ASH Daily News for 19 January 2017



  • Northern Ireland: Consultation launched on smoking in cars
  • London mental health trust makes the move to going smokefree
  • Hull: Stop smoking budget to be cut despite high smoking rates
  • Florida: Tobacco companies sued over failure to make payments
  • Parliamentary Questions

Northern Ireland: Consultation launched on smoking in cars

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has announced an eight-week consultation on regulations to prohibit smoking in private vehicles when children are present.

The draft regulations propose extending existing legislation to make it an offence to smoke in a private vehicle when someone under 18 is present, and to fail to prevent someone else smoking in a private vehicle carrying someone under the age of 18.

According to a recent survey, 8% of adults who smoke permit smoking sometimes, or in some cars, whilst a further 4% allow smoking in all family cars.

Source: Newry Times – 18 January 2017
Read Article


London mental health trust makes the move to being smokefree

Smoking is going to be stubbed out at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey (BEH) Mental Health Trust as they make the move towards going smokefree.

Smoking has been banned on the premises and in the grounds across the NHS trust’s hospitals as part of their initiative, launched on Tuesday, for promoting long-term health.

All inpatients will be given support to stop smoking with the offer of nicotine replacement therapies within 30 minutes of admission or patients can opt for electronic cigarette alternatives. There are also plans to help patients in the community quit smoking and reduce their cigarette intake.

“Inpatient admission offers an invaluable opportunity to monitor and manage a person’s physical health,” said Sean Edwards, manager on the Sussex ward at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield. “So by BEH going SmokeFree we can hopefully enable patients to quit or reduce smoking by offering advice, support, and alternatives to improve their health and well-being. It will be a challenge but the benefits are significant,” he added.

Source: North London News – 18 January 2017
Read Article


Hull: Stop smoking budget to be cut despite high smoking rates

Hull’s tobacco control budget is set to be cut by £250,000 despite the city having the highest rate of adult smoking in England.

In the context of Government cut backs Hull’s public health budget has had to be cut with this having a knock on impact for services and enforcement activities.

The tobacco control budget is used to fund a range of activities designed to decrease smoking rates from trading standards activity around seizure of illicit tobacco, to stop smoking medications such as nicotine replacement therapy.

Source: Hull Daily Mail – 18 January 2017
Read Article


Florida: Tobacco companies sued over failure to make payments

Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, has sued two tobacco companies that she says are failing to pay millions owed to the state as part of a landmark settlement.

Nearly two decades ago, several of the nation’s largest tobacco companies negotiated a settlement with Florida to compensate for the cost of treating sick smokers. It is estimated that the state should receive nearly $356 million this financial year in settlement payments.

Several of these companies have merged or been bought out since the settlement was originally negotiated. However Bondi argued that: “The sale of major, pre-existing tobacco brands to another company for billions of dollars does not cause the payment obligations to vanish like a puff of smoke. I look forward to the state obtaining prompt relief.”

Florida filed its lawsuit the day after British American Tobacco announced it is taking over Reynolds American in a $49 billion deal.

Source: Huron Daily Tribune – 18 January 2017
Read Article


Parliamentary Questions

PQ1: Tobacco Control Plan
Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when he plans for the Tobacco Control Strategy to be published.

Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, on what dates he has met supermarkets to discuss their policy on tobacco sales.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
The Government is developing a new tobacco control plan, which will be published shortly.

As part of the development of the tobacco control plan, stakeholders were invited to give views during the initial stages. This included representatives from the independent retail sector. Ministers have not met with individual supermarkets to discuss tobacco sales.

Source: Hansard – 17 January 2017
Read transcript

PQ2: Retail licensing
Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has for a licensing scheme for tobacco (a) retailers and (b) wholesalers.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
Last year HM Revenues and Customs led a consultation on licensing throughout the supply chain. The Government committed to legislation on licencing of tobacco machinery in Budget 2016. Officials are further considering responses on licensing in other parts of the supply chain.

Source: Hansard – 17 January 2017
Read transcript

PQ3: Taxation
Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to establish a minimum unit price for tobacco products.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
The Government has no current plans to introduce a minimum unit price for tobacco products. The Government announced at Budget 2016 that it would introduce a Minimum Excise Tax (MET) on cigarettes. This will set a minimum amount of total duty to be collected on any sale of cigarettes. Draft legislation for the MET was published on 5 December and the rate will be announced at Budget 2017.

Source: Hansard –  17 January 2017
Read transcript

PQ4: Tobacco Companies Obligation
Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he (a) has met and (b) will meet tobacco companies to discuss a Tobacco Companies Obligation as recommended by Action on Smoking and Health in its report entitled Smoking Still Kills, published in June 2015.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
The Department has not met and has no plans to meet the tobacco industry to discuss the Tobacco Companies Obligation.

Source: Hansard – 17 January 2017
Read transcript

PQ5: Illicit Trade Protocol
Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 19 December 2016 to Question 56889, what the timescale is for the text of the World Health Organisation Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products to be laid before Parliament as a Command Paper.

Jane Ellison The Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Subject to Parliamentary approval of the relevant provisions in Finance Bill 2017, the text of the World Health Organisation Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products will be laid before Parliament as a Command Paper with an Explanatory Memorandum. The current plans are to do this within 8 weeks of Royal Assent. Providing Parliament does not resolve against ratification the UK can then begin the formal ratification process.

Source: Hansard – 16 January 2017
Read transcript