ASH Daily News for 04 November 2016



  • The Times apologises to scientists and public health experts
  • DNA study lays bare devastating damage caused by smoking
  • Tunbridge Wells: First batch of plain-packaged cigarettes arrive in Kent
  • Tobacco treaty leaders propose barring delegates linked to state firms
  • Mozambique: Assembly Ratifies Tobacco Control Convention
  • US: New York authorities want to fine UPS $872 million for delivering untaxed cigarettes
  • New Zealand: Imperial Tobacco employees who helped steal $100k of product avoid jail

The Times apologises to scientists and public health experts

The following appeared on page 28 of the print issue of The Times:

We recently published articles and a leader about scientists and public health experts and their alleged financial links with the tobacco industry (“Tobacco giants fund vaping studies”, “Scientists wooed in charm offensive” and “Smoke in their eyes”, October 12). The experts mentioned in our report, Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London, Professor David Sweanor of the Faculty of Law and Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics at the University of Ottawa, Professor Karl Fagerstrom who created the Fagerstrom Test for Cigarette Dependency, Professor Riccardo Polosa, Director of the Institute for Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology at the University of Catania, and Clive Bates, former executive director of Action on Smoking and Health, are internationally respected for their longstanding global work to reduce smoking, and their work on the issue of nicotine harm reduction. Our report and a panel headed “Academics making a packet” implied that these experts had received funding for research into e-cigarettes. We accept that this was wrong and that their work has not been tainted by the influence of tobacco industry funding. We apologise for our errors and omissions and for the embarrassment caused.

Source: The Times – 04 November 2016


DNA study lays bare devastating damage caused by smoking

The devastating impact of cigarette smoke on the body’s DNA has been laid bare by the first comprehensive study into the damage tobacco inflicts on human cells.

People who smoke a pack of cigarettes each day for a year develop on average 150 extra mutations in every lung cell, and nearly 100 more mutations than usual in each cell of the voice box, researchers from King’s College London and Los Alamos National Lab have found. More still build up in the mouth, bladder, liver and other organs.

See also:
Mutational signatures associated with tobacco smoking in human cancer, Science

Source: The Guardian – 03 November 2016
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Tunbridge Wells: First batch of plain-packaged cigarettes arrive in Kent

Kent has received its first batch of cigarettes on sale in plain packaging as the Stoptober campaign aimed to drive smokers to quit draws to a close.

New laws that came in to force across the UK in May gave manufacturers up to a year to switch to drab green packs, with bigger health warnings, designed to make smoking less appealing to children and young people.

Just six months later, the first packs have been spotted in Tunbridge Wells.

Source: Kent News – 03 November 2016
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Tobacco treaty leaders propose barring delegates linked to state firms

The leadership of a World Health Organization (WHO) treaty on tobacco control has proposed barring delegates with ties to state-owned tobacco firms from its conference next week, tightening its application of rules to shut out the industry from policy making.

That would include delegates employed by state-owned tobacco companies or those otherwise “working to advance the interests of the tobacco industry,” according to an internal communication document.

The proposal, if adopted at the conference of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in India, could restrict delegations sent by countries like China and Vietnam, where governments own cigarette companies and have in the past sent representatives linked to the industry.

Source: Reuters – 03 November 2016
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Mozambique: Assembly Ratifies Tobacco Control Convention

The Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Wednesday voted unanimously to ratify the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The Convention dates from 2003, and Mozambique signed it in that year. But of the African signatories to the convention, all, except Mozambique and Ethiopia, had ratified it. Of all the 15 member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), only Malawi has not signed the convention.

To date, 179 countries have ratified the convention, including major tobacco producers such as Zimbabwe and Brazil.

See also:
India: Govt may harden stance on investing in tobacco firms, Live Mint

Source: All Africa – 03 November 2016
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US: New York authorities want to fine UPS $872 million for delivering untaxed cigarettes

New York city and state authorities have urged a federal judge to impose a fine of $872 million against United Parcel Service (UPS) for allegedly delivering untaxed cigarettes from smoke shops on Indian reservations.

The closing arguments came in a lawsuit over whether UPS illegally shipped more than 683,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes, mostly from reservation smoke shops. The lawsuit is part of a broader effort by the state to combat smuggling of cigarettes from lower-tax areas.

UPS has denied the allegations.

Source: Business Insider – 02 November 2016
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New Zealand: Imperial Tobacco employees who helped steal $100k of product avoid jail

Three men involved in stealing more than $100,000 worth of tobacco and cigarettes in an inside heist have been handed community detention, community work and ordered to pay $10,000 each in reparation to Imperial Tobacco.

Ten staff at the Imperial Tobacco Petone factory, including two security guards, and a family member of an employee were arrested in August after much of the theft was caught on security cameras.

Source: Stuff.nz – 04 November 2016
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