Belfast: Vaping ban in the grounds of hospitals
The Western Health and Social Care Trust has strengthened its strict no smoking policy to include no vaping on its hospital grounds. Staff are being warned that they may face disciplinary action if they fail to stick to the rules. Staff have been directed to ask carers and service users who smoke, to refrain from doing so an hour before any scheduled visit and while they are there.
Source: Belfast Telegraph, 27 June 2018
WTO to rule on landmark tobacco case later today (Thursday 28th June)
A World Trade Organization adjudication panel will rule today on a dispute over Australia’s tough tobacco packaging rules, widely seen as a test case for public health legislation globally.
The WTO said the ruling in the case, brought against Australia by Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Indonesia, would be published at around 1500 GMT. The ruling is expected to be appealed, the WTO’s chief judge has said.
Source: Reuters, 28 June 2018
Tokyo passes tough anti-smoking law ahead of 2020 Olympics
Tokyo, Japan’s capital and host of the 2020 Summer Olympics, passed a tough anti-smoking law on Wednesday that will effectively ban smoking in most of the city’s bars and restaurants in the run-up to the games. Japan lags behind many countries in efforts to fight smoking, with attempts to tackle tobacco often stymied by pro-smoking politicians, restaurateurs and Japan Tobacco, which is one-third owned by the government.
The new city law, which takes full effect several months before the Olympics open on July 24, 2020, bans smoking in any bar or restaurant with hired employees.
Source: Reuters, 27 June 2018
China: Court verdict paves way for smokefree railways
A provincial court ruled on Tuesday that the Harbin Railway Bureau (of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province) should remove smoking zones and ashtrays in its trains and stations. In June last year, a college student sued the Harbin Railway Bureau because of the secondhand smoke she was forced to inhale on a train. The student claimed compensation of 102.5 yuan ($15.54), the price of her ticket, plus 1 yuan for mental distress, and sought the removal of all the smoking zones and ashtrays in the bureau’s railway stations and trains.
Legal Daily comments: “The judgment is meaningful as it is the first time that a railway department has been instructed by a court to ban smoking in its stations and on the trains it operates, which is directly related to the health and safety of hundreds of millions of passengers.”
According to the Railway Safety Administration Regulation that came into effect on Jan 1, 2014, smoking is strictly banned on high-speed trains and in the carriages of other trains. However, it is permitted in the connecting areas between carriages of non high-speed trains, where ashtrays are often installed. The smoke from these areas often drifts into the carriages, making all passengers exposed to secondhand smoke.
Source: China Daily, 28 June 2018
Hong Kong study: Breastfeeding mothers stop nursing sooner when living with smokers
Nursing mothers who live with two or more smokers are more likely to stop breastfeeding sooner than those who live in non-smoking households. In a Hong Kong-based study, researchers discovered that these mothers are at 30% higher risk for ending breastfeeding before a year.
The study examined a cohort of 1,277 mother and baby pairs from four major hospitals in Hong Kong. Researchers used self-reported questionnaires to collect demographic data, parental smoking habits, and other variable data.
Source: Bright Surf, 27 June 2018
See also: Breastfeeding Medicine, The Effects of Secondary Cigarette Smoke from Household Members on Breastfeeding Duration: A Prospective Cohort Study