This case raises novel questions about the scope of the government’s authority to force the manufacturer of a product to go beyond making purely factual and accurate commercial disclosures and undermine its own economic interest — in this case, by making ‘every single pack of cigarettes in the country mini billboard’ for the government’s anti-smoking message.U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Janice Rogers Brown • In her opinion regarding the graphic packaging used for cigarette packs, which are federally-regulated. The Washington D.C. Court of Appeals struck down the ads in a 2-1 ruling Friday, with Brown writing that the government “has not provided a shred of evidence” that the packaging actually reduces smoking, and the court as a whole saying that the images violated corporate speech requirements. Five cigarette companies challenged the branding rules — which were upheld by another appeals court, raising the chances that the Supreme Court will rule on the issue.
» That brings the grand total to $600 million: Michael Bloomberg’s spent hundreds of millions to fight smoking globally through his charitable foundation. The NYC mayor, who calls tobacco ”a scourge all over the world,” plans to use the money to fund legal challenges against smoking in low-and-moderate-income countries where smoking is widespread, including Russia, China and India. Bloomberg’s anti-smoking efforts in NYC (which included increasing cigarette taxes and encouraging directors not to film actors smoking in films) have met with success; the smoking rate has dropped in the city. Bloomberg might face trouble in China, however: Smoking is a very common part of socializing in the region and cigarettes cost less than a dollar a pack, and China relies heavily on tax revenues raised through packs of cigarettes.
Further research is needed to demonstrate a causal link, but in the meantime to protect your child’s hearing, and health, it would be advisable to avoid smoking around them.Dr. Ralph Holme, of Action on Hearing Loss • Speaking about recent studies which indicate a strong correlation between the secondhand smoke exposure of teenagers, and hearing loss. The doctor makes a very worthwhile point when he emphasizes further research is needed — the distinction between correlation and causation is something we feel is too often overlooked in media coverage of health-related studies. That said, his conclusion is still the prudent one; put the cigarette out when you’re hanging out with kids and teens. Seeing as this is hardly the only risk associated with smoking on the whole, this probably isn’t a case where a slew of new studies need to come out to warrant some lifestyle adjustments. source (via • follow)
» Won’t someone please think of the CHILD-REN?! Some groups are coming out against the Johnny Depp film as a result, saying that there are so many scenes of characters smoking in “Rango,” they need a DVD to get a firm number. ”A lot of kids are going to start smoking because of this movie,” said Stanton Glantz, an anti-tobacco activist and official at the University of California-San Francisco. While they have a point, is it really worth all this hand-wringing?