ASH Daily news for 20 June 2016



  • Shock stats show one in 10 women smoke during pregnancy – despite knowing the risks

    One in 10 women in England smokes during pregnancy despite knowing the risks, officials figures show.

    And only half of mums-to-be manage to give up even though the dangers – of premature delivery, miscarriage , stillbirth and sudden infant death – are clear.

    The NHS data shows that 67,195 babies have been born to mums who puffed on cigarettes up to delivery day in the year to March.

    But Deborah Arnott, from Action on Smoking and Health, insisted “significant progress” has been made in reducing pregnant smokers.

    The 10.6% figure from 2015/2016 is down from 15% a decade ago – and it is below the 11% NHS target set in 2011.

    Source: Daily Mirror – 19 June 2016

  • Wales: Push the button to stop hospital smoking

    A pioneering anti-smoking public address system has been rolled out across west Wales, with Pembrokeshire schoolchildren recording the messages.

    Any member of the public who sees someone smoking on hospital sites can now press a red button that will activate an outdoor speaker reminding people not to smoke.

    The scheme, nicknamed ‘Push the Button’, was launched last week at  Withybush Hospital with Wolfscastle Primary School pupils invited to hear their voices on the speakers for the first time.

    Source: Western Telegraph – 18 June 2016

  • Scotland: Council pledge to help stub out the habit

    The East Dunbartonshire Tobacco Alliance (the Alliance) has signed up to support a national bid to make Scotland ‘tobacco free’.

    The Alliance’s members gathered at Southbank Marina to officially put their names to ASH Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-Free Generation, which aims for fewer than 5% of Scots to be lighting up by 2034.

    And organisers of the Kirkintilloch Canal Festival have also pledged to support the charter by setting up “clean air” sections at this year’s event.

    Source: Milngavie and Bearsden Herald – 17 June 2016

  • EU: Tobacco firms defend value of EU deals

    Three weeks are left before an anti-smuggling agreement between the European Union and tobacco firm Phillip Morris International (PMI) expires.

    While the EU commission is yet to announce whether it wants to negotiate for a renewal or extension, representatives of two of the other four big tobacco firms said they are quite happy with the cooperation so far.

    Alan Hardacre, head of strategy and public affairs at Imperial Tobacco, called his company’s deal with the EU “on balance … very effective”. Both him and his colleague at British American Tobacco believe the agreements have contributed to the decrease in the share of brand products among seized smuggled cigarettes.

    Source: EU Observer – 17 June 2016

  • Australian watchdog files suit against e-cigarette retailers

    Australia’s consumer watchdog has launched a lawsuit in the Federal Court against two e-cigarette retailers, saying the companies misled consumers with claims that their products are not carcinogenic.

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement that Australia’s Social-Lites Pty Limited and Elusion New Zealand Limited, both online retailers, claimed on their websites that their e-cigarettes did not contain toxic chemicals found in conventional cigarettes.

    Tests commissioned by the ACCC found the e-cigarettes did contain carcinogens and toxic, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein, the ACCC statement said.

    See also:
    – E-cigarettes: health advocates welcome court action against two manufacturers, The Guardian
    – E-cigarette retailers taken to court in world first action by Australia’s consumer watchdog, This is Money

    Source: Reuters – 20 June 2016

  • Ghana: Africa health partners urged to collaborate in tobacco control

    Mr Yaw Brobbey-Mpiani, the Deputy Director (Administration) of the Ghana Health Service, has expressed the need for stakeholders in health to harness their efforts in tobacco control in Africa.

    He said there are subtle attempts by the tobacco industry to rely on International Trade Agreements (ITA), to thwart the implementation of World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

    Mr Brobbey-Mpiani gave the advice at the opening of a three-day national workshop on International Trade and Investment Law, Tobacco Control and Health in Accra on Wednesday. The workshop, which sponsored by the WHO drew participants from the Trade and Industry, Justice, Health Ministries as well as members of civil society organisations.

    Source: Business Ghana – 18 June 2016

  • Australia: We could soon be building houses from cigarette butts

    A team of researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne have come up with a solution to the cigarette butt problem: use them to make bricks!

    The study, which was led by Dr Abbas Mohajerani of the School of Engineering, showed that using cigarette butts to make fire bricks not only helped the environment, but also cut down the cost of making bricks.

    Dr Mohajerani and his team discovered that cigarette butts can lower the energy needed to fire up the bricks by up to 58 per cent. Not only that, the bricks with cigarette butts are lighter and have better insulation than regular bricks.

    Source: MSN – 18 June 2016