ASH Daily News for 03 November 2016



  • IEA calls for the UK Government to abolish 20 taxes
  • Swansea: Smokefree school gates plan for city
  • Scotland: Secondhand Smoke Roadshow gives residents insight into dangers of smoking
  • Australia: Nicotine is not harmful: Doctor calls for e-cigarettes to be legalised
  • USA: Smoking shortens the lifespan of people living with HIV
  • USA: Chain smoking robot could help save lives
  • Burma: New report highlights tobacco industry interference in Government

IEA calls for the UK Government to abolish 20 taxes

A new report by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has called for the Government to abolish 20 taxes, including alcohol and tobacco duties, in favour of a slimmed down tax system.

The report argued for a flat rate of 15% income tax, 12.5% VAT, with the majority of present exceptions removed, and a housing consumption tax also set at 12.5%. The report said that the current tax system is over complicated and reducing the number of taxes as well as their complexity could promote economic growth.

Source: The Guardian – 02 November 2016
Read Article


Swansea: Smokefree school gates plan for city

Swansea City Council is urging parents not to light up outside school gates in a move to create healthier environments for children.

The ‘Smokefree Gates’ campaign will see signs go up at all primary schools across the city, which follows posters going up in 77 play areas encouraging adults not to smoke.

Public Health Wales, along with public health charities Ash Wales Cymru and Stop Smoking Wales have backed the move.

Source: BBC News – 03 November 2016
Read Article


Scotland: Secondhand Smoke Roadshow gives residents insight into dangers of smoking

An exhibition has been held in Barrhead to educate people on the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke.

The ‘Secondhand Smoke Roadshow’ used interactive technology to show adults, especially parents, the invisible toxins that are released when they smoke and the impact this can have on others especially children. These graphics were then mirrored onto television screens showing how it is never safe to smoke in the home.

Source: Barrhead News – 02 November 2016
Read Article


Australia: Nicotine is not harmful: Doctor calls for e-cigarettes to be legalised

Medical experts are pushing for the Australian Government to legalise e-cigarettes in a bid to save lives and help smokers quit tobacco.

E-cigarettes, like nicotine replacement therapy, give smokers a source of nicotine without burning tobacco and releasing the harmful carcinogenic chemicals found in conventional cigarettes.

Dr Michael Keane, special anaesthetist and adjunct associate professor at Swinburne University in Melbourne, has called on the Government to make the move to legalising e-cigarettes. Speaking on 3AW Radio he said: “People smoke for the nicotine but they die from the tar – it’s the burning of tobacco leaf that generates toxic chemicals that causes most of the harm. Nicotine itself is not particularly harmful.”

Source: Mail on Sunday – 03 November 2016
Read Article


USA: Smoking shortens the lifespan of people living with HIV

A new study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital has found that smoking substantially reduces the lifespan of people living with HIV in the US, potentially more than HIV itself.

While only 15% of the adult population smoke in the US, among people living with HIV the smoking rate is over 40%, and an additional 20% are former smokers.

Researchers estimated the average lifespan of a person living with HIV depending on whether they were current, former or never smokers. The researchers illustrated that someone living with HIV could lose up to 8 years of life due to smoking, unrelated to their HIV infection. They also found that, if one-quarter of the people receiving care for HIV who smoke were to quit now, more than a quarter million years of life would be saved.

Quitting smoking, particularly at a young age, was shown to reverse much of this loss in life expectancy.

The full research will be published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Source: Scienmag – 03 November 2016
Read Article


USA: Chain smoking robot could help save lives

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death globally but it is not known how exactly it affects sufferers’ lungs. Smoking is the leading risk factor for COPD.

Researchers at Harvard have now developed a smoking robot with a ‘lung on chip system’ whereby scientists can insert a section of human lung into the ‘lung on chip’ and then observe how the tobacco smoke affects it.

Understanding more about how COPD affects the lungs could help the development of treatments for the disease.

Source: Huffington Post – 02 November 2016
Read Article


Burma: New report highlights tobacco industry interference in Government

A new report produced by the Southeast Asian Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) has found ‘high levels’ of tobacco industry interference in policies aimed at reducing levels of smoking within Burma.

The report throws light on the tactics used by the tobacco industry to maintain influence within Burma, which campaigners argue is responsible for the increasing rates of smoking.

Burma scored badly in key measures on the Group’s Tobacco Industry Interference Index, including on conflicts of interest. SEATCA’s report said that retired senior officials, as well as current government officials or their relatives, hold positions in the tobacco industry. Burma was also marked down because it has no policy preventing tobacco industry contributions to political parties.

Burma’s tobacco control law bans all forms of promotion and advertising, but is regularly flouted by all major brands. British American Tobacco, which owns Lucky Strike, has offered deals on individual cigarettes, even though it is illegal to sell in packs of fewer than 20.

Source: Myanmar Business Today – 02 November 2016
Read Article