ASH Daily News for 13 February 2017



  • Scotland: Council reminder on smoking ban
  • South Tyneside: Owner fined for smoking in Hebburn chip shop
  • Nicotine exposure during and after pregnancy may cause hearing problems in children
  • India: Anti-tobacco messages work if shown properly on TV and films, says study
  • US: R.J. Reynolds is fighting moves to ban menthol cigarettes by enlisting black leaders — and stoking fears of police harassment
  • US: Big Tobacco is back trying to influence elections – especially in NC
  • South Korea: Philip Morris, BAT fined $260 million for illegal cigarette hoarding
  • Clarification

Scotland: Council reminder on smoking ban

A campaign to remind drivers not to smoke in public service vehicles has been launched by East Dunbartonshire Council and the East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

Fines of up to £50 can be issued to anyone caught breaking the law by lighting up behind the wheel of vehicles such as work vans, bin lorries, fire engines, taxis and buses.

Licensing Advisers from the Council’s Trading Standards & Licensing Team have received numerous complaints regarding the smell of smoke within some public service and business vehicles.

Source: Milngavie and Bearsden Herald – 10 February 2017
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South Tyneside: Owner fined for smoking in Hebburn chip shop

A South Tyneside business owner has been fined £600 for smoking on his premises. He was also ordered to pay costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £60.

The judge was satisfied that there was clear evidence of smoking on the premises and the case at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was proved in the man’s absence.

He had received verbal and written warnings following several food hygiene inspections by South Tyneside Council’s Environmental Health team.

Source: The Shields Gazette – 10 February 2017
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Nicotine exposure during and after pregnancy may cause hearing problems in children

Nicotine exposure, before and after birth, may cause a child to have hearing problems due to abnormal development in the auditory brainstem. This is according to a mouse model study published in The Journal of Physiology.

This research reports, for the first time, that the auditory brainstem, an area of the brain which plays a role in analysing sound patterns, may develop abnormally in offspring when pregnant mothers are exposed to nicotine before and after giving birth. Children with impaired auditory brainstem function are likely to have learning difficulties and problems with language development.

Source: Medical Xpress – 13 February 2017
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India: Anti-tobacco messages work if shown properly on TV and films, says study

Anti-tobacco messages with warnings about its ill-effects in television and films, if properly implemented, are effective in countering use of the product that kills a million Indians every year, even prompting decisions to quit, according to a study conducted by Vital Strategies with support from WHO Country Office for India, under the guidance of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The study titled ‘Evaluation of Tobacco Free Film and Television Policy in India’ aimed to evaluate the implementation of the ‘Film Rule’, under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). The study also shows that though the messages are effective, there is an urgent need for better implementation and enforcement of the rule across all media.

Source: Best Media Info – 13 February 2017
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US: R.J. Reynolds is fighting moves to ban menthol cigarettes by enlisting black leaders — and stoking fears of police harassment

Tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds, the top seller of the menthol cigarettes favoured by most black smokers, is using the issue of police harassment of black people to counter efforts by public health advocates to restrict menthol sales.

In recent months, the company has enlisted black groups and leaders, including civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton and ex-Florida Congressman Kendrick B. Meek, to hold meetings at prominent black churches on the theme of “Decriminalising the Black Community.” Sharpton and Meek, along with speakers from groups involved in criminal justice reform, claim that banning cigarettes would risk creating an underground market and give police new reasons to lock up black males. The meetings have been held at churches in Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Oakland, and in other forums.

See also:
A new anti-smoking ad slams Big Tobacco for targeting black neighborhoods, NewsDog

Source: Minn Post – 10 February 2017
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US: Big Tobacco is back trying to influence elections – especially in NC

The tobacco industry intensified its political activity in 2016 – and almost all its efforts were directed at defeating a Democratic North Carolina candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Tobacco interests’ activity was its steepest in 14 years, as it spent more than $1.1 million to support Grow NC Strong, a group that attacked Deborah Ross, who ran an unsuccessful challenge against Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., according to federal election records.

The industry also gave almost $200,000 to Burr’s campaign, about three times as much as it gave to any other candidate. The numbers were compiled from federal records by the D.C.-based nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Source: McClatchy DC – 11 February 2017
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South Korea: Philip Morris, BAT fined $260 million for illegal cigarette hoarding

South Korea’s National Tax Service and Ministry of Interior have ordered Philip Morris Korea to pay 218 billion won in taxes and British American Tobacco (BAT) Korea 89 million won, and plan to seek an additional penalty fee of 100 billion won, according to officials.

Both firms have paid the demanded taxes, but BAT Korea immediately filed an appeal contesting the decision, while Philip Morris Korea said it is mulling a similar move.

South Korea raised its cigarette prices by 2,000 won in January 2015, saying the increase will help discourage smoking. An audit has shown that the foreign firms stocked up on their tobacco at warehouses before the price was raised and released them in the market afterwards, avoiding taxes on the profits.

Source: Korean Times – 10 February 2017
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Clarification

In Friday’s ASH Daily News we included an opinion piece by Christopher Snowdon on vaping. We omitted to point out that Snowdon is Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, an organisation which accepts funding from the tobacco industry.

For more information see the Tobacco Tactics pages on Christopher Snowdon and the IEA.