ASH Daily News 8 February 2018



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UK

  • Imperial Brands finalising UK launch of e-cigarette liquidpod system
  • Study suggests link between vaping and pneumonia
  • Scotland: Charity warns that 36 children are taking up smoking every day
  • Scotland: Plans revealed to make parks and playgrounds smokefree
  • Guernsey: Prison smoking ban has led to better behaviour

International

  • USA: Further senators ask FDA to reject Philip Morris International’s IQOS request
  • Singapore: Ministry of Health holds public consultation on standardised tobacco packaging
  • Australia: Queensland government raises almost $1million in fines for drivers smoking in cars with children
  • Netherlands: Amsterdam aims to become a smokefree city

 

UK

Imperial Brands finalising UK launch of e-cigarette liquidpod system after financial hit

Imperial Brands is to step up its activity in next-generation products, with multiple launches due in the next few months.

Ahead of its AGM on 7 February, the company said that it is in the process of finalising the launch of its electronic cigarette liquidpod system, Myblu, in the UK. The product has already launched in the US.

It is currently evaluating the results of ‘heat-not-burn’ consumer trials from Europe and Japan and will be “refining its heated tobacco offerings ahead of more comprehensive testing” in coming months.

Imperial Brands has said that its annual earnings remain on track despite a first half hit from the collapse of UK wholesale Palmer & Harvey – the UK’s largest supplier of cigaetts – the rising pound and tighter regulation.

The company sold 265.2 billion cigarettes last year, a decline of 4.1%.

Editorial Note:
This spring ASH is running a campaign to coincide with the annual shareholders meetings of three of the largest tobacco companies in the world: Imperial Tobacco, British American Tobacco, and Philip Morris International. Between now and the 9th May (coinciding with Philip Morris International’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders) ASH will be publishing a series of articles and videos on our Medium blog and Twitter.

Source: The Daily Mail, 7 February 2018
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Study suggests link between vaping and pneumonia

New research has suggested a link between vaping and the incidence of catching pneumonia in older people.

The study, led by Professor Jonathan Grigg at Queen Mary University and published in the European Respiratory Journal, suggests that vapour from e-cigarettes helps pneumonia-causing bacteria to stick to cells that line the airways.

A part of the study invovled exposing human nose lining cells to e-cigarette vapour in the lab by getting 17 participants to take ten puffs on an e-cigarette over five minutes. An hour later, it was found that cells exposed to vapour produced levels of the molecule PAFR – which pneumonia bacteria sticks to – that were three times higher than a control group that was not exposed to the vapour.

Professor Grigg said: “These results suggest vaping makes the airways more vulnerable to bacteria sticking to lining cells. If this occurs when a vaper gets exposed to pneumococcal bacterium, this could increase the risk of infection”.

However, Professor Peter Openshaw of Imperial College London, said: “The evidence that vaping might increase the risk of lung infection is only indirect. Although vaping might increase susceptibility to pneumonia, the effect is likely to be lower than from smoking itself. This study should not be used as a reason to continue to smoke rather than vape. The evidence is that e-cigarettes are far less harmful”.

See also:
European Respiratory Journal: E-cigarette vapour enhances pneumococcal adherence to airway epithelial cells

Source: The Telegraph, 8 February 2018
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Scotland: Charity warns that 36 children are taking up smoking every day

Children in Scotland chief executive Jackie Brock has cautioned that 36 children are becoming smokers every day in Scotland.

She stated: “In Scotland in 2018 a classroom full of children gets hooked on smoking every single day. It’s shocking to me that we accept that a choice made by someone as young as 13 or 14 to smoke just one or two cigarettes can lead to decades of addiction, expense and ill-health”.

While rates of childhood smoking have been declining over time, recent estimates still show that many young people take up the habit, particularly in the most deprived parts of Scotland. Ms Brock is a Champion of Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation, a campaign run by ASH Scotland that aims to eliminate childhood smoking.

ASH Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy said: “We’ve got a responsibility to the next generation to take meaningful action against smoking. There are parts of Scotland where life expectancy is almost twenty years less than the national average, and a big part of that is down to tobacco. We can’t let this cycle continue”.

Source: The Scotsman, 8 February 2018
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Scotland: Plans revealed to make parks and playgrounds smokefree

Dundee councillors are considering plans to enact a new code that would designate parks and playgrounds as smokefree zones.

The code under consideration would not ban smoking outright, but rather see adults asked to comply voluntarily with a request not to smoke in these areas.

The council says it cannot enforce a ban, but hopes the move will help change public perceptions of the acceptability of cigarettes.

Leader of the council, John Alexander of the SNP, said: “There has been a massive change in people’s perceptions about where it is appropriate to smoke in the last 12 years since the smoking ban was introduced in Scotland. We hope that people will understand why we are doing this and will respect these playgrounds as much as they would places covered by no smoking legislation. This is a simple but effective way to keep smoke away from children as they play in our excellent parks.”

Source: Herald Scotland, 7 February 2018
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Guernsey: Prison smoking ban has led to better behaviour

Tobacco was banned at Les Nicolles prison on New Year’s Day 2013. Les Nicolles was only the second prison in Europe to go smoke-free, behind the one on the Isle of Man, which took the step in 2008.

Deputy governor Lou Arkle said: “There were a number of initiatives rolled out at the same time which included increased purposeful activity and the use of disposable electronic cigarettes”.

“The combined result has seen a reduction in instances of offences against discipline, self-harm, bullying, and use of segregation”.

Source: Guernsey Press, 7 February 2018
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International

USA: Further senators ask FDA to reject Philip Morris International’s IQOS request

Ten US senators have now called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reject Philip Morris International’s (PMI) application to market its IQOS device as less risky than cigarettes.

At the start of February, two senators voiced fresh concerns about PMI’s clinical trials, citing investigations by Reuters that revealed shortcomings in the training and professionalism of researchers in the trials and irregularities described by former PMI employees and contractors.

The senators asked FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a letter to “avoid rushing through new products, such as IQOS, to fit within this evolving FDA policy, without requiring strong evidence that any such product will reduce the risk of disease, result in a large number of smokers quitting, and not increase youth tobacco use”.

It also said: “Such thorough review is especially critical given the tobacco industry’s deceitful history of marketing products under the guise of lower risk”.

Source: Reuters, February 7 2018
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Australia: Queensland government raises almost $1million in fines for drivers smoking in cars with children

The Queensland government has raised almost $1million after fining more than 3600 people for smoking in cars with children.

In the last eight years 3668 fines were issued for the offence, which currently demands an on-the-spot fine of $252. It became illegal to smoke in a car carrying a passenger under 16 years of age in the state at the start of 2010.

Cancer Council Queensland chief executive Chris McMillan said: “Babies and children are particularly susceptible to the health effects of passive smoking, as their lungs and immune systems are still developing. Research shows that exposure to second-hand smoke can cause a number of diseases and conditions in children, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, middle ear disease, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma exacerbation and respiratory systems”.

Source: The Daily Mail, 8 February 2018
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Singapore: Ministry of Health holds public consultation on standardised tobacco packaging

Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has launched a public consultation on the proposal to implement standardised packaging of tobacco products with a larger graphic health warning.

As part of the public consultation process, the government will accept public views and opinions for six weeks, beginning from 5 February to 16 March this year.

If the standardised packaging proposal is implemented by the government, it would be part of Singapore’s tobacco control strategy to promote public health and constitute a significant step towards Singapore becoming a tobacco-free society.

Source: Packaging Gateway, 7 February 2018
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Netherlands: Amsterdam aims to become a smokefree city

Amsterdam city council is supporting a smokefree law suit which aims to prove that tobacco companies deliberately conspired to make people addicts.

The city’s cancer hospital AVL and the Dutch addiction treatment sector have also recently said they are supporting the case, which was launched in 2016.

The case was started by lung cancer patient Anne Marie van Veen and lawyer Bénédicte Ficq who accused the tobacco firms of doing ‘deliberate damage to public health’ and ‘forgery of documents’.

Their aim is not to win damages but to force tobacco companies to behave differently. They are arguing that tobacco firms cannot hide behind the freedom of choice to smoke because they are deliberately influencing smokers’ behaviour.

City alderman Eric van der Burg said in a statement: “We have been trying to achieve a smoke free Amsterdam for years and supporting this court case fits in with this”.

Source: DutchNews.nl, 8 February 2018
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