ASH Daily News 28 April 2017

  • Grandmothers’ smoking linked to autism traits in granddaughters, study finds
  • Big investors call for new limits on tobacco companies
  • The global economic strain caused by Big Tobacco
  • BAT funded study suggests e-cigarettes do not promote cancer growth in lab tests
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council urges residents to bin the butt
  • Shop owner in Edgware fined thousands after selling illegal tobacco
  • Hong Kong moves closer to tobacco plain packaging
  • USA: NY raising smoking age to 21


Grandmothers’ smoking linked to autism traits in granddaughters, study finds

Girls whose grandmothers smoked are more likely to display behavioural traits linked to autism, a new large-scale study suggests.

Scientists at the University of Bristol analysed detailed information on the health and development of 14,500 children.
They found girls whose maternal grandmother smoked during pregnancy are 67 per cent more likely to show certain traits such as poor social communication skills and repetitive behaviours.

See Also:
University of Bristol: Diagnosed autism linked to maternal grandmother’s smoking in pregnancy
The Telegraph: Grandmothers who smoked in pregnancy may have triggered autism in grandaughters

Source: The Independent, 27th April 2017
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Big investors call for new limits on tobacco companies

Major global investors are calling on their peers to publicly back efforts to rein in the tobacco industry.

Axa, Calpers, Scor and AMP Capital want other investors to sign a statement supporting “global action against the tobacco epidemic and its significant cost to society and development”. The statement is due to be published on World Tobacco Day on May 31. Their call to action comes amid a growing wave of divestment from the tobacco sector. All four investment groups have sold, or are selling, their investments in the industry.

Source: Financial Times, 28th April 2017
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The global economic strain caused by Big Tobacco

The tobacco industry undermines the global economy. Big Tobacco frames itself as an economic stimulator, but independent peer reviewed studies show these claims are illusory.

A 2017 report by the World Health Organization and the National Cancer Institute demonstrates that smoking and its side effects cost the world economy over $1 trillion. In 2012, the British Medical Journal noted that British American Tobacco is responsible for $152 billion of that cost on the basis of its 11% global market share.

Source: ASH, 27th April 2017
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BAT funded study suggests e-cigarettes do not promote cancer growth in lab tests

A new study found no evidence that a commercially available e-cigarette vapor promotes the development of cancer in laboratory cells. In contrast, smoke from a reference cigarette was positive for cancer-promoting activity at very low concentrations.

The authors are employees of British American Tobacco or BioReliance. BioReliance conducted all experimental work and was funded by British American Tobacco.

The findings suggest that e-cigarettes may provide a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.

“This is the first time this particular test, the Bhas 42 assay, has been used to compare tobacco and nicotine products,” said Dr. Damien Breheny, lead author of the Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis study. “It is one of a series of tests being developed and refined by British American Tobacco to compare the relative biological effects of e-cigarettes and tobacco-heating products with conventional cigarettes.”

Source: AlphaGalileo, 27th April 2017
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Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council urges residents to bin the butt

During February and March, Council enforcement partners, NSL, issued over 100 fines to litterers throughout Nuneaton and Bedworth, with the majority of cases being due to cigarette butt littering.

Cigarette butts can take up to 12 years to degrade, and they cause serious environmental problems; harming wildlife and potentially causing fires. Cigarette butts which end up in water courses and subsequently the ocean also pose huge risks to marine life. Butts contain thousands of toxic chemicals, including arsenic and while larger mammals might survive eating a butt, small animals and marine life will most likely die.

Source: Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, 27th April 2017
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Shop owner in Edgware fined thousands after selling illegal tobacco

A shop owner was fined thousands of pounds after staff were caught trying to hide 51 packets of illegal tobacco by standing on them.

Officers at Brent and Harrow Trading Standards made a routine visit to D&D Ro Ltd, in Goldbeaters Grove, Edgware in September last year. But they became suspicious when workers attempted to conceal the counterfeit stash and 51 packets of tobacco that did not carry the required English labels were uncovered.

He was fined £4,055 at Willesden Magistrates’ Court for not carrying out proper checks on the sale of tobacco, and ignoring warnings.

Source: Harrow Times, 27th April 2017
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Hong Kong moves closer to tobacco plain packaging

The Hong Kong government tabled a law yesterday that will substantially increase the size of mandatory health warnings on tobacco products and leave the autonomous territory a step away from full-blown ‘plain packaging’. The developments have led to complaints from tobacco vendors, which claim that they will lose business as consumers switch to counterfeits and grey-market cigarettes as a result of the changes.

The proposed amendment, expected to be approved by Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo), will expand the area of a cigarette packet required to carry mandatory health warnings from 50%, as introduced in late 2007, to 85%. The existing set of pictorial health warnings displayed in rotation on packets, which have been in use for the past 10 years, will be upped from six to 12; while packs will also have to display the messages ‘QUITLINE 1833 183’ – the government-sponsored helpline – and ‘QUIT SMOKING FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS’.

Source: World Trademark Review, 27th April 2017
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Asia: Tobacco giant squeezing Asean’s poorest countries

British American Tobacco (BAT) is making big money out of the poorest countries in Asean. Tobacco use is declining in developed countries so tobacco companies are increasing sales in developing countries in Asia.

Asia-Pacific is important for BAT’s profits. The company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday announced profits of US$1.7 billion in the region last year, or 27 per cent of overall revenue. BAT sells 196 billion sticks in the region.

In Southeast Asia, BAT’s key markets for increased profits are Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. Tobacco-related deaths in these countries are increasing annually: at least 240,000 in Indonesia, 87,000 in the Philippines and 66,000 in Vietnam.

“Successful tobacco business means more diseases and death. Tobacco is not only damaging to health, but also causes social, economic and environmental harms to the world. All of this are preventable,” said Bungon Ritthiphakdee, executive director of SEATCA.

In Southeast Asia, where half of all adult men smoke and where 10 per cent (125 million) of the world’s smokers live, tobacco kills about 500,000 people per year. Tobacco use in the region not only impoverishes the users but also burdens national economies with more than $10 billion in healthcare costs annually due to tobacco-related illnesses and premature deaths.

Source: Nation Multimedia, 27th April 2017
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USA: NY raising smoking age to 21

Raising the smoking age from 18 to 21 in New York took a step forward this week when a key Senate committee approved the measure.

The bill sponsored by Democratic lawmakers made it through the Senate Health Committee in the Republican-led chamber, renewing hope among health advocates that New York could be moving toward making it law.

California and Hawaii ban the sale of tobacco products for those under age 21, as do 10 municipalities in New York — the largest being New York City.

“By raising the legal purchase age to 21, we will help prevent a generation of New Yorkers from becoming addicted to smoking and ultimately save thousands of lives,” according to the memo attached to the bill from its sponsors, Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan.

Source: Star Gazette, 27th April 2017
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