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Author Archives: Arendtm

Results! Tobacco Treaty Success

The latest round of negotiations for the global tobacco treaty, the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), held in Moscow ended this past Saturday, October 18, 2014. Government Delegates from 178 countries and the European Union representing  nearly 90 percent of the world’s people gathered to confront one of the world’s deadliest ever… Read the full article >

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Malaysia Defends Tobacco Control in TPP & FCTC

Almost 200 countries signed the World Health Organisation’s Tobacco Control Convention and are obliged to take measures to curb tobacco use. But the industry has hit back. A big tobacco company, Philip Morris, has taken Uruguay and Australia to tribunals under bilateral investment treaties, claiming billions of dollars in compensation for the two countries’ measures… Read the full article >

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Tobacco Corporations Buy Political Influence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Megan Arendt Office: 202-659-4310 Email: arendtm@ash.org TOBACCO CORPORATIONS BUY POLITICAL INFLUENCE Big Tobacco Contributes Over $1.6 Million Annually to Federal Candidates WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 8, 2014 – The tobacco industry has always been a major player in congressional campaigns, but Action on Smoking and Health’s 2014 Campaign Contribution Map shows… Read the full article >

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USTR Informally Floats ISDS Tobacco Carveout With Some TPP Countries

U.S. trade officials have reached out to some other Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries to informally float the idea of excluding tobacco-related challenges from being brought under the deal’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, according to informed sources. This move signals the United States may be ready to bring its position on this issue closer to… Read the full article >

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U.S. Campaign Contributions

Annually, the tobacco industry contributes over $1.6 million to federal candidates and spends approximately $16.6 million lobbying Congress. This money buys the tobacco industry access to government officials and influence over laws. This is a serious problem because there is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health policy interests. … Read the full article >

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Stubbing Out the Tobacco Industry’s Abuse of Trade Agreements

The tobacco industry has a long history of flexing its muscles, namely in the area of investor protection schemes, against governments in the name of protecting its own market. TTIP is an opportunity to set a good example for 21st century trade agreements by, at the minimum, recognizing the unique dangers presented by the tobacco… Read the full article >

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In Putin snub, US will skip global tobacco summit hosted by Russia

In a shot at Russian President Vladimir Putin, the United States will not send a delegation to Moscow this month to participate in global health talks that hold major implications for the tobacco and burgeoning e-cigarette industries. Hosting the World Health Organization summit is a point of pride for Russia, and it is widely rumored… Read the full article >

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Tobacco Deaths & Taxes

In the past, the United States has been a leader in tobacco control. For the last 15 years, though, the U.S. has been falling behind as other countries have moved to protect their people from tobacco addiction and death. For example, when it comes to tobacco prices, there are huge inconsistencies in America. The average… Read the full article >

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Why I Fight: News/Talk Radio Host & Author Forrest Carr

My Great Cigarette Rebellion How my mother’s simple request to run an errand changed my life. My doctor doesn’t believe I’ve never smoked. In January I was diagnosed with a relatively rare form of kidney cancer—Transitional Cell Carcinoma, which had begun in the kidney and then descended into the bladder. Thankfully, it had only just arrived… Read the full article >

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Statement from the Chairman of the ASH Board of Trustees

50 years ago the 1st Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health clearly established the terrible toll taken by tobacco on the health of smokers and set the United States on a public health campaign to rid the nation of the threat posed by the use of tobacco to the smoker and to those involuntarily exposed… Read the full article >

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A Winnable Battle

The CDC identifies reducing tobacco as a “Winnable Battle” because tobacco is a public health priority with “large-scale impact on health and with known, effective strategies to address them.” For ASH, the ability to significantly improve the protection of U.S. citizens from tobacco-related damage, disease, and death is the driver behind our work in public… Read the full article >

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Cigarettes, Unbranded

The products are virtually indistinguishable from one another, yet they retain more loyalty than Mac computers. And an expensive international legal battle is raging over them. Why? Because the products—cigarettes—are a recognized public health hazard, and governments around the world are trying to do whatever it takes to stop their citizens from lighting up. …… Read the full article >

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South Korea seeks near-doubling of cigarette price

South Korea’s government has proposed nearly doubling the price of cigarettes to lower the country’s smoking rate. Under its plan, the average price per pack would go up to 4,500 won (£2.70, $4.35) by the start of next year. It is currently 2,500 won. But the proposal may undergo changes in parliament as it is… Read the full article >

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‘Ban E-cigarette use indoors,’ says WHO

The World Health Organization says there should be a ban on the use of e-cigarettes indoors and that sales to children should stop. In a report the health body says there must be no more claims that the devices can help smokers quit – until there is firm evidence to support this. WHO experts warn… Read the full article >

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In New Calculus on Smoking, It’s Health Gained vs. Pleasure Lost

WASHINGTON — Rarely has the concept of happiness caused so much consternation in public health circles. Buried deep in the federal government’s voluminous new tobacco regulations is a little-known cost-benefit calculation that public health experts see as potentially poisonous: the happiness quotient. Read More>

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Fmr US Surgeon General Dr. Jesse Steinfeld dies at 87

Three U.S. surgeons general have played the biggest roles in alerting the public to the dangers of tobacco. In 1964, Dr. Luther Terry issued the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, irrefutably linking smoking with lung disease and other illnesses. The report led to a sharp drop in smoking and to the first… Read the full article >

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E-cigarettes may not be the savior of the tobacco industry

E-cigarettes have been heralded as a potential savior for a tobacco industry desperate for new products and customers in the face of a shrinking number of smokers and punitive damages such as the $23.6 billion awarded by a Florida jury last week. But it turns out that regular smokers prefer the real thing. “There is… Read the full article >

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Tobacco Costs the World More than GDP of All Low Income Countries

“Tobacco use alone costs the world 1-2% of its GDP each year,” Helen Clark, administrator of the United Nations Development Program told the United Nations on July 11th. The world’s GDP in 2013 was nearly $75 trillion.  One percent of the world’s GDP makes the global cost of tobacco higher than the total GDP of… Read the full article >

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Massive punitive damages against tobacco company in wrongful death suit.

MIAMI — A jury in northwestern Florida awarded a staggering $23 billion judgment late Friday against the country’s second-largest tobacco company for causing the death of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer at the age of 36. The company, the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, promised a prompt appeal. Michael Johnson Sr. died in 1996… Read the full article >

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Health Preemption Behind Closed Doors: Trade Agreements and Fast-Track Authority

Eric Crosbie, MA, Mariaelena Gonzalez, PhD, and Stanton A. Glantz, PhD ABSTRACT Noncommunicable diseases result from consuming unhealthy products, including tobacco, which are promoted by transnational corporations. The tobacco industry uses preemption to block or reverse tobacco control policies. Preemption removes authority from jurisdictions where tobacco companies’ influence is weak and transfers it to jurisdictions where they have an advantage.… Read the full article >

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Why Uruguay’s David and Goliath fight with big tobacco really matters

LIMA, Peru — A protracted legal battle in an obscure World Bank tribunal over the principles of market competition in a South American backwater. Even by trade dispute standards, this one sounds arcane — the perfect cure for insomnia perhaps. But before you nod off, here’s a triple shot of espresso: Uruguay’s fight with Philip… Read the full article >

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New York Victory: Court Upholds Law to Prohibit Tobacco Discounts

In 2013, New York City passed a law (Local Law 1021-A-2013) that sets a minimum price for cigarettes sold in the city. The law also prohibits the use of coupons or promotional discounts to lower that price. Tobacco companies challenged the law on the grounds that it violated their First Amendment right to free speech.… Read the full article >

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Smoking Greater Health Threat Than HIV for LGBT Community

Quick—what’s the biggest health risk for gay men? No, it’s not AIDS. And no, it’s not being clubbed by a horde of knuckle-dragging, tobacco-juice-chin-dribbling, conservative troglodytes. Good guess, but the correct answer is smoking. The latest Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics show that 20.5 percent of heterosexuals and 30.8 percent of LGBT community use some form… Read the full article >

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Dementia Linked to Tobacco

Today, the World Health Organization and Alzheimer’s Disease International released the statement below, in conjunction with this Fact Sheet linking tobacco as a risk factor for dementia. New evidence reveals that smokers have a 45% higher risk of developing dementia than non-smokers.  “This newly-identified link between smoking and dementia provides yet another good reason to… Read the full article >

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Tobacco regulations improve the health of pregnant women & babies

Between 2005 and 2012, Uruguay instituted a set of strong tobacco control policies. By 2012, the government had banned nearly all advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products, prohibited smoking in all indoor enclosed public places and workplaces, mandated rotating graphic warning labels covering 80 percent of the front and back of packs, allowed only… Read the full article >

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