ASH Daily News for 21 March 2017



  • Will Quince MP: Smoking while pregnant is number one modifiable risk factor for stillbirth
  • Supreme court to consider appeal to enforce smoking ban in UK jails
  • Tobacco Giants smoke out rescue deal for cash-and-carry giant P&H
  • Upcoming tobacco law changes
  • Interview with Ailsa Rutter, Director of Newcastle-based Fresh
  • Litter penalties will rise, warns council, as taxi driver is fined £580 for dropping cigarette butt in Bromley

Will Quince MP: Smoking while pregnant is number one modifiable risk factor for stillbirth

Conservative MP Will Quince says it is not “unreasonable” to require tobacco companies to warn pregnant women against consuming their products.

Later today in Parliament, Will Quince MP will have an adjournment debate on Public Health Guidance and Baby Loss. He will highlight the need to address smoking as a significant risk factor for stillbirth in the new Tobacco Control Plan.

Source: Politics Home – 21 March 2017
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Supreme Court to consider appeal to enforce smoking ban in UK jails

The remaining rights of prisoners to smoke inside their cells are to be challenged at the Supreme Court in a case brought by Paul Black, a prisoner at HMP Wymott, on the basis of fresh evidence from a Ministry of Justice medical report on air quality behind bars which warns that “secondhand smoke harms everyone”.

Black, who has heart problems, lost his claim at the court of appeal in March 2016. Government lawyers argued at the time that a blanket ban on smoking in public-sector prisons could cause discipline problems and risk the safety of staff and prisoners. The judges ruled that state, as opposed to private, prisons enjoyed crown immunity from the health regulations.

The Supreme Court has given permission for Black’s appeal to be heard in October. More than 80% of prisoners smoke. A ban on smoking in communal areas is being introduced, but prisoners are currently allowed to smoke in their cells when their doors are shut. An air quality report by Prof John Britton of the University of Nottingham’s centre for tobacco and alcohol studies warned that: “Even the smallest amount of exposure to secondhand smoke carries a reasonable probability of injury.”

Source: The Guardian – 20 March 2017
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Tobacco Giants smoke out rescue deal for cash-and-carry giant P&H

Two of the world’s biggest tobacco manufacturers, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and Imperial Brands, are in talks about a deal to shore up the finances of Palmer & Harvey (P&H), the cash-and-carry group that ranks among the UK’s largest private companies.

It is reported that Imperial Brands and JTI were each owed tens of millions of pounds by P&H, but that the tobacco manufacturers taking an equity stake in the wholesaler was only one of several options under consideration.

An Imperial Brands spokesman said: “We are aware of P&H’s ongoing refinancing discussions and are talking with them about a range of potential options to support their business. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”

See also:
Tobacco giants in talks with cash-and-carry, The Times (£)

Source: Juice Brighton – 20 March 2017
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Upcoming tobacco law changes

A host of new rules on cigarettes and tobacco are set to come into force within weeks – and smokers will need to be aware of the changes. Packs of 10 will be a thing of the past along with smaller packs of rolling tobacco and some flavoured tobacco. Menthol cigarettes, which experts say have often been aimed at beginner smokers, are being gradually phased out.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “There is evidence to show that menthol in cigarettes makes it easier for children to try smoking and to become addicted regular smokers. That’s why ASH supports the ban on menthol cigarettes.”

It’s hoped that by getting rid of the small, cheap packets, fewer people will be tempted to take up smoking, which is why 10 and 14-packs should also not be on sale for much longer.

Source: Sutton Guardian – 20 March 2017
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Interview with Ailsa Rutter, Director of Newcastle-based Fresh

Ailsa Rutter, Director of Newcastle-based Fresh, the UK’s first dedicated tobacco control programme, talks about smoking, the Marlboro Man, and receiving an OBE in the New Year Honours list.

She also highlighted the need to address widespread misconceptions about electronic cigarettes: “It’s not the nicotine that kills people, but the 6,000-plus toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke. Vaping is estimated by Public Health England to be at least 95 percent safer than conventional cigarettes, but we’ve seen a lot of scare stories which are putting people off switching to a safer option. Thousands of people are using electronic cigarettes to try to stop smoking – we would recommend that if they’re trying to stop smoking they also visit the NHS’ Smoke Free website for advice including details about local services which can help.”

Source: Living North – 20 March 2017
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Litter penalties will rise, warns council, as taxi driver is fined £580 for dropping cigarette butt in Bromley

Penalties for dropping litter are to “intensify”, Bromley Council has warned. The authority recently prosecuted a taxi driver for dropping cigarette litter near Bromley South station. The driver was ordered to pay a total of £580 in fines and costs.

To help maintain clean and safe neighbourhoods, the council says it operates a zero tolerance policy on litter. A fixed penalty notice can be issued to anyone dropping litter including cigarette ends, chewing gum, drinks cans, fast food packaging or any other rubbish. Littering offenders may be issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice which must be paid within 14 days. Failure to pay could result in prosecution and if convicted, offenders could face a penalty of up to £2,500.

See also:
An Orpington taxi driver has been ordered to pay £580 after throwing a cigarette on the ground, Kent Live

Source: Biggin Hill News – 20 March 2017
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