ASH Daily News for 28 January 2019



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UK

  • Illegal cigarette sales are hampering efforts to cut smoking, say councils
  • Lancashire: One in ten mothers are still smoking right up to delivery
  • Lorry driver jailed after illicit tobacco find

International

  • US: Researchers highlight need for more smoking cessation programs in state prisons

 

UK

Illegal cigarette sales are hampering efforts to cut smoking, say councils

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, is calling for courts to impose bigger fines for selling illegal cigarettes, which it said cost the UK economy more than £2billion a year in unpaid duty.

Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: “The sale of cheap, illegal tobacco by rogue traders in shops, private homes and through social media is funding organised criminal gangs and damaging legitimate traders, as well as making it easier for young people to get hooked on smoking, which undermines councils’ efforts to help people quit.”

Source: Sunderland Echo, 27 January 2019

See also: Illicit Tobacco Partnership – Illicit Tobacco PR Guide

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Lancashire: One in ten mothers are still smoking right up to delivery

Across Lancashire, one in ten pregnant women are smoking at time of delivery. In Greater Preston, 9% of mothers were smoking at time of delivery compared to 9.7% in Chorley and South Ribble.

A spokesperson for the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston said it was “encouraging” that figures were lower than the national average, but work was being done to achieve the national target of reducing the number of women smoking during pregnancy to 6% by 2022.

The spokesman said: “A number of steps are being taken towards reaching this target, including revised smoking in pregnancy guidelines and monitoring carbon monoxide levels at booking and at 36 weeks gestation. Our midwifery services are also working closely with the Quit Squad and each mother who identifies as a smoker is given a resource pack on smoking in pregnancy during discussions, when booking in their pregnancy.”

Source: The Garstang Courier, 25 January 2019

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Lorry driver jailed after illicit tobacco find

A lorry driver who smuggled five million cigarettes inside washing machines into the UK has been jailed for two years and eight months after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Border Force officers stopped the vehicle at the Port of Dover on 27 September 2018. A search of the trailer revealed 5.3 million Mayfair cigarettes, worth almost £1.6m in lost duty, concealed within 16 fake commercial washing machines.

On sentencing, Judge Huseyin, said: “The reality of duty evasion is a large amount of money due to go in to the public purse goes in to the hands of criminals. As such it is not a victimless crime, one has to think of the nurse’s salaries that £1.5m would pay. That is why courts take duty evasion so seriously.”

Source: Talking Retail, 25 January 2019

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International

US: Researchers highlight need for more smoking cessation programs in state prisons

A recent study published in Health Psychology Open has found that prison inmates in the US want to quit smoking but don’t have access to smoking cessation programmes in state prisons. This increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and other smoking-related diseases.

The researchers from Rutgers University in New Jersey examined smoking behaviours and characteristics of 169 black and non-black male inmates in three state correctional facilities in the Northeast to identify racial differences in their smoking behaviours and motivation to quit. They found that many prisons have introduced smoking bans without adding additional resources to help inmates quit smoking, which doesn’t support smokefree environments nor sustained quitting after release.

Lead author Pamela Valera said: “Despite the number of different smoking cessation aids available, less than half of the people in both study groups had a medical professional in prison talk to them about quitting. Many of these inmates want to quit. They just lack the means and understanding on how to do so.”

Source: BrightSurf, 28 January 2019

Health Psychology Open – The smoking behaviors of incarcerated smokers

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