ASH Daily News for 27 October 2016



  • Study finds perception of electronic cigarette harm is growing among US adults
  • India: Government, industry battle ahead of WHO Conference
  • Canada: Leaked Big Tobacco document suggests it used convenience store, anti-illicit groups as lobbyists
  • USA: Florida jury awards nearly $29 million in damages for smoker’s death
  • USA: Study shows people trying to quit smoking don’t focus on tobacco

Study finds perception of electronic cigarette harm is growing among US adults

The proportion of American adults who perceive e-cigarettes to be equally or more harmful than traditional cigarettes has tripled in recent years, highlighting the need for more accurate public health messaging, according to a study led by tobacco researchers at Georgia State University.

Researchers examined data from the Tobacco Products and Risk Perception surveys from 2012 to 2015 examining changes in how adults perceived the relative harms and addictiveness of e-cigarettes.

The study shows that 35% of adult smokers perceived e-cigarettes to be equally or more harmful than traditional cigarettes in 2015, a notable increase on the nearly 12% who held this view in 2012. Similarly the percentage of adult smokers seeing e-cigarettes as more addictive has more than doubled with 57% reporting this view in 2015 compared to 25% in 2012. Similar views were seen among non-smokers.

See also:
Changing Perceptions of Harm of E-Cigarettes Among U.S. Adults, 2012–2015, American Journal of Preventative Medicine

Source: Medical X Press – 26 October 2016
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India: Government, industry battle ahead of WHO Conference

The Indian tobacco industry is lobbying the Government to take a softer stance on tobacco control efforts when it hosts the World Health Organisation (WHO) Conference of the Parties next month, but the Government has stated it will not bow to ‘pressure tactics’.

India is due to host the seventh Conference of the 180 Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Documents obtained by Reuters show that industry and farmer groups have written to officials across government asking to attend the Conference and be part of India’s delegation, in an effort to protect their interests.

Earlier this month a tobacco farmers’ group questioned the legality of India implementing the FCTC treaty, and asked the Delhi High Court to compel the government to allow farmers to attend the WHO conference. A judge last week asked the government to “consider” the plea, but did not rule on the other requests.

The FCTC secretariat in Geneva told Reuters it welcomes India’s decision, saying its guidelines state that no country should have delegation members linked to the tobacco industry.

Source: The Mail Online – 27 October 2016
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Canada: Leaked Big Tobacco document suggests it used convenience store, anti-illicit groups as lobbyists

City and town councils across Canada have passed a wave of resolutions asking provincial governments to crackdown on illicit tobacco. These municipalities have been lobbied by seemingly independent convenience stores and anti-illicit advocates.

However, these are the same advocates who are lobbying against the introduction of standardised ‘plain’ packaging, the ban on menthol cigarettes and a freeze on tobacco taxes.

Now leaked Imperial Tobacco documents dating back to 2012 suggest that these campaigns are not independent but rather that the retail and anti-illicit organisations have for years been used as surrogates for the tobacco industry to promote its own interests.

The internal PowerPoint presentation describes deploying the convenience store groups and the National Coalition against Contraband Tobacco, both at least partly funded by the tobacco industry, to promote fears about illicit, push for action against it and keep taxes on legal products low.

Source: The National Post – 25 October 2016
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USA: Florida jury awards nearly $29 million in damages for smoker’s death

A Florida jury has awarded $20 million in punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in a trial over a chain smoker’s death from COPD, adding to the $8.8 million in compensatory damages the jury awarded a day earlier. These figures are significantly larger than the plaintiff, the deceased’s husband, had asked for.

Source: News Inferno – 26 October 2016
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USA: Study shows people trying to quit smoking don’t focus on tobacco

Researchers at British Columbia University have found that half of the statements made by smokers during counselling sessions that are designed to help them stop, have nothing to do with quitting.

The data is part of a larger ongoing study considering the tools and support that would be most effective in supporting smokers to quit.

“These findings may indicate that people trying to quit need time to talk about a variety of topics to feel comfortable talking with their practitioner about smoking,” says Heather Gainforth, an assistant professor of health and exercise sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “It also highlights the importance of providing smokers with the opportunity to receive counselling about pharmaceutical aids that can help them quit.”

The research has been published in the British Journal of Health Psychology.

Source: UBC News – 25 October 2016
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