ASH Daily news for 12 April 2016



HEADLINES

  • New study reveals that smokers may find it tougher to get work and be paid less
  • Gloria de Piero MP speaks out in favour of electronic cigarettes
  • USA: Smoking rates stall among young African-Americans
  • New York: Binghamton University set to be tobacco-free in 2017
  • India: Farmer’s group urges cigarette companies to resume production
  • Parliamentary Questions

    New study reveals that smokers may find it tougher to get work and be paid less

    New research, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that smokers struggled to gain employment compared to non-smokers and that those who did were paid less than non-smokers.

    Researchers surveyed 131 unemployed smokers and 120 unemployed non-smokers in California. Even when factors such as duration of unemployment, race and criminal record were controlled for smokers were still at a disadvantage: after 12 months the re-employment rate of smokers was 24% lower than amongst the non-smoking group.

    Commenting on the study, Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said: “In addition to the health risks, smoking imposes a huge financial burden on people, particularly those who are unemployed or on low incomes. Although it’s too early to draw definite conclusions, this study suggests that smokers may also find it tougher to get work. Quitting smoking is always beneficial and may also increase an individual’s chances of employment as well as improving health and wellbeing.”

    See also:
    JAMA Internal Medicine: Likelihood of unemployed smokers vs non-smokers attaining re-employment in a one year observational study
    Medical News Today: Job seeking smokers earn less than non-smokers
    Mail Online: Cigarettes are bad for your health AND your career: Study reveals non-smokers ‘find it easier to get jobs and earn more money’

    Source: WebMD 11 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/25WsFb4

    Gloria de Piero MP speaks out in favour of electronic cigarettes

    Gloria de Piero, Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Registration, has written about her experience with electronic cigarettes (e-cigs), encouraging politicians to let them flourish as an aid to helping people quit smoking.

    Ms de Piero said: I started smoking cigarettes at 13. Three decades later I would probably still be smoking them because, like millions of others, I couldn’t give up nicotine. But then I found e-cigs. They’re 95 per cent less harmful than normal cigarettes, according to the experts at Health England, which said they could help create ‘the endgame for tobacco.

    I know mums and dads are concerned that kids will use them as a route into smoking. But Deborah Arnott, from anti-smoking campaigners ASH, dismisses that, saying: “Electronic cigarettes are not currently widely used by young people, nor are they interested in taking up electronic cigarettes.” She says the bigger risk, based on knee-jerk, nanny-state Government warnings of restrictions, bans or new taxes, is that smokers who could potentially use e-cigs as an alternative are being discouraged.

    I couldn’t agree more. Two million Brits use e-cigs and every day we are persuading more ordinary smokers to join us. So politicians should stay out of it, let that progress continue, and for goodness’ sake celebrate that we’ve finally got an answer that is working.

    Source: The Sun 10 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1VQ3EJX

    USA: Smoking rates stall among young African-Americans

    Little progress has been made to reduce smoking among young black Americans over the past two decades, likely due to aggressive marketing by the tobacco industry, researchers report.

    Before 1982, smoking rates were falling among black high school seniors, but progress has since stalled. The rate was 8.7% in 1982 and 9% in 2014, according to a supplement in the journal of Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Other reported findings show that black adult smokers are less likely than whites to quit as they age. Blacks who start smoking in their 20s are less likely to quit than those who start as teens, and blacks overall are less likely to quit than whites, according to the study.

    See also:
    Medline Plus: Smoking rates stall among young blacks

    Source: The Daily Blog 12 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1S6PKAB

    New York: Binghamton University set to be tobacco-free in 2017

    Senior university staff at Binghamton University have drafted a policy to make the university tobacco-free from 2017, with a ban on cigarettes and non-smoking tobacco products.

    Chair of the committee, JoAnn Navarro said BU’s implementation of the policy is part of New York State’s wider “Strategic Plan” that looks to create a healthier New York, starting with the 64 college campuses. The 21.6% smoking rate of those aged 18-24 in New York State is 58% higher than students in high school, according to the American Cancer Society. 70% of State University of New York institutions are currently in some phase of implementing a tobacco-free policy, according to official statistics.

    Source: Pipe Dream 12 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1N5Pvqx

    India: Farmer’s group urges cigarette companies to resume production

    The Federation of All India Farmers Associations (FAIFA) on Monday urged cigarette companies to resume production, following a shutdown after the Health Ministry implemented a new rule requiring 85% of tobacco packaging to be covered by pictorial health warnings.

    The association said the crisis has come at the worst time for growers as it is the peak season for them to sell their tobacco crop.

    “Already, Indian farmers are facing severe challenges of water crisis and expensive credit etc. The ongoing tobacco industry closure will leave a big hole in the farmers’ pockets,” said FAIFA president B.V. Javare Gowda.

    Source: Web India 11 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/22qXctc

    Parliamentary Questions

    PQ1: Tobacco Control
    Robert Syms MP
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the cumulative loss in revenue to HM Treasury has been as a result of the effect of tobacco control measures over the last 10 years.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the potential reduction in revenue to the public purse resulting from the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

    Jane Ellison MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    The Department assesses the impact of all proposed measures before laying legislation using standard government methodology. These assessments are set out in Impact Assessments which are scrutinised by the Regulatory Policy Committee before publication alongside the Statutory Instrument. Impact Assessments include a thorough analysis of the costs, benefits and risks associated with policy options.

    A number of the tobacco measures contain commitments to further review the impact of the legislation within five years of them coming into force.

    Source: Hansard Citation: HC Deb, 11 April 2016, cW
    http://bit.ly/1SKS3XP

     

    PQ2: Standardised Packaging
    Robert Syms MP
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will postpone the start date for the introduction of standardised packaging on tobacco products in order to undertake an assessment of the implications of the post-implementation review of a similar measure in Australia on his policies in this area.

    Jane Ellison MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    The Government has no current plans to postpone the introduction of standardised packaging of tobacco products. The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 come into force on 20 May 2016. Standardised packaging is an important public health measure and any delay in implementing the policy would also delay the health benefits from accruing. The Government continues to consider relevant information and evidence on standardised packaging, including the Post-Implementation Review of Tobacco Plain Packaging published by the Australian Government last month.

    Source: Hansard Citation: HC Deb, 11 April 2016, cW
    http://bit.ly/20xCRmH

     

    PQ3: Smoking in Private Vehicles
    Alex Cunningham MP Shadow Minister for Environment Food and Rural Affairs
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when he expects effective processes to be in place to allow the issuing of fixed penalty notices to people who are smoking in cars when children are present.

    Jane Ellison MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    Local authorities can issue fixed penalty notices for offences related to smoking in private vehicles carrying children; the police can use the traffic offender report to pass information to local authorities who can issue the fixed penalty notice and collect the fines. Guidance on this process has been sent to police forces.

    The police and local authorities can also collaborate on enforcement action, for example when carrying out local road safety operations, when the local authority can take enforcement action as appropriate.

    Source: Hansard Citation: HC Deb, 11 April 2016, cW
    http://bit.ly/1ScVFY0