By Meghan Barr - Monday, March 18, 2013 - 0 Comments
NEW YORK, N.Y. – A new proposal would require New York City retailers to…
NEW YORK, N.Y. – A new proposal would require New York City retailers to keep tobacco products out of sight under a first-in-the-nation proposal aimed at reducing the youth smoking rate, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.
The legislation would require stores to keep tobacco products in cabinets, drawers, under the counter, behind a curtain or in other concealed spots. They could only be visible during restocking or when an adult is making a purchase.
Bloomberg said similar prohibitions on displays have been enacted in other countries, including Iceland, Canada, England and Ireland.
“Such displays suggest that smoking is a normal activity,” Bloomberg said. “And they invite young people to experiment with tobacco.”
By The Associated Press - Monday, February 18, 2013 at 11:10 PM - 0 Comments
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Strict against smoking already, New Zealand plans to make tobacco…
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Strict against smoking already, New Zealand plans to make tobacco companies remove their logos from cigarette packs but will wait until a challenge to Australian legislation is resolved.
The packaging law “will remove the last remaining vestige of glamor from these deadly products,” Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia said in announcing the plan Tuesday.
New Zealand already has increased cigarette taxes and makes retailers hide packs below the counter. The new legislation would be similar to an Australian law that took effect in December and replaced logos on packs with graphic warnings including cancer-riddled mouths.
The proposed law could be introduced in Parliament later this year to take effect when the trade case over Australia’s law plays out — next year at the earliest.
Tobacco companies lost a legal challenge in Australia’s highest court last year, but the World Trade Organization has agreed to hear a complaint about it from several tobacco-growing countries led by the Ukraine.
The Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Indonesia argued that governments should pursue health policies “without unnecessarily restricting international trade and without nullifying intellectual property rights.”
New Zealand, Norway and Uruguay have lined up behind Australia in the WTO case. Uruguay told the trade body it couldn’t remain silent about “the most serious pandemic confronting humanity.”
Turia said the New Zealand government wants to minimize its legal exposure by waiting until the outcome of the Australian challenge. Even so, she said, the government is planning to set aside up to 6 million New Zealand dollars ($5.1 million) to defend against possible lawsuits from the “very litigious” tobacco companies.
Steve Rush, the New Zealand general manager of British American Tobacco, said in a statement Tuesday that the company is exploring its legal options.
“We expect to see numerous repercussions as a result of the government ignoring several international agreements as well as setting a dangerous precedent for other industries,” he said.
New Zealand has set itself a target of eliminating smoking altogether by 2025. Turia said the government would consider introducing further measures, such as banning smoking in cars and public places and further hiking taxes.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, November 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM - 0 Comments
Two big foreign-owned tobacco companies will ask Ontario’s top court today to dismiss a $50-billion lawsuit launched against them by the provincial government.
TORONTO – Two big foreign-owned tobacco companies will ask Ontario’s top court today to dismiss a $50-billion lawsuit launched against them by the provincial government.
Lawyers for British American Tobacco and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company are also expected to argue that they should not be included in the legal action if the appeal court lets the case proceed.
They say the lawsuit is based on a false theory that the companies conspired in the 1950s to withhold information from Ontario smokers about the harmful and addictive ingredients in cigarettes.
They contend there is no evidence that a conspiracy ever took place or that they specifically targeted Ontario and British American Tobacco notes it did not even exist until 1997.
Ontario launched a lawsuit against 14 tobacco companies in September 2009 in an effort to recoup past and present health-care costs related to smoking.
The province claims the corporations should be on the hook for billions of dollars because they had misrepresented the risks of smoking, did not take steps to reduce the effects and marketed cigarettes towards children and teens.
Last January, a lower court ruled the government had jurisdiction and gave the green light to move ahead with its lawsuit.
But in documents filed to the appeal court, the companies warn the ruling could set a dangerous precedent.
“If it is allowed to stand… jurisdiction can be assumed over any defendant, anywhere in the world, regardless of that defendant’s lack of connection to the facts alleged or to the jurisdiction, simply by asserting bald and vaguely articulated claims that the defendant engaged in an undefined conspiracy that ultimately resulted in harm in Ontario,” wrote lawyers for British American Tobacco.
“Such an approach cannot be correct and is inconsistent with the principles of certainly, order, fairness, and properly restrained jurisdiction.”
Both companies claim the government has also manipulated laws related to smoking to help it with its court action.
“Ontario has unilaterally designed the very legal garb which will determine the locus of the claim and seeks to rely on its statute and pleading as the basis for a real and substantial connection,” according to the documents.
“This is wrong in law. Jurisdiction is determined by the court and not by Ontario…. The courts have a vital ‘gatekeeper’ function and cannot permit the legislature to usurp that role and engage in jurisdiction overreach.”
It also argued that the province’s claims are too vague to proceed.
None of these allegations have been proven in court.
The Ontario government says smoking is the leading cause of premature deaths and illness in the province and costs the health-care system $1.6-billion a year.
Five other provinces — British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland — have all filed similar lawsuits.
In the United States, such lawsuits have resulted in huge out-of-court settlements of at least US$206 billion over 25 years.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 12:57 PM - 35 Comments
New labels will cover 75% of package
Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq has announced new rules that will force tobacco companies to include larger and more graphic anti-smoking labels on cigarette packages. One of the new labels features the late anti-smoking activist Barb Tarbox on her deathbed. Tarbox died from lung cancer in 2003 at age 42. The labels, which will cover 75 per cent of the cigarette pack, are part of an aggressive anti-smoking campaign that Aglukkaq hopes to introduce “as soon as possible.”