ASH Daily News for 20 August 2019



print
20 August 2019

UK

More schoolchildren ‘rejecting cigarettes’

Investors demand change at Imperial Brands

Juul attracts fresh funding despite new lawsuits

International

Study: Tobacco industry anti-smoking ads reached less than half of US adults

UK

More schoolchildren ‘rejecting cigarettes’

Secondary-school pupils in England appear to be rejecting cigarettes in greater numbers than ever before.

The most recent survey in a series that began in the 1980s indicates just 16% of the pupils have ever smoked tobacco, down from 19% in 2016 and 49% in 1996. NHS Digital, which compiled the statistics, said the findings showed half of the young people who had recently either drunk alcohol, smoked cigarettes or taken drugs experienced low levels of happiness.

Years of public health campaigns highlighting the dangers of smoking cigarettes may be having an impact, and attitudes towards smoking have changed. Cigarettes have also become harder for young people to buy in more recent years. The proportion of pupils in the survey who said they managed to buy cigarettes from shops fell from 46% in 2014 to 23% in 2018. Seven in 10 of those who called themselves current smokers said they got their cigarettes from friends or a family member.

Those who had smoked at any point were much more likely to also have ever used an e-cigarette, compared to those who had never smoked. Regular e-cigarette use was 6% in 2018.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, said: “It’s excellent news that only one in six children aged 11-15 have ever tried smoking, a significant decline compared to 1996 when it was just under half. Furthermore, in line with the ASH survey data for 2019, the proportion trying e-cigarettes has not increased and vaping remains largely concentrated among those who are already smokers. This provides reassurance that our regulations are working and vaping has not become the “super-cool” phenomenon among young people in England that it is said to be in the USA.”

Source: BBC, 20 August 2019

See also
NHS Digital: Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England 2018
ASH: Fact sheet: Use of e-cigarettes among young people in Great Britain, June 2019

Read Article

Investors demand change at Imperial Brands

Investor support for tobacco business Imperial Brands is crumbling with big shareholders pushing for parts of the company to be sold off and changes to the leadership team after the share price halved in three years.

The maker of Winston and Lambert & Butler cigarettes has promised to sell some of its tobacco brands as well as investing in cigarettes alternatives. But four top 30 shareholders say they have yet to see sufficient results. A top 10 shareholder said they are pushing the board for faster action on divestments and that the company’s plans to sell its premium cigar business — including brands such as Cohiba and Montecristo — did not go far enough. The company’s share price has halved since 2016. In June it hit a nine-year low but has rallied 13 per cent since then to £20.88 a share by the close of trade on Friday.

Imperial said that its cigar business had attracted “significant interest” and it expected to make an announcement on its sale in the next 12 weeks. “We remain on track to realise proceeds of up to £2bn before May 2020 and will assess the most appropriate use of those proceeds at that time, including debt reduction and share buybacks,” Imperial said. The company, which is dropping a longstanding dividend target to fund investment in tobacco alternatives, added that its search for a new chairperson was “progressing well”. It also said management had strong support from shareholders at its recent annual meeting.

Source: Financial Times, 19 August 2019

Read Article

Juul attracts fresh funding despite new lawsuits

Investors have pumped another $325m into e-cigarette market leader maker Juul Labs despite growing health concerns and fresh legal action.

The money will be used to finance the US company’s global expansion at a time of increased regulatory scrutiny on its home turf. Juul recently launched its products in South Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia, and has stepped up marketing in the UK.

In the US, the company faces increased scrutiny and criticism, including from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and with several individuals who have started legal action against the company.

Source: BBC, 19 August 2019

See also
The Times: E-cigarette maker Juul fires up for growth

Read Article

International

Study: Tobacco industry anti-smoking ads reached less than half of US adults

Court-ordered anti-smoking ads sponsored by the tobacco industry reached only around 40% of adults and about half of all smokers in the US, a recent study suggests.

Past research has shown that anti-smoking mass media campaigns are an effective public health intervention and work to reverse misconceptions, researchers write in JAMA Network Open.

In 2006, US District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled in favor of the Department of Justice in a lawsuit against the tobacco industry, requiring cigarette companies to sponsor anti-smoking advertisements in major newspapers, television, retail displays, cigarette packages and their corporate websites in order to “correct” misleading messages the industry had been putting out for decades. nAfter years of further litigation and appeals, the industry began running newspaper and television ads in November 2017.

To assess the reach of these ads, researchers led by Sanjay Shete of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center surveyed a nationally-representative sample of 3,484 adults between January and May 2018, during which time the ads were running. Only 40.6% of adults recalled seeing the advertisements. Exposure was even lower among certain ethnic and socioeconomic groups historically targeted by tobacco industry marketing. Just 37% of people aged 18-34 and around half of current smokers reported having seen any of the ads.

“The tobacco industry has been several steps ahead of regulation since the first Surgeon General’s report showing that smoking is responsible for large-scale death of its users,” said Yale University neuroscientist Marina Picciotto. “Compliance with a court-ordered advertising campaign could be designed with an eye to keeping the message away from the eyes of their most valuable consumers” she added.

Source: Reuters, 19 August 2019

JAMA: Exposure to Court-Ordered Tobacco Industry Antismoking Advertisements Among US Adults

Read Article

For more information call 020 7404 0242, email enquiries@ash.org.uk or visit www.ash.org.uk

ASH Daily News is a digest of published news on smoking-related topics. ASH is not responsible for the content of external websites. ASH does not necessarily endorse the material contained in this bulletin.