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Having a Twitter account is not an obligation to engage with anyone seeking to troll. Eirik Solheim/Flickr

Why I block trolls on Twitter

My first column last week was quickly trolled by a small group of mostly UK-based vaping activists. Of 49 comments posted, 17 were removed by The Conversation’s moderator before the comments were closed…
Dying at 70, Cocker effectively lost one day in eight off the life expectancy the average Englishman has today. EPA/Angelika Warmuth

With a little help from his friends … Joe Cocker’s early death

Joe Cocker, the Sheffield singer who died on December 22, will always be remembered as one of the most searing, unforgettable voices of the past forty years. Ten of his best songs can be found here. “Mad…
Despite all we know about tobacco harm, many countries still look the other way. Ehab Edward

Five reasons why some countries are so lax at regulating smoking

Tobacco policy is a global issue. Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the world. There are well over one billion smokers in the world, smoking rates are still rising in…
E-cigarettes should not be sold in Australia, as a therapy or a consumer product. gdvcom/Shutterstock

Health risks of nicotine cast doubt on ‘safer’ e-cigarette

British American Tobacco Australia has lobbied Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration to have electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) classified as a harm-reduction pharmaceutical product. If successful…
It might stop young people seeing smoking on the big screen but it won’t stop them downloading and sharing these movies. Leo Hidalgo/Flickr

Why smoking shouldn’t give movies an automatic R rating

In an era when cinema attendance is in continual decline, the United States Surgeon General’s proposal that all movies depicting smoking should be rated R is a particular form of silliness. The Surgeon…
About 42% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (TSI) people are daily smokers, compared to 16% in the non-Indigenous population. Dave Hunt/AAP

Indigenous smoking program cuts risk widening the gap

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and early death among Indigenous Australians, with smoking responsible for about one in every five deaths. Among Indigenous Australians, tobacco…
Just 12.8% of Australians over the age of 14 are now smoking on a daily basis. Flickr: noahvoelker

Plain packs help deter young smokers as uptake drops to new low

Evidence is mounting that plain cigarette packaging is helping prevent young people from becoming addicted, life-long customers of big tobacco. From January 2012, all tobacco products have been sold in…
Tobacco companies cajole, convince, and promote their deadly products to billions across the globe. Nikolai Vassiliev

Profits, death and disease: big tobacco’s business model

Lung cancer, a leg amputation, or gasping for air as a result of emphysema are not fun ways of ending one’s life. All are common outcomes of smoking, and if current global patterns of smoking continue…
Low birth weight is associated with smoking. Ariel Schalit/AP

An incontrovertible truth: smoking harms foetuses

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of compounds, many of them toxic and capable of causing injury throughout the body. Because of this high toxicity of tobacco smoke, many diseases have long been causally…
The clock is ticking for Coles and Woolworths to announce they’ll stop selling cigarettes. Image from shutterstock.com

US chain CVS stops tobacco sales: over to you, Coles and Woolworths

The announcement by CVS, one of the largest drug store chains in the United States, that it will cease selling tobacco by October this year will have Coles' and Woolworths' public relations in a spin…
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…

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