ASH Daily News 20 July 2017
- British American Tobacco to acquire Reynolds as activists decry merger
- Tobacco companies interfere with health regulations, WHO reports
- Nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk, study says
- Fans beg Sig Hansen to stop smoking after chest pains scare on Deadliest Catch
- Signs are that cigarette bans are working, says Cumbria health boss
- Kenya: Tobacco giant fights anti-smoking laws
- Russia: Delay in hike on tobacco excise tax by six months
British American Tobacco to acquire Reynolds as activists decry merger
British American Tobacco (BAT) has come under fire from health campaigners after shareholders approved its buyout of American firm Reynolds on Wednesday, which will create the world’s biggest tobacco company.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of UK public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), expressed concern about what the creation of an even bigger business would mean for the growing tobacco epidemic in poorer countries. “By taking over Reynolds, BAT, already one of the top five companies in the FTSE 100, is now the largest tobacco company in the world.
“Despite all the talk during the merger negotiations of the importance of ‘next generation products’ BAT is still clearly focused on flogging fags to low- and middle-income countries. As a result, it is hardly surprising that the tobacco epidemic is still growing in such countries rather than on the wane as it is in the UK and the US.
“We find it particularly shameful that a British company, BAT, is so dominant in Commonwealth countries like those in Africa, where it has been exposed for its continued use of intimidatory tactics. Ironically this is at the same time that the British government has committed £15m in aid funding to help governments tackle the epidemic and drive down smoking rates.”
Source: Exec Review, 19 July 2017
Tobacco companies interfere with health regulations, WHO reports
Cigarette manufacturers are attempting to thwart government tobacco controls wherever possible, even as governments make progress regulating the products, a new World Health Organization report has found.
World health officials also warn that tobacco companies have moved their fight to the developing world, such as Africa, where smoking rates are predicted to rise by double digits in the coming decades.
“Tobacco industry interference in government policymaking represents a deadly barrier to advancing health and development in many countries,” said Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO’s department for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases. “But by monitoring and blocking such activities, we can save lives and sow the seeds for a sustainable future for all.”
BBC: Tobacco firms ‘hamper anti-smoking push’
The BMJ: WHO urges countries to fight tobacco industry’s interference
Global Issues: WHO Urges Govt’s to Raise Taxes on Tobacco
Medical Xpress: Global anti-smoking measures quadruple since 2007: WHO report
Source: The Guardian, 19 July 2017
Nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk, study says
One in three cases of dementia could be prevented if more people looked after their brain health throughout life, according to an international study in the Lancet.
It lists nine key risk factors including lack of education, hearing loss, smoking and physical inactivity.
The Lancet: Dementia prevention, intervention, and care
Source: BBC, 20 July 2017
Fans beg Sig Hansen to stop smoking after chest pains scare on Deadliest Catch
Fans have begged Deadliest Catch star Sig Hansen to stop smoking, after this week’s episode showed him suffering chest pains a year after his heart attack.
Sig had to be flown out by plane after having tests when he started complaining of pains on the left side of his chest. It comes after the skipper of the Northwestern suffered a full-blown heart-attack while out at sea last season.
After footage was shown, fans took to social media to plead with Sig to give up cigarettes.
Source: Monsters & Critics, 20 July 2017
Signs are that cigarette bans are working, says Cumbria health boss
Ten years ago smoking was the biggest public health issue facing Cumbria and it hasn’t gone away. But the number of young people taking up the habit has dropped dramatically and experts believe the ban on smoking in pubs, clubs and workplaces has been key.
The county’s public health director, Colin Cox, goes as far as predicting the days of tobacco smoking are numbered, saying it is becoming less and less socially acceptable.
Source: Cumberland News, 20 July 2017
Kenya: Tobacco giant fights anti-smoking laws
One of the world’s biggest cigarette companies, British American Tobacco, has taken Kenya’s government to court over its move to make anti-smoking laws stricter.
Health groups in Kenya say that international firms’ fight against regulations show that they are more worried about profits than protecting the public.
Source: Al Jazeera, 19 July 2017
Russia: Delay in hike on tobacco excise tax by six months
Russia’s lower house of parliament approved a law to delay an increase in tobacco excise tax by six months until July 1 2018.
The current excise duty stands at 1,562 rubles ($26.44) per 1,000 cigarettes and 14.5% of its presumed value, a calculation based on the highest retail price. According to the government plan, the tax will increase on July 1 of next year to 1,718 rubles per 1,000 cigarettes.
The law will come into force after it is approved by the upper house of the parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin.
Source: Reuters, 19 July 2017