ASH Daily News for 24 May 2019


  • Wales: Children’s smoking habits revealed in study
  • CCG Chief Executive and council director to jointly lead Hertfordshire and West Essex STP
  • Cornwall park to become smokefree for World No Tobacco Day


  • Tobacco ads on social media under fire
  • Ireland: New tobacco stamp to help end supply of illegal cigarette

Link of the Week 

  • EU launches tobacco tracking system


Wales: Children’s smoking habits revealed in study

A recent study has found that the proportion of secondary school children in south east Wales who smoke regularly has decreased slightly from 5% to 4% over the last five years. Of the Gwent schoolchildren who have tried smoking, more than 38% had tried their first cigarette aged 13 or younger.

The study, carried out by researchers at Cardiff University, also found that children from low-income backgrounds were twice as likely to smoke regularly (3%) as children from the wealthiest backgrounds (6%).

Suzanne Cass, CEO of ASH Wales, Cymru, said: “Tobacco companies want nothing more than to trap these youngsters into a cycle of addiction that will see them become their customers for life. The only way to break that cycle is to identify those most at risk of smoking and arm them with the tools they need to resist temptation or to quit.”

Source: South Wales Argus, 24 May 2019

Cardiff University: Student Health and Wellbeing in Wales: Report of the 2017/18 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Survey and School Health Research Network Student Health and Wellbeing Survey

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CCG Chief Executive and council director to jointly lead Hertfordshire and West Essex STP

Iain McBeath and Beverley Flowers, Hertfordshire Country Council Director of Adult Services and Chief Executive of East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group respectively, have been jointly appointed to lead the area’s STP. The appointments mark the next step towards the STP becoming a shadow integrated care system from April 2020.

They will each work two days a week leading the STP, while continuing in their current roles, taking over from Deborah Fielding who retired earlier this year.

Paul Burstow, former health minister, said: “I’m delighted that we now have two very committed champions of integrated care at the forefront of our drive to improve population health and deliver high quality, effective and sustainable services.”

Source: HSJ, 23 May 2019

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Cornwall park to become smokefree for World No Tobacco Day

Fair Park in Bodmin, Cornwall will become smokefree to mark World No Tobacco Day on the 31st of May. The park will host several fun activities to celebrate the occasion including a free bouncy castle and a treasure hunt. Adults attending the event will be able to pick up information about stopping smoking, as well as information from Trading Standers about the impact of illicit tobacco and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service about fire safety at home.

Steve Brown, Cornwall Council’s Interim Deputy Director of Public Health said: “A smoke free play park helps people live active, healthy lifestyles. Children learn their behaviour from adults, so it’s essential that tobacco use is not seen as part of everyday life. We want to discourage smoking around children in our play areas, helping to reduce the number of young people who smoke and reduce litter in the park.”

Source: Cornwall Council, 23 May 2019

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Tobacco ads on social media under fire

A letter signed by The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, ASH and over 125 other organisations, has been sent to social media giants Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat urging them to remove tobacco and e-cigarette advertisements made through social media influencers. Despite each site having policies which prevent the advertising of tobacco products, influencers can be paid to post content which contains images of tobacco or specific tobacco or vape products.

The letter urges the sites to remove all content that promotes vaping or tobacco products that states it is a paid for promotion.

Source: Bloomberg, 22 May 2019

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids – Over 125 Organisations Call on Social Media Companies to End All Tobacco Advertising, Including by Paid Influencers

ASH blog – BAT under investigation by ASA for promoting e-cigs to young people on social media

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Ireland: New tobacco stamp to help end supply of illegal cigarettes

A new and improved tobacco tax stamp has been launched by Revenue, the Irish Tax and Customs agency, in an attempt to curb the rising number of counterfeit products. The stamp, which will appear on cigarette packs by next month, contains security features designed to guard against the trade in fake tobacco products.

Those not bearing an Irish tax stamp may be seized by Revenue. The rate of tax is about 80% of the retail cost of a pack of cigarettes, which is currently around €12.70. The new stamp is part of a wider strategy to combat the supply and sale of illegal cigarettes and improve Revenue’s ability to tackle criminal activity.

Emily Swift, head of the alcohol, tobacco and multiples branch at Revenue’s corporates division, said the tax stamp was fundamental to the collection of tax on tobacco products. She said the use of innovative security features would allow Revenue to verify authentic tax stamps and identify counterfeits in “real time”.

Last year Revenue seized over 67 million illegal cigarettes and 2,000kg of tobacco.

Source: The Times, 24 May 2019

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Link of the Week

EU launches tobacco tracking system

On Monday 20th May the EU introduced a new tracking system for cigarettes. It requires all cigarettes manufactured in, or imported into the EU, to be marked with unique codes enabling the identification and tracing of tobacco packs that are sold illegally. Read more on the European Commission website.

See also: ASH Press Release – EU introduces revolutionary new tracking system for cigarette packs today

Link to European Commission