ASH Daily news for 22 March 2016
- EU anti-fraud official backs tobacco agreements
- Health Matters: Health Inequalities and Dementia
- Warwickshire: Tens of thousands of suspected illegal cigarettes seized from stores
- Dubai: Legislation bans pregnant women from shisha cafes
- USA: Bill proposes raising age to buy tobacco to 21 in Illinois
- Parliamentary Questions
EU anti-fraud official backs tobacco agreements
OLAF, the European Union’s anti-fraud office, has stepped up its unofficial support for keeping the EU’s anti-smuggling agreement with tobacco companies.
Margarete Hofmann, policy director of OLAF, last week sent political advisers in the European Parliament a briefing paper saying the agreements are the “best instruments” to combat cigarette smuggling.
The European Commission is due to announce its decision in the next few weeks on whether it will keep a deal with Philip Morris.
Source: Politico 22 March
Health Matters: Health Inequalities and Dementia
A blog by Professor Kevin Fenton, the Public Health England National Director for Health and Wellbeing, notes that health inequalities have become an increasingly important consideration as we learn more about the potential for risk-reduction in dementia.
Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors associated with dementia, and also the single biggest cause of the inequality in death rates between the rich and poor in the UK.
This suggests that socioeconomic inequalities associated with smoking may also affect rates of dementia between different social classes in the UK. Stop smoking services could thus become an impotant tool in working towards risk-reduction in dementia.
ASH Fact Sheet: Smoking and Dementia
Source: Public Health Matters Blog 22 March
Warwickshire: Tens of thousands of suspected illegal cigarettes seized from stores
Tens of thousands of counterfeit and non-duty paid cigarettes, being sold at only £3 for 20, have been seized from stores throughout Warwickshire.
Cllr John Horner, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “Warwickshire Trading standards will continue to carry out these enforcement exercises to support legitimate retailers and taxpayers and help protect the health of children and young people who are often tempted by cheap illegal tobacco.”
Source: The Courier 22 March
Dubai: Legislation bans pregnant women from shisha cafes
In a bid to control the effects of tobacco, Dubai has banned pregnant women from entering shisha cafes.
Shisha cafes across Dubai can be seen displaying large posters on their doors and windows showing a pregnant woman and a foetus formed out of smoke. A caption on the poster reads: “Smoking is your choice! Not mine.” Under the poster, are signs stating that both pregnant women and children are barred entry into the cafes. Through the campaign, the Public Health and Safety Department aims to encourage pregnant women and children to sit in a smoke-free environment.
Source: International Business Times 21 March 2016
USA: Bill proposes raising age to buy tobacco to 21 in Illinois
Legislation has been introduced in the Illinois Senate to raise the age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21.
Democratic state Sen. John Mulroe of Chicago hopes the bill he is sponsoring will decrease the number of young people who start smoking and eventually help the state save money on treatment for smoking-related illnesses.
If Illinois passes this legislation it will become the third state to raise the age for purchasing tobacco to 21; following California which passed similar legislation earlier this month.
Source: ABC 21 March 2016
PQ1: Smoking in cars carrying children
Alex Cunningham MP Shadow Minister Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people caught smoking in cars with children present receive a fixed penalty notice and their fine collected.
Jane Ellison MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Department of Health
In changing the law we always said the measure of success would be in changes in attitude and behaviour. As with other smokefree legislation, we expect high levels of compliance with this change. Discussions are ongoing with the relevant authorities about enforcement action.
Source: Hansard (Citation: HC Deb, 21 March 2016, cW)