ASH Daily News 10 April 2018



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UK

  • Wales: Illegal tobacco sold at ‘pocket money prices’

International

  • New Zealand: Stop smoking services called upon to support the switch to vaping
  • Czech Republic: Smoking ban in restaurants reduces smoking-related diseases

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Questions

 

UK

Wales: Illegal tobacco sold at ‘pocket money prices’

A Welsh current affairs TV programme, Y Byd ar Bedwar investigated the trade of illegal tobacco in Wales and found they were being sold at “pocket money prices”. Furthermore the programme stated that roughly 15% of all tobacco sold in Wales is illegal – the highest proportion throughout any nation or region in the UK. There are fears that the trade in illegal tobacco could be funding organised crime both in Wales and throughout the UK.

According to ASH Cymru Chief Executive, Suzanne Cass, the sale of illegal tobacco undermines measures put in place to lower the number of smokers in Wales, such as the government target to lower the number of smokers in Wales from 19% of the population to 16% by 2020. Suzanne Cass stated “It’s sold at pocket money prices and we know that children are accessing the illegal tobacco. We’re hoping that we’re going to be able to inform a programme of development around tackling illegal tobacco in Wales.”

Source: ITV News, 10 April 2018
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International

New Zealand: Stop smoking services called upon to support the switch to vaping

Government funded stop smoking services will keep losing service users if they refuse to help people who want to try vaping, new research has found. The services are in a dilemma however because the legality of selling nicotine vaping products in New Zealand remains in doubt.

Professor Glover says the study found the current ban on nicotine for vaping, and calls by some public health academics to further restrict access to vaping products compelled vapers to form self-help groups. Vapers set up online forums where they could support people wanting to switch from smoking to vaping. Individuals and the newly formed groups organised vape-meets to provide a supportive place where smokers could learn about vaping.

See also: Massey University research study, New Zealand

Source: Medical Express, 9 April 2018
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Czech Republic: Smoking ban in restaurants reduces smoking-related diseases

Statistical data from the Czech Institute of Health Information and Statistics (UZIS) has shown a reduction in the number of people hospitalised due to smoking-related diseases since the enactment of the smoking ban in restaurants in May 2017. The law bans smoking in restaurants, theatres, cinemas, railway station platforms and other premises. It also bans the sale of cigarettes in vending machines, and places some restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes.

Source: Prague Daily Monitor, 10 April 2018
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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary Questions

PQ1. Smoking among women

Viscount Ridley, House of Lords

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what lessons they have learnt from Norway’s success in reducing its smoking rate among young women from 30 per cent to 1 per cent in the last 16 years.

Lord O’Shaughnessy, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
The Government published its Tobacco Control Plan (TCP), Towards a Smokefree Generation: A Tobacco Control Plan for England, in July of 2017. In developing policy proposals for the plan it reviewed evidence on how other leading tobacco control countries have implemented policies to reduce tobacco use.

Smoking rates for women in England are currently at 13.7%, the lowest they have ever been. As outlined in the TCP there is a commitment to reduce smoking among adults from 15.5% to 12% or less by 2022.

See also: The Tobacco Control Plan for England

Source: Hansard HL, 9 April 2018
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