ASH Daily news for 12 May 2016



  • Nottingham: NHS trust lifts vaping ban on hospital grounds

    The Nottingham University Hospital Trust has made a decision to lift the ban on vaping within its grounds. Using electronic cigarettes on Trust sites was banned two years ago, but in light of new evidence, both the review from Public Health England suggesting electronic cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking tobacco, and the recent report from the Royal College of Physicians recommending electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction product, it has decided to lift the ban.

    People who wish to use electronic cigarettes will be able to do so on hospital grounds, but not inside the buildings. The change in policy was aimed at helping people who are trying to give up smoking tobacco, the trust said.

    Dr Stephen Fowlie, medical director at the trust, said: “We have a duty to help our patients and staff make healthy life choices, and can’t ignore the potential benefits of electronic cigarettes as a nicotine replacement therapy.”

    Source: ITV News 11 May 2016

  • Scotland: Anti-smoking charter proves popular

    Over 50 organisations have signed-up to a charter that aims to create a generation of smoke free Scots by 2034. Led by the health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland, the charter asks organisations to do something to reduce tobacco use throughout the country.

    Organisations and charities including Children 1st, Young Scot and Children in Scotland have all signed up to the charter which was launched one year ago. Pledges have included making grounds and premises smoke-free, encouraging staff to quit smoking and advocating the benefits of smoke-free homes to parents and carers.

    Sheila Duffy, chief executive of ASH Scotland, said: “In its first year the charter has gained momentum and is proving an effective way to align organisations in the fight against tobacco and the harmful effects it has on children and young people.”

    Source: Third Force News 11 May 2016

  • Indonesia: tobacco plantations using child labour

    Some of the world’s best known tobacco companies have been accused of turning a blind eye to the exploitation of child labour in Indonesian plantations that serve as their suppliers.

    Reporters for Al Jazeera discovered children as young as 10 working on tobacco plantations in Indonesia’s East Java province, despite the country having 15 as the minimum age limit for the job.

    According to the World Health Organization, 36.2 percent of Indonesian boys aged 13 to 15 smoke.

    Source: Al Jazeera 11 May 2016

  • India: Parliamentary panel recommends assessing environmental impact of tobacco cultivation

    Noting that tobacco curing and cultivation is not only destroying forests but also contributing to climate change, a parliamentary standing committee has called on the central government to conduct a detailed environmental impact assessment of tobacco cultivation.

    The committee has also asked the government to make efforts to gradually reduce human consumption of tobacco and explore its alternative uses such as in making pesticides.

    Source: Live Mint 11 May 2016

  • Parliamentary Questions:

    PQ1: Electronic cigarettes

    Anne Main Conservative, St Albans
    Yesterday Lord Prior spoke up for vaping as a way of getting off cigarettes; so has the Royal College of Physicians. Why are we bringing in the Brussels diktat that says that we must include vaping in the tobacco directive?

    David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party
    I am happy to look at this issue closely. It is necessary to differentiate between smoking and vaping, because they have very different health effects. I actually think that that is what is being achieved, but I will look into this carefully and will write to my hon. Friend.


    PQ2: RCP report

    Anne Main Conservative, St Albans
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Royal College of Physician’s report, Nicotine without smoke: Tobacco harm reduction, published in April 2016.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    The Department has and will continue to keep abreast of all evidence and consider it in developing policy. The report published by the Royal College of Physicians is consistent with the Government’s current policy that the best thing a smoker can do for their health is to quit smoking and quit for good, but we recognise that e-cigarettes have a role to play in helping some people to quit.

    Source: Hansard (Citation: HC Deb, 11 May 2016, cW)

    PQ3: EU Tobacco Products Directive

    Anne Main Conservative, St Albans
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will make it his policy to conduct an annual review of the effect of the Tobacco Products Directive.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    Comprehensive tobacco control measures act in concert. The Government monitors the impact of all tobacco control measures using a range of data sources, some of which are reported annually. The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Regulations 2015, which implement most elements of the Tobacco Products Directive in the United Kingdom, contain a review clause, with the first review of the operation of the legislation falling before 2021.

    Source: Hansard (Citation: HC Deb, 11 May 2016, cW)