ASH Daily News 18 October 2017



UK

  • Hertfordshire: Clinical Commissioning Groups policy on non-urgent surgery for smokers and obese
  • Firm fined £4,000 for ‘unsafe’ cigarettes
  • Bristol: Southmead Hospital ditches ‘smokefree’ policy with two shelters installed
  • Scotland: Pregnant smokers in Glasgow could be offered cash incentives to quit

International

  • USA: Health Groups Can’t Intervene in Fight Over Tobacco Warning Labels

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Questions

 

UK
Hertfordshire: Clinical Commissioning Groups policy on non-urgent surgery for smokers and obese

Rules drawn up by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Hertfordshire say that obese patients “will not get non-urgent surgery until they reduce their weight” at all, unless the circumstances are exceptional. The criteria also mean smokers will only be referred for operations if they have stopped smoking for at least eight weeks, with such patients carbon monoxide screened before referral.

The CCGs said: “This policy is designed to improve patient safety and outcomes, both during and immediately after non-urgent surgery. No financial savings are expected as a result of these measures. We do however hope to improve the long-term health of our residents through the targeted stop-smoking and weight-loss support on offer to patients. In exceptional circumstances, clinicians will allow surgery to go ahead even if the smoking and weight loss criteria are not met. Exceptions would be made when waiting for surgery would be more harmful for the patient.”

See More:
ASH: Briefing on smoking and surgery

Source: The Telegraph, 17 October 2017
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Firm fined £4,000 for ‘unsafe’ cigarettes

A company has been fined more than £4,000 after they were found to be selling “unsafe” counterfeit cigarettes which were discovered by a sniffer dog.

In total, 3,300 cigarettes and 200g of hand rolling tobacco were seized. Southend Magistrates’ Court imposed fines totalling £4,089 and costs of £1,639.

Source: Halstead Gazette, 17 October 2017
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Bristol: Southmead Hospital ditches ‘smokefree’ policy with two shelters installed

Southmead Hospital has previously been a designated smokefree site “for a number of years” in line with NHS guidelines. However, the hospital’s management succumbed to pressure and two smoking shelters have since been erected, including one outside the maternity ward.

A spokesperson for North Bristol NHS Trust added: “The Southmead Hospital site covers a large area, and last year in response to feedback, we took the difficult decision to permit smoking in two dedicated shelters.”

Source: Bristol Post, 17 October 2017
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Scotland: Pregnant smokers in Glasgow could be offered cash incentives to quit

The city’s health board wants to offer expectant mums financial incentives to give up cigarettes after trials showed it almost tripled the quit rate. Hundreds of women were offered up to £400 in vouchers if they reached the end of their pregnancy smoke-free.

ASH Scotland and Glasgow GPs welcomed the move saying it was a cost effective way to improve health, particularly amongst young mothers.

Source: Evening Times, 18 October 2017
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International

USA: Health Groups Can’t Intervene in Fight Over Tobacco Warning Labels

A federal judge has ruled that a group of health organizations cannot intervene in a lawsuit filed by tobacco companies against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over a rule expanding warning requirements to cigars and pipe tobacco.

In May 2016, the FDA – the federal agency responsible for regulating tobacco products – published a rule designating cigars, pipe tobacco and e-cigarettes as “other tobacco products” subject to the Tobacco Control Act. The rule means that products like cigars and pipe tobacco would have the same requirements as cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, including “comprehensive warning requirements” for packaging and advertising.

The Cigar Association of America, International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association, and Cigar Rights America sued in July 2016 to challenge the FDA rule enforcing warning labels, saying it violates the Tobacco Control Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the First and Fifth Amendments.

Source: Courthouse News, 17 October 2017
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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary Questions

PQ1: Assistance given to British American Tobacco
Baroness Thornton, Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assistance they have given British American Tobacco in its challenge to the claim for unpaid VAT brought by the government of Bangladesh.

Citation: HL Deb, 17 October 2017, cW
Source: Hansard