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photoA committee of Indian parliamentarians heavily influenced by the tobacco industry has recommended that increased graphic health warnings championed by the Ministry of Health be reduced in size. India’s Daily Mail called the committee’s report “an unabashed manifesto of the tobacco industry.”

The Indian government is set to implement the new, larger graphic health warnings covering 85 percent of all tobacco packs on April 1 as allowed by the country’s law regulating tobacco products. But the arguments from the group of parliamentarians — heavily influenced by the tobacco industry — have cast doubt on full implementation of the warnings.

Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue recently landed in mailboxes, and once again it is crammed with ads for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. These ads portray deadly and addictive tobacco products as fun and sexy, a tactic the tobacco industry has used for decades to lure young people.

Amidst photos of models in body paint and ever-skimpier bikinis, this year’s swimsuit issue features five tobacco ads – three for the leading smokeless tobacco brands (Grizzly, Skoal and Copenhagen) and two for cigarettes (Newport and Natural American Spirit).

photo In a big win for public health, Ukraine’s President has signed a new law increasing taxes on cigarettes by 40 percent. The law, which takes effect March 1, continues Ukraine’s strong commitment to reducing the devastating burden of tobacco-related death and disease. It was enacted despite strong opposition from the tobacco industry and its allies.

Hawaii to implement first statewide 21 law

January 1 rings in the New Year – and brings in some new laws in the fight against tobacco.

Hawaii will make history as the first state to raise the minimum legal sale age for tobacco products to 21. The new law takes effect January 1, prohibiting the sale of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, to anyone under 21. “We are proud to once again be at the forefront of the nation in tobacco prevention and control, ” said Hawaii Director of Health Virginia Pressler.

photoYear of historic firsts in the U.S. and globally

From Hawaii and San Francisco to New Orleans and Beijing, 2015 has been a year of groundbreaking victories in the fight against tobacco – the No. 1 cause of preventable death.

These achievements show we can win this fight and make the next generation tobacco-free – but only if the proven strategies that drive progress are fully implemented. We cannot let up because the tobacco industry never lets up – as the industry’s actions remind us over and over again. Here’s a snapshot of 2015.

It takes courage to stand up to Big Tobacco — and Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez continues to do just that in fighting tobacco use in his country of 3.4 million people.

The Inter-American Heart Association recently recognized this courage when it presented President Vázquez with the Science of Peace Award at a ceremony in Chile. The award honored his strong commitment to tobacco control both in Uruguay and around the world.

photo The United Health Foundation released its 2015 “America's Health Rankings® Annual Report, ” providing a comprehensive state-by-state assessment of the nation’s health. Not surprisingly, the report shows that the 10 least healthy states have some of the nation’s highest smoking rates.

Big tobacco is yet again fighting public health measures meant to reduce tobacco use, this time by suing the government of the United Kingdom (UK) for its law that will require tobacco products to be sold in standardized packages. The case has been brought by tobacco giants Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Group and Japan Tobacco International. The companies are challenging the UK law — which will take effect next May — to eliminate the use of colorful logos and branding on tobacco packaging.

Nepal recently implemented the world’s largest graphic health warnings on tobacco packs, covering 90 percent of the front and back of the pack. Nepal’s new warnings set a global example and show other countries what can be accomplished by prioritizing health and standing up to the tobacco industry.

A new report documents how the tobacco industry is breaking laws and exploiting loopholes to target kids with deadly tobacco products in 14 countries across Latin America. According to the report, the tobacco industry is using a variety of marketing tactics – some illegal – to target youth at shops, kiosks and other places where tobacco is sold to consumers.

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tobacco in africa: the road ahead
tobacco in africa: the road ahead
Top Pipe Tobacco in 2013
Top Pipe Tobacco in 2013

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