ASH Daily News for 19 December 2016



  • Imperial stubs out plans for Supreme Court battle on tobacco packaging rules
  • Blackpool: Funds to tackle smoking being cut back by council
  • US: Senator says exploding e-cigarette recalls need to be considered
  • France: Pension reserve fund turns its back on tobacco, coal

Imperial stubs out plans for Supreme Court battle on tobacco packaging rules

Imperial Brands has announced that it is not going to take its case against standardised cigarette packaging to the Supreme Court.

British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International (JTI) will reveal “any day now” whether they will continue to fight the rules which came into effect in May, an industry source said.

Imperial’s decision to walk away from the fight despite the company relying on the UK for around 15% of its total earnings raises questions over the commitment of BAT which earns less than 1% of its takings from Britain.

JTI also has a 15% exposure to the market and has been the most outspoken against the legislation.

Source: Daily Telegraph – 17 December 2016
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Blackpool: Funds to tackle smoking being cut back by council

Blackpool Council is to stop paying GPs for referring patients to services which help them quit smoking.

Cabinet member for health Cllr Amy Cross told the authority’s Health Scrutiny Committee she thought the policy was “very inappropriate.” She was responding to concerns that recently reduced smoking rates in the town could be jeopardised when Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group cuts its share of funding for the arrangement. But Cllr Cross said the contract’s days were numbered.

Source: Blackpool Gazette – 17 December 2016
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US: Senator says exploding e-cigarette recalls need to be considered

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, is increasing the pressure on the federal government to consider recalling e-cigarette batteries and devices that explode and catch fire, injuring users.

At a press conference Sunday, Schumer cited a recent Associated Press story saying the FDA identified about 66 explosions in 2015 and early 2016 after recording 92 explosions from 2009 to September 2015.

He said he wants the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to figure out why so many devices, many from China, are exploding. He said the recent injuries are proof federal action is needed.

Source: Daily Mail – 18 December 2016
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France: Pension reserve fund turns its back on tobacco, coal

Fonds de reserve pour les retraites (FRR), France’s €37.2bn pension reserve fund, will no longer invest in the tobacco industry or certain coal companies.

The exclusion strategy will be applied so that, by the end of 2017, it will have been applied to almost 95% of the “overall scope” of FRR’s assets.

In a statement, FRR said efforts by the World Health Organisation, governments and civil society to deal with the “scourge” of tobacco consumption could eventually weigh on the performance of tobacco companies.

Source: Investment and Pensions Europe – 16 December 2016
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