ASH Daily News for 20 November 2019
- Current e-cigarette health warnings ‘may put smokers off vaping’
- Pregnant women are to be incentivised to stop smoking in new health pilot in Hertfordshire
- Cornwall: St Austell shopkeeper fined £2,500 over illegal cigarettes
- Philippines bans e-cigarettes and orders police to immediately begin arresting anyone seen vaping in public
Current e-cigarette health warnings ‘may put smokers off vaping’
The Government has been urged to reconsider the severity of health warnings on e-cigarette packaging after a study found current messaging may deter smokers from switching to vaping.
Current health warnings around the risks of vaping may put off smokers as well as stopping people from taking it up, according to the study by London South Bank University (LSBU). Using “reduced risk” messages instead encouraged tobacco smokers to ditch the cigarettes without enticing non-smokers to start vaping.
Researchers from the University’s Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research asked 2,495 UK residents how harmful, addictive and effective they thought e-cigarettes were, and whether they intended to use them. They were asked to rate the e-cigarettes before and after viewing different health warnings online between December 2018 and January 2019.
Participants rated e-cigarettes as more harmful and addictive after they had viewed the EU messaging reading: “This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance. It is not recommended for non-smokers”. An alternative reduced risk message stating “use of this product is much less harmful than smoking” was found to reduce perception of harm only in smokers. It increased intentions to purchase and use e-cigarettes in smokers but not in non-smokers.
Kruti Shrotri, tobacco control manager at Cancer Research UK, which funded the study, said: “E-cigarettes are a relatively new product – we strongly discourage non-smokers from using them as they aren’t risk-free and we don’t yet know their long-term impact. But research so far shows that vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco and can help people to stop smoking. This study helps to build the evidence around what can be done to help smokers quit tobacco by switching to e-cigarettes, while ensuring non-smokers don’t start using them.”
Source: ITV News, 20 November 2019
Addictive Behaviours: Communicating the relative health risks of E-cigarettes: An online experimental study exploring the effects of a comparative health message versus the EU nicotine addiction warnings on smokers’ and non-smokers’ risk perceptions and behavioural intentions
Pregnant women are to be incentivised to stop smoking in new health pilot in Hertfordshire
Pregnant women are to be incentivised to stop smoking, as part of a £50,000 public health pilot in Hertfordshire. Research shows smoking during pregnancy is known to increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and low birth weight.
Next year Hertfordshire County Council are to pilot a scheme that would incentivise pregnant women with up to £300 in shopping vouchers to give up smoking. As part of the pilot scheme any pregnant woman who agrees to set a quit date will be paid £50 of vouchers.
If they stop for four weeks they’ll qualify for a further £50 of vouchers – with further ‘payments’ of £100 after 12 and then 34 weeks. To qualify the women would have to take a breath test on a carbon monoxide monitor to prove they have stopped.
Jim McManus, Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council said: “We understand how difficult stopping smoking can be; our role is to offer non-judgemental help and support. Our Saving Babies Lives initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that every child in Hertfordshire has the best start in life.”
Source: ITV News, 19 November 2019
Cornwall: St Austell shopkeeper fined £2,500 over illegal cigarettes
A man who runs a convenience store in St Austell has been fined £2,550 for selling illegal cigarettes. Trading Standards officers discovered 2,200 illegal cigarettes wrapped in plastic bags in the storeroom of the shop, during a routine visit in April.
Steve Brown, Cornwall Council’s interim deputy director of Public Health explained the harm caused by illegal cigarettes: “Almost 1,000 people die each year in Cornwall from smoking-related illness. The sale of cheap tobacco absolutely undermines all encouragement to quit, and so action against those who sell illegal tobacco and cigarettes has to be maintained.”
“Our message is clear – selling illegal tobacco is a crime which can result in fines, community orders or prison. In this case the sale of illegal cigarettes could also have meant the shop losing its licence to sell alcohol and other items.”
Source: Cornwall Live, 19 November 2019
Philippines bans e-cigarettes and orders police to immediately begin arresting anyone seen vaping in public
Just hours after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced he would ban e-cigarette use, police were ordered today to begin arresting people caught vaping in public and to confiscate the devices.
Duterte called the devices ‘toxic’ and said vaping introduced ‘chemicals’ into the user’s body. He then threatened to arrest anyone vaping publicly in a country that already has some of Asia’s toughest anti-smoking rules.
The president, a former smoker, is notorious internationally for his deadly anti-narcotics crackdown, but he has also targeted tobacco with a wide-ranging ban on smoking in public.
About 24% of Filipinos were tobacco users according to a 2015 World Health Organization study, the most recent available. Before Duterte’s presidency, the Philippines already had a ban on tobacco advertising, as well as a law that requires graphic images of smoking health hazards to be printed on cigarette packaging.
Source: Daily Mail, 20 November 2019