ASH Daily News for 22 June 2018



print
UK

  • Liam Fox caught in fresh “lobbyists as advisers” scandal
  • Warwickshire raids find 15,000 illicit cigarettes

International

  • Ireland: Offer e-cigarettes to help smokers quit, says senator

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Questions

Link of the week

  • Scottish Government’s latest Tobacco-Control action plan

UK

Liam Fox caught in fresh “lobbyists as advisers” scandal

Transparency campaigners have accused International Trade Minister Liam Fox of “having trouble again seeing the line between adviser and privately-backed lobbyist” after it emerged that one of Fox’s key advisors has also become an advisor to one of the UK’s biggest corporate lobbying firms. Shanker Singham, who recently joined the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), is now a senior adviser to the trade minister.

Singham is a member of Liam Fox’s ‘committee of experts’, a five-person group advising him on trade deals. Singham, a one-time Washington lobbyist, is director of the International Trade and Competition Unit at the IEA.

Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at the campaign group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said: “The Institute for Economic Affairs has long acted as a paid lobbying agency for the tobacco industry. It’s very worrying to see one of their staff playing such a key role in shaping Britain’s trade deals as we leave the EU.”

Source: Open Democracy, 21 June 2018

Read Article

Warwickshire raids find 15,000 illicit cigarettes

Almost 15,000 cigarettes and more than 9kg of hand rolling tobacco were seized in raids on shops carried out by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service, supported by Warwickshire Police and Border Force.

Tobacco sniffer dogs were used to hunt for counterfeit and non-duty paid cigarettes and tobacco hidden in corner shops, mini supermarkets and parked vehicles. Officers used local intelligence to identify shops where cheap illegal cigarettes were being sold.

Andy Crump, Warwickshire County councillor, said: “The sellers of cheap illegal cigarettes don’t care who they sell to, making it easier for children and young people to obtain cigarettes and get hooked on smoking and making it harder for adults to quit.”

Source: Talking Retail, 21 June 2018

Read Article

International

Ireland: Offer e-cigarettes to help smokers quit, says senator

Catherine Noone, a Fine Gael senator has urged the government to develop their policy on e-cigarettes, to reduce the number of smokers in Ireland.

The Department of Health has said it does not have enough evidence to recommend vaping as part of the Tobacco Free Ireland programme. The initiative aims to reduce smoking from the current rate of 22% to under 5% by 2025.

Noone pointed out that England and Scotland have policies that recommend e-cigarettes.
She said: “I’m known for having nanny state policies on alcohol, sugar and things like that, so I’m not in favour of e-cigarettes really. I think they look a bit ridiculous but they help people quit smoking and we need to develop a policy that recognises that. They [government] said there is not enough evidence but neighbouring countries that support their use have the same evidence. If we want people to stop smoking we have to help them any way we can and if e-cigarettes work, we need to offer them.”

Source: The Times, 22 June 2018

Read Article

Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary Questions

PQ1: Tobacco Control Plan

Kevin Barron Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Privileges

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department’s single departmental plan, for what reason the intention to work with Public Health England to deliver the new Tobacco Control Plan under Objective 1.1 was removed in the update of 23 May 2018.

Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Single Departmental Plan published on 23 May 2018 is a concise summary of the highest level objectives for the financial year 2018-19 rather than a comprehensive account of all the activities the Department is planning to undertake. The fact that a commitment or activity has not been included in the summary does not imply that there is no intention to work on it.

The Government is continuing to reduce harm caused by tobacco. Last year we published a new tobacco control plan to build on that success and on 7 June 2018 we published a delivery plan setting out actions for meeting the aims of the tobacco control plan and how progress will be monitored. A copy of the delivery plan is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tobacco-control-plan-delivery-plan-2017-to-2022

Source: Hansard, 21 June 2018

Read Question

PQ2: Effect of plain cigarette packaging

Royston Smith Conservative, Southampton, Itchen
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the introduction of plain cigarette packaging on smoking.

Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 came into force on 20 May 2016. It is too soon to effectively evaluate the impact of this legislation. However, the Government is committed to completing and publishing a full post-implementation review before 20 May 2021 and to publishing subsequent reports at intervals not exceeding five years.

Source: Hansard, 21 June 2018

Read Question

Link of the week

Scottish Government’s latest Tobacco-Control action plan

The Scottish Government recently launched their latest Tobacco-Control plan. It’s an ambitious document where they recommit to their aim of creating a ‘tobacco-free’ generation by 2034.

Source: Scottish Government

Read Article