ASH Daily news for 22 May 2015



HEADLINES

  • Half a million smokers have switched to electronic cigarettes from tobacco
  • Philip Morris lawsuit could cost taxpayers £11bn
  • MP dismisses concerns over tobacco industry hospitality as ‘snide and absurd’
  • Smokers who quit may have brains hard-wired for success
  • Wales: House fire started by dropped cigarette lighter

    Half a million smokers have switched to electronic cigarettes from tobacco

    New ASH data suggests there are now 2.6 million vapers in Britain, up from 2.1 million in 2014. Nearly all of this increase is attributable to a rise in the number of ex-smokers using electronic cigarettes.

    The campaign group said the figures showed the value of electronic cigarettes in helping smokers give up tobacco but also warned of a worrying increase in people falsely believing they are as harmful as or even more dangerous, with nearly a quarter (22%) believing this compared to 15% last year.
    See also
    Daily Mail: Half a million smokers have switched to e-cigarettes in the last year – but more people believe they are as harmful as tobacco
    Sky News: Half a million smokers switch to e-cigarettes

    Source: The Mirror, 22 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1FrH2qs

    Philip Morris lawsuit could cost taxpayers £11bn

    Tobacco Company Philip Morris International is preparing to launch a corporate compensation case against the UK and Scottish Governments over the decision to impose standardised packaging on cigarettes.

    Legal papers are expected to be presented today or early next week seeking between £9 billion and £11bn.

    Last night, a Department of Health spokesperson said: “We have not received any legal claim but we will not allow public health policy to be held to ransom by the tobacco industry.”

    Source: The Scotsman, 22 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1F5ks4o

    MP dismisses concerns over tobacco industry hospitality as ‘snide and absurd’

    North Wiltshire MP, James Gray has dismissed concerns regarding the acceptance of tobacco industry hospitality, as covered in yesterday’s ASH Daily News.

    Mr Gray said: “Any suggestion that a perfectly legitimate and properly declared visit to Chelsea was in any way connected to my voting against plain packaging of cigarettes some five years later is, of course, both snide and absurd.

    “There are powerful arguments in favour of, and against, plain packaging. On balance I concluded that banning brand differentiation would not help reduce smoking. It might indeed have the opposite effect by increasing illegal imports.”

    Source: Swindon Advertiser, 21 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1En5FAH

    Smokers who quit may have brains hard-wired for success

    US researchers have found evidence to suggest that smokers who quit are hard wired for success.

    The study reviewed brain scans of smokers who tried to quit and found that people who succeeded had stronger connections between the insula, home to urges and cravings, and the somatosensory cortex, which handles touch and motor control.

    While more research is needed to understand how the connection between the two regions works, Arthur Brody, director of the Greater Los Angeles VA Smoking Cessation Programs said the findings highlight activity in the brain that could be targeted by future smoking cessation treatments.

    Source
    Neuropsychopharmacology: Increased functional connectivity in an insula-based network is associated with improved smoking cessation outcomes

    Source: Reuters, 21 May 2015
    Link: http://reut.rs/1Q0KSth

    Wales: House fire started by dropped cigarette lighter

    Investigators have said that a house fire, from which a man was pulled unconscious, was started accidentally by a cigarette lighter dropped whilst the 70-year-old was smoking in bed.

    The incident has prompted warnings. Stuart Millington, senior fire safety manager, said: “This incident clearly highlights the dangers of not taking care when smoking in the home and making sure that cigarettes are extinguished properly.

    “It is vital to make sure all smoking materials are put out safely, especially before bed time.”

    Source: Daily Post, 21 May 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1K8cCKY