ASH Daily News for 1 May 2019


  • Lung cancer in non-smokers: ‘You do think: why me?’


  • US: FDA approves sale of Philip Morris IQOS heated tobacco devices
  • US: Juul state lobbying practice called into question

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary questions


  • ASH #ActOnTobacco Campaign



Lung cancer in non-smokers: ‘You do think: why me?’

Following an article in The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine last week which revealed 1 in 6 people dying from lung cancer are never smokers, The Guardian focus on the issue and its disproportionate impact on women:

“While about 10% of men in Britain diagnosed with lung cancer are non-smokers, the percentage of women is higher: 15-20%. The decline of cigarette consumption over the past 15 years means that the proportion of people with the disease who are LCINs [lung cancer in never smokers] is growing. In addition, the absolute numbers and rates of LCINs are going up. Jenny Abbott [a never-smoker who was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer] loathes the stigma that non-smokers face when they get “the smoker’s disease”; every time she tells someone about her diagnosis, she feels obliged to add: “I’ve never smoked.”

“The media’s focus on breast, cervical and prostate cancer obscures the fact that lung cancer is Britain’s biggest cancer killer, claiming about 35,600 lives a year; more than from breast, prostate, liver and bladder cancer combined. Since the late 1970s, the rate of lung cancer diagnosis has fallen by 14%…There is no consensus among experts about why lung cancer is affecting more and more non-smokers…[there are] four main known causes [of LCIN]: passive smoking; occupational factors, such as exposure to asbestos; exposure to radon gas; and a history of serious breathing conditions.”

Source: The Guardian, 26 April 2019

See also: ASH – ASH Daily News for 26 April 2019

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US: FDA approves sale of Philip Morris IQOS heated tobacco devices

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has given Philip Morris International (PMI) the go-ahead to sell its IQOS heated tobacco devices in the US. IQOS are devices that heat, rather than burn, tobacco. Launched in Japan three years ago to initial success, they make up the main pillar of PMI’s push into so-called “reduced risk” products.

The FDA has yet to allow IQOS to be marketed as safer than traditional cigarettes, however, and for now, the product must adhere to the same strict regulatory standards as cigarettes. “The authorisation of new tobacco products doesn’t mean they are safe,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. He added the agency would be “keeping a close watch” on IQOS, including levels of usage among young people.

IQOS will be marketed and distributed in the US by Altria, the US cigarette maker from which PMI was spun out more than a decade ago. The product will be rolled out initially in Atlanta, Georgia, as the companies seek to “learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible.”

Source: Financial Times, 30 April 2019

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US: Juul state lobbying practice called into question

Juul’s commitment to doing everything it can to prevent young people and teenagers from using its products is called into question in The New York Times. According to the article, “in statehouses and city halls across the country, a vast, new army of Juul lobbyists is aggressively pushing measures that undermine that pledge.

“The company’s 80-plus lobbyists in 50 states are fighting proposals to ban flavored… pushing legislation that includes provisions denying local governments the right to adopt strict vaping controls; and working to make sure that bills to discourage youth vaping do not have stringent enforcement measures. Though Juul supports numerous state bills that would raise the legal age for buying vaping and tobacco products to 21, some of those bills contain minimal sanctions for retailers. Others fine only the clerks and not the owners for violations.

“Juul is attempting to rehabilitate its public image by posing as a public health advocate while working behind the scenes to weaken or defeat tobacco control proposals and prevent communities from even considering policies to curb tobacco use,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive of the American Heart Association.

“Juul’s state and local efforts have had mixed success. In Sacramento, Juul tried to head off a proposal to ban the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes and tobacco products in the city, as San Francisco did last year. They [Juul lobbyists] were pushing a plan that would ban only flavors that are “knowingly attractive to minors.” The City Council rejected Juul’s proposal and on April 16 passed [the bill]. Steve Hansen, the councilman who wrote the bill, was surprised by the intensity of the lobbying effort. “In my six years on the City Council I’ve never seen the number of money, lobbyists and Astroturfing we’ve seen here on anything else,” he said.

“Ms. Andrews, the Juul spokesperson, said the effort was important because flavored e-cigarette pods were critical to help smokers switch to vaping. “In our studies of thousands of Juul users, people who exclusively used nontobacco flavors were 30 percent more likely to switch than those who use tobacco flavors,” she said. “While we do not and will not sell flavors which are clearly targeted to youth, we also understand that flavors that drive adults from cigarettes have the potential to appeal to youth.”

Source: The New York Times, 28 April 2019

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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary questions

Asked by Bob Blackman, Harrow East
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding his Department spent on campaigns to promote the cessation of smoking in 2018-19; and what funding has been allocated to such campaigns in 2019-20.

Answered by Seema Kennedy, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
Expenditure on smoking cessation advertising media by Public Health Englandin 2018-19 was £2.5 million. Figures are net (rounded to nearest £10,000) and exclude Value Added Tax.

Media spend includes expenditure for advertising on television, radio, national press, regional press, out of home (outdoor), cinema and digital. Recruitment advertising and media partnerships are not included.

The funding allocation for 2019/20 is yet to be agreed.

Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 30 April 2019

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ASH #ActOnTobacco Campaign

Today is the sixth day of a week long campaign by ASH and our partners, highlighting how Big Tobacco’s profits continue to be built on a lethal trade and shady dealings.

Today’s blog by ASH Wales looks at the impact of the tobacco industry on our waterways and marine life and how cigarette filters not only fail to reduce the harm of tobacco, but also damage our environment.

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