ASH Daily News for 12 October 2016



  • Tobacco giants fund vaping studies
  • Investigation lifts lid on big tobacco’s campaigning methods
  • Children of absent parents more likely to smoke and drink – study
  • Ireland: Price of cigarettes rises for fifth year in a row
  • New Zealand: Tobacco smuggled out of Wellington factory sold on social media
  • US: Justices reject tobacco firms’ appeal over state payments
  • US: California health groups put heat on tobacco over Prop 56

Tobacco giants fund vaping studies

The Times reports that Cancer Research UK has criticised scientists who have accepted funding from tobacco companies to carry out research on e-cigarettes.

At least a dozen scientific papers published in leading academic journals since 2013 have been written by employees of tobacco-owned e-cigarette companies or scientists sponsored by them.

At least seven academics central to the debate in Britain on e-cigarettes have accepted funding from the tobacco industry, acted as consultants to e-cigarette manufacturers or received hospitality from tobacco companies.

Editorial Note from Cancer Research UK: Cancer Research UK was not seeking to criticise individual scientists, tobacco control advocates or individual scientific papers. We made general comments about our view on tobacco industry evidence and our policy towards researchers in receipt of tobacco industry funding, the rest was added by The Times. Despite concerns around tobacco industry involvement in the e-cigarette market, we agree with the consensus around the evidence in the UK that they are a far safer alternative to tobacco.

See also:
Smoke in their Eyes, Tobacco companies should not be funding public health researchers, The Times (£)
Scientists wooed in charm offensive, The Times (£)

Source: The Times – 12 October 2016 (£)
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Investigation lifts lid on big tobacco’s campaigning methods

New research by academics at the University of Bath reveals the scale of lobbying against the introduction of plain packaging of cigarettes by bodies with links to the tobacco industry, and shows how low levels of transparency led to ‘a misleading impression of diverse and widespread opposition’ to the ban on logos and brand imagery that came into force in May.

The study, published by the health journal BMJ Open, highlights how tobacco companies funded opposition to the new policy by individuals and organisations – with the linkage frequently not disclosed publicly – during a three year period.

See also:
Bath investigation lifts lid on big tobacco’s campaigning methods, University of Bath

Source: Medical Xpress – 11 October 2016
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Children of absent parents more likely to smoke and drink – study

Parental absence increases the risk of children drinking and smoking before they become teenagers, research suggests.

The study found that children who had experienced the absence of a parent during their first seven years, whether as a result of death, separation or otherwise, were more than twice as likely to have tried smoking and nearly 1.5 times as likely to have drunk alcohol by the age of 11.

Rebecca Lacey, one of the authors of the study from University College London, said the research highlighted the impact of stressful events in early life.

Source: The Guardian – 10 October 2016
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Ireland: Price of cigarettes rises for fifth year in a row

The price of a pack of 20 cigarettes was raised by 50c to around €11 in Ireland’s Budget yesterday.

It is the fifth year in a row the cost of cigarettes has been increased as the Government aims to reduce, by 2025, the prevalence of smoking to below 5% of the population.

Donal Buggy, head of services and advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society, said the price hike sent a strong signal to the tobacco industry the Government was serious in its aim to achieve a tobacco-free Ireland.

See also:
Lobbyists welcome hike in cigarettes to €11, The Times (£)

Source: Irish Examiner – 12 October 2016
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New Zealand: Tobacco smuggled out of Wellington factory sold on social media

Ten staff members and an associate at the Imperial Tobacco factory in Petone have admitted stealing tobacco products. Four of those 10 have appeared in court. Two staff members have admitted stealing around $120,000 worth of products each.

Most of the stolen goods were sold locally on social media.

Source: TVNZ – 12 October 2016
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US: Justices reject tobacco firms’ appeal over state payments

The Supreme Court won’t hear appeals from tobacco companies that wanted to reduce payments owed to Maryland and Pennsylvania.

After a federal arbitration panel in 2013 cut the annual payments by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA, and others, state courts ruled that was wrong. The justices are leaving those rulings in place. The payments reimburse the states for smoking-related health costs.

Source: ABC News – 11 October 2016
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US: California health groups put heat on tobacco over Prop 56

Heart, lung and cancer groups are raising the stakes in a new campaign against the tobacco industry, which is opposing a $2 cigarette tax increase in the November ballot.

The health groups are dropping 5,600 “toe tags,” used to identify bodies at the morgue, from a body bag in front of cigarette-maker Altria’s lobbying office in Sacramento. The cardboard tags represent the number of California children who become hooked on tobacco every year and later die from illnesses associated with the habit.

Source: Sacramento Bee – 12 October 2016
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