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Greece records the second highest share of daily cigarette smokers within the EU for 2019 according to the latest Eurostat data, at 23.6% with Bulgaria in first place at 28.7%.

Following Greece are Latvia (22.1%), Germany (21.9%) and Croatia (21.8%).

In contrast, the countries with the smallest shares of daily smokers were Sweden (6.4%), Finland (9.9%), Luxembourg (10.5%), Portugal (11.5%) and Denmark (11.7%).

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On Monday 8 November the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer met to debate amendments to the Rapporteur’s draft report. This was the second and final consideration of amendments before a vote in Committee, which is scheduled for 6 December. A recurring theme throughout the meeting was the need for compromise in addressing amendments, particularly in the area of prevention. Worryingly for vapers, the topic of e-cigarettes and flavours featured prominently.-

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The state government has been called out by the Tasmanian Small Business Council chief executive Robert Mallett, after it was revealed Tasmania is the only national jurisdiction that requires pharmacies to hold a license to stock nicotine vaping products.

Since the implementation of new vaping regulations on October 1, there have been divided opinions on the strong laws. [...] "More than 550 Tasmanians die of smoking-related illnesses each year and Tasmania retains the second-highest smoking rate in the nation which is why we strictly regulate the sale of tobacco products, including nicotine e-cigarettes," Mr Rockliff said.

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Portland is looking to join a national movement to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, citing the adverse public health effects of marketing that targets children, African Americans and other marginalized groups.

Bangor last month became the first Maine municipality to adopt a ban, joining hundreds of communities that have done so across the United States. [...] Portland long has been a leader in the state in passing anti-smoking legislation. The city banned smoking in restaurants in 1998 and in many public spaces in 2013, and raised the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 in 2016.

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The upcoming arrival of Philip Morris International has revealed a conflict Gov. Ned Lamont and other officials have with the tobacco giant.

Lamont and legislators who represent Stamford at the state Capitol and in Congress say they are non-smokers, but they are keen to tout the economic benefits of another Fortune 500 company moving to Connecticut — despite their distaste for cigarettes and recognition that tobacco use has caused thousands of deaths in the state each year.

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Attack on safer nicotine products is outrageous | RegWatch at GSTHR in London, 2021. Interview with Will Godfrey, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Filtermag & Executive Director, The Influence Foundation

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The Food and Drug Administration’s renewed push to regulate e-cigarettes could interfere with the Biden administration’s plans to ban menthol-flavored tobacco products, a long-sought goal of public health groups.

On Nov. 18, the agency will square off in a federal district court with anti-tobacco groups that say it has unreasonably delayed action to limit the minty flavor in tobacco products, despite ample evidence of menthol’s toll on public health.

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A very special event happened today, COP9 livestreamed its final session! The public was afforded a rare glimpse into the secret meeting that we are not allowed to attend. All decisions had already been made by then, of course.

The main announcement was that the next COP meeting will take place in Panama in 2023. [...] Dr Adriana Blanco Marquizo was re-elected as Head of the FCTC Secretariat and gave a speech which acknowledged that COP9 had experienced many technical issues, saying that sometimes discussions literally got lost in translation. [...]

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E-cigarette use continues to increase globally despite uncertainty regarding their long-term health impacts and around their effectiveness for tobacco smoking cessation. This uncertainty creates unique challenges for governments as they attempt to optimally regulate and positively or negatively incentivize these products in a way that maximizes the public's health. Current approaches to e-cigarette regulation and incentivization fall within a spectrum of options ranging from a singular focus on health protection, whereby policies intend to prevent the dangers of e-cigarettes, to a singular focus on using e-cigarettes for harm reduction, [...]

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President Biden's
Build Back Better agenda depends a lot on smokers and their compulsive habit. Smoking generates tax revenue — lots of it. Part of the theory is that high taxes, restrictions on advertising, research on the deleterious health effects of smoking, and the cultural stigma surrounding smoking will wean Americans off tobacco, but too much success on that front also will dry up big tax revenue. As part of the package of funding measures, the administration had sought to raise federal taxes on cigarettes by 50 percent and on other tobacco products like dipping tobacco by 1,600 percent. [...]

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Global tobacco control is deeply political, divisive, and reflects the prevailing gendered and other social hierarchies that influence policy and research agendas. This critique is not unique to tobacco control; it is seen across global health, which suffers from a lack of women’s participation and leadership—and gender-responsive policy, programs, research and resource allocation.

Of 8 million annual smoking-related deaths worldwide, 1.5 million are women. Yet current strategies specifically to help women who smoke are woefully inadequate. [...]

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Dr Olivia Agyekumwaa Boateng, Head of the Tobacco and Substances of Abuse [...] (FDA) says the use of shisha is not an alternative for cigarette and called on the youth to desist from using it.

She said shisha inhalation had become very popular particularly among the youth with the misconception that once the toxins contained in shisha passes over water before it is inhaled, it would be safe devoid of health risks.

“We have aggressively been doing public education for people to know that they are not safer forms. In fact if you inhale shisha in a sitting for an hour, it is equivalent to about 100 cigarettes. It goes directly to the lungs.”

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The Korea Electronic Cigarette Association said it is planning to file a constitutional lawsuit over the tax rate on liquid e-cigarettes known as “dipping tobacco.”

The association argues the tax is 6.6 times higher than the rate applied to conventional cigarettes, despite it being less harmful. Unlike cigarettes, which are taxed per 20 sticks, dipping tobacco is taxed per gram. When converted into 20 pouches of dipping tobacco, which is roughly equivalent to 20 cigarettes, the tax is 19,000 won. The tax on 20 regular cigarettes is 2,885 won.

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House Democrats are poised to vote on imposing a new federal excise tax on e-cigarettes—but without a tax increase on traditional cigarettes—leading some public-health experts to warn that the provision could push vapers back to cigarette smoking.

 

The House bill includes a measure intended to tax vaping products on par with the existing federal cigarette tax rate of $1.01 per pack. It would raise about $9 billion over a decade. The nicotine tax would apply to e-cigarettes, vaping liquids and oral nicotine pouches. It wouldn’t apply to nicotine gums, patches or other smoking-cessation aids approved as medical products by the Food and Drug Administration.

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Governments must set a date for banning the sale of cigarettes through retailers including supermarkets, and find new ways of boosting revenue without relying on tobacco excise taxes, leading public health researchers say.

It comes as research published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) on Monday found 1,466 respondents (52.8%) to a Victorian Cancer Council survey agreed with phasing out the sale of cigarettes in retail outlets.

 

“Sometimes the public is ahead of the policy,” associate prof Coral Gartner, an international expert in tobacco control policy with the University of Queensland, said.

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Most tobacco users know too well the benefits of quitting such as improved energy, healthier skin and most importantly preventing lung cancer, one of the most common and deadliest of cancers. However, it’s not as easy as just stopping. Whether smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco or vaping, quitting is hard! It will take time and perseverance, but with the right game plan and mind set, it is possible. [...] It’s important to set a date and make a strong, personal commitment to quit on that day. Don’t pick a day too far away. It gives you too much time to change your mind. On the other hand, quitting cold turkey today isn’t recommended either.

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I’m sorry I was not able to attend last week’s session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC.

[...] I welcome your decision to launch an innovative investment fund to support implementation of the Convention.

I also welcome the Declaration on the WHO FCTC and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, proposed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and co-sponsored by a broad group of Parties, stressing the need to protect public health policy from the tobacco industry.

While we still have some way to go before we end the pandemic, tobacco control measures must be part of the recovery, particularly increases in tobacco taxes.

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“After careful consideration, the board has determined that now is the right time for a new leader to guide the essential efforts of the foundation, its team and its work with partners around the world,” said Pamela Parizek, the chair of the foundation’s board of directors, in a press statement distributed to outlets on Oct. 25. “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Derek for helping to establish and build the foundation,” [...] “We deeply appreciate the contributions he has made to this team’s work and to communities around the world through decades of ground-breaking efforts in tobacco control and public health. We wish him all the best.”

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The Ninth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has closed with an agreement to embark on an innovative multi-million-dollar financial plan to strengthen global tobacco control measures

According to the WHO, a key milestone arising from COP9 is the decision to move forward with the development and launch of an investment fund that will offer a third source of support to help global tobacco control efforts. “This lays a foundation for financial stability for the future implementation of the FCTC,” the global health body wrote in a press note. [...]

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Day 4 of COP has begun.  From Journal 4 and the FCA bulletin we learn that the morning’s business is regional meetings, followed by the Committee B’s Fifth Committee meeting and then the Fifth plenary. There are new additions to the main documents page, the First report of Committee A (decision on NGO’s maintaining their observer status) and the Second report of Committee B (deals with the investment fund, do see our update from last night for discussion of their first report).  Today should see a decision on who is to host COP10 (it will not held in Geneva). [...]