Thursday, October 30, 2008

MalaysiaKini SMS 30/10/08 (3)

30/10: Parliament speaker put off to Mon his decision on emergency motion by Anwar Ibrahim to form royal commission on 3 'mega projects'./MKINI

MalaysiaKini SMS 30/10/08 (2)

30/10: Justice Ian Chin, who made explosive claims that ex-PM Mahathir had threatened judges, has tendered his resignation, Parliament told./MKINI

MalaysiaKini SMS 30/10/08

30/10: Federal Court threw out appeal by Munawar A Anees for his sodomy charge be remitted to the High Court so that he can argue his case./MKINI


I agree with the Government's plans of imposing a price floor for cigarettes and putting picture warnings on cigarette boxes. This will cause both financial and psychological impacts on young and adult smokers. I started smoking since I was 18 years old. I stopped at aged 30. I was able to go without a cigarette for 4 years. Sadly, this year has been so challenging that I went back smoking for awhile. Once on March and recently on September-October. It has been almost 2 weeks I am without a cigarette. My wife said nowadays I only smoke when I get really stressed and when things are fine the cigarettes disappear.

Anyway I've always thought that the 'Tak Nak' campaign from a few years ago is pretty lame. A visual of a smoldering cigarette on a billboard simply increases the desire to run and get another pack. Some group made lots of money during the campaign, no doubt about that.

If they had put up billboards of picture warnings like a blackened and tarred lungs and a person without a throat etc, then the campaign will be success. People needs to be graphically convinced before they can consider quitting cigarettes. It was during my last trip to Singapore when I decided to kick the habit. I bought a pack which had a picture of a man's mouth/tongue that's ravaged by cancer. It looked so awful that I had to rip the picture out or else I would not enjoy my smoking at that time.

I hope our government succeeds in helping to end our cigarette addiction.

Government Plans Price Floor For Cigarettes
PUTRAJAYA, Oct 29 (Bernama) -- The government plans to impose a price floor for all cigarettes as part of efforts to check smoking habits especially among youths.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said all quarters including the industry and the Cabinet in its meeting on Sept 17 had agreed to the introduction of the minimum price.

He told reporters here today that the ministry was in the final stage of drafting the Control of Tobacco Products (Sale of Tobacco Products) Regulations 2008 to implement it.

"According to a study by the World Bank, taxes on tobacco and the price of cigarettes in the market are the most effective strategy in controlling the use of tobacco especially by the younger generation, namely children, youths and low-income earners.

"For the sake of children and youths, to keep them off cigarette addiction and probably the risk of drug abuse, the government is very committed to protecting the younger generation by reducing their accessibility to cigarettes," he said.

Liow said the minimum price would be determined by taking into account all taxes imposed by the government and the profit made by the cigarette industry -- probably not less than 30 sen per stick by year end.

The minimum price would be adjusted each time there is a change in taxes, he added.

Under the regulations, retailers found guilty of selling cigarettes below the minimum price could be fined up to RM10,000 or sentenced to jail not exceeding two years or both, he said.

From January next year, cigarettes sold in Malaysia must have picture warnings, information on cigarette content, statement on the prohibition of sale to people below 18, the name and address of the manufacturer or importer, date of manufacture and the number of sticks per pack following the gazetting of the Control of Tobacco Products (Amendment) Regulations 2008 on Sept 15, he said.

"By June 1, cigarettes which do not have the all these must be withdrawn from the market," he said.

Following the amendment also, the use of false, confusing and deceptive descriptors and terms which could create misconception such as "low tar", "light", "ultra-light" and "mild" is prohibited with immediate effect, Liow said.

The new regulations also saw National Service training centres being turned into no smoking areas and this is applicable to all trainees, staff and visitors.

Meanwhile, the no smoking areas at shopping complexes now include five foot ways around the building.

"The amendments are made to fulfil the government's commitment to the provisions in the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which Malaysia is a party since December 2005," Liow said.

He said those found breaking the regulations would be fined up to RM10,000 or sentenced to jail not exceeding two years or both.

So far this year, 2,622 smokers had been slapped with compound fines totalling RM564,000 while 1,946 cases had been brought to court, he said.

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