ASH Daily News for 6 August 2019



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UK

  • Police seize 140,000 illegal cigarettes and 11 kilos of tobacco in Leeds

International

  • Switzerland: Minister to review sponsorship rules after severing ties with Philip Morris
  • Cigarette sales in Ireland down 25% over past 5 years

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary questions

UK

Police seize 140,000 illegal cigarettes and 11 kilos of tobacco in Leeds

Police seized £51,159 worth of illicit tobacco in North East Leeds on Thursday 1st August. The illicit goods were uncovered from three retail premises and two vans. Working with West Yorkshire Police and Trading Standards, HMRC officers seized tobacco and alcohol products including 143,540 cigarettes and 11.59 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco. HMRC officers also seized 35 litres of suspected illicit vodka from another store.

Detective Superintendent Jaz Khan, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “A number of searches as part of multi-agency day of action resulted in what is clearly a very significant quantity of suspected illegal cigarettes and tobacco. The organisations who sell them can often be linked to organised crime. This is far from a victimless crime and we will continue to work with partners to pursue those responsible.”

Source: Yorkshire Evening Post, 5 August 2019

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International

Switzerland: Minister to review sponsorship rules after severing ties with Philip Morris

The Swiss Foreign Minister, Ignazio Cassis, has confirmed his intention to review the Government’s sponsorship policy, after an aborted partnership with a tobacco firm. At the end of July, Cassis cancelled a deal to make Swiss-based tobacco company Philip Morris a sponsor of the Swiss pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai, following a wave of negative headlines and criticism from health organisations.

The Swiss parliament had approved a proposal to have half of the CHF15 million (£12.6 million) cost of the Swiss pavilion in Dubai provided by private sponsors. Philip Morris had been due to contribute to CHF1.8 million (£1.5 million) to the pavillion.

Nicolas Bideau, who negotiated the partnership with Philip Morris, said he still had good relations with his boss Cassis and agreed that it was now necessary to look at the private sponsorship rules for Switzerland’s presence abroad. “The discussion is interesting, because it will oblige us to be flexible, to define what is good and bad in the context of a collaboration abroad,” he told RTS, a Swiss television broadcaster, stressing that “there is currently no legal basis governing sponsorship at federal government level”.

Source: Swiss Info, 4 August 2019

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Cigarette sales in Ireland down 25% over past 5 years

The number of cigarettes sold in Ireland has dropped by nearly a quarter over the past five years, according to a new Euromonitor International report.

The report reveals numbers of cigarette sales have fallen from 736 cigarettes or nearly 37 packets per capita in 2013 to 559 cigarettes or nearly 28 packets per capita in 2018. Ireland ranked 100th in the world, according to Euromonitor, for cigarette sales per capita. Gibralta, Tomé e Principe, Slovenia, Serbia, Albania, Georgia and the Czech Republic all fell within the top 10 highest cigarette sales per capita.

Source: Irish Examiner, 5 August 2019

See also
Euromonitor International: Cigarettes in Ireland, July 2019

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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary questions

PQ 1 & 2: E-cigarettes – Legislation

Asked by Ranil Jayawardena MP, North East Hampshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ban (a) e-cigarette shops and (b) smoking on NHS hospital property.

Asked by Ranil Jayawardena MP, North East Hampshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ban e-cigarettes wherever the smoking ban is in place.

Answered by Jo Churchill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
The Government believes in proportionate regulation of e-cigarettes, recognising that they are not risk-free. Through the European Union Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU (TPD), transposed into United Kingdom law by the UK Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR), we have introduced measures to regulate e-cigarettes. These measures reduce the risk of harm to children, protect against any risk of renormalisation of tobacco use, provide assurance on relative safety for users, and give businesses legal certainty. This has enabled the UK to implement appropriate standards for products whilst allowing smokers to move to e-cigarettes should they wish.

The Government has made a commitment to review the TRPR by May 2021 to consider its regulatory impact. In addition, as announced in the Tobacco Control Plan the Government will review where the UK’s exit from the European Union offers us opportunities to re-appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health.

The Government has no plans to introduce legislative proposals to ban e-cigarettes, e-cigarette shops or smoking on National Health Service property.

We continue to support the implementation of smokefree policies across all hospitals in England. The Government’s tobacco control plan for England published in July 2017 reiterates our ambition to achieve smokefree mental health services and NHS estate by 2019/20. The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, further supports the creation of a Smokefree NHS with the commitment to offering NHS-funded tobacco treatment services to all patients who smoke.

Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 5 August 2019
Link: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-07-23.281031.h

PQ3: E-cigarettes – Health hazards

Asked by Ranil Jayawardena MP, North East Hampshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the increased numbers of people vaping on (a) nicotine addiction, (b) incidences of increased blood pressure and (c) heart attack rates.

Answered by Jo Churchill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Public Health England (PHE) has published a series of reports on electronic cigarettes including the effects of vaping on health. The reports are available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/e-cigarettes-and-vaping-policy-regulation-and-guidance

While nicotine can contribute to raised blood pressure and cardiovascular risk, it is tar and carbon monoxide, which are the major sources of cardiovascular risk in cigarette smoke, producing nicotine vapour from a solution rather than by burning tobacco means that electronic cigarette vapour is free from almost all the toxic chemicals that accompany nicotine in cigarette smoke.

The Office for National Statistics has recorded the numbers of people using e-cigarettes since 2014 and the combined number of people using e-cigarettes and smoking has not increased since then. The proportion of people who smoke has decreased substantially in the same period.

PHE encourages people who both vape and smoke to stop smoking completely, because this greatly reduces health risks.

Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 5 August 2019
Link: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2019-07-23.281030.h