World Health Organisation for complete ban on tobacco advertising

Half measures are not enough. We urge the government of Pakistan to impose a complete ban on tobacco advertising; to withdraw the Statutory Regulatory Order allowing creation of Designated Smoking Areas as a prelude to creation of 100 percent smoke-free environments and to raise tobacco taxation.
The acting representative of the World Health Organisation, Ahmad Shadoul, expressed these views while addressing participants of a ‘Youth Hike for Tobacco Control’ that started from Trail 3 and ended at Gokina on the Margallas here on Sunday.
The hike, which was organised by the Tobacco Control Cell of the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the National Volunteer Movement of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and WHO, was aimed at sensitising young people about the fact that they are the primary target of the tobacco industry in Pakistan.
The hike also served to awaken the country’s policy-makers from their deep slumber. The Ministry of Health has been delaying withdrawal of the controversial order on DSAs in spite of the existence of scientific evidence, and strong objections raised by WHO, the National Alliance for Tobacco Control, the Coalition for Tobacco Control and other members of the anti-tobacco lobby.
“Youth is the backbone of every nation,” Ahmad Shadoul stated, before moving on to explain how the multibillion dollar tobacco industry targets young people by falsely associating use of tobacco products with qualities such as glamour, energy and sex appeal. “In order to survive, the tobacco industry needs to replace those who quit or die with new young consumers. The industry does this by creating a complex tobacco marketing net that ensnares millions of young people worldwide, with potentially devastating health consequences,” Shadoul said.
The WHO chief said recent studies prove that the more young people are exposed to tobacco advertising, the more likely they are to start smoking. He said “When one form of advertising is banned, the tobacco industry simply shifts its vast resources to another channel.”
Other prominent officials at the hike included Additional Secretary Youth Affairs Naeem Baig; Director General Implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Shaheen Masud, and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Babar Awan who was on his regular hike but then joined the participants to give visibility to the tobacco menace and the health hazards associated with it.
Naeem Baig called upon the media act as a watchdog and point out the flaws and violations of the anti-tobacco ordinance. He also said that the young hikers will act as role models and anti-tobacco ambassadors. The event started with registration of participants, who also received T-shirts and P-caps. The participants were carrying placards inscribed with slogans like ‘Sheesha smoking is not cool, it’s killing you,’ ‘Protect yourself from secondhand smoke’ and ‘Don’t be duped: Tobacco kills in every form.’
Earlier, Shaheen Masud told young people that tobacco is the only consumer product that kills up to 50% of its regular users when used as intended by its manufacturers. “The tobacco industry spends millions of rupees in the country annually in marketing their deadly products. Their activities are intended to bring young and hopefully lifelong tobacco users into the fold. The transition from high school to college is a critical period to adopt healthy habits and lifestyles. Unfortunately, during this vulnerable period, many of our young people fall victim to aggressive marketing by the tobacco industry and become regular smokers. Almost 1,200 young Pakistanis take up smoking everyday,” Shaheen said.
Sadly, tobacco use among females in Pakistan is also rapidly increasing. The boy-to-girl tobacco use ratio is shrinking at an alarming rate. Shaheen attributed this increase to popularity of ‘sheesha,’ water-pipe smoking of fruit-flavoured tobacco. She also removed the misconceptions about ‘sheesha.’ “It is generally thought that ‘sheesha’ smoking is not hazardous to health because its nicotine content is less than that of cigarettes, and that addition of fruit flavours make it healthier. Another factor adding to its popularity is its social acceptability and portrayal as a symbol of modernization. In reality, the ‘sheesha’ smoker may inhale as much smoke during one session as a cigarette smoker would inhale consuming 100 or more cigarettes and therefore poses a similar threat to health as smoking,” she informed.
Tobacco is a global pandemic infiltrating the poorest nations in the world. It kills 5 million people every year around the world. In Pakistan, there are an estimated 22-25 million smokers. Tobacco use in Pakistan is common and 55% of the households have at least one individual who smokes tobacco. In Pakistan, about 100,000 people die annually from diseases caused by tobacco use, which does not only occur in the form of cigarettes but also includes ‘beedis’ (hand rolled cigarettes), ‘huqqa’, ‘shisha’ and chewing tobacco.

Young without Cigarettes

Researchers found that smoking cut the people youth. For example they observed that smokers and people with premature aging disease suffer same cell defect.
Cigarettes smoke causes the same cellular defect seen in people with Werner’s syndrome – a rare genetic disease that makes people age very fast.
Statistics show that smokers can die about 10 years before their time. Now researchers may have found a key to this process, giving them unexpected new paths to treatment.
The key comes from the observation that smokers aren’t the only people who age too fast. In their 20s, people with a rare genetic disorder called Werner’s syndrome get gray hair, thin skin, and hoarse voices.
They soon develop diabetes, hardening of the arteries, and weak bones. In their 40s or 50s, they tend to die of heart disease and cancer.
Smokers also age prematurely and tend to die of heart disease and cancer. That’s mean that between this rare disease and smokers there are a link.
Werner’s syndrome is caused by a mutation in a gene called WRN. The gene makes the WRN protein that protects and repairs DNA in every cell of the body.
Researchers collected lung cells from cigarettes smokers with emphysema. The cells had too little WRN protein. The smokers’ WRN genes were normal, but something was keeping them from making enough WRN.
When the researchers cultivated lung cells in the laboratory, they found that cigarette smoke extract decreased the cell’s WRN production — and made the cells age more quickly.
Source: Cigarettesworldnews ®

Secondhand Smoke Exposure

People who are exposed to secondhand smoke may be more likely to have cognitive impairments than their peers, discount cigarettes smokers, a new study showed.
This study doesn’t prove that secondhand smoke exposure causes cognitive impairment, but it does show that cognitive impairment was more common among nonsmokers and former smokers with high levels of cotinine, a nicotine-related chemical, in their saliva samples.
The study included 4,809 adults of 50 year-old and older from England. They provided saliva samples and took various tests of mental skills, including memory and attention, between 1998 and 2002. Participants were considered cognitively impaired if their overall test score was in the bottom 10% of the group.
Never smokers with the highest salivary levels of cotinine were 70% more likely to be cognitively worsen than never smokers with the lowest salivary levels of cotinine. Former smokers with the highest salivary cotinine levels were 32% more likely to have cognitive impairment than former smokers with the lowest salivary cotinine levels.
Researchers found that not only secondhand smoke can cause cognitive impairment but also age, sex, education, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease play a very important role in cognitive decline.
This study raises the strong possibility that secondhand smoke causes cognitive decline, but further research is needed to establish a causal effect.
Source: Ourcigarettesnews ®

Ban won't choke businesses

Bar and restaurant owners predict steep revenue declines if South Dakota prohibits smoking in those businesses, but most studies of previous bans suggest those fears are unfounded – particularly for those that serve food.
Opponents of legislation that would expand the South Dakota smoking ban to bars and restaurant largely have set aside the health argument, but the threatened loss of revenue for the state and individual businesses remains their trump card in a bad economy.
Lobbyist Larry Mann has predicted a 30 percent drop in video lottery revenue, a significant hit to a state that takes half. Mike Trucano, a Deadwood video lottery machine vendor, said smoking bans in other states have swallowed 10 percent to 25 percent of business revenue. Advertisement
Supporters of the ban thus far have emphasized the health effects of secondhand smoke to sway lawmakers. But as the House bill moves to the floor as early as Monday, one health advocate is turning his focus to the economic effect.
Darrin Smith, senior director of advocacy for the American Heart Association in Sioux Falls, is preparing a handout for lawmakers that rebuts claims that liquor sales and gambling revenues fall when states ban smoking.
People opposing the ban have manipulated figures from other states when testifying before legislative committees, he said. Minnesota liquor tax revenues kept going up after that state’s October 2007 smoking ban, and Oregon video lottery officials say their revenue decline largely is a result of the bad economy.
“Legislators, the media and the public deserve honest and accurate, factual evidence,” Smith said.

Cigarettes still burning holes in Austrian ban

Cafe owners and patrons in Austria are still puffing away seven weeks after a partial smoking ban was introduced, and they are not about to stop.
“Why not turn this place into a hospital, while we’re at it?” asks Georg Hold, one of many Viennese “Kaffeehaus” owners now up in arms against the new legislation, which was introduced on January 1.
Smoking bans have been distinctly unpopular and hard to enforce in a country where, according to the World Health Organization, no less than 47 percent of the population smokes, and each consumer burns through an average 2,073 cigarettes per year.
A first attempt in January 2008 to curb smoking in restaurants and bars on a voluntary basis failed miserably.

Over 50 p.c. of pre-university Bangalore students are smokers

The findings of a study, conducted by the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Bangalore, this year, shows that over 50 per cent of pre-university (PU) students pursuing courses in arts and humanities are smokers.
The rules and advertisements to discourage the use of tobacco products by the youth have had no impact on students in Bangalore.
The study revealed that 58.9 per cent of students of arts and humanities, followed by 30.6 per cent and 10.6 per cent students of science and commerce streams, respectively, use tobacco products.
The study was conducted in two stages in Bangalore’s 19 PU colleges on 1,087 students of first year PU (53 per cent) and second year PU (47 per cent). At least 18 colleges had one or more tobacco selling points within 100 yards of their campus. The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2005 prohibits sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of any educational institution. As much as 55.8 per cent of students said that peer pressure had influenced them to use tobacco products. . . .
As much as 18 per cent felt the need to smoke or consume tobacco when they saw film stars smoking or chewing gutka in films

Cigarette consumption decreases in Turkey after ban

Turkish authorities said on Sunday cigarette consumption decreased in Turkey after a ban.
Cigarette consumption was down 1.1 percent in the second half of 2008 over the same period of 2007, Mehmet Kucuk, the deputy chairman of Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulation Agency (TAPDK), told AA correspondent.
“Cigarette sales were down 1.1 percent in the second half of 2008 after the cigarette ban entered into force,” he said.
Last year, a wide smoking ban was introduced in Turkey which was said to be challenging the cliche of “smoking like a Turk.”
Under the new law passed in January 2008, smoking will be banned in all enclosed public places including restaurants and bars as of July 19, 2009.

Philip Morris Int’l profit falls nearly 8 percent

Philip Morris International Inc.’s CEO said Wednesday that the stronger dollar shrank the company’s profit from selling cigarettes in other currencies and it will drag down profit this year again.
When the dollar’s value rises in relation to other currencies, profits from sales in those currencies is diminished as they are translated back into dollars.
The company sells Marlboro, L&M and Parliament cigarettes outside the U.S.
Its stock fell $1.13, or 3 percent, to $37.19 in afternoon trading.
“The (negative) impact of currency is much greater than we previously realized,” Citigroup analyst Adam Spielman told investors. “The underlying business is performing exactly as we had expected, which in this economy is probably a mild positive. But in our view the much greater-than-expected currency sensitivity is a clear negative.”
Philip Morris International’s profit in the quarter that ended Dec. 31 fell nearly 8 percent. It earned $1.45 billion, or 71 cents per share. That’s down from $1.57 billion, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier but well above Wall Street estimates.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters on average expected a profit of 62 cents per share.
The cigarette maker said its fourth-quarter revenue rose 2 percent to $15.22 billion.
Philip Morris International, with offices in New York and Lausanne, Switzerland, is the world’s largest non-governmental cigarette seller, smaller only than state-controlled China National Tobacco Corp.
The company spun off from Altria Group Inc. in March 2008. Altria still owns Philip Morris USA, which sells Marlboros in the U.S.
Philip Morris International predicted its 2009 profit will be between $2.85 and $3 per share, at current exchange rates, including an 80-cent hit per share caused by the dollar’s strength.
“The global economic crisis obviously results in uncertainty, particularly on the currency front, and at current exchange rates we face a steep hurdle,” Chief Executive Louis Camilleri said in a statement.
Camilleri said the bulk of the hit the company took from the strong dollar came in Russia, Turkey, Mexico and Ukraine.
While currency comparisons hurt the company, Camilleri said that all signs were that it will continue to generate strong sales.
“We have not witnessed any evidence of a shift in consumer behavior in emerging markets,” he said on a conference call with investors. “No sign of consumer down-trading has yet been detected. This is obviously good news.”
The tobacco company has even raised prices. In recent months, the company has raised prices in countries around the world, including Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the U.K. and others.
For all of 2008, the company’s net income rose 14 percent to $6.89 billion from $6.04 billion. It earned $3.32 per share. Revenue rose 15 percent to $63.64 billion in its first year as an independent company.
Both Philip Morris companies are pursuing sales of smokeless tobacco products to replace the revenue they expect to lose as cigarette demand continues falling.
Sales volume in the U.S. has been falling due to smoking bans, higher taxes and health concerns.
Philip Morris International said Tuesday it had joined Swedish Match for a global partnership to make and sell smokeless products.
Richmond, Virginia-based Philip Morris USA closed on its $10.4 billion takeover of UST Inc. last month, giving it the market leader and brands such as Copenhagen and Skoal.
Philip Morris International also said it has bought the rights to the Petteroes trademark, a fine-cut brand sold in Norway. During the third quarter, Philip Morris International completed its acquisition of Canadian cigarette maker Rothmans Inc. for $2 billion Canadian dollars.

Cigarette prices rise ahead of looming taxes

Though a federal cigarette tax hike remains weeks away, at least two U.S. cigarette makers already have upped prices and another is cutting some wholesaler discounts as demand drops.
Both Altria Group Inc., which owns Philip Morris USA, and Lorillard Inc., which makes Newport cigarettes, increased their carton and pack prices in recent days.
Neither company would say what prompted the increases. But the federal tax on cigarettes will rise from 39 cents a pack to almost $1.01 on April 1. . . .
Arkansas’ proposed 56-cent increase, which already passed the state House, would pay for a statewide trauma system and a host of expanded health programs. Lindblom dismissed Mathe’s claim that the increase “unfairly burdens a small group.”
“They are killing those people and making them suffer and live horribly sick and disabled lives,” Lindblom said. “For them to have this kind of sympathy for them on a monetary level when they don’t care they are harming people enormously by their aggressive marketing of their product is two-faced and shameful.”