ASH Daily News for 24 June 2019


  • Philip Morris planning to open more IQOS stores


  • Study: Global treaty has not accelerated global decline in tobacco consumption
  • Study: Small shops with heavy tobacco advertising are less likely to ID for tobacco



Philip Morris planning to open more IQOS stores

One of the world’s biggest tobacco manufacturers is considering opening more stores in Britain in a drive to push sales of heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes. Philip Morris International (PMI), the owner of Marlboro cigarettes, plans initially to open four IQOS stores selling heated tobacco and vape products in Bristol and two in Manchester. The expansion will build on the four stores that PMI has in London already. The company is in talks with landlords over opening more outlets.

PMI launched its heated tobacco product, IQOS, in Britain in 2016. Big tobacco companies have been investing in “reduced-risk products” as the industry faces waning cigarette sales, particularly in developed countries, amid increasing awareness of the health risks of cigarettes and stricter regulation.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity Action on Smoking and Health said: “We’d advise smokers wanting to quit to try e-cigarettes first, as there’s good evidence they help smokers quit, they’re likely to be less harmful than heated tobacco products, they’re cheaper than IQOS and widely available.”

Source: The Times, 24 June 2019

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Study: Global treaty has not accelerated global decline in tobacco consumption

Two new studies published in the British Medical Journal have found that there is no statistical evidence that global cigarette consumption has fallen faster as a result of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). While tobacco consumption has declined in high income and European countries since the introduction of the Treaty in 2003, the reverse has been true in low and middle income countries where consumption has risen.

Steve Hoffman, lead author of the studies, said: “The policies promoted by this treaty – plain packaging, smoke-free areas, tobacco taxes – have been monolithically proven to be effective. What this study shows is that it’s probably not enough at the global level to recognize these policies as important or to formally adopt them. We need countries to implement them to make sure they’re affecting people’s lives around the world. If not, what’s at stake, according to the WHO, is one billion people around the world might die from tobacco consumption in the 21st century.

We found quantitative evidence that could support that idea: that tobacco companies, after the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, specifically went to jurisdictions that were not implementing proven tobacco control policies as rapidly as we saw in high income countries.”

Source: BrightSurf, 20 June 2019

Hoffman et al. Cigarette consumption estimates for 71 countries from 1970 to 2015: systematic collection of comparable data to facilitate quasi-experimental evaluations of national and global tobacco control interventions. June 2019

Hoffman et al. Impact of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on global cigarette consumption: quasi-experimental evaluations using interrupted time series analysis and in-sample forecast event modelling. June 2019

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Study: Small shops with heavy tobacco advertising are less likely to ID for tobacco

A new study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion has found that young people are less likely to be asked for ID when buying tobacco products in certain types of shops, particularly in those that heavily advertise tobacco.

Researchers who were 20 and 21 visited a variety of shops in Columbus, Ohio, which is on the verge of implementing a law prohibiting tobacco sales to people younger than 21, finding that more than 60% of cashiers didn’t ask them for identification. This was most common in small stores, tobacco shops and shops plastered with tobacco ads. The goal of the study was to get a baseline idea of how young adults on the edge of the cut-off age were being ID’d in the city, information that could potentially drive future enforcement decisions.

Retailers will be required to ID anyone who looks younger than 30 under the Columbus Tobacco 21 law once it is implemented. Previous research has shown that those who start by the age of 18 are almost twice as likely to become lifelong smokers when compared to individuals who start after they turn 21.

Megan Roberts, one of the study authors, said: “Our findings suggest that certain types of stores — tobacco shops, convenience stores and those with a lot of tobacco advertising — are more likely to sell tobacco to a young person without checking his or her ID.

Having a minimum legal sales age for tobacco is important for reducing youth access to tobacco. Not only does it prevent young people from purchasing tobacco for themselves, but it prevents them from buying tobacco and distributing it to other, often younger, peers.”

Source: Scienmag, 24 June 2019

Muralidharan et al. Tobacco Advertising and ID Checks in Columbus, Ohio, in Advance of Tobacco 21. May 2019.

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