The future of tobacco product regulation and labelling in Europe: implications for the forthcoming European Union directive.
The European Commission has announced that it is considering legislation concerning further restrictions on cigarette tar and nicotine yields, as well as new provisions to regulate additives and the labelling of tobacco products. This report considers these issues and their relation to public health. In particular, we argue that further reductions in tar and nicotine yields as measured by the International Standards Organisation/Federal Trade Commission (ISO/FTC) method will be largely cosmetic and certainly misleading to consumers. If a new directive uses the ISO/FTC methodology as a basis for regulation, it risks lending further official support to the concept of "low tar" cigarettes, which may be used by smokers as an alternative to smoking cessation. Although new regulations based on the ISO/FTC methodology may appear to offer health gains, these will be illusory and there may even be negative health consequences, as has been the case with these tests up to the present. We therefore make the following recommendations for the way forward. (+info)
International cigarette labelling practices.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. PARTICIPANTS: Members of GLOBALink (), an Internet listserve for tobacco activists with members in 56 countries, who were asked to provide specific information on cigarette warning requirements in their countries. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Presence of specific warning labels, overall content score (based on a 0-10 scale with a point for each specific warning mentioned), size of warning label, location of warning label. RESULTS: Forty-five countries (80%) responded; 40 had mandatory labelling requirements, three had voluntary agreements with the industry and two had no requirements. In general, American companies did no more in foreign countries than required by local law. The average developing country content score was 1.6, compared with 5.0 in developed countries (p = 0.0003). Forty-two per cent of countries either had no warning requirement or had only a very general health warning. The most common warning was for heart disease (49% of countries) and the least common was for addiction (14%). All warnings were more common in developed than developing countries. Warnings in developed country were on average 27% larger than those in developing countries (p = 0.325). Seventy-three per cent of labels in developing countries appeared only on the side of the pack, whereas 78% of labels in developed countries appeared on the front and back (p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: In almost every respect measured, residents in developing countries are receiving inferior information about the hazards of smoking than residents of developed countries. Laws should be promulgated in importing and exporting countries to ensure that, where their labelling laws differ, companies would be required to provide the more comprehensive labelling. (+info)
Supplements: questions to ask to reduce confusion.
Written and oral statements concerning supplements are delivered daily to audiences that span the full spectrum of demographics. Yet the common reaction of these audiences to these statements is that they are receiving mixed messages. One source of this confusion could be greatly reduced if each statement concerning supplements always defined the specific parameters of the studies on which the statement is based. Those receiving information about supplements must be made aware that extrapolation of data for one form of a supplement to predict the result of another form many be harmful to one's health. If a statement concerning a supplement does not clearly define the route of delivery, its matrix, the quantity of compound, the purity of compound, and the physiologic condition of the recipient, the statement should be disregarded by all audiences. If the creators of all types of supplement information define these parameters, and if audiences critically review the information provided, confusion concerning supplements will be reduced. (+info)
From public health to international law: possible protocols for inclusion in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Faced with a difficult business environment in the United States and the falling demand for cigarettes in industrialized countries, multinational tobacco companies have been competing fiercely to expand their sales in developing countries. Because of the worldwide threat posed by smoking to health and the emphasis being placed by international tobacco companies on marketing in developing countries, an international regulatory strategy, such as the WHO proposed Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, is needed. This review describes from a public health perspective the possible scope and key considerations of protocols that should be included in the convention. The key international areas that should be considered in tobacco control are: prices, smuggling; tax-free tobacco products; advertising and sponsorship; the Internet; testing methods; package design and labelling; agriculture; and information sharing. (+info)
Hematology and pathology devices; reclassification; restricted devices; OTC test sample collection systems for drugs of abuse testing. Food and Drug Administration, HHS. Final rule.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reclassifying over-the-counter (OTC) test sample collection systems for drugs of abuse testing from class III (premarket approval) into class I (general controls) and exempting them from premarket notification (510(k)) and current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) requirements. FDA is also designating OTC test sample collection systems for drugs of abuse testing as restricted devices under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act) and establishing restrictions intended to assure consumers that: The underlying laboratory test(s) are accurate and reliable; the laboratory performing the test(s) has adequate expertise and competency; and the product has adequate labeling and methods of communicating test results to consumers. Finally, FDA is adding a conforming amendment to the existing classification regulation for specimen transport and storage containers to clarify that it does not apply to specimen transport and storage containers that are part of an OTC test sample collection system for the purpose of testing for the presence of drugs of abuse or their metabolites in a laboratory. (+info)
Survey of bottled drinking water available in Manitoba, Canada.
Forty domestic and imported brands of bottled water were purchased in Manitoba, Canada and examined for total dissolved solids (TDS), chloride, sulfate, nitrate-nitrogen, cadmium, lead, copper, and radioactivity. The samples showed great variation in quality, and some exceeded the Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for drinking water for TDS, chloride, and lead. Carbonation, ozonation, and type of packaging were not associated with differences in metal levels, although carbonated samples tended to show higher TDS values. A number of deficiencies were found with respect to product labeling. (+info)
The alcohol warning and adolescents: 5-year effects.
OBJECTIVES: This study, a follow-up to the authors earlier report, examined the effects of the alcohol warning label on adolescents during the first 5 years that the warning was required. METHODS: Surveys were administered to 10th-grade (n = 16,661) and 12th-grade (n = 15,856) students from the 1989-1990 school year through the 1994-1995 school year. The measures were awareness of, exposure to, and recognition memory of the alcohol warning label; beliefs about the risks listed on the warning; and open-ended statements about consequences of alcohol use, alcohol consumption, and self-reported driving after drinking. RESULTS: There were increases in warning awareness, exposure, and recognition memory. These effects leveled off approximately 3.5 years after the inclusion of the warning on alcohol beverage containers. There was no beneficial change attributable to the warning in beliefs, alcohol consumption, or driving after drinking. CONCLUSIONS: The initial positive effects of the alcohol warning label on adolescents have leveled off, consistent with theories of repeated exposure to persuasive information. The alcohol warning has not affected adolescents' beliefs about alcohol or alcohol-related behaviors. (+info)
Cold, cough, allergy, bronchodilator, and antiasthmatic drug products for over-the-counter human use; amendment of final monograph for OTC antitussive drug products. Food and Drug Administration, HHS. Final rule.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing a final rule amending the final monograph for over-the-counter (OTC) antitussive drug products (products that relieve cough). Use of topical/inhalant products containing camphor or menthol near a flame, in hot water, or in a microwave oven may cause the products to splatter and cause serious burns to the user. As part of its ongoing review of OTC drug products, FDA is adding warnings and directions to inform consumers about these improper uses and is amending its final regulations for OTC drug labeling requirements to add this new flammability warning for antitussive drug products containing camphor or menthol. (+info)