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NORTHERN IRELAND: Cigarette Display Ban is Approved

The Assembly has approved a ban on the display of tobacco items in shops in Northern Ireland. The Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said he wanted the ban to come into force late next year.
However, DUP politicians argued that it should be delayed until 2013 in order to give retailers the time to fund changes to their premises. Mr McGimpsey argued that MLAs should not put "wealth before health" and that the ban would save lives. "Currently in Northern Ireland about 9% of 11 to 16-year-olds regularly smoke," he said.
Source: BBC News, 3 March 2009

NORWAY: Tobacco Display Ban looms in Norway

A ban on tobacco display in Norwegian duty free could be in force by October of this year, if, as expected, new tobacco legislation is voted into law by the country's Parliament. The planned new legislation was one of the key issues discussed this week at the latest meeting of the Nordic Travel Retail Group, which represents the interests of concessionaires, brand owners, airports, airlines and ferry operators in the Nordic region.
Norwegian travel retail is likely to have to implement a model similar to that in place in another Nordic state, Iceland. Retailers would have to create a stand-alone room in their stores for tobacco, with frosted, not clear glass, so customers could not see inside. No advertising would be permitted.
Source: The Moodie Report UK, 2 March 2009

UK: Pledge to stop law on Plain Cigarette Packets

The UK's largest tobacco company has warned it will take legal action against the government if it introduces a law forcing the firm to package cigarettes in plain white cartons. Branded packs are in effect the tobacco industry's only remaining form of advertising in the UK and the smoking lobby has vowed to fight moves to phase them out. Senior executives in the leading tobacco firms fear other nations will follow the UK's lead if it passes a law ensuring all cigarettes sold here are contained in plain white cartons.
Source: The Observer, 1 March 2009

SWEDISH STUDY: Teen-agers Listen To Their Parents when it Comes to Smoking

Parents can help their teenagers to never start smoking. A Swedish study published in the open access journal BMC Public Health has found that adolescents respond positively to their parents' attitudes towards smoking.
The research, carried out by a team led by Maria Nilsson of Umeå University, Sweden, utilized statistics obtained from three national surveys conducted by The National Board for Health and Welfare and The Swedish National Institute of Public Health in 1987, 1994 and 2003. The surveys explored the attitudes, beliefs and tobacco use of teenagers across Sweden. Responses were obtained from young people aged 13, 15 and 17 years old, with 1500 adolescents in each age group. A total of 13500 adolescents were surveyed. The aim of the study was to determine adolescent attitudes towards parental intervention on tobacco use in Sweden and to see if these have changed over time.
Source: ScienceDaily Magazine, 3 March 2009

STUDY: Highlights Teenage Obesity Risks

Making a startling comparison that likens obesity's risks to those of smoking, a large European study spanning decades has found that young men who were overweight at age 18 were as likely to die by age 60 as were light smokers, while obese teens were, like heavy smokers, at double the risk of dying early.
While obesity is linked to a large number of health problems, the new findings fly in the face of numerous recent studies showing that people who are merely overweight may not be at higher risk of premature death than those of normal weight. The new study, published in this week's British Medical Journal, tracked death rates of 45,920 Swedish men over 38 years.
Source: The New York Times, 3 March 2009

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