Link of the week
Norfolk man jailed after being caught with more than 1.5 million illegal cigarettes
A Norfolk man who was caught with more than 1.5 million illegal cigarettes disguised as road surfacing material in a warehouse has been jailed. Three men were found hiding at the back of a unit at an industrial estate in South Shields, near Newcastle when HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers swooped.
They uncovered an illegal haul, worth £526,397 in unpaid duty, during the raid when they discovered 24 pallets loaded with packages containing a total of 1,508,300 non-paid UK duty-paid cigarettes. The cigarettes were hidden in wooden containers coated in bitumen, which is often used for road surfaces, and then wrapped in packaging.
Source: Eastern Daily Press, 24 August 2018
USA: Study finds vapers who use e-cigarettes every day are at higher risk of heart attack
Researchers analysed the 2014 and 2016 results of The National Health Interview Survey, which includes interviews from adults living in the US. Some 69,452 participants were asked: ‘Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that you had a heart attack (also called myocardial infarction)?’. The analysis of the increased risk of heart attacks was based on answers to this question.
The researchers found that people who smoke tobacco and use e-cigarettes were most likely to have had a heart attack.
Editorial note: This study does not establish a causal relationship between heart attacks and the use of e-cigarettes. Rather it shows that at the point they were surveyed people who smoked and/or vaped were more likely to have had a heart attack in their lifetime. The study was not able to determine when the heart attack took place, whether it followed or preceded use of an e-cigarette. It is therefore inaccurate to say this research shows that vaping leads to an increased risk of a heart attack. The link between tobacco smoking and heart attacks is well established. See our fact sheet for more information. ASH fact sheet: Smoking, the Heart and Circulation.
Source: Daily Mail, 23 August 2018
USA: FDA bans e-cig liquid products that look like snacks, candies
After warnings sent to a number of e-liquid manufacturers in May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned a number of products which come in packaging that strongly resembles that for candies, cookies and other snacks popular with kids.
The agency told the companies that labels and ads for the nicotine-containing e-liquids were false or misleading, and potentially dangerous. In addition, several of the companies were previously cited for illegally selling the products to minors, the FDA said.
Examples of the products targeted in the warning letters included: “One Mad Hit Juice Box”, which resembled children’s apple juice boxes; “Whip’d Strawberry”, which resembled a dairy whipped topping; “Twirly Pop”, which resembled a Unicorn Pop lollipop and was shipped with one; and “Unicorn Cakes”, which included images of a strawberry beverage and unicorns eating pancakes, similar to those used by the My Little Pony television and toy franchise.
Source: Medical Xpress, 23 August 2018
Link of the week
Labour Communities & Local Government report: Trading Standards
Labour’s latest Local Government ‘Health Check’ report has highlighted deep cuts to England’s Trading Standards where spending has been halved since 2010 (£213m to £105m).