ASH Daily News for 24 February 2017



  • Plain packets help smokers quit by killing brand identities
  • BAT looks to double its vaping markets
  • Canterbury: Schools champion smoke-free gates in competition between pupils
  • Bury: Health campaigners host smokefree football match
  • Animal study suggests possible link between vaping and stroke risk
  • Parliamentary Business

Plain packets help smokers quit by killing brand identities

Making all cigarette packets look the same reduces the positive feelings smokers associate with specific brands and encourages quitting, Australian research shows.

Between 2010 and 2013, the proportion of daily smokers in Australia dropped from 15.1% to 12.8% – a record decline. The number of calls to quit helplines also increased by 78% after the policy change.

This drop in smoking popularity can be partly explained by a loss of brand affinity, says Hugh Webb at the Australian National University in Canberra.

People derive a sense of belonging and identity from brands, he says. For example, you may see yourself as a “Mac person” or a “PC person” and feel connected to other people who choose that brand. “Marketers are extremely savvy about cultivating these brand identities.”

Webb’s research suggests that since plain packaging was introduced, brand identity and positive brand stereotypes have significantly declined. Webb and his colleagues surveyed 178 smokers immediately before and seven months after the policy change and found that they were significantly less likely to adhere to any particular brand after the change. They were also less likely to rate typical smokers of that brand as having positive traits like trendiness or sophistication.

This loss of brand identity also correlated with smoking reductions and increased intentions to quit.

Source: New Scientist – 23 February 2017
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BAT looks to double its vaping markets

British American Tobacco wants to double the number of countries where it sells vaping products this year and again in 2018 as it chases rival Philip Morris International for a share of the growing market.

However, analysts say BAT is well behind Philip Morris in the heated products vaping market, where the U.S. firm has established a stronghold with its IQOS device, the result of a decade of research and $3 billion of investment.

BAT said it now had the biggest vapour business in the world outside of the United States and was present in 10 markets, with almost 40 percent of the market in Britain and around 50 percent in Poland.

See also:
BAT sells more cigarettes in 2017 driven by Rothmans’ brand appeal, Biz Community

Source: Reuters – 23 February 2017
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Canterbury: Schools champion smoke-free gates in competition between pupils

The impact of secondhand smoke on children is the theme of a competition between pupils at three Canterbury schools to design signs for their school gates.

Pupils were encouraged to design posters which call for “smoke-free school gates” and the winning sign will now be displayed near school entrances.

The non-smoking demand cannot be legally enforced but is used to encourage a change in behaviour.

Source: Kent News – 23 February 2017
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Bury: Health campaigners host smokefree football match

A sports club has held a smoke-free football match to promote healthy behaviour to children. Maccabi sports and community club held its first smokefree game which was widely supported by parents.

The campaign, run by local social enterprise Healthier Futures, is a pilot scheme running until March. Healthier Futures visited the club to talk to parents and coaches about the positives of healthy, shared community spaces for families, and the negative impact of smoking on children. There was high support for more smokefree sports events from parents, with many signing a smokefree sports pledge at the club.

Source: Bury Times – 23 February 2017
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Animal study suggests possible link between vaping and stroke risk

A mouse model study presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference found that exposure to e-cigarette vapour and tobacco smoke impaired levels of an enzyme required for blood clotting. The authors suggest that this could increase the risk for stroke.

Source: Daily Mirror – 23 February 2017
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Parliamentary business

Oral question: Tobacco Control Plan

Lord Rennard
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will maintain their commitment to reducing smoking prevalence by publishing the latest Tobacco Control Plan for England without delay.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord O’Shaughnessy) (Con)
My Lords, the Government remain committed to reducing the harm caused by tobacco. We should be proud of the progress we have made in reducing smoking rates to a record low in this country. Our new tobacco control plan will build on this success. We are at an advanced stage of development of the plan, and we will be publishing it shortly.

[This was followed by a number of follow-up questions from other Lords]

Source: Hansard – 23 February 2017
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