ASH Daily news for 06 May 2016



  • EU’s highest court upholds tougher cigarette packet rules

    The European Court of Justice has upheld new EU regulations that require tobacco companies to cover two-thirds of cigarette packets with health warnings, stating that the rules are “appropriate and necessary” to reduce smoking.

    The EU’s highest court also upheld the bloc’s new restrictions on e-cigarettes, thereby approving the first major attempt to regulate one of the tobacco industries’ few growth markets. The rules would lower the amount of nicotine allowed in the vaping devices and require smaller refill containers.

    Poland had challenged the regulations and particularly objected to a ban on menthol cigarettes. Warsaw had argued that Polish citizens’ heavy use of flavoured tobacco meant that it should be treated as a traditional national product — much like snus, a Swedish chewing tobacco exempt from EU tobacco rules.

    Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU’s health commissioner, said the ruling reinforced Brussels’ determination to make public health a driving factor in its policymaking. “This is a very important ruling, confirming once again the fundamental principle enshrined in the EU law — the high level of health protection prevails over the profit . . . from trading a product that kills people,” he said.

    Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, said the ruling should help clear the way for the UK’s plain packaging policy to be implemented. The policy is due to come into effect on May 20, but the cigarette-maker British American Tobacco is challenging the legislation in the UK’s High Court and a decision is expected later this month.

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    Source: Financial Times – 04 May 2016

  • Scotland: NHS Lanarkshire will not be allowing e-cigarettes on hospital grounds

    Hospitals across Lanarkshire will not be following the lead of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde by allowing e-cigarettes to be smoked on hospital grounds.

    Last week it was revealed that vaping would be allowed in hospitals throughout Glasgow after an amendment in policy by health chiefs.

    However, NHS Lanarkshire bosses have revealed they will not be allowing e-cigarettes on hospital grounds after banning them in 2014.

    A complete ban on smoking outside NHS premises was introduced in 2008 but NHS spokesmen state they will look at reviewing their policy when faced with more evidence.

    Source: Daily Record – 05 May 2016

  • Bournemouth: Illicit cigarette caused fire death

    A woman died following a house fire caused by an illicit cigarette, an inquest has heard.

    Barbara Rankilor, 75, was found with 70% burns in her smoke-filled home in Bournemouth, on 8 November and died later in hospital.

    An inquest into her death was told she had been smoking a cigarette which did not self-extinguish in compliance with EU law.

    Source: BBC News – 05 May 2016

  • Northern Ireland: Butt pouches for smokers from JTI

    In what could be one of their last local interactions, JTI have teamed up with Ballymena BID to raise awareness of the problem of unsightly cigarette litter in Ballymena town centre.

    JTI previously supported this anti-butts campaign by supplying cigarette pouches free of charge and they have once again agreed to support the campaign with a further supply of free pouches.

    The pouches supplied are re-useable, pocket sized cigarette pouches that can be used by smokers to deposit their cigarette ends safely, without the need to throw them on the ground.

    Source: Ballymena and Antrim Times – 05 May 2016

  • US: FDA to put e-cigarette industry under federal oversight for the first time

    Long-awaited rules issued by the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday mean that hundreds of e-cigarette brands will have to undergo a federal review to stay on the market. The rules will bring the burgeoning industry under federal oversight for the first time.

    The changes will outlaw e-cigarette sales to minors and require new health warnings. In a shift vigorously opposed by the industry, manufacturers must seek federal permission to continue marketing all e-cigarettes launched since 2007, making up the vast majority of the market.

    The FDA action comes five years after the agency first announced its intent to regulate e-cigarettes and more than two years after it floated its initial proposal.

    See also:
    – FDA bans e-cigarettes, cigars and hookahs for anyone under 18 in ‘historic’ policy overhaul, Daily Mail
    – Praise, Caution and Concern Greet New FDA Tobacco Rules, MedPage Today
    – White House calls FDA e-cigarettes move a ‘common sense’ proposal, Reuters
    – E-Cigarette Manufacturers Say New Regulations Will Devastate The Industry, Forbes
    – The FDA’s new ruling on all tobacco products at a glance, Yahoo! Finance
    – FDA will require e-cigarettes and contents to be reviewed, Medical Xpress

    Source: The Guardian – 05 May 2016

  • India: ITC shuts factories to comply with court ruling

    Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) Ltd., part-owned by BAT and Asia’s second-largest cigarette maker by market value, has shut its factories in India to comply with rules prescribed by the nation’s top court.

    The Kolkata-based company closed the plants on May 4. The factories are shut until the company is in a position to comply with the interim requirements pending hearing in the state court, according to the statement.

    Source: Bloomberg – 06 May 2016

  • India: Inducing a child to consume tobacco may incur 7 years’ jail

    Any person found inducing a child to purchase/consume tobacco may face imprisonment of seven years.

    Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi wants a statutory warning to this effect on cigarette packets. Gandhi has written a letter to health and family welfare minister JP Nadda and urged him to consider the proposal. Gandhi wrote if Nadda gave “an in principle approval” to the suggestion then both the ministers can “jointly finalise the content”. She is hoping for “an early reply” from Nadda.

    Source: The Times of India – 06 May 2016

  • Zimbabwe: Tobacco seed sales decline 86 percent

    Tobacco seed sales have declined by 86 percent, a development that could see a reduction of the crop next season, Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board latest statistics have shown.

    According to TIMB, farmers have bought 7 750 grammes equivalent to 1 292 hectares this season compared to 59 345 grammes equivalent to 9 900 hectares that were sold by seed companies last year.

    Last season by April 22, the Zimbabwe Tobacco Seed Association had sold 5 680 grammes while the Tobacco Research Board sold 53 665 grammes.

    Source: The Herald – 06 May 2016