ASH Daily News 12 April 2018



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UK

  • North East: Public Health South Tees launches with quit smoking website

International

  • Price of cigarettes should increase by 50% to almost £20 a pack, say experts
  • Australia: Prospect of smoking age being raised to 21
  • Australia: New South Wales bans vaping in public spaces
  • EU court adviser says ban on Swedish snuff tobacco product valid

 

UK

North East: Public Health South Tees launches with quit smoking website

Over the last two years Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland Councils and their partners have been carrying out work to bring together their Public Health service teams to create a new joint service called Public Health South Tees, which began operating this week.

The Stop Smoking South Tees website (www.stopsmokingsouthtees.co.uk) is the joint service’s first delivered project and provides details of all local quit smoking sessions offered by the councils and a wealth of information to encourage and support people to quit.

Source: neconnected.co.uk, 12 April 2018

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International

Price of cigarettes should increase by 50% to almost £20 a pack, say experts

Raising the price of cigarettes to almost £20 a pack could save millions of lives, experts said today. Adding an extra 50% on to the price could lead to unprecedented health gains and poverty reduction.

Professor Jha and Patricio Marquez, lead public health specialist at the World Bank, set out to predict the effect of a 50% increase in cigarette prices on health and poverty in 13 countries with a total of 500 million male smokers. They found increasing prices by 50% would lead to approximately 450 million years of life gained across the 13 countries, half of those being in China. These changes could help close the gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity ASH, said higher taxes do work to help people quit, and said they can help fund stop smoking services. She told The Sun Online: “Putting taxes up does encourage many poorer smokers to quit, but those who don’t are doubly disadvantaged. That’s why ASH believes increased tobacco taxes should be used to pay for measures that help smokers quit like mass media campaigns and specialist stop smoking services.”

BMJ: The health, poverty, and financial consequences of a cigarette price increase among 500 million male smokers in 13 middle income countries: compartmental model study

Source: The Sun Online, 12 April 2018

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Australia: Prospect of smoking age being raised to 21

Raising the legal smoking age to 21 was tabled at a meeting of Australia’s Health Ministers on Thursday. Western Australia Health Minister Roger Cook is campaigning for the Turnbull Government to take up the proposal.

The legal smoking age will only be raised to 21 in Western Australia if the rest of the nation agrees to do the same, the Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan said.

Currently, a person must be 18 years old to purchase or smoke cigarettes in Australia.

Source: Daily Mail Australia, 12 April 2018

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Australia: New South Wales bans vaping in public spaces

Users of e-cigarettes could be fined up to AUD $550 if caught vaping in public spaces or on public transport across New South Wales. The ban will come into effect in July after the state parliament passed new laws on Wednesday night. Public spaces covered by the ban include: shopping centres, cinemas, libraries, trains, buses, public swimming pools, areas near children’s play equipment, sports grounds, public transport stops and outdoor dining areas.

A ban on using e-cigarettes in public already exists in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Source: The Guardian, 12 April 2018

Editorial Note: Public Health England and NICE have noted that e-cigarettes are safer than smoking tobacco and can be useful aids in quitting attempts. See the 2018 PHE evidence review of e-cigarettes

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EU court adviser says ban on Swedish snuff tobacco product valid

An EU ban on the sale of snus, a wet snuff tobacco product made by Swedish Match, is valid, an adviser to the European Union’s top court said on Thursday.

Snus, a moist, smokeless tobacco product, which is consumed by tucking a pinch of it between the gums and upper lip, is banned in all EU countries except for Sweden, which gained an exemption when joining the bloc in 1995. Swedish Match had challenged a ban on the product in British courts, arguing that new scientific data had shown it to be less harmful than cigarettes.

The case was referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), and the ECJ’s Advocate General, whose advice is usually followed by judges, said on Thursday that the ban was valid.

Source: Reuters, 12 April 2018

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