ASH Daily news for 27 April 2015



HEADLINES

  • Oxford Union tarred by Imperial Tobacco sponsorship dealings
  • London: Concern over NHS trust forcing mental health patients to give up smoking
  • Call for government to legislate on vaping
  • Ireland: ‘Vaping leads to smoking’ claim is stubbed out
  • US: Hawaii could become the first US state to raise smoking age to 21 for tobacco and e-cigarettes
  • US: CVS reports record sales after taking tobacco off the shelves
  • China: Amended law curbs tobacco ads in land of smokers
  • South Africa: Sars questions the credibility of Lackay’s letter
  • US: FTC expected to approve $27bn tobacco deal

    Oxford Union tarred by Imperial Tobacco sponsorship dealings

    The Oxford Union has backed out of an offer by Imperial Tobacco to sponsor a debate on the morality of the tobacco industry following an investigation.

    This follows outrage and unhappiness from speakers invited to oppose the tobacco industry. They contacted Cherwell as they were concerned about the nature of the sponsorship, the fact that the tobacco industry was targeting student communities, and the fact that they had not been immediately informed when invited to speak that the debate might have a sponsor from the tobacco industry.

    In their invitation to Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity Action on Smoking and Health, the Union said they had “confirmed speakers from Imperial Tobacco and FOREST”, but neglected to mention their ongoing negotiations regarding sponsorship with the tobacco company.

    Arnott commented, “I am deeply concerned about the misleading nature of the invitation I, and many others, were sent by the Oxford Union inviting us to speak in the tobacco debate. It made no mention that Imperial Tobacco was planning to sponsor the event in return for the opportunity to set up a recruitment booth at the venue. It’s disgraceful that the Oxford Union should have tried to pull the wool over people’s eyes.”

    Source: Cherwell – 25 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1z50ppz

    London: Concern over NHS trust forcing mental health patients to give up smoking

    A policy banning sectioned mental health patients from smoking has been criticised amid complaints it caused unnecessary distress among patients.

    Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I) introduced new measures prohibiting smoking on all of its wards. At the same time, it took away access to designated smoking areas and did away with escorted smoking breaks outside its buildings.

    Source: Ham & High – 24 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1z50Ika

    Call for government to legislate on vaping

    An industry chief executive is calling on the Government to give clarity to the industry over e-cigarettes.

    Luminar Group chief executive Peter Marks claims the Government can no longer ignore the “dilemma” facing operators and is asking for guidance on where they can be used.

    He argues that the Government has legislated when it comes to selling alcohol and it now needs to focus on the issue of e-cigarettes.

    Source: Morning Advertiser – 24 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1z50QjI

    Ireland: ‘Vaping leads to smoking’ claim is stubbed out

    The Irish Cancer Society has been criticised by a British cancer researcher and an economist for claiming that electronic cigarettes are being used as “a gateway” to smoking.

    Robert West, a director of tobacco studies at University College London, and Christopher Snowdon, a director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in London, are disputing claims that because 5% of smokers tried e-cigarettes before tobacco, the devices “could now be considered an initiator to smoking”.

    “The authors have not interpreted their data correctly,” said West, who analyses smoking trends in the British population.

    “It is necessary to be able to rule out the obvious explanation that young people who start using an e-cigarette and then smoke are not simply the kind of people who would have smoked anyway.”

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    Source: The Sunday Times – 26 April 2015
    Link: http://thetim.es/1z51RIw

    US: Hawaii could become the first US state to raise smoking age to 21 for tobacco and e-cigarettes

    Hawaii is considering raising the legal smoking age to 21 in an effort to discourage teenagers from taking up the habit.

    The move would make it the first place in the US to raise the bar state-wide, although that age is already enforced in Hawaii County and in other towns and districts.

    Across most of the US, the legal purchasing age for cigarettes and tobacco is 18, although Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah raised it to 19 in recent years.

    Hawaii’s Senate passed the bill by 19 votes to four but it will not become law until it is approved by Governor David Ige.

    Source: The Independent – 25 April 2015
    Link: http://ind.pn/1z522n1

    US: CVS reports record sales after taking tobacco off the shelves

    CVS Health has managed record sales in 2014 – increasing net revenues by 9.9% to $139.4bn – despite a major rebrand that involved taking lucrative tobacco products off the shelves.

    Last year, the pharmacy took the decision to stop selling cigarettes at its 7,000+ stores across the US. At the time, it said it expected to lose around $2bn in revenues every year.

    But instead net revenues increased almost 13% to a record $37.1bn in Q4 2014, with operating profit jumping 4.7% to $2.3 billion.

    Source: 2 degrees – 24 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1z52LEO

    China: Amended law curbs tobacco ads in land of smokers

    China’s parliament has passed legislation that restricts tobacco advertising in public, strengthening efforts to curb smoking in a country where more than a billion people are smokers or exposed to second-hand smoke.

    A revised Advertisement Law approved on Friday by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislative body, bans tobacco ads in the mass media, in public places, on public vehicles and outdoors, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

    Source: Reuters – 25 April 2015
    Link: http://reut.rs/1z52hia

    South Africa: Sars questions the credibility of Lackay’s letter

    South African Revenue Service (Sars) has said it doubted whether a letter submitted to Parliament by its former spokesperson Adrian Lackay that claimed British American Tobacco (BAT) had broken South African laws, was actually written by him.

    Sars’ Luther Lebelo said they’d seen the full letter that was given to Parliament by Lackay but questioned its provenance.

    Source: Eyewitness News – 24 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1z53h5Q

    US: FTC expected to approve $27bn tobacco deal

    The Federal Trade Commission is expected to approve Reynolds American’s $27 billion purchase of Lorillard by a vote of four to one, despite the objections of some agency staff.

    The deal will combine the second- and third-largest cigarette makers, and two of the three most popular brands among young adults, Newport and Camel.

    Regulatory approval will clear the way for a three-way transaction that will reshape the tobacco industry. Reynolds and Lorillard also agreed to sell five brands for $7 billion to the UK’s Imperial Tobacco.

    Source: New York Post – 24 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1z53FRV