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Author Archives: Arendtm

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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The Case for Banning Cigarettes Entirely, Forever

Doctors in the U.K. will vote on Tuesday as to whether to support a “campaign to ban forever the sale of cigarettes to any individual born after the year 2000.” It’s an appealing thought exercise for public health types: Smoking rates declined steadily in the late 20th century as the health hazards became more widely understood. So what would happen… Read the full article >

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Tobacco companies have made cigarettes deadlier than ever

Over the last five decades, the tobacco industry has engineered cigarettes to be more addictive — and has also made them more dangerous. Smokers suffer from higher risk of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) todaycompared to 1964, when the very first Surgeon General’s report on cigarettes was issued. Read More>

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Plain packaging pushes cigarette sales down

The Australian federal Treasury has entered the debate over cigarette sales, publishing previously secret information that shows sales falling since the introduction of graphic health warnings and plain packaging. The Treasury collects data on sales per stick in order to levy tobacco excise, but has until now withheld it from publication to protect commercially sensitive… Read the full article >

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NYC’s cigarette price-hiking regulations ruled legal

A legal challenge to a new law aimed at keeping New York City tobacco prices sky high​ has gone up in smoke. Manhattan federal Judge Thomas Greisa on Wednesday sided with the city in a lawsuit filed in January by tobacco companies and trade groups representing cigarette retailers. Greisa in a 36-page ruling said pricing… Read the full article >

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Real data show that plain packaging IS working in Australia

The Australian’s ‘exclusive’ story on plain packaging is just plain wrong. Watch more here>

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Cigarette packaging: Republic of Ireland bid to ban branded tobacco

The Republic of Ireland has become the first country in Europe to try to pass a law banning the sale of branded cigarette and tobacco packets. The proposed legislation would force tobacco firms to use plain packaging, removing all logos and trademark colours from cigarette packets. Read Full Article>

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Why Read the ASH Report?

It can be hard for modern Americans to understand the amount of influence and harm US society has suffered as a result of tobacco.  It’s easy to see the disconnect, as it has been over five decades since more than ½ of the men and a 1/3 of the women in the US smoked.  50… Read the full article >

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Big Tobacco abroad: The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the downside to free trade

EXCERPT: Because the treaty sets minimum standards, Chris Bostic, Deputy Director for Policy at Action of Smoking and Health (ASH), told me that the industry has “gone after any country that has pushed the norm.” Full Article>  

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Our New Report Offers a Global Perspective on Tobacco in America

Many Americans believe that the war on tobacco has been won, but the fact is the number of smokers is climbing globally. The World Health Organization estimates that 100 million people died as a result of tobacco use in the 20th century, a staggering figure. But unless we take greater action, the death toll in… Read the full article >

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A Half Century of Avoidable Death

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Megan Arendt Office: 202-659-4310 Email: arendtm@ash.org A HALF CENTURY OF AVOIDABLE DEATH New Report Offers a Global Perspective on Tobacco in America WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 3, 2014 – A new report entitled “A Half Century of Avoidable Death: A Global Perspective on Tobacco in America,” (“Avoidable Death”) released today by… Read the full article >

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Pizza with a purpose.

ASH has teamed up with California Pizza Kitchen to help you give back by simply doing what you already do: eating! Monday, June 23rd – Thursday, June 26th, 2014 California Pizza Kitchen Pentagon Centre, 1201 South Hayes Street Arlington, VA 22202 BRING THIS FLYER into the Pentagon Centre California Pizza Kitchen when you eat there… Read the full article >

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World No Tobacco Day 2014: What makes tobacco different?

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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ASH Certifies 193 Members of Congress “Free from Tobacco Money”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Megan Arendt Office: 202-659-4310 Email: arendtm@ash.org  WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 29, 2014 – Action on Smoking & Health (ASH), an organization devoted to creating a world free of tobacco-related damage, disease, and death both domestically and globally, announced today that 193 Senators and Representatives are being certified “Free from Tobacco Money.”… Read the full article >

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Put public health on agenda of trade deal talks & ‘uncuff’ governments

Trade agreements are being used to “handcuff governments” over health policy, Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organisation said at its assembly. This was “disturbing” she went on, adding that trade agreements have many consequences for health. A nation’s health can be benefited by such deals, whether by increasing exports to foreign markets, bringing in… Read the full article >

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World No Tobacco Day: Tobacco Taxation

Raising taxes on tobacco products can affect the price, and therefore consumption, of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health further explains the issue via video, infographic, research, and more. Click here>

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The 3 deadliest drugs in America are all totally legal

As the US debates drug policy and marijuana legalization, there’s one aspect of the war on drugs that remains perplexingly contradictory: some of the most dangerous drugs in the US are perfectly legal. Don’t believe it? Just look at this chart, compiled with available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): This chart… Read the full article >

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