ASH Daily news for 11 February 2016


  • Mice study looks at impact of electronic cigarette use during pregnancy
  • Reading: Huge haul of illicit tobacco seized
  • Tobacco price rises help Imperial Brands
  • US: Report finds that many women still smoke before and during pregnancy
  • Parliamentary Questions

    Mice study looks at impact of electronic cigarette use during pregnancy

    Early findings suggest that exposing pregnant mice to chemicals from electronic cigarettes may disrupt the activity of genes in the developing frontal cortex of mice foetuses.

    Analysis of the altered gene activity patterns indicated that they could lead to reductions in learning, memory and co-ordination, and increases in hyperactive behaviour.

    The findings were presented at the start of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual conference.

    Source: The Independent, 11 February 2016

    Reading: Huge haul of illicit tobacco seized

    Reading council’s trading standards team and police officers seized more than 25,000 counterfeit cigarettes and 4.5kg of smuggled rolling tobacco during a raid, as part of a national initiative known as Operation Henry II.

    Detective chief inspector Mark Spencer said: “Far from being victimless crime, the trade in illegal tobacco exploits people in a position of vulnerability, often children and lines the pockets of organised criminals who profit from causing misery and hardship to others.”

    Source: Get Reading, 10 February 2016

    Tobacco price rises help Imperial Brands

    Whilst tobacco group Imperial Brands, which dropped the word “tobacco” from its name earlier this month, blamed disruption in Iraq and Syria for a drop in the amount of tobacco it sold in the final three months of 2015, they have now announced that price rises have helped increase revenues by 16.6 % in spite of a 3 % fall in sales.

    Source: Financial Times, 11 February 2016

    US: Report finds that many women still smoke before and during pregnancy

    A study published in the US Center for Disease Control’s National Vital Statistics reports that around 8.4% of women smoke before and during pregnancy. This equates to around 380,000 births every year.

    The report also found that smoking was most prevalent among women aged 20 to 24 (13%). In addition, American Indian and Alaska Native women were most likely to be smokers (18%).

    Source: Medical Xpress, 10 February 2016

    Parliamentary Questions

    PQ 1: Tobacco control measure

    Lord Palmer Crossbench
    To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 3 December 2015 (HL3859), which tobacco measures introduced in the last 10 years they have reviewed in respect of their effectiveness; what have been the results of those reviews; and whether they will place those measures and their reviews in the Library of the House.

    Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health
    The Department assesses the impact of tobacco control measures on an ongoing basis as it develops policy and considers new measures.

    In September 2013, the Department published An Audit of the impact of the Department of Health’s Regulations upon business. A copy of the report is attached. The Audit report covered all regulations for which the Department has responsibility believed to have a potential cost to business, including those relating to tobacco control.

    Costs and benefits were estimated where possible using standard government methodology and the impacts to society were estimated based on economic costs and benefits. As advised in the report, there is a robust cost-benefit case for the tobacco control regulations considered and experience shows that initiatives to reduce smoking prevalence work best in combination, with cumulative effects over time.

    Source: HL Deb, 10 February 2016, cW

    PQ2: Electronic cigarettes

    Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions he has had with the Royal Colleges on research showing that e-cigarettes can cause cardiac damage.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

    There have been no such discussions.

    The Department recognise that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit, and in August 2015, Public Health England published a review of the evidence, which concluded that they are significantly less harmful to health than cigarettes.

    Source: HC Deb, 10 February 2016, cW)