ASH Daily news for 19 April 2016



HEADLINES

  • Shoppers in the dark over tobacco laws
  • Wales: Conservative manifesto announced
  • Derbyshire: Chesterfield Royal Hospital to become completely smokefree
  • Brazil: First regional tobacco industry observatory launched
  • USA: Knowledge and beliefs about electronic cigarettes among quitline cessation staff
  • Parliamentary Questions

    Shoppers in the dark over tobacco laws

    Consumer awareness of the new European Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) which comes into force on the 20th May 2016, along with standardised packaging, remains low according to a new survey conducted this month.

    A survey of 2532 shoppers, carried out for Convenience Store by HIM in mid-April, found that 55% were totally unaware of the impending legislation.

    In Paisley Des Barr of Sinclair Barr Newsagent has been telling adult smokers about the changes for weeks: “It is vital to be upfront with smokers. It shows that we understand change is coming and are helping them to adapt to it. Most people we are telling are quite shocked and knew nothing about the legislation, which is a concern.”

    For information on the TPD see ASH’s briefing on Changes to tobacco regulations.

    Source: Convenience Store 18 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1rdS8ND

    Wales: Conservative manifesto announced

    Unveiling their pledges for the 2016 Welsh Assembly election, The Welsh Conservatives said their manifesto would bring “real change to Wales”.

    Among commitments to increase NHS spending in real terms every year of the 5 year Assembly term, the Conservatives have also pledged their support to electronic cigarettes. The manifesto states that a Conservative Government would support vaping in public places and pilot the use of electronic cigarettes in NHS smoking cessation services.

    Source: Wales Online 17 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1VfOL53

    Derbyshire: Chesterfield Royal Hospital to become completely smokefree

    From July 2016, smoking and vaping will be banned at Chesterfield Royal Hospital including in all grounds and gardens, following a 12 month consultation with staff, governors, patients and visitors. An online survey also found that 60 per cent of 2,000 respondents felt the trust should do more to ask people not to smoke.

    Dr David Pickworth, a non-executive director and local GP said: “The trust feels investing thousands of pounds in shelters to effectively support people to smoke is not standing up for what we believe in. That money would be better spent helping people to quit smoking for good to help them become healthier.”

    Source: Derbyshire Times 18 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1SPWuAe

    Brazil: First regional tobacco industry observatory launched

    Brazil this month launched the first of five planned regional centres that will collect and share information about tobacco industry strategies to undermine tobacco control.

    Known as an online observatory, the centre is a partnership of the Government of Brazil and the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, a member of Framework Convention Alliance (FCA). It features an online database that will be available to governments, civil society stakeholders, academic researchers and the public.

    The project to create industry monitoring centres in the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), was initiated by the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) following the sixth meeting of the FCTC Conference of the Parties.

    Source: Asian Tribune 19 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1SrL4bO

    USA: Knowledge and beliefs about electronic cigarettes among quitline cessation staff

    New research published in the journal Addictive Behaviours reveals a lack of knowledge around electronic cigarettes among quitline cessation staff in the USA. Researchers found that 71% of counsellors believe that secondhand exposure to vapour is harmful and nearly 87% believe that electronic cigarettes should be regulated as equal to cigarettes in terms of advertising, taxation, access by minors, and use in public places.

    Conclusions from the research state that: “Quitline counsellors view e-cigarettes as ineffective quitting aids, potentially dangerous, and in need of greater regulations. Counsellors can influence how treatment seekers view e-cigarettes, therefore it is imperative that quitlines stay abreast of emerging data and communicate about these products in ways that best serve clients.”

    The full research can be accessed here.
    For further information on electronic cigarettes see ASH’s briefing on electronic cigarettes.

    Source: Science Direct 18 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1qVGRRI

    Parliamentary Questions

    PQ1: Electronic Cigarettes
    Danny Kinahan Ulster Unionist Party

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent discussions he has had on the (a) positive and (b) negative effects of e-cigarettes on people who try to stop smoking.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the number of e-cigarette users who have (a) resumed smoking and (b) purchased vaping supplies from black market sources.

    Jane Ellison Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    The best thing a smoker can do to improve their health is to quit smoking for good. The Department recognises that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) can help smokers quit and the evidence indicates that they are considerably less harmful to health than cigarettes.

    This Government has committed to publishing a new tobacco control plan to further reduce the prevalence of smoking in England. The development of this plan is underway and will be published later this year. The new strategy will consider the role of e-cigarettes in further reducing the prevalence of smoking in England. To help inform this element of the strategy the Department has been engaging with electronic cigarette experts to ensure that local authorities and Stop Smoking Services are provided with up to date, evidenced based advice on e-cigarettes.

    Whilst the Department has not made a formal assessment of the number of e-cigarette users who have resumed smoking, the evidence suggests that in the short-term, relapse rates are lower in those using electronic cigarettes to quit. The Department has not made an assessment of the number of electronic cigarette users who have purchased vaping supplies from black market sources.

    Source: Hansard Citation: HC Deb, 18 April 2016, cW
    http://bit.ly/1U4dtnB

    PQ2: Tobacco Product Regulation
    Rob Marris Shadow Minister (Treasury)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the potential effect of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 on costs to the NHS in the year ending May 2017.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the potential effect of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 on costs to the NHS in each year between May 2017 and the end of the current Parliament.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    The Department assesses the impact of all proposed measures before making legislation using standard government methodology. These assessments are set out in Impact Assessments which are scrutinised by the Regulatory Policy Committee before publication alongside the Statutory Instrument.

    An assessment of the impact of the provisions introduced by the Tobacco Products Directive will be published alongside the implementing Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 in spring this year. Expected health benefits from improved smoking quit rates have been estimated at around £13 billion.

    Source: Hansard Citation: HC Deb, 18 April 2016, cW
    http://bit.ly/1S7spAc

    PQ3: Smoking in cars carrying children
    Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 11 April 2016to Question 32147, whether his Department plans to bring forward proposals to enable police to issue fixed notices for people smoking in cars with children present.

    Jane Ellison Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    The police use traffic offender reports to record information on a range of offences, including for smoking in private vehicles carrying children. Local authorities can then take appropriate enforcement action, including the issue fixed penalty notices, rather than the police.

    Guidance on the use of traffic offender reports to share information with local authorities has been circulated to police forces.

    Source: Hansard Citation: HC Deb, 18 April 2016, cW
    http://bit.ly/1Nkk7EV