ASH Daily news for 16 March 2015



HEADLINES

  • Tobacco tax ‘must help clear litter’ – MPs
  • Opinion: Plain packaging does not violate Big Tobacco’s intellectual property rights
  • NHS stop smoking services continue to save lives
  • Standardised packaging changes attitudes to smoking, study
  • Unscrupulous methods used by tobacco industry revealed over illicit trade
  • Disney bans smoking in all future films, including Star Wars and Marvel Comics
  • Egypt: Tobacco firms expect extra profits during elections

    Tobacco tax ‘must help clear litter’ – MPs

    Tax earned from tobacco sales should be used to help with the cost of clearing up cigarette litter, MPs have said.

    A Communities and Local Government Committee report also calls for laws forcing businesses to keep the outside of their premises free from rubbish.

    The cost of cleaning up litter in England is estimated to be about £850m, the report says. Chewing gum and smoking materials are the biggest litter problems, it says.

    See also:
    – MPs urge action to tackle litter, BBC News [includes video]
    – 
    Ministers told to do more to tackle ‘endemic’ litter problem, Telegraph
    – Littering becoming ‘endemic’ after dramatic rises in fly-tipping and Government inaction, The Independent
    – Spend tobacco taxes on clearing dog ends from town centres, say MPs, The Sun (£)
    – MPs want tobacco taxes to go towards clearing up cigarette litter, ITV

    Source: BBC News – 14 March 2015
    Link: http://bbc.in/1EpzJi2

    Opinion: Plain packaging does not violate Big Tobacco’s intellectual property rights

    Enrico Bonadio, Senior Lecturer in Law at City University London, explains why he thinks that standardised packaging doesn’t encroach on trademarks rights and that the tobacco industry’s arguments are not convincing.

    Source: The Conversation – 16 March 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EpAHej

    NHS stop smoking services continue to save lives

    Stop Smoking Services run by the NHS in England saved as many as 18,000 lives in a year, a new report suggests.

    Released to coincide with National No Smoking Day, the University of Stirling analysis found that stop smoking services are succeeding at reducing premature deaths.

    More than 724,247 people in England used the NHS services between April 2012 and March 2013 – including support and counselling, and medications.

    Following an evaluation of 3,000 smokers using these services, researchers found that eight in every 100 (eight per cent) people surveyed still hadn’t smoked a year after giving up.

    It also suggested those who took specialist one-to-one or group behavioural support were three times more likely to quit than those who only accessed GP practice or pharmacy-based help.

    Source: Medical Xpress – 12 March 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EpB1K8

    Standardised packaging changes attitudes to smoking, study

    Using standardised packaging for just one day can change smokers’ attitudes towards their cigarette packs, according to the first randomised controlled trial into the effects of short-term exposure to plain cigarette packaging on smoking attitudes and behaviour.

    Researchers at the University of Bristol, along with collaborators from the Universities of Stirling and Exeter, asked daily cigarette smokers to use either a branded pack of cigarettes (purchased in the UK) or a plain pack of cigarettes (purchased in Australia, where plain packaging was introduced in 2013) for a single day. Smoking behaviour was measured by asking participants to smoke their cigarettes through a device called a ‘topography monitor’. Participants also rated their attitudes to the packs and to smoking in general.

    The results showed that although there were no immediate effects of using the plain pack on how many cigarettes were smoked over the course of the day, daily smokers who used the plain pack reported more negative experiences of using the pack, rated the pack itself as more negative, and reported that the health warning was more impactful, compared with those who used the branded pack. This fits with recent evidence from Australia that smokers are less likely to put their packs on display since the introduction of plain packs.

    Source: Health Canal – 13 March 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EpBgF0

    Unscrupulous methods used by tobacco industry revealed over illicit trade

    Two researchers of the University of Bath explain how, in the run up to a parliamentary vote that saw overwhelming support for introducing standardised (plain) packaging for cigarettes, tobacco companies and their supporters made frantic attempts to influence public and political opinion against the policy.

    Since the very first calls for plain packaging, the tobacco industry has waged what is arguably its most virulent battle in recent years against the regulation of its business. It has employed a multi-faceted campaign to influence both public and political opinion, recognising that the former influences the latter.

    Source: The Conversation – 16 March 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EpBFXP

    Disney bans smoking in all future films, including Star Wars and Marvel Comics

    Marvel and Star Wars characters may no longer be able to smoke as Disney bans cigarettes in all of its future films, whether animation or live action.

    Bob Iger, Walt Disney’s chairman and CEO, revealed the move at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

    An investor asked him what the studio was doing to safeguard children against smoking, claiming that 43 per cent of films in Marvel comic book franchises show characters lighting up.

    Mr Iger said he was committed to expanding Disney’s existing policy, which dates back to 2007, to apply to all subsidiaries.

    See also:
    – Clearing the air: Disney to ban smoking in all future movies, the Guardian
    – Disney bans smoking in films, Telegraph
    – Disney bans smoking in future children’s films, Digital Spy

    Source: The Independent – 13 March 2015
    Link: http://ind.pn/1EpBT1c

    Egypt: Tobacco firms expect extra profits during elections

    Egyptian tobacco firms expect to generate LE150 million in extra sales during the upcoming parliamentary election campaign, an industry insider has said.

    Parliamentary candidates traditionally provide drinks, cigarettes and sheesha to people who attend election rallies and speeches, according to Osama Salama, president of the Giza and Cairo tobacco traders association.

    Increased sales are therefore expected during the election campaign period.

    An expected 8-10 percent increase in sales during the campaign period would generate extra tax revenues of up to LE112 million, the association predicts.

    Source: Albawaba – 12 March 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EpClMT