ASH Daily News for 09 April 2015



HEADLINES

  • Health experts demand Foreign Office apology over cigarette lobbying
  • ACS calls for more ambitious targets on illicit tobacco
  • New research: Plants are passive smokers too
  • Ireland: Court challenge to plain tobacco packaging starts next week
  • Scotland: Hospitals bring in more staff to tackle smokers
  • Royal Society for Public Health Chief Exec calls for community action to tackle smoking and obesity
  • Shocking cigarette adverts from the past

    Health experts demand Foreign Office apology over cigarette lobbying

    Health experts are demanding an apology from the Foreign Office for the “shameful behaviour” of Philip Barton, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan. Mr Barton recently attended a meeting with Pakistani government ministers, where British American Tobacco lobbied against plans for larger warnings on cigarette packets.

    Dr Nicholas Hopkinson, senior lecturer in respiratory medicine, Imperial College London, said “Smoking is one of the leading causes of death and ill health worldwide. It is a disgrace that the UK government, when it should be showing leadership in tobacco control, is instead assisting the tobacco industry in its attempts to lobby governments in other countries.”

    Dr Hopkinson is one of a number of medical experts who have written a letter in the British Medical Journal objecting to Mr Barton’s attendance at the meeting.

    Medics letter to the BMJ: Doctors demand apology for UK diplomat’s involvement in Pakistan tobacco meeting

    See also:
    Top British diplomat in cigarette lobbying row, Reuters
    Smoking gun? Britain’s top diplomat to Pakistan rapped for attending tobacco lobby meeting, RT

    Source: The Independent, 8 April 2015
    Link: http://ind.pn/1cce3wI

    ACS calls for more ambitious targets on illicit tobacco

    Following the publication of HMRC’s new tobacco smuggling strategy, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has criticized targets for tackling the illicit tobacco trade in the UK. The Government’s medium-term ambition is to “hold the cigarettes illicit market share at, or below, 10%”. However ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said, although the new strategy is welcome, “we need to see more ambitious targets” to cut the level of non-duty-paid tobacco “instead of holding it at 10%”.

    HMRC strategy: Tackling illicit tobacco: from leaf to light

    Source: The Grocer, 1 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Dne8b8

    New research: Plants are passive smokers too

    New research from the Technical University of Braunschweig has shown that plants can absorb nicotine from contaminated soil and plumes of smoke. The finding may explain why some spices, herbal teas and medicinal plants have high concentrations of nicotine in them, despite none being allowed in insecticides.

    Full journal article: Nicotine uptake by peppermint plants as a possible source of nicotine in plant-derived products, Agronomy for Sustainable Development

    Source: Daily Mail, 8 April 2015
    Link: http://dailym.ai/1IvdbRn

    Ireland: Court challenge to plain tobacco packaging starts next week

    The Independent (Ireland) newspaper reports that proceedings for Japan Tobacco International’s case against the Irish state over the standardised packaging of tobacco products are scheduled to begin in the Commercial Court on Monday. Details of arguments being put forward by the State and JTI will be heard during the case, which will be open to the public.

    Source: Independent.ie, 8 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1H6WutL

    Scotland: Hospitals bring in more staff to tackle smokers

    Additional smoking cessation advisors are being drafted in at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after staff and patients were photographed smoking on the hospital site, days after the Scottish government declared all hospitals smoke-free. NHS Lothian will also continue to offer staff help to quit through their stop-smoking service, which provides support and subsidised products.

    Source: Edinburgh Evening News, 8 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1OcFSmt

    Royal Society for Public Health Chief Exec calls for community action to tackle smoking and obesity

    In a feature in the Guardian, Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, has called for further action to improve public health in England. She wants to see pharmacists, leisure-centre staff and housing staff all talking to the people they encounter through their jobs about health issues including their weight, smoking or mental health, and either helping them directly or referring them elsewhere. A joint Department of Health/PHE group, People in UK Public Health (which Shirley chairs) is currently examining how to pursue the idea.

    Source: The Guardian, 8 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1CspRk0

    Shocking cigarette adverts from the past

    Following the introduction of the tobacco display ban in small stores this week, an article in The Sun shows the most shocking cigarette adverts.

    Source: The Sun (£), 7 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1FpxKs6