ASH Daily News 12 February 2018



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UK

  • Vaping needs to be taken seriously as a way to save lives
  • Tobacco category report 2018
  • Sharon Hodgson MP, Shadow Minister for Public Health, discusses NHS cancer staff shortages
  • New reality show to be smokefree after complaints about depictions of Love Island depictions of smoking
  • Greater Manchester Mayor announces plans to cut smoking rates

International

  • France: Tobacco firms alleged to have falsified tests
  • Turkey: Government considering implementation of standardized tobacco packaging
  • Australia: Housing provider to make entire New South Wales developments smokefree
  • Australia: New South Wales to ban vaping indoors

 

UK

Vaping needs to be taken seriously as a way to save lives

An opinion piece in the New Scientist has stated that healthcare staff should embrace the potential of e-cigarettes to save lives and improve public health outcomes.

The piece notes the destructive effects of smoking on health both in the UK and globally and calls on vaping to be embraced as an effective cessation aid, citing recent studies from PHE that have estimated the risk at around 5% of smoking.

It also celebrates the fact that the UK has, so far, taken one of the most open-minded and progressive approaches to the issue of vaping and its potential to form an effective cessation aid; it notes that, despite encouraging early clinical research into the effects of vaping, many countries have stuck rigidly to an official stance that the short and long-term risks are unclear.

Source: New Scientist, 9 February 2018
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Tobacco category report 2018

The Grocer has released a report into the tobacco market, covering its recent decline in sales and the future prospects for a challenging sector.

It notes that seven of the top ten brands are in long-term value decline and that new legislation over the past year has made percentage falls among pricier options even steeper than before.

Citing Japan Tobacco International’s (JTI) products, it illustrates how the market-leading brand Sterling was down £93.5m on last year (a fall of 6.2%) and its more expensive number three brand Mayfair was down £177.4m in value (-17%). The report quotes an admission from Mark Yexley, head of communications at JTI, that: “Price is a key factor for existing adult smokers when choosing where to shop for tobacco”.

The report also notes the expansion of the tobacco industries into vaping markets, which are expected to exceed $2 billion by 2020, and into the ‘heat-not-burn’ markets. The report notes that Philip Morris International’s (PMI) IQOS, British American Tobacco’s glo and JTI’s Ploom Tech are all products with a shaky market future, citing recent struggles from PMI to market their product in America as reduced risk or even market it at all.

Source: The Grocer, 9 February 2018
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Sharon Hodgson MP, Shadow Minister for Public Health, discusses NHS cancer staff shortages

Sharon Hodgson MP, Shadow Minister for Public Health, has emphasised the Labour Party’s belief that retaining preventative services will be key to reducing cancer rates.

Commenting on how best to tackle preventable risk factors such as tobacco, she stated: “I have always been a strong supporter of the principle that prevention is key to tackling cancer. Whilst there is no silver bullet, I do believe there is more we could be doing to reduce the prevalence of cancer through prevention. Particularly for those cancers caused by smoking and obesity”.

“During my time as Shadow Minister for Public Health, I have also called for a rethink on the approach to public health funding, which, as we know, is having a serious impact on services that help improve our nation’s health. Stop Smoking Services are among those that are affected by challenges in public health funding, and a fix is needed to make sure people looking to quit can continue to access support to give them the best possible chance of stopping”.

Source: Cancer Research UK, 9 February 2018
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New reality show to be smokefree after complaints about Love Island depictions of smoking

The new ITV2 reality show Survival of the Fittest will be a ‘cigarette free zone’ after complaints from the public about excessive depictions of smoking on another show, Love Island.

The new show is produced by the same people as Love Island, which recently faced viewer backlash after the contestants were frequently depicted smoking.

Ofcom received a large volume of complaints from the public about the contestants smoking and the producers will now not be supplying any cigarettes to the contestants on the new show.

Source: The Sun, 12 February 2018
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Greater Manchester Mayor announces plans to cut smoking rates

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, is setting out plans to cut smoking rates across the region by a third.

People are being asked for their views about plans to cut the number of smokers in Greater Manchester by 115,000 over the next three years. Proposals will include extending smokefree areas and licensing of tobacco retailers.

Sarah Price, Director of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “While the numbers of young people taking up smoking has reduced drastically over the past ten years, we still have too many smoking and starting to smoke. We plan to deliver a tobacco-free generation with our communities. Smoking is everyone’s business. The harm from tobacco affects our whole society, from the pain and suffering of individuals and their families to the preventable costs to the economy and public services”.

Source: ITV, 12 February 2018
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International

France: Tobacco companies alleged to have falsified tests

A French anti-smoking organization has alleged in a legal complaint that four tobacco companies operating in France manipulated tests to conceal the real level of nicotine and tar contained in their cigarettes.

The allegations by the National Committee Against Smoking (CNCT) target the French branches of Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Brands.

CNCT says that cigarettes produced by the companies contain tiny holes in the filter that are designed to ventilate the inhaled smoke under test conditions.

But it goes on to claim that when the cigarette is smoked by a person, however, the holes are compressed and covered by the smoker’s fingers or lips, causing them to inhale harder and thus increasing the intake of nicotine and tar.

They concluded that real nicotine levels were five times higher than shown in the tests, while actual tar levels are two to ten times higher, although it was not made clear from the 34-page complaint how the CNCT arrived at its calculations.

Source: Reuters, 9 February 2018
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Turkey: Government considering implementation of standardised tobacco packaging

The Turkish government is considering replacing the current cigarette packages with standardised packaging in order to discourage smoking.

Health Minister Ahmet Demircan stated that details of the plan would be unveiled in the coming days, but first stated that: “Cigarette packages should not be easily accessible and they should not make smoking appealing. Packages should not serve as advertisement materials. We have to take necessary measures to prevent this”.

The latest proposed measures follow on from the ruling Justice and Development Party’s long-standing attempts to bring in new controls on tobacco, which began with a smoking ban in closed public spaces in 2009.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News, 9 February 2018
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Australia: Housing provider to make entire New South Wales developments smokefree

Smokers at certain affordable housing developments in New South Wales (NSW) will have to leave the premises entirely before having a cigarette, as a housing provider intends to make their units entirely smokefree.

Housing Trust wrote a letter to tenants explaining the new policy and referencing NSW civil liberties policy, which states that: “Smoking should only be allowed where there is no possibility of passive smoking causing harm or discomfort to others”.

Housing Trust added: “Smoke can drift through window jams, air vents, ventilation systems, air conditioning units, elevator shafts, hallways, stairwells, cracks in walls, across balconies and through plumbing and electrical systems”.

Chief executive Michele Adair added that the organisation was working with tenants to create an implementation plan that had minimal impact on individuals.

“It is our intention to provide all of our tenants with a healthy living environment”, she added.

Source: The Daily Mail, 10 February 2018
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Australia: New South Wales to ban vaping indoors

The use of e-cigarettes is set to be banned in enclosed spaces under changes expected to be made this week by New South Wales (NSW) Health Minister Brad Hazzard.

NSW is set to follow the precedent set by Victoria and put a ban on vaping indoors by imposing some of the tightest restrictions on vaping in the country.

Last year, Victoria outlawed vaping in Victoria’s smokefree spaces and banned e-cigarette advertising.

Source: The Australian, 12 February 2018
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