ASH Daily News for 10 April 2019



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UK

  • Scotland: Young people in poor areas more likely to encounter tobacco

International

  • India trade ministry says no legal basis to ban e-cigarette imports
  • Altria seeking voice on Juul’s board through share conversion

Parliamentary Activity

  • Ten Minute Rule Bill – Tobacco Companies (Transparency)

UK

Scotland: Young people in poor areas more likely to encounter tobacco

Researchers at three Scottish universities have discovered that young people in the poorest Scottish neighbourhoods are more likely to encounter tobacco products in their area. The team conducted a survey of more than 5,000 adolescents in four areas to gauge their exposure to tobacco products. They found that young people in the poorest areas were the most likely to encounter tobacco products in nearby shops or on their journey to school.

The researchers’ analysis of Scottish tobacco licensing data also revealed that the ban on in-store displays of tobacco products (point-of-sale legislation) introduced by the Scottish Government in 2013 has reduced exposure to cigarettes and related products among adolescents, but inequalities in availability of tobacco have increased. The ban reduced the visibility of tobacco products in shops across the country, however the density of tobacco retailers in Scotland’s most deprived neighbourhoods has risen in recent years.

A statement from the research team said: “Teenagers in deprived neighbourhoods are now even more likely to encounter tobacco products than their peers in more affluent parts of the country compared with before the ban.”

Source: The Nation, 10 April 2019

Tobacco Control – How has the introduction of point-of-sale legislation affected the presence and visibility of tobacco retailing in Scotland? A longitudinal study

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International

India trade ministry says no legal basis to ban e-cigarette imports

India’s trade ministry says it cannot impose a ban on electronic cigarette imports as there is no legal basis for doing so, according to an internal government memo seen by Reuters. This comes amid repeated calls for a ban from the country’s health ministry, which urged states and government agencies last year in an ‘advisory’ to step up efforts to halt sales and imports of e-cigarettes.

In India, about a third of its 29 states currently ban e-cigarette sales. India’s e-cigarette market was valued at $15.6 million in 2017 and is expected to grow nearly 60% annually in the next few years, Euromonitor International estimates.

Source: Reuters, 10 April 2019

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Altria seeking voice on Juul’s board through share conversion

Altria, which bought a 35% stake in Juul for $12.8 billion in December 2018, is now looking to convert its non-voting stake in the company to voting shares as per the terms of the investment agreement.

The U.S. regulatory Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating the proposed conversion deal to ensure that it does not violate antitrust law. The proposal would give Altria the right to nominate directors representing a third of Juul’s board. The company will otherwise remain independent.

Source: Reuters, 8 April 2019

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Parliamentary Activity

Ten Minute Rule Bill – Tobacco Companies (Transparency)

Bob Blackman MP (Harrow East) proposed a motion yesterday 9th April 2019 for legislation to be implemented which would require tobacco companies to publish sales and marketing data, in line with recommendations made in the latest report from the APPG on Smoking and Health, which Mr Blackman chairs.

Mr Blackman cited the UK’s obligations under the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which “obliges Governments to implement stringent control of the tobacco industry for the protection of public health to a greater extent than for any other legal consumer product.”

Mr Blackman said that the Bill’s benefits to Government and public health would include better understanding of market developments to inform tobacco control and tax policy; better understanding in academic research on price sensitivity of tobacco consumption to support HMRC; better undertsnaidng of the illicit tobacco market; better understanding of the marketing strategies of the tobacco industry and a more accurate assessment of whether the industry is paying the appropriate levels of tax.

Source: Hansard, 9 April 2019

See also: APPG on Smoking and Health – Delivering the vision of a ‘Smokefree Generation’: The APPG on Smoking and Health’s response to ‘Prevention is better than cure’

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