ASH Daily News for 16 February 2015



HEADLINES

  • Are electronic cigarettes a gateway drug?
  • Academic row over industry funded standard packs research
  • Electronic cigarette market slows
  • The smoking gun: how cigarettes became the IRA’s new weapon
  • Devon: Adventure Park goes smokefree
  • Preston: Dogs seize illegal tobacco

    Are electronic cigarettes a gateway drug?

    Findings from a new study based on surveys of 50,000 students in 400 secondary schools in the US has shown that more teenagers are trying electronic cigarettes than tobacco.

    The study found that among 14 to 16 year olds, nine per cent reported using an electronic cigarette in the past 30 days, while only four per cent had smoked a tobacco cigarette. Among 17 and 18 year olds, 16 per cent reported using an electronic cigarette compared to 14 per cent smoking a cigarette. The study also reported that 36 per cent of 13 and 14 year olds who had used electronic cigarettes had never smoked a real cigarette.

    Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said, ‘Nicotine can be harmful to the growing brain so it’s best if young people avoid it. But if they’re going to experiment it’s better to use e-cigarettes as vaping is far less dangerous than smoking and much less addictive.

    ‘So far in the UK and the US, smoking rates are going down more than e-cigarette use is growing. This would not be the case if vaping really were a gateway into smoking.’

    See also:
    More teenagers trying e-cigarettes than tobacco, US study suggests, The Guardian
    Fears that e-cigarettes are gateway drug as vaping outstrips puffing, The Independent

    Source: Daily Mail, 14th February 2015
    Link: http://dailym.ai/1Fh0gRx

    Academic row over industry funded standard packs research

    A leading university is being urged by a group of academics to withdraw two scientific papers funded by  hilip Morris International (PMI) and used to make the case against the introduction of selling cigarettes in plain packets. The papers, which analysed the impact of standards packs in Australia, were published by the University of Zurich, and their findings were widely publicised in the UK media.

    Led by Pascal Diethelm, president of OxyRomandie, a Swiss anti-smoking organisation, the academics’ letter to the University lists seven errors with the paper’s methodology stating: “They are extremely serious. Taken individually, most of them are sufficient to invalidate the findings of the papers. Collectively, they are damning.” The studies have also been criticised by doctors (see BMJ article here).

    Source: The Guardian, 14th February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1zH45XY

    Electronic cigarette market slows

    According to analysts, rising competition from customisable vaporisers, stagnant usage rates and a stream of research questioning their safety are contributing to a slowing down in the demand for electronic cigarettes. Although sales rose 50 per cent to 17.2m units in the UK last year, much of this increase occurred in the first quarter of 2014 with sales remaining broadly flat since April.

    Source: Financial Times, 15th February 2015
    Link: http://on.ft.com/1JlmWmz

    The smoking gun: how cigarettes became the IRA’s new weapon

    In a Sunday Times feature, George Arbuthnott and John Mooney explore the links between illicit tobacco and republican paramilitaries in Northern Ireland.

    Source: The Sunday Times, 15th February 2015
    Link: http://thetim.es/1BgLnNq

    Devon: Adventure Park goes smokefree

    Following feedback from guests, Crealy Great Adventure Park in Devon has announced a new no-smoking policy for the park for 2015. Designated smoking areas have been created to ensure that passive smoking for guests of all ages is reduced and eliminated where possible.

    Source: Exeter Express and Echo, February 16th 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/17FxRqA

    Preston: Dogs seize illegal tobacco

    In raids carried out by Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service in Preston on Thursday, sniffer dogs helped to discover large amounts of illegal tobacco. Over 50 packs of contraband cigarettes, tobacco, and tobacco blunts were seized after eight retail premises were visited by Trading Standards, the Police and two sniffer dogs.

    Source: Lancashire Evening Post, 15th February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1JlijIZ