ASH Daily News 16 May 2017



  • Japan Tobacco International attempts to gain support of the food and drink sector
  • Japan Tobacco International produces statistics on illicit tobacco
  • Wales: Final vote on public health bill
  • Yorkshire and the Humber: Leeds shisha bar fined for contravening smokefree laws

 

Japan Tobacco International attempts to gain support of the food and drink sector

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) claims that it wants to ensure the spread of regulation is not just the problem of tobacco companies, as it continues a business-facing PR campaign that was launched in March at The International Food & Drink Event trade show in London. “The future of brands” makes the case that the creep of regulation won’t stop at cigarette packets.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity Action on Smoking and Health, says that, as the leading cause of preventable premature death, tobacco is “different” from other products. She also doubts that this campaign is a truly altruistic move by JTI.

“This isn’t about the UK – JTI is trying to convince global food-and-drink companies to back their campaign to prevent plain ‘standardised’ cigarette packs from spreading around the world,” Arnott says. “There are governments lining up to implement plain packaging following the publication of the World Trade Organization ruling that it is in line with trade law and that no compensation is due. JTI is trying to bolt the stable door after the horse has bolted.”

Source: Campaign Live, 15th May 2017
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Japan Tobacco International produces statistics on illicit tobacco

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has alleged that one in eight retailers in London is selling illegal tobacco products.

JTI has said that black-market tobacco could undermine the new laws regarding standardised packaging and minimum pack size. The government said it was confident that it could deal with this threat. A spokesman for HM Revenue and Customs said: “The tobacco product directive introduced a number of measures, including minimum pack sizes. HMRC recognises that such changes may have an impact on the UK tobacco market and associated fraud risks. HMRC and Border Force strategy to tackle tobacco smuggling will adapt to changes in risk, as it has successfully done for many years.”

Source: The Times, 16th May 2017

Editorial note: Independent analyses suggest that tobacco industry funded surveys and studies overestimate levels of illicit tobacco compared to UK Government data as a result of flawed methodology.

The prevalence of illicit tobacco has reduced substantially in the past twenty years. In 2000, 21% of cigarettes in the UK market were illicit, as was 63% of hand-rolled tobacco. By 2015, this had dropped to 13% and 32% respectively. This reduction coincided with an increase in regulation on legal tobacco. The main factor affecting illicit tobacco prevalence would appear to be law enforcement. Further information can be found here.

The Institute of Economic Affairs, the director-general of which is quoted in this piece, receives funding from the tobacco industry.

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Wales: Final vote on public health bill

Assembly Members will vote for the final time on the Public Health (Wales) Bill this afternoon.

The Bill aims to protect young people’s health through banning smoking in school grounds, public playgrounds, and the outdoor areas of registered childcare settings, as well as in hospital grounds. It prohibits tobacco and nicotine products from being handed over to under 18s by home delivery or collection services and creates a national register of retailers of tobacco and nicotine products.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans said: “The Public Health (Wales) Bill is the latest in a long line of measures the Welsh Government has introduced to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Wales. If passed, it will create the conditions which enable people to live healthy lives and will protect them from preventable harm.”

Source: Welsh Government Newsroom, 16th May 2017
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Yorkshire and the Humber: Leeds shisha bar fined for contravening smokefree laws

A Burmantofts business has been prosecuted by Leeds City Council for operating as a shisha bar allowing smoking in enclosed premises.

The owner was fined £440 and ordered to pay £1818 costs and a £40 victim surcharge after being found guilty at Leeds Magistrates Court on Friday 5 May.

Officers from Leeds City Council’s environmental health team made an unannounced visit to the property on October 6 2016 after receiving complaints of shisha smoking. The officers witnessed approximately 20 people smoking shisha in the premises from eight lit shisha pipes. That is in contravention of the Health Act 2006 and associated regulations, which state smoking is not permitted in enclosed and substantially enclosed public buildings or structures.

Source: Leeds Government Newsroom, 16th May 2017
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