Tag Archives: smoking ban

Flavored Tobacco Products outlawed in the New York City

The New York City Council almost unanimously approved an amendment to federal ban on flavored cigarettes in order to expand it prohibiting all tobacco products with flavorings.

In conformity with the ordinance, such flavored items as cigarillos, cigars or chewing tobacco are now prohibited. The NYC public health department’s spokesman said that the legislation would prevent tobacco companies from making use of the loopholes in the federal ban that still allows flavorings in all tobacco products, other than cigarettes. Neither the federal ban, nor that of NYC includes menthol, wintergreen or mint flavors.

Camel flavored cigarettes

The neighboring state of New Jersey also prohibited exotic flavors in cigars.

Michael R Bloomberg, the NYC Mayor already expressed his support to the ordinance that would be passed to his office this week. After the legal approval, any tobacco store across the City caught on selling banned products would have to pay a $2,000 fine for the first violation whereas further violations could even lead to the cancellation of the retailer license. If adopted, the ordinance could become valid in four months.

The New York City Council member, Christine Quinn said that the tobacco industry used the flavorings to hide the hazardous effects of tobacco consumption and encourage minors to start smoking; however, the ordinance adopted by the council would put an end to that shameless practice and prevent the adolescents from becoming attracted by the colorful packs and tasty flavors and then getting addicted to tobacco use.

According to a survey carried out among students of local high schools, the rate of cigarillos and cigar-lovers grew threefold in comparison with 2001 percentage. A typical cigar contains three-five times more tobacco than an average cigarette. However, there are also small cigars, nearly of the same strength as cigarettes, but dramatically cheaper. Public health groups state that the introduction of flavorings was intended at minors, attracting them colorful images and teenage-oriented slogans.

Joel Rivera, the author of the ordinance stated that the flavorings are the latest interpretation of Joe Camel, a controversial symbol of Camel cigarettes that was prohibited in the 90’s.

Lewis Fidler, the lone opponent of the bill in the council confessed that he had switched to his favorite cherry cigars from good-old Marlboros. He added that there has been not enough reliable scientific evidence proving that adults and particularly, adolescents start smoking because of flavors.

He also said that though the sales of all kinds of tobacco products had been prohibited, the most efficient strategy in reducing teenage smoking rates is to increase prices, making tobacco products completely unaffordable to younger New Yorkers.

The National Association of Tobacco Outlets sent several letters to the Mayor asking him to veto the bill, since it would hurt sales dramatically, but the Mayor wasn’t available to respond.

Another smokers’ rights organization – Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment – declared that adult smokers are hurt by ridiculous restrictions on tobacco products in the sake of minors.

Israel officials consider a ban on smoking in cars

Members of the Israeli government, Knesset are pushing to adopt a bill to prohibit smoking in cars in presence of minors.

A member of Knesset from Yisrael Beiteinu (a nationalist political party in Israel) Robert Ilatov, whose associate Yuri Shtern, also a member of the government, introduced the bill to ban smoking in vehicles a month before he passed away due to a malignant brain tumor two years ago, declared that the government should pass the bill to revere the memory of the late Knesset member.

Smoking in cars

Ilatov stated that he decided to introduce the bill to the Knesset after he read a research by Johns Hopkins where it is found that vehicles account for the highest second-hand smoke rates. He advised everybody to look through the study published in the August issue of the Tobacco Control journal.

It has been scientifically proven that adolescents are more affected by environmental tobacco smoke and its negative consequences to health.

Dr. Boaz Lev, a vice head of Israel Health Ministry admitted that he has been in favor of the legislation prohibiting smoking in cars in presence of children, however, he had considered the introduction of such a bill with the Public Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (representative of ultra-Orthodox political party, United Torah Judaism), who is responsible for introducing bills concerning public health

At the same time, Israel principal anti-tobacco attorney Amos Hausner, head of Smoking Prevention Council declared that lighting up in cars should be prohibited completely, regardless of the presence of adolescents in those vehicles, because it presents danger to the health of both passengers and driver due to higher probability of road accidents and the severe health complications related to the exposure to secondhand smoke and chemicals contained in the smoke.

Hausner mentioned that there is a legislation, although often flouted, prohibiting usage of mobile phones while driving the vehicle since it distracts drivers and increases chances of road accidents. He recalled that several years ago transport officials launched a campaign urging drivers to avoid smoking while being on the road for the same reasons as in case of mobile phones.

Although, many developed nations implemented strict restrictions on public smoking, banning puffing almost in all enclosed public areas, only a handful of countries has banned lighting up in vehicles in presence of kids.
However, in America, unintentional exposure to environmental tobacco smoke results in thousands of respiratory illnesses and other diseases among children annually.

In addition, the Associated Press reported that Malawi kids as young as 7-10 years old who work at tobacco plantations suffer from severe nicotine poisoning similar to smoking 50 cigarettes daily.

Croatia turns off smoking ban

Croatia has backed down a legislation prohibiting lighting up in public places after being under pressure of a huge wave of criticism from owners of restaurants and bars who stated that the government was destroying their businesses by banning smoking.

Last Thursday, the Croatian government passed an amendment to the public smoking policy permitting smoking in restaurants and bars in physically separated smoking sections that would cover not more than 20 percent of any venue. The rest territory should be non-smoking.

For venues smaller than 50sq m it is now permitted to select between being totally non-smoking or smoking only, after complying with several criteria.

Croatia smoking ban off

Since the day when smoking in all enclosed public places was approved in June, owners of eating and drinking establishments have carried out protest marches and exerted constant pressure and lawmakers to exclude these businesses.

Stipe Upic, chairman of the Croatian Association of Restaurant and Bar Owners, praised the amendment which has been the result of negotiations between the Association and Ministry of Public Health.

According to Upic, the economic downturn already hit the businesses dramatically and the winter could have ruined many of them, since when it was hot the managers used patios to accommodate smokers.

Public Health officials have stated that the legislation is intended at protecting non-smokers from secondhand smoke, as around 70 percents of the population are not smokers.

The chairman of the National anti-smoking organization, Vania Lapic said she had been sad that the government decided to amend the law; however, she understands that the amendment has been the result of difficult economic situation and necessity to save work places in the primary sector of Croatian economy.

In Croatia, tobacco is blamed for killing some 10,000 people each year while an additional 3,000 die from passive smoking, according to the health ministry.

Croatia spends $600 million on treating smoking related diseases every year.

However, the population and even business owners have split into two camps, with one praising the amendment and the other criticizing it.

“I am very happy, since despite health risks, the major thing is the profis, since it is well-known that smokers are better customers,” admitted Goran Ancic, manager of a small café Brasilia in the centre of Zagreb.

He added that Brasilia owner decided to make his venue for smokers, as after the introduction of the ban their profits decreased by one third, and that loss could have been even more if they had not launched a patio in front of the entrance.

Maria Dragojevic, a patron of another Zagreb café said that smoking is not good for everyone, but people should have been given a right to make their own decision.

However, there are business owners who have not been against the ban when it was introduced.

The ban has been obligatory in many European countries, and there have been no reasons why the ban should have been amended, said Nisit Alispasic, who owns a restaurant in Split.

The Balkan countries are home to the most die-hard smokers in Europe, with 30-40 percent of adult population being regular smokers.

The difficult time for tobacco industry

Currently, Turkey officials are planning to implement an amendment of current nationwide smoking ban. On July 20, smoking in all enclosed restaurants, bars and other establishments that serve food and alcohol would be banned, as country seeks to overcome smoking addiction in the 22-million population, about 35 percent of which smokes.

Smoke free area sign

Moreover, comprehensive smoking ban as well hits another “smokers’ paradise”, Cyprus, where all public places including workplaces, eating venues, nightclubs and public transport, will become smoke-free, beginning from January 1, 2010. Violators will be subjected to pay large fines.

Let us have a short look into history: Ireland was the first EU country to implement a ban on public smoking almost five years ago, in 2004. Meanwhile America saw its first public smoking restrictions in 2003, when several states, among which was California, prohibited smoking in workplaces. As regards Asian region, Bhutan is the leader in the struggle with smoking, becoming the first country in the world to ban sales of tobacco across the country in 2004.

Here is a flashback of landmark bans on smoking implemented in various countries since 2008:

* 2008:


– France: although smoking in many public places was prohibited back in 2007, country from January 1, 2008, France become completely smoke-free, after banning smoking in restaurants and cafes.

– Turkey: government approved a bill to prohibit smoking in all enclosed public places, subjected to implementation in July 2009.


– Thailand: canceled the exemption, permitting smoking in separately ventilated sections of bars and several outdoor public areas.


– Germany: although country banned smoking in 2007, the ban was challenged in federal court in July 2008.Currently, smoking is allowed in drinking venues that don’t have a possibility to designate a separate section for smokers. The smoking rates in the country account for 30 percent of all adult population.

– Netherlands: government has forbidden in eateries and drinking establishments. However, smoking of cannabis is still legal in coffee shops selling marihuana.

– Switzerland: prohibited smoking in public on July 1.But Geneva Supreme Court gave it residents precious time when ruling that city officials were not entitled to ban smoking.


– India: Prohibited public smoking, trying to curb tobacco addiction in the country famous for its die-hard smoking making up almost 40 percent of all India adults.



– Indonesia: banned smoking in enclosed places, however corresponding legislation is not enforced.


– Croatia: banned smoking in restaurants and eateries, what has risen a wave of protest by hoteliers and restaurateurs as well as simple smokers that account for one million of 4.5 million residents.

– Bulgaria: Government adopted a ban on public smoking, subjected to enter into force in 2010, despite a wave of criticism from tobacco and tourist industries.


– Greece, Cyprus and Turkey: prohibited smoking in restaurants, nightclubs and other public places.

smoking ban