ASH Daily news for 13 January 2016



HEADLINES

  • Around 40% of local authorities cutting budgets for smoking cessation services
  • Hertfordshire health chiefs vow to stub out smoking in county
  • US: New Jersey poised to become second state to raise smoking age to 21
  • US: Congress approves Bill requiring childproof liquid nicotine bottles
  • US: Whistleblower sues GlaxoSmithKline over nicotine product
  • Bangladesh: Activists fear delay in displaying pictorial warnings on tobacco packages

    Around 40% of local authorities cutting budgets for smoking cessation services

    Research by ASH has found that around 40% of local authorities in England are cutting their budgets to their services to help people stop smoking.

    The findings are released in a report, published today by Cancer Research UK, which asked tobacco control experts from 126 local authorities across England about their smoking services, their budgets and how well their services were integrating since moving to local government from primary care trusts in 2013. It found that in two out of five areas funding was being cut back and that, in addition, half of all services were being reconfigured or recommissioned.

    Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy for ASH and one of the report’s authors, said: “Our research shows that most local councils take their responsibility to reduce smoking very seriously. But they are facing enormous funding pressures. The services we have to support smokers to quit are world class but they are being eroded.

    “The wider role that councils play in tackling smoking – such as enforcing existing laws on smoking and selling tobacco – is also under threat. We need national action now to ensure that local authorities have the tools and the funding to do everything they can to reduce smoking rates.”

    See also:
    Reading Between the Lines, CRUK/ASH (pdf) [full report]
    Smoking cessation services threatened by funding pressures, Nursing Times
    – Brutal Tory cuts force 4 out of 10 councils to reduce services to help smokers quit, Daily Mirror

    Source: The Guardian – 13 January 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1JK7iSo

    Hertfordshire health chiefs vow to stub out smoking in county

    All the leaders of Hertfordshire’s NHS organisations have signed a joint pledge to stub out smoking in the county.

    The NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control acknowledges that smoking is the single greatest cause of premature death and disease in our communities and sets out a joint approach to help reduce levels of smoking. In particular, the commitment aims to reduce smoking levels among young people, pregnant women and their partners and people with mental health conditions.

    The signatories include Hertfordshire County Council and local NHS leaders.

    Source: Cambridge News – 12 January 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1JK8UeZ

    US: New Jersey poised to become second state to raise smoking age to 21

    New Jersey could become the second state (after Hawaii) to raise the smoking age to 21, as part of a movement that’s been spurred in part by a major study released last year and a dramatic rise in electronic cigarette use among young people.

    The state’s Legislature has passed a bill that would fine retailers up to $1,000 if they sell cigarettes or other tobacco products, as well as e-cigarettes, to anyone 20 years old or younger. The law wouldn’t punish underage smokers.

    It’s unclear whether Gov. Chris Christie will sign it into law. He has until January 19 to decide.

    Source: This is Money – 12 January 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1JK87e3

    US: Congress approves Bill requiring childproof liquid nicotine bottles

    Congress has given final approval to a bill requiring child-resistant packaging on bottles of liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.

    The bill, which now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature, is believed to be the first federal regulation Congress has passed on e-cigarettes. It follows rising concern about nicotine and poisoning exposure incidents, which resulted in about 2,300 cases of poison exposure in young children in 2014, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal – 11 January 2016
    Link: http://on.wsj.com/1JK8hC1

    US: Whistleblower sues GlaxoSmithKline over nicotine product

    A former researcher for GlaxoSmithKline claims he lost his job because he repeatedly raised warnings about alleged mistakes in studies that were used to help sell the company’s smoking-reduction products.

    Those statistical mistakes allegedly included ones related to the company’s Nicoderm line of products, and which “had the capacity to cause negative consequences and potential health and safety issues for the general public,” according to a lawsuit filed late last month by ousted GSK scientist Alexandre Selmani.

    Source: CNBC – 12 January 2016
    Link: http://cnb.cx/1JK8nJX

    Bangladesh: Activists fear delay in displaying pictorial warnings on tobacco packages

    Anti-tobacco lobbyists in Bangladesh fear that there may be a delay in implementing the mandatory display of pictorial warnings on tobacco packs.

    The deadline for starting the display is Mar 19 this year, three years after the law was enacted.

    The lobbyists say that the tobacco industry is doing its utmost to delay the measure.

    The tobacco industry, in violation of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), wrote to the health ministry to make changes in the provision.

    Instead of printing the images on the upper part of the pack as stipulated in the provision, tobacco companies want to print the warning pictures in the lower part of the pack where they attract less attention.

    Source: bdnews24 – 12 January 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1JK8vJs