ASH Daily News for 22 November 2016



  • New research suggests early smoke exposure may predict anti-social behaviour
  • Tobacco company calls on the Chancellor to drop minimum excise tax
  • Canada: Tobacco Companies back in court to appeal landmark Quebec judgement
  • China to introduce nationwide smokefree legislation
  • China: Smoking crackdown hits company profits
  • Parliamentary Questions

New research suggests early smoke exposure may predict anti-social behaviour

Researchers at the University of Montreal have found that early tobacco smoke exposure between the ages of 18 months and 7 and a half years, may predict later anti-social and criminal behaviours.

Over 2000 parents who completed The Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development in 1997 and 1998, were asked about their children’s smoke exposure in the home. Of these parents, 60% reported no smoke exposure, 27% reported intermittent exposure and 13% reported chronic exposure.

Children completed behavioural questionnaires and reported their academic characteristics at age 12. This data was studied to see if there were links between smoke exposure and child deviance.

While controlling for other factors such as maternal drug or alcohol use in pregnancy, researchers observed that increased smoke exposure correlated to increased anti-social behaviour.

Lead researcher Professor Pagani said: “These long-term associations should encourage policy-makers and public health professionals to raise awareness among parents about the developmental risks of second hand smoke exposure.”

See also:
Prospective longitudinal associations between household smoke exposure in early childhood and antisocial behavior at age 12, Wiley Online Library
Children exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke are ‘prone to aggression and antisocial behaviour’, Mirror

Source: Medical X Press – 21 November 2016
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Tobacco company calls on the Chancellor to drop minimum excise tax

Ahead of Wednesday’s Autumn Statement British American Tobacco (BAT) has called on the Chancellor to drop the proposed minimum excise tax on tobacco which is effectively a floor price, raising the price of tobacco, especially for cheap brands.

Research conducted by KPMG for BAT claims that the tax could increase the size of the illicit market with customers who usually buy cheap brands switching to illicit rather than giving up tobacco.

The company has also claimed that the minimum excise tax would run counter to Theresa May’s promise of a government that works for the many and not just the privileged few.

See also:
Chancellor urged to help ‘just about managing’ smokers by ditching tax that hits the poorest, The Sun

Editorial Note: HMRC figures show that while tobacco taxes have increased the illicit tobacco market has declined since 2000.

Source: City A.M – 21 November 2016
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Canada: Tobacco Companies back in court to appeal landmark Quebec judgement

In 2015 three of Canada’s major tobacco companies, Imperial Tobacco, JTI-Macdonald and Rothmans-Benson & Hedges, lost a $15 billion lawsuit when the judge found them responsible for the disease and addiction suffered by over one million Quebecers over a nearly 50-year period.

The companies are back in court this week to appeal that judgement, claiming that the judge exceeded his authority and that their products were sold legally, with health warnings.

Source: Montreal Gazette – 21 November 2016
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China to introduce nationwide smokefree legislation

The Chinese Government is aiming to impose national smoking control regulations by the end of this year, authorities have announced.

With Beijing and Shanghai having introduced their own smokefree legislation, a government health spokesman announced on Tuesday that similar measures are to be rolled out across the country.

Spokesman Qunan said: Nationwide regulation to control smoking in public is undergoing the legislative process and is hoped to be announced and carried out this year,” he told reporters.
“Strictly controlling smoking in public places through legal forms is an advancement for health.”

Source: Times Live – 22 November 2016
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China: Smoking crackdown hits company profits

The introduction of new anti-smoking legislation, along with acquisition problems, has promoted the second profit warning in four months for Essentra, the maker of tobacco packaging and cigarette filters.

Essentra has announced that profits will fall by 20% in 2016, while following a downgrade in June the company’s shares have fallen to their lowest level since 2012.

Source: ExecReview – 21 November 2016
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Parliamentary Questions

PQ1: WHO FCTC
Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 14 November 2016 to Question 52127, on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which countries are receiving direct country support; what the cost to the Exchequer is of that support; and which countries meet the criterion of being low and middle income countries for the purposes of training and guidance.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
Further to the Answer of 14 November 2016 to Question 52127, planning is now underway for the delivery of support to low- and middle-income countries to implement the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The Government will contribute £15 million between 2016/17 and 2020/21 via the Secretariat of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to provide this support.

Only those countries that have ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and are listed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as being eligible to receive Official Development Assistance will be eligible to receive support through this project. The process of selecting countries to receive direct support will be undertaken over the next six months.

Source: Hansard – 18 November 2016
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PQ2: Tobacco taxation
Simon Hart Conservative, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to publish draft legislation on introducing a minimum tobacco tax to tackle the growth of cheaper cigarettes and protect revenues.

Jane Ellison The Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Draft legislation for the Minimum Excise Tax will be published on 5 December alongside other draft Finance Bill clauses.

Source: Hansard – 21 November 2016
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