ASH Daily News for 04 January 2017



  • What are the new laws on cigarettes and why are they being introduced?
  • BAT ends supply deal for Voke nicotine inhaler
  • New Year’s resolution: A smokefree NHS
  • Sandwell: Undercover operation finds vape shops selling to underage volunteers
  • Northern Ireland: Smoking cessation clinics to start in Derry
  • ASH Public Reputation Survey

What are the new laws on cigarettes and why are they being introduced?

2017 will see the final disappearance of colourful tobacco packs as all cigarettes will be sold in standardised packaging from May this year.

The aim of the new law is to reduce uptake of smoking by making cigarettes less appealing to children and young people, with figures showing that two thirds of smokers start before the age of 18. Research has shown that standard packs change attitudes and beliefs about smoking as well as making the health warnings more prominent.

While the law came into force on 20th May 2016, the tobacco industry was given a 12 month period in which they can sell off old stock and bring in standardised packaging. This means that from 20th May 2017, all tobacco packs will be standardised.

Other changes are also being seen with a ban on 10-packs and a minimum pack size of 30g for hand-rolled tobacco.

The law introducing standardised packaging has been upheld in two legal judgements where judges have found in favour of the UK Government against appeals brought by the tobacco industry.

Source: The Sun – 03 January 2017
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BAT ends supply deal for Voke nicotine inhaler

British American Tobacco (BAT) has ended its supply agreement for the much anticipated Voke nicotine inhaler, which the tobacco manufacturer had promoted as setting it apart from other e-cigarettes and tobacco alternatives.

In 2014 BAT had received a medicinal licence for Voke from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) making it the first product of its kind to do so.

BAT, which licensed distribution rights to Voke from patent developer Kind Consumer Ltd., had initially said it expected the product to be launched in the UK by the end of 2015, however this timetable was subsequently delayed.

On Tuesday, 3rd January, manufacturers Consort Medica PLC, announced that BAT was terminating the supply deal, which had been a contractual right if the product was not launched by the end of 2016. Consort said that the companies remain in “constructive dialogue” about the product.

See also:
– Consort Medical splutters as BAT stubs out Voke Programme, Digital Look
– Consort Medical shares go up in smoke as BAT unit terminates supply deal for Voke nicotine inhaler, Proactive Investors

Source: ADVFN – 04 January 2017
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New Year’s resolution: A smokefree NHS

Dr. Mary Black discusses her vision for all NHS staff to make a smokefree NHS their New Year’s resolution.

Attitudes towards smoking have shifted remarkably over the course of the last century. In the 1950s it was common for doctors to prescribe cigarettes to their patients and not only could people smoke in the Department of Health but also in hospital corridors and even on hospital wards.

However, the last vestiges of tobacco are kept alive in the NHS by what Black describes as a kind of misguided sympathy; the one that makes staff falter before patients dragging their IV fluid stands out onto the path in front of the hospital for a cigarette, or before colleagues clustered around emergency department exists having a communal smoke.

This has to change and for change to happen smokers must be offered nicotine replacement therapy and access to specialist support within the first hours of being admitted. Tolerating tobacco smoking on NHS premises is a form of collusion, and Black argues that staff smoking in uniform or smoking alongside patients are empathising in a harmful way. NHS staff who smoke deserve all the support of the NHS to quit.

In 2006 a campaign was launched to make the NHS smokefree. Ten years on this has not been achieved. This must serve as a last call for change, says Dr. Black.

Source: BMJ Blogs – 30 December 2016
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Sandwell: Undercover operation finds vape shops selling to underage volunteers

Nine out of ten vape shops visited in an undercover operation by Sandwell Trading Standards sold nicotine containing products such as e-liquids or e-cigarettes to underage volunteers.

The Council’s trading standard’s team are advising shops to be vigilant when selling these age restricted products and to apply the same checks that they do for other age-restricted products.

It became illegal to sell e-cigarettes to under 18s on 1st October 2015, and retailers found to be flouting the law could face a fine of up to £2500 and a criminal record.

Source: Express & Star – 03 January 2017
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Northern Ireland: Smoking cessation clinics to start in Derry

Derry smokers are being urged to quit this January with a new programme of clinics being introduced this week.

The Healthy Living Centre Alliance and Public Health Agency have teamed up to provide a series of smoking cessation clinics across the city as many smokers set New Year’s resolutions to quit or cut down on their smoking.

Tony Doherty of the Alliance said: “Many people resolve to kick the habit at this time of year before realising that quitting smoking can be more than they bargained for. For us, it is important to provide cessation services at the most popular time of the year for quitting, in the hope that more smokers will stop.” The clinics will give people access to nicotine replacement therapy, specialist support and a network of others also attempting to quit.

Source: Derry Journal- 03 January 2017
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