ASH Daily News for 20 November 2018


  • Fall in fire safety checks
  • Illicit cigarettes to be turned into electricity


  • India: New Dehli lifts ban on tobacco control charity
  • China: Receiving texts helps smoking cessation

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary questions

Job Opportunity

  • ASH Director of Policy (Maternity Cover)



Fall in fire safety checks

According to the fire and rescue services watchdog, fire safety checks in England have fallen by 42% in recent years. HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services has said that while brigades do a good job in emergencies, they haven’t kept up with “vital” prevention work due to funding cuts.

Inspector Zoe Billingham said fire services might not know what risks exist in their local areas. She said: “The consequences of long-term under-investment in this critical area are too often evident. Protection teams are not given a sufficiently large share of the service’s resource to do their work”

Source: BBC News, 20 December 2018

Read Article

Illicit cigarettes to be turned into electricity

Illegal cigarettes and alcohol, seized over the last year by Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police, are to be converted to electricity. The goods will be treated at a specialist recycling centre where they will be mixed with food waste before being converted into to gas which can be burned to generate electricity.

Source: Lincolnshire Reporter, 19 December 2018

Read Article



India: New Dehli lifts ban on tobacco control charity

A small tobacco control charity, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, has been allowed to carry on work in New Dehli after previously being banned from operating. The Socio Economic Education Development Society (SEEDS) was banned last month after failing to disclose all foreign funding, however, tobacco control activists have argued that this has worked against India’s national interests.

The ban has now been lifted with immediate effect with Delhi’s health secretary Sanjeev Khirwar welcoming the news.

Source: Reuters, 20 December 2018

Read Article

China: Receiving texts helps smoking cessation

A new study from the Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University in China has found that receiving text messages related to quitting smoking improves the chances of successfully quitting. Researchers found that when participants received text messages encouraging them to quit they were more likely to have continued with their quit attempt 12 weeks after the end of the study.

Over 1,000 adult smokers with the intention to quit smoking were recruited and randomly assigned to a 12-week programme consisting of either high-frequency messaging or low-frequency messaging, or to a control group that received text messages unrelated to quitting. The text messages were based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy and aimed at improving self-efficacy and behavioral capability for quitting.

Twelve weeks later, 6.5% of participants in the high-frequency messaging group maintained abstinence while 6.0% of participants in the low-frequency messaging group successfully quit. Notably, only 1.9% of participants in the control group continued to not smoke.

Source: Eurekalert, 18 December 2018
PLoS Medicine – Effectiveness of a text-messaging-based smoking cessation intervention (“Happy Quit”) for smoking cessation in China: A randomized controlled trial

Read Article


Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary questions

PQ1: Tobacco labelling

Asked by Damian Green, Ashford

To as the secretary of State for Health and Social Care what steps he is taking to ensure continued use of the EU library for picture warnings for tobacco products in the event of the UK leaving the EU without an overall agreement?

Answered by Steve Brine, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The United Kingdom would be unable to continue to use the European Union library for picture warnings in tobacco products in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Securing the continued use of these pictures can only be discussed as part of the future relationships phase of the EU exit negotiations.

Source: DeHavilland, 19 December 2018


Job Opportunity

ASH Director of Policy (Maternity Cover)

ASH is seeking an exceptional candidate for a 9 month maternity cover for the Director of Policy role. The post holder will take lead responsibility for work to support implementation of the Department of Health and Social Care’s 2017 Tobacco Control Plan for England. This will include overseeing the work of two existing successful coalitions; The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group and the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership.

Applicants are invited with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. We are happy to consider secondments and job shares.

More Info