ASH Daily news for 08 January 2016



HEADLINES

  • Speculation on possible takeover of Imperial Tobacco by CNT
  • ‘Fake war hero’ doctor ran cigarette smuggling ring
  • EU Watchdog tells Brussels to kick tobacco habit
  • Kenya lighting up amid accusations of bribery
  • India: MPs, health officials spar over tobacco pack warnings
  • Gut Hormones in Addiction Study – volunteer ex-smokers in London area needed

    Speculation on possible takeover of Imperial Tobacco by CNT

    The Daily Mail reports on speculation that China National Tobacco is considering a take-over of Imperial Tobacco. CNT has a virtual monopoly in China and is the world’s largest manufacturer of tobacco products measured by revenues. Dealers argued that it was plausible because CNT was the only major tobacco company that could buy Imperial without competition issues affecting the outcome.

    Source: Daily Mail, 6 Jan. 2016
    Link: http://dailym.ai/1MWTPBC

    ‘Fake war hero’ doctor ran cigarette smuggling ring

    A family doctor falsely claimed to be a war hero while secretly running a bootlegging racket trading in black-market cigarettes. Alan Pollock, 50, now faces being struck off.

    A medical practitioners’ tribunal was told how Pollock forged boarding passes so that his girlfriend, Jayne White, who worked at Gatwick airport, could buy cut-price cigarettes from duty-free shops and sell them on. White’s daughter, Lucy, 20, was also part of the racket.

    Customs officers seized 3,000 Mayfair cigarettes after stopping Pollock and White at Gatwick in 2013.

    Source: The Times, 8 Jan. 2016
    Link: http://thetim.es/22P7PZM

    EU Watchdog tells Brussels to kick tobacco habit

    Emily O’Reilly, the European Ombudsman, has been praised as a champion of transparency after she branded the European Commission’s record on disclosing meetings with tobacco lobbyists as “inadequate, unreliable and unsatisfactory”.

    Ms O’Reilly, the former Irish Ombudsman, criticised the commission for not following UN rules to ensure public access to details of any discussions with tobacco companies or their representatives.
    An investigation carried out by her office found that only the Directorate General for Health complied with best practice and criticised the approach of the Commission under José Manuel Barroso, its former president.

    Source: The Times, 6 Jan. 2016
    Link: http://thetim.es/1O8lZgW

    Kenya lighting up amid accusations of bribery

    An investigative report by Aljazeera has revealed the tobacco industry’s attempt to increase the sales of cigarettes in Kenya.

    Kenya was the first African nation to ratify the World Health Organization’s Convention on Tobacco Control.

    But as investigative journalist Purity Mwambia and filmmaker Giovanni Ulleri have been finding out, the industry hasn’t been slow to fight back, going to court in Kenya to argue about the legality of the rules and the proposed timetable for their introduction.

    And now, most recently, disturbing allegations about the bribery of government figures have begun to emerge.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJexYzmsIVY

    Source: Aljazeera, 24 Dec. 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/22st82Z

    India: MPs, health officials spar over tobacco pack warnings

    A parliamentary panel in India reviewing whether to put larger health warnings on cigarette packets has asked the health ministry for evidence to show that such a move would cut tobacco consumption, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

    The panel, which has been criticised before by tobacco control activists for an apparent conflict of interest as one of its members owns a tobacco business, sent a list of 32 questions to the health ministry in October.

    It asked the ministry to explain which ingredients in tobacco cause cancer and whether previous government surveys showed that graphic warnings led to a drop in tobacco usage, which is linked to as many as 900,000 deaths a year in India, the world’s second-largest tobacco producer.

    Source: Reuters, 8th January 2016
    Link: http://reut.rs/1n7stnw

    Gut Hormones in Addiction Study – volunteer ex-smokers in London area needed

    Researchers at Imperial College London are seeking volunteers for a research study using brain scanning to investigate the effects of gut hormones on eating and addictive behaviours in ex-smokers. This study is being performed by the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College, under the lead of Dr. Tony Goldstone and Prof. David Nutt in the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology.

    Volunteers will have functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans, and receive an infusion of 2 different hormones on different occasions into the vein to see how the brain responds. The hormones have been safely administered in many previous studies. Participants will first need to attend the Hammersmith Hospital, near White City, London W12 0NN for a health screening visit. This will be followed by 3 additional study visits.

    The researchers are looking for ex-smokers aged 18 to 60 years, both men and women, who have given up cigarettes within the last year (or are planning to do so in the near future). They will NOT be able to take part if they are diabetic; vegetarian, vegan, gluten or lactose intolerant; are claustrophobic; are pregnant or breast feeding; or have a history of drug or alcohol dependence.

    Visit website www.ghadd.co.uk to find out more about the study, or email ghadd@imperial.ac.uk.