In brief

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 13 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1622

Regulator rules that advertisements on plain packs are misleading: The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that ads run by Japan Tobacco International—against the introduction of plain, standard packaging—are misleading and must not be published again. The ads, placed in the national press in 2012, stated that in 2008 the government had “rejected” plain packaging for tobacco because “there was no credible evidence” to support such a policy. The regulator concluded that the claim was misleading and breached the advertising code of practice.

Services are failing people with dementia: People with dementia who live in care homes in England are more likely than similar people without dementia to go to hospital with avoidable conditions such as urinary infections, the Care Quality Commission has said after inspecting 20 000 services. Once admitted, people with dementia are more likely than those without dementia to stay in hospital longer, be readmitted, and die in hospital. There are also continuing concerns about the quality of services for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.1

Disclosure of pharma sponsorship made compulsory in Portugal: A law that was enacted on 15 February requires doctors, scientific societies, and patient associations in Portugal to publicly disclose all sponsorship from the pharmaceutical industry to the national drug regulator (Infarmed). The disclosure is made through an electronic platform and is immediately published on the drug regulator’s website ( Failure to disclose conflicts of interests could result in fines of €2000 (£1740; $2600) to €45 000.

Smoking to be banned from all Dutch cafes: Dutch health minister Martin van Rijn has confirmed to MPs that he will bring forward changes to the law enforcing a smoking ban throughout the Netherlands’ hospitality industry. A majority of MPs recently voted for a total ban. Currently, smaller cafés, employing no staff, are exempt. Last year, smoking increased from 25% to 26% of in the adult population.

Partners agree to vaccinate 400 million children: The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) have signed a memorandum of understanding to help save children’s lives by accelerating the introduction of lifesaving vaccines in IDB member countries. By 2020, GAVI plans to vaccinate more than 400 million children in at least 29 member countries with the aim of preventing 3.2 million deaths at an estimated cost of $7bn.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1622