ASH Daily News for 25 June 2018



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UK

  • Opinion: Why don’t more young women vape?
  • Scotland: Smokers outside Larbert hospital to be fined

International

  • USA: Study finds large increase in number of college campuses going smokefree
  • Signs that Philip Morris’s iQOS heat-not-burn product might not be a big hit
  • China: On-screen smoking scenes in Chinese media declining

UK

Opinion: Why don’t more young women vape?

Sophie Jarvis from the Adam Smith Institute comments on vaping trends

When it comes to tackling the harms of smoking we still seem to stick to an abstinence-only approach. It should be made easier for adults to switch to safer (but not risk-free) alternatives.

Public Health England have to their credit highlighted the relative benefits of vaping by pointing out that it’s at least 95% safer than smoking. In other words, it would take 20 non-smokers to take up vaping to outweigh the good of one smoker switching the other way.

British vaping laws aren’t that Victorian, but there’s room for improvement. While we allow vape shops and vaping in public places, e-cigarette manufacturers face stiff regulation and are prevented from talking about the relative risks of vaping compared with smoking.

The EU’s Tobacco Products Directive limits tank sizes, regulates nicotine content, and restricts the ability for e-cigarette sellers to market their products effectively. We know from other countries that heavy-handed e-cigarette laws don’t help smokers: in Australia, where e-cigarettes are banned, smokers as a proportion of the population dropped by just 0.6% between 2013-2016. By contrast, the UK’s relatively liberal approach to vaping lead to smoking rates falling by 2.9%. Japan also banned e-cigarettes, but they allow heat-not-burn products which has resulted in a significant decline in cigarette sales.

Source: Spectator, 25 June 2018

Note: The Adam Smith Institute has received money from the tobacco industry in the past

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Scotland: Smokers outside Larbert hospital to be fined

Larbet hospital in Falkirk will soon be fining those who smoke too near the hospital premises. The Scottish Government aims to make it an offence to smoke within 15 metres of hospitals, as part of a tobacco control action plan which includes 44 specific actions.

The NHS in Scotland has spent years trying to persuade smokers not to smoke in hospital grounds, and now intends to tackle the issue by bringing in new legislation.

However no final decision has been made on whether vaping should continue to be allowed around NHS facilities – the Scottish Government aims to work with health boards and integration boards to “try and reach a consensus” on the issue.

The move is part of tobacco control action plan aimed at addressing health inequalities and cutting smoking rates, particularly in deprived areas.

Source: Falkirk Herald, 22 June 2018

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International

USA: Study finds large increase in number of college campuses going smokefree

Smoking continues to fall out of favour at colleges and universities across America, a new study has found. As of November 2017, over 2,000 U.S. college campuses were smokefree or tobacco-free (no smokeless tobacco use or smoking), compared with only 774 campuses in 2012, the report found.

In 2017, 84% of smokefree campuses were tobacco-free, compared with 73% of smokefree campuses in 2012, according to the study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation.

“Colleges and universities are ideal places to promote healthy behaviours that can continue for a lifetime, including being tobacco-free,” Corinne Graffunder, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said in an agency news release.

Source: Health Day, 22 June 2018

See also: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Policies in Colleges and Universities – United States and Territories, 2017 (page 10 of PDF download)

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Signs that Philip Morris’s iQOS heat-not-burn product might not be a big hit

Philip Morris International’s (PMI) lacklustre first-quarter earnings report has weighed heavily on the tobacco industry, after the company experienced a dramatic drop off in sales of its next-generation heat-not-burn tobacco devices in Japan. Their concern is that the device won’t be able to offset the secular decline in traditional cigarette sales.

The rollout of the iQOS heat-not-burn device marked a significant change in how Philip Morris presented itself to the public and investors. The future, Philip Morris said, was going to be smokefree, and the company took out full-page ads in newspapers calling on smokers to quit and switch to alternative products.

Japan was a seminal point for iQOS, and after rolling it out nationwide, it captured 80% of the heat-not-burn market in the country. However, PMI’s earnings report indicated it has burned through all of the early adopters of the new technology and now faced the prospect of convincing older, more conservative smokers to switch, a more difficult and costly task. It has since cut the cost of iQOS devices to try and boost sales.

Source: Yahoo Finance, 22 June 2018

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China: On-screen smoking scenes in Chinese media declining

The number of scenes depicting tobacco smoking in Chinese movies and TV series have declined overall in the last decade, according to the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control. However the figures for 2017 were worse than in 2016, according to the public health charity.

This is the 10th consecutive year the association has surveyed Chinese movies and television shows. Twenty of the top thirty movie blockbusters had at least one smoking scene last year, down 23% from 2007. The declining trend in TV series was even more apparent; 17 of the 30 most-watched shows had smoking scenes in 2017, down by 37% from 10 years ago.

Under regulations issued in 2009 and 2011 by the former State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, smoking scenes are “strictly controlled” rather than banned.

Source: China Daily, 25 June 2018

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