ASH Daily News for 07 September 2016



  • Norfolk: Hardened smokers targeted in new campaign but MP criticises pension investments in tobacco

    The Norfolk Tobacco Control Alliance, of which Norfolk County Council is a member, is launching a new strategy – partly funded by the county council – to target the hardened smokers. It will also focus on reducing youth uptake, with targets including cutting the number of people in Norfolk who smoke, from the 103,140 in 2014 to 83,806 in 2020.

    But despite Norfolk County Council’s public health role, the Norfolk Pension Fund still has some £45m invested in tobacco companies.

    Former health minister Norman Lamb, North Norfolk MP, said: “I totally support the public health work to combat smoking. It is one of the main reasons why people with mental ill health die 15 to 20 years sooner than other people. But it does put the spotlight on the ludicrous situation of investment in tobacco companies by bodies charged with public health duties. It must be possible to achieve a good return on investment based on ethical considerations and avoiding investment in tobacco companies.”

    Source: Norwich Evening News 7 September

  • Scotland: NHS Fife bids to improve children’s health by cutting smoking rates

    NHS Fife has endorsed a charter for a tobacco-free generation amid statistics that show 700 people die every year in the region from a smoking-related illness.

    Doctors are particularly concerned about the impact of smoking during pregnancy, with obstetric complications, stillbirth and low birth weight more common among mothers-to-be who smoke.

    ASH Scotland has drawn up a charter to cut smoking by 5% across Scotland over the next 18 years and this has been endorsed by NHS Fife.

    Source: The Courier 6 September 2016

  • Japan Tobacco International to launch website to raise awareness of the EU TPD

    JTI is launching a website to raise customer awareness of the European Tobacco Products Directive (EUTPD) and standardised packaging legislation. explains the impact of legislation on customer tobacco purchases and is supported with a range of posters and leaflets. There are also a range of resources for retailers including leaflets and videos with information on communicating with customers ahead of the May 2017 sell-through period.

    Source: The Grocer 3 September 2016

  • Australia: Ban on e-cigarettes is unethical

    Researchers are arguing for the legalisation of nicotine in e-cigarettes, stating that the current ban is protecting the tobacco industry.

    Forty international and Australian academics have written to the Therapeutic Goods Administration in support of an application from the New Nicotine Alliance, a not-for-profit body that advocates safer alternatives to tobacco smoking.

    They say it’s discriminatory and unethical to allow the sale of nicotine in tobacco while banning a much lower-risk alternative, and argue e-cigarettes will save lives, allowing smokers to access the nicotine they’re addicted to without the tobacco smoke that causes most of the health problems.

    “I just don’t understand the logic of having nicotine in the deadly form of tobacco cigarettes widely available while nicotine in the much safer form of e-cigarettes is outlawed,” said Professor Ann McNeill from Kings College London. “The current situation in Australia protects the cigarette business, encourages smoking and increases the risk of disease.”

    E-cigarette devices are legal in Australia but the sale and possession of the nicotine used in them is illegal.

    Source: Sky News Australia 7 September 2016

  • Panama: International Tobacco Control Support

    This week two Parties to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the Republic of Panama and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, will be sharing with 6 other Parties their knowledge behind successful programmes on tobacco cessation.

    The activity aims to support Parties to the WHO FCTC on the implementation of Article 14 and its Guidelines (on smoking cessation). The workshop will enable participating countries develop a national situation analysis, define priorities and draft a national cessation strategy that should be further developed. It is also intended to establish a networking platform for the participant Parties to support each other.

    Source: WHO 5 September 2016

  • Parliamentary Questions

    PQ1 and 2: Tobacco Control

    Philip Davies, Conservative, Shipley
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will place in the Library the reviews his Department has conducted of the effectiveness of tobacco control measures introduced in the last 20 years.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make an estimate of the cumulative effect of the tobacco control measures introduced in the last 10 years on small independent retailers before the publication of the Government’s next smoking strategy.

    Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    The Department assesses the impact of tobacco control measures on an ongoing basis as it develops policy and considers new measures. In September 2013, the Department published an audit of the impact of the Department of Health’s Regulations upon business. The report can be accessed here.

    As advised in the report, there is a robust cost-benefit case for the tobacco control regulations considered and experience shows that initiatives to reduce smoking prevalence work best in combination, with cumulative effects over time.

    The impact of individual measures is assessed in advance of implementation through impact assessments which are made publicly available.

    Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 5 September 2016, cW
    Links: and

    PQ3: Action on Smoking and Health

    Philip Davies, Conservative, Shipley
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will place a copy of the grant application for funding for 2016-17 from Action on Smoking and Health in the Library.

    Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    A grant of £160,000 has been awarded to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) for financial year 2016/17 and a copy of the signed award letter, including the detailed deliverables of the grant, is attached.

    Grants made under Section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 can be made in a number of ways. The grant awarded to ASH has been assessed as most appropriate for the non-competed route.

    The Department received a complaint about the deliverables of the 2015/16 grant awarded to ASH in June this year. The Department responded to the complainant, confirming it was satisfied that none of the deliverables were in breach of the provisions of Section 64.

    Source: Hansard HC Deb, 5 September 2016, cW