ASH Daily news for 08 March 2016



HEADLINES

BAT: Hiring of new staff fuels takeover speculation
No fines issued in 3 months following ban on smoking in cars with children present
Smokers could be killing their beloved pets
Canada: Lung cancer screening guideline
USA: The brain science behind raising the tobacco buying age to 21
Parliamentary Question: Regulation of e-cigarettes

BAT: Hiring of new staff fuels takeover speculation
British American Tobacco has hired a team of bankers that handled its recent purchase of a $5bn (£3.52bn) stake in Reynolds American fuelling speculation it is considering a full takeover of the US company.

The maker of Dunhill cigarettes is understood to have added boutique investment bank Centerview to its team of advisers, sparking rumours the British company is considering a $50bn-plus move for the 58pc of Reynolds it doesn’t already own.

However, last month, Nicandro Durante, BAT’s chief executive, attempted to play down suggestions the company would embark on a takeover deal.

Source: The Telegraph, 5 March 2016
Link: http://bit.ly/1Qwxsbi

No fines issued in 3 months following ban on smoking in cars with children present
No fines were issued in England during the 3 months following the ban on smoking in cars when children are present, according to a response to a Freedom of Information question requested by a car hire company.

Since October 2015, it has been illegal in England and Wales to smoke in a vehicle with anyone under 18, with a £50 fine for any motorist failing to comply.

Many police forces said they would educate and advise offenders with verbal warnings in the law’s initiatory months, but insisted that fines would be issued for repeat offenders.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “Forces are recording offences which are then passed to the local authority for processing and decision to fine etc. This approach has been agreed nationally.”

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH suggested that there may have been no fines because most people already realise the risks. “This law isn’t about fining people, it’s about changing behaviour so children are protected,” she commented. “There’s strong public support for the law to stop smoking in cars with children so we expect a similar impact to seatbelts legislation which increased the proportion of people wearing seatbelts from a quarter to over 90%.”

Source: contracthireandleasing.com 8 Mar 2016
Link: http://bit.ly/1RPKhhg

Smokers could be killing their beloved pets
Tomorrow is No Smoking Day and the PDSA is giving animal lovers an extra reason to quit this year – for the sake of their pet’s health.

The effects of second-hand smoke on humans are well known but the effects of passive smoking on our pets is something that smokers often don’t consider.

Different pets are affected in different ways by the effects of passive smoking. Dogs are prone to smoking-related breathing problems and there are links between smoke and nasal and sinus cancers, which are extremely difficult to treat.

Cats’ grooming habits mean that once smoke has landed on their fur, they often lick off the cancer-causing chemicals. In addition to cats and dogs, cigarette smoke can also be harmful to pet birds and small pets like guinea pigs, as they have very sensitive respiratory systems.

Source: North West Evening Mail, 8 March 2016
Link: http://bit.ly/1U12k7y

Canada: Lung cancer screening guideline
Adults aged 55-74 years who are at high risk of lung cancer – current or former smokers (i.e., have quit within the past 15 years) with at least a 30 pack-year history or more – should be screened annually up to three times using low-dose computed tomography (CT), according to a new guideline from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Canada and the number one cause of deaths from cancer. In 2015, about 26 600 Canadians were diagnosed with lung cancer, and almost 21 000 died from it. Most cases of lung cancer, about 85%, are linked to tobacco smoking.

This guideline incorporates new evidence, including results from a large randomized controlled trial comparing low-dose CT with chest x-rays, and balances the benefits of early detection with the harms of over-diagnosis and invasive follow-up testing. It replaces the 2003 guideline from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.

The guideline and knowledge translation tools are available at www.canadiantaskforce.ca

Source: Medical News Today, 7 March 2016
Link: http://bit.ly/1QI8hAA

USA: The brain science behind raising the tobacco buying age to 21
San Francisco’s new tobacco ordinance — which raises the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 — could help improve the health of a new generation of people by preventing addiction, health officials said.

Brian King, the deputy director for research translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health argues that the policy could lead to better brain development among young adults who might have otherwise chosen to smoke at a younger age.

Research suggests that tobacco use, particularly nicotine exposure, can harm the developing human brain, King said. Moreover, the brain doesn’t stop developing during the teenage years, but continues until about age 25, he said

Nationally, 18-year-olds can buy tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars. However, in the past decade or so, some American communities, cities and one state (Hawaii) have passed ordinances and laws increasing the minimum age to 21.

Source: Yahoo News, 8 March 2016
Link: http://yhoo.it/1M47kAD
Parliamentary Question: Regulation of e-cigarettes
Asked by Viscount Ridley:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what effect they expect Article 20 of the 2014 EU Tobacco Products Directive, when implemented in May, to have on the rate at which people give up smoking by the use of vaping devices.

Extract of reply:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Prior of Brampton) (Con): The tobacco products directive, which will come into force from May this year, will provide a new regulatory framework for vaping devices and e-liquids, assuring their safety and quality. The Government recognise that e-cigarettes can help people to quit smoking.

…. My Lords, this directive originated partly because a number of European countries wanted to ban these products. The fact that there is a directive, which will lead to a regulated market, means that British manufacturers will have access to those large European markets. As I understand it, the main issue that the noble Lord may be concerned about is that where the nicotine content goes above 20 micrograms per millilitre, there will have to be MHRA approval, which may mean that the higher strength nicotine substitutes are less readily available. But that is done on safety grounds.

Source: House of Lords, Hansard, 7 March 2016 cols 1062-
Link: http://bit.ly/1pcKTof