ASH Daily news for 23 February 2015



HEADLINES

  • Staffordshire: Couple banned from adopting child after husband seen using e-cigarette
  • To vape or not to vape? More and more just say no
  • A third of drivers unaware of upcoming car smoking ban
  • Nottingham: No smoking in Old Market Square?
  • E-Cigarette maker recalls charger due to risk of electric shock
  • Comment: There’s no evidence e-cigarettes are as harmful as smoking
  • Letter: Cigarette packets
  • Letter: Legislation on standardised packaging
  • Ireland: Deadline on tobacco firm’s legal bid goes up in smoke
  • US: 15 years later, tobacco giants fight legal battle over misleading claims on smoking’s effects

    Staffordshire: Couple banned from adopting child after husband seen using e-cigarette

    A couple have been stopped from adopting a child after the would-be father was seen using an electronic cigarette.

    The decision by social workers at Staffordshire County Council came after the pair had passed a long series of tests to qualify as parents.

    They were told they could not adopt if either of them had used an e-cigarette in the past 12 months – despite experts saying that ‘vaping’ poses little or no threat to children in the home.

    See also:
    – Loving couple banned from adopting… because husband had ‘e-cigarette’, Daily Mail
    – Should smokers or e-cigarette users be allowed to foster children?, The Plymouth Herald

    Source: Gloucestershire Citizen – 22 February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1DN38DA

    To vape or not to vape? More and more just say no

    The sight of colleagues and acquaintances taking a drag on an e-cigarette has become commonplace. But have we reached “peak vape”?

    Statistics suggest that vaping among smokers and recent ex-smokers, who comprise the vast majority of vapers, may already be on the decline. The figures will be studied closely by the major e-cigarette firms, which have poured millions into promoting a technology that was thought to have been growing in popularity.

    Professor Robert West of UCL’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health suggested that policymakers should see e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid and not subject them to the same regulations as smoking.

    “There is a tendency among some local authorities and organisations to treat e-cigarettes as cigarettes and ban them in public places and outdoors,” he said. “The problem is that brings public health into disrepute. It just sounds like you’re having a go at vapers and hitting everyone with a sledgehammer and that undermines the public health messages we’re trying to get out. We have to be careful not to stigmatise e-cigarettes.”

    Source: The Observer – 22 February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1DN3utO

    A third of drivers unaware of upcoming car smoking ban

    As many as 34% of the 2,000 people polled by Allianz Insurance were unaware of the new regulation which is designed to safeguard the health of children in England from October 1st.

    The survey also found that on average, drivers smoke three cigarettes a week with children in the car.
    A third of those polled rated smoking as major distraction while driving, with speaking on a mobile phone the biggest distraction followed by fiddling with the radio/music system.

    The survey showed that smoking was more of a distraction than eating or loud passengers, while 67% of those who smoked said lighting up affected attention levels while at the wheel.

    Source: ITV – 22 February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1DN42QA

    Nottingham: No smoking in Old Market Square?

    Smokers could be asked not to light up in Nottingham’s Old Market Square if enough people support the idea.

    See also:
    – Post poll: Hundreds vote against banning smoking in Nottingham’s Old Market Square, Nottingham Post

    Source: Nottingham Post – 21 February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1DN4DBF

    E-Cigarette maker recalls charger due to risk of electric shock

    Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service was called out last Thursday after an electronic cigarette charger caught fire at a home in New Bradwell .

    The charger was bought from a market stall in Central Milton Keynes the same day and had been switched on for 60-90 minutes.

    The owner then said it exploded, causing damage to laminate flooring and skirting board.

    This news comes after Clearsmoke E-Cigarette Charger was recalled on February 13, 2015 due to risk of electric shock due to inadequate construction.

    See also:
    – Bucks Fire are urging people to take care when charging e-cigarettes after house fire in New Bradwell, MK Web

    Source: MK Web – 20 February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1DN4cHu

    Comment: There’s no evidence e-cigarettes are as harmful as smoking

    In his recent ‘Comment is free’ piece Nash Riggins claims that vaping is just as dangerous as smoking, and expresses robust support for NHS Boards in Scotland who intend to ban the use of electronic cigarettes when their grounds go tobacco free in April.

    The reader might be left with impression that the use of nicotine is simply not compatible with public health aims, and that e-cigarettes should be subject to the same restrictions as tobacco products. However, to reach such a conclusion Riggins overlooks an extraordinary body of evidence pointing to the contrary. Disregarding this evidence could mean missing out on the potential of e-cigarettes to save lives. Prof Linda Bauld critiques his assertions.

    Source: The Guardian – 23 February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1DN3lXo

    Letter: Cigarette packets

    Dr James Cant, head of British Lung Foundation Scotland, writes about the significant role that standardised packaging will play in making tobacco products less glamourous and appealing to children and young people.

    Source: The Scotsman – 21 February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1DN3LNs

    Letter: Legislation on standardised packaging

    Jonathan Griffiths, reader in intellectual property law, Queen Mary, University of London, explains that he thinks Richard Taylor was unduly pessimistic about the UK’s imminent legislation on standardised packaging for tobacco products when he recently wrote for the Law Society, suggesting that the government will be taking a ‘massive gamble’.

    Source: Law Society Gazette – 23 February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1DN58M8

    Ireland: Deadline on tobacco firm’s legal bid goes up in smoke

    The tobacco firm which threatened the State with a multimillion-euro legal action unless it scrapped plans for plain cigarette packets by last Friday had yet to contact the Government over its refusal to bow to lobbying pressure by the deadline.

    Neither the Department of Health nor the Department of Children had been sent any letter or legal writ at the time of going to press, after the Health Minsiter wrote back to the firm to say the policy will be implemented.

    In a rare show of unity, the Oireachtas health committee unanimously supported the bill to introduce plain packs by May 2017 on Tuesday, with the legislation set to be passed into law barring a major Dáil or Seanad U-turn in the coming weeks.

    Source: Irish Examiner – 21 February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1DN5ouz

    US: 15 years later, tobacco giants fight legal battle over misleading claims on smoking’s effects

    In 2006, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the nation’s largest cigarette makers to publicly admit that they had lied for decades about the dangers of smoking.

    The tobacco companies have now gone into another courtroom battle in an effort to stave off the humiliation of having to underwrite an ad campaign in which they brand themselves as liars. Oral arguments are scheduled for Monday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

    See also:
    – Justice Dept. vs. Big Tobacco battle over cigarettes continues, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

    Source: Fox Business – 21 February 2015
    Link: http://fxn.ws/1DN5BOu