ASH Daily News for 25 November 2016



  • How smoking affects your mental health
  • The gantries being bought on eBay to hide illicit tobacco in plain sight
  • Sheffield: Plan to ban smoking from outside public buildings
  • Newport: Council launches plan to ban smoking at school gates
  • Canada: Government introduces new tobacco and vaping legislation
  • Nigeria: Ex-staff of British America Tobacco protest ‘inhumane working condition’

How smoking affects your mental health

While there can be few today who are unaware of the toll smoking takes on the body, the effects of long-term tobacco smoking on other areas such as learning and memory are less well known.

Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals – over 50 of which are known to be toxic in nature: the carbon monoxide also found in car exhaust fumes, butane found in lighter fluid, and arsenic, ammonia, and methanol found in rocket fuel, for example.

It’s thought that a long-term build-up of these toxic chemicals can damage the brain, leading to deficits in learning and memory.

Long-term smoking has been linked with reductions in working memory, prospective memory – that used for everyday tasks such as keeping an appointment or taking medication on time – and executive function, which helps us plan tasks, pay attention to current activities, and ignore distractions.

In the first study of its kind, a team of researchers from Northumbria University reported in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry findings that those who smoke and drink heavily show greater deficits in their everyday prospective memory.

See also:
The Synergistic Impact of Excessive Alcohol Drinking and Cigarette Smoking upon Prospective Memory, Frontiers in Psychiatry
Smoking harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too, The Conversation

Source: Mail on Sunday – 24 November 2016
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The gantries being bought on eBay to hide illicit tobacco in plain sight

Some retailers are using second-hand cigarette gantries to disguise their illicit products and continue trading according to a report in Better Retailing.

Retailers are able to buy used gantries online without having to submit a background check, leaving manufacturers with little knowledge of how and where they are used.

A Midlands retailer said that a store in his area that was known to be selling illegal tobacco, still had an Imperial Tobacco-branded gantry.

He added that this left him feeling disappointed as the illicit cigarettes being sold from the store were “damaging the whole system”.

Imperial Tobacco told Retail Express that once retailers had purchased one of its gantries, they were free to sell it on.

Source: Better Retailing – 24 November 2016
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Sheffield: Plan to ban smoking from outside public buildings

Smokers could be banned from lighting up outside Sheffield’s public buildings, under proposals to be put to residents. Council chiefs are considering whether to ban lighting up outside hospitals and other NHS buildings, universities, council offices and leisure centres – and they are seeking the public’s views on the proposal. The plans also include a proposal to shift money from cessation services to school-based prevention.

ASH said the council should not be cutting support for existing smokers. Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “We welcome Sheffield Council’s commitment to a smoke-free city, and we understand the severe budget pressures the Council is under. But if Sheffield really wants to take a comprehensive evidence-based approach then it’s not going the right way about it.

“Work in schools has not been shown to be effective or cost-effective and media campaigns work best when undertaken at regional and national rather than local level.

“Smoking rates are already falling much faster among children than among adults and Sheffield’s priority should be to help addicted adult smokers quit by providing the help they need from stop smoking services and better enforcement to reduce access to cheap and illicit tobacco.”

Source: The Star – 24 November 2016
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Newport: Council launches plan to ban smoking at school gates

Smokers are being asked to keep their habit away from the gates of Newport secondary schools as the council launches a new plan to make schools healthier across the city.

Caerleon comprehensive was the first to officially declare its school gates a no smoking zone today, as part of Newport’s wider healthy schools initiative.

The tobacco control charity ASH Wales Cymru has been lobbying schools across Wales to ban smoking at their gates and has produced guidelines and signage to support schools wanting to take part.

Source: South Wales Argus – 24 November 2016
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Canada: Government introduces new tobacco and vaping legislation

New legislation introduced in the Senate aims to tackle 21st-century tobacco use by reframing the existing tobacco law as the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act and creating a new class for vapour-based products.

The proposed changes also support the government’s plans to require plain packaging for tobacco products, said Health Minister Jane Philpott, who plans to host a national forum on tobacco control early next year.

Source: Huffington Post – 22 November 2016
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Nigeria: Ex-staff of British America Tobacco protest ‘inhumane working condition’

Angry ex-British America Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) workers have demanded that the Nigerian government penalise the company for inhumane treatment of workers in its Ibadan factory and urged the company to compensate them for the ill-health they suffer even after forced disengagement.

Seven of the company’s former staff at a press briefing in Lagos, said they were exposed to raw tobacco leaves, worked in poorly-ventilated environment, suffered various illnesses and were discharged from work due to the condition they found themselves. Some of the ailments they suffer include high blood pressure asthma and chronic sinusitis.

Source: City Voice – 24 November 2016
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