ASH Daily news for 19 May 2016



  • Tobacco giants await High Court ruling over Government’s plain packaging rules

    Tobacco companies Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International are awaiting a decision over the lawfulness of the Government’s new plain packaging rules, due to come into effect on Friday (20 May).

    A ruling in the case is expected on Thursday, 19 May by Mr Justice Green, who heard the case in December. Heath Secretary Jeremy Hunt contested the case arguing that the regulations are lawful.

    The High Court’s judgment comes after Europe’s highest court recently rejected a series of similar legal challenges.

    Source: Guernsey Press 19 May 2016

  • Menthol cigarette phase out starts on Friday

    Menthol cigarettes and ten packs are to be phased out completely under new smoking laws that come into effect on Friday.

    Under the new EU Tobacco Products Directive, menthol flavour in cigarettes will be phased out over the next four years, ready for a complete ban on 20 May 2020.

    Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, told “There is evidence to show that menthol in cigarettes makes it easier for children to try smoking and to become addicted regular smokers. That’s why ASH supports the ban on menthol cigarettes.”

    Source: The Metro 18 May 2016

  • Canterbury: Anti-smoking campaigners back smoke free trial in playgrounds

    Canterbury City Council, in a joint effort with Kent County Council, is trialling smoke-free zones in five of Canterbury’s outdoor play areas. Signs have been put but around the play areas but the restriction is not legally enforceable, so it is at the discretion of the smokers that the areas remain smokefree.

    It has been welcomed by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the national anti-smoking charity. Director of policy Hazel Cheeseman said the council was sending “an important message” that would encourage parents to stop smoking. She said: “Providing smokefree play areas sends an important message that smoking in the presence of children is not acceptable. Such messages can support wider initiatives such as encouraging parents to quit and to keep their homes smokefree.”

    Source: Canterbury Times 18 May 2016

  • Germany to join countries with large pictorial warning on cigarette packs

    20th May looms large in Germany as smokers will see graphic images of diseased body parts and dead bodies on cigarette packets for the first time. The law on pictorial warnings was passed in December last year and is to come into force from 20 May. Currently, cigarette packets carry only textual warnings on both sides covering about a third of the surface area.

    The tobacco industry fought the regulation on pictorial warnings seeking a longer transition period to the new packaging and claiming such rules would lead to large scale job losses in the industry. The German parliament and government nevertheless mandated a shorter transition period.

    Smoking has dropped significantly among adolescents and young adults in Germany since the 2007 ban on smoking in public places. Yet, over a quarter of the population still smokes, among the highest proportions in the EU, and each year about 121,000 people are estimated to die prematurely from smoking-related diseases.

    Source: Hunt News 18 May 2016

  • New Zealand: Court of Appeal upholds District Health Board smoking ban

    Last week the Court of Appeal dismissed a challenge to Waitemata District Health Board’s (WDHB’s) smokefree policy. The policy prohibits smoking on any WDHB premises, including in mental health intensive care units where patients are unable to leave the premises and smoke off-site.

    The policy was challenged by a former psychiatric patient who argued that the policy was unlawful as it was inconsistent with the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act, and that it breached his (and other patients’) rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act (NZBORA).

    The Court of Appeal disagreed, finding that the total smoking ban imposed by WDHB on all hospital sites was lawful, represented a reasonable response to a pressing social need to reduce the incidence of smoking and second-hand smoke, and was consistent with the requirements of good medical practice. It also found that the policy did not breach the rights and freedoms provided for in the NZBORA.

    Source: Lexology 18 May 2016

  • USA: NYS youth demonstrate outside tobacco company shareholder meeting

    A New York based tobacco awareness group is to protest outside a shareholders meeting of the largest tobacco company in the US. Their message: We’ve Seen Enough Marketing.

    A group of 40 youth advocates from Reality Check New York will meet shareholders and CEOs going into the annual Altria and Phillip Morris USA shareholder meeting. A welcome, they may not expect. The students will be dressed in skull caps and skeleton costumes to send a message.

    “It’s an impactful visual designed to tell Altria and Phillip Morris that these youths have seen enough tobacco marketing and they want the company to do something about it,” says Sarah Robbins, coordinator of the Reality Check program of the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition.

    Source: Weny News 18 May 2016