ASH Daily News for 10 August 2016



  • Wakefield: Smoking to be banned outside council owned buildings

    Wakefield Council is going smokefree by introducing a ban on smoking outside its buildings from 1 September.

    Councillor Pat Garbutt, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Wakefield Council, said: “We want smoking to be seen as an unusual habit which becomes far less visible and less commonplace in the future, than it currently is in day to day life. The policy is part of a plan to enable young people to grow up in places that support their health and wellbeing.”

    It is estimated that 3,870 fewer adults in Wakefield are smoking this year compared to 2015, after the district’s rates dropped to 21.9% from 23.4% in a year. However, this is still significantly higher than the national average prompting further action from the council.

    Source: Wakefield Express 9 August 2016

  • Blackpool: Help on offer for smoking mums

    ‘The Quit Squad’ provided by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, is calling on pregnant women to recognise the harm that smoking does to themselves and second-hand smoke can do to their unborn babies, and to make a Smoke Free Pledge to ensure their cars and homes are smoke free.

    The call follows reports that Blackpool has the highest rate of maternal smoking at the point of birth.

    Source: The Blackpool Gazette 9 August 2016

  • London: Alarming smoking figures show Newham struggling to break the habit

    New data from the Annual Population Survey shows 20% of Newham residents smoked in 2015, down slightly from 2014 but up on 2013 and 2012.

    The stubborn nature of Newham’s numbers has prompted Ed Tallis, head of London’s services for Macmillan Cancer Support, to warn of a potentially grim future. Mr Tallis stated the prevalence rate, one of the highest in London, meant a fifth of people in the borough were harming “every organ of the body” and he recommended “decisive actions” by smokers to quit.

    However, Newham’s rates of hospital admissions and deaths caused by smoking are down, and below the England average.

    Cllr Clive Furness, mayoral adviser for adults and health, agreed those statistics were positive, but stressed smoking “is still a contributing factor in each of this borough’s biggest killers of heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease. This is a fact we want to change.”

    Source: Newham Recorder 9 August 2016

  • Earmarked tobacco taxes: lessons learnt from nine countries

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a new report looking at the experiences of nine countries that have laws requiring tobacco tax revenues to be earmarked for health programmes.

    The report, Earmarked tobacco taxes: lessons learnt from nine countries, describes the challenges and achievements of countries from Botswana to Romania, concluding that there is no single formula for establishing an earmarked fund but that some advocacy strategies are more likely to result in the desired policy changes and longer-term outcomes.

    It is hoped that this analysis will be a useful resource for policy-makers and tobacco control advocates who are considering establishing sustainable funding for health programmes in general or for tobacco control programmes specifically from earmarked tobacco tax revenues.

    The full report can be accessed here.

    Source: WHO 9 August 2016

  • Ireland: Government urged to introduce e-liquid levy

    The Irish Government has been told to consider introducing a levy on the liquid used in electronic cigarettes.

    The Department of Finance says a levy of 50 cent on every 10ml of the liquid used in the products could yield €8.3 million annually. The proposal is included in a tax strategy paper published by the department which outlines a number of options in the area of excise duty.

    However, concerns have been expressed that taxing e-liquid could be counterproductive for people using electronic cigarettes to help them quit smoking.

    The Department of Health is preparing a Bill to provide for the introduction of a licensing system for the sale of tobacco products and non-medicinal nicotine delivery systems, including e-cigarettes. The legislation will prohibit the sale of tobacco products from self-service vending machines and temporary or mobile units/containers. It will also prohibit the sale of non-medicinal nicotine delivery systems, including e-cigarettes, by and to persons under 18 years.

    Source: The Irish Times 8 August 2016

  • Nigeria pledges to implement strict tobacco control laws

    Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to reducing tobacco use among citizens and protecting children from exposure to smoke. Professor Osinbajo spoke at the Presidential Villa while receiving leaders of a group of anti-tobacco Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs).

    He charged the NGOs to work more closely with youths to ensure that under-age initiation into smoking is reduced in the country.

    Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi, Deputy Director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria urged the Federal Government to provide all the necessary support for the effective implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act (NTCA) 2015.

    Source: VON 10 August 2016

  • USA: Michigan State University to go tobacco free

    Michigan State University’s tobacco-free ordinance goes into effect on 15 August 2016, banning the use of any form of tobacco on campus property

    In addition to tobacco products such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco, the ordinance also prohibits the use of e-cigarettes and vaporizers. All FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy products are permitted for cessation use. The University’s Health4U program offers free tobacco and nicotine cessation resources for all staff and students.

    Source: MUS Today 9 August 2016