Tag Archives: tobacco advertising

Ukraine’s President Signs Smoke-Free Law

Burning Cigarette

On July 13 Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed strong tobacco-free legislation into law and thus demonstrating essential progress of the country to lessen smoking effects caused by tobacco consumption.

The new law involves a ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and discos and also is related to buses and cultural and governmental facilities. The law extends the list of -free places throughout Ukraine, which already comprises health care, educational and sports facilities, other public transport and playgrounds.

Burning Cigarette

Burning cigarette in an ashtray

The new law is considered to lower tobacco consumption in Ukraine and guard all Ukrainians from the serious health risks of passive smoking, which is considered to cause disease and other illnesses. Passive smoking comprises more than 7,000 chemicals, including those that are toxic and 69 that are the reason of cancer disease. Globally, smoking kills more than 600,000 people each year.

Ukraine’s tobacco control movement has gained essential momentum over the past year. In May, President Yanukovych signed a law that forbids the sale, usage and advertising of tobacco products at places where the Euro 2012 soccer tournament takes place. Ukraine is now co-hosting  the Euro 2012 soccer tournament with Poland. The country continues a healthy trend of main sports events around the world being tobacco-free and even absolutely smoke-free.

Earlier this year, Ukraine decreed a national ordinance meaningly prohibiting tobacco advertising and promotion. The law restricts tobacco point-of-sale advertising and sponsorships.  As well it bans “brand-stretching” strategies which the tobacco industry uses to circumvent bans on direct tobacco marketing, such as placing names of a tobacco brand on non-tobacco products.  The law also prohibits tobacco industry methods to get influence, such as investments to political, sports or educational organizations. This law intensifies current bans on tobacco advertising on TV, billboards and most print press.

With about 80 % of Ukrainians maintaining tobacco control moves, these new laws are considered to be both a health and a political win for the country’s policymakers and citizens.  They are big moves to lessening tobacco’s effects in Ukraine, where about ¼ of all rising generation aged 13-15 smoke and nearly 115,000 people die each year from smoking-related diseases.

Tobacco sponsorship of sports could doom Japan’s Olympic bid

Japan risks losing its bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games because of growing local and international opposition to the national tobacco corporation’s sponsorship of World Cup volleyball, which attracts millions of women and schoolgirls.

A United Nations agency, an international group of nongovernmental organizations and hundreds of antismoking activists and doctors in Japan are calling on Japan Tobacco, the world’s third-largest cigarette maker, to halt its sponsorship of World Cup matches, which includes players from the United States and other nations that forbid tobacco advertising at sporting events.

FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup 2011

Lindsey Berg (4) and Foluke Akinradewo (16) go for a block attempt versus Japan

A group of 2,500 doctors here also says tobacco sponsorship could hurt Japan’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

Japan Tobacco insists it is doing nothing wrong under Japanese law and points out that it is promoting the corporation’s beverage division, not its cigarette products, at the monthlong volleyball tournament, which ends Sunday.

WHO says that Japan is obliged to comply with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control treaty it adopted in 2004 along with 173 other nations. The treaty bans all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship everywhere, including at sporting events, WHO press officer Timothy O’Leary said.

“Nowhere in our corporate sponsorship of volleyball games do we advertise our cigarette brands or products,” the company said in an email.

“It doesn’t matter if Japan Tobacco is doing various works. Everybody knows that Japan Tobacco’s main business is tobacco. More than 90 percent of their income is from cigarettes. You can’t make excuses,” Dr. Manabu Sakuta, chairman of the board of directors of the Japan Society for Tobacco Control.

Dr. Sakuta said his group, which includes 2,500 doctors, will petition the president of Japan Tobacco and Japan’s Ministry of Finance, which owns 51 percent of shares in Japan Tobacco, to immediately halt what he called “illegal” tobacco advertising at the volleyball World Cup.

He said that Japan’s current actions could harm its bid to host the 2020 Olympics.

“It is going to be a problem for Japan. Smoking is not allowed near the Olympic stadiums. What they are doing at the World Cup volleyball, putting JT mark on the shoulder of players or around the floor, is absolutely forbidden in the Olympics. This is not good for Japan’s hope to host the Olympics,” he said.