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Author Archives: Arendtm

Tobacco farmers are a pawn in the TPP game

But tobacco farmers are not part of the game Mitch McConnell and other pro-tobacco politicians have become very vocal over the past two weeks in their opposition to a potential partial tobacco exemption in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. And just as in so many other political debates, they are citing the plight of the… Read the full article >

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E-cigarettes proving to be a danger to teens

In 2014, e-cigarettes surpassed cigarettes as the most commonly used tobacco product by middle school and high school students, according to an annual U.S. survey. Teens’ fascination with this nicotine-dispensing smoking alternative worries physicians and toxicologists. Data from a growing number of studies indicate that electronic cigarettes are far from harmless. They also pose their… Read the full article >

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Will Trans-Pacific trade deal go up in smoke over anti-tobacco proposal?

Big Tobacco is pushing back against a strict anti-smoking provision in the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and has enlisted the support of the most powerful Republican in the Senate to help quash it. The ire of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other tobacco-state lawmakers could throw a wrench into the delicate negotiations to… Read the full article >

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce fights anti-smoking laws worldwide. So what?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it turns out, actively campaigns against anti-tobacco laws in countries around the world. The New York Times recently reported that the national business lobbying organization, along with its foreign affiliates, has become “the hammer for the tobacco industry, engaging in a worldwide effort to fight antismoking laws of all kinds.”… Read the full article >

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McConnell warns Obama against tobacco carve-out in trade deal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is warning U.S. officials negotiating a massive trans-Pacific trade agreement for President Obama not to target tobacco growers in a final deal. McConnell said singling out the tobacco industry would set a dangerous precedent for future trade deals, in a letter to Obama’s top trade representative. The missive from… Read the full article >

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The cool factor: Teens report positive feedback to using e-cigarettes

An estimated 40 percent of teen users of e-cigarettes have never smoked tobacco, a new report finds, adding to the worries that the devices are attracting a whole new group of underage user, not just teens trying to quit regular cigarettes. Even more alarming, 91 percent of teens who use e-cigarettes report getting positive feedback… Read the full article >

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Australia has spent $50 million defending plain packaging in trade dispute.

Australia’s legal bill for defending its cigarette plain packaging legislation is set to hit $50 million as it battles to contain a case brought by tobacco giant Philip Morris before a tribunal in Singapore. And that is just for the first stage. If in September the three-person extraterritorial tribunal decides Australia has a case to answer, the hearing… Read the full article >

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Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products: A Worldwide Movement to Address a Global Challenge

July 20, 2015 – Paris, France – The Ministers and representatives of Ministers of Australia, France, Hungary, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and the Head of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Secretariat met in Paris on 20th July 2015 to discuss ways to reduce tobacco use through effective… Read the full article >

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Why we need to tax tobacco

Let’s be clear.  Tobacco use, and its negative health, social and economic impact, is not a global problem that is simply going away. As documented in a recent study, despite significant reductions in the estimated prevalence of daily smoking observed at the global level for both men and women since 1980, the actual number of… Read the full article >

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On Our Way to Achieving the “Impossible”

When ASH first began its post-2015 UN development agenda campaign in 2013, it was perceived as nearly impossible to integrate tobacco control into the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), let alone the Financing for Development (FfD) process. At this point, we are on our way to checking both items off of our to-do list. In… Read the full article >

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Canada on edge of global fight over tobacco packaging

Canada’s government is watching and waiting as a global fight over tobacco packaging laws plays out. Tobacco companies and business lobbyists around the world are pushing back against rules that further restrict the design of tobacco product packaging. That includes efforts to ensure the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement doesn’t include carve-outs that allow for the… Read the full article >

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Eight Senators Appeal to Chamber of Commerce President

July 8, 2015 – Senators Richard Blumenthal, Richard Durbin, Jack Reed, Sheldon Whitehouse, Sherrod Brown, Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren, and Jeffrey A. Merkley sent a letter to U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, calling on him “to reconsider and to refocus” the Chamber’s efforts “in a more positive direction.” Read full letter>

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CVS Health Quits U.S. Chamber Over Stance on Smoking

The CVS Health Corporation said on Tuesday that it would resign from theU.S. Chamber of Commerce after revelations that the chamber and its foreign affiliates were undertaking a global lobbying campaign against antismoking laws. CVS, which last year stopped selling tobacco products in its stores, said the lobbying activity ran counter to its mission to… Read the full article >

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Released: WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2015

The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2015 has been released. It is available here>

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#USChamberExposed

On June 30, 2015, The New York Times released a tiered investigation to expose the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) affiliates as a front group for Big Tobacco. The New York Times reported that the US Chamber and its affiliates, “use their access to high-level decision makers and indeterminate funds… Read the full article >

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(RELEASE): BROWN, BLUMENTHAL AND DEMOCRATIC SENATE COLLEAGUES ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT ON U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S GLOBAL LOBBYING FOR BIG TOBACCO

For Immediate Release: July 2, 2015 Contact: Meghan Dubyak / Rachel Petri 202-224-1175 BROWN, BLUMENTHAL AND DEMOCRATIC SENATE COLLEAGUES ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT ON U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S GLOBAL LOBBYING FOR BIG TOBACCO WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Al Franken (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sheldon… Read the full article >

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Obama Can Help End Tobacco Epidemic, Says ASH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Megan Arendt Office: 202-659-4310 Email: arendtm@ash.org Obama Can Help End Tobacco Epidemic, Says ASH Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) Calls on President Obama to Choose Health Over Profits WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 24, 2015 – President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Froman have the opportunity to curb the tobacco… Read the full article >

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A Victory for Standardized Packaging

Earlier this month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures showing that tobacco and cigarette consumption in Australia have dropped dramatically. Household tobacco consumption and expenditure volume has dropped 17.5% in the last two and a half years. This extraordinary decline can be linked to two things. First, Australia has increased taxes twice over the… Read the full article >

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International Smoke-free Air Successes

Many Americans view smoking, and secondhand smoke, as a problem that has mostly been solved, at least in the United States. However, only half of all Americans are protected from exposure to secondhand smoke, whether in public places or at work. Several countries around the world have achieved complete protection for their citizens. With support… Read the full article >

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Tobacco Demonstrates Troubles for Trade Agreements

In 2012, Australia implemented tough anti-tobacco regulations, requiring that all cigarettes be sold in plain, logo-free brown packages dominated by health warnings. Philip Morris Asia filed suit, claiming that this violated its intellectual-property rights and would damage its investments. The company sued Australia in domestic court and lost. But it had another card to play. In… Read the full article >

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Australian plain packaging leads to dramatic declines in tobacco use

The tobacco industry has been hit by the heaviest declines on record amid otherwise strong economic growth for the nation, the latest figures show. Treasurer Joe Hockey may have described the national accounts figures released Tuesday as a “terrific set of numbers”, but tobacco and cigarette consumption has taken a dramatic tumble, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Household… Read the full article >

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Ukraine drops WTO action against Australian tobacco-packaging laws

(Reuters) – Ukraine has suspended a case it was pursuing through the World Trade Organization aimed at overturning Australia’s strict tobacco packaging laws, a WTO panel of adjudicators said in a statement published on Wednesday. Ukraine asked the panel to suspend the proceedings on May 28 and said it will try to find a mutually… Read the full article >

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Tobacco & Human Rights in Latin America

An article written by ASH Staff Attorney Kelsey Romeo-Stuppy was recently published in the American Bar Association’s “International Law News.” The article discusses the growing problem of tobacco use in Latin American countries.  There are 145 million current smokers in Latin America, more than half of whom will die from smoking related causes. Many of… Read the full article >

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Tobacco Companies Ordered to Pay $15B in Damages

Three tobacco companies have been ordered to pay $15 billion in damages after losing a historic court case. Judge Brian Riordan on Monday ruled in favour of two groups representing Quebec smokers, ordering Imperial Tobacco, Rothmans Benson & Hedges and JTI-MacDonald to pay for punitive and moral damages. “It’s a big day for victims of tobacco, who have been waiting for about… Read the full article >

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Thailand Raises Minimum Age to 20 to Purchase Cigarettes

BANGKOK, 28 May 2014 (NNT) – The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the tobacco draft act which prohibits sale of cigarettes to those under 20 years old and raise punishment for offenders. Deputy Prime Minister YongyutnYuthawong said the draft act increased the minimum legal age for cigarette purchase from 18 to 20 years and prohibited sale… Read the full article >

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