ASH Daily News for 05 September 2016


  • Scotland: First safety trial of e-cigarettes for pregnant women to launch next year

    The world’s first study examining the safety of e-cigarettes for pregnant women and their unborn babies is to launch in Scotland next year. Several hundred women will be recruited for a major trial which will investigate whether vaping can help women who struggle to quit smoking while pregnant.

    Researchers from the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, a network of 13 universities, will track the progress of the babies until the age of two, to assess if there are any potential harmful effects.

    Linda Bauld, Professor of Health Policy at the University of Stirling and Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, said: “We are primarily interested in adult smokers who struggle to stop – that includes groups like prisoners, people with mental health problems and pregnant women,” she said. “We haven’t made much inroads into reducing smoking rates in these groups, so for these groups e-cigarettes offer real promise.”

    Professor Bauld said the researchers will consider whether e-cigarettes help the women stop smoking, whether the women like using them and whether their e-cigarette use is safe.

    Sheila Duffy, chief executive of public health charity ASH Scotland, said all evidence so far suggests that e-cigarettes are much less harmful than tobacco, but cautioned that e-cigarettes are “not harmless”.

    Source: The Herald Scotland 4 September 2016

  • Wales: Public opinion sought over hospitals’ smoking ban review

    Ahead of the review of their Smoke Free policy Hywel Dda University Health Board is asking the public to complete a short survey which will provide information and opinions on topics including how to stop people smoking on-site.

    Teresa Owen, director of public health for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We have asked our staff about how they think we can encourage smokers not to smoke on our hospital sites, and now we’re asking for the public’s opinion.”

    Since July 2012 all University Health Board sites have been formally designated smokefree, however some people have continued to smoke on-site, Ms Owen said.

    Source: South Wales Evening Post 2 September 2016

  • USA: Arkansas court to notify consumers who purchased Marlboro Lights or Marlboro Ultra of Settlement

    A $45 million settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against Philip Morris USA Inc. concerning, among other things, whether Marlboro Lights and Marlboro Ultra Lights cigarettes were deceptively advertised, marketed and sold as healthier to smoke than regular cigarettes.

    The settlement includes all persons who purchased Marlboro Lights or Marlboro Ultra Lights cigarettes in the state of Arkansas for personal consumption from 1 November 1971 to 22 June 2010.

    Payments will be made to class members who file valid claims prior to the 1st December 2016, though the final value of each claim may be adjusted pro rata depending on the number of claims filed.

    Philip Morris continues to deny the allegations but agreed to settle the class action to avoid the risk and expense of further litigation.

    Source: PR Newswire 2 September 2016

  • Vietnam: Danang Asian Beach Games organisers target “smoking-free” event

    Vietnamese organisers are hoping that the Asian Beach Games due to take place in Danang later this month will be a smokefree Games, with smoking banned at venues and other public areas.

    All athletes, coaches, referees, officials and volunteers will be banned from smoking while on duty. While companies and individuals have been asked not advertise and market cigarette in any form or use the images of cigarette on any Games-related publications.

    Source: Inside the Games 3 September 2016

  • South Africa: British American Tobacco whistle blower

    Previouly of the murder and robbery division of the SA Police, Francois van der Westhuizen joined the Forensic Security Services (FSS) in 2012, a company that works as the contracted security arm of BAT for an estimated R150million (US$10,3 million per year).

    Van der Westhuizen has now turned whistle blower detailing allegations of corruption and bribery committed by BAT. “Our work mostly revolved around conducting surveillance on its (BAT’s) rivals, like Carnilinx and Gold Leaf, and then reporting back. But soon it escalated into far more serious stuff, like paying off people,” Van der Westhuizen said.

    This “serious stuff” is detailed in a 70-page affidavit which has been used by Carnilinx in taking BAT to court. The judge dismissed the original application on procedural grounds, and a new case is likely to be lodged soon for a full hearing.

    Van der Westhuizen’s affidavit has been exposed along with a series of other documents on a twitter account using the pseudonym SA Tobacco Espionage, which casts new light on alleged efforts by tobacco firms to compromise the SA Revenue Service (Sars).

    Source: The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) 4 September 2016