ASH Daily News for 25 November 2019



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UK

  • Vape products must not be sold alongside healthcare items, critics claim
  • US vaping company Juul lobbies MPs in Britain to lift restrictions on e-cigarette adverts in the UK after Brexit
  • Pair appear in court for selling illegal cigarettes at Sheffield city centre pub

International

  • US: Trump says ban of some flavoured e-cigarette products could lead to illegal sales

UK

Vape products must not be sold alongside healthcare items, critics claim

Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said e-cigarettes and e-liquids should be placed in closed cabinets rather than sold as healthcare items in supermarkets. Professor McKee fears positioning them alongside medicines could mislead consumers.

Professor John Newton, director for health improvement at Public Health England (PHE) said: “PHE has always been clear that vaping is not without risks. If you don’t smoke don’t vape. But if you smoke there is no situation where it would be better for your health to continue smoking rather than switching completely to vaping. The sooner you stop smoking completely the better.”

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said: “When it comes to buying e-cigarettes, the important thing is that they are not sold to children, not where the products are placed.

“As with all products restricted to those 18 years and over, retailers should check for proof of age for purchasers who look under 25.

“E-cigarettes are legal for people 18 years old and over to purchase, and they are also the most popular aid to quitting smoking in the UK. The latest evidence is that between 50,000 and 70,000 people quit smoking due to their use of e-cigarettes in 2017 alone. Nicotine Replacement Therapy is available on the shelves and over the counter, and e-cigarettes should be too.“

Source: The Telegraph, 23 November 2019

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US vaping company Juul lobbies MPs in Britain to lift restrictions on e-cigarette adverts in the UK after Brexit

The US e-cigarette manufacturer, Juul, is lobbying officials to lift restrictions on nicotine strength and advertising of e-cigarettes in the UK as part of the Government’s post-Brexit review of EU regulations. Juul is campaigning for rules limiting the nicotine content of e-cigarettes to be reduced after Brexit, and for a relaxation of advertising restrictions.

A document obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism under the Freedom of Information Act reveals that in October 2018, Juul asked the Government to ‘immediately’ end the ban on making any health claims for e-cigarettes in ads. In November 2018, the Government removed the ban following a consultation, allowing companies to make health claims in vaping advertisements so long as they hold evidence for any claims made.

Juul also asked ministers for changes to mandatory warning labels which now say ‘nicotine is highly addictive’ – and instead wanted labels saying e-cigarettes are much safer than tobacco.

In September, Juul ran an advert in UK cinemas before screenings of action film Angel Has Fallen, rated 15, exploiting a loophole meaning ads are allowed to run if fewer than a quarter of the audience are children.

E-cigarettes are said to have helped between 50,000 and 70,000 Britons quit smoking each year. Public Health England states that the devices can help people quit smoking and claims e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco.

Source: Daily Mail, 23 November 2019

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Pair appear in court for selling illegal cigarettes at Sheffield city centre pub

A couple has been prosecuted for selling and supplying counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes and tobacco from a city centre pub.

Officers from Trading Standards and South Yorkshire Police stopped and searched the couple outside the pub in March 2019. They were found with counterfeit cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco which did not have the correct packaging or required health warnings. Both were fined £150 by the courts and ordered to pay £250 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council, said: “Illicit tobacco is typically smoked by people on low incomes making these inequalities worse. We are committed to supporting people out of tobacco addiction and a key part of our Tobacco Control Strategy is tackling the illicit market. We take every precaution to ensure our children don’t start smoking and take up this deadly habit that kills one in two users.

“Trading Standards are working really hard to stamp out the availability of cheap and illegal tobacco in Sheffield but we know there is more to do and we will continue working with partners across the city to tackle this issue that has such damning effects on people’s lives.”

Source: The Sheffield Star, 24 November 2019

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International

US: Trump says ban of some flavoured e-cigarette products could lead to illegal sales

US President Donald Trump on Friday expressed concerns that enacting his administration’s proposed ban on many flavoured e-cigarette and vaping products would lead to people obtaining them illegally. Trump also raised worries during a meeting with public health and industry representatives that illegal e-cigarette and vaping products could be substandard.

The Trump administration said in September it would unveil a sweeping ban on most e-cigarette and vaping flavours seen as attracting young users to addictive nicotine products, but announced a reversal of the proposal last week (19 November). Concerns about the potential loss of jobs has prompted him to revisit the issue.

Trump reiterated on Friday that his administration was considering raising the age to buy such products to 21. But he indicated that no final decision had been made.

Source: Reuters, 22 November 2019

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