ASH Daily News for 17 August 2016



  • Research: Childhood cognitive ability and smoking initiation, relapse, and cessation throughout adulthood

    Researchers aimed to test the relationship between early cognitive ability and major changes in smoking habits across adulthood, and whether educational attainment mediates these associations.

    Researchers examined evidence relating to 16,653 participants from two British cohort studies. They observed that lower cognitive ability, measured in childhood before smoking is initiated, appears to predict a higher likelihood of taking up smoking and a lower likelihood of quitting in adulthood. Educational attainment appears to mediate this effect: children with higher cognitive ability tend to become more highly educated adults, which in turn predicts lower rates of smoking initiation and increased rates of smoking cessation.

    Source: Addiction 12 August 2016

  • South Africa: Alleged bribery by British American Tobacco

    Allegations have been made of a massive data leak stating British American Tobacco (BAT) South Africa has engaged in bribery and corruption.

    According to the source, BAT and the private security firm it has contracted have been running a scheme of bribing South African police officers, spying on competitors using police cameras, and even sourcing confidential business information on one of its rivals from officials in the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

    The latest allegations against BAT are contained in a sworn affidavit made by a former employee of Forensic Security Services (FSS). This has been exposed online and details are emerging gradually.

    See also:
    Peking Press: British American Tobacco ‘bribed’ police – affidavit 

    Source: All Africa 17 August 2016

  • Kenya: Graphic images and tax rises to be introduced

    Kenya is to introduce graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging and raise taxes on tobacco products, in an attempt to tackle the rise in tobacco consumption across the country.

    Addressing a summit in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, Jackson Kioko, Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health, raised concerns over the increased number of tobacco users in the country, especially young people.

    “Raising the taxation is a battle that we have to face head on. An effective increase in tobacco prices is expected to deter initiation into smoking, particularly by young people and [it will] motivate smokers to quit and prevent former smokers from relapse,” Kioko said.

    Source: 16 August 2016

  • India: Ban on Smoking in public places and sale of tobacco products to minors implemented in Darjeeling

    The West Bengal government is implementing a ban on smoking in public places and sale of tobacco products to minors in the Darjeeling district. While smoking in public places has been formally prohibited under previous legislation, this has not been enforced.

    Under a new directive from the Department of Health the ban is to be enforced and failure to comply will elicit a fine of Rs 200. The sale of tobacco products to minors will also be a punishable offence while sale of tobacco products will not be allowed within 100 metres of an educational institution.

    The Department of Health is also releasing funds for education campaigns to try and raise awareness of the dangers of smoking among the population.

    Source: The Indian Express 17 August 2016