ASH Daily news for 08 April 2015



  • UK accused over cigarette lobbying abroad
  • Shrewsbury shopkeeper may stub out cigarette sales altogether after law change
  • Burton: One in ten of all cigarettes sold is illegal
  • Warning images on cigarette packets ‘raise young adults’ knowledge about harms of smoking’
  • US: FDA questions evidence for ‘lower-risk’ tobacco product
  • US: CDC targets LGBTs with Tips From Former Smokers Campaign

    UK accused over cigarette lobbying abroad

    Medical experts and campaigners have accused Britain’s top diplomat in Pakistan of breaking government rules by attending a meeting at which one of the world’s biggest cigarette companies lobbied ministers.

    Philip Barton, the British high commissioner to Pakistan, has come under fire for attending a meeting in Islamabad at which British American Tobacco urged the Pakistani finance minister to drop plans for larger warnings on cigarette packets.

    Pictures taken at the meeting show Mr Barton next to Donato Del Vecchio, BAT’s global head of international trade and fiscal affairs, alongside other company executives.

    The health warnings were supposed to come into effect last week, but have been delayed until May 31 to allow the industry more time to comply with the legislation.

    This is not the first time British diplomats have been criticised for helping tobacco companies, and is another sign of the tensions caused by the government’s desire to put trade at the centre of foreign policy.

    The government drew up guidelines to prevent this in 2013 after the Financial Times revealed the British ambassador to Panama had intervened on BAT’s behalf in 2012.

    Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, has written to Sir Simon Fraser, the lead civil servant at the Foreign Office, demanding the government apologise for Mr Barton’s actions.

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    Source: Financial News – 07 April 2015

    Shrewsbury shopkeeper may stub out cigarette sales altogether after law change

    A newsagent may stop selling cigarettes after new regulations banning the display of tobacco made it “more trouble than it’s worth”.

    Ron Miller, of Castle News, Shrewsbury, added: “The cigarette market isn’t a big one for us now. I am going to concentrate on other things rather than tobacco.”

    Ramandeet Jarhal, director of Wilbrahams News in Whitchurch, said: “I think it is a good thing. It can be annoying for the retailer having to keep opening and closing the doors but I think it will probably deter more people from smoking.”

    Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at ASH, said the changes were vital to stop children smoking at an early age.

    She 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.”

    See also:
    – Tobacco Free Futures welcomes tobacco display ban, Rochdale Online

    Source: Shropshire Star – 07 April 2015

    Burton: One in ten of all cigarettes sold is illegal

    A major investigation has revealed that the streets of Burton are being blighted by the sale of illegal cigarettes.

    Council bosses now believe that one in 10 of all cigarettes sold in the town are illegal.

    Figures have also revealed that 28 per cent of smokers in East Staffordshire buy illegal or counterfeit cigarettes.

    People in the area buy their tobacco regularly from ‘non-shop’ sources such as pubs, car boot sales and market stalls, which offer much lower prices than high street shops.

    See also:
    – The reasons behind illegal cigarette crackdown in Burton, Burton Mail

    Source: Burton Mail – 08 April 2015

    Warning images on cigarette packets ‘raise young adults’ knowledge about harms of smoking’

    A new study suggests a combination of health warning images and text on cigarette packets is more likely to drive a greater appreciation of the dangers of smoking among young adults than text warnings alone.

    Study authors Renee E. Magnan, PhD, of Washington State University, and Linda D. Cameron, PhD, of the University of California-Merced, published their findings in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

    They surveyed two groups of smoking and nonsmoking adults aged 18-25 – some of whom had been recruited through a national website survey service, and some of whom took part in the survey as part of an undergraduate psychology course.

    All participants were shown a variety of health warning labels on cigarette packets stating the negative consequences of smoking either through text or a combination of text and images.

    The results of the survey revealed that participants in both groups reported greater understanding and knowledge of the health implications of smoking from warning labels containing both images and text than text-only warning labels, as well as greater worry about health consequences and greater discouragement from the habit.

    Source: Medical News Today – 07 April 2015

    US: FDA questions evidence for ‘lower-risk’ tobacco product

    U.S. health regulators have questions about the data submitted by tobacco maker Swedish Match in its bid to become the first company to market a smokeless tobacco product as less harmful than cigarettes.

    Food and Drug Administration scientists say they have “concerns” about how the company studied its snus tobacco product and its proposal to modify cancer warning language on the packaging.

    The FDA has scheduled a two-day meeting to review Swedish Match’s data intended to show that snus do not carry the same risks of mouth cancer, gum disease and tooth loss as other tobacco products.

    Source: Mail on Sunday – 07 April 2015

    US: CDC targets LGBTs with Tips From Former Smokers Campaign

    This month CDC is launching its 4th annual wave of the popular and effective “Tips From Former Smokers ( Tips )” campaign, with its largest ever Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans (LGBT) media outreach component. CDC is promoting Tips ads to LGBT communities across the country to supplement exposure to ads airing nationally.

    “LGBT people spend an estimated $7.9 billion dollars each year on smoking, yet we still think of it as a personal choice; it’s time we realize we smoke at such high rates because of systematic targeting by the tobacco industry” said Dr. Scout, the Director of LGBT HealthLink. “We’re deeply pleased CDC is doing this level of marketing to reach the LGBT population, because the tobacco industry has been doing it for a long time.”

    The Tips campaign has spurred an estimated 1.64 million Americans to make a cessation attempt.

    Source: Windy City Media Group – 07 April 2015