ASH Daily News 05 May 2017

  • Australia – Australia wins landmark WTO tobacco packaging case
  • USA – Study suggests smokers with pancreatic cancer at risk of shorter survival
  • Child labour on tobacco farms
  • Oxford – Vaping entrepreneur welcomes new legislation


Australia – Australia wins landmark WTO tobacco packaging case

A landmark Australian law on restrictive tobacco packaging has been upheld at the World Trade Organization after a five-year legal battle, Bloomberg news reported on Thursday, citing two people familiar with the situation.

The news is a blow to the tobacco industry as such a ruling from the WTO has been widely anticipated as giving a green light for other countries to roll out similar laws.

Although the WTO’s final ruling is not expected until July, a confidential draft said Australia’s laws were a legitimate public health measure, Bloomberg reported.

See also:
The Guardian: Tobacco industry suffers defeat as WTO upholds Australia’s plain packaging laws
Bloomberg: Tobacco Logo Ban Said to Get WTO Backing in Landmark Case

Source: Reuters, 4th May 2017
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USA – Study suggests smokers with pancreatic cancer at risk of shorter survival

Patients with pancreatic cancer who smoked near the time of diagnosis were 40% more likely to die after diagnosis than those who never smoked or stopped smoking before diagnosis, according to a prospective study published in Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“Cigarette smoking is not only a risk factor for developing pancreatic cancer, but patients who smoke also have shorter survival times once they are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” Brian M. Wolpin, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Pancreas and Biliary Tumor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, told HemOnc Today.

See also:
Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cigarette Smoking and Pancreatic Cancer Survival

Source: Healio, 2nd May 2017
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Child labour on tobacco farms

The UN’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal is to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.” However, child tobacco workers are regularly denied opportunities to pursue their education. In the US and Kazakhstan, farms contracted by both British American Tobacco (BAT) and Philip Morris International (PMI) have used child labour.

In 2009, Human Rights Watch documented the exploitation of 68 migrant workers on tobacco farms in Kazakhstan which supplied tobacco to PMI. They described horrific examples of worker abuse in which “some employers confiscated their passports, failed to provide them with written employment contracts, did not pay regular wages, cheated them of earnings, and forced them to work excessively long hours.”

Source: Action on Smoking and Health, 29th April 2017
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Oxford – Vaping entrepreneur welcomes new legislation

With new ‘vaping’ laws currently being introduced in a bid to improve the regulation of electronic cigarettes, one Oxfordshire vaping entrepreneur and business owner says it is time to embrace the change.

Dan Greenall said: “In my personal opinion I think a change in the law was a necessity and it is a positive step for the consumer. A lot of people are over-consuming and the new legislation should get people to realise it is a smoking alternative. It is still enjoyable but regulation is a necessity.”

Under the new laws, maximum refill containers cannot exceed 10ml and nicotine strength cannot exceed 20mg. The capacity of the ‘tank’ must also not exceed 2ml and a number of packaging requirements and customer notifications must now be displayed on products.

Source: Oxford Times, 4th May 2017
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