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Press Statement: World No Tobacco Day 2010

Press statement by Professor Panagiotis Behrakis, President of ENSP, on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day 2010.


EPHA Press Release

Health community shock as Poland moves backwards on tobacco control

24 March 2010

The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) today announced its strong disappointment at the liberalisation of the tobacco control legislation in Poland – a decision that was taken by the Polish Lower Chamber (Sejm) on 4 March 2010. Concerned Polish members of Parliament had been working to strengthen the current law protecting Polish citizens from second-hand tobacco smoke, in particular by the introduction of a smoking ban in public places and the workplace. The public health evidence is clear - a total ban on smoking in all enclosed public places is the only approach to prevent the serious diseases and unnecessary deaths from passive smoking. During an open vote, the lower chamber not only rejected proposals to introduce the ban but weakened the existing law, setting Poland back by decades. This is a severe blow for Polish citizens, particularly those forced to work in conditions with continuous carcinogenic tobacco pollution.

EPHA’s President Archie Turnbull said today, ‘The Polish public, and particularly its workforce, deserves appropriate protection from the harmful activities of others. By banning smoking in public places, the Polish Sejm would demonstrate its commitment to the health of its people and will set an example for many other countries.

The decision of the Parliament to reject a total smoking ban and to allow smoking in public places such as hospitals, health care facilities and schools of all levels – an issue banned under the previous legislation - is a poor demonstration of Poland’s commitment to its obligations under the international Framework for Tobacco Control and demonstrates the misinformation and misconceptions around the impact of a total ban on smoking in public places. There is no evidence from the countries to have introduced the ban so far, that this leads to significant job losses or economic impact.

This decision marks a backward step for Poland and its citizens – especially the most vulnerable ones who are forced to breathe in polluted air and disease-causing agents. Polish workers and Polish children will pay the highest price. The short and long term consequences will be devastating in terms of increase of tobacco-smoke caused diseases, curative health care costs, loss of productivity and national income.

EPHA will be closely watching the vote this week in the Poland’s Senate, its upper Chamber, and is confident that Polish elected representatives will make the right choice to protect its citizens and show leadership for Europe. A vote from the Senate against the decision of the Sejm would send the bill back to the lower Chamber for revision.


Smoke-free Action Coalition Press Release 01.02.2010

England: New Tobacco Strategy aims to make smoking history

The Government’s new tobacco control strategy heralds the start of the next phase in tobacco control that will help make smoking history as fewer and fewer children take up the habit, said members of the Smoke-free Action Coalition [1] in response to the new plan released today [2]. The new strategy includes ambitious, yet realisable, goals to dramatically reduce smoking rates among adults and children.

The Government has already achieved a great deal in recent years by making public places smoke-free, establishing the stop smoking services, and more recently passing legislation that will end the display of tobacco at the point of sale and prohibit the sale of tobacco from vending machines. Over the past decade, smoking rates among adults have fallen by a fifth whilst smoking among 11-15 year olds has halved [3]. There are now 2.1 million fewer smokers than ten years ago and this has reduced the cost to the NHS of smoking by nearly £ 380 million pounds a year [4].

However there is much more that needs to be done to protect children from being lured into a lifetime’s addiction to nicotine and to help existing smokers quit.

Members of the Smoke-free Action Coalition believe that the measures contained in the new tobacco control strategy will have broad appeal and should be implemented which ever political party wins the next General Election.

Key measures contained in the strategy include:
* Reducing exposure to children from second-hand smoke through targeted campaigns highlighting the benefits of smoke-free homes and cars;
* Further strengthening the NHS Stop Smoking Services, and providing new routes to quitting for smokers unable to stop abruptly in collaboration with the MHRA;
* Increased investment to further drive down tobacco smuggling;
* Sustaining high levels of spending on marketing campaigns to encourage smokers to quit;
* Implementation of the retail display ban and ban on sale of tobacco from vending machines in the Health Act 2009;
* A commitment to review the smoke-free legislation in 2010; and

The primary goals are to:
* Reduce smoking among 11-15 year olds from 6% now to under 1% by 2020; and to
* Reduce adult smoking from 21% now to under 10% by 2020.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH commented:

“The strategy demonstrates a continued commitment to tackling what is still the single, largest cause of preventable death and disease in this country. Building on the tremendous achievements of the past decade it will put us firmly on the path towards a smoke-free future for our children.”

Professor Terence Stephenson, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said:

“We are pleased to see that children are a priority in this new strategy. We are particularly concerned about the health outcomes and effects when adults smoke in the presence of their children. Second-hand smoke has been found to be strongly linked to chest infections in children, asthma, ear problems and cot death.”

Ron Gainsford, Chief Executive of the Trading Standards Institute said:

“The TSI fully supports the new strategy and is particularly pleased to see the commitment to protect children from tobacco and to tackle the supply of illicit tobacco products. Trading Standards Officers will be pleased to play their part by enforcing the tobacco control measures at the local level.”


ENDS

Contacts:
Deborah Arnott – ASH: 020 7739 5902 or 079 7693 5987 (m)
Claire Brunert – Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health: 020 7092 6005 or
Ella Wilson: 020 7092 6006
Irja Howie – Trading Standards Institute: 0845 608 9430

Notes and links:
[1] The Smoke-free Action Coalition is a group of 91 organisations committed to promoting public health by reducing smoking prevalence. For more information about the Coalition and a full list of all members see: www.smokefreeaction.org.uk
[2] A Smoke-free Future. A comprehensive tobacco control strategy for England. Department of Health, 2010
[3] Smoking and drinking among adults, 2008. General Household Survey, ONS, 2010. Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2008. The Health and Social Care Information Centre, 2009
[4] Callum C. The cost of smoking to the NHS. Action on Smoking and Health, 2008

 

The document A smoke-free future: a comprehensive tobacco control strategy for England can be downloaded at:

http://www.dh.gov.uk/dr_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@en/@ps/documents/digitalasset/dh_111789.pdf


WNTD 2009 Press Release from Professor Luke Clancy, ENSP President

Urgent Call for Picture Warnings on Tobacco Products - EU Governments Need to Act Now to Save Lives

The Truth Must Be Shown

·          EU governments need to act now to save lives

·          Urgent call for picture warnings on tobacco products

 

In advance of World No Tobacco Day on the 31st of May 2009, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) together with the European Network for Smoking Prevention (ENSP), called today on governments in Europe to urgently adopt graphic image warnings on tobacco products.

Commenting on the importance of having graphic images on cigarette packages, the President of the ENSP and Chair of ERS Tobacco Control Committee, Prof Luke Clancy said:

“To date only three Member States have pictorial warnings in place: Belgium, UK and Romania. While this is a positive move it is nowhere near where we need to be. I strongly urge those responsible in the other 24 Member States to introduce effective health picture warnings as soon as possible. Warnings that include pictures are proven to motivate users to quit and to reduce the appeal of tobacco for those who are not yet addicted”.

“Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. Warning people about its true risks can go a long way towards reducing tobacco addiction. Requiring warnings on tobacco packages is a simple, cheap and effective strategy that can vastly reduce tobacco use and save lives. Now is the time to act” concluded Clancy.

Editor’s notes:

·        Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death. More than five million people die from the effects of tobacco every year — more than from HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

·        It is the only legal consumer product that kills when used exactly as the manufacturer intends.

·        Up to half of all smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease. Tobacco companies spend tens of millions of Euros every year turning new users into addicts and keeping current users from quitting.

·        Through advertising and promotional campaigns, including the use of carefully crafted package designs, the tobacco industry continues to divert attention from the deadly effects of its products.

  Date: 28 May 2009 For further information contact Prof. Luke Clancy: +353 1 4893638 or lclancy@tri.ie

See also: http://old.ensp.org/    http://www.ersnet.org  

http://www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/2009/en/index.html

 


General Practitioners and the Economics of Smoking Cessation in Europe

PESCE

In the frame of the PESCE project 31 organisations from 27 countries developed evidence-based policy recommendations and practice-based implementation strategies to increase the engagement of General Practitioners in smoking cessation in Europe. The project is running from August 2006 to June 2008 under the leadership of Tabac & Liberté (France) and is co-funded by the European Commission Public Health Directorate. At an expert workshop on 10 December 2007 in Warsaw, the fifteen policy recommendations mentioned above were elaborated by 33 experts from 18 countries based on the scientific evidence collected in the project. At a stakeholder conference in Barcelona on 27-28 March 2008, 96 stakeholders from 23 countries (including participants from the United States, Brazil and Uruguay) pooled their knowledge and experience and suggested a catalogue of measures to support the implementation of the PESCE policy recommendations on national level.

Files


A risk-free cigarette does not exist

The Office français de prévention du tabagisme (OFT) has issued a press release in response to the imminent launch of the "risk-free cigarette". The message is clear: tobacco smoke kills - there is no hope of a healthy cigarette.


Evaluation of the health effects of implementation of the smoking ban in France

The smoking ban in the hospitality sector in France highlights an important drop (15 %) in the rate of myocardial infarction and the rate of stroke in emergency wards related to the decrease of the indoor air pollution, which was still very high until December 2007. In early 2007, the monthly survey of the impact of the total smoking ban since February showed a significant decrease of tobacco smoke exposure in public places, but no effect on tobacco consumption and almost no effects on health.


For more information please refer to the OFT press release.


Première diminution significative du nombre de fumeurs en cinq ans

La Fondation contre le Cancer propose un nouveau programme de sevrage tabagique

Pour la première fois en cinq ans, le pourcentage de fumeurs quotidiens accuse une diminution significative en Belgique. Les photos choquantes désormais présentes sur les paquets de cigarettes rendent le produit moins attirant – surtout aux yeux des jeunes – et constituent une incitation supplémentaire à arrêter de fumer pour un certain nombre de fumeurs. Deux constats qui ressortent de l’enquête sur le comportement tabagique des Belges réalisée par Ipsos à la demande de la Fondation contre le Cancer. Lisez le communiqué de presse de la Fondation contre le Cancer.


COPD - It’s hard to speak up when you are struggling to breathe

Health Experts seek legislation to help Europeans to breathe easier
Catherine Stihler MEP launched a written declaration on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to help Europe combat the disease in a press conference and lunch debate on 14 November 2007, World COPD Day, organised by EFA, ERS and European Lung Foundation. The declaration calls the EU and the Member States to shape up and work on prevention, equal access to early diagnosis and correct treatment, develop smoking cessation strategies, fund research into the causes, prevalence and treatments for COPD and implement comprehensive smoke-free and clean indoor air policies, including publishing EU Green Paper on indoor air quality.

Smoking in Films

Smoking in Films Linked to Tobacco Epidemic

8 May 2007

New studies involving nearly 15,000 young people appearing on 8 May 2007 highlight how closely Hollywood movies are linked with the tobacco epidemic among youth around the world. Impelled by the mounting scientific evidence, ENSP has resolved to raise public awareness of the impact of smoking in motion pictures on youth smoking, to advocate measures to reduce substantially the exposure of children and adolescents to smoking in films by pushing the topic up national and European political agendas, and to discourage the film industry from depicting smoking in its youth-accessible products due to its promotional effect.


A ‘safe cigarette’ will never exist

09 November 2005

Industry announcements on ‘safer cigarettes’ are based on a coarse strategy, trying to be noticeable while the legal opportunity to do publicity of tobacco products is being seriously restricted all around Europe, as Irish, Italian, Swedish, Maltese and most recently Spanish bans on promotion and publicity of tobacco products are demonstrating.


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