ASH Daily News for 02 August 2016



  • Bedfordshire parents are being urged to send cigarettes packing this summer

    Now that school’s out, parents and carers are being advised to stub the cigarettes out to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand cigarette smoke this summer. Exposing children to secondhand smoke is reported to be responsible for over 300,000 GP consultations and an estimated 9,500 hospital admissions in the UK each year.

    To help increase understanding of these dangers, parents and carers are encouraged to test their knowledge by completing a ‘Smokefree summer holidays quiz’.

    Source: Luton on Sunday 1 August 2016

  • New Zealand: Proposed changes to legal status of E-cigarettes

    Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-liga has released a consultation document today which proposes changes to the legal status of e-cigarettes.

    “Currently the sale and supply of e-cigarettes containing nicotine is prohibited in New Zealand. However people are buying them online and importing directly for personal use,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says. “The proposal is to make the sale and supply of all e-cigarettes lawful in New Zealand with appropriate controls.”

    The proposals would mean restricting the sale of e-cigarettes to people aged 18 years and over. The changes would prevent e-cigarettes being advertised and ban their use in smoke-free areas.

    “We also have to consider various quality and safety issues which may pose health risks to users and non-users. Ensuring e-liquids are sold in child proof containers to prevent accidental poisoning is one obvious safety measure. I welcome feedback from the public on the future regulation and control of E-cigarettes,” Mr Lotu-Iiga said.

    Source: NZNews 2 August 2016

  • China: WHO compliments President Xi for quitting smoking

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) has complimented Chinese President Xi Jinping for quitting smoking saying that his action will boost tobacco control efforts in China which has world’s highest number of smokers.

    World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Margaret Chan said last week during an official visit to Beijing that Xi did not smoke anymore and that this was “worth praising as a good model.”

    These compliments come as China’s cabinet decides whether to enforce stricter tobacco controls and while the government also controls the nation’s tobacco industry, a major source of revenue. Xi’s stance will be important in deciding which way the government will swing, said Wu Yiqun, Deputy Director of the Think Tank Research Centre for Health Development, an anti-smoking group.

    Source: India Today 2 August 2016

  • USA: Pennsylvania’s cigarette tax hike takes effect

    Enacted earlier this summer by the state legislature, taxes in Pennsylvania have increased from $1.60 per pack of cigarettes to $2.60. The move is expected to generation an additional $425 million for the state per year, and to urge more smokers to kick the habit.

    The price per pack of cigarettes is expected to increase past $7 for the first time, while the tax is the single largest enacted since Pennsylvania first started taxing tobacco in 1935.

    Source: Elwood City Ledger 1 August 2016

  • New Zealand: Government urged to go further on packaging

    A consultation submission by University of Otago researchers, which includes input from colleagues at Auckland University, says New Zealand has an opportunity to “develop unique regulations that set a new standard”.

    The Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill to introduce plain packaging passed its second reading in Parliament in June. A Ministry of Health consultation process on the regulatory requirements of plain packaging closes on Friday (5 August). The researchers’ submission suggests the Government should impose stronger restrictions on brand information on packs.

    The researchers also want the cigarettes to be brown from top to bottom. “White cigarette sticks create connotations of purity and cleanliness that are the antithesis of diseases caused directly by smoking and perpetuate myths that smoking is not as harmful as health authorities suggest. Our research shows it is possible to greatly reduce the attractiveness of cigarettes and the likelihood they would be chosen by changing the stick appearance and colour,” the submission states.

    Source: Otago Daily Times 2 August 2016

  • Egypt: Price of tobacco could rise by more than 50%

    The Egyptian Ministry of Finance has announced completion of the long anticipated Value Added Tax (VAT) Bill. The Bill has been submitted to parliament and is awaiting approval.

    The Bill would raise taxes on a number of consumer products including, for example raising the price of tobacco products by more than 50%.

    This is in line with recent government policy to raise taxes on tobacco products as part of an anti-smoking campaign under the slogan: “Those who oppose should quit.” Most recently, in February 2015, a presidential decree increased taxes on local and imported cigarettes by 50%, in addition to imposing an extra 2.25 Egyptian pounds on each pack priced at 10 pounds or less.

    Source: Egypt Pulse 1 August 2016