ASH Daily News for 29 November 2016



  • A third of children hospitalised with asthma are exposed to cigarette smoke
  • Scotland: Borders group wins national award for work on smoking
  • Ireland: State investment in tobacco companies risks undermining anti-smoking drive
  • Nigeria: Ex-workers accuse BATN of anti-labour practices
  • Thailand praised for defence of tobacco control policies

A third of children hospitalised with asthma are exposed to cigarette smoke

A major review of how hospitals treat children with asthma has found that 32% of those experiencing breathing difficulties had been exposed to environmental cigarette smoke shortly beforehand.

The British Thoracic Society’s national paediatric asthma audit examined the records of 5,443 children treated as inpatients for asthma in 153 hospitals in November 2015.

“This study highlights the importance of making homes smokefree since that is where children are most likely to be exposed to tobacco smoke, which can trigger asthma attacks,” said Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health.

“Health professionals need to do more to inform parents of the health risks of secondhand smoke, particularly to their children, and also to support parents who smoke to quit.”

Source: The Guardian – 29 November 2016
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Scotland: Borders group wins national award for work on smoking

The Scottish Borders Community Planning Partnership has received an award at the Scottish Parliament for the work they have done to tackle the harm caused by tobacco across the area, as part of Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco Free Generation.

The initiative led by health charity Action on Smoking and Health Scotland aims to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034, reducing the number of those who smoke to less than 5% of the population. The Charter is designed to inspire organisations to take action to reduce the harm caused by tobacco.

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: “ASH Scotland launched Scotland’s Charter for a tobacco-free generation to help raise awareness of and deliver the worthwhile vision for putting smoking out of fashion for the next generation.”

Source: Peeblesshire News – 28 November 2016
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Ireland: State investment in tobacco companies risks undermining anti-smoking drive

The Irish Government has been criticised for holding shares in Philip Morris and British American Tobacco (BAT).

It has emerged there is almost €35million of taxpayers’ money invested in alcohol, tobacco and defence industries, with €7.2 million of this invested in tobacco.

New laws are now being proposed by Fianna Fail’s Senate health spokesman Dr Keith Swanick which, if passed, would put an end to the investment of taxpayers’ money in tobacco companies.

The investments are made by the National Treasury Management Agency through the strategic investment fund. However, Dr Swanick has pointed out that any return on investment is wiped out by the far greater costs to the health service from smoking related disease.

Source: Irish Mirror – 29 November 2016
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Nigeria: Ex-workers accuse BATN of anti-labour practices

British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) is being accused by former staff members of engaging in anti-labour practices. The former workers have alleged that the company is failing in its responsibility to protect workers’ health and guard against operational hazards.

The former staff are now calling on the Federal Government to investigate the anti- labour practices and hazardous working conditions that individuals are subject to when working for the tobacco industry.

Source: The Guardian – 29 November 2016
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Thailand praised for defence of tobacco control policies

Thailand has been praised by the international Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) for its success in fighting off legal challenges from the tobacco industry.

Thailand was commended along with six other countries, including the UK, for showing the tobacco industry that public health consideration will prevail over trade concerns.

Dr Vera da Costa e Silva, head of the Convention Secretariat said: “To name a few examples, Australia, Kenya, Thailand, India, Uruguay, the United Kingdom and France have shown a steady approach to tobacco industry-initiated court cases, showing that international trade cannot expand at the expense of health and human rights.”

Source: Bangkok Post – 28  November 2016
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