Smoking segment not a 'tobacco ad': Seven

The Federal Court has ruled Channel Seven in Adelaide breached broadcast laws with a story about Coles selling cheap imported cigarettes, claiming it promoted tobacco. But the network is adamant it was merely trying to report an "important" public interest issue.

The segment in question, which appeared on Channel Seven News in Adelaide in July 2010, reported that Coles was selling a number of imported, budget cigarette brands from Germany up to five dollars cheaper than local brands. It included interviews with the owner of a petrol station, a spokesperson from the Smokefree Australia Coalition and two unidentified male smokers. Cigaronne cigarettes.

A complaint was lodged to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) that the story was "indirect advertising on behalf of both Coles and the cigarette companies involved”.

ACMA then investigated the the story and ruled it was a "tobacco advertisment", breaching the 1992 Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act and the station's Broadcasting Services Act.

The Federal Court backed ACMA's decision. ACMA acting chairman Richard Bean said: "It provides an important reminder the legal prohibitions against the advertising of tobacco are very strict. The law serves an important public health purpose and the ACMA will continue to be vigilant in this area."

At the time, Network Seven tried to refute the ruling by claiming it had no intention to broadcast a tobacco ad in the segment, among other things, and so hadn't breached the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act. None of its submissions were accepted by the Federal Court.

Seven has now argued it's "disappointed" by the ruling and still believes it didn't breach any laws.

"Seven continues to believe that its broadcast, which highlighted the increase of cheap tobacco imports being sold by supermarkets and which included messages from anti-smoking group, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), related to an important public interest issue and was in no way intended to promote cigarettes or smoking and breached no applicable laws," a spokesperson said.

ACMA has said it's currently considering what remedial action is appropriate.


Passive Smoking Is A Silent Baby Killer

Children who are exposed to passive smoking also known as secondhand smoke may experience the damaging effects well into adulthood, say scientists. In a recent study conducted   by a team of researchers from University of Arizona, it found a strong link between childhood exposure to second-hand smoke and chronic cough in adulthood.

It adds that even non-smokers who were exposed to passive smoking when they were young had a higher risk of developing chronic chest infections. Bond cigarettes.

The team of  researchers  analysed results from a 24-year study that assessed the prevalence rates and risk factors of respiratory and other chronic diseases. In the course of the study which was done over a period of two decades, participants were asked to complete questionnaires that were issued every two years during the period in review.


It was discovered that 52.3 per cent of the children had been exposed to tobacco smoke between birth and 15 years old and that this exposure was significantly associated with several persistent respiratory symptoms.


Ailments such as asthma as well as other respiratory symptoms were examined and found that exposure to parental smoking had the strongest association with cough and chronic cough that persisted into adult life.


A consultant pediatrician based in Abuja, Dr Richard Shatima, explains: “First of all, it is important to understand how the respiratory system works.


The respiratory tract starts from the nose and ends in the alveoli where respiration takes place. It also has a lot of defense mechanism because the lung has been made naturally to defend its host against foreign particles such as smoke, dust, fumes and micro organisms”.


He points out that it is a fact that those that live in the city are highly prone to respiratory problems as a result of generators, cars and cigarette smoke which releases carbonmonoxide(CO)which affects the quality of air we breathe, he says. Inhaling these fumes continuously makes the defense mechanism to get overstretched. The defense mechanism gives up and fails due to the intensity of the pollutant.


According to Shatima, when children and  non-smokers are exposed to involuntary smoking or passive smoking, they  take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just like smokers do. The more exposed the person is, the higher the level of these harmful chemicals in the body.


“There is a defence mechanism called microphages found along the respiratory tract which helps to engulf any foreign particle that comes into the system and destroy them in order to prevent them from entering the alveoli where the exchange of air takes place”, he said.


The pediatrician noted that it is easier for children to have problem because their respiratory organs are not fully matured and hence they are more vulnerable.


When an infant is exposed to cigarette smoke either from a smoking parent or within the home, the quality of air invariably reduces causing the abdomen to become bloated with such particles  because the microphages is overstretched and cannot really perform its function.


The child is exposed to respiratory infection such as bronchitis, asthma, bronchial pneumonia and respiratory tract infection which is the number 3 leading cause of death in children after diarrhea and malnutrition.


Passive smoking also exposes a baby to the risk of cot death i.e sudden infant death (SID), due to continuous exposure to smoke from a parent over time. When these gets accumulated in the baby, it struggles for breath without the parents noticing thereby resulting in sudden death.


Technically speaking, passive smoking is bad because smoking parents may not be cautious enough to smoke outside or far away from where the baby is thereby subjecting the child to risk of respiratory problem.


It should be noted however, that this happens over a period of time of continuous exposure and not after just a single or two episodes of exposure, Shatima stated.


For parents who smoke, he advised that the best option is to give up because apart from the risk associated with smoking on the part of the smoker, people around and even children will have their own share of the complication associated with this addiction.


Further research will be needed to examine whether smokers who were exposed to second-hand smoke as children have a greater risk of dying in middle-age than smokers who were not exposed, the research concluded.

Smoking banned in public places

Smoking in public places has been banned following the passage of the Public Health Bill by Parliament on Wednesday.

However, the bill is to be presented to the President for his assent. Colts cigarettes.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, moved the motion for the Third Reading of the bill after it had been taken through a second consideration on the request of the Chairman of the Health Committee of Parliament, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak.

Currently, legislation on public health is scattered in several enactments. The bill is, therefore, to provide a comprehensive legislation on public health.Glamour cigarettes.

The new bill has brought together in one piece of legislation colonial enactments on infectious diseases, mosquitoes, quarantine, vaccination and public nuisance, as well as modern enactments on tobacco, food and medicines.

Clause 58, which forms Part Six of the bill, deals with tobacco control measures and prohibits smoking in public places.

Other provisions on tobacco control are the issue of health warnings on cigarettes, sale of tobacco, packaging and labelling of tobacco, advertising of tobacco and tobacco products, among others.

It also stipulates that the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is the regulatory agency to deal with tobacco matters and that it may appoint inspectors and analysts to carry out its functions.

Considering the harmful effects of smoking on health and the culture of associating smoking with social success, business advancement and sporting process through advertisement, the 192-member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO), including Ghana, adopted a Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which bans advertisement and sponsorship by tobacco companies.

The convention enjoins member-countries to take administrative; legislative and any other means to curb the incidence of smoking and reduce the hazards associated with smoking.

The entire bill focuses on keeping people healthy and improving health, instead of treating diseases and disorders among individuals.

It recognises all the factors that contribute to health in respect of housing, employment and more immediate risk factors such as nutrition, smoking and inadequate physical activity.

Part One of the bill, which is on communicable diseases, provides for the declaration of infected areas and for the consequences of such declaration.

For example, medical officers are given authority in this part of the bill to organise the disinfection or destruction of buildings and animals to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Part Two of the bill deals with vaccination and provides generally for the appointment of public vaccinators, usually medical officers, and their functions.

The Third Part is on quarantine and regulates measures that need to be taken for the prevention of the introduction of infectious or contagious diseases into the country.

Part Four deals with provisions on vector control, with the destruction of vectors, including mosquitoes, forming an important element in the control and prevention of malaria.

Part Five caters for environmental sanitation, with clauses 50 to 57 dealing with matters including the selling of unwholesome food, noxious trade and the dumping of garbage at unauthorised places.

Part Seven deals with food and drugs, with Clause 78 establishing the FDA to provide standards to regulate the sale of food, drugs, herbal medicine products, cosmetics, medical devices and household chemical substances in the country.