ASH Daily News for 13 July 2016



  • Blog: Electronic cigarettes: Maximising Benefit, Minimising Harm

    A blog written by Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director for Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, considers the benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes.

    The blog argues that electronic cigarettes have an important role to play to reduce ill health and early death caused by smoking and to improve the health of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in our society.

    It also recognises that uncertainties about their long term health impact exist. As such PHE will continue to monitor the emerging evidence on electronic cigarettes and their health impact and ensure everyone is kept informed.

    Source: Huffington Post, 12 July 2016

  • Theresa May’s Commons record

    The Independent explores Theresa May’s voting record over the last two decades.

    In terms of tobacco control, she abstained from many of the key votes leading up to the smoking ban, but voted against a smoke-free exemptions clause in February 2006.

    She also voted against banning smoking in a private car with a person under the age of 18 present in February 2014.

    Source: Independent, 12 July 2016

  • Fire service’s warning over exploding electronic cigarette

    Firefighters are urging people to purchase electronic cigarettes from reputable retailers after a woman’s electronic cigarette exploded.

    The fire is believed to have started when the electronic cigarette, which had been purchased from a market stall without instructions or packaging, was left charging overnight.

    Source:, 12 July 2016

  • East Midlands: ‘No smoking’ request at 173 Leicester children’s play areas

    City council officials have declared 173 children’s play areas across Leicester smokefree zones.

    The restriction is voluntary and cannot be enforced, but it is hoped it will help restrict youngsters’ exposure to harmful smoke as well as reduce litter.

    Deputy city mayor councillor Rory Palmer, who chairs the city’s health and wellbeing board said: “Children are influenced by what they see and research shows that young people are at most risk of becoming smokers if they grow up in communities where smoking is the norm.

    “The most effective way to prevent young people from becoming smokers is to encourage adult smokers around them to quit.”

    Source: Leicester Mercury, 12 July 2016

  • Southampton: Sniffer dogs to be used in Trading Standards illegal tobacco crackdown

    Sniffer dogs will be employed as part of the ‘Keep It Out’ campaign led by Trading Standards officers in a bid to crack down on illegal tobacco.

    Bob Coates, Interim Director of Public Health at Southampton City Council, said: “Far from being a victimless crime, illegal tobacco helps fund organised crime, can make it even more difficult for those trying to give up and deepens health inequalities.”

    Source: Daily Echo, 12 July 2016

  • Parliamentary Business

    PQ1 Harm Reduction
    Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans his Department has to review advertising regulations for reduced-harm tobacco products to take account of the potential of those products to help people quit smoking.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to advise smokers on the range of harm-reduction products available to help them quit smoking.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he plans to include reduced-harm products in the Government’s tobacco control plan on account of their potential health benefits to smokers.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    For the first time, from May 2016, cessation information to signpost consumers to quitting support has become mandatory on tobacco products. The Government’s advice remains that the best thing a smoker can do is to quit and quit for good. Any smokers wanting to quit, with or without the help of products available on the market, are four times more likely to stop smoking and quit for good with the personalised support offered by local stop smoking services.

    The National Centre for Stop Smoking Services has issued guidance on offering advice to those wanting to use e-cigarettes as part of their quit attempts and encouraged local stop smoking services to be open to their use.

    The Government recognises that some people have found e-cigarettes helpful in quitting smoking and that they are considerably less harmful than continuing to smoke. The forthcoming tobacco control plan will consider the role of e-cigarettes and other harm reduction products in further reducing the prevalence of smoking in England.

    The Department has no current plans to review the restrictions on advertising for tobacco products.

    Source: Hansard HC Deb, 12 July 2016, cW

    PQ2: Menthol tobacco

    Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he plans to implement the ban on menthol cigarettes in the UK after 2020; and what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of that ban on the quality of life of smokers.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    Legislation is in place that will make it illegal to sell menthol flavoured cigarettes and roll your own tobacco from May 2020. This legislation fulfils international obligations the United Kingdom has under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which recommend that Parties should regulate, by prohibiting or restricting, ingredients that may be used to increase palatability in tobacco products. This provision is aimed at reducing the initiation rates of tobacco use by youth. Two thirds of adult smokers took up smoking before the age of 18 and menthol in particular is associated with increased youth experimentation, take-up and dependency.

    The Government has provided a four year transition period for current menthol smokers to quit smoking or switch to other brands of cigarettes or roll your own tobacco.

    Source: Hansard HC Deb, 11 July 2016, cW