ASH Daily News for 25 January 2019



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UK

  • Over 100,000 illegal cigarettes confiscated from Durham pensioner

International

  • Cigarette filters are the number one plastic pollutant
  • China: Pilots and cabin crew told no more smoking in cockpits on domestic flights

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary questions

Link of the week

  • The Primary Care and Respiratory Society pragmatic guide: Diagnosis and management of tobacco dependency

 

UK

Over 100,000 illegal cigarettes confiscated from Durham pensioner

A pensioner who was caught with over 100,000 illegal cigarettes has been given an eight month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay a £35,300 confiscation order.

The sentence imposed on the 72 year old was for his involvement in the supply of illegal tobacco.

Durham County Council officers conducted a test purchase, where they were given one box of 20 cigarettes for £3.50. Following a search of the man’s home address, over 100,000 cigarettes and 104.3kg of rolling tobacco was seized.

Source: The Northern Echo, 24 January 2019

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International

Cigarette filters are the number one plastic pollutant

Cigarette butts containing plastic filters are the most littered item in the world. About 6 trillion cigarettes are manufactured a year and over 90% of them contain plastic filters.

Cigarette butts have been the number one item collected by the Washington DC-based Ocean Conservancy’s global beach clean-ups every year since the initiative started in 1986, with volunteers having collected more than 60 million cigarette butts. A recent study placed fish in water in which cigarette butts had been soaked and removed. After four days, half the fish had died, showing that cigarette butts “seep in into the aquatic environment and are toxic and deadly to living creatures,” says Thomas Novotny, emeritus professor of global health at San Diego State University, who was involved in the study.

In October 2018, the European Parliament backed a radical proposal to oblige EU countries to remove 50% of plastic from cigarette filters by 2025, and 80% by 2030. However, EU country representatives later rejected these reduction targets. Instead, it’s been proposed that tobacco companies will be made responsible for funding awareness raising campaigns, the provision of public ashtrays and waste collection, and will have to add labels to packets of filtered cigarettes, stating that they contain environment damaging plastic.

Source: CNN, 25 January 2019

See also: Tobacco Control – Toxicity of cigarette butts, and their chemical components, to marine and freshwater fish

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China: Pilots and cabin crew told no more smoking in cockpits on domestic flights

The Civil Aviation Administration of China issued a notice this week to enforce a ban on in-flight smoking in the cockpit with immediate effect. China’s government outlawed in-flight smoking in October 2017, but individual airlines were given two more years before the cockpit ban was to take effect. The latest order, which brings that extension to an immediate close, follows recent incidents that have triggered safety concerns.

Source: South China Morning Post, 25 January 2019

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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary questions

PQ1: Vaping and Stop Smoking Services

Asked by Jim Shannon, Strangford
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support local stop smoking services which encourage smokers to transition to vaping.

Answered by Steve Brine, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
Public Health England (PHE) recommends that all local stop smoking services in England should offer support to smokers who want to use an e-cigarette to stop smoking.

PHE commissions the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training to produce free online training for healthcare professionals, a briefing for services and a guide for services on working with e-cigarette retailers. These materials are available to view at the following link: http://www.ncsct.co.uk/

The PHE ‘E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products: evidence review’ can be viewed at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/e-cigarettes-and-heated-tobacco-products-evidence-review

Source: Hansard, 23 January 2019
Link: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-01-15/208851/

Link of the week

The Primary Care and Respiratory Society pragmatic guide: Diagnosis and management of tobacco dependency

The Primary Care and Respiratory Society has published a guide on the diagnosis and management of tobacco dependency in primary care.

The guide is a practical, immediately implementable, evidence-based framework to enable healthcare professionals to routinely identify smokers, encourage a quit attempt and support that quit attempt within the real-world context of their own professional sphere.

Read Guide