ASH Daily News for 1 August 2019



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UK

  • BAT forecasts faster revenue growth on e-cigarettes and oral products
  • Gateshead couple who advertised illegal cigarettes on Facebook sentenced
  • Kent gang members jailed after selling millions of illegal cigarettes

International

  • Interview: The truth about e-cigarettes
  • Interview: Dr. Raymond Niaura talks youth vaping ‘epidemic’
  • British tourists offered free pints of beer in Costa Blanca bars in exchange for picking up cigarette butts

UK

BAT forecasts faster revenue growth on e-cigarettes and oral products

British American Tobacco (BAT), which makes Lucky Strike and Dunhill cigarettes, said its first half revenue rose 4.6% to £12.17 billion beating an average forecast by analysts of £12.09 billion.

The company said growth came mainly from its new categories that include modern oral products, e-cigarettes and tobacco heating products, with revenue from that category rising 27% to £531 million in the first half of the year. Europe and Canada led e-cigarette demand, while Japan led demand for its tobacco heating product and Russia for oral products.

Source: Reuters, 1 August 2019

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Gateshead couple who advertised illegal cigarettes on Facebook sentenced

A couple who used fake social media profiles to sell illegal cigarettes, have been given suspended jail sentences. An investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found Kenneth and Victoria Kay, from Gateshead, used the aliases Penny Lane and Kieron Jones to advertise the sale of non-UK duty paid cigarettes on Facebook.

HMRC and police officers subsequently searched Victoria and Kenneth Kay’s cars in 2017, finding a total of 14,700 cigarettes and 26.5 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco. The non-UK duty paid tobacco products, which were identical to the brands posted on their Facebook posts and worth £9,534.70 in evaded duty, were seized by HMRC. Mobile phone evidence also uncovered cigarette sales worth another £19,195.46 in unpaid duty.

Kenneth Kay was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, and 300 hours unpaid work. Victoria Kay was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years.

Source: The Northern Echo, 29 July 2019

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Kent gang members jailed after selling millions of illegal cigarettes

A gang of nine men who sold illegal cigarettes for just £3 a pack in shops have been jailed for a total of 16 years and nine months. The gang evaded £667,000 in duty and sold millions of illegal cigarettes in Kent. They hid the illicit cigarettes and tobacco in underground compartments that were opened with car key-style fobs.

The gang distributed illegal cigarettes and tobacco to a network of convenience shops in Margate, Gravesend, Chatham, Ramsgate, Gillingham, and Maidstone.

Clive Phillips, complex investigations operations manager, Kent County Council Trading Standards, said: “The sale of illicit tobacco significantly undermines legitimate businesses and funds organised crime – this result sends a clear messages to criminal gangs that we will continue to work with all of our enforcement partners in stamping out this crime.”

Source: Kent Live, 27 July 2019

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International

Interview: The truth about e-cigarettes

In this interview with Science Focus, Professor John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham, discusses the impact of the recent San Francisco ban on e-cigarettes.

What do you make of San Francisco’s recent decision to ban the sales of e-cigarettes?

“It’s not something that’s happening anywhere else in the world. I think the USA generally and San Francisco particularly is getting into something of a moral panic. What they have had, over the last year, is a big increase in the use of a particular product (Juul) which delivers very high amounts of nicotine.

And that hasn’t been a problem until last year’s data came out, because smoking prevalence rates have been falling in children in America just as they have in the UK, but the 2018 figures had a slight uptake with a big increase in vaping, and so that has been interpreted as a sign that vaping is producing a whole new generation of nicotine addicts. And on that basis they’ve banned it.”

Will this prove effective?

“I think it’s a gross overreaction, but the USA does have a problem in that it has never endorsed the use of electronic cigarettes as a way of quitting smoking in the way that we have in the UK, and it has never prohibited advertising [e-cigarettes] to children, and the brand in question has been advertised strongly on social media to young people.

The problem is advertising nicotine products to children and selling them to children, not the fact that these products are harmful to society as a whole.”

Using e-cigarettes isn’t without risk though, is it? What does the current research say?

“They aren’t new. They’ve been around for 15 years; they’ve been in widespread use in the UK for about seven years. There’s been no appreciable reported adverse effects, with use by millions of people. So, if that was a drug, you’d be pretty confident that there are no major adverse short-term effects.”

Source: Science Focus, 29 July 2019

See also:
ASH Briefing: Electronic cigarettes. 2018

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Interview: Dr. Raymond Niaura talks youth vaping ‘epidemic’

It took many months before public health researchers, or members of the public could see the data used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the United States Surgeon General to raise alarm over the so-called epidemic of teen vaping.

In this RegWatch preview Dr. Raymond Niaura, Interim Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at NYU College of Global Public Health, shares his analysis of the now released data.

According to the figures, regular youth vaping rates have increased from 1.5% in 2017 to 3.5% in 2018, while past 30 day use rose from 7.9% in 2017 to 13.5% in 2018.

Source: RegulatorWatch, 24 July 2019

See also:
ASH Factsheet: Use of e-cigarettes among young people in Great Britain. 2019

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British tourists offered free pints of beer in Costa Blanca bars in exchange for picking up cigarette butts

A Costa Blanca bar is offering tourists a free pint of beer in exchange for picking up cigarette butts from the local beach. The campaign hopes to clear the area of rubbish left behind by visitors.

According to The Olive Press, it is part of a campaign taken up by bars, across Spain. Many beaches in Spain have been covered in rubbish and plastic waste. Environmentalists released a series of videos showing the small amounts of micro-plastics which have ended up in the sand, damaging the area as well drifting out to sea and harming wildlife.

Source: The Sun, 31 July 2019

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