Action on Smoking and Health

Tag Archives: youth

ASH Daily News for 3 October 2018


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


  • 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


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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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

Read Article

Smoking among schoolchildren at record low, new government figures show

2 November 2017

New data published by NHS Digital today show that smoking among 15 year olds has reached the lowest level on record at 7%. [1] The figures demonstrate that England continues to make good progress towards the government’s ambition of a smokefree generation. As outlined in the Tobacco Control Plan for England, the government has committed to reducing smoking prevalence among 15 year olds to 3% or lower by 2022. [2]

The Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England in 2016 survey found that in 2016 7% of 15 year olds were regular cigarette smokers [1] [3] compared to 8% at the time of the last survey in 2014. [3] This continues the longer-term decline seen since 2006, when 20% of 15 year olds were regular smokers. [5] The rate of child smoking experimentation remains almost static with 19% of 11-15 year olds having smoked at least once. This is slightly up from the 18% recorded in 2014 [4], but much lower than the 39% in 2006. [5]

These declines are the result of a long period of evidence-based tobacco policies including prohibiting advertising, promotion and sponsorship of all tobacco products and making tobacco less affordable which continues to deliver benefits.

Commenting on the findings, ASH Chief Executive Deborah Arnott said:

This report shows that England continues to head in the right direction when it comes to youth smoking. However, we need to do more to get adult smokers to quit. It is the higher rates of adult smoking in poorer communities that are the main reason for lower life expectancy.  The Tobacco Control Plan must be fully implemented and adequately funded if we are to succeed in tackling the burning injustice that those born poor die on average nine years earlier.”

This marks only the second time the survey has assessed the use of electronic cigarettes among 11-15 year olds. More children (25%) have tried e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes (17%), continuing a pattern which was already established in 2014 when 18% had tried smoking compared to 22% who had tried e-cigarettes. The vast majority of those who tried e-cigarettes had also tried smoking. Among those who had never smoked, e-cigarette experimentation remained very low at 11%, the same as in 2014. This supports the recent findings of a large scale analysis of surveys of the behaviour of 60,000 young people in the UK which gives little credence to the theory that e-cigarettes are acting as a gateway to smoking tobacco. [6]

Deborah Arnott added:

“We need to keep monitoring but it’s encouraging that since 2009 the proportion of children aged 15 smoking has fallen year on year. Reassuringly experimentation with electronic cigarettes remains low and doesn’t appear to be leading to regular use.”


Notes and links
Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see

ASH receives funding for its programme of work from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

ASH staff are available for interview and have an ISDN line. For more information contact ASH on 020 7404 0242 or out of hours Deborah Arnott on 07976 935 987 or Hazel Cheeseman on 07754 358 593.



[1] Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among young people in England 2016. NHS Digital, September 2017. Chapter 2 tables – smoking prevalence. Table 2.3

[2] Towards a smokefree generation: tobacco control plan for England. Department of Health, July 2017.

[3] The study defined a regular smoker as smoking at least one cigarette per week

[4] Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among young people in England 2014. NHS Digital, 2015

[5] Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among young people in England 2006. NHS Digital, 2007

[6] Bauld L et al Young People’s Use of E-Cigarettes across the United Kingdom: Findings from Five Surveys 2015-2017, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2017, 14, 29 August 2017

Smoking and Meningococcal Disease

Exposure to tobacco smoke via both active and passive smoking has been shown to increase the risk of developing meningococcal disease.  July 2016

32. Smoking and Meningococcal Disease

Youth access

Regulation Description
United Kingdom
Children and Families Act 2014
(External Web Page)
This Act enables the Government to implement regulations to prohibit the purchasing of tobacco by adults for children (proxy purchasing); and to prohibit the sale of nicotine products (electronic cigarettes) to persons under the age of 18.
The Protection from Tobacco (Sales from Vending Machines (England) Regulations 2010
(External Web Page)
Sales of tobacco from vending machines will be prohibited from 1 October 2011.
The Children and Young Persons (Sale of Tobacco etc.) Order 2007 In force legislation England and Wales. From 1 October 2007 the minimum age for the purchase of tobacco was raised from 16 to 18.

The Act updates and amends the Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991.

Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991
(External Web Page)
In force legislation England, Wales and Scotland only.The Act amended and strengthened the existing Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and the Children and Young Persons Act (Scotland) 1937 regarding the sale of tobacco to minors.

This Act increased the penalties for the sale of tobacco to persons under the age of 16, prohibited the sale of unpackaged cigarettes and made provision for local authorities to undertake enforcement action relating to offences connected to the sale of tobacco.

The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 (Variation of Age Limit for Sale of Tobacco etc. and Consequential Modifications) Order 2007
(External Web Page)
Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010
(External Web Page)
The Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 (Ancillary Provisions) Order 2010 (regs for the above)
(External Web Page)

In force legislation Scotland only.
increase in age of sale to 18.Point of sale display ban, created retail register, gave enforcement officers power to issue FPNs for tobacco sales violations, criminalised proxy purchase and underage purchase
European Union
Recommendation on prevention of smoking and initiatives to improve tobacco control
EU COM(2002) 303 final (Proposal)
(External pdf)
This council recommendation seeks to tighten tobacco control measures with particular emphasis on youth access to tobacco.Amongst the proposals:

  • adult only access to cigarette machines
  • removal of tobacco products from display
  • young people to prove their age prior to purchase
  • banning sales of packets of 10

These recommendations do not call for primary legislation but propose changes to existing legislation such as directives on product regulation and labelling.

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What About Youth – survey consultation

ASH’s response to a consultation on the What About Youth survey.


Consultation on changes to ONS information products

ASH response to a consultation on the future of various Office for National Statistics information products.


Foster care, adoption and smoking

A joint briefing from ASH and the Fostering Network. Jan. 2016

Foster care, adoption and smoking

Waterpipes (shisha)

This fact sheet focuses primarily on waterpipe use and regulation in the UK.   Oct 2015.

28. Waterpipes (shisha)