Articles on Tobacco

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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…
Stormy weather hits New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. Flickr.com/wiifm69 (Sean Hamlin)

An insider’s story of the global attack on climate science

A recent headline – Failed doubters trust leaves taxpayers six-figure loss – marked the end of a four-year epic saga of secretly-funded climate denial, harassment of scientists and tying-up of valuable…
Statistics on tobacco deaths have become banal for many. Image from shutterstock.com

Beyond statistics: the hidden face of smoking-related cancer

The Russian dictator Joseph Stalin infamously said that a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic. And in tobacco control, there are statistics to die for. Tobacco caused about 100 million…
Just over 15% of Australians smoke daily and a further 1.5% smoke each week. Flickr/benessere

Health Check: how harmful is social smoking?

If you only light up when you’re drinking or out with friends, you probably don’t identify as a smoker or consider the health impact of the occasional fag. Social smokers don’t usually smoke every day…
E-cigarettes are battery operated units that vapourise fluids into fine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: what are electronic cigarettes?

As rates of smoking fall in Australia, electronic cigarette manufacturers are moving in. Liberty Flights last week released an (awful) online ad to “create awareness” of electronic or e-cigarettes in the…
Boarded up: how companies are trumping our health. Eschipul

Beware, secret trade deals can seriously damage your health

If I asked you to name some of the current threats to your health, “international trade law” probably wouldn’t be on the tip of your tongue. Yet trade agreements, and the way we negotiate them, can affect…
Tobacco, like other substances, are likely to become part of the prison contraband trade. Image from shutterstock.com

Total smoking bans aren’t the answer to better prisoner health

From May next year, Queensland prisoners will no longer be able to smoke cigarettes. Smoking in cells was prohibited in Queensland facilities in 2008, but as of next year the prohibition will extend to…
Not so cool. Nick Perry/AP/PA

Tobacco companies are savvy about the power of branding

In 1952 the first paper was published linking smoking with death. About 50 years later governments around the world started to ban smoking advertising from TV, billboards and sporting venues. Then, eventually…
Tobacco use causes more than five million deaths every year across the world. MilitaryHealth/Flickr

Medical journals refuse to publish tobacco-funded research

Editors of journals published by the BMJ Group will no longer consider publishing research that is partly or wholly funded…
Algal genes are introduced into tobacco cells that grow into plants. Peggy Lemaux/UC Berkeley

Tobacco re-imagined as a future fuel source

Tobacco doesn’t immediately conjure up ideas of fuel for cars and planes. But that’s precisely what a three-year, $4.8m project from the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E PETRO (Plants Engineered to Replace…
Plain packaging isn’t really plain - it has warnings not branding. PA/Niall Carson

Industry trumps evidence in tobacco packaging U-turn

The government’s disappointing U-turn over plain packaging of tobacco has dealt a blow to campaigners and shows a government attempting to subvert its own consultation process. The Conservative party’s…
We don’t know if anti-smoking campaigns have worked, or if they’re causing more harm than good. Rusty Stewart

Anti-smoking campaigns failing Indigenous youth

How can anti-smoking campaigns be targeted more effectively at Australia’s Indigenous youth? It’s a good question, and one that, as yet, has proven difficult to answer. Almost half of all Aboriginal and…
Digitally-aged image demonstrating the effects of smoking (non-smoker on left, smoker on right). Curtin University

Digitally aged photos encourage young smokers to quit

Showing young people computer-generated images illustrating the effects of smoking on their appearance later in life may…
There’s little evidence to support a ban based on the health harms of cigarette smoke in wide, open spaces. AAP/April Fonti

Blanket bans on outdoor smoking no panacea for tobacco control

Support for smoke-free laws is near universal in Australia. In the late 1980s and 90s, these laws were primarily advocated and adopted on the premise that employees shouldn’t be continuously exposed to…

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