ASH Daily news for 03 May 2016



  • Medical professionals call for a smoke-free approach to arts sponsorship

    More than 1,000 healthcare experts have signed an open letter calling on some of London’s most respected cultural institutions to abandon their financial links with big tobacco. They warn: “Tobacco advertising has now been banned along with sponsorship of sport. However, tobacco companies continue to use sponsorship of some high-profile arts organisations to promote the spurious idea that they are responsible corporate citizens.”

    Tobacco company Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has corporate membership deals with the British Museum, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Academy of Arts. JTI pays almost £40,000 a year to the Royal Academy for a premier membership package that sees the company listed in all exhibition catalogues. The company is also a corporate supporter of the Southbank Centre on whose website its logo appears. British American Tobacco is an associate member of the Royal Academy of Arts and a corporate sponsor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

    “As a doctor specialising in the care of people with emphysema, I see the harm smoking causes every day,” said Dr Nick Hopkinson, reader in respiratory medicine and honorary consultant physician at the National Heart and Lung Institute, who is leading the campaign against the sponsorship.
    “Tobacco companies, which rely on getting people addicted to products, which maim and kill, must not be allowed to use arts sponsorship as a way to present [themselves] as respectable.”

    The full letter, published in Sunday’s Observer, is available to view here.

    Source: The Guardian 30 April 2016

  • Lifespan gap ‘widening between rich and poor’

    New research produced by City University London has found that the gap between the lifespans of rich and poor people in England and Wales is rising for the first time since the 1870s. Author Prof Les Mayhew from Cass Business School said the difference was mainly due to “lifestyle choices”.

    Based on figures from the Human Mortality Database, researchers measured the differences in age between the youngest 10% of adult deaths and the oldest 5%. From 1870 to 1939 the gap steadily closed, and after 1950 there were further rises in life expectancy – though inequalities in lifespan persisted rather than narrowing further. However, from the 1990s lifespan inequalities actually worsened, particularly for men, for the first time since the late 1870s, say the researchers.

    The researchers attributed the widening disparity to poor lifestyle choices. They note that especially men in lower socio-economic groups undertake riskier activities where their health is concerned. “They smoke more, drink more and there are periods of their lives when they undertake riskier activities”, the authors said.

    The researchers say the negative health outcomes of smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet and lack of exercise “are disproportionately associated with the poorest in society”. They say it is vital to encourage healthier lifestyles and to counter pressure on individuals from “exposure to advertising, their communities and peer groups”.

    Source: BBC News 3 May 2016

  • BAT acquires Ten Motives electronic cigarette frim

    British American Tobacco (BAT) has boosted its presence in the fast-growing electronic cigarette market with the acquisition of Ten Motives.

    The Cheshire-based company has a strong presence in grocery and convenience stores, supplying electronic cigarettes to Tesco, WH Smith and the Co-op as well as through its own websites and six retail outlets.

    BAT, which has not revealed the purchase price, said that Britain was a key market for electronic cigarettes, with an estimated 2.5 million users and strong growth prospects. All 29 of Ten Motives’ head office and retail staff will stay with the business.

    Source: The Times 2 May 2016

  • USA: New anti-smoking campaign targets LGBTI youth

    LGBTI youth are almost two times more likely to use tobacco as other young adults. A new campaign called ‘This Free Life’ by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hopes to curb this trend and help LGBTI youth stop lighting up.

    The campaign will utilise videos and ‘authentic and credible messages from tobacco-free members of the LGBT community’ which will be widely distributed throughout the United States.

    According to the FDA, the ‘coming out’ process has been linked to increased tobacco use and negative health consequences. But ‘This Free Life’ aims to foster a peer-to-peer approach on helping LGBTI youth kick out this bad habit.

    See also:
    Pink News: US Government targets gay community with $35 million ‘stop smoking’ ad campaign
    Washington Blade: FDA targets LGBT youth in anti-smoking campaign

    Source: Gay Star News 3 May 2016

  • Australia: Cigarette prices to rise after tobacco tax hike in Federal Budget 2016

    The cost of a packet of cigarettes could rise to $40 after the Federal Government confirmed a rise in the tobacco excise as part of the 2016 Budget.

    Finance Minister Mathias Cormann confirmed the Budget would contain a 12.5 per cent annual increase in tobacco excise to 2020.

    Source: 3 May 2016

  • USA: Massachusetts Senate passes tobacco bill

    The Massachusetts Senate has passed an act to protect youth from the health risks of tobacco and nicotine addiction. Among other provisions, the legislation will prohibit the sale of all tobacco and nicotine delivery products to individuals under the age of 21.

    “Tobacco kills more Americans annually than car accidents, alcohol, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides – combined,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg. “That’s why the Senate took action to further curtail access to this harmful substance and reduce youth tobacco use. I hope other states around the country follow our lead, and I look forward to working with the House and Governor Baker to move this important policy forward.”

    Source: Daily Times Chronical 2 May 2016

  • Argentina: Tax on tobacco companies to increase by 75%

    The Argentine government on Monday made official a 60 to 75% tax hike on the manufacturing of tobacco products via the publication of a decree in the Official Bulletin.

    The additional revenue raised will allow for the greater diversion of funds to the provinces and an expansion in provisions for treating smoking related diseases.

    Source: Nam News Network 3 May 2016