ASH Daily news for 16 March 2016



HEADLINES

43% of women who quit smoking while pregnant ‘start again after childbirth’
Wales: Electronic cigarettes could face restrictions for public use following today’s Assembly vote
Budget 2016
London: Smoking ban in all hospital sites across Greenwich and Lewisham
Parliamentary Questions

43% of women who quit smoking while pregnant ‘start again after childbirth’
Joint research by the Universities of York and Nottingham, published in the journal Addiction, has found that 43% of women who smoke, but manage to stay off cigarettes during pregnancy, will go back to smoking within 6 months.

The study also found that only a “minority” of women who tried to quit achieved abstinence by the end of pregnancy. Analysis of 23 trials, with data concerning more than 9,000 women, found that 87% of women who were smokers when they became pregnant were still smoking when their babies were born.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said: “While it’s vital that pregnant smokers quit to give their baby the best start in life, the risk of serious harm from smoking doesn’t disappear once the baby is born. And all smokers in the home need to be encouraged to quit, or at least not to expose the baby to tobacco smoke, as whoever or wherever it comes from, tobacco smoke increases the risks of breathing problems and sudden infant death.”

Source
Journal: Re-starting smoking in the postpartum period after receiving a smoking cessation intervention: a systematic review

See also:
Independent: Nine of out 10 pregnant smokers ‘still use cigarettes when babies are born’

The Mirror: Mums start smoking again as soon as they’ve given birth, new study shows

Source: BT News, 16 March 2016
Link: http://bit.ly/1Lq2hQ7

Wales: Electronic cigarettes could face restrictions for public use following today’s Assembly vote
Welsh Assembly members will vote today on the Public Health Bill which, if passed, would see electronic cigarettes banned in public places where children are present. The ban would cover public spaces such as schools, public transport and places where food is served.

Organisations, including Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, have argued that there is not enough evidence to justify the ban on electronic cigarettes.

See also
BBC News: New rules on tattooing, piercing and e-cigarettes set to become law
Wales Online: Everything you need to know about the ban on e-cigarettes set to be passed today
Boarder Telegraph: E-cigarettes face restrictions for public use from Welsh Assembly vote
South Wales Argus: E-cigarettes could be banned in public places as vote held today

Source: ITV News, 16 March 2016
Link: http://bit.ly/1RNyUns

Budget 2016
Following speculation in The Sunday Times, today the Times predicts the Chancellor will announce that the cost of cigarettes will rise by 16p a pack.

See also:
The Daily Mail: Eyes down it’s Budget Bingo time: Booze, fuel or pensions… where will George Osborne strike?

Source: The Times, 16 March 2016
Link: http://thetim.es/1Rkr0aP

London: Smoking ban in all hospital sites across Greenwich and Lewisham
On No Smoking Day 2016, NHS Trust sites across Greenwich and Lewisham became completely smoke free, so smoking is prohibited within hospital grounds as well as within buildings.

Source: South London Press, 15 March 2016
Link: http://bit.ly/1Lq4b3h

Parliamentary Questions
PQ1: EU Tobacco Products Directive

Jonathan Djanogly Conservative, Huntingdon
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to undertake consumer information campaigns in preparation for the introduction of the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
The Department has no plans to undertake consumer facing information campaigns in preparation for the introduction of the revised Tobacco Products Directive’s (TPD) requirements.
The TPD introduces a number of new product, labelling and reporting requirements for businesses supplying tobacco products, herbal products and e-cigarettes. The Department has and will continue to engage with businesses to make them aware of the new requirement and has recently held training sessions on the new legislation for enforcement officers. The Department will work alongside enforcement officers to build compliance over the transition period set out in the Regulations.

Source: Hansard HC Deb, 15 March 2016, cW
http://bit.ly/1WpUz98

PQ2: Illicit Tobacco

Ian Paisley Jnr Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment the Government has made of the potential effect of future tobacco excise increases on the black market in tobacco products.
Damian Hinds The Exchequer Secretary
The government believes that cigarette duty achieves a balance between its two fiscal goals on tobacco; to raise revenue and to protect public health.
In considering fiscal impacts of duties, the illicit trade is an important consideration. The government is committed to tackling illicit tobacco, which undermines health and tax policy objectives and harms legitimate business. HMRC and Border Force have an established and effective strategy for tackling tobacco fraud which has seen the illicit market reduce significantly since the strategy was first launched in 2000. This has meant that, since the introduction of the tobacco duty escalator, the size of the illicit market has continued to fall.

Source: Hansard HC Deb, 15 March 2016, cW
http://bit.ly/1pnDAcI

PQ3: The Codentify System

Baroness Crawley Labour
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the risk that HMRC’s current pilot of the Codentify system would give tobacco companies an unfair advantage in any future tender process?
To ask Her Majesty’s Government in light of HMRC’s pilot of the Codentify system, why no other companies or systems have been asked to participate in such a pilot?
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether HMRC’s current pilot of the Codentify system is consistent with their obligations under the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control?

Lord O’Neill of Gatley The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury
Extract of reply:
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) takes the restrictions in the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) very seriously. These require that the development, implementation and enforcement of tobacco policies as part of public health policies should be protected from the influence of the tobacco industry.

Codentify is a system, developed and introduced by the major tobacco manufacturers on their own initiative through the Digital Coding and Tracking Association (DCTA) … Codentify codes already feature on packs and are there regardless of any HMRC use of them. The trial HMRC is undertaking is to see whether these existing codes could help officers in the field to authenticate products and help tackle illicit tobacco. … The use of Codentify is not a formal pilot and there will not be reports or results to publish. Instead the trial will identify the strengths, weaknesses and usefulness of using Codentify to HMRC as an authentication tool in the field. HMRC will review this later in 2016.

Source: Hansard HL Deb, 15 March 2016, cW
http://bit.ly/1ptzEaW

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