ASH Daily news for 16 June 2016



  • Switzerland: No general ban on tobacco advertising

    A ban on advertising tobacco products in Switzerland has been rejected by the Swiss senate, in a vote on Wednesday (15 June).

    The ban had been called for by the Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset, who said in Parliament that smoking was damaging not only from a health perspective, but also socially and financially. Tobacco advertising is already banned on the radio and on TV in Switzerland but health campaigners argued the country needed a more comprehensive approach.

    Opponents of the ban argued there was no proof that an advertising ban would stop people smoking.

    The nationwide ban on selling cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors was undisputed, with a majority of parliamentarians explicitly expressing their support for laws protecting children and young people.

    Source: Swiss Info 15 June 2016

  • Two in five Pakistanis start smoking before 10 years of age

    Health experts announced on Wednesday (15 June) that two in five smokers in Pakistan start smoking before they reach the age of 10.

    According to an official report from the Tobacco Control Cell, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, this extraordinary level of youth smoking is driving efforts to implement comprehensive warning labels across all tobacco packaging.

    An official from the department said that in light of the new evidence they are considering implementation of graphic warnings which will deter youth from smoking. Studies show that a large proportion of smokers have an inadequate knowledge of the health effects associated with smoking and underestimate the severity and magnitude of those risks. Research has shown that comprehensive warning labels are effective at altering this image, especially among young people.

    Source: Daily Times 16 June 2016

  • India: Karnataka bans electronic cigarettes

    A ban on the promotion, distribution and production of electronic cigarettes came into effect in the Indian State of Karnataka on Wednesday (15 June).

    The sale, production and distribution of e-cigarettes is now a criminal offence under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, attracting a fine of up to Rs 100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 5 years.

    Source: Deccan Herald 16 June 2016

  • Parliamentary Questions

    PQ1: Tobacco Control Plan
    Adam Afriyie Conservative, Windsor
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he plans that the new tobacco control plan will address the effects of (a) electronic vaping devices and (b) heat not burn devices.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    The new tobacco control plan will cover the use and effects of electronic vaping devices and novel tobacco products, including heat not burn devices.

    Source: Hansard (Citation: HC Deb, 15 June 2016, cW)

    PQ2: Illicit Trade
    Baroness Crawley Labour

    To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products and the European Union Tobacco Products Directive 2015, which state that there must be tracking and tracing systems in member states and that the parties to the Protocol may not delegate their responsibilities to the tobacco industry, what assessment they have made of whether the current pilot scheme to help tackle illicit tobacco, using the tobacco industry’s Codentify authentication system, is consistent with their obligations under the Protocol.

    Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
    My Lords, the implementation process for the protocol and directive’s requirements for track and tracing systems has not yet been agreed. The Government will ensure that this complies with the requirement not to delegate responsibilities to the tobacco industry. HM Revenue & Customs sees no conflict between this requirement, or the more general restrictions on the involvement of the industry, and public health policy and its current use of Codentify as a product authentication tool.

    Follow the link below for further questions and comments.

    Source: Hansard (Citation: HL Deb, 14 June 2016, cW)