ASH Daily News for 22 December 2016



  • EU report backs joint effort to trace illicit cigarettes
  • Research counters the claim that e-cigarettes are renormalising tobacco
  • Hospitals in Bradford and Keighley struggling to enforce smoking ban
  • USA: Michigan: Muskegon County may raise tobacco age to 21
  • British American Tobacco nears takeover of Bosnian FDS tobacco business

EU report backs joint effort to trace illicit cigarettes

A Europe-wide system to track cigarettes should be operated jointly by the industry together with independent third parties, according to a draft report commissioned by the EU.

A new system for tracing illicit cigarettes is due to be in place by May 2019. This is designed to prevent the smuggling and counterfeiting of cigarettes which the EU Commission says costs an estimated 10 billion a year in lost revenue.

The European Commission has been considering whether to allow the tobacco industry to implement a tracking and tracing system or whether to commission a different third party. The leaked draft report says that the tobacco industry should work with a number of third parties to implement the system.

The tobacco industry has argued that it should be solely responsible for running the system saying that external influences would cause disruption. “I understand the need to trace, but I don’t see why we need to give millions of profit to [a third party],” said one senior official at a tobacco company.

Anti-tobacco campaigners say that the industry cannot be trusted, however, given past allegations that some tobacco companies have benefited from smuggling and illicit trade.

The draft report concludes that a jointly operated system scored highest on a range of measures, including “interoperability with other systems and ease of operation”, and says that a system operated solely by the tobacco industry would be the worst of three possible outcomes.

Source: The Financial Times – 22 December 2016
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Research counters the claim that e-cigarettes are renormalising tobacco

A study conducted by the Glasgow based Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) has cast doubt on the claim that e-cigarettes are renormalising tobacco use.

Researchers interviewed one hundred non-smoking teenagers aged 11 – 16 years old, during the interviews 96% of qualitative responses showed that the participants were able to clearly differentiate between e-cigarette use and smoking conventional cigarettes. Further, there was no reported change in participants’ desire to smoke after seeing e-cigarettes used in public.

While 61% of participants reported that seeing an e-cigarette used in public made them curious to try it out, only a third of that group reported ever trying the devices after first seeing them, and none had gone on to frequent e-cigarette use.

Editorial Note: The Centre for Substance Use Research has been funded by tobacco manufacturers.

Source: Medical X Press – 20 December 2016
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Hospitals in Bradford and Keighley struggling to enforce smoking ban

Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust have spoken about their difficulties in enforcing a smoking ban across all hospital sites, following a letter from Public Health England Chief Executive Duncan Selbie calling on all Trusts to execute the ban.

Both hospital trusts said they have found the ban impossible to enforce across hospital grounds and would continue to allow smoking in designated areas.

A Bradford Hospitals spokesman said: “We operate a complete smoking ban – on cigarettes and e-cigarettes – inside all of our hospital buildings and we endeavour to keep all areas around our hospitals smoke-free but the problem with smokers, especially around our entrances, continues to give us cause for concern. Following consultation with key stakeholders we took the decision to reinstate smoking shelters in a positive effort to control tobacco smoking within our estate. We would prefer to be a completely smoke-free site but this is a pragmatic response to the challenge of policing the smoking ban.”

Source: Telegraph & Argus – 22 December 2016
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USA: Michigan: Muskegon County may raise tobacco age to 21

In a unanimous vote on 20th December Muskegon County commissioners approved a resolution of support for raising the tobacco buying age to 21 across the county. The proposal will now pass through a formal process before the resolution becomes an ordinance but the Knowsmoke Coalition has hailed the resolution as a step in the right direction.

Source: Woodtv.com – 21 December 2016
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British American Tobacco nears takeover of Bosnian FDS tobacco business

Backed by British American Tobacco (BAT) Austrian fund CID Adriatic Investments has increased its stake in Bosnian holding firm Fabrika Duhana Sarajevo (FDS) to 78.8% paving the way for BAT to acquire FDS’s tobacco assets.

CID Adriatic Investments, bought an additional 38.8% stake in FDS, utilising funds from BAT.

Source: Reuters – 21 December 2016
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