ASH Daily news for 08 May 2015



HEADLINES

  • World Bank’s pension investments clash with principles
  • Indonesia: Tobacco industry has sights set on Indonesia, says expert
  • Philip Morris International aims for ‘reduced risk’ products
  • Kazakhstan: Video shows little boy drinking and smoking
  • US: Florida Court upholds $5m award to sick smoker
  • US: Campaign cash helps alcohol, tobacco companies shape tax debate in Kansas

    World Bank’s pension investments clash with principles

    The World Bank indirectly invests part of its $18.8 billion staff pension fund in companies in industries such as coal and tobacco, holdings that clash with the development institution’s own calls for ethical and low-carbon investing.

    In an internal post to staff seen by Reuters, the World Bank’s treasurer said around 40 percent of the fund’s equity holdings are actively or passively invested against equity index funds, which include companies in industries associated with environmental and health problems.

    Source: Reuters – 04 May 2015
    Link: http://reut.rs/1Inzrvb

    Indonesia: Tobacco industry has sights set on Indonesia, says expert

    A professor of public health at the University of Indonesia’s School of Public Health, Hasbullah Thabrany, has warned that Indonesia, one of the world’s biggest consumers of tobacco and as yet not even a signatory to the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), and with few regulations restricting children’s access to cigarettes, has become a main target for the tobacco industry.

    “It seems that we are in a battle ground, where tobacco company owners are among the country’s richest people, making money from poor people addicted to their product,” Hasbullah said.

    See also:
    – Manufacturers behind low cigarette taxes in Indonesia: Commission, Asia Travel Today

    Source: Jakarta Post – 07 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1InzGGr

    Philip Morris International aims for ‘reduced risk’ products

    Philip Morris International is encouraging the world’s 1.3 billion smokers to use products that it claims reduce the risks of smoking, CEO Andre Calantzopoulos said.

    The new products, called heat-not-burn, are different to electronic cigarettes—which Philip Morris also markets—because they contain tobacco rather than just liquids with nicotine. However, they do not combust like traditional cigarettes. Philip Morris introduced them in Nagoya, Japan and Milan, Italy, last winter.

    [includes video]

    Source: CNBC – 07 May 2015
    Link: http://cnb.cx/1InzWoZ

    Kazakhstan: Video shows little boy drinking and smoking

    A video appearing to show a young boy drinking alcohol and smoking a cigarette while being egged on by laughing adults is being shared on social media.

    The two-minute clip shows the boy, aged around five, swigging from a bottle and puffing on a fag while being encouraged by people behind the camera.

    The video is believed to have been filmed in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan, and has been viewed by thousands of people on social media – with many condemning the footage in the comments section.

    Police have said they are investigating.

    Source: Daily Mirror – 06 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1InAqva

    US: Florida Court upholds $5m award to sick smoker

    A South Florida appeals court has upheld a verdict that calls for Philip Morris USA to pay $5 million to a man who suffers heart disease caused by smoking — but it shielded the cigarette maker from potentially paying punitive damages.

    The 3rd District Court of Appeal rejected arguments that the tobacco company should receive a new trial because an attorney for Antonio Cuculino made improper arguments in circuit court.

    A Miami-Dade County jury had awarded $12.5 million in damages to Cuculino, but said he was 60 percent at fault and Philip Morris was 40 percent at fault. That meant the tobacco company would have to pay $5 million to Cuculino, who suffered a heart attack in 1994 at age 49 and later underwent a series of procedures including angioplasty and the placement of three stents into his arteries, according to the ruling.

    Source: Health News Florida – May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1InAICs

    US: Campaign cash helps alcohol, tobacco companies shape tax debate in Kansas

    Gov. Sam Brownback proposed significant alcohol and tobacco tax increases in January to help close a budget gap.

    By that time, the alcohol and tobacco industry had combined to give almost $40,000 in the last two years to aid the re-election campaigns of the 34 legislators on the House and Senate tax committees that would vet the proposal.

    Washburn University political science professor Bob Beatty said those donations don’t entirely explain why legislators have thus far rejected the governor’s proposals. But they’re part of the equation.

    Source: Wyandotte Daily – 07 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1InBDTo