ASH Daily News for 29 October 2018



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29 October 2018

 

UK

  • Opinion: Ministers must do more to encourage vaping
  • West Yorkshire: Half of fatal house fires caused by dropped cigarettes or smoking materials
  • West Midlands: Huge haul of illicit cigarettes found during police raid

International

  • Australia: Tobacco industry accused of flavour capsule ‘tricks’ to lure young smokers

 

UK

Opinion: Ministers must do more to encourage vaping

Writing in The Times, Jawad Iqbal argues the government is failing to best embrace e-cigarettes:
“The government, through a combination of ministerial timidity and bureaucratic indifference, is failing to make the most of this potential public health revolution. It should make e-cigarettes available on prescription, with doctors being encouraged to recommend them.

“Other changes are long overdue: e-cigarettes are banned in many workplaces, most enclosed public spaces and on public transport, for no evidence-based reasons. Workplaces should have vaping areas, hospitals should sell e-cigarettes and there is a case for long-stay patients having access to areas where they can vape. The piecemeal approach of leaving it to NHS trusts to decide policy on e-cigarettes only adds to the confusion.

“The issue highlights a bigger problem, which is that governments everywhere are in danger of losing the information war when it comes to public health. The internet is awash with myths, scare stories and false information. Health bodies need to do much more to tackle widespread ignorance of what actually causes harm from smoking. It is the toxic constituents in smoke, the tar and carbon monoxide, largely absent from e-cigarettes, that are the main culprits rather than nicotine.”

Source: The Times, 29 October 2018

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West Yorkshire: Half of fatal house fires caused by dropped cigarettes or smoking materials

More than half of all recent fatal house fires in West Yorkshire were caused by dropped cigarettes or other smoking materials according to a recent review of fatal house fires by West Yorkshire Fire Service. The review found that of the 53 people to have died in accidental house fires in the last five years, 27 had died in fires started by smoking materials.

The report says: “Smoking materials caused much fewer dwelling fires (558 which equates to nine per cent) yet resulted in significantly more fatalities compared to any other cause. The key prevention message is around the danger of falling asleep whilst smoking. Whilst national and local prevention campaigns have focused on preventing fires caused by carelessly discarded cigarettes, smoking materials were still the most common cause of ignition.”

Source: Halifax Courier, 28 October 2018

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West Midlands: Huge haul of illicit cigarettes found during police raid

Officers stormed a number of shops in Walsall unearthing thousands of pounds worth of illicit cigarettes. Sniffer dog, Scamp, took the lead as officers seized over 23,000 illegal cigarettes from two stores following an intelligence-led operation on Wednesday 24th October.

Councillor Garry Perry, portfolio holder for public protection in Walsall said: “Well done Scamp and well done to all the Trading Standards and Police officers involved. Illegal tobacco is a scourge to our town and to society. As well as undermining law-abiding businesses with cheap cigarettes, it’s often smuggled in to the country by organised crime gangs and is unregulated. Profits from it fund other criminal activities like human trafficking and drug smuggling.”

Source: Birmingham Live, 26 October 2018

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International

Australia: Tobacco industry accused of flavour capsule ‘tricks’ to lure young smokers

The tobacco industry is “reverting to tricks and stunts” in a bid to attract young smokers, the head of the Public Health Association of Australia has said, after analysis revealed cigarettes with flavour-changing capsules were the fastest growing segment of the combustible tobacco market.

Adjunct Professor Terry Slevin described the modification of tobacco products to make them more appetising as “an extraordinary assault on public health”. Slevin said an urgent national strategy was needed to respond to the growing market, in addition to the tobacco control acts in each state and territory. Research published this month from New Zealand’s Otago University found young non-smokers and former smokers saw flavour capsules as more appealing, and were more likely to experiment with these than with unflavoured cigarettes.

Flavoured cigarettes are now widely available in Australia, with almost all major brands including at least one product with flavour squeeze balls in their range. To date, only Canada, Ethiopia, Senegal and Uganda have banned all flavoured tobacco products. They will be banned in Brazil by March 2020 and across much of Europe by May 2020.

See also: British Medical Journal – Flavour capsule cigarettes continue to experience strong global growth

Source: The Guardian, 29 October 2018

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