Jun 8, 2017

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In a historic move to save lives and protect public health, the Indian government has announced that it will tax cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and cheap, hand-rolled cigarettes called “bidis” at the highest rate of 28 percent under a new Goods and Services Tax (GST) structure.

Jan 6, 2017

(This post was published by Health Affairs Blog, where the full content can be found.)

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Ten years ago, the world was a different place when it came to tobacco. Fewer than twenty developing countries in the world had even one strong tobacco control policy in place. The tobacco industry was beginning an aggressive ramping up of nefarious activities to grow their market share in vulnerable developing countries. And although advocates for tobacco control measures had a major public health victory in passing the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the world’s first public health treaty, little financial or technical help was available to support countries that wanted to put life-saving, proven tobacco control policies in place.

Mar 23, 2016

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A committee of Indian parliamentarians heavily influenced by the tobacco industry has recommended that increased graphic health warnings championed by the Ministry of Health be reduced in size. India’s Daily Mail called the committee’s report “an unabashed manifesto of the tobacco industry.”

The Indian government is set to implement the new, larger graphic health warnings covering 85 percent of all tobacco packs on April 1 as allowed by the country’s law regulating tobacco products. But the arguments from the group of parliamentarians — heavily influenced by the tobacco industry — have cast doubt on full implementation of the warnings.

Feb 24, 2016

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Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue recently landed in mailboxes, and once again it is crammed with ads for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. These ads portray deadly and addictive tobacco products as fun and sexy, a tactic the tobacco industry has used for decades to lure young people. 

Amidst photos of models in body paint and ever-skimpier bikinis, this year’s swimsuit issue features five tobacco ads – three for the leading smokeless tobacco brands (Grizzly, Skoal and Copenhagen) and two for cigarettes (Newport and Natural American Spirit).

Jan 19, 2016

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In a big win for public health, Ukraine’s President has signed a new law increasing taxes on cigarettes by 40 percent. The law, which takes effect March 1, continues Ukraine’s strong commitment to reducing the devastating burden of tobacco-related death and disease. It was enacted despite strong opposition from the tobacco industry and its allies.

Dec 30, 2015

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January 1 rings in the New Year – and brings in some new laws in the fight against tobacco.

Hawaii will make history as the first state to raise the minimum legal sale age for tobacco products to 21. The new law takes effect January 1, prohibiting the sale of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, to anyone under 21. “We are proud to once again be at the forefront of the nation in tobacco prevention and control,” said Hawaii Director of Health Virginia Pressler.

Dec 23, 2015

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From Hawaii and San Francisco to New Orleans and Beijing, 2015 has been a year of groundbreaking victories in the fight against tobacco – the No. 1 cause of preventable death.

These achievements show we can win this fight and make the next generation tobacco-free – but only if the proven strategies that drive progress are fully implemented. We cannot let up because the tobacco industry never lets up – as the industry’s actions remind us over and over again. Here’s a snapshot of 2015.

Dec 11, 2015

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It takes courage to stand up to Big Tobacco — and Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez continues to do just that in fighting tobacco use in his country of 3.4 million people.

The Inter-American Heart Association recently recognized this courage when it presented President Vázquez with the Science of Peace Award at a ceremony in Chile. The award honored his strong commitment to tobacco control both in Uruguay and around the world.

Dec 10, 2015

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The United Health Foundation released its 2015 “America's Health Rankings® Annual Report,” providing a comprehensive state-by-state assessment of the nation’s health. Not surprisingly, the report shows that the 10 least healthy states have some of the nation’s highest smoking rates.

Dec 10, 2015

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Big tobacco is yet again fighting public health measures meant to reduce tobacco use, this time by suing the government of the United Kingdom (UK) for its law that will require tobacco products to be sold in standardized packages. The case has been brought by tobacco giants Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Group and Japan Tobacco International. The companies are challenging the UK law — which will take effect next May — to eliminate the use of colorful logos and branding on tobacco packaging.

Nov 9, 2015

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Nepal recently implemented the world’s largest graphic health warnings on tobacco packs, covering 90 percent of the front and back of the pack. Nepal’s new warnings set a global example and show other countries what can be accomplished by prioritizing health and standing up to the tobacco industry.

Nov 4, 2015

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A new report documents how the tobacco industry is breaking laws and exploiting loopholes to target kids with deadly tobacco products in 14 countries across Latin America. According to the report, the tobacco industry is using a variety of marketing tactics – some illegal – to target youth at shops, kiosks and other places where tobacco is sold to consumers.

Oct 24, 2015

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If there is a public health benefit to the emergence of e-cigarettes, it will only come if they are effective at helping smokers end the use of cigarettes and if they are marketed in a way that prevents the re-glamorization of smoking among young people.

These goals can be achieved only through effective oversight by the Food and Drug Administration, not by circumventing it.

Oct 15, 2015

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This summer, an investigative series by The New York Times exposed how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has worked systematically in countries around the world to fight life-saving policies to reduce tobacco use. The Chamber’s strategies have included directly opposing countries’ tobacco control policies, pitting countries against each other in costly international trade disputes, and seeking to influence trade agreements to benefit tobacco companies.

Sep 16, 2015

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Chelsea Clinton’s new book – 'It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going' – examines today’s biggest challenges and shares stories about young people who are bringing about real change in their communities, countries and the world.

Appropriately, the book highlights the fight against tobacco – the No. 1 cause of preventable death. And we’re thrilled that it features the work of Magi Linscott, our 2014 National Youth Advocate of the Year.

Sep 4, 2015

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Jon Bon Jovi quit smoking several years ago, and his foundation works “to combat issues that force families and individuals into economic despair” and has supported programs for kids with cancer. So the rocker should be concerned that one of Indonesia’s biggest tobacco companies is using his name and his band to market its deadly products.

Aug 17, 2015

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A year ago, a reinvigorated truth® campaign challenged young people to “finish it” and help end the tobacco epidemic for good. Now a new truth ad has another important message: The battle isn’t just about cigarettes. With the warning “Don’t get played while they get paid,” the ad informs young people that other tobacco products, such as hookah and little cigars, are also addictive and deadly, even if they are often disguised with candy flavors. The ad aired Sunday night during the Teen Choice Awards.

Aug 12, 2015

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New examples continue to emerge about how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) affiliates have done the bidding of the tobacco industry and fought measures to reduce tobacco use around the world. In the latest example, Norway’s Health Minister Bent Høie is blasting the American Chamber of Commerce in Norway for opposing a government proposal to require that tobacco products be sold in plain packaging.

Aug 6, 2015

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In the fight against tobacco, youth voices pack a powerful punch.

Last week, we welcomed 26 youth activists from 20 states to Washington, D.C., for our annual Youth Advocacy Symposium – a series of skill-building workshops on leadership, advocacy and communications. The youth activists lead the fight in their communities, encouraging their peers to stay tobacco-free, standing against the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing and urging elected leaders to take action.

Jul 30, 2015

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Uganda has joined the growing movement to reduce tobacco use in Africa by enacting a comprehensive tobacco control law. A key provision of the law requires 100 percent smoke-free indoor public places, workplaces and public transport and also prohibits smoking within 50 meters of all public places. This provision and others faced strong opposition from British American Tobacco Uganda, which lobbied policymakers to provide for designated smoking areas.

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