ASH Daily news for 16 February 2016



HEADLINES

  • High Court appeal on smoking in prisons
  • EU tobacco deal needs thorough update if renewed
  • Netherlands: Smoking costs up to €43bn a year: report
  • US: Politician protests against banning e-cigarettes on planes by vaping during committee hearing
  • South Africa: Alleged espionage in tobacco industry exposed
  • Nigeria: Seven-year-olds taking up smoking – Health ministry says
  • New Zealand: Tobacco plain packaging likely to be law by end of year – PM
  • Philippines: Graphic health warning to take effect next month

    High Court appeal on smoking in prisons

    The Government is appealing against a landmark ruling on smoking in prisons.

    A High Court judge declared in March last year that the ban on smoking in public places applies to state prisons and all Crown premises.

    The decision was a victory for Paul Black, an inmate at HMP Wymott in Lancashire, who said he suffered from a range of health problems made worse by second-hand smoke. Judgment on the case has been reserved.

    Editorial Note:  There have been a number of misleading reports in the media on this issue.  The case above centred around the issue of Crown immunity.  However, the Government remains committed to making all prisons in England and Wales smoke-free, starting with prisons in Wales and the Southwest of England.

    See also: Statement of Prisons Minister, Andrew Selous

    Source: Lancashire Evening Post – 15 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1XuSOIM

    EU tobacco deal needs thorough update if renewed

    Florence Berteletti, director of Brussels-based anti-tobacco lobby group Smoke Free Partnership, argues against a renewal of the Philip Morris International (PMI) anti-smuggling agreement after its expiry date this year.

    She added that it also would be a breach of the WHO’s Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, approved on 09 February by Council of the EU, if tobacco companies are allowed to continue to use their own track-and-trace system, as they are under the current agreements.

    The European Parliament committee on budgetary control said in October 2015 in a non-binding text that once the protocol and new EU Tobacco Products Directive are in force, the tobacco agreements “will be useless”.

    Source: EU Observer – 15 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Qh6yRB

    Netherlands: Smoking costs up to €43bn a year: report

    Smoking costs Dutch society between €21bn and €43bn a year, or €2,000 per head of the population, a report by the SEO economic research institute has concluded.

    The research was carried out on behalf of foundation Eindspel Tabak, which wants to stamp out tobacco use altogether.

    Source: Dutch News – 15 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1XuTaPA

    US: Politician protests against banning e-cigarettes on planes by vaping during committee hearing

    California representative Duncan Hunter, an outspoken advocate of electronic cigarettes, blew a big cloud of vapor during the US House Committee on Transportation’s discussion on banning the gadgets during flights.

    Hunter, a Republican, has become a prominent supporter of e-cigarettes since he wrote an op-ed piece last year in which he declared: “Yes, I vape.”

    Sadly for him, the amendment by Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton was passed by the committee, meaning Hunter will have to resist the urge to vape on a plane next time he boards a flight.

    [includes video]

    Source: Mirror – 13 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Qh6S2x

    South Africa: Alleged espionage in tobacco industry exposed

    British American Tobacco (BAT) and Forensic Security Services (FSS) are accused of an unlawful campaign to discredit BAT’s competitors in a sworn affidavit.

    An ex-policeman turned spy has now become a whistleblower and has revealed how BAT allegedly hired a network of spies across South Africa and paid off law enforcement all in a bid to try and disrupt a competitor’s operation.

    BAT controls most of South Africa’s cigarette market, with an 85 percent share.

    The whistleblower says the idea was “to create the perception in the marketplace that the competitor’s products were not worth keeping because of the risk of loss.”

    Source: The South-African – 15 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Qh7fKB

    Nigeria: Seven-year-olds taking up smoking – Health ministry says

    A Global Youth Tobacco Survey carried out from 2014 to last year by the Ministry in conjunction with the Primary and Secondary Education ministry, discovered that 12% of pupils started smoking at the age of seven or below.

    The survey revealed that 22% of boys were using tobacco products compared to 15.8% of girls.

    Source: Harare24 – 14 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Qh7m96

    New Zealand: Tobacco plain packaging likely to be law by end of year – PM

    A law that would force tobacco companies to wrap their cigarettes in plain packaging could be in action by the end of the year.

    Prime Minister John Key has confirmed a bill, on pause partway through the parliamentary process, would be resumed and he expected it to become law “sooner as opposed to later”.

    Source: Stuff.co.nz – 15 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Qh7s0c

    Philippines: Graphic health warning to take effect next month

    More smokers are likely to quit their dangerous habit once the law requiring cigarette manufacturers to place graphic health warnings on cigarette packs takes effect in March.

    The tobacco industry earlier threatened to stop the implementation of the Graphic Health Warnings Law if the government failed to publish implementing regulations.

    But Emer Rojas, president of anti-smoking group New Vois Association of the Philippines, said the non-availability of the regulations does not prevent the law from being implemented.

    See also:
    – DOH to tobacco firms: Move forward, follow health warning law, Sunstar

    Source: MSN – 14 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Qh7y8l