ASH Daily news for 26 February 2016



HEADLINES

  • Australia: Report shows plain “standardised” packaging works
  • BAT gives law firm ‘open door’ to probe corruption allegations
  • Northern Ireland: Trust facilities to go smoke free
  • Scotland: Campaign to help smokers quit sparks into life
  • US: Group aligned with tobacco company tops Kansas lobbyist spending
  • Parliamentary Questions

    Australia: Report shows plain “standardised” packaging works

    A report released today by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), has concluded that the plain standardised packaging of tobacco products laws, which were introduced in December 2012, have been a remarkable success, and have already saved thousands of lives.

    [Editorial Note: The report estimates that “the 2012 packaging changes resulted in a statistically significant decline in smoking prevalence [among Australians aged 14 years and over] of 0.55 percentage points over the post-implementation period, relative to what the prevalence would have been without the packaging changes”. It is available here].

    Source: Australia Journal of Pharmacy, 26 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1oEcJJ4

    BAT gives law firm ‘open door’ to probe corruption allegations

    British American Tobacco has given lawyers from law firm, Linklaters “an open door” to investigate claims of bribery in East Africa made by a BBC Panorama programme.

    Source: Telegraph, 25 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1TCG7uT

    Northern Ireland: Trust facilities to go smoke free

    The facilities and grounds of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust will become smoke free areas on this year’s No Smoking Day – March 9.

    Northern Trust Medical Director, Dr Ken Lowry said: “One in every two people who smoke will die from their habit…. a significant proportion of coronary heart disease, strokes and circulatory illnesses are caused by smoking.

    “By creating smoke free environments, the Trust is hoping that it can take a big step forward in empowering people to quit their habit and live healthier lives.”

    Source: Larne Times, 26 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/20YWjXY

    Scotland: Campaign to help smokers quit sparks into life

    Residents in East Renfrewshire are being urged to quit smoking for No Smoking Day 2016, which takes place on Wednesday, March 9.

    The Council is running an event to support smokers to quit called ‘Proud Quitters’.

    Cllr Lafferty, East Renfrewshire convener for social care and health said: “Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. The health benefits are almost immediate and include improvements in blood pressure, circulation and breathing.”

    Source: Barrhead News, 25 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1QjE5vp

    US: Group aligned with tobacco company tops Kansas lobbyist spending

    Altria Client Services, whose clients include tobacco company Phillip Morris spent more money than any other organisation last year lobbying Kansas state government.

    It came in a year in which legislators were increasing cigarette taxes and enacting the state’s first ever tax on electronic cigarettes.

    Source: Daily Journal Online, 26 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1WNiVJO

    Parliamentary Questions

    PQ1: Smoking and Cancer

    Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to address inequalities in cancer incidence across England resulting from smoking.
    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    We know that smoking causes over a quarter of cancer deaths in the United Kingdom and that these deaths disproportionally occur in the poorest areas and most vulnerable populations.

    The Government has committed to publishing a new tobacco control plan to further reduce the prevalence of smoking in England. Addressing the health inequality caused by smoking will be one of the key priorities underpinning this strategy and we are working with partners across the system to embed locally, the success we have had reducing prevalence nationally.

    Hansard: HC Deb, 25 February 2016, cW
    http://bit.ly/1Uo00qu

    PQ2: Public Health Funding

    Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of reductions in the public health grant for local authorities on local smoking cessation services in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) the UK.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    Local authorities, funded by the Government’s public health grant, have responsibility for providing a programme of tobacco control that meets the needs of their populations, including the provision of locally commissioned services. Over the next five years, local authorities will receive £16 billion through the public health grant.

    The evidence shows that specialist stop smoking services are the most effective way to help smokers quit. Public Health England supports local authorities by developing and distributing information and advice for the commissioning of effective regional approaches to tobacco control which maximise value for money at a local level.

    Source: Hansard: HC Deb, 25 February 2016, cW
    http://bit.ly/1QjOdUQ