ASH Daily news for 24 February 2015



HEADLINES

  • Quitting smoking improves mental health: Habit makes you 70% more susceptible to anxiety and depression
  • ASH welcomes laying of standardised packaging regulations
  • Tobacco industry waged ‘David and Goliath’ campaign against EU
  • US: Tobacco companies fighting over claims on smoking’s effects Daily Mail, 23 February 2015
  • Parliamentary Questions

    Quitting smoking improves mental health: Habit makes you 70% more susceptible to anxiety and depression

    A study released by the British Heart Foundation ahead of No Smoking Day on 11th March suggests that smokers are 70% more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

    The research found that 18.3% of smokers reported suffering from depression and anxiety, compared to 10% of non-smokers and 11.3 % of people who had quit smoking for a year or more.

    Prof Robert West, who led the research team, said: ‘Quitting smoking could be the key to improving not only your physical health, but your mental health too.’

    Source

    Research report: How much improvement in mental health can be expected when people stop smoking?

     

    Source: The Mirror, 23 February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1BjO4yz

    ASH welcomes laying of standardised packaging regulations

    ASH has welcomed the laying of regulations on standardised tobacco packaging. Chief Executive, Deborah Arnott said: “We are now one step closer to securing standardised packaging – a measure that will dramatically reduce the appeal of smoking to children and help save thousands of lives.”

    NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, who was in Parliament at the time for the launch of the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control, said: “Smoking is coming down, but it’s still our country’s number one killer.

    “Our job in the NHS is to help support the majority of smokers who want to quit, and to help push for policies that prevent people getting hooked in the first place.”

    Source: Guernsey Press, 23 February 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1GnR6Ap

    Tobacco industry waged ‘David and Goliath’ campaign against EU

    A report published in the BMJ journal Tobacco Control claims that the tobacco industry mounted a “David and Goliath” campaign to lobby against the 2014 European Union Tobacco Products Directive.

    The tactics ranged from sending publicity materials such as chocolate Santas, to swamping consultation processes with tens of thousands of identical submissions. The study also cites data released under freedom of information legislation which suggests that at least a dozen meetings held between representatives of the tobacco industry and senior EU bodies, including the cabinet of former EU president Manuel Barroso, went undeclared, contrary to agreed rules.

    Lead author of the study Silvy Peeters, from the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath, said: “The study documents a massive and underhand lobby to subvert the democratic process. The tobacco industry hijacked the public consultation and used numerous third parties to lobby on their behalf.”

    Source
    Tobacco Control: The revision of the 2014 European tobacco products directive: an analysis of the tobacco industry’s attempts to ‘break the health silo’.

    Source: Independent, 24 February 2015
    Link: http://ind.pn/1EqzswK

    US: Tobacco companies fighting over claims on smoking’s effects Daily Mail, 23 February 2015

    In 2006, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered America’s biggest tobacco companies to publicly admit that they had lied about the dangers of smoking, in a series of adverts.

    Kessler required the companies to preamble the adverts with the statement: “a federal court has ruled that Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard and Philip Morris USA deliberately deceived the American public.”

    The companies are now appealing against the ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals. The companies said the statement is overbroad and misleading. However, the government’s attorney, Melissa Patterson, told the court that the preamble would ensure that the statements that follow are “seen as the real truth.” She added that the companies have a history of using tactics that raise questions about public health warnings about the dangers of smoking.

    Source: Daily Mail, 23 February 2015
    Link: http://dailym.ai/1BLnMVo

    Parliamentary Questions

    PQ1: Standardised Packaging

    Louise Ellman Labour, Liverpool, Riverside
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when he plans to lay before Parliament regulations on the standardisation of packaging of tobacco products.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    The Government has today laid regulations for the introduction of standardised packaging of tobacco products.

    Link http://bit.ly/1FniPzT
    Source: HC Deb, 23 February 2015, cW

    PQ2: ASH

    Lord Palmer Crossbench
    To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will place in the Library of the House the grant letters and reports relating to payments and the objectives of their funding the Action on Smoking and Health in each of the last five years.

    Lord Palmer Crossbench
    To ask Her Majesty’s Government under which condition of section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 funding is made available to Action on Smoking and Health; and what is the job title of the minister and official responsible for ensuring compliance.

    Earl Howe Conservative
    Grants awarded to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) were made through the Department of Health’s Section 64 General Scheme of Grants to Voluntary and Community Organisations scheme (known as “Section 64 grants”).

    The grant letters and full year grant monitoring and governance reports relating the Section 64 grants awarded to ASH in the past five years have been placed in the Library. The conditions applicable to the grants are set out in the grant letters.

    The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health has responsibility for the Section 64 grants made to ASH. The Departmental official responsible for governance is the Deputy Director, Tobacco Control.

    Link: http://bit.ly/1FSs5zD
    Source: HL Deb, 23 February 2015, cW