ASH Daily news for 04 April 2016



HEADLINES

  • Judgement expected in tobacco firms case against EU Tobacco Products Directive
  • Wales: Concerns raised over smoking ban in prisons
  • Worcestershire: Smoking is stubbed out at Malvern council’s play areas
  • Nottinghamshire: Shopkeeper jailed by tobacco taskforce
  • Less than 1% of millions of Google e-cigarette searches focused on quitting smoking
  • EU: Ombudsman examining tobacco lobby
  • India: Cigarette companies stop production in row over new pictorial warning
  • US: Tax smokeless products based on weight says tobacco industry
  • Korea unveils graphic warnings
  • Pepsico, Philip Morris face human rights resolutions
  • US: NASCAR driver arrested in epic tobacco-smuggling sting

    Judgement expected in tobacco firms case against EU Tobacco Products Directive

    The European Court of Justice will be publishing its judgement on a challenge by the major tobacco firms against a European Directive on tobacco on 4th May.

    NB: The articles covering this story (see below) inaccurately say the legal challenge by the tobacco manufacturers have only just been launched. These cases have in fact been ongoing since June 2014.

    – Big tobacco fights Brussels over price rises, Sunday Times (£)

    Source: City AM – 03 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1pZhoWF

    Wales: Concerns raised over smoking ban in prisons

    Drugs charity Kaleidoscope has claimed the coming smoking ban in Welsh prisons will punish the most vulnerable in society and could cause mental health problems by depriving prisoners of a source of comfort.

    Source: Wales Online – 02 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1pZib9X

    Worcestershire: Smoking is stubbed out at Malvern council’s play areas

    Play areas owned by Malvern Hills District Council are set to become smoke free.

    The council’s executive committee this week agreed unanimously to sign up to the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control.

    The declaration commits the council to carrying out a series of actions to encourage people to give up smoking, to prevent people from taking up the habit and to protect non-smokers.

    One of the first actions that the council will take is to introduce a ban on smoking at the seven play areas it owns and manages, following a public consultation.

    The ban will be voluntary, rather than enforced, but evidence from elsewhere in the country shows communities are supportive and abide by them.

    Research by polling company YouGov, shows there is substantial support amongst smokers for a ban on smoking in children’s play areas with 49 per cent in favour and 30 per cent against.

    Source: Worcester News – 02 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1pZivFP

    Nottinghamshire: Shopkeeper jailed by tobacco taskforce

    A shopkeeper has been sentenced to ten weeks in prison over the sale of illicit tobacco.

    Store owner Bistun Ali was repeatedly caught selling illicit tobacco in the town, following an investigation by Nottinghamshire County Council’s trading standards office.

    Ali appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 31 March where he admitted 14 different counts of possessing goods with a false trademark for sale or hire.

    Source: Asian Trader – 01 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1pZiOk1

    Less than 1% of millions of Google e-cigarette searches focused on quitting smoking

    A new study of Google search trends led by researchers from the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and San Diego State University as part of the Internet Tobacco Vendors Study shows a significant jump in the popularity of the words “vape” and “vaping,” and a decline in searches related to vaping health and smoking cessation, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

    In an attempt to better understand the rapidly changing landscape surrounding e-cigarette use, investigators analyzed Google searches related to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) from 2009 to 2014. The data revealed that the number of ENDS-related searches is rapidly increasing with 8,498,000 searches in 2014 alone, up from only 1,545,000 in 2010. Vaping and vaping-centric terms are also starting to overtake e-cigarette as the popular way to describe ENDS.

    Source: Medical News Today – 01 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1pZj2rp

    EU: Ombudsman examining tobacco lobby

    The European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, is due to host an event to discuss ‘Improving transparency in tobacco lobbying’.

    The event will be held in the Résidence Palace, Brussels from 13.30 to 15.30 on April 27. A networking buffet will start at 12.00.

    A note announcing the meeting said that O’Reilly was dedicated to improving further the standards of transparency and ethical decision-making in EU institutions. A major part of her work touched on lobbying: how it was carried out and who it targeted.

    Source: Tobacco Reporter – 01 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1pZjbLx

    India: Cigarette companies stop production in row over new pictorial warning

    Cigarette manufacturers have stopped production of cigarette from April 1 over their difference with the government on pictorial health warnings on cigarette packs.

    The government has mandated that as of that day 85% space of packets of tobacco-based products should be provided for pictorial health warning.

    The Tobacco Institute of India, the representative body of the tobacco manufacturers, has confirmed that the production was halted following ambiguity on the policy.

    An industry source said that there is enough inventory in the market to meet the demand for the next week or so.

    See also:
    – ITC says it will not print large health warnings on cigarette packs, International Business Times
    – Govt slams tobacco makers, says no ambiguity in policy, Hindustan Times
    – ITC faces stock slide as stand-off over pictorial warning continues, DNA
    – TNPFTC welcomes the 85 per cent pictorial warning on tobacco products, Meri News

    Source: Times of India – 01 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1pZjLZI

    US: Tax smokeless products based on weight says tobacco industry

    The tobacco industry is calling on Ohio lawmakers to change how the state taxes moist smokeless tobacco products.

    Monte Williams, representing several industry stakeholders, testified on Wednesday before the Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission, which is tasked with developing long-term state tax changes.

    He says moist smokeless tobacco should be taxed based on weight instead of price as tax on price encourages discounts brands to enter the market, losing revenue to the State.

    However, Micah Berman, an assistant public health and law professor at Ohio State University, says a tax based on weight doesn’t keep pace with inflation and would hinder efforts to reduce tobacco usage and cost the state money over the long-run.

    Source: Fox 8 – 03 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1pZkAS6

    Korea unveils graphic warnings

    The South Korean government has unveiled 40 graphic pictures that are due to start appearing on cigarette packs from the end of this year.

    The images have been released following a month-long consultation that included representatives of the Korea Health Promotion Foundation, Sogang University faculty members and public health experts.

    Starting from December 23, cigarette packs will have to include warnings taking up at least 50 percent of the front surface. At least 30 percent of the front surface will have to be given over to one of the images, while at least 20 percent will include a written warning.

    Source: Tobacco Reporter – 01 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1pZl62B

    Pepsico, Philip Morris face human rights resolutions

    Shareholders of a handful of companies, including Pepsico Inc., may be voting on a new human rights proposal submitted by the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund this year that urges corporations to enter mediation to remedy violations.

    The labor pension fund submitted the proposal at Oreo cookies-maker Mondelez International Inc. and Pepsico for refusing to participate in a mediation system established by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Brandon Rees, the AFL-CIO’s deputy director of investment, said March 23 at the Council of Institutional Investors’ annual meeting in Washington.

    The resolution was also submitted to a number of tobacco companies, including Reynolds American Inc., Philip Morris International Inc. and Altria Group Inc., where human rights violations in the supply chain are especially difficult to remedy, Rees said.

    Source: Bloomberg – 01 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1pZkTMF

    US: NASCAR driver arrested in epic tobacco-smuggling sting

    NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Derek White has been arrested as part of what authorities are saying is the biggest tobacco-smuggling bust in North American history.

    White is believed to have been a high-ranking member of the smuggling operation, Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau of the Quebec Provincial Police told NBC Sports. It centered on purchasing tobacco leaf in North Carolina and taking it into Canada for redistribution. Profits from the tobacco were used to buy cocaine, police said.

    Source: Yahoo! Sports – 31 March 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1pZlhei