ASH Daily News for 05 December 2016



  • Scotland: Doctors leaders call for blanket ban, as new laws are introduced making smoking in cars with children illegal
  • Call for Government to publish tobacco plan
  • Bradford: Illicit cigarettes ‘easy to obtain’, say undercover investigators
  • Bloomberg expands effort to curb tobacco use world-wide
  • Indonesia: Tobacco firms told to go all-out in campaign against underage smoking
  • How Edinburgh University doctor Judith Mackay took on the tobacco industry in Asia
  • Swedish study claims links between e-cigarettes and heart disease

Scotland: Doctors leaders call on blanket ban, as new laws are introduced making smoking in cars with children illegal

The British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland is calling for blanket ban for smoking in vehicles, following the latest laws making it illegal to smoke in cars when children are present.

New legislation will be introduced on Monday which aims to protect young people from the harm caused by second-hand smoke.

The BMA said it was an important move, but called on the Scottish Government to go a step further and introduce a complete ban on smoking in vehicles.

Dr Peter Bennie, BMA Scotland Chair, said: “The ban on smoking in cars with children is an important first step and we welcome this move to protect our most vulnerable.

“Doctors witness first-hand the devastating effects of smoking-related harms on their patients.

“Children are still developing physically and, as a result, are more susceptible to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.”

See also:
Leader: New ban will help foster smoke-free generation, The Scotsman
Smoking ban in cars: Another nail in the coffin of our No 1 killer, The Scotsman
Comment: Anti-smoking legislation needs to maintain public support, The Scotsman
Smoking ban in cars with child passengers starts today, The Times (£)

Source: Herald Scotland – 04 December 2016
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Call for Government to publish tobacco plan

Calls from a group of MPs for the Government to publish its promised new Tobacco Control Plan without further delay have been welcomed by campaign group Fresh.

Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health have stressed the importance of a renewed Government strategy on tobacco that is sustained and progressive.

Source: News Guardian – 04 December 2016
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Bradford: Illicit cigarettes ‘easy to obtain’, say undercover investigators

Illegal cigarettes and tobacco are “extremely easy to obtain” in Bradford, according to the results of an undercover investigation.

A test purchasing team, led by Will O’Reilly, a former Scotland Yard detective chief inspector, bought 37 lots of illicit products during a two-day visit to the city.

Mr O’Reilly has been conducting research for cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris International about the illicit trade across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

But any claims that the illegal tobacco market was out of control has been dismissed by policy-makers with official figures showing that the illegal market has halved in the last decade although it is said by HM Revenue and Customs to still cost the taxpayer £2.1bn a year in unpaid taxes.

Source: Telegraph and Argus – 05 December 2016
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Bloomberg expands effort to curb tobacco use world-wide

Former New York City mayor and billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg has spent hundreds of millions of dollars of his fortune over the past decade fighting tobacco use in the developing world. Now, with cigarette use declining globally, he is strengthening his campaign.

Mr. Bloomberg is committing $360 million to be used between 2017 and 2022 to help raise tobacco taxes, implement smoke-free laws and pursue other strategies to curb tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies, the philanthropic arm of his foundation.

The new money brings to at least $955 million the amount he has committed since 2007 to tobacco-control efforts in low- and middle-income countries, where nearly 80% of the world’s more than 1 billion smokers reside.

See also:
Michael Bloomberg may be Big Tobacco’s biggest enemy, Washington Post

Source: ADVFN – 05 December 2016
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Indonesia: Tobacco firms told to go all-out in campaign against underage smoking

Tobacco companies must go all-out with campaigns against underage smoking, including removing tobacco product advertisements near schools, a children’s protection group has urged.

Last week, cigarette producer Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna, a local subsidiary of global tobacco giant Philip Morris International, announced that it had installed warning signs about the government’s prohibition of cigarette sales to underage customers in over 30,000 convenience stores nationwide.

Sampoerna, which controls a 34.5% market share of Indonesia’s cigarette industry, the largest in Southeast Asia’s most populated country, said it was seeking to collaborate with more convenience store operators in the future to support its view that “children should not have access to cigarettes”.

The Chair of the Lentera Anak Foundation, Lisda Sundari, however, said Sampoerna and other tobacco companies must do more than that, as they had been aggressively targeting children by placing tobacco advertisements near schools.

Source: Jakarta Post – 05 December 2016
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How Edinburgh University doctor Judith Mackay took on the tobacco industry in Asia

The Sunday Herald reviews the career of Dr Judith MacKay, which involved death threats, secret information passed from shadowy ‘Deep Throat’ figures, being held at gunpoint, and being caught up in a trial in which key witnesses were murdered or mysteriously disappeared.

But it might be surprising to learn that these are not the experiences of a spy or globe-trotting investigative journalist, instead they are the experiences of a down-to-earth public health expert from Edinburgh.

Dr Judith Mackay, who studied medicine at Edinburgh University and is a member of the university’s Global Health Academy, has spent years battling the tobacco industry in Asia.

Source: Sunday Herald – 04 December 2016
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Swedish study claims links between e-cigarettes and heart disease

The Sun and the Daily Mail report on the results of a Swedish study published in the journal Atherosclerosis which studied the physiological responses in 16 occasional cigarette smokers when they were given ten puffs on an e-cig.

The researchers say that it took just one hour for cells to start showing signs of damage normally associated with smoking regular cigarettes.

According to researchers, the cell damage was “of the same magnitude as smoking one traditional cigarette.”

ASH editorial note: “Whilst this study may help in understanding the relative harms of vaping compared to smoking, no firm conclusions can be made from a single study. What’s more, studies of biomarkers do not always translate directly into health outcomes. Currently the evidence points to the risks from vaping being considerably less than those of smoking and e-cigarettes can help some smokers stop smoking.”

Source: The Sun – 04 December 2016
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