ASH Daily News for 4 September 2019


  • Letter: A no-deal Brexit under Boris Johnson remains a threat to public health
  • Northern Lincolnshire’s smoking rate increases
  • Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control signed by Cornwall Council
  • Coventry business loses licence after tobacco found in secret compartments


Letter: A no-deal Brexit under Boris Johnson remains a threat to public health

Prof Maggie Rae, president of the Faculty of Public Health, and 28 others call on the government to give clear commitments on public health protection in the event of no-deal Brexit.

“In May 2018, after a campaign led by the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) and supported by other medical royal colleges, faculties and health organisations, the government confirmed that the current European Union public health duty to ensure a high level of health in all policies would remain after the UK leaves the EU. Translated into the context of Brexit, this duty to “do no harm” guaranteed that there would be no rollback of public health protections and standards now or in the future.”

“In a letter in the Guardian (21 April 2018), the FPH and others welcomed government reassurances that the public’s health would be protected as we left the EU. We noted, though, that ministers could only speak for the government of the time.”

“We, the undersigned, express concern over the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit and the risk this poses to public health. We have sought to mitigate the very real risk of Brexit exacerbating the devastating consequences of health inequalities, and are concerned about the impact that a no-deal Brexit would have on the public health of all four nations of the United Kingdom, including placing at risk the Good Friday agreement and the peace and stability it has brought to Ireland.”

Source: The Guardian, 4 September 2019

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Northern Lincolnshire’s smoking rate increases

Northern Lincolnshire has seen a rise in the number of people who smoke for the first time since 2012. Experts have warned the upturn increases the need for more mass media campaigns and education to reduce smoking rates.

The figures, collected by Public Health England, are obtained from the Annual Population Survey, which asks people to self-report on whether they smoke. They show that in 2018, 21.1% of adults across North East Lincolnshire smoked, compared to 20% in 2017.

Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “It’s really disappointing that in some areas smoking rates are rising rather than declining, which bucks the national trend of a continued decline in smoking rates.

It’s vital that much more is done to discourage people from taking up smoking, such as mass media campaigns and more effective education on the deadly health effects caused by smoking. It’s also clear that much more needs to be done to help people quit.”

If the government wants to make its aim of England being smoke free by 2030 a reality they must act urgently and invest in public health, to ensure that everyone has access to the best help to quit wherever they live.”

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said: “The government will need to work even harder if it is to meet its goal of England being smokefree by 2030. And this action is urgent – last year, smoking killed 78,000 people in England alone.

We know that the more disadvantaged someone is, the more likely they are to smoke. Though disadvantaged smokers are just as likely to want to quit smoking, they are far less likely to succeed when they try.”

Source: Grimsby Telegraph, 3 September 2019

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Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control signed by Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council has signed the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control to demonstrate their commitment to reducing the harm caused by smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of death in Cornwall, with around 1,000 smoke related deaths recorded every year.

The declaration is designed to be a clear and visible way for organisations to show their commitment to helping smokers to quit and to providing smokefree environments which support them. It has been endorsed by the former public health minister Steve Brine MP and the chief executives of NHS England and Public Health England.

More than 100 other local authorities have already signed up to it.

Cornwall Council Leader Julian German said: “This is a very important step for us to take as anything that helps us to reinforce the message about the risks associated with smoking is vital in improving the health of residents.”

“We will be building on the services already offered which in the previous year have allowed over 5,000 people to agree a quit date with the Stop Smoking Service, which is a higher rate than any other local authority area in the south west region. This is still not enough though and we want to support even more people to quit.”

Source: The Falmouth Packet, 3 September 2019

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Coventry business loses licence after tobacco found in secret compartments

A Coventry business has lost its licence after a sniffer dog found counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes on the premises. The premises licence for Bucuresti (formerly known as Bucharest) has been revoked following a review hearing called for by Coventry Trading Standards.

On December 5 2018, Trading Standards officers visited the premises with a tobacco sniffer dog. At the rear of the shop, inside a small storeroom, the sniffer dog indicated the presence of tobacco. Officers discovered in the corner that there were two shelving units cleverly hidden behind the door frame. These shelving units contained 276 packets of illicit cigarettes. These were a mixture of counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes.

In total, the seized cigarettes had an illicit street value of around £1,638 and would have been worth £3,640 had they been genuine UK duty paid cigarettes.

Source: Coventry Telegraph, 4 September 2019

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