intense, she does not know if they will make current smokers quit.
“I am hopeful that it will prevent new, especially young, potential smokers from starting,” McCole said. “For current users, they know the risks, but the addiction to nicotine is the real issue.”
Local smoking stats
Franklin County is right in line with the national average when it comes to tobacco use, McCole said.
A 2008 survey found that 21 percent of Pennsylvania adults smoke and that 61 percent of them are looking for ways to quit.
“All trends indicate that this number holds true for the Franklin County area as well,” McCole said.
Additionally, 26.4 percent of Franklin County young people in sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades reported using cigarettes as least once, according to a 2009 PA Youth Survey.
McCole added that the survey also showed that 29.5 percent of 12th-grade students had used tobacco in the last 30 days, which is 9.4 percent higher than the national average.
Healthy Communities Partnership offers free classes to educate youth and adults about the dangers of smoking and how to quit. The classes are in Waynesboro and Chambersburg, are eight weeks long and offer “support and guidance throughout the quitting process,” McCole said.
The next set of classes will begin today in Chambersburg and Aug. 8 in Waynesboro.
For more information on the classes, call Healthy Communities Partnership at 264-1470.
The warning labels bring to light one of the main dangers of smoking — cancer.
“Tobacco users are at increased risk for a number of cancers, including lung and oral cancers,” McCole said.
Tobacco and nicotine can also interact with various medications, making them less effective, McCole said.
“This is especially true for people with diabetes, high blood pressure and those taking medications related to mental health issues like depression,” McCole said. “Women who smoke may face additional risks during pregnancy including low birth weight babies, preterm delivery, miscarriage and other dangers. Studies also show that nicotine is passed through breast milk to an infant.”
The Centers for Disease control adds that individuals who smoke are 10 times more likely to die from bronchitis and emphysema.
By Rachel Bryson
The Record Herald

Cigarette marketing targets African-American youths

The leading menthol cigarette manufacturer in the United States may be targeting its advertisement campaigns toward African Americans youths, according to a School of Medicine study recently published in the Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal.
The study found that Newport, the leading menthol cigarette, is also the most popular brand among African-American smokers and the second most popular brand among young smokers. Author Lisa Henriksen, a senior researcher at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, said she conducted the study in order to supplement a body of studies that examine cigarette-marketing techniques directed toward certain demographics but do not include research on African Americans or youths.
“I worked on the FDA report about menthol and noticed that there were few studies about price, strategic marketing and price-vulnerable groups who smoke menthol cigarettes, so that was the reason for going back and looking at the data,” she said in a phone interview with The Daily.
The study found evidence contradicting claims made by Lorillard, Inc., the manufacturer of Newport cigarettes, to the Food and Drug Administration that it does not base availability of promotions on race or ethnicity.
“This evidence contradicts the manufacturer’s claims that the availability of its promotions is not based on race/ethnicity,” the study said.
The study examined data about advertisements, promotions and pack prices for Newport and for Marlboro cigarettes, the leading non-menthol cigarette. Trained observers and researchers looked at these factors in 407 stores within walking distance from 91 high schools across California.
Henriksen said the most challenging part of completing the study was data collection and obtaining cigarette pack prices.
The study found that advertisements and promotions for Newport cigarettes were more likely to be found in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of African-American students. The advertised pack prices for Newport cigarettes were also lower in those same areas. These patterns did not appear for non-menthol cigarettes.
Henriksen emphasized that the study found that cigarette manufacturers target not only African Americans, but also youths. She called Lorillard’s marketing “predatory” in a statement to Reuters.
“I hope [the research] will call attention to the tobacco industry’s use of advertising and promotion to target vulnerable groups and encourage the FDA to consider that evidence in banning menthol,” she said to The Daily.
Congress passed The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009, which permits states and communities to develop restrictions on the time, place and manner of tobacco marketing. This act also banned a number of cigarette additives including candy, fruit and spice because of their possible appeal to youth, but the question of a menthol ban fell to the FDA, which has the power to ban menthol cigarettes under The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
Stanford Law professor Robert L. Rabin felt that the results of this study could influence a future menthol ban.
“The principal manufacturer of menthol cigarettes, I think something like 85 percent of their business is in menthol cigarettes, [is] going to continue to lobby very hard not to have a menthol ban,” Rabin said. “There’s lots of pressure on the other side. Stuff of this kind is likely to increase pressure to get menthol banned as an additive in cigarettes.”
Rabin also added that limiting the ways that cigarette manufacturers can market is “more complicated.”
Henriksen said that she plans to continue researching similar issues on a broader scale. She recently received a grant from the National Cancer Institute to examine tobacco industry marketing in a sample of stores across the nation.
“I hope I’ll have some opportunity to look at this problem in a larger, more representative sample,” she said.
By Harini Jaganathan

Will smokers heed the warning on cigarette packaging?

Area health officials have mixed opinions on what impact graphic new warning labels on cigarette packs will have on smokers.tobacco warning
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration released nine new warning labels that include images of rotting and diseased teeth and gums and a man with a tracheotomy smoking.
The warning labels also must appear in advertisements and constitute 20 percent of an ad. Cigarette makers have until the fall of 2012 to comply.
“I’m not sure if they’re going to work or not,” said Vicki Ionno, New Philadelphia’s new health commissioner.
The FDA has done a good job of reducing smoking in the country, with the number of smokers declining from 40 percent in 1970 to less than 20 percent today. But in 2004, that decline stalled, and Ionno said the federal agency is looking for new methods to reduce smoking.
She noted that the number of smokers in Tuscarawas County is above the national average — 29.6 percent of county residents smoke, compared to 23.6 percent of Ohioans and 15 percent of Americans. She added that the county also has a higher incidence of obesity and alcohol use.
Ionno said smoking bans in Ohio have helped cut the number of smokers, as has the high cost of cigarettes. But she said it’s still not enough, as long as people are getting cancer or diseases brought on by secondhand smoke.
She said the New Philadelphia Health Department is available to help whenever it can for those who would like to stop smoking.
Dr. James Hubert, Tuscarawas County coroner and health commissioner, is hopeful that the labels might promote smoking cessation.
“They are a semishock type of notice of what can potentially happen with long-term tobacco use,” he said.
Though the images on the labels may be viewed as extremely, he noted that tobacco use is the cause of the greatest number of dollars spent on health care and a major reason for days of work lost by employers. “It affects our economy,” Hubert said.
Dr. Jennifer Ney, a pulmonologist at Trinity Hospital Twin City, said the new labels depict something that is truthful.
“The changes, while graphic, are needed and necessary to bring home the point that cigarette smoking is dangerous,” she said.
In her practice, Ney sees many smokers. In fact, at least 50 percent of her patients are smokers. “They have a false sense of security that it won’t happen to them,” she said, referring to the many health hazards associated with smoking.
She said there are no great screening tests for lung cancer. “By the time you have symptoms, the disease is pretty far advanced.”
Many smokers believe they are healthy because they don’t investigate to see if they are ill. “They’re like an ostrich with its hand in the sand,” she said. “They don’t look for the problem, so they don’t have to deal with it.”
Statistics have shown that the warnings have reduced smoking by 5 percent in other countries where they have been used. “Five percent is better than no percent,” Ney said.
By Jon Baker

Pictorial warnings on chewing tobacco soon

The Centre will soon notify new pictorial warnings on tobacco products, which will be “harsher” for chewing tobacco, as it has been found more harmful than smoking.
“The pictorial warnings are in the process of notification and can be notified any day. There will be two types of warnings — for cigarettes and for smokeless tobacco,” Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference to highlight two years of achievements of the Health and Family Welfare Ministry, he said the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), India, carried out in 2009-2010 found out that 35 per cent of adults use tobacco in some form or the other.
“Among them, 26 per cent adults use smokeless tobacco and nine per cent are smokers. Smokeless tobacco is responsible for 80 per cent of mouth cancer while 20 per cent of mouth cancers are occurring due to smoking,” he said.
Based on the results which show that smokeless tobacco products like gutka are more widely used and are causing more mouth cancers, the government is bringing a “new policy”, Mr. Azad said, adding that “harsher” pictorial warnings will be brought in for chewing tobacco.
There are two existing pictorial warnings like scorpion and damaged lungs for cigarette, while a new and stricter one — a cancer-affected mouth — was to be depicted from December one last year. Such warnings are to be rotated every year.
Tobacco companies have requested the Ministry to increase the number of years for implementing particular programmes from the existing one year to two to three years at least.
Otherwise, they cannot sell the existing cigarette stock with the retailers, and this would cause huge loss to them.