ASH Daily News for 04 July 2016


  • Swedish Match to challenge EU snus ban in UK court

    Tobacco products maker Swedish Match has started proceedings in Britain’s High Court of Justice to challenge a European Union ban on its wet snuff product snus.

    Snus, which is wet pasteurised tobacco placed under the upper lip, is popular in Norway and Sweden and is becoming popular in the U.S., but is banned in the EU due to health concerns, except in Sweden, which has an exemption.

    Swedish Match spokesman Patrik Hildingsson said the firm filed a claim form in Britain on Friday, calling on the court to ask the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to revisit the legal grounds of the ban.

    Source: LSE – 01 July 2016

  • UK government should fund media campaigns that promote quitting, not films that promote smoking

    A letter from leading international tobacco researchers published by Addiction calls for the UK government to stop subsidising films that they claim promote smoking and spend more on media campaigns that promote quitting.

    Anti-tobacco media campaigns can help smokers quit and discourage children and young adults from taking up smoking. Spending on such media campaigns in England has dropped in the past five years from just under £25 million in 2009-10 to £5.3 million in 2015. Further cuts are expected this year.

    By contrast, a recent study found that between 2007 and 2015, UK Film Tax Relief provided subsidies worth an estimated £473 million to at least 90 top-grossing UK or US-UK films that contained tobacco imagery, with 97% of this granted to films which are youth-rated in the UK. In so doing, the UK Government appears to be ignoring World Health Organization recommendations to give adult ratings to films with smoking scenes and withhold tax credits for such films.

    The authors of the letter point to evidence that smoking imagery in films promotes smoking in young people.

    Source: Medical Xpress – 01 July 2016

  • Ireland: Councillor calls for cigarettes to be banned from parks after family tragedies

    A councilor who lost her mother and aunt to cancer is calling for a smoking ban in parks across the country.

    Deirdre Donnelly has written to the Government demanding new laws be introduced to protect children and families from second-hand smoke.

    Source: Irish Mirror – 02 July 2016

  • Canada: Tobacco company offers special ‘ehdition’ cigarettes for national day

    Rothmans Benson & Hedges has brought out a limited “ehdition” of its Canadian Classics brand in time for Canada Day. The move has been criticised by anti-smoking advocates, who argue that such promotion is another reason plain packaging for cigarettes needs to be implemented as soon as possible.

    Source: CTV News – 30 June 2016

  • New Zealand: Plain packaging bill passes second reading

    The bill that will force cigarettes to be sold in plain packets is back in parliament and on track to become law. It passed its second reading on Thursday after being on hold since 2014.

    The government last month confirmed it was going to put it through, and unveiled the proposed new brown-green packaging which is similar to that used in Australia. Prime Minister John Key said at the time plain packages could be on the shelves early next year.

    Source: Yahoo! News – 30 June 2016

  • Guam governor vetoes higher smoking age

    People can still buy tobacco in Guam at 18 after the U.S. territory’s governor vetoed a bill that would have raised the age limit to 21.

    Legislators voted 9-6 to approve a measure increasing the legal age to buy tobacco products and use electronic cigarettes but Gov. Eddie Calvo vetoed the legislation last week, calling the measure vague and unenforceable.

    Source: Daily Mail – 03 July 2016

  • US: Hospital association gives $9 million to support tobacco tax

    California’s lobbying group for the hospital industry is giving a $9 million boost for an initiative campaign to raise tobacco taxes.

    The California Hospital Association’s donation is the largest so far for the Save Lives California committee. It says the money will help the campaign sell its message against heavy-spending tobacco companies that oppose the tax.

    California voters will decide in November whether to levy a $2 tax on each pack of cigarettes. The initiative qualified for the ballot on Thursday and was assigned the title Proposition 56 on Friday.

    Source: Action News Now – 02 July 2016

  • Ireland: Imperial Tobacco announces plans to shut down manufacturing units

    Imperial Tobacco has announced that it will shut down its manufacturing facilities in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, in Ireland.

    The company claims that its decision has been influenced by last month’s ruling of the European Union to introduce a 30g minimum pack size for rolling tobacco products, as it will lead it to a decommission in a number of production lines at the Mullingar factory.

    Source: Dublin News – 01 July 2016