ASH Daily News 20 October 2017



UK

  • North East: Hospitals back bid to cut smoking numbers
  • MPs discuss e-cigarettes in Tobacco Control Plan debate
  • Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance publish report on illicit tobacco

International

  • Philip Morris shares slides after guidance cut and missed earnings
  • Japan: Survey shows over 30% of lung cancer patients exposed to passive smoking

Parliamentary Activity

  • Backbench debate on the new Tobacco Control Plan
  • Parliamentary Questions

Link of the Week

  • New study shows extent of cuts to local services to help smokers quit

 

UK

North East: Hospitals back bid to cut smoking numbers

South Tyneside and City Hospital Sunderland NHS Foundation Trusts are supporting Stoptober – a nationwide Public Health England campaign to support people quitting smoking – by affirming their commitment to becoming smokefree organisations.

Tobacco use remains high in the North East, with 18.7% of adults smoking – a figure above the national average.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust Medical Director Dr Shaz Wahid said: “Reducing smoking rates is a vital element of building a healthier society. As NHS organisations, we should lead by example and we’re proud to be aiming for smokefree status.

Source: Sunderland Echo, 20 October 2017
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MPs discuss e-cigarettes in Tobacco Control Plan debate

In a debate on the new Tobacco Control Plan in Parliament, MPs discussed the potential benefits of e-cigarettes.

Will Quince, Conservative MP for Colchester, said that women who struggle to quit smoking when pregnant should be offered free e-cigarettes, during a debate in Parliament. The MP said, “I would encourage the minister to work with the Treasury to investigate some kind of levy on the tobacco industry.”

Elsewhere, Labour MP Alex Cunningham posed the question to fellow MP Kevin Barron, “can he envisage the day when they will actually be available on prescription as other products are?”

For more information about the debate see below.

Source: Daily Gazette, 20 October 2017
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Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance publish report on illicit tobacco

The Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance, a body funded by the tobacco industry, has published a report on illicit tobacco and small retailers. The report contains several recommendations, including increasing penalties for those found guilty of selling illicit tobacco, and restricting the amount of tobacco that can be brought into the UK by individuals.

See also: Tobacco Tactics: Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance

Source: Convenience Store, 19 October 2017
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International

Philip Morris shares slides after guidance cut and missed earnings

Philip Morris International (PMI), the world’s largest publicly-listed tobacco company, saw its market value fall by over $7bn on Thursday after it reported another quarterly fall in cigarette volume of sales – the tenth quarter in a row – and reduced its yearly earnings outlook.

From July through September, shipments of cigarettes fell over 4%, with all four of PMI’s geographical divisions reporting declines. The flagship brand, Marlboro, was down by 6.1%.

Net income for the company did increase overall by 1.7% to $1.97bn, partly buoyed by a jump in sales of new tobacco technology products. However the net increase was significantly short of expectations, which led to the decline in share value.

Source: Financial Times, 20 October 2017
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Japan: Survey shows over 30% of lung cancer patients exposed to passive smoking

A recent survey by the Japan Lung Cancer Alliance found that of lung cancer patients who continued to work, over 30% were exposed to secondhand smoke.

In addition, the survey found that 5.2% of respondents had had to quit jobs to avoid secondhand smoke at work.

Source: Japan Today, 20 October 2017
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Parliamentary Activity

Backbench debate on the new Tobacco Control Plan

On Thursday 19th October, a backbench debate was held on the motion, “That this House has considered the Government’s publication of the new Tobacco control plan.” A range of MPs, across many parties, delivered speeches. Excerpts from the debate have been included below.

Kevin Barron, Labour
“Despite a long-term reduction in smoking rates, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable premature deaths and ill health, accounting for about 100,000 deaths each year in the UK.”

Bob Blackman, Conservative
“The Government introduced the annual tax escalator of 2% above inflation, but that is due to end in 2020. We should increase it and make sure that the money raised is ring-fenced so that it can be used to implement smoking-cessation measures.”

Paul Williams, Labour
“Closing the gap in smoking rates is not a straightforward task. It is a challenge that requires a collaborative approach, including not just the NHS but communities, mental health charities, anti-smoking organisations and, not least, smokers themselves. I welcome the plan’s commitment to work with the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership to identify how we reduce rates of smoking in this population. However, while the ambition of the plan is welcome, it is not clear how the Government intend to assess progress within the population of those with mental health problems. I would be grateful if the Minister could tell us what he intends to do to make sure that there are reliable, national ways of measuring smoking rates among the whole population of those with mental health conditions, not just those with severe mental health problems.”

Will Quince, Conservative
“The smoking in pregnancy challenge group, a coalition of health and baby charities, produced a report in July examining the training needs of midwives and obstetricians in England. […]The report recommends that such training form a regular part of mandatory midwifery training and be embedded into obstetricians’ continuing professional development. Can the Minister outline the steps that are being taken to review and implement the findings of this report?”

Source: Hansard, 19 October 2017
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Parliamentary Questions

PQ1: E-cigarette promotion under the EU Tobacco Products Directive
Anne Main, Conservative, St Albans
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether e-cigarettes can be promoted in public health campaigns under the Tobacco Products Directive.

Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
The Department has published guidance on Article 20(5) of the EU Tobacco Products Directive covering restrictions on advertising electronic cigarettes. That guidance states that “a public health campaign about relative risks of e-cigarettes versus tobacco products by Public Health England or local stop smoking services are not advertisements made in the course of a business and therefore not covered by these restrictions”. The guidance is published here.

Citation: HC Deb, 19 October 2017, cW
Source: TheyWorkForYou

 

Link of the Week

New study shows extent of cuts to local services to help smokers quit

In 2016 budgets were cut in all local authority areas where smoking cessation was a low priority, found a new study published by ASH and Cancer Research UK. In local authorities where the priority was high 40% made cuts to these life-saving services.

The study is based on online surveys of local tobacco control leads in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The surveys found an increasing number of authorities making cuts to stop smoking budgets, from 16% of services being cut in 2014, rising to 39 % in 2015 and 59% in 2016.

Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy at ASH and co-author of the report, said: “At a time of significant cost pressure in local government, political support for tobacco control mitigates but does not remove the risk of cuts to budgets for smoking cessation. Cuts to quit services have accelerated over the last few years in all areas as national government has clawed back parts of the public health budget.

“Without high quality local services in place vulnerable groups of smokers, such as pregnant women or smokers needing surgery, risk being left to go it alone. The responsibility for this must be shared between local and national government.”

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