ASH Daily news for 19 March 2015



HEADLINES

  • Budget 2015: 2% tax rise as expected
  • New global fund to help countries defend tobacco control
  • New Tobacco Atlas details the scale of the tobacco epidemic
  • WHO chief wants tobacco firms pushed ‘out of business’
  • New research explodes tobacco industry lies about plain packs
  • Parliamentary Questions

    Budget 2015: 2% tax rise as expected

    Taxes on cigarettes were raised by 2 per cent in yesterday’s Budget, as previously announced by the Chancellor.  Mr. Osborne also promised a range of measures designed to tackle illicit tobacco, including a registration scheme to track users and dealers of raw tobacco.

    ASH welcomed the expected duty rise but was disappointed by the lack of progress on a tobacco levy, a policy that was first put forward by the Labour party last year.

    Source: Financial Times, 18 March, 2015
    Link: http://on.ft.com/1B41V5R

    New global fund to help countries defend tobacco control

    A new global fund is being launched at the 16th World Conference on Tobacco to help developing countries fend off challenges posed by tobacco industries. The $4m (£2.7m) fund is a joint effort by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Source: BBC News, 18 March, 2015
    Link: http://bbc.in/1MQddB3

    New Tobacco Atlas details the scale of the tobacco epidemic

    The fifth edition of the Tobacco Atlas, and its companion mobile app and website TobaccoAtlas.org, were unveiled today by the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation at the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health. The Atlas graphically details the scale of the tobacco epidemic; the harmful influence of tobacco on health, poverty, social justice, and the environment; the progress being made in tobacco control; and the latest products and tactics being used by the industry to protect its profits and delay and derail tobacco control.

    Source: Medical Press, 19 March, 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1H4V9Vd

    WHO chief wants tobacco firms pushed ‘out of business’

    The Director General of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, urged global action to drive tobacco companies “out of business” and hailed progress in tackling smoking in many countries.

    Speaking at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, she welcomed steps taken by several countries, led by Australia, to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes, despite “being intimidated by tobacco industry threats of lengthy and costly litigation”.

    Source: Daily Mail, 18 March, 2015
    Link: http://dailym.ai/1bh33Oa

    New research explodes tobacco industry lies about plain packs

    Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney, summarises some of the key findings from the wealth of evidence showing the positive health impacts of standardised, plain packaging. The latest  research has been published today in a supplement to the journal Tobacco Control and includes rebuttals to the tobacco industry’s claims  that the policy “would not work”.

    Source

    Tobacco Control – http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/24/Suppl_2.toc

    Source: The Conversation, 19 March, 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1I17DLl

    Parliamentary Questions

    PQ1: electronic cigarettes

    Mike Hancock, Independent

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of research on the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid.

    Jane Ellison, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

    According to the ASH Smokefree GB survey, around two million adults in Great Britain currently use e-cigarettes. A third are ex-smokers who have given up completely, and a further third are using them as part of a quit attempt.

    While e-cigarettes are not completely without risk, they carry a far lower risk to health than smoking tobacco. A recent Cochrane Review found that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit or reduce their smoking and the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) advice to local stop smoking services is that they should be open to helping smokers who want to quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes, especially in those that have tried, but not succeeded, in stopping smoking with the use of licenced stop smoking medicines.

    Public Health England (PHE) is responsible for reviewing the evidence on e-cigarettes and providing evidence-based recommendations to inform the Government’s future thinking. In May 2014 PHE published an expert report from Professor John Britton, one of the UK’s leading respiratory physicians and tobacco researchers (available at: http://bit.ly/1mjB1kD ).

    Source: Citation: HC Deb, 18 March 2015, cW
    Link: http://bit.ly/1CwoCFb