ASH Daily News for 02 April 2015



HEADLINES

  • Australia: Empty packs study shows no increase in illicit trade post standard packaging
  • Tobacco factory fire may have been started by discarded cigarette
  • More over 60’s who smoke, drink or are obese could be offered dementia tests
  • Warwickshire: Hospital to go Smokefree from 2016
  • France: Paris cracks down on smoking in closed off café terraces
  • India: Tobacco control experts dispute graphic warnings claims
  • Planet of the vapes: inside one nicotine megafactory
  • Smoking in pregnancy: what can help?

    Australia: Empty packs study shows no increase in illicit trade post standard packaging

    A study presented this week indicates that there has been no increase in illicit or contraband tobacco use in Sydney since Australia introduced standardised packaging of tobacco two years ago. The study was based on two surveys of discarded cigarette packs that were carried out 12 months apart in Sydney. It follows industry funded research that appeared to show the sale of illicit tobacco had sharply increased since the introduction of plain packaging legislation.

    Matthew Peters, study author and professor of respiratory medicine at Macquarie University in Sydney, said, “What is very clear from our survey, using the preferred methodology of the tobacco industry, is that there has been no increase in illicit tobacco use in Sydney with the recent advances in public policy. Governments overseas have no reason to fear a flood of illicit sales as they progress plain packaging legislation.”

    Full study: No increase in Australia’s illicit tobacco trade is seen after plain packs are introduced BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1781

    Source: British Medical Journal, 1 April 2015
    Link: http://bmj.co/1P1FCrG

    Tobacco factory fire may have been started by discarded cigarette

    The building which formally housed Player’s cigarette factory in Nottingham has been destroyed by a fire which investigators believe may have been started by a discarded cigarette. The fire at the old factory, which has now been converted into student flats, began on Monday and is still burning.

    Source: The Mirror, 1 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Dyqe1z

    More over 60’s who smoke, drink or are obese could be offered dementia tests

    Under new NHS guidelines that class those aged over 60 who drink, smoke or who are obese as being at risk of the disease, millions more people could be offered dementia tests. However, GPs have protested against the guidance, which says they should consider assessing people for dementia if they are more likely to develop heart disease – “for instance because of smoking, alcohol consumption or obesity”.

    Matthew Norton, head of policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK said “Dementia can be a difficult condition to diagnose, especially in the early stages, and not all those with cardiovascular risk factors will go to develop the condition. Identifying people who do have dementia and providing them with necessary support is vital, however this must be in done in a way that does not put additional pressure onto GPs that could lead to misdiagnosis.”

    Source: The Times, 1 April 2015
    Link: http://thetim.es/1EJiOdq

    Warwickshire: Hospital to go Smokefree from 2016

    South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) has announced that its sites will become smokefree from January 1st 2016. In the lead up to the date, the Trust will be offering support to staff and patients, both to help them temporarily quit whilst on site or to quit for good.

    Source: Nuneaton News, 2 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1I6SR8B

    France: Paris cracks down on smoking in closed off café terraces

    Bernard Jomier, the Paris Town Hall health councillor has written to the Paris police urging them to take stronger action in enforcing France’s ban on smoking in enclosed spaces. The law states that café owners who allow smoking in closed-off terraces should be fined €135, with smokers liable for a €68 fine; however, in practice this is rarely enforced.

    In his letter Jomier states: “It is crucial that we manage to enforce the law before next winter. Passive smoking is behind about 10 percent of the 70,000 deaths due to smoking each year.”

    Source: The Local, 1 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1G6vifq

    India: Tobacco control experts dispute graphic warnings claims

    The argument put forth by a group of Indian parliamentarians that increasing the size of graphic health warnings on cigarette packs will negatively impact farmers has been challenged by tobacco control experts.

    Dr. Vinayak Mohan Prasad, project manager, Tobacco Control for WHO in Switzerland said: “The tobacco growing and tobacco trade in India has only grown in the last couple of years. Even if India manages to reduce prevalence by 30 per cent by 2025 (the national target agreed by government) there will be no impact on farming or labour as absolute number of tobacco users will remain the same. The tobacco industry gives a bunch of untruth.”

    See also: Warning on tobacco packs: Health minister Khader writes to Modi, The Times of India

    Source: The Hindu, 2 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EJeFpT

    Planet of the vapes: inside one nicotine megafactory

    The Guardian reviews the progress of an electronic cigarette company, Nerudia, based in Speke, Liverpool. The company is owned by British American Tobacco and hopes its product, ECOpure, an e-liquid, will become a key ingredient in the world’s first medicinal electronic cigarette. The licence is currently pending.

    Source: The Guardian, 1 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1NDfG2c

    Smoking in pregnancy: what can help?

    Ahead of the introduction of a graphic health warning on French cigarette packs featuring a pregnant woman smoking, the Economist explores why some expectant mothers struggle to quit smoking and what might help them to stop.

    Source: The Economist, 2 April 2015 (Print edition: 4 April 2015)
    Link: http://econ.st/1G6x404