ASH Daily news for 21 May 2015



HEADLINES

  • MPs accept tobacco industry hospitality worth £60,000
  • Netherlands: Dutch government in court for violating international tobacco treaty
  • Australia: 30 years since Quit Victoria was established
  • Syria: Smugglers shun weapons and turn to cigarettes for profits
  • China: Banning tobacco adverts in shops ‘unquestionable’

    MPs accept tobacco industry hospitality worth £60,000

    An investigation by the BMJ has found that 38 MPs have accepted tobacco industry hospitality worth £60,000 since 2010.

    Although there is no evidence that the hospitality influenced voting behaviour, when MPs voted whether to introduce standardised packaging for tobacco products in March 2015, 20 of the 38 MPs voted against, 11 did not vote and only seven voted for.

    Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at the charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said: “It is shocking that British politicians continue to accept hospitality in this way, particularly as it runs counter to the UK’s commitments under the World Health Organisation’s treaty on tobacco. The public are also hostile to this behaviour with over three quarters stating political parties should not accept financial or in kind donations from the tobacco industry.”

    Source: BMJ: Tickets to Glyndebourne or the Oval? Big tobacco’s bid to woo parliamentarians

    See also

    Express & Star: MPs ‘took tobacco firm hospitality
    Daily Mail: 38 MPs enjoy freebies worth £60,000 from tobacco giant
    Telegraph: MPs took tobacco firms’ gifts before packaging vote

    Source: The Independent, 21 May 2015
    Link: http://ind.pn/1PYcyio

    Netherlands: Dutch government in court for violating international tobacco treaty

    Public health campaigners in the Netherlands are taking the Dutch state to court. They are attempting to force it to end the excessive influence of the tobacco industry on the government’s antismoking policies, which they say is in breach of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

    Source: BMJ, 20 May 2015
    Link: http://bmj.co/1Pyfcke

    Australia: 30 years since Quit Victoria was established

    Quit Victoria is celebrating its 30th anniversary by exploring the significant changes in attitudes and smoking rates since 1985.

    Smoking prevalence has dropped from 36% to 13%, standardised packaging laws have been introduced and tobacco advertising is virtually banned.

    Source: ABC News, 21 May 2015
    Link: http://ab.co/1Hw2LRH

    Syria: Smugglers shun weapons and turn to cigarettes for profits

    The Financial Times reports that Eastern Syria’s smugglers are seeking profit from illicit cigarettes, following the seizure of the oil and weapons trade by Isis.

    While smoking is forbidden under the religious law imposed by Isis, roughly 40 per cent of the region’s population smoke.

    Source: Financial Times, 15 May 2015
    Link: http://on.ft.com/1FyJGvN

    China: Banning tobacco adverts in shops ‘unquestionable’

    Earlier this year the Chinese government adopted an amendment to advertising laws to ban tobacco advertising in public places.

    Legal and health experts are now urging regulators to fully implement the ban in tobacco retailers. Yu Xiuyan, a research fellow at China University of Political Science and Law, said: “Tobacco retail stores are unquestionably public places.”

    Source: China.org, 21 May 2015
    Link: http://on.china.cn/1FyN9KO