Anti-Smoking Battles Are Heating Up Around the World

From controversial posters in Japan to e-cigarette bans, smoking is in the news.

Anti-smoking battles are already heating up this year:

First, as reported on the Huffington Post last week, Manhattan's anti smoking posters created by the Department of Health have been banned by the federal government. Also, strict anti-smoking laws went into effect in Spain yesterday. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that now the country with formerly one of the laxest anti-smoking laws in Europe will have become one of the strictest, along with that of Ireland.

Spanish smokers will no longer be able to light up in bars, restaurants and cafes as new legislation takes effect that bans smoking in all enclosed public spaces.


But now even the anti-smokers are being banned from trying not to smoke.. Electronic cigarette manufacturers who had benefited from the anti-smoking laws with sales up 30 percent each year since 2004 are also being banned because the product has not been scientifically proven to help smokers quit. So far, the e-cigarette is banned in 25 countries.

And Pfizer whose Chantix drug to help smokers quit would have done well by the tax increase on cigarettes in Japan on October , has had to withdraw its anti-smoking packs because they couldn't make enough to meet the demand. The New York Times reported today that:

Chantix, which works by suppressing the positive feelings induced by cigarettes by blocking receptors in the brain, was initially seen as a global blockbuster. But reports of possible side effects, including aggression and thoughts of suicide, prompted the F.D.A. in 2009 to require the drug to carry the agency’s strongest warning on its packaging, triggering a sharp drop in sales in the United States.


To make up for lost revenue at home, Pfizer has also looked increasingly to foreign markets.


But less than two weeks after the tax increase went into effect, the company was forced to suspend sales of the drug to new patients until it could ramp up production.


Seventy-five years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

Auschwitz was the deadliest of Nazi Germany's 20 concentration camps. From 1940 to 1945 of the 1.3 million prisoners sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. That figure includes 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans.

The vast majority of the inmates were murdered in the gas chambers while others died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and executions.

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