ASH Daily news for 12 October 2015



HEADLINES

  • Tobacco tax increase urged by parliamentary group
  • Scotland: Campaign to stub out smoking
  • Wales: Swansea to consider smoking ban at parks, beaches and outside schools
  • Colchester Hospital stops staff smoking outside main entrance and A&E
  • Devon: Parents complain about walking their children through others’ cigarette smoke
  • London: Smokers in Kingston handed free pocket ashtrays
  • Footballer Raheem Sterling faces trouble again after being filmed smoking a shisha pipe
  • Video: Effects of smoking in cars with children present
  • Revealed: how ‘big tobacco’ used EU rules to win health delay
  • New health warnings on cigarette packets in EU from May 2016 approved
  • France: Ex-prisoner sues state for putting him in cell with smokers, and wins
  • US: California city that raised minimum tobacco to 21 comes under fire from tobacco industry

    Tobacco tax increase urged by parliamentary group

    Tax on tobacco should be raised to persuade more smokers to quit, a parliamentary group has said.

    The tax rate currently goes up by 2% above inflation each year, but the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health wants that increased to 5%.

    Tobacco manufacturers described the proposal as “counter-productive”.

    MPs recommended that spending on anti-smoking schemes should be increased from £200m a year to £300m, which would be funded by the increase in tax. In their report, which will be submitted to the Treasury’s Comprehensive Spending Review, they also said cutting the number of smokers would reduce demand on the NHS.

    Group chairman Bob Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow East said: “Smokers don’t just die early, they suffer many years of disease and disability before they do, putting pressure not just on the NHS, but additional disability and social care costs and reduced income tax. Every pound invested over the next five years could deliver £11 to the public purse.”

    See also:
    Representation to the Spending Review 2015, APPG on Smoking and Health

    Source: BBC News – 11 October 2015
    Link: http://bbc.in/1jYuCAd

    Scotland: Campaign to stub out smoking

    Reducing the number of smokers to five per cent of the population or less by 2034 is a key target for the Scottish Government.

    In 2013, it unveiled a new tobacco control strategy which included robust restrictions on how cigarettes are displayed in shops and a ban on smoking in hospital grounds.

    The Scottish Parliament is now considering a new Health Bill which includes further measures on sales and introducing regulations on e-cigarettes for the first time.

    Source: The Scotsman – 09 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1jYvhlg

    Wales: Swansea to consider smoking ban at parks, beaches and outside schools

    Parks, beaches and even school gates could become “smoke-free zones” in Swansea under proposed plans.

    Residents living in the seaside city are due to have their say on a local authority initiative to introduce an expansion of official non-smoking areas in the city.

    The council has launched a consultation on the proposal which could see a number of smoke-free areas introduced, aimed at, the council said, helping encourage people “to give up rather than light up”.

    Source: Wales Online – 11 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1jYvncG

    Colchester Hospital stops staff smoking outside main entrance and A&E

    Staff at Colchester General Hospital have been banned from using former designated smoking points, and will now have to light up elsewhere.

    The Chief Executive at the hospital said today staff are no longer permitted to use the two smoking points opposite the main entrance and A&E entrance.

    Staff were told off earlier this year for smoking in the bicycle shelters at the hospital. Security patrols were extended to put an end to the problem after complaints were made by the Staff Partnership Forum.

    The forum’s members include union representatives from unions including Unite and Unison, and from the Royal College of Nursing and British Medical Association.

    Source: Daily Gazette – 09 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1WWjodN

    Devon: Parents complain about walking their children through others’ cigarette smoke

    A primary school in Tiverton is urging people to be more considerate when smoking around children.

    Castle Primary School says they have had complaints from parents who do not like to walk their children through other peoples cigarette smoke.

    Source: Mid Devon Gazette – 09 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1WWjBhb

    London: Smokers in Kingston handed free pocket ashtrays

    In a bid to stop people dropping their cigarette butts on the ground, Kingston Council has been handing out free personal pocket ashtrays to smokers in Kingston Town Centre.

    The move is part of the Council’s ‘Cleaner Kingston’ campaign to encourage residents to do their bit to help carry the borough from clean to pristine. It coincides with an enforcement trial that has seen dedicated enforcement officers handing out on-the-spot fines of between £80 and £100 for people caught dropping litter or not cleaning up after their dogs. The trial runs until December.

    Source: Living Within – 08 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1WWjKRw

    Footballer Raheem Sterling faces trouble again after being filmed smoking a shisha pipe

    A video shows the Man City and England star Raheem Sterling blowing out smoke at a Wembley shisha bar.

    The £49million midfielder, seen apparently taking laughing gas earlier this year, shocked onlookers as he inhaled hits on Saturday night.

    [includes video]

    Source: The Sun – 12 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1WWjXo1

    Video: Effects of smoking in cars with children present

    The results of an experiment have highlighted why smoking in cars with children present has been banned.

    Showing the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke in vehicles, the research at Newcastle University tested the levels of harmful chemicals to which children can be exposed in the back seat of a car when a driver is smoking.

    When the car’s windows were closed and the fan on, levels of chemicals were more than 200 times higher than safety guidelines.

    The amount of the poisonous gas carbon monoxide was two to three times higher than on a busy road at rush hour.

    Opening windows does not remove the damaging effects of secondhand smoke, with the experiment showing levels of dangerous chemicals are still more than 100 times higher than recommended safety guidelines.

    [includes video]

    Source: This is Local London – 09 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1WWk7vm

    Revealed: how ‘big tobacco’ used EU rules to win health delay

    The world’s largest tobacco companies were instrumental in promoting Europe-wide, pro-business regulations that they used to delay health initiatives.

    Analysis carried out by the University of Bath’s Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG) has found that the companies played a key role in pushing the European commission’s Better Regulation agenda, which places business interests at the heart of policy drafting. They then used the new laws to block and delay a series of major health reforms, including UK introduction of plain packaging.

    Under the terms of the Better Regulation agenda, which internal tobacco industry documents reveal was enthusiastically supported by British American Tobacco, European governments, including the UK, must conduct public consultations and impact assessments when introducing laws that affect business. The tobacco companies took advantage of these laws, using third parties and fake grassroots campaigns to swamp the consultations on anti-smoking initiatives such as the introduction of plain packaging. In addition, they were highly selective in what they submitted. All failed to include evidence – disclosed as a result of historic legal action – that they knew branded packaging was crucial to the marketing of their products, something they consistently denied in public.

    Source: The Observer – 11 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1WWkeY4

    New health warnings on cigarette packets in EU from May 2016 approved

    New health warnings on packages of tobacco products, in particular cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, that will be in use across the European Union from May 2016 were approved by the European Commission last week.

    The new health warnings will include a colour photograph, a text warning on the harmful effects of smoking, and smoking cessation information. These should collectively cover 65% of the front and back of packages, in accordance with a 2014 EU directive.

    The implementing decision provides for technical specifications for the layout, design and shape of the combined health warnings taking into account different packet shapes.

    Source: The Sofia Globe – 09 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1WWku9k

    France: Ex-prisoner sues state for putting him in cell with smokers, and wins

    An ex-prisoner in France has successfully sued the state for placing him in a cell with smokers in the north-western town of Caen.

    The state was fined €1,200 euros ($1,300) for making the non-smoking prisoner share a cell of around 20 square metres (215 square feet) with four to six fellow inmates, several of whom were smokers.

    Source: The Guardian – 09 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1WWkDtp

    US: California city that raised minimum tobacco to 21 comes under fire from tobacco industry

    A Northern California city’s decision to raise the minimum age to purchase cigarettes is coming under fire from the tobacco industry.

    Healdsburg last year became the first city in California to ban the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21. The state-established minimum age is 18.

    However, the city has received a letter from lawyers for the National Association of Tobacco Outlets objecting to the move.

    Source: Daily Reporter – 10 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1WWkQNi