Link of the week
Retailers in the dark over new tobacco codes
Clarity is being called for on new track and trace regulations for tobacco products.
The regulations which are set to be introduced in May 2019 as part of the EU Tobacco Products Directive, will create a new method of tracking the sale of legitimate tobacco products through the supply chain, requiring retailers to apply for and receive a unique ‘economic operator identifier code’ for their businesses and a ‘facility identifier code’ for each of their stores. Without the codes, retailers will not be able to buy tobacco legally.
However, with less than one year to go before implementation, there is still a lack of clarity over the time that retailers will be given to apply, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) said. ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The illicit trade in tobacco is a damaging criminal enterprise that cost the Treasury over £2.5 billion last year in lost duties and VAT.”
Clarity on when retailers are able to apply will support them to sell tobacco legally.
Source: Convenience Store, 30 May 2018
Cambridge: Football team back no smoking campaign ‘Kick Ash’
An innovative no smoking programme led by young people in Cambridgeshire has scored winning support from its local football club – Cambridge United.
Kick Ash, an award-winning campaign led by young people to prevent smoking in under 16’s across the county is being endorsed by the club who will be promoting the initiative in its programme, website and newsletter.
Supported by a partnership involving Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridgeshire PSHE service and Everyone Health’s CAMQUIT Stop Smoking Service, the programme works with 10 secondary schools across the county and their partner primary schools to encourage all young people to be proud to be smoke free.
Since launching in 2009, 952 year 10 students have been trained in county secondary schools to become Kick Ash mentors, who provide informal support to young people who want information and advice on smoking as well as supporting an education programme for year 6 pupils in partner primary schools and year 8 pupils in secondary schools.
Source: Cambridgeshire County Council, 14 June 2018
Stafford: Council use World Cup inspired anti-litter initiative to keep the town clean
Stafford Borough Council has put up a cigarette butt ballot box bin on the wall of the town’s Civic Centre. The bin poses the question: “Will England do well in Russia” and has two slots for people to put their cigarette ends in – one for yes and the other for no.
Smokers will be encouraged to cast their votes on the performance of the England Football Team during the World Cup using their cigarette butts.
In the last year more than 170 people have been fined or taken to court for discarding rubbish, with the majority of litter being cigarette butts. Money from the fines is spent on helping tackle environmental issues.
Source: The Stone and Eccleshall Gazette, 14 June 2018
EU challenges Belgium’s attempt to outlaw menthol cigarettes before 2020
The Belgian Minister of Public Health, Maggie De Block wants to ban methanol tobacco before the European 2020 deadline.
The Minister of Public Health prepared a royal decree draft, transposing the European Directive into Belgian law, but without taking into consideration the exemption granted to methanol tobacco.“Protection of health, especially for young people, justifies the application of this measure at the earliest” stated Mrs De Block.
The European Commission have sent the Belgian government a warning threatening to take this to the EU Court of Justice. European Administration reminded them that the directive text indicates that the banning of menthol tobacco “should extend over a long period to allow consumers enough time to switch to other products”.The European Commission is awaiting a response on Belgians intentions, but the cabinet has said it will go-ahead to ban methanol before the European 2020 deadline.
Source: The Brussels Times, 15 June 2018
France: Minister orders tobacco industry to stub out cigarette butt pollution
France will force tobacco companies to help end the scourge of cigarette butts that litter streets and contaminate water, unless they take voluntary action in the next three months, a government minister said on Thursday 14th June.
The city of Paris picks up 350 tonnes of cigarette butts every year despite wall-mounted ashtrays and the threat of a 68 euro fine for anyone caught throwing butts on the street.
“If no effective commitments are proposed by September, the government will force the industry to get involved in the collection and elimination of its waste,” Junior Environment Minister Brune Poirson said ahead of a meeting with industry representatives.
The government has not said what measures it might impose, but one official said a mandatory recycling scheme was an option.
Source: Reuters, 14 June 2018
USA: Smokers don’t believe vaping is less harmful than smoking
A growing proportion of U.S. adults do not believe that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking, according to an analysis of the U.S. Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study data from 2013 to 2015 presented yesterday at the fifth Global Forum on Nicotine conference.
The analysis of the latest PATH data suggests that the proportion of adult current smokers who believed e-cigarettes were just as, or more, harmful than smoking increased substantially from 43% in 2013 to 57% in 2015.
In the wider adult population (including non-smokers) the perception was even more skewed with the analysis showing the proportion of the adult population believing that e-cigarettes were as harmful, or more harmful, than smoking increasing from 54% in 2013 to 65% in 2015.
Source: EurekAlert! 14 June 2018
USA: Study suggests flavouring chemicals in E-cigarettes may harm blood vessels
A new study by researchers from Boston University on endothelial cells suggests that the flavour additives used in e-cigarettes can impair blood vessel function.
In the study, the researchers looked at the effects of nine chemical flavourings often used in e-cigarettes on endothelial cells – the cells that line the blood vessels and the inside of the heart. Flavours tested included menthol, burnt flavour, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, butter, strawberry, banana and spicy cool. Their analysis revealed that all nine flavours had detrimental effects on endothelial cells.
The researchers noticed that when blood vessels were exposed to these flavouring additives, normally released chemicals to promote blood flow were decreased and inflammation increased, indicators of short-term toxicity.
Source: The Mirror, 14 June 2018
Link of the week
Rapid review of compliance with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations: 2017
The Tobacco & Regulated Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) came into full effect in May 2017 following a 12 month transition period.
This report from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute presents the findings from phase 3 of monitoring carried out by Trading Standards and focuses on the compliance of nicotine inhaling products with these Regulations.