ASH Daily News for 12 December 2016



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  • Hospitals should test all pregnant women to find out if they smoke in a bid to help them quit
  • Buckingham Palace bans smoking in all royal residences
  • Jersey: Plain cigarette packs to be introduced?
  • EU: Commission troubled over tobacco traceability and security bids
  • Czech Republic: Smoking ban in pubs, restaurants approved
  • US: FDA warns four companies for labelling flavoured cigarettes as cigars
    Turkmenistan: The regime that throws cigarettes on bonfires


Hospitals should ‘test all pregnant women to find out if they smoke’ in a bid to help them quit

Hospitals should test all pregnant women for carbon monoxide to check whether they are smokers.

The advice has been given to NHS trusts by Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie as part of a new drive to help England’s seven million smokers quit.

Mr Selbie recommends screening all expectant mums when they book hospital appointments.

Editorial note: The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group, a partnership of Royal Colleges, third sector organisations and academia, supports the NICE Guidance Smoking: stopping in pregnancy and after childbirth Public health guideline [PH26] which recommends carbon monoxide (CO) testing of all pregnant women at antenatal booking appointment and referral, as appropriate, to a stop smoking service/specialist, based on an opt out system.

See also:
Stephen Nolan interviews Prof. Linda Bauld, BBC 5 Live

Source: Daily Mirror – 10 December 2016
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Buckingham Palace bans smoking in all royal residences

Buckingham Palace has banned outside smoking at royal residences amid concerns about smoke drifting into nearby buildings.

Up until now smoking has been allowed in designated outdoor areas within royal boundaries.

Those with accommodation in the grounds, including members of the Royal family and live-in staff, will still be permitted to smoke inside their homes.

The ban will cover Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James’s Palace, Kensington Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Clarence House has been smoke free for years at the behest of Prince Charles, who dislikes the habit.

Source: Daily Telegraph – 10 December 2016
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Jersey: Plain cigarette packs to be introduced?

The Jersey Health department has just released its new five-year Tobacco Strategy 2017-2022 – ‘Creating a generation of non-smokers’.

Its headline initiative is to introduce plain packaging, which the report argues will be less attractive to teenagers.

The report also sets out ways of making smoking more expensive, such as agreeing above-inflation tax increases every year, pushing up the price of rolling tobacco to bring it into line with cigarettes, and looking at reducing duty-free allowances.

Source: Bailiwich Express – 12 December 2016
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EU: Commission troubled over tobacco traceability and security bids

The European Commission still needs to decide on the traceability and security system for tobacco products (Articles 15 and 16 of the Tobacco Products Directive) to fight illicit trade. The directive requires that the rules governing the system be drafted by the end of 2017, but uncertainty remains about many of the key provisions.

Will it be an open standards system or a proprietary system run by a third-party provider? And what level of independent oversight will it have? The decisions will result in huge contracts which will pit incumbents of the tobacco industry against third-party solution providers, with the former championing an open standards system that experts say will be cheaper than a proprietary solution.

Source: New Europe – 12 December 2016
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Czech Republic: Smoking ban in pubs, restaurants approved

The Czech lower house of parliament has approved a ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and pubs, overcoming years of wrangling and bringing the country in line with most others in the European Union.

Parliament’s upper house must sign off the legislation but the lower house vote showed there was enough support to override any potential veto. The law is to take effect on May 31, 2017, the annual World No Tobacco Day.

Seventeen of the 28 EU member states have comprehensive smokefree laws in place. The ban has support from three in four Czechs, polls show.

About 28% of Czechs are smokers, somewhat above the EU average of 24%. About 18,000 Czechs die annually from smoking-related illnesses, the Health Ministry says.

But there has been a clear trend toward less smoking in public places, especially in bigger cities, and many restaurants have voluntarily gone no-smoking in recent years.
In the last decade, several attempts to introduce sweeping anti-smoking legislation failed, most recently in May.

Source: Yahoo! News – 10 December 2016
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US: FDA warns four companies for labelling flavoured cigarettes as cigars

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warning letters to four tobacco manufacturers for selling flavoured cigarettes labelled as cigars.

The privately owned companies – Swisher International Inc, Cheyenne International LLC, Prime Time International Co and Southern Cross Tobacco Co Inc — are selling the products under brands such as “Swisher Sweets”, “Cheyenne”, “Prime Time” and “Criss-Cross” in youth-appealing flavours such as grape, wild cherry and strawberry, the FDA said.

Source: Reuters – 09 December 2016
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Turkmenistan: The regime that throws cigarettes on bonfires

One of the most repressive states in the world is trying to become one of the healthiest. Turkmenistan is promoting fitness and wants to become a smoking-free nation. But when no-one can openly challenge the government’s decisions, how healthy can such a campaign be, asks Abdujalil Abdurasulov.

[includes video]

Source: BBC News- 11 December 2016
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