ASH Daily news for 15 December 2015



  • BAT whistleblower accuses company of ignoring corruption claims
  • University of Chester brings in campus-wide smoking ban
  • West Yorkshire: Illicit tobacco crackdown
  • E-cigarette adverts to be made illegal in EU
  • New Zealand: Lack of tobacco control strategy – smoking decline stalling
  • US: Tobacco Use Widespread in Video Games Played By Youth
  • Singapore: Emerging tobacco products ban begins

    BAT whistleblower accuses company of ignoring corruption claims

    Paul Hopkins, the former employee of British American Tobacco Plc, who last month alleged that the company had bribed politicians and civil servants in countries in East Africa, has claimed that he raised his corruption concerns internally twice, but was ignored on both occasions.

    In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, Hopkins added to the accusations, saying that he had twice raised his corruption concerns to an internal team while still a BAT employee, but he was ignored. According to the report, after the second attempt Hopkins raised an official grievance with BAT and was granted a meeting with the head of human resources in Africa and the Middle East, which took place last year.

    “A recording of that meeting made by Hopkins appears to show him being cut off as he attempts to explain the alleged activities taking place in parts of east Africa,” The Sunday Times said.

    Source: Invezz, 14th December 2015

    University of Chester brings in campus-wide smoking ban

    The University of Chester will implement a campus- wide smoking ban from the 4th January 2016.

    Smokers will have to go off site or to a designated smoking area as smoking will be prohibited on all university sites and facilities and university vehicles.

    During the initial period there will be a softy-softly approach with smoking cessation services and support offered to the workforce. However, staff are warned that from August 1 next year there will be sanctions for anyone caught breaking the policy by having a cigarette on site or in a university vehicle.

    Source: The Chester Chronicle, 15th December 2015

    West Yorkshire: Illicit tobacco crackdown

    More than 800,000 illegal cigarettes have been seized by West Yorkshire Trading Standards as part of a crackdown on illegal tobacco on the region’s streets.

    Illegal tobacco worth over £140,000 has been seized since April 2014 as part of the Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health Programme.

    The scheme, which operates in Leeds, Calderdale, Kirklees, Wakefield, Bradford and City of York Council, has received over 1,000 intelligence reports and made 349 enforcement visits.

    There have been 26 criminal prosecutions and 11 ongoing investigations.

    Source: Dewsbury Reporter, 15th December 2015

    E-cigarette adverts to be made illegal in EU

    The Department of Health has released today details of how it proposes to implement the rules on advertising of electronic cigarettes in accordance with the EU TPD.

    E-cigarettes cannot be advertised in magazines, newspapers, on TV and on radio, from May 2016.

    The proposed rules would not prevent public health campaigns or local stop smoking services messaging, but would limit all commercial advertising.

    See also:

    Nursing in Practice

    Source: Department of Health, 15th December 2015

    New Zealand: Lack of tobacco control strategy – smoking decline stalling

    The Ministry of Health released its key results from the 2014/2015 Health Survey last week, showing a slow decrease in the current smoking rate, from 20 percent in 2006/2007 to 17 percent in 2014/2015. The daily smoking rate is virtually unchanged since the New Zealand 2013 Census, remaining at 15 percent.

    Executive Director of the Smokefree Coalition, Dr Prudence Stone said that the 10 percent annual tobacco excise tax increases are losing momentum, and the sector does not have the health promotion resources it needs to encourage more New Zealanders to quit.

    Source: Scoop, 14th December 2015

    US: Tobacco Use Widespread in Video Games Played By Youth

    Smoking is prevalent and often glamorized in video games played by youth, according to a new report released by Truth Initiative.

    For this report, Truth Initiative commissioned video interviews with 44 teen and young adult “gamers.” All 44 recalled seeing smoking in games on a regular basis. Tobacco use was viewed as making a character “tougher” or “grittier.”

    Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Intiative said: “The glamorization of smoking in video games is cause for serious concern, particularly because youth spend more time playing video games than going to the movies… Tobacco products are often used by ‘cool’ and ‘strong’ characters, by characters controlled by the players themselves, and are often not reflected in a game’s rating. We hope this report will lead to better awareness of how tobacco images might be influencing kids to smoke. It should also drive the gaming industry to become more transparent in disclosing and describing the potentially harmful content of their games.”

    Source: IT Briefing, 15th December 2015

    Singapore: Emerging tobacco products ban begins

    A ban on emerging tobacco products has come into force today, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health on Monday.

    The Ministry of Health said the ban is being adopted to ensure that such products – those that are relatively new or unusual – do not gain a foothold or become entrenched in the Singapore market, which could increase the prevalence of tobacco consumption.

    “This is part of the (Health Ministry’s) ongoing efforts to protect the public against the known and potential harms of emerging tobacco products,” it said.

    Source: China Daily, 15th December 2015