ASH Daily news for 19 May 2015



HEADLINES

  • Exeter: No smoking signs go up across play parks
  • Jersey: Raise cigarette tax to pay for cancer staff, says hospital consultant
  • E-cigarettes – impact on smoking rates may be short term
  • Chemicals used to flavour e-cigarettes could damage lungs in a similar way to tobacco
  • Opinion: More must be done to stub out the scourge of tobacco use in Europe
  • Ireland: JTI resists State’s EU court bid
  • USA: Opinion – California legislators must break tobacco money addiction
  • US: Cigarette company ignores 200K people asking them to stop testing on animals
  • US: Surgeon General calls out Atlanta airport’s smoking lounges
  • US: Illinois Supreme Court revisits lawsuit against tobacco company

    Exeter: No smoking signs go up across play parks

    Signs discouraging people from smoking in play areas have gone up across Exeter.

    The signs, which display the message “Please don’t smoke where we play” have been provided by NHS Devon. They have gone up in the nine most popular play parks in Exeter, including Heavitree Pleasure Grounds, with the other play areas to follow soon.

    Source: Exeter Express and Echo – 18 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EUCsh4

    Jersey: Raise cigarette tax to pay for cancer staff, says hospital consultant

    Tax on cigarettes should be increased and the money used to appoint a lung cancer nurse as smoking rates are not dropping ‘anywhere near’ as fast as predicted, says the Island’s cardiologist.

    Consultant cardiologist Dr Andrew Mitchell said that although smoking rates in the Island have decreased, they are not going down as fast as the Health Department had thought they would.

    Source: Jersey Evening Post – 18 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EUCBB5

    E-cigarettes – impact on smoking rates may be short term

    A new study by researchers at the University of Toronto concluded that electronic cigarettes seem to work for the first month but there isn’t enough evidence to say that they work for longer periods.

    The analysis looked at four studies measuring the efficacy and safety of  electronic cigarettes which involved 1011 people.

    It found that after one month the number of people that had stopped smoking using the devices had significantly improved but that the effect appeared to have gone at three or six months.

    See also:
    – E-cig puffers back on fags after 6 months, The Sun

    Source: The Independent – 18 May 2015
    Link: http://ind.pn/1EUCIN8

    Chemicals used to flavour e-cigarettes could damage lungs in a similar way to tobacco

    Some of the chemicals used to flavour e-cigarettes could alter cellular functions in lung tissue in a similar way to tobacco and could also be toxic in high doses, according to new research.

    The results of a study conducted in the Cell Biology and Physiology Department of the University of North Carolina were presented at the 2015 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

    Of the 13 flavours tested in the research, five (including Hot Cinnamon Candies, Banana Pudding and Menthol Tobacco) changed cell viability, cell proliferation, and calcium signalling (calcium homeostasis is also affected by tobacco exposure) and were shown to be toxic in higher doses.

    See also:
    – E-cigarettes alter lungs ‘at cellular level’, Wired

    Source: The Independent – 18 May 2015
    Link: http://ind.pn/1EUCRjo

    Opinion: More must be done to stub out the scourge of tobacco use in Europe

    MEPs have a responsibility to reduce the EU’s 700,000 annual smoking-related deaths, argues Brian Hayes (EPP, IE), a member of MEPs against cancer.

    Source: The Parliament Magazine – 18 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EUCZj8

    Ireland: JTI resists State’s EU court bid

    A supplier of tobacco products is opposing the State’s application to have the Court of Justice of the EU decide various legal issues in a challenge to plans to introduce plain packaging on tobacco products.

    Due to JTI’s opposition there would have to be a full hearing of the application for referral, and the sides had agreed a timetable for exchange of legal documents in advance of that full hearing, Counsel said.

    Mr Justice Brian McGovern in the High Court approved that timetable and listed the application for hearing on 30th June. He was told it was likely to last two days.

    Source: The Irish Times – 18 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EUD7Pu

    USA: Opinion – California legislators must break tobacco money addiction

    Jim Knox, vice president of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, writes of the Network’s disappointment, but lack of surprise, to learn money is pouring in from the tobacco industry to influence California politicians and fund political action committees (PACs).

    In most cases, the contributions were the maximum allowed by law. The nonprofit cancer group is calling on elected officials and PACs to stop the cycle of addiction and death by returning tobacco money.

    Philip Morris USA Inc. and its affiliates, including Altria, report making more than a dozen contributions totaling $175,700 in just the first quarter of 2015.

    Several political action committees accepted tobacco money, including JobsPAC. During the last election cycle, the tobacco industry was the single biggest contributor to JobsPAC.

    Source: The Sacramento Bee – 18 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EUDARN

    US: Cigarette company ignores 200K people asking them to stop testing on animals

    Philip Morris International and Altria are two of the leading cigarette manufacturers in the world; and they continue to test cigarettes on animals. Philip Morris was recently criticised after it was revealed that the company put  thousands of rats into tiny canisters and pumped tobacco smoke directly into their noses, six hours a day for 90 consecutive days. The rats were then killed and dissected in order to examine the harm caused to their bodies.

    According to a Change.org petition with nearly 200,000 signatures, “manufacturers can effectively use human-based research, human epidemiological and clinical studies, and cutting edge non-animal in vitro technology if they really must test anything.” Philip Morris’ German laboratories have even developed in vitro methods that use human lung tissue to test their products, but the company’s U.S. counterpart still continues to conduct cruel and less reliable animal tests.

    Meanwhile, many other cigarette companies have been moving away from testing their products on animals. Most recently, Lorillard Tobacco Company announced it will end all animal testing on tobacco products.

    Neither Altria nor Philip Morris International have responded to the petition or campaign against them.

    Source: Examiner – 18 May 2015
    Link: http://exm.nr/1EUDN7u

    US: Surgeon General calls out Atlanta airport’s smoking lounges

    The U.S. Surgeon General has called on the city of Atlanta to make Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport completely smoke-free.

    Currently, smoking is allowed in designated smoking lounges in each of the airport’s terminals.

    [includes audio and pictures]

    Source: NPR Atlanta – 18 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EUDQQD

    US: Illinois Supreme Court revisits lawsuit against tobacco company

    For the second time, the Illinois State Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit against tobacco company Philip Morris.

    The legal back-and-forth started when Sharon Price and other plaintiffs claimed the tobacco giant fraudulently used terms such as “light” and “low tar” in cigarette ads.

    They prevailed, winning a $10.1 billion judgment in March 2003, but the Illinois Supreme Court reversed that ruling by saying “light” and “low tar” terms were allowed under federal regulations, according to appellate court documents.

    Source: WQAD 8 – 18 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1EUE1LP