ASH Daily news for 06 October 2015
October 6, 2015
- EU Commission ‘lacked transparency’ over tobacco lobbyist meetings
- Tobacco carve-out in TPP, major victory for public health
- Eurosceptic Tories claim EU ignoring the science over electronic cigarettes
- West Yorkshire: Traders who sell e-cigarettes to under 18s face fines of up to £2,500
- Northern Ireland: Smoking linked to almost half of fire deaths
- Canada: Liberal party pledges to implement plain packaging
EU Commission ‘lacked transparency’ over tobacco lobbyist meetings
The European Commission has been told it must publish details of meetings between top officials and tobacco industry lobbyists, after the official EU watchdog said it lacked transparency.
Emily O’Reilly, the EU ombudsman, described the Commission’s approach to its dealings with cigarette companies as “inadequate, unreliable and unsatisfactory”.
Despite playing a key role in framing European laws on smoking and tobacco products, the Commission – the EU’s executive – was found to have failed to publish sufficient information on meetings with the industry and its influential lobbyists.
Watchdog tells Brussels to kick tobacco habit – The Times (£)
EU Commission must be open about tobacco lobby – ombudsman – BBC
EU officials ‘hiding meetings’ with tobacco industry lobbyists – Euro News
Commission’s secretive tobacco lobby contacts breach UN rules – Ombudsman – Corporate EuropeSource: The Independent, 5th October 2015
Tobacco carve-out in TPP, major victory for public health
In a major victory for public health, negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement concluded with built-in protections to prevent private corporations from suing governments over anti-tobacco regulations.
The victory comes after years of pressure from a vast coalition of health groups and pro-health legislators, to protect the right of governments to regulate tobacco without fear of expensive lawsuits.
“We would have preferred a blanket exemption for tobacco in the Agreement, denying increased rights for the tobacco industry across the board,” said Laurent Huber, Executive Director of Action on Smoking and Health (USA). “However, ISDS was the most worrisome aspect of the TPP, and now the tobacco industry cannot use it to block or delay life-saving measures.”
Health Groups Back Efforts to Protect Tobacco Control Measures Under Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – Imperial Valley News
Negotiators strike Pacific trade deal – CNBC
Deal reached on giant 12-nation trade pact – PoliticoSource: PR Newswire, 5th October 2015
Eurosceptic Tories claim EU ignoring the science over electronic cigarettes
Eurosceptic MPs have warned that smokers will die because the European Union is ignoring the science over electronic cigarettes
Manufacturers are taking legal action against a Brussels regulation they say could lead to a ban on the sale of some popular products.
The issue was raised at a meeting on the fringe of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.
Backbencher Steve Baker, said: “People will die because they don’t get the e-cigarettes that would avoid them smoking much more harmful tobacco.”Source: Guernsey Press, 6th October 2015
West Yorkshire: Traders who sell e-cigarettes to under 18s face fines of up to £2,500
Retailers found selling electronic cigarettes or e-liquids to someone under the age of 18, or adults found buying or trying to buy tobacco products or e-cigarettes for under 18s could be fined up to £2500.
The new law banning the sales of electronic cigarettes to someone under 18 came into force on the 1st October 2015.
West Yorkshire trading standards has advised retailers to be vigilant and responsible when selling e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine, applying the same checks as to the sale of any other age-restricted products.Source: The Huddersfield Daile Examiner, 5th October 2015
Northern Ireland: Smoking linked to almost half of fire deaths
Smoking has been linked to almost half the fatal fires in Northern Ireland over the past five years.
The Fire and Rescue Service said this applied to 22 of the 53 accidental fire deaths since 2010.
Last year crews attended 72 house fires caused by smoking-related materials – including four fatal incidents.
Alan Walmsley, assistant chief fire officer, said: “Smoking materials remain the biggest cause of accidental house fires in Northern Ireland and it is a key area of safety that we need to address.”Source: News Letter, 5th October 2015
Canada: Liberal party pledges to implement plain packaging
The Canadian Liberal Party has committed to implement tobacco plain packaging.
Responding to the announcement, Rob Cunningham of Canadian Cancer Society said: “Tobacco plain packaging is a key measure to protect youth from tobacco industry promotional activities.
“Tobacco packages should not be allowed to be mini-billboards that make an addictive, deadly product more attractive. We welcome this announcement, and we urge all parties to make a similar commitment. Comprehensive, effective action is needed to combat the tobacco epidemic.”Source: Canadian Cancer Society, 5th October 2015