ASH Daily News for 26 September 2019


  • Smokers require social care a decade before non-smokers
  • Today Programme: How safe is vaping?
  • Will you be taking part in Stoptober?


  • Philip Morris and Altria stub out $200bn merger
  • US: Juul CEO steps down
  • Imperial Brands issues profit warning after US concerns about vaping


Smokers require social care a decade before non-smokers

A report by tobacco control charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has revealed smokers typically need social care when they are 62, around 10 years earlier than non-smokers.

ASH highlights that smoking related care costs local authorities £720million a year, which could be avoided if people quit smoking at a younger age. The report comes amid the UK’s social care crisis, with campaigners claiming that services have ‘completely broken down’ in some areas.

ASH analysed the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing for the report, titled ‘Social care costs: Going up in smoke’.

The report also found 670,000 people over 50 in England have ‘care needs’ as a result of smoking. Of which, nearly a quarter (23.5%) require assistance with at least one of six ‘daily living activities’. These are made up of eating, washing, dressing, grooming, using the toilet and getting about. This is compared to just 12.1% of non-smokers over 50 who need social care.

Ciaran Osborne, director of policy at ASH, said: “Disease and disability caused by smoking leads people to need social care a whole decade sooner than if they had never smoked. Not only is this severely detrimental to their quality of life, it also puts avoidable strains on England’s creaking social care system.”

ASH is calling on local authorities to set prevalence reduction targets promoting stop-smoking programmes for smokers, as well as to provide a diverse range of support. It also wants the Government to introduce a ‘polluter pays’ charge on tobacco manufacturers to fund public education campaigns and support for smokers to quit.

Source: Daily Mail, 26 September 2019

ASH: The Costs of Smoking to the Social Care System in England. 2019

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Today Programme: How safe is vaping?

Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement at Public Health England appeared on the Today Programme this morning (26 Sept) to discuss the differences between the UK and US regulatory systems for e-cigarettes. In the UK, there have not been any reports of serious illnesses related to vaping and the UK e-cigarette market is much more tightly regulated than the US market.

Professor Newton states that there are now 3.6 million e-cigarette users in the UK and that the proportion of e-cigarette users who have stopped smoking while using an e-cigarette is increasing.
Listen from 1:23:50 – 1:27:45
Source: BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, 26 September 2019

See also:
ASH factsheet: Use of e-cigarettes among adults in Great Britain, 2019

Will you be taking part in Stoptober?

The annual Stoptober campaign provides the motivation for smokers around the country to quit and embark on a healthier lifestyle. And with evidence to show that if you stop smoking for 28 days, you are five times more likely to quit for good, it’s well worth signing up.

In County Durham, people are being encouraged to take part in Stoptober, but the commitment to supporting people in their quit attempt is very much a year-round one. Working with Fresh NE, the UK’s first dedicated regional tobacco control programme, the ultimate goal is for a smokefree county by 2030.

Councillor Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council said: “You’re more likely to be successful in your quit attempt if you have access to appropriate medication, such as nicotine replacement therapy, and combine it with support from a stop-smoking advisor. Even swapping cigarettes for vaping can make you much more likely to be successful in your quit attempt than if you go it alone. However, it is important to use UK-regulated e-liquids and never home-made or illicit vaping substances.”

Source: The Northern Echo, 26 September 2019

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Philip Morris and Altria stub out $200bn merger

Tobacco giants Philip Morris International and Altria have called off talks to merge the two companies into a $200bn global powerhouse. The deal between the cigarette makers, announced almost a month ago, would have reunited the tobacco companies a decade after their split.

The combined company was also expected to be better equipped to take advantage of the growing popularity of vaping as traditional cigarettes sales decline. This is despite increased regulatory scrutiny of e-cigarettes after an outbreak of lung diseases and at least eight deaths in America with possible links to vaping.

Philip Morris chief executive André Calantzopoulos said on Wednesday it would now focus on its tobacco heating product iQOS, while in a separate statement, Altria said the two sides failed to agree on terms for the merger.

Source: The Telegraph, 25 September 2019

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Juul CEO steps down

Juul Labs chief executive Kevin Burns stepped down from the e-cigarette manufacturer on Wednesday (25 September) amid growing concern about teenage vaping and legal challenges.

Burns will be replaced by KC Crosthwaite, chief strategy officer at Altria, the tobacco giant that is Juul’s largest shareholder.

Source: The Guardian, 25 September 2019

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Imperial Brands issues profit warning after US concerns about vaping

Imperial Brands blamed a “challenging” market and slowing growth in the vaping sector as it warned revenues this year would be lower than previously forecast. The FTSE 100 cigarette-maker said that the environment for its “next generation” products had “deteriorated considerably over the last quarter” amid threats of further regulation in the US.

Profits per share will be flat this year, the company said ahead of its financial year end on September 30. Total net revenue is expected to grow just 2%, well short of the 4% upper end of the firm’s previous guidance. New product categories, like e-cigarettes, are expected to grow 50%, below the company’s previous expectations, while the traditional tobacco division continued to deliver “low single digit” sales growth and increased operating profit.

Source: The Telegraph, 26 September 2019

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