ASH Daily News for 22 October 2018



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22 October 2018

UK

  • Philip Morris accused of hypocrisy over anti-smoking ad
  • Convenience stores encouraged to sell e-cigarettes

International

  • Ghana: Tobacco products to bear pictorial health warnings from November

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Questions

UK

Philip Morris accused of hypocrisy over anti-smoking ad

Tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) launch a new campaign today encouraging people to give up smoking with a four-page wrap-around of the Daily Mirror newspaper. There is also a campaign video showing a young woman negotiating a Mission Impossible-style room in order to hand her cigarette lighter over to a group of friends, who are supporting her in a bid to give up smoking.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme “all round the world they [PMI] continue to advertise Marlboro whenever and wherever they can, but in this country they can’t, and so what they are doing is promoting Philip Morris. The company name is inextricably linked with the product and that’s why we’re really suspicious about this campaign” she said.

George Butterworth, Senior Policy Manager at Cancer Research UK, told BBC news the campaign is “a staggering hypocrisy”, pointing out the firm still promotes smoking outside the UK. “The best way Philip Morris could help people to stop smoking is to stop making cigarettes” he said.

See also:
BBC – Philip Morris accused of hypocrisy over anti-smoking ad
The Independent – Tobacco firm Philip Morris accused of ‘staggering hypocrisy’ over UK anti-smoking campaign
The Times – Tobacco giant launches anti smoking drive
The Telegraph – Tobacco giant Philip Morris accused of ‘staggering hypocrisy’ over anti-smoking campaign

Source: Radio 4’s Today Programme (07:15am), 22 October 2018

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Convenience stores encouraged to sell e-cigarettes

With the UK’s vaping market estimated at £167 million (Nielson MAT), growing at a rate of about 12% year on year, and independent retailers accounting for 39% of the UK market, convenience store retailers are being encouraged to invest in e-cigarettes.

Calls for retailer’s to stock e-cigarettes have also been bolstered by a Public Health England (PHE) report estimating that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than normal cigarettes as well as a recent Science and Technology Committee (STC) report concluding that e-cigarettes should not be treated in the same way as tobacco, and that a raft of current laws relating to their licensing, prescribing, advertising and use in public places needs urgent reconsideration.

Commenting on the STC report, Norman Lamb MP, chair of the STC, said “e-cigarettes are a proven stop-smoking tool and, while uncertainties undoubtedly remain about their long-term health impact, failing to explore the use of e-cigarettes could lead to the continued use of conventional cigarettes – which currently kill about 79,000 people in England every year.”

Source: Convenience Store, 19 October 2018

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International

Ghana: Tobacco products to bear pictorial health warnings from November

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has announced that effective 1st November 2018, all tobacco and tobacco products in Ghana will bear Pictorial Health Warnings (PHW) with emissions and constituents on their packages.

The statement said the enforcement of warnings on tobacco packages is in line with the fulfillment of the section 10 of the Tobacco Control Regulations, 2016 (L. I. 2247) and also to fulfill Ghana’s obligation as a party to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC).

The FDA statement went on to say that “the Pictorial Health Warnings on tobacco packages are expected to increase public awareness about the dangers associated with the use of tobacco and tobacco products.”

Source: Ghana Web, 21 October 2018

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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary questions

Parliamentary question 1: E-cigarette regulation

Asked by Mr. Jim Shannon, Strangford
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will conduct an assessment of the (a) adequacy of the regulation of non-nicotine liquid for vape products and (b) the medical effects of shortfills or nicotine shots.

Answered by Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
As shortfills do not contain nicotine when sold they are not regulated under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR), but are covered by General Product Safety Regulations. Consumers and healthcare professionals can report side effects and safety concerns with e-cigarettes and e-liquids to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency through the Yellow Card reporting system. Any non-nicotine products notified on this system are passed on to Trading Standards.

The Government will conduct a review of the TRPR at a later date.

Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 19 October 2018
Link: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2018-10-11.178304.h

Asked by Mr. Jim Shannon, Strangford
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to introduce legislative proposals to make regulatory changes to (a) help support the growth of the vaping sector after the UK leaves the EU and (b) ensure high standards of product manufacturing for consumers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to change the implementation of the EU Tabacco Products Directive in the UK in relation to vaping after the UK leaves the EU.

Answered by Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
The Tobacco Products Directive was transposed into United Kingdom law through the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR).

The Department has committed to review the TRPR by May 2021. As announced in the Tobacco Control Plan, the Government will review where the UK’s exit from the European Union offers us opportunities to re-appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health. We will look to identify where we can sensibly deregulate without harming public health, or where EU regulations limit our ability to deal with tobacco.

Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 19 October 2018
Link: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2018-10-11.178300.h

Parliamentary question 2: E-cigarettes and smoking

Asked by Mr. Jim Shannon, Strangford
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reviewing the policy of local stop smoking services in order to promote vaping.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has received representations on the link between the levels of (a) vaping and (b) smoking.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on levels of smoking of an increase in the take-up of vaping.

Answered by Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
Smoking rates have fallen steeply in recent years at the same time as e-cigarette use has increased. Adult smoking prevalence in England is 14.9%, the lowest rate on record, whilst around 2.5 million people in England use e-cigarettes, the majority of whom no longer smoke. Whilst the link between uptake of vaping and decline in smoking is not straightforward, the latest research suggests that up to 57,000 people a year are quitting smoking through e-cigarette use who would not have quit through other means.

Ministers and officials receive a wide range of representations from different stakeholders regarding smoking and vaping. The Government is committed to keeping the evidence on e-cigarettes under review and Public Health England (PHE) will continue to publish an annual review of the evidence base.

Local stop smoking services are able to promote vaping as a tool to stop smoking, drawing upon advice from PHE and the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training. According to PHE, smokers who combine e-cigarettes with local stop smoking services have some of the highest quit rates of all service users.

Source: Hansard, written answers, 19 October 2018
Link: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2018-10-11.178297.h

Parliamentary question 3: Oral tobacco

Asked by Mr. Jim Shannon, Strangford
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of removing the ban on Snus products.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will request Public Health England to conduct reviews on the potential for harm reduction of snus products.

Answered by Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
Snus is banned under the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive. The Government committed in the Tobacco Control Plan for England to review where the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU offers us opportunities to re-appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health. We will look to identify where we can sensibly deregulate without harming public health or where current EU regulations limit our ability to deal with tobacco. The Government’s goal will remain to achieve a proportionate approach to managing risk, one which protects the young and non-smokers, whilst giving smokers access to products which will reduce harm.

Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 19 October 2018
Link: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2018-10-11.178304.h

Asked by Mr. Jim Shannon, Strangford
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the effect on people’s health of the use of (a) Snus and (b) tobacco.

Answered by Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
The Department has made no such assessment.

Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 18 October 2018
Link: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2018-10-10.177701.h