ASH Daily News for 07 November 2016



  • Cigarettes could cost 50% more in minimum price tax plan
  • Wales: School playground smoking ban in public health plan
  • Wales: Vaping health risk warning ‘alarmist nonsense’
  • Shisha lounge owners face crackdown and huge fines for ignoring smoking laws
  • Northern Ireland: Smoking causes 90% of lung cancers, watchdog reveals
  • Nearly one in three local authorities bans vaping
  • India: FCTC conference opens in Delhi

Cigarettes could cost 50% more in minimum price tax plan

Plans to force a minimum price upon cigarette makers could see the cost of even the cheapest pack rise to £8.68 — a jump of almost 50%.

The Chancellor could introduce a tax floor on cigarettes in the autumn statement this month, according to industry sources.

The policy would set a minimum amount of tax payable on a pack. This would force manufacturers to raise prices to protect their margins. Costlier brands, such as Marlboro and Camel, would be less likely to be affected because their products would already be priced above the tax threshold.

See also:
Cigarette firms fear minimum price tax plans, City AM

Source: Sunday Times – 03 November 2016 (£)
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Wales: School playground smoking ban in public health plan

Plans to ban smoking in school and hospital grounds and playgrounds in Wales are being introduced.

This second attempt to bring in the Public Health Bill does not include a controversial ban on e-cigarettes in some enclosed places.

Source: BBC – 07 November 2016
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Wales: Vaping health risk warning ‘alarmist nonsense’

A doctor who likened the risks of vaping to the Thalidomide scandal has been accused of “alarmist nonsense”.

Dr Phil Banfield, chairman of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Welsh council, said he wants to see proof of the safety of e-cigarettes. He wants their use reviewed – pointing to the Thalidomide morning sickness drug that caused birth deformities.

An e-cigarettes scientific officer said he was unjustifiably using the topic to get an emotional response. Tom Pruen, of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association, dismissed the comments as “alarmist nonsense” and “an entirely fallacious argument”.

The BMA Wales has issued the following statement: “Dr Banfield, as an obstetrician, used thalidomide as an illustration of a medical treatment that had unintended consequences and it was not intended to make a direct comparison to e-cigarettes. This was a personal comment. The BMA’s position is clear; we recognise the potential for e-cigarettes to reduce the harm associated with tobacco use, but while evidence on the long-term effects of e-cigarettes is still emerging we continue to advocate a cautionary approach to normalising e-cigarette use in front of children and young adults.”

Source: BBC News – 05 November 2016
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Shisha lounge owners face crackdown and huge fines for ignoring smoking laws

Shisha bars who flout the law by letting customers smoke indoors are being targeted in a crackdown by enforcement officers of a number of local authorities. Some shisha bars are ignoring the ban nine years after it was introduced.

In the last month alone raids on shisha bars in London, Yorkshire, Tyneside, and Greater Manchester were carried out by inspectors along with HM Revenue and Customs officials and police licensing officers.

Source: The Express – 05 November 2016
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Northern Ireland: Smoking causes 90% of lung cancers, watchdog reveals

Around 900 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed in Northern Ireland each year, with smoking responsible for 90%.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) is calling on smokers to give up the habit to reduce their chances of getting lung cancer.

Source: Belfast Telegraph – 04 November 2016
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Nearly one in three local authorities bans vaping

A survey by pressure group the Freedom Association, which has long lobbied on behalf of the freedom to smoke, shows that nine in ten local authorities have the same policies for both vaping and smoking, making no distinction.

Vapers and smokers are both ­restricted to designated smoking areas at 112 councils.

Source: Daily Mirror – 05 November 2016
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India: FCTC conference opens in Delhi

The Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP7) to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is being held in Delhi from November 7 to 12, involving representatives from 179 countries, including the EU.

For the occasion, Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, has penned an article in the Guardian emphasising the need for governments to recognise the conflict between public health and the interests of the tobacco industry.

The WHO has also produced a critical report on vaping which questions how useful it is to help people smoking.

The event is not without controversy. Pakistan has announced that it would be boycotting the meeting in India due to strained diplomatic relations between the two countries, while taxpayer advocacy groups are calling for the convention to be open to the news media.

The tobacco industry is also denouncing the event as a “closed shop” while Zimbabwe, a major producer of tobacco, has raised concern over the exclusion of countries producing the crop at the meeting.

On the margin of the event, the Indian Health Ministry has written to the Finance Ministry, asking it to ensure that government firms do not invest in tobacco companies.

See:
Every tobacco death is an avoidable tragedy. The epidemic must stop here, The Guardian
Vaping does not help people stop smoking, says WHO report, The Guardian
Ban e-cigarettes from public places, say world health chiefs: Britain is told to outlaw the increasingly popular vaping devices from schools, hospitals and buses amid health concerns, Daily Mail
Pakistan will not attend tobacco conference in India, Yahoo! News
Taxpayer Groups Call on UN’s Anti-Tobacco Convention to Allow Media Coverage, Daily Signal
JTI criticizes ‘closed shop’ COP, Tobacco reporter
Zimbabwe Seeks Voice At Global Tobacco Forum, All Africa
Govt plans to stop financial support to tobacco firms, Economic Times

Source: Impartial Reporter – 03 November 2016
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