Tag Archives: cigarettes ban

Russia to Introduce a Smoking Ban till the Sochi Olympics

The so expected ban on smoking in public places is approaching with the health ministry publishing its plans to introduce severe laws by 2014.

The law proposed by the government officials plans to prohibit smoking in all public places, including airports, train stations and transports till the Sochi Olympics. The price of a pack of cigarettes is planned to be increased in order to discourage people from this habit.

Russia Sochi Olympics 2014 logo

Smoking also will be banned in bars, cafes and nightclubs in 2015, and it will also include a ban on hookah.

A minimum retail price will be implemented, thus lifting costs up greatly.

Tobacco manufacturers will also be prohibited from sponsoring any events and advertising their smokes.

“Any companies and citizens can make their suggestions during the public debate,” the ministry declared.

Similar bans have been already introduced in many European countries as Finland, France, UK and Norway. The association of restaurants and hotels is ready for the ban, representative of the anti-tobacco coalition Nadejda Khalturina said Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Examples from all around the world demonstrate that not only their gains did not fall, but sometimes even increased, as people wanted to take children with them, and would sit longer in a room with clean air than in one full of tobacco smoke.

According to a world survey that was realized among Russian adults, 60.2% of men and 21.7% of women in the country light up regularly.

Approximately 43.9 million Russian smoking adults constitute about 40% of the economically active population. According to data an average Russian lights up 17 cigarettes per day, and 400,000 Russians die every year because of serious diseases caused by tobacco usage.

“The solution to the problem of smoking is concealed not in bans, but in helping those people who want to quit this dangerous habit. Those who want to smoke won’t stop even if bans are introduced,” said well-known blogger Anton Nosik.

Several ministers state that such tough measures can only bring to an increase in corruption and counterfeit products.

“In order to have no doubts one can only walk through any train where anyone who feels like it smokes under the ‘no smoking ’sign.

It is not the question of how severe the punishment is, but of its inevitability. And we even do not have that. Who will enforce the law? Those police officers, 99% of whom are heavy smokers.” Nosik said.

“Prohibit the sales and manufacture of tobacco in any form, and I will be the first to stop smoking and begin jogging. But while cigarettes are legally distributed and sold, people are not prohibited to use them and allow millions of smokers to enjoy the great taste and flavor of their favorite smokes,” said blogger Andrei Kuprikov.

Washington lawmaker introduces flavored tobacco ban

Washington tobacco-lovers could have to stock up as certain flavored tobacco products could be banned across Washington very soon.

According to Senate Bill 5380, considered last week in Olympia, certain types of tobacco products would be banned throughout the state, a measure that supporters claim will prevent children from trying tobacco, but opponents admit will restrict freedom of choice and harm the economy.

ban on flavored tobacco products

“Restricting tobacco products which are especially appealing to adolescents, such as flavored tobacco, is a vital step in preventing all children from trying tobacco”, claimed Mary Selecky, state Secretary of Health.

She stated minors are interested in tobacco products that smell and taste sweet and those who begin consuming tobacco before the age of 18 are more likely to consume tobacco further on, increasing the expenses on health care in the state.

Under the bill, all tobacco products, which have a certain flavor or aroma, excluding menthol or natural tobacco, or those tobacco products, which are selling in dissolvable form would be banned. The ban also demands all tobacco products to not be displayed so that they are not directly available to the customers and would permit counties to adopt tobacco ordinances that are more rigorous than the ones adopted on state level.

The measure’s fiscal note states the approval of the bill would result in the loss of tax revenue of approximately $20million for the state treasury in the next two years, however supporters of the measure claim public health benefits would more than offset the loss of tax revenue.

According to a research conducted last year, every $1 spent on tobacco prevention programs during the last decade returned as $5 saved on healthcare expenses, including the costs to hospitals and patients, not only savings to the state.

Local owners of tobacco businesses stated they have been dealing with many restrictions and bans already and the lawmakers should concentrate efforts on enforcing current legislations, instead of adopting new ones.

Washington Retail Association spokesman Mark Johnson admitted that if passed the bill would be especially damaging to small businesses, who depend on the earnings generated by tobacco sales.

Jeffrey Packer, who runs a tobacco shop in Tacoma stated the bill would destroy his business, as it would reduce the profits and restrict freedom of choice of adult smokers across the state.

“The bill puts in jeopardy personal freedom of adult to select the activity they prefer,” Packer added.
During the hearing, Republican Senators from several Senate Committees supported Parker’s arguments.

“I believe the answer is very simple,” Sen. Curtis King, said about the ban on flavored tobacco. “Instead of outlawing a product, why don’t we simply require it to not be displayed in the stores?”

Supporters of the bill, that include several anti-smoking organizations, such as American Cancer Society, and American Lung Foundation, stated flavored tobacco products sometimes have a direct appeal to minors, particularly the products that have fruit or chocolate flavor.

TPSAC weighs the consequences of menthol cigarettes ban

During the last meeting of recently created Tobacco products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) the participants discussed the pros and cons of banning menthol flavoring in cigarettes, with four of seven speakers focused the Committee’s attention on the message that banning menthol would result in the growth of black market.

consequences of menthol cigarettes ban

Gilbert Ross, American Council on Science and Health’ Executive/medical, declared that ACSH at the beginning to know that menthol flavoring was not covered by the FDA ban on flavorings in cigarettes and carried out a review on that issue. During that research they discovered no physiological toxicities or disorders related to menthol flavoring in cigarettes, in addition to what is already found in cigarettes.

He said they were very surprised to understand that it was very difficult to put a ban on menthol cigarettes, as it has been evident that smokers who prefer menthol cigarettes have been quite loyal to consuming namely menthol cigarettes, so banning menthol flavoring would increase the probability of creating a black market, which in its turn would give under-aged smokers an access to menthol cigarettes and other banned substances.

Bruce Levinson, a senior staffer at Center for Regulatory Effectiveness warned the audience about the dangers that could be caused by black market. He cited a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives document, which said the black market doesn’t care about quality standards of the products, or the age of potential buyers, and that black market is linked with terrorism and organized crime.

Mr. Levinson also asked the TPSAC to review the report by ATF on the contraband and black market, and even invite the ATF to take part in the next meeting to give the Committee a view on the potential consequences of menthol ban from the point of view of black market.

Fredrick Flyer, vice president of Compass, a company hired by Lorillard Inc. to carry out economic analyses of the ban, admitted that despite they only had access to Lorillard’s data on Newport, nation’s top-selling menthol cigarette, they found relatively low elasticity in preference for the product.

He said that since there is a strong demand for menthol cigarette brands, the black market would benefit from the ban on legitimate sales of menthol cigarettes.

Lyle Beckwith, National Association of Convenience Stores senior vice president, declared that black market already benefits significantly from the sales of tobacco products, due to price difference, making the legal businesses suffer. He added that in case the menthol cigarettes were banned, there would be an increased demand on them at black market.

However, not all the participants of the meeting were focused on economic consequences of menthol cigarettes ban. Gary Giovino of the State University of New York, declared that the menthol cigarettes are equally dangerous as the non-mentholated ones, so they have been concerned that menthol simply masks the harshness of tobacco.

He cited The National Youth Smoking Cessation Survey that discovered that teenagers were more likely to prefer menthol cigarettes than young adults, and said they believe that banning menthol cigarettes would help to reduce smoking rates in teenagers.

Smoking Ban is not Observed on Kolkata Stations

It is very difficult to believe that smoking on railway territory has been prohibited for more than two decades, when looking on hundreds of passengers deliberately smoking their cigarettes on trains and railway platforms in suburban Kolkata.

Smoking on railway territory

While commuters accuse the railway authorities for not implementing the ban and accepting bribes to let lawbreakers remain unpunished, officials invoke helplessness and declare that all this happens due to the lack of awareness about the law among passengers.

“We often lead anti-smoking inspections and lawbreakers are punished,” declared, Purusottom Guha, divisional railway manager of Eastern Railway’s Sealdah division.

He acknowledged that it was just impossible to effectuate daily inspections on all train compartments and stations as employees of this division have also another duties to perform.

“We check approximately 832 of local trains, each having 10 carriages daily,” he said. More than 1.8 million commuters travel by local trains in Kolkata every day.

During an investigation that was held in some suburban stations as Agarpara, Bidhannagar and Barrackpore were found some hawkers selling cigarettes without any restriction.

At big terminal stations as Howrah and Sealdah, where officials are always present, there is no smoking and also there are no hawkers selling cigarettes. But once trains depart from these stations, commuters quickly light up on the train.

When Guha was asked why his department doesn’t take actions against hawkers, he stated that tobacco products are obtainable only in private stands and not in stands directed by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.

“That is why we can’t do anything against them,” he stated. Commuters state that the situation hasn’t changed for years, in spite of the Section 167 of the Railways Act 1989 which prohibits smoking on trains and railway stations. Smoking on trains and railway stations is fined according to the Criminal Procedure Code.

A daily passenger on the Howrah station, stated: “At each station you can find hawkers selling various tobacco products. And passengers smoke even in the presence of a check –man.”

“Our primary duty is to protect railway property and assure security to passengers in trains. It is the responsibility of ticket collectors to enforce the ban. The ticket collectors fine passengers for such violations as unbooked luggage or ticketless travel, but they do not punish any passengers for smoking,” stated Railway Protection Force officer in Howrah station.

Ticket collectors on the contrary accuse RPF personnel for not punishing smokers and liberate them after accepting bribes. Eastern Railway representative Samir Goswami stated that RPF personnel and officials of the anti-fraud departments effectuate daily inspections in order to prevent smoking and selling of tobacco products on trains and stations.

Smoking Ban in Menlo Park’s Public Places

Next week it would be very difficult for smoking citizens of Menlo Park to light up in public places and in the common areas of apartment and condominium complexes.

Thus Menlo Park will become the latest Peninsula city banning smoking.

Menlo Park's smoking ban

The city council is going to reconsider a proposed ordinance that will prohibit smoking in parks, athletic fields, transit stops and other public places on the meeting. Also the ordinance will ban smoking in the common areas of apartment and condominium buildings including stairways, lobbies, laundry rooms, swimming pools and associated parking areas.

This law would not restrict smoking on streets and sidewalks, except when they are being used for some city-sponsored events as for example parades and fairs and at uncovered parking lots.

Despite the fact that smoking would be outlawed inside restaurants and bars, the ordinance would permit it on their outside patios. Smoking also would be allowed inside tobacco shops.

When the city council reconsidered the ordinance in March, it demanded various changes, such as eliminating liability for landowners deemed to be in compliance with the law and setting apart existing tobacco retailers, namely Knickerbockers Cigars.

The latest variant of the ordinance would widen the exemption that the council members demanded for the popular Santa Cruz Avenue tobacco retailer and to any tobacco shop currently open or that would come in the future.

“I am surprised that Menlo Park will consider permitting outdoor smoking areas when other cities and countries are implementing restrictions on them,” Karen Licavoli from Breathe California, non-profit organization aimed at lung health promotion stated at the conference.

“The majority is closing, that is where the trend is going. This happens due to the increasing number of researches and investigations on the impacts of secondhand smoke on outdoor areas as well,” Licavoli stated.

Licavoli cited a 2007 Stanford study which showed that a non-smoker a few feet downwind from a lit cigarette is likely to be exposed to considerable levels of toxic tobacco fumes.

Peninsula cities that have adopted severe smoking bans are: San Mateo, San Carlos and Belmont. At present South San Francisco’s council is examining an anti-smoking ordinance.

Barbara Franklin the citizen of Menlo Park is the initiator behind the city’s suggested smoking ordinance. She started this fight about two years ago after a man who smoked moved into the condominium below hers. But the newest law cannot stop the man from smoking as the residential unit’s excepting balcony or patio is not considered a common area.

“I am pleased with the suggested ordinance. It requires more time to protect people,” she concluded.

Montana Smoking Ban Gives a Loophole for Hotels

Almost all public venues throughout Montana have become smoke-free when the Montana Clean Air Act was implemented last month; however, hotels got an exemption from the statewide measure. The legislation, introduced in 2005 and entered into effect two months ago, permits hotels to leave 35 percent rooms for the guests eager to smoke inside while the remaining 65 percent must become non-smoking.

hotels smoking ban

When Richard Stewart became the owner of the Crazy Loop Motor Inn in Billings, he began to changes the rules right away. In just three months, he managed to make 40 percent of the rooms smoke-free. Today, the Crazy Loop has only 10 rooms where smoking is permitted, down from 50 just three years ago. Stewart admits he would be glad to make his entire premise smoke-free, however, since the hotel is eager to accommodate every visitor, he does not think the change is likely to happen.

The Montana Hoteliers Associations struggled to get a partial exemption from the anti-smoking law. “To my regret, I don’t believe that it would be workable in the nearest future. The switch to become an entirely non-smoking place, would hit the revenues of the Crazy Loop”, said Stewart. Of course, I would be glad to see the place smoke-free, but it just won’t bring the necessary amount of profit in this way.

The Crazy Loop is one of the majority of hotels across the state dealing with the latest anti-smoking law. The Montana State Department of Public Health admits that hotels can decide for themselves whether they would like to become completely non-smoking or provide accommodation for smokers. Victoria Hamilton, a senior manager for health education at the CCHD, acknowledged that the hotel owners should make their premises smoke free at their own will.

Hamilton said that the Department made an attempt to enforce that measure back in Spring, however, it has been hard to track since people are willing to light up on their balconies or in the parking. Therefore, the policy has not been a successful one this far. Although the majority of the hotels in the state still permit smoking in a small number of the rooms, there are places that had adopted their own strict anti-smoking rules long before the bill was implemented.

The data shows that several hotels had decided to become non-smoking in order to cut expenses on cleaning the smoking-related litter.

Amazon.com stopped selling electronic cigarettes

The major online store Amazon.com reported to cease up sales of electronic cigarettes on its website. The decision came up as a result of massive criticism from multiple public health organizations, which warned the owners of internet retailer about possible legal actions for simplifying the access to a product that was declared toxic and hazardous for health by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA experts as well revealed the results of the laboratory analysis of electronic cigarettes, showing the devices to contain carcinogens and other toxic substances in the liquid from the cartridges inside them.

amazon has stopped e-cigs sales

After the experts had announced the results of the tests, various health organizations, led by Action on Smoking and Health began calling on the FDA to outlaw the electronic cigarettes and warned wholesalers about their legal liability of selling poisonous products on the legal basis.

Recently, after getting a notification of possible lawsuits from the coalition of public health organizations, popular social network Facebook prohibited advertisements of e-cigs and PayPal reportedly took measures to crack down sales of the devices.

In addition, several countries around the globe prohibited distribution and even possession of electronic cigarettes. Among such countries are Australia, Taipei, Mexico, Canada, Singapore, Israel and Brazil. In August, Oregon became the first US state to ban e-cigarettes, with its steps followed by Connecticut, where the Attorney General filled a lawsuit against distributors of these products.

Currently, California lawmakers are also considering implementation of the ban on e-cigarettes, that could create a chain-reaction for other states, as anti-smoking advocates hope. Many shopping centers, where the electronic cigarettes have been selling, began demanding a quality certificates and liability insurance; whereas the Washington Supreme Court is likely to issue a decision that would uphold prohibition of the importations of e-cigs into the United States.

According to the reports, the administration of Amazon.com has started notifying the merchants about the ban by means of the following letters: “We have banned the distributions of the devises known as electronic cigarettes, components for these devises and products of similar kind. A complete list of products banned from our sites can be found in the attachment for this letter. Amazon.com has the right to delete any product we consider to be inappropriate or illicit for Amazon.com. We are sending this message because we have determined that you are distributing a product we consider to be inappropriate for our site. For additional information, please visit the Inappropriate Products section. To avoid the locking of your account, please avoid listing the prohibited products on our site.”

Electronic cigarettes represent probable jeopardy to consumers, to teenagers who could use the devises because of their tasty flavors, and to all other people, including those suffering from different chronic respiratory diseases and allergies, even if they don’t use the e-cigs themselves, since the devises a producing a vapor containing a mixture of nicotine, unknown chemicals and propylene glycol, which can lead to various infections of respiratory tract.

The FDA experts tested the ingredients contained in cartridges of electronic cigarettes made by leading companies in that segment. The analyses showed that liquid from the cartridges contained diethylene glycol, a toxic substance used in antifreeze and hazardous to humans. In addition other samples contained nitrosamines, chemicals known to cause cancer.