ASH Daily News for 07 April 2015



  • Ban on displaying tobacco in small shops comes into force
  • Support for tobacco tax grows
  • Suffolk: New statistics show smoking in pregnancy remains widespread
  • Leeds: Shisha cafés flouted smoking ban
  • Wales: Smoking ban at hospital catches more staff than patients
  • France: Standardised packaging given the go ahead by French National Assembly
  • Uruguay: Michael Bloomberg fights big tobacco

    Ban on displaying tobacco in small shops comes into force

    A ban on displaying tobacco in small shops came into force on Monday. The display of tobacco products has been illegal in large stores and supermarkets since 2012.

    The Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance have questioned the evidence base for such a ban. However, the Department of Health stated ahead of the initial 2012 ban, that evidence shows that cigarette displays “encourage young people to start smoking”, and that covering displays helps people to “resist temptation” and “help support adults who are trying to quit”.

    Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at ASH, said: “Two-thirds of smokers start before the age of 18, so it is vital that everything is done to put tobacco out of sight to protect future generations.

    “The display ban in small shops will work hand in hand with standardised packs, which will be introduced in May 2016, to further protect children from glitzy tobacco packaging.”

    Source:, 6 April 2015

    Support for tobacco tax grows

    Pressure is growing for the introduction of an additional levy on cigarette sales in the UK, with all three major political parties showing support for the idea. The Government recently confirmed that it will continue its consultation on a levy informally with stakeholders and in last week’s TV debate, Ed Miliband confirmed Labour’s support for the measure. Last month, Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow introduced a 10-minute rule bill debate proposing a similar measure.

    The introduction of a levy equivalent to 25p a pack could raise £500m a year, which health campaigners say should be used to fund measures to help people quit and prevent the uptake of smoking.

    Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH said: “The idea of a tobacco-free future has strong support around the world, but on current trends it is still only a dream, even in the UK.”

    “To realise the dream requires sustained and properly funded comprehensive smoking prevention strategies, which are threatened by budget cuts. The tobacco manufacturers make obscene profits from their deadly products, and the public, rightly, supports a levy to make the industry pay for the tobacco-free future that we all want to see.”

    Source: The Observer, 5 April 2015

    Suffolk: New statistics show smoking in pregnancy remains widespread

    An East Anglian Daily Times investigation has found that more than 10% of expectant women in Suffolk continue to smoke throughout their pregnancies. The newspaper analysed data for over 40,000 women between April 2013 and December last year.

    This means that although rates of smoking in pregnancy are falling, they fall short of the improvement rates seen across other parts of England. The area covered by Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group has the worst figures with 16.2%, compared to the national average of 11.7%. However, other areas fared better with a rate of 8.9% found in Ipswich and East Suffolk and 8.7% in Mid Essex.

    See also:

    Source: East Anglian Daily Times, 5 April 2015

    Leeds: Shisha cafés flouted smoking ban

    Leeds City Council has vowed to continue its clampdown on shisha cafes which fail to comply with smokefree laws. A report to a meeting of the Council’s licensing committee today will reveal fines and court costs totalling £7,526 were handed out to nine people for allowing smoking in a smoke free place. The report also shows the local authority launched prosecutions at six of the 10 shisha cafes across the city where enforcement visits were carried out in 2013/14 or 2014/15.

    Source: Yorkshire Evening Post, 7 April 2015

    Wales: Smoking ban at hospital catches more staff than patients

    Official records show that over the last three months at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, the Hospital’s dedicated Enforcement Officer has spoken to 174 members of staff, 151 patients and more than 700 visitors about their smoking on site. A ban on smoking on the hospital grounds has been in place for 18 months and all hospital staff are being offered training so they are able to talk to patients and visitors about the dangers of smoking.

    Source: South Wales Evening Post, 6 April 2015

    France: Standardised packaging given the go ahead by French National Assembly

    On Good Friday, French MPs passed a Government-backed proposal to introduce standardised packaging for tobacco products.

    MPs also adopted a number of other anti-smoking measures including an extra tax on cigarette manufacturers if their turnover either rises or fails to fall less that three per cent; an obligation on tobacconists to ask for proof that customers are over 18; a ban on smoking in cars with children who are under 18; a ban on tobacco shops near schools and more transparency on lobbying by cigarette manufacturers.

    The measures will now be discussed in the Senate.

    See also:
    What French standard packs could look like, Le Figaro

    Source: rfi english, 4 April 2015

    Uruguay: Michael Bloomberg fights big tobacco

    In a new interview, the former Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has told the BBC of his determination to combat the spread of smoking in poorer countries. In co-operation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg has launched a multi-million dollar fund to help smaller countries, including Uruguay, fight legal battles with tobacco companies.

    Source: BBC News, 7 April 2015