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02 septembre 2008

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Nouvelles sur le tabagisme de Stop-tabac.ch
Préparées par Jean-François Etter
Le 02 Septembre 2008


- De plus en plus de femmes meurent du cancer du poumon
- Suisse: votations populaires sur la protection contre le tabagisme passif
- Smoking licence suggested by health advisory board

De plus en plus de femmes meurent du cancer du poumon

En Suisse, la mortalité cardiovasculaire ne cesse de reculer grâce au changement de mode de vie et au progrès médical. Cependant, les cancers fatals du poumon se multiplient chez les femmes, comme en atteste la statistique des causes de décès 1970-2004. Selon l'Office fédéral de la statistique, ce phénomène tient à la forte augmentation du nombre de fumeuses depuis les années 1950. Dans la population féminine, le cancer du poumon devrait bientôt être une cause de décès plus fréquente que le cancer du sein.

Suisse: votations populaires sur la protection contre le tabagisme passif

La population de plusieurs cantons suisses se prononcera sur les interdictions de fumer dans les lieux publics:

Smoking licence suggested by health advisory board

A ban on the sale of cigarettes to anyone who does not pay for a government smoking permit has been proposed by Health England, a ministerial advisory board.

The idea is the brainchild of the board's chairman, Julian Le Grand, who is a professor at the London School of Economics and was Tony Blair's senior health adviser. In a paper being studied by Lord Darzi, the health minister appointed to oversee NHS reform, he says many smokers would be helped to break the habit if they had to make a decision whether to "opt in".

The permit might cost as little as 10, but acquiring it could be made difficult if the forms were sufficiently complex, Le Grand said last night.

His paper says: "Suppose every individual who wanted to buy tobacco had to purchase a permit. And suppose further they had to do this every year. To get a permit would involve filling out a form and supplying a photograph, as well as paying the fee. Permits would only be issued to those over 18 and evidence of age would have to be provided. The money raised would go to the NHS."

Le Grand said the proposal was an example of "libertarian paternalism". The government would leave people free to make their own decisions but it would "nudge them" in the right direction.

He said there was a parallel in pensions law. If workers were automatically enrolled in a pension scheme, few would choose to opt out. But if they had to make a conscious decision to opt in, most people would stay out.

"Breaking the new year's resolution not to smoke would be costly in terms of both money and time ... [This] would probably have a greater impact on poor smokers than on rich ones, hence contributing to a reduction in health inequalities."

The paper, written by Le Grand and Divya Srivastava, an LSE researcher, acknowledges: "Administratively it would require addressing the problem of the existing black markets and smuggling in tobacco; b! ut this should probably be done anyway."

They add: "Politically, this might be viewed by some as giving people a 'licence' to smoke; and by full-blooded libertarians as a subtle and hence even more dangerous form of paternalism - paternalism squared.

"On the other hand, the popularity even among smokers of the smoking ban in public places suggests that firm actions in this area can lead to political as well as health pay-offs."

The paper also proposes incentives for large companies to provide a daily "exercise hour" for employees and a ban on salt in processed food.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said last night: "We will be consulting later this year on the next steps for tobacco control. Ministers are looking for input from a full range of stakeholders."
Acerbic columnist Charlie Brooker responds to these proposals in today's Guardian:
Good news for smokers: Le Grand reckons said licence should cost only 10. Bad news: he wants to make the application process as deliberately complex as possible. You'd have to fill out a lengthy form, attaching a photograph, proof of age and a fee, and send it all to a central Smoker's Permit processing centre and wait for your licence to come back, by which point, let's face it, you would have probably died. Oh, and the licence expires after a year, so you have to apply all over again each time it runs out.

Why leave it there? Why not make it expire every 24 hours, so you have to reapply each morning? Or include a Sudoku on the application form? Or force the tobacco companies to sell cigarettes inside complicated Japanese puzzle boxes? Or change the name of the brands each week, without publicising the change, while simultaneously making it illegal for a shop to sell you anything you haven't asked for by name, so you have to stand at the counter fishing for codewords for an hour?

Or here's a good one, Julian: make it a requirement for smokers to walk around with a broomhandle stuck through their sleeves, runni! ng behind the neck, so their arms are permanently splayed out, like a scarecrow's. To spark up under those conditions, they'd have to work together in pairs, flailing around in the outdoor smoking area like something out of It's a Knockout...

Source: www.ASH.org.uk and Guardian, 15, 18 February 2008
Link: http://tinyurl.com/2m8bgx: Charlie Brooker piece

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