ASH Daily News for 17 December 2019



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UK

  • Smoking and vaping banned on Mid Devon District Council property
  • Man accidentally ‘blows up’ car by lighting cigarette after spraying air freshener

International

  • US: Congress set to prohibit sales of tobacco and vaping products to anyone under 21

UK

Smoking and vaping banned on Mid Devon District Council property

From January 1st 2020, Mid Devon District Council (MDDC) will be implementing an extended smoking ban at all its sites.

A spokesperson for the Council’s Leadership Team said: “In line with legislation, our buildings have been smoke-free for many years, but up until now our staff and customers have been able to smoke or vape in close vicinity to our buildings as well as in our designated smoking shelters. From January they will no longer be able to do this and will have to leave our site if they wish to smoke or vape. This applies to both staff and visitors. Prominent signs will be displayed at all the affected areas, and anyone seen smoking or vaping in contravention of the ban will be asked to leave.”

Source: Devon Live, 17 December 2019

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Man accidentally ‘blows up’ car by lighting cigarette after spraying air freshener

A car owner has sustained minor injuries after he sprayed air freshener from an aerosol can inside his vehicle before lighting a cigarette, causing an explosion. West Yorkshire Police said the driver was stationary in traffic when the “dramatic” incident occurred in a street in Halifax.

They said the driver had not ventilated his car after spraying “excessive” amounts of air freshener on Saturday around 3pm.

He then lit a cigarette, causing the fumes to ignite. The explosion was powerful enough to damage the windows of nearby businesses, said police. “The fumes exploded and blew out his windscreen, along with some windows at nearby business premises…the owner fortunately sustained only minor injuries but this could have been worse” Police added.

Source: Independent, 16 December 2019

See also: BBC – Driver ‘blows up’ car with ‘excessive’ use of air freshener

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International

US: Congress set to prohibit sales of tobacco and vaping products to anyone under 21

Sales of tobacco products to anyone under 21 would be banned under a year-end congressional spending bill likely to pass this week, congressional staffers said. The measure, which would include cigarettes and e-cigarettes, has bipartisan support and was introduced in May 2019 by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Tim Kaine. In November, President Trump told reporters he supported an increase in the tobacco-buying age to 21 from 18.

Public health advocates praised the move, saying it would help reduce child access to vaping products. But they stressed much more action is needed to reverse the youth vaping surge. A White House official said it was likely Trump would embrace the age change as at least part of a solution to concerns about youth vaping levels in the US, but that no final decision had been made. The measure is partly designed to reduce teens’ ability to get e-cigarettes from older friends or acquaintances. Federal regulators have said that “social access” is the most common way for children to get vaping products.

“While raising the age to 21 is a positive step, in this case, the tobacco industry supports it to avoid other policies — like removing flavours from e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes that would have a much greater effect,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. He noted that underage youth vaping increased sharply in the past two years, even with a minimum legal age of 18. Trump said in September that the Food and Drug Administration planned to take off the market any e-cigarettes that were not designed to taste like tobacco. But under fire from vape-shop owners and conservative groups, he backed away from the plan last month and has yet to announce a substitute.

The federal tobacco legislation follows efforts by many states to make it harder for teens to buy cigarettes and vaping products. Nineteen states, plus the District of Columbia, have barred sales of tobacco products to consumers under 21, and 16 of those laws have been implemented, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Hundreds of localities also have raised the tobacco age.

Kaine said in a statement that the bill “will have an enormous positive impact on public health.” He cited a 2015 report by the National Academy of Medicine that found raising the tobacco age will significantly prevent or delay when kids take up tobacco products, decrease smoking and reduce premature deaths from smoking by more than 223,000. Vaping advocates have fought flavor bans, saying adult smokers rely on flavors to try to quit smoking. They have backed raising the tobacco age as one way to reduce youth access to e-cigarettes without banning flavors.

Source: The Washington Post, 17 December 2019

See also: Forbes – Congress poised to raise smoking age to 21

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