Georgia’s Ministries of Health, Finance and Agriculture have worked together to reform tobacco tax, and have committed to reaching European Union required levels within ten years.
China’s fourth most populous city, Shenzhen, is now 100 percent smoke-free after a law banning smoking in all indoor public places came into full force on 1 January 2017.
In partnership with Uruguay’s Ministry of Health, The Union delivered an in-depth three-day technical training on tobacco industry interference in public health policymaking for government officials from across Latin America.
A new toolkit designed for public health professionals to assess compliance with smoke-free laws in hospitality venues has been developed – and made publicly available – by The Union and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Pictorial warnings covering 55 percent of the front and back of tobacco packs are now mandatory in Cambodia, despite resistance and delay tactics from the tobacco industry. The legislation came into force on July 22.
A workshop on preventing tobacco industry interference will be run by The Union's Latin America team next month. Government officials from Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay are expected to attend.
Bangladeshi ministers have finalised draft policies for a Health Promotion Foundation, agreeing finance mechanisms and tobacco control plans. A new course on sustainable funds for tobacco control was held in Dhaka last January.
Myanmar’s Minister of Health and Sports committed to significant advances in the national tobacco control strategy during a recent meeting with The Union: increasing tobacco taxes, ensuring effective implementation of smoke-free, and regulation of smokeless tobacco products. Dr Myint Htwe also confirmed that 75 percent graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging will come into force in September this year, with a view to introducing plain packaging in the future.
Uruguay has won the six-year legal battle launched by Philip Morris International (PMI) in 2010 before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) – one of the world’s smallest countries claiming a significant victory over one of the world’s largest corporations.
The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2016 (WNTD) was ‘Get Ready for Plain Packaging’. The Union joined international calls for countries to introduce plain tobacco packaging to encourage users to quit and discourage non-users from trying addictive nicotine products. Further, The Union called for a ‘plain packaging’ approach to e-cigarettes – this burgeoning industry is increasingly owned by tobacco companies renowned for targeting children with powerful marketing campaigns.
In support of World No Tobacco Day, 31 May, The Union calls on governments around the world to prepare to introduce plain packaging – eliminating one of the last marketing platforms available to the tobacco industry.
This World No Tobacco Day, The Union joins international calls for countries to introduce plain tobacco packaging to encourage users to quit and discourage non-users from trying addictive nicotine products. Further, The Union calls for a ‘plain packaging’ approach to e-cigarettes – this burgeoning industry is increasingly owned by tobacco companies renowned for targeting children with powerful marketing campaigns.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Following a protracted legal battle, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has upheld 2014’s law banning all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship – a victory in the campaign to reduce tobacco use. Implementation of this legislation had been delayed after a legal challenge from Philip Morris Pakistan.
Long popular in Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East, shisha or water pipes are increasingly popular in other regions – despite the risk for cancer that they pose to both smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke.
A new course on building sustainable funds for tobacco control programmes has been successfully piloted in Bangladesh.The pilot launched the next phase of The Union’s innovative work to help develop sustainable funding mechanisms that are tailored for the legal and financial context of individual countries – the goal being to secure consistent cash flow for programmes to reduce tobacco use in today’s over-burdened health systems.
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