ASH Daily news for 21 December 2015



HEADLINES

  • British American Tobacco paid union to disrupt production at one of its chief rivals
  • Smokefree laws cut the number of social or new smokers by a fifth, study reveals
  • Adele: I quit smoking because I feared for my life
  • Germany: Government to implement new measures to curb smoking
  • Australia: Tasmanian government plans to raise minimum smoking age to 21 or 25
  • Japan: Japanese employers, establishments take steps toward curbing smoking ahead of 2020 Games

    British American Tobacco paid union to disrupt production at one of its chief rivals

    British American Tobacco (BAT) recruited and paid for a union to disrupt production at one of its chief rivals, according to a whistleblower. The union plan was part of a strategy to drive Mastermind Tobacco, an African rival, out of business.

    The clandestine plot is revealed in internal BAT documents disclosed by whistleblower Paul Hopkins, who worked for the tobacco giant in Africa for 13 years.

    The strategy also involved bribing Kenyan tax officials to disclose its rival’s confidential tax dealings, paying company officials to disclose vital corporate secrets, and offering cash to port officials to “lose” or impound its rival’s export shipments and supplies of raw materials.

    In Kenya there are growing demands for an official investigation into Mr Hopkins’ revelations.

    Source: The Independent, 19th December 2015
    Link: http://ind.pn/1mu28zx

    Smokefree laws cut the number of social or new smokers by a fifth, study reveals

    A study has found that smokefree laws cut the number of social or new smokers by a fifth.

    The study also suggested that complete bans are more effective than high tobacco taxes at discouraging young people from starting in the first place.

    The study is the first to look at how city-level government policies – both taxes and bans – affected actual smokers.

    The research, published in the American Journal of Public Health, comprised 4,341 people between the ages of 19 and 31 from 487 cities who were interviewed annually from 2004 to 2011.

    Source: Western Daily Press, 20th December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1S44Ac2

    Adele: I quit smoking because I feared for my life

    Famous singer Adele has said that she put a stop to smoking because she feared it would kill her.

    Up until recently, the Grammy Award winner had been smoking 25 cigarettes a day, when she had to cancel shows in 2011 after losing her voice.

    Adele said: “If I’d carried on smoking I’d probably have died from a smoking-related illness and I think that’s really bad… If I was dying from lung cancer I would have potentially given it to myself and that wouldn’t be something I’d be proud of.”

    Source: The Sun, 19th December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1TbYfd9

    Germany: Government to implement new measures to curb smoking

    The government has approved a draft bill requiring tobacco packages to have pictorial health warnings. The new law, which will be implemented next year, comes amid concern in Germany over tobacco-related deaths.

    The rules, part of a European Union directive, must be implemented by May 20, 2016.

    Source: Deutsche Welle, 16th December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1PaAL96

    Australia: Tasmanian government plans to raise minimum smoking age to 21 or 25

    The Tasmanian government has proposed to raise the minimum legal smoking age from 18 to either 21 or 25.

    Most public health experts welcome the move, which would be a first for Australia if the proposed legislation goes ahead.

    The move, aimed at reducing the state’s high smoking rates, is the centrepiece of the government’s Healthy Tasmania discussion paper, released by the state’s health minister, Michael Ferguson, on Sunday.

    If the idea receives support, the government could draft legislation to amend the Public Health Act.

    It would be a first for Australia but several jurisdictions in the US have already raised the minimum smoking age. The city of Needham in Massachusetts made it 21 in 2005 and New York City did the same in 2013. From January 1, Hawaii will raise it to 21 as well.

    Source: The Guardian, 21st December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1kbMlnb

    Japan: Japanese employers, establishments take steps toward curbing smoking ahead of 2020 Games

    Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, social trends to strengthen policies against second-hand smoke are catching on, as an increasing number of people seem to prefer completely smoke-free environments rather than those that contain designated smoking sections.

    In late November, a group of students and lawyers proposed the establishment of a passive smoking prevention law to the Japanese Health, Labor and welfare Minister for a “tobacco-free Olympics and Paralympics.”

    In recent years moves have also been made to develop legislation in Olympic host cities, such as imposing fines on facilities that lack proper measures for managing secondhand smoke.

    Source: The Japan Times, 18th December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1QB6wK5