ASH Daily News for 19 September 2019



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UK

  • Increase in non-smokers across Hampshire & the Isle of Wight as Stoptober launches
  • Radio: Illicit tobacco in Spalding

International

  • India bans vaping
  • Indonesia: Tobacco producers criticises Indonesia’s planned cigarette tax increase

UK

Increase in non-smokers across Hampshire & the Isle of Wight as Stoptober launches

Smoking rates across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight remain low as ‘not smoking’ becomes the new norm across the region. Prevalence has reached a new low of 12.3% on the Isle of Wight, however thousands still smoke so Public Health England (PHE) is promoting the return of Stoptober to encourage smokers to try and end their harmful relationship with smoking.

PHE is encouraging all smokers to join in with the nation’s biggest quit attempt beginning on 1st October by providing them with the support and information they need to “split up” with smoking this Stoptober.

Jason Mahoney, health & wellbeing programme lead at Public Health England South East said:
“Stoptober is a perfect time for smokers to try and end their harmful relationship with smoking – however many times they may have tried in the past. The annual campaign provides the perfect opportunity for family, friends and colleagues to work together towards quitting smoking for good.

“Now more than ever before there are a host of quit smoking aids and free support services available. I would encourage anyone thinking of quitting to visit the Stoptober website, make a plan and commit to quit with Stoptober. Evidence shows you are more likely to quit with support from a local stop smoking service than if you try to go it alone.

“The biggest cause of preventable deaths in England is smoking and no matter how long a person has smoked, quitting really is the best thing a smoker can do for their health. By committing to quit you will join thousands of smokers across the South East this Stoptober who want to make a positive change to their health.”

Source: Island Echo, 19 September 2019

See also:
Stoptober website
PHE Press release: Fastest drop in smoking rates in over a decade as Stoptober launches

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Radio: Illicit tobacco in Spalding

An episode of Radio 4’s ‘The Patch’ discusses the widespread availability of illicit tobacco in some areas, and the challenges that law enforcement face in tackling illicit products.

Listen from approximately 05:00.

Source: The Patch, 18 September 2019

Listen here

International

India bans vaping

India has banned e-cigarettes, removing a potential market of a billion vapers, saying that it needs to protect young Indians amid concerns about health risks. The decision outlaws the production, distribution, importation and storage of e-cigarettes and e-liquids along with all advertising. Anyone breaking the law faces up to a year in jail and a fine of 100,000 rupees (£1,130).

Critics said that the prohibition had to do less with health and more with protecting government revenues, jobs in the cigarette industry and tobacco production. India is the world’s third largest tobacco grower, after China and Brazil.

Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister, said that it was not known how many Indians vape and that the government had based its decision on data largely derived from the US, where there has allegedly been a sharp uptake in vaping among schoolchildren.

The ban does not cover tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, which is particularly popular among lower income groups, or regular cigarettes. Critics say that it will simply make life easier for traditional cigarette makers. India has 100 million smokers, second only to China.

Samrat Choudhary, founder of the Association of Vapers India, condemned the ban as lopsided and hypocritical. He said that vaping had not killed anyone in India but was being banned while thousands of Indians were dying from smoking traditional cigarettes.

“The government owns 28% of ITC, a leading manufacturer of cigarettes, which means it is a direct accomplice in causing deaths from smoking. And it earns money in taxes. So all it is doing with this ban is killing off the competition to cigarettes,” Mr Choudhary said. If the government really wanted to save lives, he added, it could easily ban all cigarettes. “But let’s see them do that.”

Source: The Times, 19 September 2019

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Indonesia: Tobacco producers criticises Indonesia’s planned cigarette tax increase

The Indonesian government wants to reduce tobacco consumption by raising minimum cigarette prices across all categories by an average of 35% and cigarette taxes by 23% next year.

However, tobacco industry associations have said the move will force companies to cut production and potentially cause layoffs, tobacco industry associations said on Wednesday. Indonesia has one of the world’s highest smoking rates and tobacco was responsible for 14.7% of all deaths in the country, mostly through cardiovascular diseases, according to the World Health Organization.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati on Monday defended the planned rise, saying the government had tried to find “a balance” between rising numbers of young smokers and cigarettes’ popularity among Indonesia’s poorest, with the possible impact on the livelihoods of tobacco farmers.

Source: Reuters, 18 September 2019

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