ASH Daily News for 3 January 2019


  • Scotland: Vaping kits for prisoners to cost £150,000
  • Smoking is biggest risk factor for lung cancer
  • Guernsey: Smokefree plans to help States workers quit


  • China state cigarette exporter plans Hong Kong IPO



Scotland: Vaping kits for prisoners to cost £150,000

Vaping kits provided to Scottish prison inmates following a nationwide ban on smoking in prisons are estimated to have cost around £150,000 according to the Scottish Prison Service (SPS). So far the prison service has given out around 7,500 of the vaping kits, which cost £14 each, and has said this would make long-term savings through improvements to the health of staff and prisoners.

About 72% of inmates smoke compared with 16% of Scots in the wider population. The air quality in prisons has risen by an average of 80% since smoking was banned, according to the SPS.

Tom Fox, spokesman for the SPS, said: “It’s a very positive step for the well-being of the people in our care and the people who work for us. I think it’s money well spent. The health benefits for our staff and those in our care greatly outweigh any initial cost we have introducing the programme.”

Source: BBC News, 2 January 2019

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Smoking is biggest risk factor for lung cancer

Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer, with around 44,500 new cases of the disease diagnosed each year. The disease doesn’t usually cause noticeable symptoms until it has spread through the lungs or into other parts of the body, meaning the outlook for the condition isn’t as good as many other types of cancer. About one in three people with lung cancer live for at least a year after diagnosis, while one in 20 people live at least 10 years.

According to the NHS, smoking cigarettes is the single biggest risk factor for lung cancer and is responsible for more than 85% of all cases. This is because tobacco smoke contains more than 60 different toxic substances which can lead to the development of cancer.

Research has found non-smoking women who share their house with a smoking partner are 25% more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smoking women who live with a non-smoking partner. Smoking is estimated to contribute to around 120,000 deaths a year in the UK, with half of all long-term smokers dying early from smoking-related diseases.

The NHS advises that people who quit smoking by the age of 30 can add 10 years to their life, while stopping smoking before 60 will add three years.

Source: Daily Express, 2 January 2019

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Guernsey: Smokefree plans to help States workers quit

More States of Guernsey owned facilities are now smokefree as the island’s government forges ahead with plans to cut the number of smokers among its workforce. This policy was developed “to ensure that the States of Guernsey provides workplaces that are safe and healthy for all staff, customers, service users and visitors and comply with health and safety and employment laws.”

The decision to extend the scope of the island’s smoking bans comes under the Guernsey and Alderney Tobacco Control Strategy (2015-2020) which aims to create smokefree grounds in States of Guernsey Properties with Les Nicolles Prison, school sites, the Princess Elizabeth Hospital and Sir Charles Frossard House already classed as smokefree.

The States are also offering help to any staff who may be affected by the new no smoking areas and who want to quit.

Source: Bailiwick Express, 3 January 2019

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China state cigarette exporter plans Hong Kong IPO

China National Tobacco, the world’s largest cigarette maker, plans to list its international unit on Hong Kong’s stock exchange, allowing private investors to profit from China’s state-run tobacco monopoly. China Tobacco International buys leaves from countries such as Brazil, Argentina and the US for its state-owned parent company, and has exclusive rights to sell Chinese-made cigarettes at duty free stores in several Asian territories.

According to Reuters, the listing will raise about $100m. The international unit’s profits, mostly generated from a fixed mark-up of 6% on its overseas tobacco leaf supply, pales in comparison to its parent company, which has a state-sanctioned monopoly on sales of cigarettes to China’s more than 300m smokers.

Public perceptions of smoking are increasingly negative, according to surveys. In 2015, Beijing’s municipal authorities passed the toughest anti-smoking legislation in China’s history, making smoking in offices, restaurants, hotels and hospitals punishable with fines, a measure followed by the cities of Shanghai and Shenzhen in 2017. China Tobacco International has said that their “business performance may be materially and adversely affected by global tobacco control campaigns.”

Source: Financial Times, 2 January 2019

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