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Mr Epidemiology

No, I'm not a skin doctor

Month

June 2016

City of Philadelphia successfully passes a soda tax

Last week, Philadelphia became the first major city to pass a “soda tax.” While other cities have tried and ultimately failed to pass similar pieces of legislation, Philadelphia was successful. So what made Philadelphia different?

Picture from Flickr user Scribe215
Picture from Flickr user Scribe215

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Is plain cigarette packaging just smoke and mirrors?

The Marlboro Man is one of the most iconic advertising images from the 20th century. The cowboy, depicted in some rustic setting, was single-handedly responsible for turning Marlboro’s annual sales from $5 billion a year to over $20 billion a year in the two years after the campaign was introduced. Since the success of that campaign, anti-smoking activists have tried several different ways to limit cigarette advertising. The latest salvo comes in the form of last week’s WHO statement on plain packaging, where they recommended plain packing as part of “comprehensive approach to tobacco control that includes large graphic health warnings and comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.” Plain packing standardizes how cigarettes are sold, keeping the picture health warnings, but making the brand names, pack size, colour scheme all identical to limit their appeal.

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