ASH Daily News for 01 September 2016



  • MPs say cuts are false economy in the drive to improve health and cut health inequalities

    MPs are calling on the Prime Minister to fulfil her pledge to end the “burning injustice” of shorter lifespans for the poor by boosting public health.

    However, in a hard-hitting report released today the health select committee says that cuts to public health funding since responsibility was handed to local authorities in 2013 will make this more difficult. Cuts are “a false economy”, because keeping people healthy in their communities protects the NHS from the expensive consequences of treating diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses in times to come.

    Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the committee, said: “The Government must match the rhetoric on reducing health inequality with a resolve to take on big industry interests and will need to be prepared to go further if it is serious about achieving its stated aims.”

    The report calls for a Cabinet Office minister to be given responsibility for embedding the interests of health in every government department, a proposal welcomed by the Royal Society for Public Health. “A ‘health in all policies’ approach is key to addressing wider determinants of health and health inequalities, such as housing, education and employment, and enhanced cross-departmental working at a national level will help enable this,” said Shirley Cramer, its chief executive.

    Source: The Guardian 1 September 2016

  • Bath & Somerset: Grants available for local sports clubs to implement smokefree policies

    From 1st September, sports clubs across Bath and North East Somerset can apply for grants to support improvements in facilities and kit in return for implementing a smokefree sports club policy.

    Clubs who want to achieve smokefree sidelines will need to demonstrate their commitment by having a written smokefree policy, clear signage across the site at both training sessions and fixtures and ensure coaches attend a smoke-free training session provided by the local stop smoking service.

    Support will be provided free to clubs to achieve this including the provision of signage and training. In return they could get up to £500 towards equipment.

    Source: The Midsomer, Norton, Radstock & District Journal 31 August 2016

  • New Zealand: ANZ drops weapons and tobacco investments

    New Zealand’s biggest bank, ANZ, has voted to stop all direct KiwiSaver investments in weapons and tobacco companies.

    In a statement ANZ said its Investments Board voted on Monday, 29 August, to get rid of any direct holdings in companies that make weapons, including anti-personnel mines and nuclear armaments. The bank will also be removing direct investments in tobacco companies.

    Source: Radio NZ 31 August 2016

  • Australia: Cigarette tax increase comes into effect

    On Thursday, 1st September, a 12.5% federal government tax rise comes into effect pushing the price of cigarettes up to almost $30 a pack.

    It’s expected the tobacco excise, which will increase 12.5% annually until 2020, will eventually push a packet of cigarettes over the $40 mark.

    The price rises are designed to deter more people from taking up smoking whilst encouraging quit attempts amongst current smokers. However, some companies are trying to get round the new rules by decreasing the number of cigarettes in each pack. British American Tobacco’s Dunhill brand will be reduced to 23 per pack from next month with the wholesale price remaining the same as the pre-tax Dunhill 25 pack.

    Source: Mail Online 1 September 2016

  • Australia: Tougher smokefree laws come into effect in Queensland

    New laws are coming into effect in Queensland on Thursday 1 September, to create new and expanded smokefree zones.

    People will have to be at least five metres from public transport waiting points such as bus stops, taxi ranks and ferry terminals, before they’re allowed to smoke. There will also be no smoking in outdoor pedestrian malls or public swimming pools and the buffer zone outside non-residential building entrances will be increased from four to five metres.

    Smoking will also be banned within 10 metres of campsites and public picnic facilities, toilet blocks, picnic tables, barbecues, jetties and boat ramps from February next year.

    Source: Mail Online 1 September 2016

  • USA: California Legislature approves bill to ban smoking at state beaches and parks

    State senators have approved a bill that would ban smoking and the disposal of tobacco products at state owned or operated beaches or parks.

    A maximum fine of $250 is created in the bill for a violation of the law. The bill also requires the Department of Parks and Recreation to post signs notifying park and beach goers of the smoking ban.

    Source: LGBT Weekly 31 August 2016

  • Kenya: Graphic health warnings come into force

    Tobacco manufacturers and importers will be required from the 1 September to comply with new rules governing the health warnings on cigarette packs sold in Kenya.

    The new rules require that the size of the warnings are increased and that graphic images are placed on all packs. Tobacco retailers will also be required to display standardised signs indicating that they are licensed to sell cigarettes and they will only be permitted to sell cigarettes in packs, not as single sticks.

    The regulations further state that at the end of every financial year, tobacco companies will be required to pay a compensatory contribution equivalent to two percent of the value of their manufactured or imported tobacco products.

    Source: Tobacco Reporter 31 August 2016