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Low-tar tobacco labels to be scrappedBy Lisa PryorThe Sydney Morning Herald
May 13, 2005Australia's two largest tobacco companies have agreed to remove words such as light and mild from cigarette packets within months after the consumer watchdog ruled that the terms trick smokers into thinking the products are better for their health.British American Tobacco and Philip Morris have promised to remove the words from packaging and pay $8 million to fund anti-smoking campaigns and programs. The companies' brands account for 80 per cent of the Australian tobacco market.The $8 million will be used to explain to consumers that low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes are not necessarily healthier than full-strength cigarettes.This was because smokers are likely to compensate for the supposed mildness by inhaling more deeply, holding smoke in the lungs longer or smoking more frequently, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said. It said that tobacco companies had been well aware of this for more than 10 years.Another tobacco company, Imperial Tobacco Australia, has refused to contribute cash to anti-smoking education but says it will remove the labelling from all its products from March.The commission chairman, Graeme Samuel, said the company, which has a 20 per cent share of the Australian cigarette market and whose best-known brand is Horizon, had refused to co-operate with the commission.The refusal was remarkable given the company made a $47.6 million profit in Australia last year and a $2.1 billion profit worldwide, he said."Imperial Tobacco's attitude demonstrates a significant lack of sensitivity and responsiveness to community concerns and expectations," he said.Imperial Tobacco's head of corporate affairs, Charles Hamshaw-Thomas, said the company would not contribute to the education campaign fund because it had done nothing wrong."We deny any such wrongdoing," he said."Every packet of cigarettes we've sold has a very clear and unambiguous health warning."
Online story source link:Copyright © 2005. The Sydney Morning Herald.
No safety in light cigarettes, study findsCP
The London Free Press
May 12, 2005TORONTO -- Light and mild cigarettes are just as harmful as regular brands, a new study suggests.The report by University of Montreal professors Paul Gendreau and Frank Vitaro looked at six varieties of light cigarettes from the most popular Canadian brands, Du Maurier and Players.The researchers found nicotine levels in all six varieties were an average of five per cent higher than in regular cigarettes and out of the 44 toxins studied, only four were systematically reduced in all mild varieties.In 2002, more than half of Canadian smokers puffed on light brands, many erroneously believing they were the healthier alternative, the paper reports.The research is reported in the latest issue of the Canadian Journal of Public Health.Part of the blame is assigned to the current method of testing for mild cigarettes.Since 1991, Canada has used the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, method of measuring tar, nicotine and other toxins in cigarettes that was developed in part by tobacco companies.A vacuum-like machine puffs a cigarette every 60 seconds, and doesn't block perforations in the filter, which allows air to dilute the smoke by up to 83 per cent. But people don't smoke the way the machine does, the researchers said."Unfortunately when people smoke, they are not machines, so they block the holes with their fingers, their lips, their saliva. So at the end, they might get more smoke intake than the machine," Gendreau said yesterday.The authors are calling for improvements to the ISO method of testing cigarettes for results more realistic to the habits and behaviours of smokers. They also want tobacco companies to list the ingredients and levels of toxins in a product, like food.
Online story source link:Copyright © The London Free Press
Note how journalists continue to insist on teaching both children and nicotine addicts that smoking is nothing more than a nasty little habit. One of the surest ways to live a life of perpetual relapse is to treat any true chemical dependency as a habit. Thanks for forwarding the below story Sallie. Still just one rule, no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew! John (Gold x7)
Fewer kick light cigarette habitBBC NewsPeople who smoke so-called light cigarettes are half as likely to quit than other smokers, research suggests.
A false perception of reduced health risks with low-tar and low-nicotine brands could be a factor, the US authors believe.
A third of those smoking lights said they had chosen this type of cigarette to reduce their health risks.
Yet by doing so they may be increasing their health risks, say the authors in the American Journal of Public Health.
The study of more than 12,000 smokers revealed those who used light cigarettes were about 50% less likely to quit than other cigarette smokers.
Although light cigarettes contain less tar and nicotine, they are still linked to smoking-related diseases such as cancer.
People who smoke light cigarettes are likely to inhale the same amount of hazardous chemicals because they inhale deeper to get enough smoke for a satisfactory nicotine 'hit', according to the National Cancer Institute.
Therefore, they remain at high risk for developing smoking-related cancers and other diseases.
"All cigarettes are deadly"The only way to reduce the health risks is to quit altogether, say health experts.
Amanda Sandford of Action on Smoking and Health
Most of the light smokers in the study were women.
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine team say its findings apply to some 30 million US adult smokers who smoke light cigarettes.
Author Dr Hilary Tindle said: "Even though smokers may hope to reduce their health risks by smoking lights, the results suggest they are doing just the opposite because they are significantly reducing their chances of quitting.
"Moreover, as they get older their chances of quitting become more and more diminished."
She said it was vital smokers were given accurate information on associated health risks.
European law bans misleading descriptions such as "light" and "mild" on all cigarettes sold in the European Union. In the US, however, no such laws exist.
Amanda Sandford, of Action on Smoking and Health, said earlier research in the UK backed the US study's findings.
"It's not surprising that even though logically people know that all smoking is harmful, the power of marketing is such that many people would be conned into thinking the so-called lower tar or light brands are less dangerous. All cigarettes are deadly."
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/h ... 128216.stm
Published: 2006/06/29 23:01:54 GMT
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