ASH Daily News 1 June 2017



  • UK councils under pressure over £1 billion of tobacco investments
  • E-cigarettes in the workplace: an employer’s guide to vaping
  • New study suggests ‘Heat-not-burn’ cigarettes still release cancer-causing chemicals
  • Leeds: Landlord of pub stubs out smoking in beer garden
  • Lancashire: Preston illegal tobacco factory bus sparked investigation into £17m trade
  • Yorkshire: Smokers banned from lighting up outside Hull Royal Infirmary
  • China: Shanghai’s smoking ban is paying off
  • Czech Republic: New smoking laws implemented

 

UK councils under pressure over £1 billion of tobacco investments

Some of the world’s largest investment firms have thrown their weight behind efforts to combat smoking, sparking renewed calls for UK local authorities to divest all their shares in the tobacco industry from their pension fund investments.

More than 50 companies managing $3.8tn (£3tn) of money, including pension funds and insurers, declared support for “tobacco control measures being taken around the world” – even though some of them still own shares in tobacco businesses.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of the health charity Action on Smoking and Health, said this left the door open for selling tobacco stocks.

“Historically, investment in tobacco was seen as safe, promising good returns, but increasingly fund managers are realising investing in tobacco is neither acceptable nor sustainable. Local authority pension funds have a legal duty to get the best deal for their pensioners, but if big investment funds like Axa can disinvest then surely local authorities, which have a legal duty to promote the health of local people, can do the same.”

Source: Guardian, 31 May 2017
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E-cigarettes in the workplace: an employer’s guide to vaping

The use of electronic cigarettes, or “vaping” as it is often described, has grown quickly in the past five years and about 2.9 million adults in Great Britain now “vape”.

The vast majority of these are smokers or ex-smokers, but concerns remain about whether or not vaping might normalise smoking, particularly among young people.

The rapid growth in e-cigarette use is an issue for the workplace, and employers need to consider its impact on both existing smoking policies and cessation programmes. In this good practice guide to e-cigarettes in the workplace, Sarah Silcox looks at the evidence on vaping, policy and practice, and the legal considerations.

Source: Personnel Today, 30 May 2017
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New study suggests ‘Heat-not-burn’ cigarettes still release cancer-causing chemicals

A new type of “heat-not-burn” cigarette releases some of the same cancer-causing chemicals found in traditional cigarette smoke, a recent experiment suggests, although generally at lower levels than in tobacco smoke.

Researchers analyzed the chemical compounds and nicotine in smoke from traditional cigarettes and from the new devices, which are designed to heat disposable tobacco sticks and give users the taste of tobacco without the smoke or ash.

The smoke released by this “heat-not-burn” cigarette had 84 percent of the nicotine found in traditional cigarettes. Heat-not-burn cigarettes also released chemicals linked to cancer including carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

See More:
JAMA Internal Medicine: Heat-not-burn tobacco cigarettes: Smoke by any other name

Source: Reuters, 26 May 2017
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Leeds: Landlord of pub stubs out smoking in beer garden

A pub landlord in Meanwood is promising his beer garden will be a breath of fresh air for families in north Leeds after making it a smoke-free zone.

Scott Westlake has decided to take the controversial step of stubbing out smoking at the Myrtle Tavern’s beer garden in what is believed to be a first for Leeds.

Scott said: “We’ve seen a huge increase in families with young children using the outdoor area and we want to make sure the beer garden is a safe and smoke-free environment for children and parents alike.

“It’s a decision that hasn’t been made lightly – we understand a lot of our customers do smoke – however, we feel it’s an important step in the right direction.”

Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at public health charity Action on Smoking and Health, said: “It is a sign of the times that pubs now see commercial advantage in banning smoking outdoors when 10 years ago they were concerned the ban on smoking indoors might kill their business. It would be great to see more Yorkshire businesses following their lead. However, we would caution publicans about extending such bans to e-cigarettes. These are much safer alternatives to smoking and there is no evidence that they could harm bystanders.”

Source: Yorkshire Evening Post, 31 May 2017
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Lancashire: Preston illegal tobacco factory bust sparked investigation into £17m trade

An illegal Preston cigarette factory sparked an investigation which uncovered more than 100 tonnes of imported raw tobacco with a value of £17 million.

HM Revenue and Customs discovered that a Poland-based criminal network used several sites in the North West and Essex to process raw tobacco into illegal tobacco products in an attempt to evade Excise Duty and VAT.Three three men were jailed for a total of 16 years for the tax fraud.

Source: Lancashire Post, 31 May 2017
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Yorkshire: Smokers banned from lighting up outside Hull Royal Infirmary

A cancer patient says a new smoking ban outside Hull Royal Infirmary is a step in the right direction.

The ban initiated by the Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust comes into force today. As well as Hull Royal Infirmary, it also covers Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham.

Simon Nearney, the trust’s director of workforce and organisational development, said: “The subject of smoking and hospitals together often provoke a lot of debate and strong feeling.

“While we understand that some people can’t necessarily predict a trip to hospital, we also believe that as a provider of health care services, we have a responsibility to protect the health of people using our sites and to support people in making healthy lifestyle choices.

Source: Hull Daily Mail, 31 May 2017
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China: Shanghai’s smoking ban is paying off

Three months after Shanghai introduced its strictest ban ever on indoor smoking, the number of venues in which inspectors have found violations has risen as a result of more vigorous enforcement and tighter regulations, according to a report released by the Shanghai Health Promotion Commission on Wednesday, which was World No Tobacco Day.

About 30 percent of entertainment venues and 28 percent of restaurants inspected were found with smokers violating the ban, the commission said. “The increase is not because there are more people smoking inappropriately. It’s that the regulation is becoming stricter and inspections are more frequent and more widely carried out,” said Cui Yuanqi, deputy director of the commission.

“The new ban has been very effective not only in that nonsmokers and employees in those smoke-free venues are more outspoken in stopping smokers from violating the rule, but also they have actually succeeded,” Cui said.

Source: China Daily, 1 June 2017
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Czech Republic: New smoking laws implemented

Pubs in the Czech capital Prague filled up on Tuesday night as smokers lit up for the last time before a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants took effect.

Lawmakers approved the ban following years of wrangling. Still, three out of four Czechs supported the smoking ban, polls showed last year.

See also:
Yahoo News: Czech restaurants, bars go smoke-free after years of debate

Source: Reuters, 31 May 2017
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