ASH Daily News for 6 September 2018



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UK

  • Telford shop worker fined for selling illegal tobacco

International

  • USA: Judge orders FDA to speed up graphic warnings requirement for cigarettes
  • Study: Smoking linked to higher dementia risk
  • Study: Varenicline makes no difference in shisha tobacco addiction

UK

Telford shop worker fined for selling illegal tobacco

A shop worker who was caught with illegal tobacco and cigarettes at a store in Telford has been ordered to pay more than £2,500 in fines and lost duty. The illegal haul found included 4,140 cigarettes and 1.15kg of hand-rolling tobacco worth more than £1,570 in lost duty. Officers found cigarettes and tobacco behind the counter, in the storage area, and in the foot well of a seized vehicle. They also found a number of notepads containing lists and prices. The discovery came from a joint operation to disrupt the sale and supply of illegal tobacco and alcohol in Telford and Shrewsbury.

Nick Stone, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “The sale of illegal tobacco and alcohol will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies. Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market, which costs the UK around £2.5 billion a year, and the sale of illicit alcohol which costs the UK around £1.3 billion per year.”

Source: Shropshire Live, 5 September 2018

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International

USA: Judge orders FDA to speed up graphic warnings requirement for cigarettes

In a emphatic victory in America’s fight against tobacco, a federal court has ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expeditiously issue a final rule requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and advertising, as mandated by a 2009 federal law.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani was in response to a lawsuit filed in October 2016 by eight public health and medical groups and several individual pediatricians. Judge Talwani agreed with the health groups that the FDA has both “unlawfully withheld” and “unreasonably delayed” agency action to require the graphic warnings.

Judge Talwani set a deadline of September 26, 2018, for the FDA to “provide to this court an expedited schedule for the completion of outstanding studies, the publication of the proposed graphic warnings rule for public comment, review of public comments, and issuance of final graphic warnings rule in accordance with the Tobacco Control Act.”

Source: AAP News, 5 September 2018

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Study: Smoking linked to higher dementia risk

Researchers in Korea have found that when compared with current smokers, long-term quitters and never smokers had 14% and 19% lower risks of dementia, respectively. Never smokers had an 18% decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared with current smokers. Also, long-term quitters and never smokers had 32% and 29% decreased risks of vascular dementia compared with current smokers.

The study included 46,140 men aged 60 years or older from a Korean health screening program in 2002 to 2013.

“Smoking cessation was clearly linked with a reduced dementia risk in the long term, indicating that smokers should be encouraged to quit in order to benefit from this decreased risk.” said senior author Dr. Sang Min Park, of Seoul National University, in Korea.

See also: Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, Effect of smoking cessation on the risk of dementia: a longitudinal study

Source: The Sun, 6 September 2018

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Study: Varenicline makes no difference in shisha tobacco addiction

Researchers have shown that a drug commonly used to help smokers overcome addiction to cigarettes does not have the same effect in shisha smokers. Smoking tobacco through a waterpipe, often referred to as shisha or hookah smoking, is becoming more popular, in some parts of the world.

Researchers at the University of York undertook a trial with more than 500 daily shisha smokers in Pakistan. Half were treated with the drug varenicline, and the other with a placebo drug. The results showed that varenicline, a medication used to help tackle cigarette smoking, did not make a difference in assisting shisha smokers break the habit. The researchers have suggested that this is not necessarily because the drug does not work in shisha smokers, but that despite the willingness of participants to quit, only a minority made a serious attempt at quitting all forms of tobacco.

Source: Medical Xpress, 6 September 2018

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