ASH Daily News for 15 November 2016



  • Survey of community pharmacists’ perception of electronic cigarettes in London
  • Reynolds rejects initial takeover bid from British American Tobacco
  • TaxPayers’ Alliance says that taxes on alcohol and tobacco may have cost the Treasury £31bn
  • France: One in four favour a ban on tobacco
  • Smoking status of primary school children in Madagascar, research
  • Parliamentary Question

Survey of community pharmacists’ perception of electronic cigarettes in London

Researchers conducted a survey of pharmacists in London, examining their attitudes towards and perceptions of e-cigarettes. Whilst the sample size was small, results showed that the most commonly cited reason for using e-cigarettes was as an ‘aid to quitting smoking’, with e-cigarettes being a ‘cheaper alternative’ ranked second.

The Pharmacists expressed a clear desire for further information and training around e-cigarettes; 88% of respondents want information packs with 67% responding positively to online tutorials. The desire for training focused on safety, dosage instructions, counselling and adverse effects such as dry mouth or coughing.

Source: BMJ Open – November 2016
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Reynolds rejects initial takeover bid from British American Tobacco

Reynolds has rejected a $47 billion (£37.6 billion) takeover offer from British American Tobacco (BAT). Reynolds is reported to be seeking a higher price to merge with BAT, which already owns 42% of the company.

A merger between Reynolds and BAT would create the world’s biggest publicly traded tobacco company ahead of Philip Morris International.

See also:
– Reynolds American Rejects BAT’s $47 Billion Buyout Offer, Bloomberg
Reynolds ‘rejects £38.3 billion takeover offer’ by British American Tobacco, Belfast Telegraph

Source: International Business Times – 15 November 2016
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TaxPayers’ Alliance says that taxes on alcohol and tobacco may have cost the Treasury £31bn

A new report released by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, which has previously had close links to tobacco companies, claims that taxes on alcohol and tobacco have cost the Treasury approximately £31 billion due to the illicit market. Published ahead of the Autumn Statement the report comes amid calls from the industry for a reduction in so-called ‘sin taxes’.

The organisation claims that high taxes on alcohol and tobacco have fuelled a black market in the goods which means that HMRC loses money. According to the report between 2010 and 2015 £13.9 billion was lost due to the illicit trade in cigarettes.

Editorial Note: HMRC figures show that while tobacco taxes have increased the illicit tobacco market has declined since 2000.

Source: The Telegraph – 14 November 2016
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France: One in four favour a ban on tobacco

A new survey conducted by the Institute CSA for Direct Martin has found that over a quarter of those surveyed (27%) support the idea of a total ban on tobacco. This figure rose up to 29% among non-smokers.

Nearly a quarter, 24% support the price rises that have occurred since 2000, though this measure received notably more support among non-smokers than smokers. In contrast, support for free prescription of stop smoking medications was notably higher among smokers at 39% compared to 18% among non-smokers.

Source: Direct Martin – 15 November 2016
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Smoking status of primary school children in Madagascar, research

Rates of smoking among 13-15 year-olds in Madagascar have previously been reported as higher than average for the African region meaning that preventative action is urgently needed to reduce uptake among young people.

Researchers examined rates of smoking among primary school children and the factors that could encourage smoking uptake. Results showed that smoking behaviour of parents and peers influenced uptake among young people while knowledge of the harmful effects of smoking was also seen as a significant factor influencing both smoking intentions and smoking behaviour.

Source: Health Promotion International -November 2016
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Parliamentary Question

PQ1: Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
Mr Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his Answer of 24 October 2016 to Question 49531, on World Health Organisation framework convention of tobacco control, what the nature is of the support being offered to other countries; and which countries have accepted that support.

Nicola Blackwood Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
The United Kingdom is providing support to low and middle income countries both through direct country support to a select number of countries and through producing training and guidance that will be available to all low and middle income countries. Country projects will be delivered through our delivery partners the World Health Organization Framework Convention for Tobacco Control Secretariat and the United Nations development programme.
Robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms have been put in place to ensure the project delivers maximum value for the British taxpayer.

Source: Hansard – 14 November 2016
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