ASH Daily News for 25 February 2019
- Councils need greater powers to tackle shisha bars, LGA warns
- Opinion: Can councils be true partners in Integrated Care Systems?
- British American Tobacco to learn Quebec ruling on Friday
- Traceability: The tobacco industry is part of the problem, not the solution
- Juul expects sales of $3.4 billion for 2019
- US man writes his own obituary to warn others against smoking
Councils need greater powers to tackle shisha bars, LGA warns
Councils have called for a crackdown and new powers to tackle some shisha bars which are breaking smoking and fire safety regulations. The Local Government Association has called for a new licensing system for shisha bars after premises have allowed customers to smoke indoors and sold tobacco to under 18s.
Current laws allow for fines of up to £2,500, but these are taking more than a year to process and provide little disincentive to repeat offenders who can reopen under a different name. Shisha bars currently do not require a licence unless they serve alcohol, food or other regulated entertainment, and half of councils now have at least one bar.
The LGA is calling for the Government to modernise the list of activities councils can “opt-in” to licence. Councils could then vet licence holders in advance of premises opening, more easily monitor shisha bars and cafes for harmful activity and seize equipment or revoke licences for repeat offenders breaching licensing conditions or breaking the law. Licensing powers would also strengthen the ability of town hall public health teams to ensure owners work with them to educate customers about the misconception that smoking shisha is safer than smoking cigarettes, the LGA said.
Source: The Independent, 23 February 2019
Opinion: Can councils be true partners in Integrated Care Systems?
The Health Service Journal’s weekly analysis of how integration is changing health and care systems focuses on “how, and in what form, councils are going to be involved in ICS [integrated care systems] as their national spread ramps up.”
The article states: “Paul Burstow, the former care minister and long-time social care campaigner, is now chair of the Hertfordshire and West Essex sustainability and transformation partnership, so has one interesting perspective on these things. He told me in a recent interview: ‘It would be a mistake to not see local government as having a chair at the strategic table of ICS development.’ He continued: ‘To position them as part of place but not in that strategic conversation is to misunderstand local government’s role as legitimising quite a lot of what we are trying to do at the population health level.’
“The patch’s outgoing STP executive lead, Deborah Fielding, agreed, saying it would be ‘foolish’ not to include councils in governance strategy as the area’s ‘population health strategy is so much based on the social determinants of health and the really key things that only councils can contribute to’.”
Source: Health Service Journal, 21 February 2019
British American Tobacco to learn Quebec ruling on Friday
British American Tobacco (BAT) will find out whether it has successfully appealed against its class action settlement with Quebec on Friday 1st March 2019.
The appeal relates to a 15.6 billion Canadian dollar (around £9 billion) fine which three companies were ordered to pay in the summer in 2015. The case resulting in the fine, running for over a decade before that, was brought by smokers who successfully claimed BAT, as well as Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International, had failed to warn them of the risks associated with smoking. Around CAD10.4 billion (around £6 billion) of the fine was to be paid by BAT, who appealed the order.
Source: Morning Star, 25 February 2019
Traceability: The tobacco industry is part of the problem, not the solution
Luk Joossens, from the Association of European Cancer Leagues, writes an editorial in Tobacco Control on the tobacco industry’s attempts to intefer with track and trace infrastructure, designed to tackle the illicit tobacco market:
“Tobacco industry executives have a track record of cheating and lying, but sometimes they tell the truth. On 3 February 2000, under the banner ‘Dilemma of a cigarette exporter’, Kenneth Clarke wrote an opinion piece for The Guardian in his capacity as Deputy Chairman of British American Tobacco (BAT). In this piece, Kenneth Clarke admitted that the multinational company supplies cigarettes knowing they are likely to end up on the black market.
“The work of Gilmore et al suggests that the tobacco industry remains involved in tobacco smuggling and tries to control systems to reduce tobacco smuggling. To achieve this, tobacco companies focus on track and trace systems and promote Codentify as a system to mark packs. Codentify was originally patented by Philip Morris International (PMI) in the mid-2000s following its out-of-court settlement with the EU…In line with Gilmore et al’s recommendations, governments who will ratify and implement the Illicit Trade Protocol (ITP) should assume that any systems based on Codentify or promoted by transnational tobacco companies’ new or emerging allies (there will no doubt be more) are incompatible with the ITP.
Source: British Medical Journal, 22 February 2019
Juul expects sales of $3.4 billion for 2019
Juul Labs Inc.’s move to stop selling most flavoured e-cigarettes in US stores dealt a blow to the company’s financial results last quarter. However, Juul forecasts revenue of $3.4 billion for 2019, almost triple what it generated last year, according to Bloomberg.
The financial results help explain why American tobacco giant Altria Group Inc. paid for Juul stock in December 2018. Altria, which sells Marlboro cigarettes in the US, acquired a 35% stake in Juul and valued the vaping business at $38 billion, making Juul one of the world’s most valuable startups.
Source: Bloomberg, 22 February 2019
US man writes his own obituary to warn others against smoking
A 66-year-old man in New York state took it upon himself to write his own obituary as a cautionary tale warning others against smoking. Geoffrey Turner died of lung cancer on 13 February 2019 after decades of smoking. “I lived a decent life, but there are so many events and milestones I will not be able to share with my loved ones…Remember, life is good – don’t let it go up in smoke” he said.
The response to the honest obituary has been very positive, according to his daughter. “Friends and strangers have reached out to me to say how his words were what they wished they had heard from their own loved one,” she said.
Source: BBC, 22 February 2019
See also: Geoffrey L. Turner – Obituary