Articles on Tobacco

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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…
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…

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