ASH Daily News for 01 April 2015
1 April 2015
- British American Tobacco: UK High Commissioner faces the music at home, in Pakistan
- Imperial Tobacco shares fall ahead of key meeting about merger
- Scotland: NHS goes smokefree
- Scotland: Children’s charter targets smoking
- Ireland: 10 million illicit cigarettes seized in Dublin
- India: Poster girl of India’s campaign against tobacco dies at 28
- Survey: cigarette consumption falls among commuters who start cycling to work
British American Tobacco: UK High Commissioner faces the music at home, in Pakistan
The UK Government has been accused of double standards after the UK’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Philip Burton, took part in a British American Tobacco (BAT) delegation which lobbied the Pakistan government not to implement larger graphic health warnings on cigarette packs. Pakistan’s health ministry announced in February that plans to adopt larger graphic health warnings on cigarette packs will be effective from May 31 2015.
The High Commissioner’s attendance at the meeting is a breach of the UK guidelines which state that, “Posts must not: Engage with foreign governments on behalf of the tobacco industry, except in cases where local policies could be considered protectionist or discriminatory.”
ASH has written to the head of the UK’s diplomatic service, Sir Simon Fraser, urging him to apologise publicly for this breach of the guidelines and to promise that such a breach will never happen again. In the letter, Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH states: “We think it indefensible that he [the High Commissioner] should have participated in tobacco industry lobbying to prevent Pakistan putting in place measures that the UK has already implemented.”Source: 4 traders, 31st March 2015
Imperial Tobacco shares fall ahead of key meeting about merger
Senior staff from Imperial Tobacco are due to meet this week with members of the Federal Trade Commission in the US, alongside representatives from US tobacco companies Reynolds and Lorillard. The companies are hoping that the regulator will give the go ahead for the merger of Reynolds and Lorillard.
Imperial Tobacco is hoping to gain assets sold off in the deal, including the brands Winston and Maverick and electronic cigarette brand blu. Fears the deal could fall through at this late stage resulted in Imperial Tobacco shares sliding 71p to 2998.5p yesterday.Source: London Evening Standard, 31st March 2015
Scotland: NHS goes smokefree
NHS premises in Tayside and Fife have become entirely smoke-free as part of the Tobacco Control Strategy for Scotland. All NHS regions in Scotland had to commit to enforcing smoke-free grounds by the end of March.
Under the scheme, smokers could be issued fixed penalty notices if found smoking on hospital grounds and smoking areas have been removed from NHS grounds across the country.See also:Consensus rather than bans is key, The ScotsmanSource: The Courier, 1st April 2015
Scotland: Children’s charter targets smoking
ASH Scotland has launched a ‘children’s charter’, The Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation. The charity hopes that organisations who work with young people will sign up to the charter’s six principles and pledge to help protect children from the harms caused by smoking. The document highlights the goal of Scotland creating a tobacco-free generation by 2034.
ASH Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy said: “The Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation is a way of driving forward Scotland’s compelling vision to free our children from the tobacco epidemic that has claimed so many lives and led to so much misery. It’s important people realise tobacco use is primarily an addiction of childhood, with two-thirds of smokers saying they took up the habit when they were under age.”
‘Children’s charter’ aims to create tobacco-free generation by 2034, STV NewsSource: Selkirk Weekend Advertiser, 1st April 2015
Ireland: 10 million illicit cigarettes seized in Dublin
Over 10 million illicit cigarettes were found at Dublin Port by customs officials at the weekend. A routine profiling mission uncovered the cigarettes, which have a retail value of over €4.7m. Investigations are currently ongoing and a revenue official stated: “If businesses or members of the public have any information regarding the smuggling or sale of illegal cigarettes or tobacco, they can contact Revenue in confidence on free phone number 1800 295 295.”Source: The Sun (£), 31st March 2015
India: Poster girl of India’s campaign against tobacco dies at 28
Sunita Tomar died this morning in Mumbai, aged 28. Sunita appeared in Indian anti-tobacco campaign adverts against tobacco products in which she described how she was suffering from mouth cancer because of tobacco. Her death comes two days after she wrote a letter to the Indian Prime Minister, stating her disappointment that an Indian Parliamentary Panel recently called for a delay in the introduction of larger graphic warnings on cigarette packs in the country.Source: Indian Express, 1st April 2015
Survey: cigarette consumption falls among commuters who start cycling to work
A recent survey by Cyclescheme asked more than 9,500 commuters asked about the health benefits of cycling to work. 50% reported lower stress levels since they started riding, while 29 per cent said they were drinking less alcohol. 20% said that they were smoking less.
The research noted: “Cyclescheme predicts that even if just 10 per cent of journeys were made by bike instead of car by 2025, the NHS would save £2.5 billion and the nation would gain a combined equivalent of over a million years of healthy living.”Source: The Times (£), 30th March 2015