ASH Daily News 27 April 2017



  • Plain tobacco packaging ‘may cut smokers by 300,000 in UK’
  • British American Tobacco — killer company, deadly products
  • Finance Bill debate
  • Australia: Failure to publish tobacco and alcohol submissions to drug policy review ‘alarming’, say experts
  • USA: The Truth Initiative and CVS Health Foundation aim to make HBCUs smoke-free
  • USA: Fort Lauderdale law firm wins $15 million tobacco verdict for smokers widow

 

Plain tobacco packaging ‘may cut smokers by 300,000 in UK’

Plain cigarette packaging could lead to 300,000 fewer smokers in the UK over the next year, a major review suggests.

The Cochrane Review team, led by researchers from London and Oxford, estimated that the number of people who smoked in the UK could go down by 0.5% by May 2018, although they said the current evidence was limited. Standardised packs could also reduce the appeal of tobacco and increase calls to quit helplines, experts behind the Cochrane Review said.

UK law, which comes into full effect in May, states that all cigarette packs must feature health warnings and have a standard colour, shape and font.

See Also:
The Guardian: Plain cigarette packaging could drive 300,000 Britons to quit smoking
The Scottish Sun: Plain packaging on cigarette packets will save lives as new smoking laws come into effect next month

Source: BBC, 27th April 2017
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British American Tobacco — killer company, deadly products

British American Tobacco (BAT) held its Annual General Meeting in London yesterday, therefore it’s time to highlight the global harm caused by this company and its lethal products.

BAT is one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, accounting for 11% of the global tobacco market. Based on this market share and the fact that tobacco kills around 6 million people every year, BAT is responsible for around 660,000 deaths every year  -  a number greater than the combined populations of Iceland and Barbados.

Source: ASH, 26th April 2017
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Finance Bill debate

In a debate on the Finance Bill Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, discusses taxes on cigarettes.

“The Finance Bill legislates for increases in duty rates as announced in the Spring Budget which took effect shortly afterwards. These increase tobacco duty rates by 2% above RPI inflation for all tobacco products, which also makes an important contribution to the Government’s wider health agenda to reduce smoking prevalence.

A minimum excise tax on cigarettes ensures that the cheapest cigarettes will pay a minimum level of duty, making it less profitable to sell cigarette packs below this level.”

Source: Parliament, 26th April 2017
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Australia: Failure to publish tobacco and alcohol submissions to drug policy review ‘alarming’, say experts

The Australian government may have breached international tobacco control conventions for failing to publish submissions from powerful alcohol and tobacco companies to a drug policy review, according to authors of a new health study.

A paper published in the journal Public Health Research & Practice on Thursday said the industry submissions were only uncovered following a freedom of information request to the health department about the National Drug Strategy.

Dr Becky Freeman, lead author of the paper, said Australia was bound by Article 5.3 of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which requires governments to protect tobacco control measures from interference from “commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry”.

Source: The Guardian, 27th April 2017
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USA: The Truth Initiative and CVS Health Foundation aim to make HBCUs smokefree

The Truth Initiative and the CVS Health Foundation are joining together to make campuses at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free.

The organizations plans to work with students and administrators at HBCUs and community colleges across the country to advocate for, adopt and implement this action they announced on Thursday, April 13. “With 99 percent of smokers starting before age 27, college campuses are critical to preventing young adults from starting tobacco use, aiding current smokers in quitting and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke for all,” said Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative.

The group claims that where you live, who you love, your race, your mental health and financial status plays an important role in how hard tobacco companies come after those demographics. For decades, African-Americans, low-income neighborhoods, LGBTQ communities and those with mental illness have been disproportionally targeted with advertising and promotional efforts.

Source: The Washington Informer, 26th April 2017
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USA: Fort Lauderdale law firm wins $15 million tobacco verdict for smokers widow

A Hillsboro County, Florida, jury last week deliberated more than 18 hours before awarding $15 million in damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The award included $3 million for pain and suffering of the smoker, Johnnie Lima, and $12 million in punitive damages that lawyers argued were necessary as a result of the tobacco industry’s practices.

Jurors found that Johnny Lima, who was 60 when he died in 1994, was addicted to R.J. Reynolds’ cigarettes containing nicotine. Lima left behind his wife, a son and three daughters, grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

“Mr. Lima’s story is another in the sad legacy of tobacco in America,” said Scott Schlesinger, who represented widow Mary Lima. “He used the product as intended and we proved to the jury’s satisfaction that his addiction to nicotine had a direct negative effect on his health.”

Source: KLTV, 26th April 2017
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