ASH Daily news for 16 May 2016


  • Public misconception of electronic cigarette health risks on the rise

    A quarter of people believe that electronic cigarettes are more harmful than smoking, three times as many as in 2013, according to a new survey by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

    This comes despite an emerging expert consensus that the devices are 95% less dangerous than cigarettes. Because they allow people to get a nicotine fix without tobacco, e-cigarettes are generally believed to be less harmful. An overview of research by the Royal College of Physicians concluded recently that they had the potential to save the lives of millions of smokers.

    “Over the past year, despite the Public Health England report [endorsing e-cigarettes as safer than smoking], the level of misunderstanding about risk reduction is going in the wrong direction,” said Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH. “Anything which leads people to say ‘I might as well carry on smoking’ is really harmful.”

    See also:
    ASH: New EU rules on nicotine strength not a problem for most vapers

    Source: The Times 16 May 2016

  • It’s not nicotine, it’s the smoke tricks young vapers love

    New research suggests that today’s youth do not view vaping as a form of smoking and have little interest in the nicotine content of electronic cigarettes. They are more interested in the wide range of flavours and tricks associated with it.

    The six-month research project explored trends in smoking-related attitudes and behaviours among people aged 14-25. It found that only 28% of participants who used e-cigarettes said they did so to help them stop smoking. Young males were drawn to vaping because of the tricks they could perform.

    “Among some more experienced vapers who prioritise competency in ‘cloud chasing’ skills, nicotine is actively avoided as it could disrupt their vaping ‘performances’, particularly given the quantities consumed,” said Fiona Measham, professor of criminology at the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University, who led the study. She said the findings suggest public health professionals and policymakers needed to consider how young people’s motivations for e-cigarette use differed from those of adults, in order to tailor public health messages.

    The full research, published in the journal Drugs: Education, prevention and policy, can be accessed here.

    Source: The Observer 15 May 2016

  • Illegal cigarettes are ‘undermining’ anti-smoking efforts

    Local councils are claiming that illegal cigarettes are ‘undermining’ anti-smoking campaigns, a report published on Saturday, 14 May, has claimed.

    Chairman of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board, Simon Blackburn, said: “Illegal tobacco being sold cheaply through the black market by rogue traders is funding organised criminal gangs, damaging legitimate traders and robbing the taxpayer of more than £2bn that could be spent on schools, hospitals and caring for the elderly.”

    See also:
    The Sun: Are you smoking the killer cigarettes with 500 per cent more carcinogens?
    The Courier: Illegal cigarettes ‘undermining efforts to reduce smoking’

    Source: International Business Times 14 May 2016

  • £930,000 to develop new smoking cessation aids

    Chemists at the University of Bristol have been awarded £930,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop potential new aids to help smokers stop smoking.

    Effective smoking cessation aids would prevent millions of premature deaths and reduce the huge burden of smoking-related illness. There is enormous demand for effective, safe and cheap smoking cessation therapies.

    Professor Mulholland, of the School of Chemistry, said: “This project will explore promising new compounds for smoking cessation. We will work directly with industrial partners who will provide expertise and testing. This provides a direct route to developing new smoking cessation therapies and bringing these new discoveries to market.”

    Source: University of Bristol 13 May 2016

  • Scotland: Statistics ‘do not bear out claims’ of major tobacco firms

    A new report by ASH Scotland shows the UK trade in black market cigarettes and tobacco has declined every year since 2000, despite the introduction of stronger regulations and the increasing price of over-the-counter packs.

    The report entitled ‘Dodgy Cigs’ is coinciding with the introduction of new standardised plain packaging and other tobacco regulations come into force. Major tobacco firms have claimed such moves would boost the trade in smuggled and counterfeit goods.

    Considering the impact on the Scottish government’s 2034 smoke-free target, Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: “The tobacco industry has often predicted that public health measures will cause rises in illicit tobacco. But this stance looks increasingly bizarre as illicit tobacco continues to reduce while regulation and price increase. We need to be wise to these tactics, and support proven public health measures. Standardised packaging will help put tobacco out of sight, out of mind and out of fashion for the next generation, making smoking less attractive for our children.”

    Updated packaging rules come into force on May 20, requiring new packets to feature drab colours and graphic health warnings.

    Source: The National 14 May 2016

  • Australia: Queensland health minister open to lifetime smoking ban for those born after 2001

    Queensland’s health minister Cameron Dick says he’s willing to discuss Cancer Council Queensland’s concept of a generational smoking ban. Cancer Council Queensland has suggested a complete ban on smoking for all children born after 2001 to gradually stop smoking altogether.

    Dick said he is open to the idea but wants to see how the state’s new anti-smoking legislation plays out first. Parliament recently passed laws to ban smoking at bus and taxi stops, outdoor pedestrian malls and in or near childcare facilities and children’s sporting events and skate parks. Dick is confident these new measures can further decrease smoking rates across the state.

    See also:
    The Mail Online: Children born after 2001 could be BANNED from ever taking up smoking under a radical plan to stamp out the habit

    Source: The Guardian 15 May 2016

  • India: Tobacco companies cannot sell stock with 40% pictorial warnings court rules

    The Supreme Court on Friday (13th May) declined to allow the Tobacco Institute of India (TIA), a lobby group of the cigarette segment of the tobacco industry, to sell its existing stock of cigarette packs with 40% pictorial warnings.

    On 4th May 2016 the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Government’s introduction of 85% pictorial health warnings on tobacco products and directed all cases pending on this issue at various high courts to be heard at the Karnataka high court.

    See also:
    Nano News: Court ruling on cigarette packs a major blow to $11bn industry SC orders tobacco industry to put bigger warning sign on packs
    Chronical Leader: Supreme Court orders larger pictorial warning on tobacco products

    Source: Live Mint 16 May 2016