ASH Daily News for 03 April 2017



Wales: Decline in the number of smokers since smokefree legislation came into force

Scotland: Ban on sale of e-cigarettes to under 18s comes into force

Scotland: New Mental Health Strategy

Wales: Government announces £400,000 funding to help cut smoking rates

USA: Philip Morris files for FDA approval of new smokeless tobacco product

USA: The price of cigarettes could rise by as much as 40% per pack for smokers in California

 

Wales: Decline in the number of smokers since smokefree legislation came into force

There are approximately 94,000 fewer smokers in Wales since the ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces came into effect 10 years ago, Welsh Government data shows.

Sunday marked 10 years since the ban came into effect, a period which has seen the adult smoking rate fall from 24% to 19% in 2015; smoking rates among teenagers have also fallen substantially.

Chief Executive of ASH Wales Suzanne Cass said: “The smoking ban has resulted in the most positive improvement in the nation’s health in decades. The significance of this legislation should not be underestimated. Thousands more children now live in a smoke-free home, and hundreds of thousands of people are no longer subjected to the deadly effects of passive smoking.”

The charity’s research showed 81% of people in Wales supported the ban – including three quarters of smokers themselves. Ms Cass also said she supported the increased use of e-cigarettes, with 141,000 users in Wales, saying they are “95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes”.

Smokers’ group Forest has called on the Welsh Government to conduct an independent review into the full impact of the ban on health as well as the hospitality industry.

Source: BBC News, 2nd April 2017
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Scotland: Ban on sale of e-cigarettes to under 18s comes into force

New restrictions on e-cigarettes, including a ban on sale to under 18s, have come into effect across Scotland. The new rules make it an offence to sell e-cigarettes to, or to buy them for, under 18s and require premises selling the devices to be registered and have an age verification process.

Public health minister Aileen Campbell said: “We know e-cigarettes are almost certainly safer than cigarettes and have a role to help people quit smoking, but we don’t believe children should have access to them – that’s why these age restrictions are so important. From today, it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to, or buy them for, under-18s.”

The changes were introduced by The Health Act 2016 which also sets out restrictions on advertising of e-cigarettes and a ban on sales from vending machines which comes into force later this year.

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland, said: “Nicotine is addictive and as there is some level of health risk associated with using these products, it is right that we keep them out of the hands of children. With the regulatory framework for e-cigarettes falling into place, now is the time to remind people that smoking tobacco is by far the more harmful activity.”

She went onto emphasise that: “There are still 30-40 young people in Scotland taking up smoking every day and the priority must be for further action against those retailers who sell to children and to challenge the attitudes amongst adults who buy cigarettes on their behalf.”

See also:
BBC News Scotland: New law in Scotland bans e-cigarettes sales to under-18s

Source: The Scotsman, 1st April 2017
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Scotland: New Mental Health Strategy

The Scottish Government has published a new 10 year strategy on mental health in Scotland which promises to spend more than £300 million in the next five years in a bid to improve the delivery of child and adolescent mental health services over the next decade.

Health charity ASH Scotland welcomed the strategy which acknowledges the importance of tobacco control in relation to mental health. Chief Executive Sheila Duffy said: “People with mental health issues are just as likely to want to stop smoking, but they tell us that they can find it harder to do so. We now know that smoking harms mental health as well as physical health so it is time to accept that smoking is part of the problems faced by this group. This new strategy does that.”

Source: Third Force News, 31st March 2017
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Wales: Government announces £400,000 funding to help cut smoking rates

Sunday marked the 10 year anniversary of the smoking ban in Wales over which time smoking rates have fallen by 5%. The Welsh Government has now announced new funding to help reach the target of a 16% smoking rate by 2020.

The Welsh Government has announced £417,000 funding for health charity ASH Wales over the next three years to help cut smoking rates by a further 3%.

Chief Executive of ASH Wales Suzanne Cass, said the funding would help them support the remaining 19% still addicted to tobacco to choose smokefree and lead “healthier, happier lives”.

Source: BBC News, 3rd April 2017

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USA: Philip Morris files for FDA approval of new smokeless tobacco product

Tobacco company Philip Morris has applied for pre-market approval of its heated tobacco product IQOS with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Philip Morris claims that IQOS contains 90% fewer toxins than ordinary cigarettes on account of the tobacco being heated rather than burnt and is already on sale in Japan, Switzerland and Italy.

Philip Morris International says the device delivers the same nicotine hit as conventional cigarettes which could allow for traditional cigarettes to be phased out.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH said: “Philip Morris states that this is potentially a reduced risk product. If smokers switch to electronic cigarettes or other products that can be shown to cut the risks to their health, this could lead to a big improvement in public health. But we need independent evidence to support any claims made by the tobacco industry. Philip Morris claims to be moving towards a post smoking future but, like other tobacco companies, it is still actively promoting smoking around the world, using methods that would be illegal in the UK.”

Ms Arnott went on to say that: “From past experience nothing the tobacco companies say should be accepted at face value. Fully independent research and assessment will be crucial if IQOS and related products are to be accepted as useful in fighting the smoking epidemic.”

See also:
Yahoo Finance: Philip Morris asks for FDA nod to sell heated tobacco device
Reuters: Philip Morris asks for U.S. FDA nod to sell heated tobacco device

Source: Mail Online, 31st March 2017
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USA: The price of cigarettes could rise by as much as 40% per pack for smokers in California

In November a majority of voters cast ballots in favour of Proposition 56 to increase the price of cigarettes by $2 per pack, the biggest tax increase on cigarettes since they were first taxed in 1959.

The additional two dollars will also apply to electronic cigarettes and could see the price of a carton of cigarettes rise by an additional $20. The extra fee is added onto an existing $1.01 federal tax approved by Barack Obama in 2009, and a state tax which charges 87 cents per pack.

It is hoped the tax will increase revenue in low-income California as well as encouraging people to quit smoking. However, concerns have been raised that some smokers will find ways round the tax rise, such as buying cigarettes out of state.

Source: This is Money, 1st April 2017
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