Secondhand smoke exposure before birth may affect lungs into adulthood

Medical News Today, 29 June 2017
Author: Catharine Paddock
“Secondhand smoke is that produced by the burning of tobacco products such as cigars, cigarettes, and pipes that can be inhaled by people nearby. Breathing in secondhand smoke is also known as passive smoking. Smoke that is exhaled by someone who is smoking is also classed as secondhand smoke. Hundreds of the 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke are toxic – that is, they cause some degree of harm to the body. These include 70 that can cause cancer. Adult susceptibility to lung diseases may depend on prenatal exposure to secondhand smoke.”
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Public feedback sought on tighter laws to govern tobacco use

Straits Times, 12 June 2017
Author: Linette Lai
“The Health Ministry (MOH) is asking for feedback on its proposals to raise the minimum legal age for smoking from 18 to 21, and tighten laws governing the use of imitation tobacco products such as e-cigarettes. These changes will take the form of amendments to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, which was last modified in 2016 to introduce the ban on displaying tobacco products within sight of customers. Apart from preventing people aged 18 to 20 from buying tobacco products, the proposed changes would also make it more difficult for young people to get cigarettes from their peers.”
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Indonesia tobacco bill would open tap for ads aimed at kids, health official says

Reuters, 1 June 2017
Author: Eveline Danubrata and Stefanno Reinard
“A proposed Indonesian tobacco law will roll back regulations to discourage smoking in a country that already has one of the highest smoking rates in the world and open the floodgates to advertising aimed at teenagers, a health ministry official said. If the bill initiated by the parliament is passed, companies will no longer have to put grim pictures on cigarette packs of lung cancer or other diseases linked to smoking. School and playground areas would be designated as “no- cigarette-smoke zones” instead of “no-cigarette zones”, which would allow cigarettes to be sold or displayed there.”
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Duterte Orders Strict Smoking Ban in Philippines, and Asks Citizens to Help

NYT, 18 May 2017
Author: Felipe Villamor
“President Rodrigo Duterte, who has overseen a deadly campaign to eradicate drug use in the Philippines, has now ordered a strict public ban on smoking and called on citizens to help the local authorities apprehend smokers. The executive order, signed this week and made public on Thursday, forbids the use of tobacco, including electronic cigarettes, in all public spaces, even sidewalks. It also prohibits anyone under 18 from “using, selling or buying cigarettes or tobacco products.” More than a quarter of Filipinos smoke, according to a 2015 World Health Organization report, including 11 percent of minors.”
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Cigarette packaging likely to remain plain

Lexology, 8 May 2017
Author: Griffith Hack
“It appears from leaked material that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) has dismissed a challenge initiated by Ukraine, Cuba, Honduras, Indonesia and Dominican Republic against Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws. A leaked draft of the WTO DSB’s ruling has shown that it believes Australia’s laws are a legitimate public health measure, dismissing the challenges. However, the DSB’s decision is not final.”
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Australia wins landmark WTO tobacco packaging case

Reuters, 4 May 2017
Author: Tom Miles, Martinne Geller
“A landmark Australian law on restrictive tobacco packaging has been upheld at the World Trade Organization after a five-year legal battle. Such a ruling from the WTO has been widely anticipated as giving a green light for other countries to roll out similar laws, not only on tobacco but also on alcohol and unhealthy foods. The rules, introduced in 2010, ban flashy logos and distinctive-coloured cigarette packaging in favour of drab olive packets that look more like military or prison issue, with brand names printed in small standardised fonts.”
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UK supreme court denies tobacco firms permission for plain packaging appeal

The Guardian, 12 April 2017
Author: Chris Johnston
“All cigarettes sold in the UK must have standardised packaging from next month after the supreme court refused permission to the tobacco industry to appeal against the new laws. This is the final domestic legal decision, meaning that plain packaging of cigarettes will come into force on 20 May, the Department of Health said.”
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Curbing teen smoking ‘must go beyond raising minimum age’

The Straits Times, 14 March 2017
Author: Linette Lai
“Teens below the age of 18 have been barred from smoking legally since 1993. Last week, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said it plans to raise the minimum legal smoking age from 18 to 21. In Singapore, these are the years when nearly half of smokers become regular smokers. But the data tells a different story. In 2013, the average age when smokers took their first puff was just 16, according to the National Health Surveillance Survey. Experts said the discrepancy shows that efforts to curb teen smoking must go beyond raising the minimum legal age. Issues such as raising awareness and enforcement cannot be sidelined.”
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