Oct 14, 2014


The number of countries requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packs is growing rapidly, according to a report issued today by the Canadian Cancer Society.

The report finds that 77 countries and territories have finalized picture warnings — up from 55 countries that had implemented by the end of 2012 and just one country — Canada — in 2001.

Oct 8, 2014


A tobacco industry-funded organization is trying to gut life-saving efforts to raise tobacco taxes as countries prepare to discuss the issue at an upcoming World Health Organization conference on tobacco control, according to an article in the Financial Times (subscription required). The conference kicks off October 13 in Moscow.

The International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC), a Washington, DC-based organization, has asked government representatives from around the world to attend a private meeting shortly before the conference in an effort to undercut progress on tobacco tax increases.  According to the Financial Times, “all four of the major international tobacco companies, including British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International, are sponsors of the ITIC and have representatives on its board of directors.”

Sep 26, 2014


Across the United States, poison control centers continue to report soaring numbers of accidental poisonings related to the nicotine liquid used in electronic cigarettes.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reports that, through August 31, there have been 2,724 calls so far this year involving exposures to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine.  That is up from 1,542 in 2013, 460 in 2012 and 271 in 2011.

These reports have spurred a growing call by public health organizations and members of Congress to require child-resistant packaging of nicotine liquid products.

Sep 22, 2014


Costa Rica has taken another important step to protect public health from the terrible toll of tobacco use, which is the number one cause of preventable death worldwide.

Starting last week, pictorial warning labels are required on cigarette packs sold in Costa Rica.  The new warnings cover 50 percent of both the front and back of cigarette packs and feature gruesome images depicting the consequences of smoking, as well as text warnings.  Retailers and suppliers have a two-month grace period to sell their stock of old packs.

Sep 16, 2014


On September 3, CVS Health announced that it has ended tobacco sales for good at its 7,700 retail pharmacies. In doing so, CVS sent a powerful message: Responsible retailers — especially those that provide health care through pharmacies and clinics – should not be in the business of selling cigarettes and other tobacco products, the number one cause of preventable death.

Newspaper editorials across the country have applauded CVS and called on other retailers to follow CVS's example.

Aug 28, 2014


Philip Morris International's “Be Marlboro” campaign is coming under fire again for targeting youth. This time, the consumer protection agency from the Brazilian state of São Paulo has fined Philip Morris over $480,000.

The agency acted after a formal complaint was filed against Philip Morris by tobacco control activists who documented how its marketing tactics were aimed at youth. Paula Johns, Executive Director of the Brazilian advocacy organization ACT, calls the campaign 'cynical', noting that “independence and autonomy are associated with a product that actually makes the person dependent.'

Aug 20, 2014


All-Star pitcher Curt Schilling was known for his toughness during his Major League Baseball career.  Who can forget the bloody sock from the 2004 playoffs, when he helped the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series championship in 86 years?

Now Schilling is in another tough battle – against oral cancer that he today attributed to his longtime use of chewing tobacco.  Schilling’s statement comes just months after Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn’s death from cancer that he, too, attributed to chewing tobacco.

Aug 11, 2014


Attention back-to-school shoppers!

As you set out to fill your kids’ lockers and backpacks, you can also strike a blow for kids’ health – by shopping at CVS and other retailers who have chosen not to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.  It kills nearly half a million American and costs us at least $289 billio

Jul 23, 2014


It's within our reach to create the first tobacco-free generation.

But we can't do it without the involvement of youth.

Last week, we welcomed more than 30 youth activists from across the country to Washington, DC, for our 11th Youth Advocacy Symposium — a series of skill-building workshops on leadership, advocacy and communications.

Jul 15, 2014


Despite international media criticism and widespread calls from public health groups and government officials to end its 'Be Marlboro' marketing campaign, Philip Morris International is doubling down and expanding its youth-oriented campaign around the globe.

A March 2014 report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups exposed how the campaign uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth. With the slogan 'Don’t be a Maybe. Be Marlboro,' the ads feature images of attractive young people falling in love, playing music, partying, and taking risks.

Jul 11, 2014


The U.S. Surgeon General and other public health authorities around the world have found that smoking damages nearly every organ in the human body and harms health at every stage of life.  Yet we are continually learning new ways in which smoking harms health.

In the latest example, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Alzheimer’s Disease International are reporting, based on a review of scientific studies, that smokers have a 45 percent higher risk of developing dementia compared to non-smokers.  “It is estimated that 14% of [Alzheimer’s disease] cases worldwide are potentially attributable to smoking,” the organizations write in a short report summarizing the scientific evidence.

Jul 7, 2014


A new survey of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke in Uganda shows that the country still has the opportunity to head off a burgeoning tobacco epidemic – but only if government leaders act fast to implement scientifically proven solutions.

Uganda's first-ever Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), released July 4, 2014 by the country's Ministry of Health, demonstrated both the threat tobacco use poses to the nation’s health and the opportunity for the government to take action.

Jul 2, 2014


As we’ve seen time and time again, tobacco companies will take advantage of any opportunity to market their deadly and addictive products.

On Independence Day, we offer a look at just a few of the times Big Tobacco has shamelessly exploited our national pride to sell cigarettes.  What these ads leave out, of course, is that tobacco use isn’t a path to freedom, but to addiction, disease and death – 480,000 deaths a year, according to the latest Surgeon General’s report on tobacco and health.

Jun 19, 2014


All of us at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids were saddened this week by the death of baseball great Tony Gwynn — “a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person,” as MLB.com described him.

We are also grateful that he bravely spoke out about the link between oral cancer and chewing tobacco use, which remains all too common in Major League Baseball. Gwynn attributed his own cancer to longtime use of chewing tobacco. “Of course it caused it,” Gwynn once said. “I always dipped on my right side,” where his cancer started.

Jun 16, 2014


A new documentary from the BBC calls out Philip Morris International for its global marketing campaign promoting Marlboro cigarettes that has been found to target youth. The BBC report finds the 'Be Marlboro' ad campaign is 'aimed unashamedly at young people.'

A report released in March by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups exposed how the 'Be Marlboro' ads uses themes and images sure to appeal to youth. The ads have spread to more than 50 countries despite being banned by a German court for targeting teens.

Jun 13, 2014


The CDC's 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, released on Thursday, had both good news and bad news. The good news: a big decline in cigarette smoking among high school students from 18.1 percent in 2011 to 15.7 percent in 2013.

The bad news: essentially no change in cigar smoking or smokeless tobacco use. In fact, high school boys now smoke cigars at the same rate as cigarettes (16.5 percent for cigars and 16.4 percent for cigarettes). Nearly a quarter of 12th grade boys (23 percent) smoke cigars, compared to 19.6 percent who smoke cigarettes. (Note: We’ll have more about smokeless tobacco in a later blog post.)

Jun 11, 2014


“Kids may be particularly vulnerable to trying e-cigarettes due to an abundance of fun flavors such as cherry, vanilla, pina-colada and berry.”

If that quote sounds like something a public health organization said (and many of us have expressed such concerns), think again.  This particular quote is from the so-called “youth smoking prevention” web site of tobacco giant Lorillard, manufacturer of blu eCigs, the best-selling e-cigarette brand.

Jun 6, 2014


In December 2011, Brazil enacted a historic tobacco control law that, among other things, would make Brazil the world’s most populous country to go smoke-free.  However, fierce tobacco industry opposition has slowed implementation of the law.

On May 31, Brazil’s Ministry of Health took a critical step forward by issuing regulations to implement the law beginning in December of this year.


Jun 2, 2014


Russia on June 1 finished implementing its comprehensive tobacco control law, extending a prohibition on smoking in public places to hospitality venues, including restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels. Newly-implemented provisions also ban point-of-sale displays of cigarettes and other tobacco products and end tobacco sales at kiosks that are common through the country.

These are historic actions to reduce tobacco’s devastating toll and save lives in Russia, a country that has one of the highest smoking rates in the world and where tobacco kills nearly 400,000 people every year.  Russia is the world’s second largest cigarette market.

May 28, 2014


Cigarettes and electronic cigarettes aren’t the only tobacco products being heavily advertised in magazines with large youth readerships.

So are smokeless tobacco products, especially now that the Skoal brand is again advertising in magazines for the first time since February 2009, according to the Trinkets & Trash website, which tracks tobacco advertising.

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