ASH Daily news for 28 July 2015



HEADLINES

  • Brighton: Proposed smoking ban could be extended to outside pubs and restaurants
  • Hampstead: Retired headteacher uses YouTube to tackle litter problem outside Royal Free Hospital
  • Northern Ireland: Farmer caught smoking in tractor will not be prosecuted
  • Australia: Tobacco giant suing Australia over plain packaging
  • Parliamentary Questions

    Brighton: Proposed smoking ban could be extended to outside pubs and restaurants

    Smoking outside restaurants, cafes and pubs in Brighton and Hove could be banned under plans being considered by the council.

    The 12 week consultation launched by the council is asking members of the public for their views on outdoor smoke-free zones across the city.

    Questions include whether residents would visit Brighton beach, parks and outdoor restaurants and pubs more regularly if they were smoke free and whether they deemed they deemed smoking in outdoor areas where people are eating as ‘anti-social’.

    Councillor Daniel Yates said that businesses will only be encouraged to adopt the ban on a voluntary basis, but the council “wanted to see what people’s attitudes were to smoking where people are eating and drinking”.

    Source: Big Hospitality, 27th July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1GXnEid

    Hampstead: Retired headteacher uses YouTube to tackle litter problem outside Royal Free Hospital

    Linda Grove, a retired headteacher has taken to YouTube to highlight the huge litter problem outside the Royal Free Hospital and to call on the council to tackle this persistent issue.

    Ms Grove claims patients and visitors at the Hampstead hospital are blighting the area by dropping rubbish – particularly cigarette butts – on the streets outside.

    She said: “The Royal Free has quite rightly banned smoking in its grounds, but the end result is that people go into Pond Street or Hampstead Green to smoke, and unfortunately many of them drop their fag butts onto the ground.

    “It could be that they don’t want to put them in the bin for fear of starting a fire. Clearer signs and more designated bins for cigarettes could definitely help.”

    Source: Ham and High, 24th July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1JNH2As

    Northern Ireland: Farmer caught smoking in tractor will not be prosecuted

    A local farmer who was facing a possible fine of up to £1,000 for smoking in his tractor will not face prosecution, Antrim and Newtownabbey Council has confirmed.

    The farmer smoking during his break was caught by a tobacco control officer who issued him a notice for smoking in a commercial vehicle capable of carrying more than one person.

    However, a council spokesperson said: “Regarding the case in question the completed Article 12 notice has been returned by the registered owner, and as the vehicle is only used by one person the smoking legislation does not apply. Therefore no fixed penalty will be issued”.

    Source: News Letter, 27th July 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1LPhdEA

    Australia: Tobacco giant suing Australia over plain packaging

    More than $50 million of taxpayer money is expected to go up in smoke defending standardised packaging in a secretive international tribunal in Singapore.

    The Attorney-General’s Department, which is running the case in defence of standardised packaging, called former Labour Treasurer Wayne Swan as a witness before a special tribunal sitting in Singapore back in February.

    Philip Morris, claiming that standardised packaging harms its intellectual property of famous brands such as Marlboro, Peter Jackson and Longbeach, also called high-profile witnesses to give evidence for this case, including former High Court judge Ian Callinan who gave evidence on administrative law.

    Source: The West Australian, 28th July 2015
    Link: http://yhoo.it/1giBmHQ

    Parliamentary Questions

    Luciana Berger Labour, Liverpool

    PQ1: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of treating smoking-related diseases in each of the last three years.

    PQ2: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate his Department has made of the average amount spent by the NHS on treatment for a (a) smoker and (b) non-smoker over their lifetime.

    PQ3: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate his Department has made of the average number of visits a (a) smoker and (b) non-smoker will make to a GP during their lifetime.

    Jane Ellison, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

    The Department does not maintain an annual record of the cost to the National Health Service of treating people with smoking-related diseases.

    However, in 2015, Action on Smoking and Health, in its publication Smoking Still Kills, estimated that the total cost of smoking to society in England alone is approximately £13.8 billion a year. This figure includes a £2 billion direct cost to the NHS of treating smoking related diseases.

    The Department has not published any further information on the costs of smoking to the NHS and does not have information on health costs over a lifetime of smokers compared to non-smokers.

    Source: Hansard Citation: HC Deb, 24 July 2015, cW
    Link: http://bit.ly/1KuWcA9