ASH Daily News for 18 June 2018



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UK

  • Devon: Men jailed after international tobacco smuggling operation used fridges and vacuum cleaners to evade £12m in tax
  • Scotland: Experts dismiss pub ‘smoking room’ idea
  • Scotland: Smokers offered £160 incentive to quit

International

  • Ireland: Smokers held responsible for most littering
  • Australia: Majority of Australians want e-cigarettes to be legalised – as thousands of former smokers are forced to illegally import nicotine

UK

Devon: Men jailed after international tobacco smuggling operation used fridges and vacuum cleaners to evade £12m in tax

Two men from Devon have been jailed for their role in a gang which smuggled illegal tobacco hidden inside fridges, microwaves and vacuum cleaners to evade £12 million in tax.

Ivybridge man, Kyle Langdon, 31, was jailed for two years and Andrew Carver-Trotter, 35, was sentenced to one year in March. The gang were sentenced to a total of 21 years and five months with the last member of the 11-strong operation to be sentenced at Manchester Crown Court yesterday, with a three-year jail term.

Investigators observed the smuggling ring at work in a large warehouse where hollow white goods were being used to smuggle tobacco into the UK.

After being emptied in the UK, the carcasses were returned to the warehouse in Luxembourg to be re-filled with more illicit tobacco destined for the UK.

Source: Devon Live, 15 Jun 2018

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Scotland: Experts dismiss pub ‘smoking room’ idea

A poll of more than 1,000 Scots, by Forest, a pro-smoking lobby group, has found that 57% of respondents thought bars and private clubs should be allowed to provide specially ventilated smoking rooms.

The poll findings were released in advance of the Scottish government publishing its Tobacco Control Action Plan, restating the aim of a tobacco-free country by 2034.

Sheila Duffy, chief executive of charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland, dismissed claims made by Forest stating “Tobacco companies and their allies have long argued in favour of expensive solutions that don’t work, while trying to derail cheap and effective ones that do. Ventilation cannot and does not protect workers from being exposed for hours to breathing a toxic substance that is harmful to health and easily prevented”.

She added: “Two thirds of Scotland’s smokers want to quit. Hardly anyone is ambitious for the children in their families and neighbourhood to take up smoking. We need to support people and communities looking to improve their health, wellbeing and finances by relegating cigarettes to the past.”

Source: The Sunday Times, 17 June 2018

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Scotland: Smokers offered £160 incentive to quit

Smokers across Scotland are being given shopping vouchers in a publicly funded attempt to help them ditch the habit. In Lanarkshire, about half of smokers living in the poorest parts of the area ditched cigarettes after being offered a financial incentive for 12 weeks.

From next month, a new initiative in Greater Glasgow and Clyde will see pregnant smokers given up to £160 to ditch cigarettes, after a successful pilot scheme.

Medical experts have welcomed the schemes as a “cost effective” way to improve the health of patients. But opposition politicians warn many taxpayers will be “sceptical” about this approach, despite the early results being positive.

Source: The Scotsman, 17 June 2018

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International

Ireland: Smokers held responsible for most littering

19% of Irish people smoke but their litter is responsible for more than half of that found on the country’s streets.

Cigarette butts accounted for 52.5% of the rubbish left on streets last year, but when boxes, wrappers, matches, matchboxes and lighters were added, smoking paraphernalia accounted for 56%, local authorities said.

Denis Naughten, the environment minister, has implored smokers to clean up after themselves, stating “Smokers in particular can bring about a significant improvement in the litter situation through relatively minor behavioural changes. Everyone must accept that, ultimately, it is their own actions that will ensure whether or not we live in a litter-free environment.”

Source: The Times, 18 June 2018

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Australia: Majority of Australians want e-cigarettes to be legalised – as thousands of former smokers are forced to illegally import nicotine

Most Australians want the ban on electronic cigarettes lifted, according to an Australian Retailers Association survey.

Conducted by the Crosby Textor Group, the poll shows 61% of 1200 adults backed a move towards legalising e-cigarettes.

Almost half of those surveyed agreed that vaporisers, used by 4.4% of smokers at the time of the 2016 Australian National Drug Strategy Household Survey, were a safer alternative than traditional tobacco cigarettes.

“More and more Australians are buying personal vaporisers with nicotine online from overseas, simply because they can’t buy them locally. It is clear that smokers are not prepared to wait around for the government to act and improve their health” said ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman.

Source: Mail Online, 18 June 2018

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