ASH Daily News for 3 July 2019


  • Boris Johnson pledges to freeze “sin taxes” and launch review into whether they work
  • Pregnant smokers warned of ‘potentially deadly risks’
  • Obesity causes more cases of some cancers than smoking


  • Israel bans sweets and chewing gum in form of cigarettes


Boris Johnson pledges to freeze “sin taxes” and launch review into whether they work

Boris Johnson has vowed to put a stop to any rise in so-called “sin taxes”, which include levies on alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy foods. The Tory leadership frontrunner said that as prime minister he would launch a review into whether the taxes work and how they impact low earners. He promised to freeze all sin taxes at their current levels and not introduce any new ones until the review has concluded.

But Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said: “Smoking kills more than 100,000 people in Britain each year. And the evidence from other countries is clear, when taxes stop going up, smoking rates are likely to stop going down.

“Making tobacco less affordable via taxation is considered to be the most effective means of discouraging young people from starting to smoke and helping adult smokers to quit.

“That’s why this government and its predecessors have implemented an escalator for tobacco taxes which increases prices above inflation at every Budget. To move away from that policy now would be a grave error.”

Source: The Independent, 3 July 2019
See also:
Evening Standard, Boris Johnson pledges to halt hikes on ‘sin taxes’ and hails Brexit as opportunity to examine policy
Metro, Boris Johnson: I’ll curb the ‘sin’ taxes as health levies ‘clobber the poorest’
The Mirror, Boris Johnson pledges to ditch milkshake tax and halt ‘sin tax’ hikes

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Pregnant smokers warned of ‘potentially deadly risks’

The trend in the numbers of pregnant women smoking and the stubbornly higher rates of smoking among the least affluent groups in society trouble experts, even though the latest data shows the overall smoking rate is at an all-time low. According to NHS England, more than 61,000 women were still smoking last year at the time they gave birth, equating to 10.6% of pregnant women. Worryingly this prevalence rate has not declined substantially since 2015.

Overall smoking rates in England fell to 14.4% yet there was a rise in smoking related hospital admissions. Deborah Arnott, the chief executive of ASH, welcomed the overall drop in the smoking rate, but said it “hides a wide disparity across society, with around one in 20 adults smoking in Richmond upon Thames, while in deprived communities such as Blackpool it is one in five.

“Higher smoking rates are responsible for half the difference in life expectancy between rich and poor. Eradicating the difference in smoking rates is the single most important step towards ending the burning injustice that, if you’re born poor, you will die on average nine years earlier than others.”

Source: The Guardian, 2 July 2019

See also:

The Times, Smoke-free generation ‘in sight’ as tobacco use falls to new low

The Telegraph, Number of adults using e-cigarettes rises 70 per cent in two years, while one in four children now try them

Daily Mail, Number of cigarette smokers in England has dropped by around 1.8MILLION since 2011 as health chiefs say a ‘smoke-free generation is now in sight’

Birmingham Live, More people in Birmingham are taking up smoking as UK figure drops

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Obesity causes more cases of some cancers than smoking

Obesity now causes more cases of four common cancers in the UK than smoking, according to Cancer Research UK. The charity says bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver cancers are now more likely to be caused by being overweight than by smoking tobacco. However smoking remains the largest preventable cause of all cancers and cancer deaths. Cancer Research UK says millions are at risk of cancer because of their weight and that obese people outnumber smokers two to one.

Source: BBC, 3 July 2019
See also:
The Guardian, Obesity rivals smoking as cause of cancer, UK charity warns
The Independent, Obesity beats cigarettes as cause of four types of cancer, analysis finds
Yahoo News, Obesity causes more cases of some cancers than smoking
Huffington Post, ‘Obesity Is The New Smoking’ Says NHS In Response To Cancer Report
Daily Mail, Obesity is now a bigger cause of deadly bowel, kidney, liver and ovarian cancer than smoking

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Israel bans sweets and chewing gum in form of cigarettes

The sale of candy and chewing gum in the form of cigarettes will be banned from Monday 8 July, as part of the Prohibition on Advertising and Restriction of Marketing of Tobacco Products Law. The Israel Cancer Association said, “Cigarettes and sweets in the form of cigarettes have been marketed in Israel for decades, and have given dangerous cigarettes the status of a legitimate product. Their sale will now be completely forbidden.” The Association emphasised that its goal is “to prevent smoking and addiction among young people.”

Source: Arutz Sheva, 3 July 2019

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