ASH Daily News for 24 October 2018



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International

  • Study: Heated tobacco product claims by tobacco industry scrutinised by researchers
  • USA: E-cigarette maker Juul boosts lobbying spend amid regulatory crackdown
  • Study: Flavoured ‘capsule cigarettes’ can lure susceptible smokers
  • Belgian robbers asked to come back to vape shop, arrested on return

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Questions

International

Study: Heated tobacco product claims by tobacco industry scrutinised by researchers

Claims by the tobacco industry that heated tobacco products (HTPs) are safer than conventional cigarettes may not be supported by the industry’s own data and are likely to be misunderstood by consumers, according to new research.

“Until now, most of the published research on HTPs had been done by tobacco companies,” said Glantz Stanton A. Glantz, director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

See also: BMJ Tobacco Control, Heated Tobacco Products (supplement)

Source: Medical Express, 23 October 2018

Editorial note: a review of the evidence on heat not burn products by the UK Committee on Toxicology concluded that there was limited evidence in relation to these products but that there was likely to be some health harms from use, but those harms were likely to be lower than smoking.

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USA: E-cigarette maker Juul boosts lobbying spend amid regulatory crackdown

Leading e-cigarette manufacturer Juul spent half a million dollars on lobbying (in the US) last quarter — up 167% from the previous quarter — as regulators consider restrictions on the industry to stem a perceived surge in American teens using the devices.

In quarter three, Juul spent $560,000, according to a lobbying disclosure form. That compares with the $210,000 it spent in the previous quarter, according to a filing. The company focused its efforts on e-cigarette and vaping regulation, as well as tariffs on products manufactured in China, it said in the disclosure.

Lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have urged the Food and Drug Administration to ban sweet nicotine flavours they say entice young people to use e-cigarettes. In September, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb announced the agency would crack down against teen use that he said has reached “epidemic levels.”

Source: Yahoo Finance, 23 October 2018

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Study: Flavoured ‘capsule cigarettes’ can lure susceptible smokers

New research adds to the body of evidence showing that young people are particularly vulnerable to tobacco companies’ product innovations.

The study examined young adults’ responses to flavour capsule cigarettes. When crushed, these capsules add a flavour (typically fruit or menthol) to the cigarette smoke inhaled; this type of cigarette can reduce the harshness of smoking.

In the study there were 425 smokers and 390 susceptible non-smokers*. The smokers preferred unflavoured cigarettes to the capsule flavours tested, while susceptible non-smokers showed the reverse pattern and preferred the flavoured capsule cigarettes to the unflavoured option. Susceptible non-smokers were more than three times as likely to choose a “fruit burst” or “pineapple and mango” flavour than an unflavoured cigarette.

See also: BMJ Tobacco Control , Young adult susceptible non-smokers’ and smokers’ responses to capsule cigarettes

*Susceptible non-smokers were respondents who had never smoked regularly but gave responses other than ‘Definitely would not’ or ‘Definitely will not’ when asked if they would smoke a cigarette offered to them by a friend or if they would smoke a cigarette in the next 12 months

Source: Scienmag, 23 October 2018

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Belgian robbers asked to come back to vape shop, arrested on return

A group of would-be thieves were prevented from robbing a store in Belgium Saturday after the owner said he didn’t have enough money in the cash register and asked them to come back later.

The owner runs an e-cigarette shop on the outskirts of the Belgian city of Charleroi. He said six armed individuals walked into his store in the middle of the afternoon demanding money.

At 5:30 p.m. the group returned. Didier once again called their bluff and told the group it was still not closing time. “I berated them saying ‘you have to buy a watch.’ I said, ‘it’s 5:30 not 6:30,’ and they left,” he told RTL.

When the group returned for a third time, plain-clothes policemen were waiting to apprehend them. Five people were arrested, including a minor, according to local media. The sixth alleged offender ran away.

Source: BBC News, 23 October 2018

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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary Questions

Kevin Barron Chair, Committee on Privileges
Will the Minister tell me whether the withdrawal of funding for the Healthy Futures programme in the north-west and Public Health Action in the south-west likely to help or hinder us meeting the smoking cessation targets in the tobacco control programme?

Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
This comes back to the matter of public health budgets—£16 billion during the current spending review period, with local authorities best placed to make local decisions on what is needed in their local area. That is the same in the right hon. Gentleman’s area as it is in mine.

Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 23rd October 2018
Link: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2018-10-23a.139.3

Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East
The recent report from the Royal College of Physicians, “Hiding in plain sight: Treating tobacco dependency in the NHS”, made clear the cost savings and health benefits there would be if doctors identified smokers and referred them to smoking cessation services, so will next month’s plan include that, particularly for pregnant women and mental health patients?

Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
As my hon. Friend, the chair of the all-party group on smoking and health, knows, those groups are key to delivering our tobacco control plan. We are not complacent at all; the delivery plan that was published in June sets out the actions that different agencies will take to deliver the five-year plan, and that absolutely includes mentor cessation services.

Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 23rd October 2018
Link: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2018-10-23a.135.0