ASH Daily news for 03 February 2016
- Scotland: Number of 15-year-old smokers falls by two thirds
- Dr Felicity Harvey to retire from Department of Health
- Belgium to legalise e-cigarettes
- France: Call to relax smoking ban on school grounds to cut terror risk
- US: Anti-smoking group urges Congress to pass Pacific trade deal
- Australia: Philip Morris sells former cigarette factory
- Parliamentary business
Scotland: Number of 15-year-old smokers falls by two thirds
The number of 15-year-olds who smoke regularly has fallen to 9%.
From a peak of 29% in 1996, the proportion dropped to just 9% in 2013, according to analysis of the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (Salsus).
Regular smoking has also fallen among 13-year-olds from a peak of 8% in 1998 to 2% in 2013.
Statisticians said the figures appeared to show the impact of health policies including a rise in the age of sale for tobacco from 16 to 18 in 2007 and the introduction of the Tobacco Retailer Register in 2010.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of health charity Ash Scotland, said: “Most people who smoke started as children but it is clear that taking action to make smoking less attractive and less available to young people is having an effect.
“With cigarettes being put progressively out of sight, out of mind and out of fashion for our teenagers, the goal of a generation of young people growing up free from tobacco is within our grasp.”Source: The Scotsman – 02 February 2016
Dr Felicity Harvey to retire from Department of Health
Dr Felicity Harvey, director general for public and international health, has announced she will retire from the Department of Health in June.
She took up the public health post in 2012, returning to the health department after three years working in the Treasury and Cabinet Office on implementation and delivery.
Dr Harvey led the department’s response to the Ebola outbreak, and has overseen legislation to standardise tobacco packaging and ban smoking in cars with children.Source: CSW – 02 February 2016
Belgium to legalise e-cigarettes
New legislation that will legalise electronic cigarettes in Belgium is to receive Royal assent. The new law was needed because until now e-cigarettes inhabited a grey zone of Belgian legislation.
Belgium’s Health Council has ruled that e-cigarettes can form part of the government’s drive to discourage tobacco use.
The governing Flemish Christian democrats had wanted taxes to be levied on e-cigarettes, but this didn’t make the final draft being brought in by Belgium’s Flemish liberal public health minister.
While e-cigarettes will have to comply with all the conditions set on tobacco cigarettes with regard to advertising and warnings on packs, they will become available from newsagents, though not from chemists. Online sales are banned and there will be a minimum age of 16 in order to purchase e-cigarettes.Source: Expatica – 27 January 2016
France: Call to relax smoking ban on school grounds to cut terror risk
Students gathering for a cigarette break outside French high schools could be a target for extremists and should be allowed to smoke on school grounds, a leading union of school administrators has said.
The union made the request five days after the November 13 Paris terrorist attacks that left 130 people dead and 350 wounded. But after the country’s health ministry refused the call, the SNPDEN union is petitioning again. It wants the school smoking ban to be loosened as long as France remains under a state of emergency.
Around one-third of French teens between 15 and 19 smoke, according to government statistics.Source: BT/PA – 02 February 2016
US: Anti-smoking group urges Congress to pass Pacific trade deal
An anti-smoking group has urged congressional lawmakers to pass an Asia-Pacific trade agreement that they argue will ensure governments can enact tobacco-control measures without the threat of legal challenges.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is calling on lawmakers to back the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) because the pact blocks tobacco companies from using the investor-state dispute settlement system to fight public health regulations.Source: The Hill – 02 February 2016
Australia: Philip Morris sells former cigarette factory
Philip Morris has sold its former manufacturing site ahead of relocating its Australian headquarters to Melbourne later this year.
The company stopped manufacturing cigarettes at the 6.27 hectare site in Moorabbin in 2014 when it transferred all production to its Korean factory.
The factory and administration buildings, which have been the group’s Australian headquarters for more than 60 years, sold for an undisclosed sum.Source: Beaudesert Times – 02 February 2016
Written Questions: Codentify
Baroness Crawley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what the terms of reference are for the HMRC pilot of the tobacco industry’s Codentify system for product authentication; how long that pilot will last; on what tobacco products that pilot is being undertaken; and with which tobacco companies that pilot is taking place.
Lord O’Neill of Gatley: HMRC is piloting the Codentify system, a product authentication tool that is currently used on tobacco packaging.
The objectives of HMRC’s pilot are to use and test Codentify as a product authentication tool that could help tackle illicit tobacco.
There is currently no specified end date to the pilot but HMRC will review its use of Codentify within 2016.
Codentify is being used to authenticate cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco that carry the code, which are those produced by Phillip Morris International, Japan Tobacco International, Imperial Tobacco and British American Tobacco.
No discussions have taken place with these companies on the scope or format of HMRC’s planned review.
Baroness Crawley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what independent analysis of different systems for tobacco control and product authentication HMRC is proposing to undertake.
Lord O’Neill of Gatley: The EU Commission is currently considering how the track and trace system and security feature provisions of the EU Tobacco Products Directive will be implemented.
Until this is decided HMRC have no plans for independent analysis of different systems for tobacco control and product authentication.
Baroness Crawley: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether there is a conflict between HMRC piloting the tobacco industry’s Codentify system and its legal action against tobacco companies for failing to control their supply chains.
Lord O’Neill of Gatley: HMRC is piloting the Codentify system as a product authentication tool that could help tackle the illicit tobacco market.
This has no bearing on the obligations placed on tobacco companies to control their supply chains or on any action taken by HMRC to ensure compliance with these obligations.Source: Parliament – 02 February 2016