ASH Daily news for 27 March 2015



HEADLINES

  • ASH welcomes new anti-illicit tobacco strategy launched by Government
  • Ipswich: Taxi drivers only offenders breaching smoking ban in Ipswich since introduction
  • London: Smokers warned not to light up in bed after man has lucky escape from fire
  • Lancashire: School neighbours fuming at student smokers
  • Australia: Plain cigarette packs with health warnings may encourage quitting
  • Czech Republic: Plans to ban smoking restaurants
  • India: Government set to defer tobacco pictorial warning notification

    ASH welcomes new anti-illicit tobacco strategy launched by Government

    ASH welcomed the Government’s refreshed anti-illicit tobacco strategy launched today. The new strategy had been pre-announced in the Budget, which noted that it would not only protect public finances but also “help meet public health objectives by driving down smoking prevalence.”

    However, ASH is concerned about the use of an industry authentication system, Codentify, to tackle the illicit market given the tobacco industry’s ongoing record of complicity in the illicit market.

    See also:
    – New Government anti-illicit tobacco strategy, ASH press release

    Source: News Medical – 26 March 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1yhWsYN

    Ipswich: Taxi drivers only offenders breaching smoking ban in Ipswich since introduction

    Fewer than 25 fines have been handed out to people for flouting the smoking ban in Ipswich since it was enforced eight years ago.

    However, figures released under Freedom of Information laws show all of the 24 fixed penalty notices were given to licensed taxi drivers for smoking in their work vehicles.

    A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) said it was made “absolutely clear” to every person who applied for a taxi licence that smoking was not allowed in cars.

    He said people were also reminded of the ban in regular newsletters that were sent to all licensed taxi drivers.

    Source: Ipswich Star – 26 March 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1yhWK1U

    London: Smokers warned not to light up in bed after man has lucky escape from fire

    Smokers are being warned not to light up in bed after a man had a lucky escape from a blaze sparked by a discarded cigarette.

    Firefighters were called to the bedsit in Enfield last Thursday morning after residents called the fire brigade.

    Four people managed to escape the building before fire crews arrived.

    Investigators believe the fire was caused by a cigarette which was not extinguished properly, causing the ben linen and mattress to ignite.

    Half of the bedsit was damaged in the blaze, while the bed was almost completely destroyed.

    [includes pictures]

    Source: Evening Standard – 26 March 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1yhX7JO

    Lancashire: School neighbours fuming at student smokers

    Residents living in a street near a Darwen school and sixth form have complained that students are using their doorways as smoking shelters.

    Darwen Aldridge Community Academy students nipping out for a cigarette between classes or at dinner time can be regularly seen huddling in doorways in Bank Street.

    And fed up residents said they were tired of being greeted by clouds of smoke and cigarette butts when they walk through their front doors.

    Source: This is Lancashire – 26 March 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1yhXyUs

    Australia: Plain cigarette packs with health warnings may encourage quitting

    Standardised cigarette packages adorned with graphic health warnings may make smokers more likely to consider quitting, an Australian study finds.

    Senior study author Melanie Wakefield of Cancer Council Victoria and her colleagues surveyed smokers before and after the new packages debuted to see how the design changes influenced thoughts about quitting.

    After doing an initial phone survey of more than 10,000 people between April 2012 and March 2014, the researchers followed up with about 5,000 smokers to see how they felt about the packages after one month of use.

    Smokers surveyed later in the introductory period were significantly more likely to think about quitting at least once a day than those contacted before the new packages debuted, the study found. But the shock value may have worn off over time; a year after the design change smokers reported little difference in their thinking between baseline and follow-up.

    The effects of the new packages on quitting behavior were modest, the researchers acknowledge in the study, published in the journal Tobacco Control.

    Source: Reuters – 26 March 2015
    Link: http://reut.rs/1yhYF6A

    Czech Republic: Plans to ban smoking restaurants

    The Czech Republic, the last European Union member to still allow unrestricted smoking in restaurants, is preparing to outlaw the practice, the health minister said.

    Support for the ban is rising in the country of 10.5 million, where restaurants aren’t required to separate smokers from nonsmokers, Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek said in e-mailed response to questions. A bill drafted by his ministry may be debated in parliament as early as April.

    Source: Bloomberg – 27 March 2015
    Link: http://bloom.bg/1yhZgVL

    India: Government set to defer tobacco pictorial warning notification

    According to sources with direct knowledge of the matter, India is putting on hold a decision to implement 85% pictographic and text warning on tobacco packs.

    The move, notified in October 2014 by the health ministry was originally scheduled to kick off on April 1. It mandated that companies start covering 85% of cigarette packs with pictorial and text warnings, compared with 40% on the front side at present.

    “No new date or definite time frame for the implementation of these warnings have been indicated in the new government notification likely to be issued shortly,” one of the sources said.

    This move comes after a parliamentary panel recommended that the proposal be kept in abeyance until its socioeconomic ramifications are evaluated.

    Source: The Economic Times – 26 March 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1yi0osD