ASH Daily News 7 August 2017



UK

  • Same insurance costs for vapers as smokers ‘just not fair’, says health expert
  • Tobacco industry-funded think-tank says smokers’ taxes and early deaths profit UK
  • South West: Smokefree pregnancies on the increase
  • North West: Crewe men sentenced after evading £120,000 of duty on cigarettes and tobacco

 

UK

Same insurance costs for vapers as smokers ‘just not fair’, says health expert

Insurance companies are still hitting e-cigarette users with a “smoker’s surcharge” despite mounting reports that vaping is far less dangerous than using tobacco. E-cigarettes are believed to be 95% less harmful than smoking, according to recent Government-backed health studies.

Linda Bauld, professor of health policy at Stirling University, believes insurers classing people who use e-cigarettes as being the same as smokers is “fundamentally wrong”.

“It is just not fair,” she told the Sunday Post. “As well as being financially punitive to people who vape, it can also send negative messages to those who want to stop smoking. It is not helpful. If vapers are regarded as being the same as tobacco smokers it could lead to an attitude of ‘why bother’ and before you know it they are back at the corner shop buying cigarettes.”

Source: Sunday Post, 6 August 2017
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Tobacco industry-funded think-tank says smokers’ taxes and early deaths profit UK

Smoking is worth almost £15 billion to the public purse because of the tax revenue and the savings from smokers’ early deaths, according to a think-tank. The tobacco industry-funded Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) calculated the cost of smoking at £4.6bn, including treating diseases, tidying up dropped cigarette butts and putting out house fires.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of public health charity Action on Smoking and Health, said, “It’s sickening the tobacco industry funded Institute of Economic Affairs considers that smokers dying prematurely is a benefit to society because it saves on pensions.

“It’s also economically illiterate because of the costs in lost taxes, productivity and increased health and social care costs from smoking-related disease far outweigh any reduction in pension costs. This is not about vilifying smokers, two thirds of whom want to quit, with many more wishing they’d never started. Increasing taxes makes tobacco less affordable, thereby helping prevent young people from starting smoking and encourage adult smokers to quit.”

Source: The Herald, 7 August 2017

For link to the IEA’s report, click here.

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South West: Smokefree pregnancies on the increase

Somerset mums are having healthier pregnancies and smokefree lives thanks to the support they receive during and after their pregnancy.

Last year was a record breaking year for the Somerset County Council-funded service, with 504 women using the service to support their attempt to quit smoking, and 292 (58%) of them being successful. These numbers are an increase on 2015/16 when 423 women used the service, up 19%, and 232 quit, up 26%. The service also offers professional and peer support through a Facebook group, available 24/7 where women help each other through cravings and to avoid relapsing to smoking.

Cllr. Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Public Health and Wellbeing said: “Smoking is the leading preventable cause of bad birth outcomes in pregnancy, so assisting women to quit is vitally important for healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Preventing just one very low weight birth could save public services hundreds of thousands of pounds in health, special needs education and social care, so investing in prevention like this makes perfect sense. I’m delighted so many women are choosing to use this service, supporting each other on Facebook, and sharing their positive feedback about the support they receive. This is helping to give children the best possible start in life.”

Source: Somerset Newsroom, 4 August 2017
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North West: Crewe men sentenced after evading £120,000 of duty on cigarettes and tobacco

Two men who evaded tens of thousands of pounds of duty by smuggling cigarettes and tobacco have been spared jail. The two men were involved in operations to evade over £120,000.

One man was sentenced to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years, with 140 hours unpaid work; the other was sentenced with a 12 month community order with 200 hours unpaid work.

Source: Stoke Sentinel, 5 August 2017
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