Action on Smoking and Health

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ASH Daily News 23 August 2018

UK

  • Could no deal Brexit cause problems for UK cigarette labelling?
  • Research shows tobacco industry facilitate tobacco smuggling
  • North East: Men jailed for smuggling more than 1.5 million illegal cigarettes

International

  • UN must stand united to combat the devastating effects of tobacco
  • Europe: Mixed trends in teenage smoking rates
  • US: Study calls for more regulation to prevent youth access to e-cigarettes
  • US: Secondhand smoke linked to dry cough among teenagers

 

UK

Could no deal Brexit cause problems for UK cigarette labelling?

The first batch of so-called technical notes setting out advice on preparations for a no-deal Brexit scenario is expected to show that cigarette packets sold in the UK could need a redesign in the event of a no-deal Brexit, since the UK may no longer have access to EU’s 42 medically approved and copyrighted photos, which illustrate the dangers of smoking.

See also:
Department of Health and Social Care, Labelling tobacco products and e-cigarettes if there’s no Brexit deal

Editorial note: In the event of a no-deal scenario, the UK has committed to introduce new picture warnings and will consult in September on this and notification processes for tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

Source: Politico, 22 August 2018
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Research shows tobacco industry facilitate tobacco smuggling

New research from the University of Bath has exposed evidence that big tobacco companies are still facilitating tobacco smuggling (while attempting to control a global system designed to prevent it) and funding studies that routinely overestimate levels of tobacco smuggling.

The first study, which draws on leaked documents, highlights the elaborate lengths the industry has gone to both control a global track and trace system and also to undermine a major international agreement – the Illicit Trade Protocol – designed to stop the tobacco industry from smuggling tobacco. Approximately two thirds of smuggled cigarettes may still derive from the industry. At best, the authors suggest, this shows the tobacco industry’s failure to control its supply chain, but they point to growing evidence from government investigations, whistle-blowers and leaked tobacco industry documents all suggesting ongoing industry involvement.

The second study, published today examines the quality of the data and reports on illicit tobacco that the tobacco industry has funded and raises further concerns about the tobacco industry’s conduct. It finds that industry-funded data routinely overestimates levels of tobacco smuggling. The study, which is the first to systematically identify and review literature that assesses industry-funded data on the illicit tobacco trade, identifies widespread concerns with the quality, accuracy and transparency of tobacco-industry funded research. Industry-funded data were criticised for a fundamental lack of transparency at every stage of the research process, from sampling and data collection, through analysis to publication of findings.

See also:
Tobacco Control, Tobacco industry’s elaborate attempts to control a global track and trace system and fundamentally undermine the illicit trade protocol
Tobacco Control, Tobacco industry data on illicit tobacco trade: a systematic review of existing assessments

Source: EurekAlert! 23 August 2018
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North East: Men jailed for smuggling more than 1.5 million illegal cigarettes

Three men have been jailed after they were caught with more than 1.5 million illegal cigarettes disguised as road surfacing material at a warehouse. HMRC officers discovered the illicit tobacco, which was worth £526,397 in unpaid duty.

Officers searched the premises in South Shields in March and discovered 24 pallets loaded with packages containing 1,508,300 non-UK duty paid cigarettes.

Alison Chipperton, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “This was a shocking attempt to flood the streets with illicit cigarettes and con taxpayers out of money which should be used to fund our vital public services…These men stole enough money to pay the salaries for 26 new police officers for a year.”

Source: The Northern Echo, 22 August 2018
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International

UN must stand united to combat the devastating effects of tobacco

The head of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) has said that the United Nations agencies must join forces and refuse interference from tobacco companies, if the destructive impact of tobacco is going to be effectively addressed. Article 5.3 of the Convention requires that parties to the treaty ensure that their public health policies are protected “from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry”. The article is based on the idea that there is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry’s interests and public health interests.

“In 15 years, we have made a lot of progress, with tobacco-control measures in place in most of the world’s countries for example,” said Dr. Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, the Head of the WHO FCTC Secretariat. “But we are still facing a great deal of interference from the tobacco companies in government decision-making and even inside our own house, within UN agencies,” she regretted. According to the WHO FCTC Secretariat, to date, only the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, WHO, the UNCG and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have policies in place to prevent interference from the industry. The International Labour Organization (ILO) is also currently reconsidering its terms of cooperation with these companies, especially from a child labour perspective, as the industry relies heavily on it for its production processes.

“We are working to get more entities, especially UN agencies, to take the necessary steps to align their policies on tobacco industry interference with the overall principles of the United Nations,” said Dr. da Costa e Silva. “It’s very simple,” she concluded. “The war against the devastating effects of tobacco can only be won if the UN stands united and remains coherent with its own values”.

Source: Government World, 22 August 2018
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Europe: Mixed trends in teenage smoking rates

In most of Europe, the rates of smoking initiation among older teens have declined since the 1970s, while “new smoker” rates among younger teens have risen in recent years, according to a study published this week.

The study, which examined 119,104 people from 17 countries, found that rates of smoking initiation before 1970 peaked at age 18 in males and 19 in females and in the 2000s they peaked at age 16 in males and 15 in females. However, smoking initiation rates during early adolescence (age 11 to 15) increased in nearly all regions from 1990 through the 2000s. In West Europe, smoking initiation rates in this population reached 40 people per 1,000 per year around 2005.

“Smoking initiation is still unacceptably high among European adolescents, and increasing rates among those aged 15 or less deserve attention,” the authors say. “Reducing initiation in adolescents is fundamental, since youngsters are particularly vulnerable to nicotine addiction and tobacco adverse effects.”

See also:
PLOS ONE, Trends in smoking initiation in Europe over 40 years: A retrospective cohort study

Source: Medical Xpress, 22 August 2018
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US: Study calls for more regulation to prevent youth access to e-cigarettes

A new US study has called for greater regulation of youth access to e-cigarettes and greater promotion of e-cigarette models associated with higer rates of smoking cessation.

A general lack of restriction to youth access are cause for concern, according to a university study. The authors have therefore called for the regulation of youth access to the product and promoting models that are tied to higher rates of smoking cessation.

The study found that online retailers allow youths access to a wide variety of these nicotine products. “Policies should be designed to discourage youths from starting e-cigarettes and exposing themselves to any potentially negative health effects of nicotine,” the authors advised. “Currently, regulatory requirements do not provide clear guidance regarding specific processes needed to effectively prevent sales to minors.”

See also:
Journal of Medical Internet Research, Evolution of Electronic Cigarette Brands From 2013-2014 to 2016-2017: Analysis of Brand Websites

Editorial note: In the UK sale of e-cigarettes to under 18s is banned and all cross boarder advertising is prohibited.

Source: Medical Xpress, 22 August 2018
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US: Secondhand smoke linked to dry cough among teenagers

A new study has warned that as little as one hour of exposure to tobacco smoke per week can increase the risk of having respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath and a dry cough at night among teenagers.

“There is no safe level of second hand smoke exposure,” said lead author of the study Ashley Merianos, Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati in the US. “Even a small amount of exposure can lead to more emergency department visits and health problems for teens. That includes not just respiratory symptoms, but lower overall health.”

The study, which involved 7,389 non-smoking US teenagers without asthma, showed that teenagers exposed to just one hour of second hand smoke per week are 1.5 times more likely to find it harder to exercise and two times more likely to experience wheezing during or after exercise. They are two times more likely to have a dry cough at night and and 1.5 times more likely to miss school due to illness.

See also:
Pediatrics, Adolescent tobacco smoke exposure, respiratory symptoms, and emergency department use

Source: The Asian Independent, 23 August 2018
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ASH Daily News 25 July 2018

UK

  • London: Bexley council surveys residents on smoking opinions
  • London Fire Brigade issues grass fire warning to smokers

International

  • US: Massachusetts opens probe to find out if e-cigarette leader Juul Labs markets to minors
  • China: Lax enforcement keep train smokers puffing along
  • Holland: Kempen becomes latest to extinguish tobacco investments

 

UK

London: Bexley council surveys residents on smoking opinions

A survey carried out by Bexley Council, asking residents about their opinions on smoking, has found overwhelming support for extending the ban on smoking in public places.

80% of people who responded want to see smoking banned outside of schools, while 67% want it banned from the town centre.

Cllr Alex Sawyer, cabinet member for communities at the council, said: “When we began to provide free stop smoking services in 2002, 28% of all Bexley residents were smokers. Today this figure has shrunk to just 12.5%. There’s always more we can do, and the data from this consultation will help ensure our service continues to meet the needs of our residents and supports even more people in Bexley to quit for good.”

Source: News Shopper, 25 July 2018
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London Fire Brigade issues grass fire warning to smokers

The London Fire Brigade has issued an urgent safety warning following a series of grass fires across the capital.

The ongoing heatwave has left much of the UK’s grassland vulnerable to fires caused by common objects such as cigarettes and barbeques. A recent Wanstead blaze was the largest grass fire in UK history and engulfed over 100 hectares of grass, equivalent to around 100 football pitches.

Dany Cotton, London Fire Commissioner, has urged people to dispose of cigarettes and other flammable items safely: “The ground is extremely dry at the moment and grassland and parks will act like a tinderbox when exposed to even the smallest of sparks. We are calling on the public to take steps to prevent grass fires: don’t drop cigarettes or matches on dry ground or out of car windows.”

Source: Parikiaki, 25 July 2018
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International

US: Massachusetts opens probe to find out if e-cigarette leader Juul Labs markets to minors

Juul Labs e-cigarette manufacturer is being investigated by the Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, for failing to prevent minors from buying its products.

Juul has an unrivalled position in the US e-cigarette market, holding a market share of 71%, but public health officials have raised concerns over the company’s marketing strategies and the role e-cigarette flavours play in attracting young people to certain products.

The Massachusetts investigation wants to know how many minors use Juul products and how effective the company’s age verification system is.

Source: Yahoo Finance, 24 July 2018
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China: Lax enforcement keeps train smokers puffing along

New research has found poor levels of compliance with anti-smoking regulations on Chinese railways. Tobacco control policies applying to almost 90% of Chinese railways require that station waiting areas, platforms and train cars be smokefree.

However, health officials from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have found that smoking on trains is a regular occurrence, particularly on slower trains which carry over one billion passengers a year. Recently, a Beijing court ruled in favour of a passenger who sued Harbin Railway Bureau for having smoking areas on a slow train.

Wang Qingbin, a professor at China University of Political Science and Law, stated that: “the current slack regulation fails to meet our expectations, and harsher enforcement is needed in the push for smoke-free environments.”

Source: China Daily, 25 July 2018
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Holland: Kempen becomes latest to extinguish tobacco investments

The Dutch asset management firm, Kempen Capital Management, has decided to restrict investments in the tobacco industry by December 2018.

Kempen, which oversees €59.9 billion assets, is one of several firms including BNP Paribas AM and GQG Partners, to have restricted or removed tobacco stocks from their investment funds.

Kempen’s director of impact and responsible investment, Narina Mnatsakanian, said: “Tobacco has a proven negative impact on society and many international standards support this position.”

Source: Citywire Selector, 24 July 2018
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ASH Daily News for 4 June 2018

UK

  • Guernsey: Islander picks up cigarette butts from dawn until dusk for WNTD
  • Cornwall: How much smoking is really costing the region
  • Tower Hamlets: Thousands of pounds worth of illegal tobacco seized

International

  • Shocking World Health Organisation video reveals how smoking damages the heart
  • Indonesia: lax smoking laws are helping next generation to get hooked
  • USA: Hollywood silent on request to give R rating to movies with smoking
  • USA: Cigarette prices increase in New York

 

UK

Guernsey: Islander picks up cigarette butts from dawn until dusk for WNTD

Andrew Munro, of Pick it Up Guernsey, walked from 5am to 9pm collecting hundreds of cigarette butts in aid of World No Tobacco Day. He also picked up general litter and invited people, and the police, to join them for an hour over lunch. He said that outside the hospital was one of the worst areas.

Andrew said “This is hopefully growing awareness about how bad cigarette butts can be – they are very nasty. I don’t think people realised that they don’t biodegrade either.”

Source: Guernsey Press, 1 June 2018

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Cornwall: How much smoking is really costing the region

Research from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has found that smoking is costing Cornwall more than £120m every year. This number encompasses the cost to healthcare and to businesses.

Across the south west, the annual cost is £277.2 million to the NHS, and £72.4 million to local authorities from smoking-related social care needs.

Whilst Hospital bosses say that smoking remains the largest cause of preventable death in the region, a 2016 audit found that more than 1 in 4 hospital patients were not asked if they smoke and 50% of front line staff are not given routine smoking cessation training.

ASH Chief Executive Deborah Arnott said: “The Five Year Forward View calls for a ‘radical upgrade in prevention and public health’ but this has not been followed through and smokers are not getting the support they need to quit from the NHS. In some areas, Local Authority Stop Smoking Services have been reduced due to cuts in local authority funding. Cuts to public health budgets need to be reversed and the NHS needs to step-up and play a larger role in supporting smokers to quit.”

Source: Pirate FM, 4 June 2018

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Tower Hamlets: Thousands of pounds worth of illegal tobacco seized

Tower Hamlets Council’s Trading Standards Officers and detection dogs found £8,000 worth of illegal tobacco hidden inside cereal boxes, coat pockets and behind display panels during a recent two-day operation. Officers found illegal products in 10 of the 18 premises visited.

Overall 12,360 cigarettes, 2,250g of hand-rolled tobacco and 68 pots of chewing tobacco were seized.

Source: Brit Bangla, 1 June 2018

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International

Shocking World Health Organisation video reveals how smoking damages the heart

Released by the World Health Organization (WHO) for World No Tobacco Day, the video aims to raise awareness of the effect of cigarettes on the heart and encourage smokers to quit.

The 30-second clip starts with a heart beating slowly, as it asks viewers if they were aware that tobacco is a major cause of heart disease. But as the video proceeds, it beats quicker and more smoke can be seen puffing from its valves – designed to mimic being overworked.
The footage ends with the message ‘protect your heart and choose health – not tobacco’.

Dr Tedros Adhanom, from WHO called for more awareness of the links between smoking and heart disease. He said: “Most people know that using tobacco causes cancer and lung disease, but many people aren’t aware that tobacco also causes heart disease and stroke.”

Source: Daily Mail Online, 1 June 2018

See also: Tobacco breaks hearts – World No Tobacco Day 2018

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Indonesia: lax smoking laws are helping next generation to get hooked

It is estimated that smoking-related diseases kill nearly 250,000 Indonesians every year.

Indonesia is the only country in Asia that has not signed and ratified the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) which endorses restrictions on the extent to which tobacco companies can lobby governments, and recognises that a complete ban on tobacco marketing activities is an effective way of reducing youth smoking uptake.

This is most likely a result of the influence large tobacco companies such as Philip Morris and British American tobacco have in the Indonesian market.

Cigarettes continue to be sold cheaply with a pack of 20 Marlboro available for US$1.55, compared to around US$20 in Australia.

Indonesia is the only country in the region that still allows direct tobacco advertising. To reduce exposure to children and teenagers, advertising is restricted on TV and radio to between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. But youngsters are still exposed through billboards, roadside stalls, music concerts, sporting events and the internet. There are shops and restaurants branded with tobacco advertising everywhere.

Source: The Jakarta Post, 4 June 2018

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USA: Hollywood silent on request to give R rating to movies with smoking

In August 2017, the American Heart Association and 16 other health and medical groups bought trade adverts and sent a letter to the six major movie studios represented by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), urging them to apply an R rating to any motion picture with tobacco imagery submitted for classification after Friday 8th June 2018. The only exceptions would be biographical films about people who smoked or when the film depicted the dangers of smoking.

However with the June deadline here, Chris Ortman, vice president of corporate communications for the MPAA, declined to comment.

Source: American Heart Association News, 31 May 2018

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USA: Cigarette prices increase in New York

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has raised the cost of a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13, the equivalent of $17 Australian dollars, to take effect this month.

Whilst this tax increase is a step in the right direction, other countries such as Australia, Japan and New Zealand continue to lead the way in having some of the highest tobacco taxes – a pack of cigarettes in Australia reaching nearly $40 Australian dollars in this year’s budget. Increases in taxation are one of the most effective mechanisms for prompting quit attempts.

Source: Daily Mail Online, 4 June 2018

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ASH Daily News 1 June 2018

UK

  • Forum of International Respiratory Societies warns of e-cigarette use
  • New data shows smoking costs Sunderland £71million a year
  • Royal United Hospital in Bath to ban smoking
  • Coventry: Smokers flouting ban at Nuneaton’s hospital

International

  • Rapid rise in vaping seen around the world
  • New Zealand: End Smoking campaigners welcome Snus

Link of the week

  • ASH’s updated ‘Ready Reckoner’ tool launched

 

UK

Forum of International Respiratory Societies warns of e-cigarette use

A panel of researchers, from the Forum of International Respiratory Societies, say there is growing concern that using e-cigarettes – commonly known as ‘vaping’ – damages health and is highly addictive. They argue that vaping is a ‘one-way bridge’ to smoking tobacco for people lured in by the attractive flavours of e-cigarettes. However, e-cigarette use among people in the UK is almost entirely confined to current/ex-smokers.

Rosanna O’Connor, from Public Heath England, said UK regulation of e-cigarettes is among the strictest in the world, with safety standards, packaging and labelling requirements, a ban on almost all forms of advertising and a minimum age of sale.

Professor Peter Hajek, from the tobacco research unit at Queen Mary University of London, said: ‘If regulators acted on the recommendations made here and banned e-cig flavourings, they would risk pushing some of the millions of vapers from the much safer alternative back to smoking, emphysema and lung cancer.’

Source: Daily Mail, 31 May 2018
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New data shows smoking costs Sunderland £71million a year

Smoking is costing Sunderland more than £70 million a year, new figures estimate. The data shows the additional pressure that smoking is putting on hospitals and GP surgeries, with the NHS in Sunderland spending £13m on smoking related illness each year. It is estimated that £46.2million of potential wealth is lost from the local economy as a result of smoking-related lost productivity.

The city’s 40,266 smokers spend on average £2,050 a year on cigarettes meaning that Sunderland’s smokers spend roughly £84m on tobacco products annually.

Ailsa Rutter OBE, director of the regional tobacco control group Fresh, said: “We already know that smoking deprives people of many years of good health and robs families of years they could spend with loved ones. But these figures show the damage it does to communities, costing every individual, every family, every GP surgery, every council, business and hospital.”

Source: Sunderland Echo, 31 May 2018
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Royal United Hospital in Bath to ban smoking

Smoking will be fully banned at the Royal United Hospital in Bath by the end of the year. It is currently advertised as a smokefree site, but there are designated shelters for lighting up that will be removed to end the ‘conflicting messages’. Vaping will be allowed but anyone wanting to smoke will have to leave the site completely.

Director of people Claire Ridley told the hospital trust board: “There is some concern we are giving conflicting messages. We are smoke free but have smoking shelters. Probably the most challenging aspect is enforcement. What expectation do we have on our staff? What sanctions could there be for repeat offenders? Enforcement is the key to this.”

Source: Somerset Live, 31 May 2018
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Coventry: Smokers breaching ban at Nuneaton’s hospital

The George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton went totally smokefree back in January 2016, but hospital officials say people are still ignoring the ban. The main reception and the entrances to the Maternity building are the hotspot areas for smoking.

Dr Catherine Free, a medical director, said: “Although there has been a reduction in the number of people smoking on site since going smoke free, there is still room for improvement. We ask visitors and patients to support our policy and protect others by refraining to smoke on site.”

Source: Coventry Telegraph, 1 June 2018
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International

Rapid rise in vaping seen around the world

Globally, the number of vapers has been increasing rapidly – from about seven million in 2011 to 35 million in 2016. However, laws around the world relating to e-cigarettes vary drastically. Countries including the Seychelles, Brazil and Argentina have banned their sale altogether. In some places they are seen as a useful quitting aid for cigarette smokers.

The global vapour products market is now estimated to be worth $22.6bn (£17.1bn) – up from $4.2bn just five years ago. The United States, Japan and the UK are the biggest markets for e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products. Vapers in the three countries spent a combined $16.3bn on smokeless tobacco and vaping products in 2016.

Source: BBC News, 31 May 2018
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New Zealand: End Smoking campaigners welcome Snus

End Smoking New Zealand supports the introduction of Swedish snus, which will soon be available in New Zealand. It is something the group has been lobbying for more than a decade.

Snus is a small pouch of tobacco that delivers nicotine when the user places it between their gum and top lip. Snus has helped Sweden achieve one of the lowest smoking rates in the world, now reported to be close to 5 per cent – the first country to come close to reaching New Zealand’s Smokefree 2025 goal.

“End Smoking New Zealand has long advocated for a variety of reduced harm alternatives to be available to smokers, to help them find a way of stopping smoking that suits them,” Dr Penny Truman says.

Source: Scoop, 1 June 2018
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Link of the week

ASH’s updated ‘Ready Reckoner’ tool launched

New data published for World No Tobacco Day 31st May, by Action on Smoking Health shows that smoking costs communities in England £12.6 billion a year.

The figures show the additional pressure that smoking is putting on the NHS and social care services including annual costs of £2.5 billion to the NHS, and over £760 million to local authorities from smoking-related social care needs. Local authorities can use an easily accessible web tool to break the data down to local level so they can see the impact on their communities.

You can access the Reckoner here: http://ash.lelan.co.uk/

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ASH Daily News 31 May 2018

UK

  • Number of shisha cafes across UK rises by 510%
  • The true cost of smoking to North East NHS revealed
  • Scotland: Effect of smoking on heart health revealed on World No Tobacco Day
  • Day of action to stamp out illegal tobacco sales in Wales

International

  • World Health Organisation: Smoking down, but tobacco use still a major cause of death and disease
  • China: Organisers want 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics smoke-free

 

UK

Number of shisha cafes across UK rises by 510%

The number of Shisha cafes is said to have risen by 510% to a total of 793 across the UK, according to recent Freedom of Information (FOI’s) requests. In 2007 there were believed to be only 130 shisha cafes in the country. London, Manchester and Birmingham in particular have seen a huge increase in the number of in Shisha cafes. The figures were announced by advocacy group ‘It’s Still Tobacco’.

The organisation says the exact number is unknown because Shisha cafes do not need to register with local authorities to trade. Over half of Shisha cafes are found in London with the City of Westminster reporting 125. The boroughs of Ealing (10 in 2007 to 50 in 2018) and Redbridge (Zero in 2007 to 20 in 2018) have seen the most significant increases.

Source: Asian Image, 31 May 2018
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The true cost of smoking to North East NHS revealed

The cost of smoking to the North East has been revealed on World No Tobacco Day. New data shows tobacco smoking costs the region over £613 million a year. The figures reveal the additional pressure smoking is putting on hospitals and GP surgeries.

Ailsa Rutter, the director of Fresh, says there’s still a lot to do: “For every one person who dies from smoking we have another twenty out there living with smoking related illnesses.”

The numbers from Action on Smoking Health shows that smoking causes additional pressure on the region’s hospitals and GP surgeries, with a £127.5 million bill to the NHS from over 1.2 million GP consultations, over 256,000 hospital admissions and outpatient visits, and 693,133 GP prescriptions every year.

Source: SunFM 103.4, 31 May 2018
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Scotland: Effect of smoking on heart health revealed on World No Tobacco Day

More than 2,000 people are dying every year in Scotland from smoking-related heart disease, according to Action on Smoking and Health Scotland.

Figures released by ASH Scotland reveal that around 1,263 men and 774 women died of cardiovascular problems caused by smoking in 2016. The deaths that year – the most recent for which data is available – represented more than 13% of all circulatory disease-related deaths in Scotland.

The charity said the figures actually understate the extent of smoking-related illness, since they only cover deaths, not smoking-related health problems such as high blood pressure.

Source: STV, 31 May 2018
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Day of action to stamp out illegal tobacco sales in Wales

As part of World No Tobacco Day, sniffer dogs and Trading Standards officers will be out in Port Talbot, Wales, talking to the public about the sale of illegal tobacco in their communities. This follows an ITV Wales investigation that found illegal tobacco made up 15% of all sales in Wales and that it was being sold for as little as £3.

ASH Wales say illegal tobacco makes it easier for children to start smoking.

No matter where tobacco comes from, it is extremely harmful but illegal tobacco poses an added risk as it can be more easily sold to children and brings crime into communities.

Source: ITV, 31 May 2018
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International

World Health Organisation: Smoking down, but tobacco use still a major cause of death and disease

Fewer people are smoking worldwide, especially women, but only one country in eight is on track to meet the target of reducing tobacco use significantly by 2025, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

Three million people die prematurely each year due to tobacco use that causes cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and stroke, the world’s leading killers, it said, marking World No Tobacco Day. They include 890,000 deaths through second-hand smoke exposure.

The WHO clinched a landmark treaty in 2005, now ratified by 180 countries, that calls for a ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, and for taxes to discourage use.

“The worldwide prevalence of tobacco smoking has decreased from 27 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2016, so progress has been made,” Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO’s prevention of noncommunicable diseases department, told a news briefing.

Launching the WHO’s global report on trends in prevalence of tobacco smoking, he said that industrialised countries are making faster progress than developing countries.

Source: Reuters, 30 May 2018
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China: Organisers want 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics smoke-free

With the smoke-free legacy of the 2008 Beijing Olympics still in mind, the capital wants to cooperate with nearby provinces to host a smoke-free Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympic Games in 2022.

The Patriotic Health Campaign Committee and the health and family planning commissions of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei launched a tobacco-control project for the upcoming Games at a recent event.

“Through multilevel tobacco-control education, standardized smoke-free environment construction, strict supervision, law enforcement and convenient smoking cessation services, Beijing and Hebei will create a smoke-free Olympics and environment,” said Duan Jiali, director of the tobacco-control department of the Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

Source: Chinadaily European, 31 May 2018
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ASH Daily News 30 May 2018

UK

  • Harrogate: New signs urge people not to smoke around kids

International

  • Smoking: a rundown on lighting up ahead of World No Tobacco Day
  • Pakistan: Government dilute proposed tobacco health warnings after Philip Morris and BAT lobbying
  • China: Guangdong residents urged to tackle widespread smoking

 

UK

Harrogate: New signs urge people not to smoke around kids

Signs aimed at persuading people not to smoke in children’s play areas are being installed in parks across Harrogate district, following a successful trial last year.

In 2014, the council carried out a public consultation on what people thought about the issue of smoking in children’s play areas. 80% of the responses were in favour of action being taken.
As a result, signs were trialled in three of the council’s play areas: Harrogate’s Valley Gardens, Fysche Hall Field near Knaresborough Pool and Ripon Spa Park.

The feedback from those sites has been positive and anecdotal evidence suggests the number of people smoking in, or immediately around the play areas, has reduced.

With joint funding from Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council’s ‘smoke free places’ fund, another 24 signs are now being installed across the district.

Source: Stray FM, 30 May 2018
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International

Smoking: a rundown on lighting up ahead of World No Tobacco Day

There are around one billion smokers in the world, about a seventh of the global population, according to World Health Organization (WHO). About 80% of the world’s smokers live in low and middle-income countries and 226 million of them are considered poor.

Active or passive smoking kills more than seven million people every year, according to the WHO, with tobacco consumption contributing to the death of on average one person every six seconds.

Around the world 4.3 million hectares (10.6 million acres) of land is used to grow tobacco, an area about the size of Switzerland.

Source: Yahoo news, 30 May 2018
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Pakistan: Government dilute proposed tobacco health warnings after Philip Morris and BAT lobbying

Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco have lobbied Pakistan’s government against implementing bigger health warnings on cigarette packs, in what officials say was part of an industry-wide campaign that successfully persuaded Islamabad to water down a proposal designed to save lives.

Two current, and one former, employees of the Ministry of Health said their ministry watered down a requirement to increase the size of health warnings from 85% of the surface area of packs to 50% coverage, due to industry lobbying.

An official at the Federal Board of Revenue said the government took a sympathetic view towards tobacco industry lobbying because of the sector’s large contributions to the nation’s finances, with more than $550 million in excise taxes during the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Source: Reuters, 29 May 2018
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China: Guangdong residents urged to tackle widespread smoking

A senior health official in China’s Guangdong province has urged residents to join hands with government departments to help reduce the prevalence of smoking.

“Tobacco control is still a long and tough task in the province, and all residents should participate in the campaign,” Chen Yiping, deputy director of the provincial Health Commission, said on Tuesday.

Chen’s remarks came after the release of a survey showing the smoking rate among Guangdong residents age 15 or older at the end of 2017 was 26.48%, down from 27.02% at the end of 2016.

Guangdong still has a long way to go and much work to do to reach its goal to bring the smoking rate down to less than 20% by 2030, Chen added.

Source: China Daily, 30 May 2018
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ASH Daily News 29 May 2018

UK

  • Opinion: How do we stop people smoking at the front doors of our hospitals?
  • Sunderland: City leaders debate plans to tackle smoking problem
  • South Tyneside: Health board supports use of e-cigarettes to tackle smoking
  • South West: Fire service warning after spate of heath fires around Bournemouth and Poole

International

  • France: One million French smokers quit in a year amid tobacco control measures
  • Spain: Growing number of smokefree beaches
  • China: Cost-effective for insurance to cover stop smoking drugs
  • US: San Francisco to decide whether to ban flavoured tobacco

 

UK

Opinion: How do we stop people smoking at the front doors of our hospitals?

Over a million smokers are treated in UK hospitals each year and a small proportion of these feel compelled to smoke when they are admitted to or visit hospitals. Indeed, the image of smokers congregating at the front doors of our hospitals in wheelchairs with dripstands and catheter bags is all too familiar.

This BMJ blog takes a look at what can be done to put a stop to this practice.

Source: BMJ Opinion, 25 May 2018
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Sunderland: City leaders debate plans to tackle smoking problem

Although Sunderland’s smoking rate has dropped from 24.6% in 2010 to 18% in 2016 – it’s still higher than the 15.5% England average. So, in a bid to meet the 5% government target by 2025, the city council’s health and wellbeing board agreed to plans to tackle the “priority” issue.

Key proposals have included working with trading standards to tackle the counterfeit tobacco, providing extra support to vulnerable and low income residents, licensing restrictions, and promoting e-cigarettes as a quitting aid.

Source: The Scarborough News, 28 May 2018
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South Tyneside: Health board supports use of e-cigarettes to tackle smoking

South Tyneside health bosses have supported plans to help smokers kick the habit by promoting the use of e-cigarettes. The plans were heard at the area’s health and wellbeing board, led by South Tyneside Council leader Iain Malcolm. Public health practitioner Wendy Surtees outlined plans and targets to reduce smoking in the borough from 18.5% to 5% by 2025.

In practice, the council aims to have discussions with vaping stores about how they can support people who both smoke and vape to switch completely or engage in a quit attempt.

Source: The Shields Gazette, 25 May 2018
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South West: Fire service warning after spate of heath fires around Bournemouth and Poole

Firefighters are urging people to be careful in the countryside after tackling multiple heath fires this month. Among other suggestions, people have been advised to put out cigarettes and other smoking materials properly before leaving a vehicle, and not to throw cigarette butts out of vehicles. The warning follows seven heathland fires in the Bournemouth and Poole area since the start of May.

Source: Bournemouth Echo, 28th may 2018
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International

France: One million French smokers quit in a year amid tobacco control measures

France has seen a sharp fall in the number of people smoking daily, with one million fewer people lighting up in 2017 compared to 2016. The recent study found 26.9% of 18-75 yearolds smoked daily in 2017, compared with 29.4% in 2016.

The study suggests the decline is likely due to France’s comprehensive strategy to tackle smoking. In recent years these measures have included plain, standardised packaging, reimbursements for people using tobacco substitutes, higher cigarette pricing and campaigns like the national tobacco-free month.

France’s Health Minister, Agnès Buzyn, in particular welcomed the decline in smoking among those on low incomes, saying that “tobacco is a trajectory of inequality, it weighs particularly on the most disadvantaged and it gets worse”.

Source: BBC, 28 May 2018
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Spain: Growing number of smokefree beaches

Villananitos beach in the Murcia region is the latest to be added to the growing network of smokefree beaches, as part of the regional program ‘Beaches without smoke.’ This program began in hospitals and is now being extended to beaches and sports centres across the whole of Spain.

Police will not be able to impose sanctions on people who smoke on these beaches, as it is not prohibited by law, but posters will be prominently displayed showing the effects of tobacco.

According to the Ministry of Health who are sponsoring the project, public spaces must move towards healthier conditions, to improve the environmental quality of beaches and the health of the population in the area.

Source: The Leader, 27 May 2018
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China: Cost-effective for insurance to cover stop smoking drugs

Shenzhen’s new tobacco control plan has outlined ambitious aims, including building a “tobacco-free city” by 2020, and maintaining the smoking rate in elderly populations at below 20%. In order to achieve this, the plan has suggested basic medical insurance should cover smoking cessation medications.

Source: China Daily, 29 May 2018
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US: San Francisco to decide whether to ban flavoured tobacco

Voters in San Francisco are deciding if the sale of flavoured tobacco products should be banned. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has contributed nearly $12 million to the “No on Proposition E” campaign, which, according to Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, means the industry fears the ban could become a national trend.

Supporters of the ban, which would prohibit menthol cigarettes, certain chewing tobaccos and vaping liquids with flavours like cotton candy, mango and cool cucumber, say it would help stop another generation getting hooked on nicotine.

Source: This Is Money, 28 May 2018
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ASH Daily News 20 April 2018

UK

  • Online ads help pregnant smokers quit

International

  • USA: Philip Morris loses 16% in value in worst day since 2008
  • USA: Juul is gaining in popularity and has Wall Street worried about tobacco stocks
  • Japan: Office smokers in Japan are told they must wait 45 minutes after having a cigarette before they are allowed to use a lift to avoid harming others

UK
Online ads help pregnant smokers quit

A new NIHR-funded study reveals that commercial online advertising about cessation support could engage large numbers of women earlier in their pregnancies, and at a lower cost. The study, led by the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with UEA and the University of Nottingham, is the first to investigate online uptake of cessation support among pregnant smokers.

Researchers explored the uptake of a smoking cessation intervention called MiQuit and looked at what the best strategies would be to maximise its reach and uptake. MiQuit is a low-cost, NHS-supported, tailored text-messaging intervention specifically developed for pregnant smokers. It was designed by Dr Felix Naughton from UEA’s School of Health Sciences. It is fully-automated and user-initiated, so women can start using it without the need for any health professional involvement. There is early evidence of its effectiveness for helping pregnant smokers quit and a definitive trial is now underway.

See More:
JMIR: Uptake of Tailored Text Message Smoking Cessation Support in Pregnancy When Advertised on the Internet (MiQuit): Observational Study

Source: Medical Xpress, 19 April 2018

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International
USA: Philip Morris loses 16% in value in worst day since 2008

Philip Morris shares dropped after the company reported disappointing revenues as growth in its heated tobacco devices slowed and cigarette demand continued to decline. Shares in the company fell as much as 16.3 percent to $84.86 and were headed for the worst single-day performance since 2008. The fall wiped about $26bn from the company’s market valuation.

See More:
Financial Times: Philip Morris warning damps tobacco shares

Source: Financial Times, 19 April 2018

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USA: Juul is gaining in popularity and has Wall Street worried about tobacco stocks

Citigroup analysts warned investors that the Juul, an e-cigarette, was beginning to disrupt tobacco stocks.

The analysts expect a sustained slowdown for tobacco companies — something they see as directly attributable to the Juul and its “rapid growth.” They said its skyrocketing sales would pose a significant challenge to traditional tobacco earnings.

Source: Business Insider, 19 April 2018

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Japan: Office smokers in Japan are told they must wait 45 minutes after having a cigarette before they are allowed to use a lift to avoid harming others

A new policy at Ikoma city hall has staff and visitors to undergo a ‘decontamination’ period or take the stairs after lighting up. Local government officials said ‘exhaled air from smokers could cause passive smoking, and the impact is especially serious in closed spaces’. There were no actual penalties for breaching the policy but it has been strictly adhered to by workers since it began this month.

Ikoma already introduced tough curbs on smoking in the city of 121,000 people, including fining anyone smoking on public roads near the train station £131. ‘City officials must actively engage in countermeasures against the issue of secondhand smoke because the burden is put on the citizens,’ local government policy states.

Source: Daily Mail, 19 April 2018

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ASH Daily News is a digest of published news on smoking-related topics. ASH is not responsible for the content of external websites. ASH does not necessarily endorse the material contained in this bulletin.

ASH Daily News 19 April 2018

UK

  • Thurrock: 29,000 counterfeit and illegally imported cigarettes seized
  • New plea to protect West Norfolk youth footballers from smoke risks
  • Smokers caught by Bristol ‘litter police’ told to pay £4,000 for dropping cigarettes

International

  • Japanese workers banned from lifts for 45-minute ‘decontamination period’ after smoking

UK
Thurrock: 29,000 counterfeit and illegally imported cigarettes seized

A two-day operation saw Trading Standards officers, aided by sniffer dogs, seize the cigarettes from 16 shops across Grays, Little Thurrock and Tilbury. In many instances, the cigarettes had been hidden away in secret compartments in ceilings and walls. Search teams were accompanied by specially-trained dogs during the operation.

A spokesperson for Thurrock Council said: “The sale of both counterfeit and non-duty paid tobacco generate significant income for organised criminal gangs. This in turn helps to fund other criminal activities.”

Source: Thurrock Gazette, 18 April 2018

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New plea to protect West Norfolk youth footballers from smoke risks

Youth football leaders in West Norfolk are being urged to join the campaign for ‘Smokefree Sidelines’ on the borough’s pitches. Officials say around 30 junior clubs across the county have backed the campaign since it was launched last autumn.

Healthy Norwich, together with the Norfolk County Football Association, are promoting the campaign to encourage parents and guardians not to smoke anywhere around the places where their children play football.

Club chairman Phil Riedlinger said: “We believe that we have the responsibility and ability to influence all of our young members’ lives. . . Smokefree Sidelines has been a wonderful opportunity to get our players and their parents to think about a key health issue and modify behaviours.”

Source: Lynn News, 18 April 2018

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Smokers caught by Bristol ‘litter police’ told to pay £4,000 for dropping cigarettes

Bristol magistrates have issued three-figure fines to six people caught dropping butts in the city between November 9 and 10 last year. The defendants have been told to pay nearly £700 each after they failed to pay the initial fine of £100.

All six of the defendants were caught by Bristol City Council’s civil enforcement team, who were officially deployed on November 8.

None of the accused were in court when their cases were heard on Wednesday, April 18, which are believed to be the first of their type involving the ‘litter police’ in Bristol.

Source: Bristol Post, 18 April 2018

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International
Japanese workers banned from lifts for 45-minute ‘decontamination period’ after smoking

A local council in central Japan has ordered smokers to complete a 45-minute “decontamination period” between stubbing out their last cigarette and using lifts in the city hall.

Staff at the administrative offices of the city of Ikoma, in Nara Prefecture, are being told to either take the stairs after a cigarette break or to wait for three quarters of an hour before using an elevator in the five-storey building. The new regulation was introduced because “exhaled air from smokers could cause passive smoking and the impact is especially serious in closed spaces”, the local government said.

Source: The Telegraph, 19 April 2018

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ASH Daily News is a digest of published news on smoking-related topics. ASH is not responsible for the content of external websites. ASH does not necessarily endorse the material contained in this bulletin.

ASH Daily News 18 April 2018

UK

  • South Yorkshire: NHS Trust creates combined approach to reduce smoking in pregnancy

International

  • USA: COPD now affects more women than men
  • USA: Smoking raises chances of getting diabetes among Asian Americans
  • Canada: Health advocates push Summerside to go smokefree

 

UK

South Yorkshire: NHS Trust creates combined approach to reduce smoking in pregnancy

Health visitors and smoking cessation experts at Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust have joined forces to launch a new service for pregnant women and their families.

The initiative has seen smoking cessation advice provided as part of sessions delivered by the trust’s health visitor team, which also focus on the physical and emotional health of expectant mums and other key information about pregnancy and bonding with your baby before and after birth.

The Stop Smoking in Pregnancy team lead Paula Mallen said bringing antenatal and smoking cessation sessions together was also useful for women who do not smoke, as it informed them and their partners about the impact that smoking and second hand smoke can have on their baby.

Source: Nursing Times, 17 April 2018
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International

USA: COPD now affects more women than men

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has traditionally been considered a man’s disease, but it now kills more women in the United States than men. Women account for 58% of the 14.7 million people in the U.S. living with the disease and 53% of those who die from it, according to the American Lung Association. Researchers largely attribute women’s slower uptake of smoking for the modern-day rise in COPD deaths among women.

Dr. May-Lin Wilgus, assistant clinical professor and pulmonologist at UCLA Health stated that “the effects of COPD are delayed for decades and decades,” and that “we are now seeing the effects of women smoking in large numbers, especially in the 1960s and ’70s.”

See also: Meeting the challenge of COPD care delivery in the USA: a multiprovider perspective.

Source: The Medical Express, 17 April 2018
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USA: Smoking raises chances of getting diabetes among Asian Americans

Asian American active smokers increase their susceptibility to diabetes by 30-40% compared with non-smokers, according to major medical societies, the U.S. Surgeon General, and recent studies.

“Smoking is directly linked to lung, throat, and other types of cancer, but according to the 2014 Health Consequences of Smoking Report of the Surgeon General, there is now adequate evidence to infer that smoking causes diabetes, too,” said Dr. Caroline Chen, postdoctoral fellow in public health at the University of California, San Diego.

A CDC funded nationwide program, ASQ Chinese Quitline provides free one-on-one counselling by phone in Cantonese and Mandarin and provides free nicotine patches to smokers.

See also: The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress

Source: Inquirer, 16 April 2018
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Canada: Health advocates push Summerside to go smokefree

Public health advocates are pushing for further tobacco restrictions in Summerside. At Monday’s council meeting in Summerside, representatives from Smoke-Free P.E.I. urged the city to consider a ban on smoking in all public places.

A decade ago, Stratford in Canada, introduced a tobaccofree policy for town buildings, sport fields, parks and near the entrance way of public buildings. Now, the town is looking at implementing a total ban except for private property. Smoke-Free P.E.I. is hoping Summerside will follow Stratford’s lead.

Source: CBC 18 April 2018
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ASH Daily News 17 April 2018

UK

MP seeks to exempt vaping products from tobacco regulation
Norfolk: Football clubs campaign to ban smoking on the sidelines

International

Will Reduced Risk Products up profits for Phillip Morris?
US: Public health benefits of vaping outweigh the risks
US: Smoking raises heart failure risk in African Americans

Parliamentary activity

Parliamentary Questions

 

UK

MP seeks to exempt vaping products from tobacco regulation

Conservative MP, Sir Christopher Chope, has tabled a Private Member’s Bill which, if passed, would exempt vaping from the regulations imposed by the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

His Electronic Cigarettes (Regulation) Bill seeks to exempt e-cigarettes from UK law derived from the TPD, by amending the existing legislation, The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, to lift the advertising ban on vaping products. The Bill is due to receive its second reading in the House of Commons on April 27.

Source: Vapouround Magazine, 17 April 2018
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Norfolk: Football clubs campaign to ban smoking on the sidelines

Football clubs across Norfolk are signing up to a campaign to ban smoking on the touchlines at youth matches. Nearly 30 clubs have backed the ‘Smokefree Sidelines’ drive, through which parents and visitors are asked to refrain from smoking at all playing fields and, especially, on the pitch sidelines. Among those backing the campaign, developed by NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group as part of its Healthy Norwich programme in partnership with Norfolk County FA, is Horsford Football Club.

Chris Brown, chairman, said: “We want all our players to have role models in their lives, and those that are supporting them on the side of the pitch should lead by example with respect and by being Smokefree.”

See also:
BBC Radio Norfolk: Smoke Free Sidelines

Source: Norwich Evening News, 16 April 2018
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International

Will Reduced Risk Products up profits for Phillip Morris?

Philip Morris International will release its first-quarter 2018 results on the 19th of April. The company’s earnings have lagged behind estimates in each of the past four quarters, with an average miss of 6.1%. Philip Morris has been treading on shaky grounds, thanks to strict government regulations and rising consumer awareness regarding the harmful impacts of tobacco.

In an attempt to combat such challenges, the company has turned to Reduced Risk Products (RRPs). It generated $1,643 million from RRPs during fourth-quarter 2017, with the RRP revenues for 2017 representing 12.7% of the company’s overall net revenues. Looking forward, management expects strength in RRPs to drive the company’s currency-neutral revenue growth of more than 8% in 2018.

Source: Yahoo Finance, 16 April 2018
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US: Public health benefits of vaping outweigh the risks

A new paper published by two researchers at the University of Michigan has found that the benefits of vaping as a way to quit smoking far outweigh the health risks youths face if they go from electronic to traditional cigarettes.

The study, which examines the effects of vaping-induced smoking initiation and cessation on life-years saved or lost up until 2070, found that potential life-years gained as a result of vaping-induced smoking cessation are projected to exceed potential life-years lost due to vaping-induced smoking initiation.

Overall, the findings suggest what while e-cigarettes are not without health risks, they are less harmful than conventional cigarettes and when used instead of traditional cigarettes, they can reduce exposure to many toxicants and carcinogens, therefore reducing adverse health outcomes.

See also:
Nicotine & Tobacco Research, E-cigarettes: Comparing the Possible Risks of Increasing Smoking Initiation with the Potential Benefits of Increasing Smoking Cessation

Source: Vapouround Magazine, 17 April 2018
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US: Smoking raises heart failure risk in African Americans

Cigarette smoking sharply increases the risk of heart failure in black men and women in the U.S., according to a new study.

“These findings suggest if you have heart failure or you have risk factors for heart failure such as early markers for heart damage like a thicker heart or a weak heart, you should specifically be targeted for smoking cessation strategies,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Michael E. Hall, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre.

See also:
Circulation: Cigarette Smoking and Incident Heart Failure: Insights From the Jackson Heart Study

Source: Reuters, 17 April 2018

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Parliamentary activity

Parliamentary Questions

PQ1: Government policy on smoking cessation

Dan Jarvis, Barnsely Central
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of people who take up smoking.

Steve Brine, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care
The Government has a proven track record in reducing the harm that tobacco causes. Last year, we published a new tobacco control plan to build on that success. In this plan we commit to reducing smoking prevalence from 15.5% to 12% among adults, from 10.7% to 6% among pregnant women and from 8% to 3% in young people by 2022.

Source: Hansard HC, 16 April 2018
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ASH Daily News 11 April 2018

UK

  • North Tees & Hartlepool: Hospital has relaunched its smokefree pledge
  • Durham: 111,000 illegal cigarettes seized during raids

International

  • USA: Study on e-cigarette flavourings
  • USA: A look at the future of the e-cigarettes market

 

UK

North Tees & Hartlepool: Hospital has relaunched its smokefree pledge

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has re-launched its smokefree pledge as it attempts to reduce the prevalence of smoking among patients and staff.

Patients will be screened for tobacco dependence, and nicotine replacement therapy and referrals to community stop smoking services will be made available. Staff will also get access to stop smoking support, and smokefree entrances and exits will be promoted and enforced.

Source: Gazette Live, 10 April 2018
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Durham: 111,000 illegal cigarettes seized during raids

More illegal cigarettes were seized in County Durham in just one day than in the last 12 months during a series of raids on the 11th of April 2018.

Trading Standards officers discovered 111,580 illegal cigarettes and 116kg of hand rolling tobacco in properties in Newton Aycliffe, Shildon, Fencehouses and Chester-le-Street.

Source: The Northern Echo, 11 April 2018
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International

USA: Study on e-cigarette flavourings

A US study has found substances used in e-cigarette flavourings giving a citrus or floral scent can increase the production of free radicals, while other flavours can reduce the production. Free radicals, which are molecules that can be formed through physiological and environmental processes, have been linked to inflammation, heart disease and cancer.

See also:
Free Radical Biology and Medicine: Effect of Flavoring Chemicals on Free Radical Formation in Electronic Cigarette Aerosols
The Sun: Flavoured e-cigarettes ‘contain more cancer-causing toxins’ – and these flavours are the worst offenders

Source: The Daily Mail, 10 April 2018,

Editorial Note: The 2018 Public Health England evidence review of e-cigarettes concluded that there is no clear evidence that specific e-liquid flavourings pose health risks.

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USA: A look at the future of the e-cigarettes market

The North America region is leading the global e-cigarettes market. Since 2005 there has been around a 31% drop in the sale of conventional cigarettes in the US, thanks to educational campaigns and a ban on smoking in public places. However, 41 states have now banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, which could hamper the growth of the market in North America.

Europe is projected to be the fastest growing e-cigarette market, due to the high prices and regulations that are imposed on cigarettes in many European countries. For instance figures from ASH show that in the UK the number of smokers and ex-smokers using e-cigarettes regularly increased from 2.7% in 2010 to 17.7% in 2014.

Source: OpenPR, 10 April 2018
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ASH Daily News 9 April 2018

UK

Men twice as likely to develop oral cancer
Hartlepool: Hospital takes big steps to help smokers
Bath and North East Somerset: Smokers must try to quit before routine operations

International

Australia: Kids exposed to secondhand smoke more susceptible to COPD in later life
Oman: Tobacco adverts banned

 

UK

Men twice as likely to develop oral cancer

Figures from Cancer Research UK indicate men are more than twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer. Around 5,300 men are diagnosed with oral cancer every year in the UK compared to around 2,500 women. Oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth, tongue, lips, tonsils and the oropharynx. Around 9 out of 10 oral cancer cases in the UK are linked to preventable causes like smoking, alcohol and contracting human papillomavirus (HPV).

The difference between cases in men and women may be due to men indulging more heavily in some of these activities. For example, there are higher smoking rates in men and an estimated 70% of male oral and pharyngeal cancers in the UK are linked to tobacco smoking.

Source: Healthcare News, 6 April 2018
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Hartlepool: Hospital takes big steps to help smokers

Smokers will be offered nicotine replacement therapy when they stay on hospital wards in Hartlepool. This is one of many changes being introduced by the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust which is re-launching its smokefree agenda.

All staff will be trained in helping patients with in tobacco dependence and an ability to refer patients to community stop smoking service to receive specialist advice and support.

Source: Hartlepool mail, 9 April 2018
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Bath and North East Somerset: Smokers must try to quit before routine operations

People who smoke or have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more must wait up to three months so they can try to quit or lose weight before non-urgent surgery. Local health commissioners introduced the policy this month – with the backing of the public. Individuals will be offered help to make the changes but anyone who chooses not to try has to wait three months before being referred for surgery.

Studies show that people who adopt a healthier lifestyle tend to have fewer complications during and after surgery and recover more quickly, as well as getting other health benefits, according to B&NES NHS Clinical Commission Group (CCG).

Source: Somerset Live, 9 March 2018
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International

Australia: Kids exposed to secondhand smoke more susceptible to COPD in later life

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic, debilitating and largely incurable form of progressive lung disease. Smoking is the main risk factor for COPD, but new findings show that childhood risk factors can also raise a person’s odds for the illness.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne found that three-quarters of COPD cases that developed in participants by age 53 originated in poor lung function that began in childhood. They found childhood issues such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), eczema and exposure to secondhand smoke increased the likelihood of someone getting COPD in later life.

Source: Medical Express, 6 April 2018
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Oman: Tobacco adverts banned

The advertising of tobacco and its derivatives on social media and billboards has now been officially banned, according to a decision by the Ministry of Information. Officials at the health department said 60% of deaths in Oman are due to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart diseases, and cancer, often induced by preventable activity such as smoking. Oman also plan to raise taxes on tobacco, alcohol, soft drinks and energy drinks.

Source: Times of Oman, 8 April 2018
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ASH Daily News 6 April 2018

UK

  • South Yorkshire: Firefighters support smokers in quitting campaign
  • Durham: 94,000 illegal cigarettes seized in the last 12 months
  • Scotland: Time to help employees stub it out

International

  • USA: Kids are being sold cigarettes and e-cigarettes on Facebook despite policy ban
  • India:‘QuitLine’ on cigarette packs to help people stop smoking

 

UK

South Yorkshire: Firefighters support smokers in quitting campaign

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) is working in partnership with South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust, to provide a meeting group once a week at Adwick station to help support residents to stop smoking.

The Stop Smoking sessions will offer a wide range of support which will aid all sorts of smokers, even those who have been smoking for long periods of time and may think that they wouldn’t be able to give up.

Steve Helps, Head of Prevention and Protection at SYFR said; “Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable disease and premature deaths in the UK. It is also a major cause of accidental death, injury and property damage from house fires attributed to smoking in the UK every year. This initiative is a positive step towards keeping the people of South Yorkshire healthier and safer in their own homes.”

Source: The Star, 5 April 2018
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Durham: 94,000 illegal cigarettes seized in the last 12 months

An annual report shows council’s consumer protection team’s enforcement activities have been successful over the past year with 94,000 illegal cigarettes seized by officers in County Durham. The report included its first ever closure of a premises for the repeated sale of illicit tobacco.

Councillor Brian Stephens stated that “obtaining its first closure against a premises which was engaging in criminal activity was a notable success and it’s fantastic that more than 400 retailers have now been giving training on age related products.”

Source: The Northern Echo, 6 April 2018
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Scotland: Time to help employees stub it out

According to ASH Scotland, the NHS spends £271million per year on smoking-attributable disease, and productivity losses due to excess absenteeism, smoking breaks and lost output due to premature death, costs £692million per year.

Employers are in a strong position to support this particular health agenda because a smokefree working environment encourages people who smoke to quit. Employers have the ability to reach large numbers of people and support them in many ways, including: advice from a health professional; the provision of self-help guides to giving up smoking; free or subsidised nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) such as gum or patches, as is available on most offshore installations; or employees could be offered paid time off to attend relevant courses.

Source: Energy Voice, 6 April 2018
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International

USA: Kids are being sold cigarettes and e-cigarettes on Facebook despite policy ban

Smoking products are being marketed and sold on the social media site – despite tobacco sales and advertising being banned by Facebook. Researchers from Stanford University found sponsored pages allowed cigarette, hookah and vape sellers to indirectly promote their products, and that many sellers are failing to check the age of potential buyers. Lead researcher Dr Robert Jackler said Facebook must do more to tackle loopholes.

Source: The Sun, 5 April 2018
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India: ‘QuitLine’ on cigarette packs to help people quit smoking

The Mumbai Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued a notification to print a help line number titled ‘QuitLine’ on tobacco packets. Along with a helpline number to quit smoking, the government has asked the tobacco manufactures to put two sets of pictorial warnings on packs.

The Government has introduced this initiative after analysing results from a Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) report in 2017, which indicated that 62% of cigarette smokers, 54% of bidi smokers (hand-rolled cigarettes made of tobacco and wrapped in tendu or temburni leaf) and 46% of smokeless tobacco users thought about quitting because of pictorial warning on the products.

Source: The Asian Age, 5 April 2018
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ASH Daily News 5 April 2018

UK

  • Hastings: Council press residents to take dangerous litter off the street- no butts
  • Scunthorpe: Shop owner guilty of 12 counterfeit tobacco offences

International

  • Tax sugar, alcohol and tobacco to help the poor, say experts
  • Zimbabwe: Tobacco work harming children

UK
Hastings: Council press residents to take dangerous litter off the street- no butts

Last year, Hastings Council brought in additional wardens to deal with littering and dog fouling.

So far, over 90% of the tickets issued have been for dropping cigarette ends. There have been complaints about this, with some smokers believing this to be unfair, and that cigarette ends aren’t really litter. However cigarette ends are litter and are far more dangerous and damaging to the environment than other litter.

Source: Hastings and St Leonards Observer, 4 April 2018

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Scunthorpe shop owner guilty of 12 counterfeit tobacco offences

A shop keeper in Scunthorpe has pleaded guilty to 12 illegal tobacco and tobacco labelling offences at Grimsby Magistrates Court. A seizure at Smiths Convenience Store on Frodingham Road, found a combination of counterfeit, non-duty and ‘illicit whites’ (not real brands, which are made specifically for the illicit tobacco trade) that cannot be legally sold in the UK.

In total, 892 packets of cigarettes and 6.25kg of hand rolling tobacco were seized with a street value of around £3,300

Source: Lincolnshire Reporter, 5 April 2018

 

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International
Tax sugar, alcohol and tobacco to help the poor, say experts

An international analysis of five papers published in the Lancet medical journal on the effects of taxes on sugary drinks, tobacco and alcohol in countries that have introduced them has found that the criticism that they are regressive and penalising the poorest is unfounded.

Whilst taxes have a greater impact on smaller household budgets; poorer families respond by buying less, with greater benefits for their health. Authors stated that in the UK, the response to the possible introduction of a minimum price for alcohol was estimated to be 7.6 times larger in the poorest households, compared with the wealthiest.

Source: The Guardian, 4 April 2018

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Zimbabwe: Tobacco work harming children

Children and adults who work on Zimbabwe’s tobacco farms are facing serious risks to their health as well as labour abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The report ‘A Bitter Harvest: Child Labour and Human Rights Abuses on Tobacco Farms in Zimbabwe’, documents how children work in hazardous conditions, performing tasks that threaten their health and safety or interfere with their education. Child workers are exposed to nicotine and toxic pesticides, and many suffer symptoms consistent with nicotine poisoning from handling tobacco leaves. Adults working on tobacco farms in Zimbabwe also face serious health risks and labour abuses.

The new report reveals the negative consequences of the tobacco industry’s contributions to the country’s economic growth.

Source: Human Rights Watch, 5 April 2018

 

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ASH Daily News is a digest of published news on smoking-related topics. ASH is not responsible for the content of external websites. ASH does not necessarily endorse the material contained in this bulletin.

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