ASH Daily News for 2 July 2018



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UK

  • Scotland: Deprived areas could see reduction in number of retailers selling cigarettes
  • Smoking rates in East Lancashire among highest in the country
  • UK golf courses ban smoking due to heatwave

International

  • $39m cost of defending Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws
  • Study: Posts on social media about shisha pipes may promote usage

UK

Scotland: Deprived areas could see reduction in number of retailers selling cigarettes

Proposals found in the Scottish government’s five-year action plan ‘Raising Scotland’s Tobacco-free Generation’ include restricting the number of retailers allowed to sell tobacco, “particularly where smoking rates are highest such as in more deprived communities”; introducing further price increases on tobacco; and rolling out a new conditional registration or licencing regime for retailers selling tobacco.

Scottish Government public health minister Aileen Campbell said: “The action plan demonstrates our commitment to the new Public Health Priorities which include an ambition for a Scotland free from the harms caused by alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.”

Source: Scottish Grocer and Convenience Retailer, 1 July 2018

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Smoking rates in East Lancashire among highest in the country

Data collected by the Office for National Statistics and Public Health England have revealed the top 10 local authorities in England with the highest adult smoking rates. The data was analysed by E-cigarette retailer Vapourcore.com.

Two East Lancashire authorities are included in the top 10. The figures reveal 25.5% of women in Burnley smoke, the second highest in the country and well above the county average. Rossendale has been named as the local authority with the highest smoking rates for men in the country at 33.1%.

Since last year Lancashire County Council has been working with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and commissioned the creation of the ‘Quit Squad’ to discourage people from smoking. Quit Squad encourages people to stop smoking and support pregnant women to quit.

Source: The Lancaster and Morecombe Citizen, 2 July 2018

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UK golf courses ban smoking due to heatwave

Several golf clubs across the country have banned smoking on their courses due to the fire risk from the extremely dry conditions. The UK is going through a particularly hot and dry spell of weather which has led to spectacular wildfires in the Manchester moorlands. Worries about potential fires have prompted golf clubs across England to completely ban smoking. This includes clubs in Lincolnshire, Merseyside and Bournemouth.

Source: Golf Monthly, 29 June 2018

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International

$39m cost of defending Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws

The Australian government spent nearly $40m defending its world-first plain packaging laws against Philip Morris Asia, a tobacco multinational, according to freedom of information documents. The legal battle lasted six years and finished last Thursday, when the WTO ruled in favour of the Australian government.

Philip Morris had taken its case to the permanent court of arbitration in 2012, using a clause in a 1993 Hong Kong-Australia trade deal to sue the Australian government. Philip Morris Asia lost its multi-year case, with the court ordering the tobacco giant to pay Australia’s legal costs in 2017, but the commonwealth government has resisted freedom of information requests for the past two years to reveal the full legal costs.

Source: Guardian, 1 July 2018

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Study: Posts on social media about shisha pipes may promote usage

Posts with hashtags, such as #hookah or #shisha, on social media platforms may portray its use in an overwhelmingly positive manner despite its serious health risks, a new study suggests. The findings, published in the journal Health Education and Behavior, suggest that the portrayal and promotion of hookah smoking on social media can normalise its use and pose public health challenges.

A team of researchers from Florida International University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Miami, the Syrian Centre for Tobacco Studies, and the University of Pittsburgh performed a qualitative content analysis on a sample of 301 Instagram posts made with the hashtags #hookah or #shisha in October 2016.

They found that 99.6% indicated positive sentiments towards hookah use and only one post (0.4%) mentioned its negative health effects.

“A growing body of evidence suggests that smoking hookah can lead to nicotine dependence and many other known smoking-related illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease.” the researchers said.

Source: News 18, 30 June 2018

See also: Health Education & Behavior, #Hookahlife: The Rise of Waterpipe Promotion on Instagram

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