ASH Daily News 12 April 2017



  • UK Supreme Court denies tobacco firms permission for plain packaging appeal
  • Smoking law changes: Ban on 10-packs of cigarettes comes in on 21 May with plain packaging made mandatory
  • South Asia: Raising taxes key to accelerate tobacco control in South Asia
  • Scotland: Detainee succeeds in appeal against smoking ban at Carstairs
  • South Africa: Researchers warn that the tobacco industry is seeking to expand its market

 

UK Supreme Court denies tobacco firms permission for plain packaging appeal

All cigarettes sold in the UK must have standardised packaging from next month after the Supreme Court refused permission to the tobacco industry to appeal against the new laws. This is the final domestic legal decision, meaning that plain packaging of cigarettes will come into force on 20 May, the Department of Health said. Rules requiring tobacco to be packaged in drab, dark brown packs with no graphic branding came into effect in May 2016, with branded packs subsequently being phased out.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the health charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health UK), said the ruling finally ended attempts by “big tobacco” to overturn the UK legislation on standardised packaging.

“This is the latest in a long line of crushing legal defeats for the tobacco industry. Over the years the industry has squandered many millions of pounds of its own money in futile legal challenges, but worse still it has wasted public time and money, which could have been much better spent improving public health.”

See Also:
MSN.com: Tobacco companies refused permission to appeal over plain packages rules
Nasdaq: UK Supreme court denies Big Tobacco appeal, plain packaging to go ahead

Source: The Guardian, 11th April 2017
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Smoking law changes: Ban on 10-packs of cigarettes comes in on 21 May with plain packaging made mandatory

Smokers will no longer be able to buy cigarettes in packs of 10 after a new law to deter young people from taking up the habit is introduced next month.
From 21 May, shops will be banned from selling small bags of rolling tobacco and 10-packs of cigarettes.

“There’s a great deal of evidence in the UK and around the world that price is the most effective mechanism to reduce consumption of tobacco,” Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at the charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), told The Independent.

“It has a greater effect on younger people and those in low incomes, as for obvious reasons, they’re more sensitive to price. Younger people are less likely to be addicted to nicotine than long-term smokers, so it has a greater effect on them. Although the price of a stick will be similar, it will cost a lot more for a pack.”

See also:
Yahoo News UK: New laws on e-cigarettes are coming into force next month – here’s what is happening
The Sun: What cigarette and smoking laws are changing on May 21? Plain packaging, no more packs of 10 and more

Source: The Independent, 11th April, 2017
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South Asia: Raising taxes key to accelerate tobacco control in South Asia

South Asian countries must prioritise higher tobacco taxation and other control measures to raise the low levels of tobacco cessation and thus avoid millions of premature deaths, say Prabhat Jha, a professor at the University of Toronto, and colleagues.

On current smoking patterns, tobacco will kill about 1 billion people worldwide this century, including substantial numbers in the South Asian countries. All South Asian countries have signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and have committed to the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals (SDG), including to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by one third by 2030. Achieving this goal will depend on effective implementation of the tobacco control measures set out in the framework convention. The most important of these is large increases in the excise tax on tobacco products.

See Also:
Deccan Herald: Higher tax on tobacco can save millions of lives
Indian White Paper: Higher tobacco taxes can help South Asia kick the butt

Source: The BMJ, 11th April 2017
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Scotland: Detainee succeeds in appeal against smoking ban at Carstairs

A detainee who sought judicial review of the legality of a comprehensive ban on smoking at the State Hospital at Carstairs has had his appeal unanimously allowed by justices in the Supreme Court to the extent that the part of the impugned decision, which relates to the prohibition from possession of tobacco products and the powers of search and confiscation, does not comply with the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Mental Health (Safety and Security) (Scotland) Regulations 2005.

Editorial note:

ASH Scotland, commenting on the ruling, said “We note that the Supreme Court judges supported the general aims and principles of the smoke-free policy but took issue with the details of implementation. To be clear – the Court did not support any “right to smoke” and agreed that the health board did not act disproportionately in imposing a comprehensive smoking ban in the hospital and grounds.”

Source: Scottish Legal News, 11th April 2017
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South Africa: Researchers warn that the tobacco industry is seeking to expand its market

The National Council Against Smoking in South Africa cautioned – on the back of the Global Burden of Disease study – that as tobacco use declines in US and Europe‚ multi-national companies are targeting poorer countries like SA‚ despite tough laws. According to the study‚ one in 10 deaths worldwide are caused by smoking and half of these occur in China‚ India‚ USA and Russia.

The researchers warn that the tobacco industry is seeking to expand its market “by exploiting sub-Saharan Africa’s patchwork tobacco control regulations and its limited resources to combat the industry’s marketing tactics”.

Source: Times Live, 11th April 2017
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