ASH Daily News for 02 March 2016



HEADLINES

  • EU proposes tax hike on electronic cigarettes
  • West Yorkshire: Councillors discuss plan to ban smoking in play areas
  • Warrington: Residents urged to stub it out for No Smoking Day
  • Canada: Imperial Tobacco files legal challenge against tobacco control bill
  • Can Ethiopia’s ‘secret smokers’ stub out their cigarettes?
  • Why do planes still have ashtrays?

    EU proposes tax hike on electronic cigarettes

    The Times reports that EU Ambassadors have asked the European Commission to come up with plans to impose higher duty on electronic cigarettes by reclassifying the devices as tobacco products for tax purposes.

    Currently duty must make up at least 57 per cent of the retail price of a packet of cigarettes and VAT makes up 20 per cent – a total tax burden of at least 77 per cent. E-cigarettes are subject to 20 per cent VAT. Prices vary but a cartridge costing between £1.50 and £5 is roughly equivalent to a £10 packet of 20 cigarettes.

    Experts say that a tax rise would damage public health because higher prices will discourage smokers from switching to vaping.

    Deborah Arnott, Chief Exeuctive of ASH, said: “If the EU were to require states to tax electronic cigarettes like tobacco products it would be detrimental to public health. It would discourage smokers from switching.”

    See also:
    E-cigarette prices to soar as EU moves to reclassify as tobacco product to raise tax, International Business Times
    E-cigarette tax sets scene for EU lobbying war, euobserver

    Source: The Times, 2 March 2016
    Link: http://thetim.es/1REZz8C

    West Yorkshire: Councillors discuss plan to ban smoking in play areas

    A consultation launched in January to get local views about smoke-free playgrounds in Calderdale has found that 90 per cent of those who responded agreed with the idea. Councillors will discuss the proposal on March 7 at Halifax Town Hall.

    The council’s cabinet member for public health, wellbeing and engagement, Councillor Simon Young said: “Banning smoking in playgrounds would help continue our commitment to making Calderdale smoke-free, as well as helping to decrease cigarette litter.”

    Source: Telegraph & Argus, 1 March 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1oY1I6d

    Warrington: Residents urged to stub it out for No Smoking Day

    Residents in Warrington are being urged to stub out their cigarettes on next week for No Smoking Day on 9 March.

    Paul Roberto, senior Livewire advisor for smoking, said: “We understand that the majority of smokers want to stop smoking but many find the task too daunting. With support smokers are four times more likely to succeed in their quit attempt – that is why Livewire will be out in force on No Smoking Day, educating smokers on the range of local services and resources available to them.”

    Source: Warrington Guardian, 1 March 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1QGBXNm

    Canada: Imperial Tobacco files legal challenge against tobacco control bill

    On Friday, Imperial Tobacco Canada filed legal proceedings against the Quebec government claiming Bill 44 infringes the company’s constitutional rights. The Bill would ban all flavoured tobacco products, including menthol, and imposes a minimal size for health warnings on packages.

    Mélanie Champagne, Director of Public Issues with the Canadian Cancer Society’s Quebec Division, said the company’s legal action is predictable, stating: “All it shows is that the measures (Quebec is taking) would be effective. Tobacco companies would not spend so much money on legal proceedings if they didn’t realize this will affect their revenues substantially. But that is exactly what we want: lower revenues for tobacco companies means less smoking, and fewer cancer deaths.”

    Source: Montreal Gazette, 1 March 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1nhJzyi

    Can Ethiopia’s ‘secret smokers’ stub out their cigarettes?

    BBC News discusses smoking culture and tobacco control in Ethiopia.

    Source: BBC News, 2 March 2016
    Link: http://bbc.in/21GR8yi

    Why do planes still have ashtrays?

    The Telegraph explains why planes still have ashtrays despite smoking being banned during air travel.

    Source: The Telegraph, 1 March 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Sh0nmf