ASH Daily news for 23 December 2015



HEADLINES

  • Adviser to top EU court says EU cigarette law is valid
  • Safer Sleep for Babies campaign launched
  • Newcastle: Cafes targeted in shisha smoking crackdown
  • Ireland: European court to rule on plain packaging for cigarettes
  • Ireland: Smoker in the toilet sparks Dublin airport evacuation
  • Indonesia: Not yet protected from influence of tobacco companies
  • New Zealand: Pressure mounts for plain tobacco packaging rules

    Adviser to top EU court says EU cigarette law is valid

    An adviser to Europe’s highest court in Luxembourg has said that EU law on cigarettes is valid, rebuffing a challenge from Philip Morris International, although the court still has to deliver a final ruling.

    The opinion, if adopted by the court, would be a blow to Big Tobacco, which had lobbied vigorously against what was seen as some of the world’s strictest anti-tobacco legislation.

    In a majority of cases, opinions of the court advisers are reflected in the final ruling, which should follow in the coming months.

    “(The advocate general) considers the EU tobacco directive of 2014 to be valid, in particular the extensive standardization of packaging, the future EU-wide prohibition on menthol cigarettes and special rules for e-cigarettes are lawful,” the opinion said.

    Source: Reuters, 23rd December 2015
    Link: http://reut.rs/1PjWTMf

    Safer Sleep for Babies campaign launched

    A campaign has been launched to reduce the number of sudden and unexpected deaths whilst babies sleep.

    Run in conjunction with the Lullaby Trust, advice from the Safer Sleep for Babies campaign aims to raise awareness of the risks of co-sleeping and offers advice on the correct sleeping position and surface to prevent future deaths.

    Not smoking during and after pregnancy as well as not co-sleeping with the baby if parents do smoke is among some of the advice being given.

    Source: Braintree and Witham Times, 22nd December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1QWQB77

    Newcastle: Cafes targeted in shisha smoking crackdown

    Cafes suspected of allowing the illegal smoking of shisha pipes have been targeted in a crackdown.

    Newcastle City Council launched ‘Operation Hookah’ after receiving tip-offs that people were breaching anti-smoking legislation by allowing shisha to be used indoors.

    Officials visited six premises in and around the city centre. Of these, three will be investigated for allegedly allowing smoking to take place in an enclosed area.

    Illicit tobacco was also seized at two premises.

    Source: Chronicle Live, 22nd December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1RFIywZ

    Ireland: European court to rule on plain packaging for cigarettes

    The European Court of Justice will rule today on whether Ireland can go ahead with plain packaging laws for cigarettes.

    Tobacco giants Philip Morris and British American Tobacco took proceedings to the ECJ over an EU directive which would see health warnings on two thirds of tobacco packaging.

    The Children’s Minister James Reilly wants to go one step further in Ireland and ban tobacco branding on packets altogether.

    The ECJ will issue a preliminary ruling today.

    Source: Wexford Echo, 23rd December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1RFJ3am

    Ireland: Smoker in the toilet sparks Dublin airport evacuation

    Dublin Airport had to be evacuated because someone had a smoke in the toilets.

    Passengers and staff were briefly forced to leave Terminal 2 after an alarm went off.

    “Someone had a smoke in the toilets and as normal procedure we had to evacuate the building to make sure there was nothing more sinister,” said Dublin Airport Authority spokesperson Siobhan O’Donnell.

    Source: Belfast Telegraph, 23rd December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1QH80SU

    Indonesia: Not yet protected from influence of tobacco companies

    Indonesia is still susceptible to the influence of international tobacco companies as it is yet to accede to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), according to a WHO official.

    “Indonesia is a large populous nation, which has not yet acceded to the FCTC. Therefore, international tobacco companies are targeting Indonesia,” said Dina Kania, a WHO national official for the tobacco-free initiative.

    Dina affirmed that international tobacco companies were exerting influence on Indonesian decision makers with regard to tobacco policies. For instance, they were attempting to exert influence on the drafting of the tobacco bill in the country’s 2016 National Legislation Priority Program in the House of Representatives (DPR).

    Source: Antara News, 22nd December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1TgVHKM

    New Zealand: Pressure mounts for plain tobacco packaging rules

    New Zealand legislators and health advocates have renewed calls for the introduction of plain packaging on tobacco products following the tobacco industry’s failure to stop similar moves in Australia.

    The Maori Party – a partner party in New Zealand’s center-right government – said it was delighted that tobacco giant Philip Morris lost a legal bid in Singapore to overturn Australia’s plain packaging laws.

    Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said the legal action brought by international tobacco companies had dissuaded the New Zealand government from passing similar legislation.

    Source: China Tibet Online, 22nd December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1QKWdmk