ASH Daily news for 20 July 2015



HEADLINES

  • Cigarettes should cost £15 a packet to prevent thousands of deaths, say leading medics
  • Prison smoking ban under consideration
  • Bradford: Senior councillor calls for city to back e-cigarettes as alternative to smoking
  • Cumbria: ‘No smoking’ signs reminder to businesses
  • US: Physicians testified for tobacco companies against dying cancer patients
  • US: Tobacco industry quietly influencing California legislators
  • Taiwan: JTI’s plan for plant creates controversy
  • India: Punjab forms panel to enforce tobacco Act
  • Uganda: Madam Speaker, pass the Tobacco Control Bill now

    Cigarettes should cost £15 a packet to prevent thousands of deaths, say leading medics

    Health professionals want the Government to consider big rises in cigarette prices of up to £15 by 2020 in an aims to cut smoking levels from the current 18.4% to 13%.

    Experts on the Independent Cancer Taskforce also said all patients should get their cancer test results within four weeks in a drive to save more lives through early diagnosis.

    In their new report, the taskforce set out a six-point plan to help an extra 30,000 patients every year survive cancer for ten years or more by 2020.

    See also:
    – Cigarettes facing massive price hike, The Sun
    – Cancer taskforce tells NHS: get up to date and save 30,000 lives a year, The Guardian
    – Cancer treatment on NHS should get radical overhaul to save 30,000 lives a year, The Independent

    Source: Daily Mirror – 19 July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Gvd029

    Prison smoking ban under consideration

    The Ministry of Justice is drawing up plans for a smoking ban in several jails amid fears that legal actions forcing all to go smoke-free simultaneously would trigger unrest at a time when tensions in the prison estate are high.

    Successive prison ministers have prevaricated on introducing a ban, due to concerns about the reaction from the four out of five prisoners who smoke. However, two legal cases brought by prisoners have brought the matter to a head. In March, a high court case confirmed that prisons were not above the law when it came to restrictions on smoking and that prison staff, including the governor, were open to prosecution if they failed to enforce restrictions.

    Now the Observer understands that the ministry will soon pilot a smoking ban in about eight prisons in Wales and the south-west of England. It is known to have conducted an analysis on the health effects of smoking in prisons, but it has declined to release a 2007 assessment – requested under the Freedom of Information Act – on the ground that it “could lead to an inaccurate impression, causing damage to staff morale, which would be likely to prejudice the maintenance of security and good order in prisons”.

    A continued failure to implement a ban could leave the ministry open to legal action.

    Source: The Observer – 18 July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Gvdt4j

    Bradford: Senior councillor calls for city to back e-cigarettes as alternative to smoking

    Stop-smoking services in the district can no longer afford to ignore e-cigarettes as a quitting tool, a senior councillor has said.

    Countless lives would be saved if Bradford’s public health team encouraged smokers to switch to vaping, Conservative group leader Councillor Simon Cooke believes.

    Public health bodies have been reluctant to advocate e-cigarettes, but Cllr Cooke, a member of the district’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said the health risks associated with them were minimal, compared to traditional tobacco.

    Source: Telegraph & Argus – 19 July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1GvdFAy

    Cumbria: ‘No smoking’ signs reminder to businesses

    Businesses are being reminded that it is a legal requirement to display ‘no smoking’ signs at all entrances to their premises.

    Spot-checks by South Lakeland District Council officers have revealed a significant number of businesses are not complying with the legislation.

    Failure to comply with the law is a criminal offence and carries a fixed penalty notice of £200.

    Source: The Westmoreland Gazette – 18 July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1GvdPYE

    US: Physicians testified for tobacco companies against dying cancer patients

    A new study reveals that a group of physicians have testified for the tobacco industry against patients dying of cancer on multiple occasions, repeatedly stating that their smoking habits did not cause cancer.

    According to the study conducted by a researcher from Stanford University, a pool of six experts would testify as expert witnesses that a combination of environmental factors such as the use of mouthwash or the consumption of salted fish were more likely to have caused a patient’s head and neck cancers than heavy smoking.

    See also:
    – Physicians testified for tobacco companies against plaintiffs with head, neck cancers, Health Canal

    Source: Medical News Today – 20 July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1GvdZPU

    US: Tobacco industry quietly influencing California legislators

    The powerful tobacco industry’s deep pockets are apparently quietly influencing California legislators, discouraging them from approving stricter tobacco regulation measures for the state.

    A package of six tobacco-related bills stalled in the California Legislature earlier this month due to lack of sufficient support. Democrat lawmakers have reintroduced the bills, but their future is still uncertain as many politicians are reluctant support them.

    Many experts believe that tobacco industry’s financial contributions during election campaigns are partly responsible for the problem.

    See also:
    – California legislators side with tobacco industry, Times-Herald News

    Source: Uncover Michigan – 18 July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1GveQA4

    Taiwan: JTI’s plan for plant creates controversy

    Japan Tobacco International (JTI), one of the three major tobacco producers in the world, will invest a total of over US$300 million to set up a plant in the Tainan Technological Industrial Park, which is expected to be operational in February 2016.

    It is considered a major investment project, but the John Tung Foundation called a news conference on July 16 to say that the project violates the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) that Taiwan has signed, urging a rejection of the project.

    The Tainan city government issued a statement after the appeal by the foundation, demanding that the central government shed light on the issue. If the central government thinks it is a violation of the FCTC, the project will be halted.

    Source: Want China Times – 19 July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1GveGIT

    India: Punjab forms panel to enforce tobacco Act

    To ensure forceful implementation of the Tobacco Control Act, the state government of Punjab has become the first state to form a committee to deal with the tobacco industry’s interference in public health policies.

    The high-powered committee will mainly focus on the implementation of Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

    See also:
    – Punjab forms Committee for implementation of Tobacco Control Act, Economic Times

    Source: The Tribune – 19 July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Gvfgq6

    Uganda: Madam Speaker, pass the Tobacco Control Bill now

    Henry Zakumumpa, a research Fellow of the Economics of Tobacco Control project of the American Cancer Society and the University Of Cape Town School of Economics, reviews the history of tobacco control and calls on the Speaker of the Ugandan parliament to pass the Tobacco Control Bill (2014).

    See also:
    – Tobacco Bill is oppressive, says private sector body, Daily Monitor

    Source: All Africa – 17 July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Gver0w