News
On 25 May, a new scale to measure country activity' was released and published in the scientific journal Tobacco control (BMJ publication). The scale, which looks at the implementation of tobacco control policies in 2005 in 30 European countries was undertaken at the request of the European Network on Smoking Prevention (ENSP) and financed by the European Commission. 30 European countries were ranked by their total score on the scale out of a maximum possible score of 100. Only four countries (Ireland, UK, Norway, Iceland) scored 70 or more, with an eight point gap (most differences in scores are small) to the fifth country, Malta, on 62. This shows that European Union countries have much improvement to make in the field of tobacco control. See also The Report on Effective Tobacco Control Polices in the EU. This comes around the time of the World Health Organization's World No Tobacco Day 2006 31 May 2006. This year's WNTD theme was: Tobacco: Deadly in any form or disguise, referring to the expressions 'light', 'mild' and 'low ta' commonly used, healthier names for cigarettes, fruity brands and more attractive packaging. The purpose of World No Tobacco Day 2006 is to encourage countries and governments to work towards strict regulation of tobacco products. To celebrate WNTD 2006, the European Commission released its latest Eurobarometer survey on Europeans' attitudes towards tobacco  which reveals that the number of people smoking in the EU has dropped from 33% in 2002 to 27% by autumn 2005, and 80% of Europeans would like to see smoking banned in public places. This belies a sharp fall in the number of smokers in the EU since 2002.

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