ASH Daily News 22 January 2018



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UK

  • Study shows teens who smoke cigarettes are at higher risk of developing psychosis
  • Insight into 1990s motorsport attitudes to smoking
  • London: Hoxton Supermarket banned from selling alcohol after illegal tobacco haul seized
  • Norfolk: Tens of thousands of illegal cigarettes found in Great Yarmouth shop raids

International

  • EU delays plan to amend tobacco tax directive
  • Ireland: RTE under fire for actors lighting up on TV shows
  • USA: FDA’s tobacco stance faces test with Philip Morris iQOS device
  • Greece stubs out its cigarette habit in record numbers

UK

Study shows teens who smoke cigarettes are at higher risk of developing psychosis

Teens who smoke cigarettes or marijuana are at higher risk of developing symptoms of psychosis, according to new research published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Researchers from the University of Bristol examined survey data from 3,328 teenagers who had answered questions on their use of cigarettes and marijuana. Those who only smoked cigarettes at an early age were 4.3% more likely to experience a psychotic episode by 18 compared to those who didn’t smoke. Teens who smoked only cannabis at an early age had a 3.2% greater chance of experiencing psychotic symptoms, compared to non-users. Furthermore, teens who had only used marijuana at a later age were 11.9% more at risk.

“Our study found that both adolescent cannabis use and cigarette use are associated with increased risk for subsequent psychotic experiences, but the association was greater for cannabis,” the authors wrote in the study.

See More:
JAMA Psychiatry: Association of Combined Patterns of Tobacco and Cannabis Use in Adolescence With Psychotic Experiences

Source: International Business Times, 19 January 2018

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Insight into 1990s motorsport attitudes to smoking

In the mid-1990s, Hugo Spowers ran a Formula Three racing team. At the time, motorsport was in the pocket of big tobacco. Every weekend, Formula One cars emblazoned with cigarette brands – Marlboro, Camel, Silk Cut – raced on TV in front of millions. “It was pretty clear it was killing people,” Spowers says. “Meanwhile, the industry was portraying a link between smoking and winners. It was ludicrous. But nobody was going against it.”

So when, in 1995, Spowers’ team introduced a car decorated with an anti-smoking campaign, it caused a commotion. The night before the car was set to debut at the British Grand Prix, the chairman of the British Racing Drivers’ Club summoned Spowers, outraged. But Spowers was unmoved: he knew he was right. Furthermore, he believed it made financial sense: the relationship with tobacco was tainting the sport for businesses that didn’t want to be associated with smoking. It wasn’t until 2006 that motorsport finally banned tobacco advertising completely.

Spowers is now pursuing hydrogen car production.

Source: The Guardian, 20 January 2018

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London: Hoxton Supermarket banned from selling alcohol after illegal tobacco haul seized

A Hoxton store has been banned from selling booze after a stash of illegal tobacco was found hidden behind a till. The haul, made up of 3.7kg of loose tobacco and 428 cigarettes, was found by town hall trading standards officers at Hoxton Supermarket after an anonymous tip-off from a customer.

Open cigarette packets were also found, suggesting the shop could have been selling single cigarettes, which make it cheaper for children to buy tobacco and start smoking from a young age. The tobacco did not have health warnings on the packet – a legal requirement – and weren’t in plain packaging. Councillors decided to revoke the licence.

Source: Hackney Gazette, 19 January 2018

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Norfolk: Tens of thousands of illegal cigarettes found in Great Yarmouth shop raids

More than 27,000 illegal cigarettes have been seized in raids on two Great Yarmouth shops. The cigarettes and nearly 6kg of illegal rolling tobacco were found in an operation carried out by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards on Thursday.

Brian Chatten, community safety and fair trading manager at the Trading Standards team, said: “The inspections carried out today show that despite the publicity and action to deter the sale of illegal tobacco a small number of retailers are making smoking more accessible to children by selling illegal tobacco at pocket money prices. Retailers who sell illegal tobacco put their profit ahead of damaging the health Norfolk’s young people.”

Source: Eastern Daily Press, 19 January 2018

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International
EU delays plan to amend tobacco tax directive

Following a review initiated in March 2016, the European Commission has recommended that no changes be made to the EU Directive governing the taxation of tobacco products at the present time.

The review was started following a meeting of EU economy and finance ministers, which asked the Commission to study potentially revising Directive 201/64/EU of July 21, 2011, on the structure and rates of excise duty on manufactured tobacco.

The Commission set out its decision in a report to the Council published January 12, 2018. According to that document, six areas of EU tobacco taxation were considered for potential reform: the introduction of harmonized tax rules for e-cigarettes; improved oversight of the trade in raw tobacco; equalizing tax rates for cigars and cigarillos with cigarettes; a potential review of rolling tobacco taxation compared with pre-made cigarettes, which are subject to higher tax rates; measures to tackle illicit trade in water-pipe tobacco; and a minimum excise duty across the EU on tobacco.

The Commission said it would revisit the work, including on minimum excise duty rates, in 2018.

Source: Tax-News, 19 January 2018

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Ireland: RTE under fire for actors lighting up on TV shows

ASH Ireland has written to RTE director general Dee Forbes to complain about the “normalising” of cigarettes through showing smoking on screen. It has also contacted the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, the industry regulator. ASH says it is concerned about scenes in Striking Out which portray two characters smoking heavily in an office, and concerned about any role the tobacco industry could have in the development of film or television in Ireland.

ASH chairman Patrick Doorley said: “We have written to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and RTE looking for clarification. It seems gratuitous and a contributor to the normalisation of smoking. We would be concerned that kids can see programmes now at any time of the day, and they are influenced by what they see on screens. They get the subconscious impression that this is normal behaviour.”

Source: The Sunday Times, 21 January 2018

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USA: FDA’s tobacco stance faces test with Philip Morris iQOS device

U.S. health advisers will vote this week on whether to allow Philip Morris International to sell its novel iQOS tobacco device and claim it is less harmful than cigarettes.

The advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will discuss the product on Wednesday and Thursday and recommend whether it should be cleared. The FDA is not obliged to follow the recommendations of its outside advisers but typically does. If cleared, iQOS would become the first product to carry a modified-risk claim and could help advance the FDA’s proposed new approach to reducing the dangers of smoking.

Source: Reuters, 22 January 2018

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Greece stubs out its cigarette habit in record numbers

Greeks have earned themselves the unusual distinction of abandoning cigarettes in record numbers. Smoking cessation clinics and seminars have multiplied since Greece’s economic meltdown. “People are giving up not so much for health reasons as financial reasons,” said Aliki Mouriki, a prominent sociologist.

Panagiotis Behrakis, who heads the EU-funded Joint Action on Tobacco Control (JATC), says the greatest drop he has noted is among higher-income earners, he said. And while politicians have done little to enforce a ban enacted to bring Greece in line with European anti-smoking legislation, this survey has shown that the vast majority of Greeks now believe reduction of the nation’s proclivity for nicotine should be seen as a national goal.

Source: The Guardian, 20 January 2018

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