ASH Daily News for 3 October 2018



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UK

  • Cost of cigarettes must rise to reflect environmental damage from tobacco industry, WHO says

International

  • Daily Bulletin 3: Framework Convention Alliance at the WHO FCTC conference of the parties
  • US: FDA seizes documents from Juul in latest e-cigarette crackdown
  • Philip Morris lobbying on e-cigarettes hidden from Australian public
  • Study: US teenagers’ use of e-cigarettes and tobacco linked

UK

Cost of cigarettes must rise to reflect environmental damage from tobacco industry, WHO says

A new report published by the WHO has recommended that the cost of cigarettes should rise to reflect the wide-ranging environmental damage caused by the tobacco industry, and compares the industry’s carbon footprint to that of an entire country. In the UK, which has very little domestic tobacco production, smoking cigarettes “is done entirely at the expense of other nations’ resources and environmental health”, the report said.

Cigarette production and consumption has risen in recent decades with around 6 trillion cigarettes manufactured annually for an estimated 1 billion smokers. Tobacco farms take up more than 20,000 square miles of land globally and use over 22 billion tonnes of water. This is in addition to a range of environmental and social costs including high levels of pesticide use, soil depletion and child labour.

Professor Nick Voulvoulis, co-author of the report, said: “The environmental impacts of cigarette smoking, from cradle to grave, add significant pressures to the planet’s increasingly scarce resources and fragile ecosystems.” Dr Nicholas Hopkinson, co-author of the report, added: “Tobacco transnationals based in high income countries are literally and metaphorically burning the resources and the future of the most vulnerable people on our planet.”

Source: Independent, 2 October 2018

WHO: Cigarette smoking: an assessment of tobacco’s global environmental footprint across its entire supply chain, and policy strategies to reduce it.

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International

Daily Bulletin 3: Framework Convention Alliance at the WHO FCTC conference of the parties

Highlights from today’s agenda include implementing the ban on Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship – in the digital age; Switzerland’s relationship with the tobacco industry; PMI’s Foundation for a Smoke-Free World; the financial case for investment in tobacco control; the WHO’s new report on the environmental impact of the tobacco industry (see above); and tobacco price fixing in Sri Lanka.

Article 13 – A comprehensive ban on Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship (TAPS) – is key to reducing the uptake of tobacco and reducing tobacco-related harm. Changing patterns of media consumption present challenges to effectively banning TAPS, particularly cross-border TAPS.

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US: FDA seizes documents from Juul in latest e-cigarette crackdown

On Tuesday the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seized over 1,000 pages of documents from e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs, as part of its ongoing investigation into the company’s sales and marketing practices.

Last month the regulator announced that it was considering a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes due to concerns around youth uptake.

Juul makes up around 72% of the US e-cigarette market and has come under increasing scrutiny for its marketing practices, having released over 50,000 pages of documents to the FDA since April.

Source: Reuters, 2 October 2018

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Philip Morris lobbying on e-cigarettes hidden from Australian public

Philip Morris International (PMI) has been lobbying Australian MPs to overturn the ban on vaping. This has been effectively hidden from the public due to a loophole in the Australian lobbying oversight system which allows companies to avoid signing up to the country’s lobbying register if they use lobbyists from within their own company rather than hiring a third party lobbyist.

PMI has been seeking meetings with MPs to discuss the vaping ban and engages a number of former government officials, including one registered lobbyist. The company argues that these merely provide advice and do not lobby on PMI’s behalf.

PMI has also taken advantage of an exemption in Australia’s tobacco advertising ban by placing prominent job ads in two major newspapers calling for staff to help it achieve a “future without cigarettes” and a “smoke-free Australia”.

Source: The Guardian, 2 October 2018

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Study: US teenagers’ use of e-cigarettes and tobacco linked

A new study by the Rand Corporation has suggested that use of e-cigarettes among teenagers is linked with increased regular cigarette use, and vice versa. Youths who reported vaping at 17 years of age (8%) had a cigarette smoking rate of 6%. By the time they reached 19 years of age the proportion of young people who vaped increased to 9%, whereas the proportion who smoked cigarettes increased to 12%.

The study surveyed over 2,000 youths in California from when they were teenagers continuing until they were young adults.

Study author, Michael Dunbar said: “This highlights the importance of taking steps to prevent youth from vaping in the first place.”

The UK currently bans all forms of tobacco advertising and restricts advertising for e-cigarettes. Age of sale of both tobacco and e-cigarettes is 18.

Source: The Guardian, 2 October 2018

Editorial note: The researchers found that use of e-cigarettes increases the likelihood of youth smoking and vice versa and that there are common risk factors for both.

A recent survey conducted by ASH found that 0.3% of 11-18 year olds who had never smoked were currently using e-cigarettes.

Smoking rates among young people in the UK continue to fall.

See also: ASH survey on youth e-cigarette use

Nicotine & Tobacco Research: Disentangling Within- and Between-Person Effects of Shared Risk Factors on E-cigarette and Cigarette Use Trajectories From Late Adolescence to Young Adulthood

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