ASH Daily news for 15 July 2015



  • Lung cancer patients who stop smoking live longer
  • Women dies in house fire caused by cigarette
  • Australia: New South Wales prisons prepare for smoking ban
  • Scotland: Dog patrol sniffs out illicit tobacco
  • US: Despite declines in smoking, tobacco use by Asian-American men on the rise
  • Parliamentary Questions

    Lung cancer patients who stop smoking live longer

    A study published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology has found that tobacco cessation provides significant survival benefits for lung cancer patients who quit smoking shortly before or after diagnosis, despite the severity of the disease.

    The results also suggested that there may be a survival benefit even if a patient has not completely quit smoking, but continues to attempt to quit after a cancer diagnosis. Mortality rates for those who relapsed were similar to current users.


    Journal of Thoracic Oncology: Tobacco cessation may improve lung cancer patient survival

    Source: Medical News Today, 14 July 2015

    Women dies in house fire caused by cigarette

    A woman has died in a fire at her home believed to have been caused by a cigarette.

    Group Manager for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Gary Oakford said “Staff and firefighters will now be visiting homes in the community offering important advice on smoking and fire safety in the home.”

    Source: The Mirror, 14 July 2015

    Australia: New South Wales prisons prepare for smoking ban

    New South Wales authorities are taking advice from their colleagues in Victoria ahead of the introduction of a smoking ban in prisons. They hope to prevent a repeat of last month’s Melbourne prison riot.

    From 10 August, smoking will not be permitted on the grounds of any NSW correctional centre, including outdoor areas, car parks and visitor processing areas.

    See also
    Daily Mail: The tips given to inmates to beat their cravings when smoking bans are enforced in prisons from next month

    Source: Guardian, 15 July 2015

    Scotland: Dog patrol sniffs out illicit tobacco

    A specially trained dog has sniffed out thousands of counterfeit cigarettes and kilos of rolling tobacco in a joint operation between Glasgow Trading Standards and HMRC.

    Anne-Marie Gordon, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “This is a trade that harms communities across Scotland and robs public services of £2bn a year. Since December last year, more than 180,000 non duty paid cigarettes and 22lbs of hand rolling tobacco has been seized through joint working with HMRC.”

    Source: The Extra, 14 July 2015

    US: Despite declines in smoking, tobacco use by Asian-American men on the rise

    Although overall smoking prevalence in New York City fell from 21.5% in 2002 to 14.8% in 2011, during the same time period it rose to 24.2% amongst Asian-American men, Medical News Today reports.

    To tackle this trend, the RCHN Community Health Foundation has awarded $150,000 to the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center to strengthen smoking cessation initiatives for at-risk Asian Americans living in NYC.

    Source: Medical News Today, 14 July 2015

    Parliamentary Questions

    PQ1: Illicit Tobacco

    Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield
    To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to tackle people who repeatedly sell cigarettes without paying duty.

    Damian Hinds The Exchequer Secretary
    Since 2000, HMRC’s tobacco strategy has reduced the tax gap for cigarettes from 22% in 2000/01 to 10% in 2013/14, and the tax gap for hand-rolling tobacco from 61% to 39%. However, tobacco fraud remains a problem and HMRC works with other enforcement agencies to take action against those who participate in the fraud by smuggling and illegally manufacturing, distributing and selling non-UK duty paid product.

    Sanctions against those selling tobacco without payment of duty include seizure of products, and cash, financial penalties and a maximum penalty of seven year’s imprisonment. On prosecution, HMRC can also apply for withdrawal of alcohol licenses and orders prohibiting the use of premises for the sale of tobacco for a period of up to 6 months. Additionally, as a result of coordinated activity with other enforcement agencies such as Trading Standards, the police and Immigration Enforcement officers, action can be taken on wider tobacco offences, such as under-age sales , and alcohol and vehicle licensing and immigration offences.

    As reflected in the joint HMRC and Border Force refreshed strategy, ‘Tackling illicit tobacco: from leaf to light’, published on 24 March 2015, we need to get tougher on those involved in tobacco fraud through more effective use of sanctions. We have to deter participation and ensure that we come down harder on those who repeatedly offend.

    To this end, the refreshed strategy commits HMRC to working more across government at all points in the supply chain and to maximising the use and impact of all sanctions available. The published strategy also commits HMRC to undertaking an informal consultation in 2015. This will invite views from other departments and enforcement agencies, legitimate business affected by the fraud and public health organisations on how we can increase the effectiveness of existing sanctions and whether we need new sanctions.

    The strategy can be accessed on GOV.UK:

    Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 14 July 2015, cW