ASH Daily News for 23 July 2019



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UK

  • Prevention Green Paper published with pledge to go smokefree by 2030
  • Thousands of tobacco retailers still not ready for Track and Trace

International

  • Switzerland: Ministry criticised for taking tobacco money
  • US: FDA uses magic tricks in first TV ads to prevent teens from vaping

UK

Prevention Green Paper published with pledge to go smokefree by 2030

Theresa May has published various health proposals, including an ambition to go smokefree in England by 2030 and a ban on the sale of energy drinks to under 16s in a much anticipated Green Paper on prevention titled Advancing our health: Prevention in the 2020s.

Smoking features prominently and the commitment to a smokefree England by 2030 includes “an ultimatum for industry to make smoked tobacco obsolete by 2030, with smokers quitting or moving to reduced risk products like e-cigarettes.”

The paper also sets out further proposals for consultation, including a “polluter pays” approach requiring tobacco companies to fund initiatives to help smokers quit and using tobacco packaging inserts to advertise quitting advice and support. The consultation paper also includes measures to tackle childhood obesity, including a commitment to end the sale of energy drinks to under 16s and consulting on how clear food labelling can be taken further.

The paper was reportedly the subject of a row on Monday morning (22nd July) between Theresa May and Matt Hancock, the health secretary, according to Conservative aides. Although Hancock has been pursuing the policies in the paper for months, he is now a supporter of Boris Johnson, the probable next prime minister, who has called for a review of “sin taxes”.

Hancock was said to be initially reluctant to have the paper published by his own Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), meaning that it was instead published by the Cabinet Office and DHSC together. Hancock also reportedly argued successfully against any press notice to accompany publication, an unusual move for a green paper.

Hancock is likely to face questions about the green paper at health questions in the House of Commons on Tuesday morning (23rd July), while a member of his ministerial team will publish a written ministerial statement in parliament. The consultation on the green paper runs until 14 October 2019, with the Government’s response expected by spring 2020.

Source: Financial Times, 23 July 2019

Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s – consultation document

See also
ASH: Press release – ASH welcomes Government commitment to finish the job and end smoking by 2030
The Guardian: Matt Hancock ‘buries’ health proposals likely to displease Boris Johnson
BBC: Pledge to end smoking in England by 2030
Huffington Post: Government Accused Of ‘Burying’ Controversial Health Plan In ‘Dying Days’ Of May’s Premiership
Telegraph: ‘Milkshake’ tax proposals included in green paper despite Boris Johnson’s opposition to ‘nanny state’ policies
The Sun: Theresa May rushes out plans for a Milkshake Tax in final days as PM despite Boris’s vow to axe it

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Thousands of tobacco retailers still not ready for Track and Trace

Thousands of tobacco retailers have yet to apply for their mandatory Track and Trace codes, without which they will soon be unable to buy tobacco legally. As Track and Trace-compliant tobacco packs – featuring unique identifiers and security measures – make their way into the wholesale channel, many retailers are still unaware of the need to register for their own Track and Trace codes, wholesalers and manufacturers are warning.

Unitas Wholesale senior trading controller Jim Brown said there were reports that “as little as 30% of retailers have registered” for their codes so far.

Bipin Haria, owner of Seaford News in East Sussex, said he was aware that many retailers were still “confused” by the new law and unaware that they needed to take any action at all. “After much difficulty I now have my Track and Trace codes and I have logged them with all of the wholesalers that I use, however I understand from talks with other retailers and with my Imperial Tobacco sales representative, that there are still lots of unaffiliated independent retailers out there who still don’t realise that they have to apply for their codes in the first place,” he said. “While many retailers are aware that they will no longer be able to sell old stock after 20 May 2020, they don’t realise that they will need Track and Trace codes to buy the new stock” he added.

Source: Convenience Store, 22 July 2019

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International

Switzerland: Ministry criticised for taking tobacco money

The Swiss foreign ministry is facing growing criticism over its deal to let the tobacco multinational Philip Morris act as co-sponsor of the Swiss Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Dubai in 2020, organised by the Bureau International des Expositions, an intergovernmental organisation charged with overseeing world exhibitions.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) said it had contacted the Swiss authorities and was seeking a ban on tobacco-sponsored events at next year’s World Exhibition in Dubai.

Philip Morris has reportedly pledged CHF 1.8 million (£1.46 million) towards the Swiss foreign ministry’s pavilion at the exhibition. The tobacco company reportedly also contributed CHF 45,000 (£36,700) towards the opening ceremony of the new Swiss embassy in Moscow last month.

Source: Swiss Info, 22 July 2019

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US: FDA uses magic tricks in first TV ads to prevent teens from vaping

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put out its first TV ads focused on e-cigarette prevention. The effort is part of the FDA’s “The Real Cost” youth e-cigarette prevention campaign, a $60 million initiative that launched last year through social media, digital content and posters at high schools nationwide.

The new ads feature street magician and social media personality Julius Dein performing illusions with people’s vapes by appearing to turn them into traditional cigarettes. The FDA said they will run on prominent TV networks including MTV and ESPN, in addition to streaming and social media sites.

Source: CNN, 22 July 2019

See also
Julius Dein – The Real Cost, FDA campaign
FDA – FDA launches its first youth e-cigarette prevention TV ads, plans new educational resources as agency approaches one-year anniversary of public education campaign

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