Achiever profile: Dr Gan Quan - Reaching critical mass for China’s national tobacco control law
27 May 2016
In 2009 when Gan Quan began working for The Union in China, few people had heard of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). Remarkably, just over six years later, a draft national tobacco control law now has strong political support and will likely be passed by the end of the year – protecting a population of 1.36 billion from the harms of tobacco use.
One of the world’s largest insurers ditches tobacco investments – worth €1.8bn
25 May 2016
Axa, one of the world’s largest insurance companies, announced today that it is selling all 1.8 billion euros (£1.3bn/USD2.0bn) of its tobacco industry shares, saying it made no sense to invest in a sector that killed more than six million people each year.
UK high court rules in favour of plain tobacco packaging – a win for global public health
20 May 2016
The tobacco industry has suffered another crushing defeat after losing a UK high court battle on the standardised packaging rules due to come into force today (20 May 2016). Plain packs will be the same shape, size and drab brown colour, displaying graphic health warnings across 65 percent of the front and back surfaces and with written warnings down each side. Branding is banned.
The Union welcomes the European Court of Justice ruling that the EU Tobacco Products Directive is lawful
04 May 2016
The European Court of Justice today ruled that the EU Tobacco Products Directive [TPD] is valid, rejecting the multiple legal challenges it has attracted since its adoption in 2014. The TPD, drawn up to increase protections for public health, will now come into force on 20 May 2016.
New Union study launches index to measure the sustainability of tobacco control programmes
21 April 2016
New research identifies 31 factors that national tobacco control programmes need in order to be sustainable. Published now in the BMJ's Tobacco Control, authors at The Union draw on ten years’ experience assisting governments around the world to build programmes to reduce tobacco use. The study develops an Index of Tobacco Control Sustainability to be used by countries to establish their current level of sustainability and to identify priority areas for development.
85 percent graphic health warnings now compulsory on tobacco packaging in India
18 April 2016
After a two-year battle, a ground-breaking development for public health has seen graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging in India quadruple in size. Harrowing images of the health consequences of tobacco use must now be displayed across 85 percent of the surface area of all tobacco packets -- a measure proven to help users quit and prevent others taking up the habit.
Brazil launches first government-run tobacco industry observatory in the Latin America-Caribbean region, with support from The Union
01 April 2016
The government of Brazil, in partnership with The Union, has launched an online observatory to protect and strengthen tobacco control policies by monitoring tobacco industry interference -- the first such government-run initiative in the region.
The Union supports efforts to pass TAPS ban in Peru
29 March 2016
The Union’s Department of Tobacco Control participated in a two-day workshop in March to support the passing and implementation of a law that would ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) in Peru.The Union’s legal advisor for tobacco control, Gustavo Soñora, shared his expertise on implementing smokefree spaces and a TAPS ban in Uruguay to members of the Government of Peru, the Commission of Health and the Commission for Consumer Protection.
Tobacco giant forced to withdraw petition against tobacco advertising ban in Pakistan
25 March 2016
Pakistan has taken a major step towards banning all tobacco advertising after tobacco giant, Philip Morris Pakistan, withdrew its petition to Sindh High Court challenging a 2014 statutory regulatory order (SRO) that closes loopholes in the existing ban.
Message from the Executive Director on International Women's Day: seeking gender parity but not in tobacco use
07 March 2016
On 8 March the world will mark International Women’s Day. This year’s theme ‘gender parity’ is a timely reminder for public health professionals that women in low- and middle-income countries are a prime target for the tobacco industry. Smoking rates amongst this group are as yet comparatively low compared with rates of smoking amongst men, but aggressively targeted marketing aims to increase this figure.
Strong graphic health warnings now compulsory on tobacco packaging in Myanmar
29 February 2016
The health risks of tobacco use must now be graphically displayed across 75 percent of the front and back of all tobacco packages in Myanmar, after new legislation was announced by the Ministry of Health [MoH] today. The new packaging will feature images of the health consequences of tobacco use across 50 percent of the surface area, and text warnings in local language across 25 percent. Old packaging will be illegal from 1 September 2016.
Union Achiever: Ehsan Latif – A decade of leadership in global tobacco control
25 February 2016
‘The strategy for tobacco control is on the cusp of major change,’ says Dr Ehsan Latif, Director of The Union’s Department of Tobacco Control. ‘We need to continue with established work to limit demand for tobacco, but also develop new approaches to reduce the supply. And crucially, we must focus on countering the economic and legal tactics now being used by the tobacco industry to obstruct and delay life-saving public health policies.’