ASH Daily News for 15 March 2017



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  • Menthol cigarettes dropped from the ONS basket of goods
  • Vast pay deals for tobacco and mining bosses
  • Pembrokeshire: Smokefree town centres proposed following successful beach ban
  • Swedish men on course to be first to completely stub out smoking
  • USA: “Kick Butts Day” focuses on tobacco industry
  • Parliamentary Question

Menthol cigarettes dropped from the ONS basket of goods

On Tuesday the Office for National Statistics published its CIP basket, meant to typify the average Britons’ spending habits. The basket is created from careful monitoring of products from milk to music downloads including price fluctuations and can illustrate product popularity at various points in time.

The 2017 basket shows a decrease in popularity and spending on menthol cigarettes with these being removed, and replaced by products including cycle helmets and gin.

Source: Business Insider – 14 March 2017
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Vast pay deals for tobacco and mining bosses

Two more FTSE bosses have been awarded large pay deals despite pledges of a crackdown on executive pay.

British American Tobacco boss Nicandro Durante was awarded £7.6 million in pay and bonuses, a rise of £3 million on last year.

Catherine Howarth, chief executive of responsible investment charity ShareAction, said putting asset managers in charge of curbing high pay is like ‘putting the fox in charge of the hen house’ and called for boards to take a tougher line.

Bosses are expected to come under increased scrutiny this upcoming AGM season, with remuneration policies in the firing line. British American Tobacco is one of the first up with their AGM due to take place on Wednesday 26th April.

Source: The Mail Online – 13 March 2017
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Pembrokeshire: Smokefree town centres proposed following successful beach ban

Pembrokeshire’s smokefree beaches scheme could be rolled out across the county, including in town centres, following successful pilots.

Little Haven was made one of the UK’s only smokefree beaches last year with a report to the local Council showing successful outcomes. During a routine litter survey conducted by Natural Resources Wales during the bathing season no smoking-related litter was found at Little Haven, and random site visits have revealed no evidence of smoking.

The report proposed extending the ban to other beaches, but Cabinet members have suggested going further with Council Leader Jamie Adams stating: “I suggest we further challenge our ambitions and look at town centres in the future.”

Source: Milford Mercury – 14 March 2017
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Swedish men on course to be first to completely stub out smoking

Sweden might be lighting the way to a cigarette free world, with the Swedish Government having released data showing that the proportion of men aged 30-44 smoking fell to just 5% during 2016. This makes it the first country or group to hit the notional tobacco ‘end game’ proposed by global health bodies and some governments to get smoking prevalence down to 5% or lower by an agreed date.

Overall, just 8% of Swedish men now smoke on a daily basis compared with the European Union average of 25%. Smoking rates among Swedish women are also falling with 10% being current smokers.

Part of the reason for this could be the prevalence of snus within Sweden, an oral tobacco product which does still contain carcinogenic chemicals. While World Health Organization data shows the rate of lung cancer deaths in Sweden is less than half the EU average, this does not give the nation a clean bill of health.

Nicola Smith, Cancer Research UK’s senior health information officer said: “It’s interesting to see these figures for Sweden, where snus is a cultural product. It’s not without its harms though, and is linked to pancreatic cancer.”

Source: The New Scientist – 14 March 2017
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USA: “Kick Butts Day” focuses on tobacco industry

15th March marks national ‘Kick Butts Day’ in the US, a day of youth activism against the tobacco industry and nicotine addiction. Young people across the country are gathering to educate others on the dangers of tobacco use and campaign against the abuses of the tobacco industry.

According to the organisers 3,000 children under 18 try smoking for the first time every day. Of that number 700 will become new, daily smokers.

See also:
Kick Butts Day

Source: WLNS.com – 15 March 2016
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Parliamentary Question

PQ1: E-cigarettes
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Shadow Spokesperson (Health)
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the remarks by Lord Prior of Brampton on 4 July 2016 (HL Deb, col 1828) giving a commitment “to commissioning Public Health England to update its evidence report on e-cigarettes annually until the end of this Parliament”, when the updated evidence report will be published.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Shadow Spokesperson (Health)
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the remarks by Lord Prior of Brampton on 14 September 2016 (HL Deb, col 1537) stating that the Government would continue to monitor and develop the evidence base for the regulation of e-cigarettes, what steps (1) Public Health England, and (2) the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, are taking to encourage research on e-cigarettes.

Lord O’Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
Public Health England’s (PHE) next updated evidence report on e-cigarettes is expected to be published before the end of the 2017. In addition to the publication of an evidence review, PHE have partnered with Cancer Research UK and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies to develop a forum that brings together policy makers, researchers, practitioners and the non-governmental organisation representatives to discuss the emerging evidence, identify research priorities and generate ideas for new research projects, thereby enhancing collaboration between forum participants.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority will continue to undertake market surveillance of e-cigarettes as part of their role as the Competent Authority, feeding back any intelligence to the Department and PHE.

Source: Hansard – 13 March 2017
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