ASH Daily News for 2 January 2019


  • Public Health England film highlights the health impacts of smoking vs vaping
  • Public Health England hires PR firm linked to vaping and tobacco industry
  • Wiltshire Council to go smokefree
  • Jersey prison now smokefree


  • New Zealand increase tobacco tax by 10% at start of 2019
  • Israel passes law on tobacco advertising ban



Public Health England film highlights the health impacts of smoking vs vaping

As part of their new year health harms campaign, Public Health England (PHE) have released a film highlighting the harms that can come from smoking and how this can be avoided by switching to e-cigarettes or other quitting aids. Nearly 3 million smokers in the UK wrongly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking, an idea that this campaign aims to dispel.

The film shows an experiment mimicking the effects of inhaling tobacco smoke, e-cigarette vape and normal air into the lungs, with the lungs represented by three jars filled with cotton wool. At the end of the experiment the cotton wool in the tobacco jar was brown and the tube leading to the air pump has covered in tar. This is contrasted with the cotton wool in the e-cigarette jar, which remains largely unchanged with only some water vapour and e-liquid colouring.

PHE director Professor John Newton said the experiment visually illustrates the stark contrast between the impacts of smoking and vaping. “It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cigarette are being put off due to false fears about safety. We need to reassure smokers that switching to an e-cigarette would be much less harmful than smoking.”

PHE is asking smokes to search ‘smokefree’ to find out more on the aids that could help them quit smoking.

Source: Sky News, 28 December 2018

See Also :

The Guardian – Public Health England Maintains Smoking is 95% Less Harmful than Smoking
Daily Mail – REVEALED: Experiment shows vaping is better for you than smoking as damage to your lungs caused by cigarettes over a month is illustrated using cotton balls

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Public Health England hires PR firm linked to vaping and tobacco industry

Public Health England (PHE) has faced criticism for its contract with PR firm Freuds, because of the links Freuds has with the tobacco industry. Freuds, which was given a £500,000, two-year contract to run PHE’s marketing at the start of last year, now also works for e-cigarette manufacturer Juul. Shortly before Christmas Altria, Marlboro’s parent company, bought a 35% stake in Juul for £10bn.

Bob Blackman, the Conservative MP who chairs the parliamentary group on smoking and health, said: “I think there is a clear conflict of interest. The position where an ad agency is being used by Juul at the same time as being used by Public Health England to promote vaping sounds very, very, dangerous. Big tobacco don’t even have to advertise their products if they’ve got Public Health England advertising for them.”

Freuds, which was hired by Juul in the summer, said: “Freuds has never and will never work for a tobacco company.”

Source: The Times, 23 December 2018

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Wiltshire Council to go smokefree

Wiltshire Council has joined over 100 other local authorities tackling smoking prevalence by signing the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control. The declaration includes specific commitments including plans with partners and local committees to help reduce smoking prevalence. In line with this, the council has also pledged to be smokefree by March 2019 and announced that that its three main hubs, Bourne Hill, County Hall and Monkton Park will not permit smoking by staff or vistors on site.

Smoking contributes to more than 600 premature deaths in Wiltshire each year. Leader of the council, Baroness Scott said the signing of the declaration is a “statement of our determination to take action to protect our communities from health issues caused by smoking. We are proud to be going smokefree and have dedicated support available for anyone wanting to quit smoking for good.”

Source: Salisbury Journal, 21 December 2018

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Jersey prison now smokefree

La Moye Prison on Jersey has gone smokefree at the start of the new year, meaning that smoking on site is prohibited and prisoners are no longer allowed to purchase cigarettes. Prisoners and staff have been receiving help and support from the prisons health care team and stop smoking group Help 2 Quit. The teams have delivered stop smoking sessions to 42 prisoners which has seen 45% successful quit rate.

Prisoners are able to purchase and use e-cigarettes as part of their quit attempt or to abstain if they’re not ready or interested in quitting.

Nick Cameron, Prison Governor said “The States of Jersey Prison Service assists prisoners in addressing offending behaviour and leading better and healthier lives as part of preparing them for release. Helping prisoners address the harmful effects of smoking for themselves, their families and especially their children all helps improve the quality of life for Jersey as a whole.”

Source: ITV News, 2 January 2019

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New Zealand increase tobacco tax by 10% at start of 2019

As of the start of the 2019 New Zealand increased tobacco excise by 10%, bringing the cost of a 25 pack of cigarettes to almost $40. This is the 9th consecutive year the Government has increased tobacco tax with the current series of tax increases due with 2020 seeing the final 10% increase.

Source TVNZ, 1 January 2019

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Israel passes law on tobacco advertising ban

Israel has passed a law which enforces a ban on cigarette and tobacco advertising in an effort to tackle rising smoking rates. The wide-reaching ban will extend to cigars, hookah or shisha products, papers used to roll you own cigarettes, e-cigarettes and non-tobacco herbal substances that are smoked. However, advertisements in stores selling products are still allowed as well as in print media, alongside smoking images used for artistic or news purposes.

The aim of this law is to reduce the public’s exposure to smoking products, especially non-smokers and young people who may be encouraged to take up the habit. According to the Health Ministry, approximately 8,000 Israelis die each year for reasons linked to smoking, among them 800 non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke.

Source: Times of Israel, 31 December 2018

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