This year Ukraine celebrated World No Tobacco Day by advocating for bigger and more effective pictorial health warnings. On 31 May Ukrainian physicians, public activists, tobacco control experts and MPs held a street action near the Ukrainian Parliament and organised a press-briefing in the Ukrainian Parliament.
Last year NGO Advocacy Center LIFE initiated the bill #2820 introducing "amendments to Ukrainian laws on the protection of public health from the harmful impacts of tobacco products". The new initiative demands an increase in the size of health warning labels from 50% to 65%, and for labels to be located both on principal display areas as well as on the upper part of the pack.
Last year, the Norwegian government held consultations on the introduction of amendments to the Tobacco Control Act. On 10 June 2016 the government introduced a bill on tobacco control proposing the following amendments:
On 3 June 2016, an international coalition of 47 think tanks and taxpayer associations sent a letter to WHO Director Margaret Chan criticising WHO’s support of plain packaging, opposing and condemning the measure as an attack on intellectual property rights.
In its letter, the group claims the human right to own property, whether it is physical or intellectual: “
The right to own property is a fundamental human right. Thus, the protection of property rights, physical and intellectual, is critical (...) Plain packaging prohibits the use of trademarks and therefore significantly erodes the value of this intellectual property.”
Pascal Diethelm, President of OxyRomandie, a Tobacco Control NGO based in Switzerland, reacts to the letter:
"I have looked at the signatories of this letter. They are all very similar and most of them are ultra-liberal think-tanks which are members of Atlas Network, a US organisation whose mission is “to litter the world with free-market think-tanks” and which received considerable funding from Philip Morris."
This follows a letter from the European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for Budget and Human Ressources Kristalina Georgieva sent to both organisations, where she declared that the PMI agreement has
effectively met its objective of reducing the prevalence of PMI contraband on the illicit EU Tobacco market and that the Commission has not taken its final decision on the renewal yet.
Source: The European Respiratory Society and the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention event
Subject: Plain packaging to protect our youth: progress made and challenges ahead
Date: May 31 2016
Implementation of an indoor smoking ban and an advertising/ sponsorship ban in Lebanon: a baseline cross-sectional study
Monique Chaaya, Rima Nakkash, Rima Afifi, Guillermo Adame, Nadia Fanous, Nabil Tabbal, Dahlia Saab
Welcoming the transposition of the European Tobacco Products Directive
Francisco Rodriguez Lozano