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California aggressively fights Big Tobacco usage in ads such as this, with funds voters allocated when they increased the tobacco tax by passing Proposition 99 in 1988. California Department of Public Health. California Department of Public Health

Big Tobacco aims its guns to kill California tobacco tax

California has one of the nation's lowest cigarette taxes, due in large part to a powerful tobacco lobby. The power could shift this fall, if a voters agree to raise taxes by $2 a pack.
Anti-smoking momentum among young people is starving the tobacco industry of new smokers, Donnakarn Pongmanutsakorn/Shutterstock

The slow-burn, devastating impact of tobacco plain packs

It is three years since Australia fully implemented its historic tobacco plain packaging law. From December 1, 2012, all tobacco products have been required to be sold in the mandated standardised packs…
Many thousands of people stop and reduce their smoking every year. Raúl Villalón/Flickr

Are today’s smokers really more ‘hardened’?

As smoking continues its inexorable southward journey toward single-digit percentages of populations being smokers, it’s common to hear people say the smokers who remain are all “hard core”, heavily dependent…
Over the 23 days, we saw just 20 people vaping: 15 in Paris, one in Lyon, one in Calvi, one in Barcelona and two in Madrid. /Flickr

‘You’ll see vapers everywhere in Europe’. Well, … no

Every traveller forms impressions about patterns of frequently or seldom seen cultural differences when visiting other countries. You see far fewer women than men on the streets of more conservative Islamic…
From one hand-held habit to another. Shutterstock

Can social media help you quit smoking?

Services like Facebook and YouTube may have the upper hand when it comes to getting people to give up cigarettes.
Smokers would not riot in the streets. Many would welcome it. sanjagrujic/Shutterstock

Making smoking history: the case for a smoker’s licence

I’m a regular drug user. Every morning I take a drug to manage blood pressure. I get my supplies from my neighbourhood dealer, but I can get the stuff almost anywhere.
Not enough tobacco company money is going into public health campaigns. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

True cost of diverted tobacco payouts measured in lives

The #20 Million Memorial created earlier this month by the United States Centers for Disease Control, is an online tribute to honor the 20 million spouses, mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brothers…

Vaping could be a trojan horse for real cigarettes

The American Surgeon General published the first federal government report linking smoking and ill health 50 years ago. The report also demanded that the American government take appropriate remedial action…
Pop up e-cig bar. Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

Explainer: what do we know about e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are increasingly popular in a number of countries including the UK, while in others such as Norway and Brazil they are banned altogether. So amid all these differences in policy, what do we…
The Beatles’ George Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001. Voteprime

One in four could be saved with lung cancer screening

Lung cancer kills more people each year than any other cancer because it’s common and because the majority of patients only start to show symptoms after the disease is already advanced. Despite this there…

Drugs and other aids help smokers quit

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRTs), such as patches and gums, as well as the antidepressant bupropion and another drug varenicline…
New concerns have been raised over the effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy. Image from

Nicotine replacement therapy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

A study published in the latest edition of the journal Tobacco Control confirms what we’ve long suspected about nicotine replacement therapy (NRT): smokers don’t need to resort to these pharmaceuticals…

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