Smokefree zones to be introduced near Barnsley primary schools
Smokefree zones are set to be introduced outside 80 primary schools in Barnsley. The move is an extension of a council scheme which has already been implemented in the town. Each of the schools will be given signs, letters to send to parents and “tool kits” to help staff set up the zones around the premises. Kaye Mann, senior health improvement officer, said: “The aim is to make smoking invisible to children.”
Source: BBC News, 2 September 2018
Cardiff shisha bars prosecuted for public health offences
Two Cardiff shisha bars have been prosecuted for public health offences following council investigations. Concerns around the safety of shisha bars were raised in a council meeting in March and since then the authority has been inspecting premises across the city.
There were fears that many young people are smoking the shisha pipes, which contain tobacco, without knowing the health risks. Under the law, shisha pipes can be smoked in the open air or in structures where at least 50% of the walls are permanently open. It is not allowed within substantially or fully enclosed public spaces.
A council spokesman said: “The council is currently inspecting premises where shisha smoking takes place in the city and has a range of powers that can be used to ensure that these businesses are complying with all relevant legislation.”
Source: Wales Online, 31 August 2018
Australia: Cigarettes hit $40 AUD a pack
A tax increase of 12.5% has pushed up the price of a cigarette pack to almost $40 AUD (over £22). The Australian Government announced back in May 2016 that it would implement annual increases in tobacco excise of 12.5% up to and including 2020.
The tax rise came into force on Saturday 1st September, the same day as in 2017 and 2016. It means that Australia now has the most expensive cigarettes in the world. The smoking rate among adults in Australia was 12.8% in 2016.
Source: Mail on Sunday, 1 September 2018
United Arab Emirates considering lifting ban on e-cigarettes
The UAE could be set to lift its ban on e-cigarettes and heat not burn products. Authorities have begun a preliminary project to assess whether electronic nicotine devices should be allowed to be used legally in the country. Currently, e-cigarettes are banned in the Emirates due to concerns over their impact on user health.
But that stance could be softening, with the Government consumer watchdog – the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology now reviewing data on alternative tobacco products, with the ban potentially being lifted in the future.
Source: The National UAE, 3 September 2018
Scotland: Health board backs ASH Scotland’s smokefree charter
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), has signed ASH Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-Free Generation, which seeks to make Scotland tobacco free by 2034.
The charter is designed to drive down smoking rates, with smoking remaining the biggest single preventable cause of ill health and premature death in Scotland.
The NHSGGC director of public health and board member John Matthews OBE said, “our work already focuses on key charter principles and by signing the ASH Scotland charter we are committing the board to further sustained action to reduce tobacco-related harm by encouraging people not to start, supporting them to stop or protecting them from tobacco smoke.”
Source: Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter, 18 June 2018
Scotland: Ban on smoking outside South Ayrshire cafes could be removed
Labour Councillor Phil Saxton is to table a motion calling for a rethink of South Ayrshire’s three-year-old ban on smoking outside cafes, which has been labelled a threat to small businesses
Councillor Saxton, who is looking for “compromise” is now expected to lead calls for a mixed smoking zone outside cafes or bars which use council-owned pavements.
That vote is scheduled to take place on the 28th of June when the council holds its last full meeting before the summer recess. It is understood that members are currently divided on the issue.
Source: Daily Record, 18 June 2018
US: Smoking hits another all-time low
About 14% of US adults were smokers last year, down from about 16% in 2016, government figures show. The findings come from a national health survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
K. Michael Cummings, from the tobacco research program at the Medical University of South Carolina, said “everything is pointed in the right direction,” but that the new figures mean there are still more than 30 million adult smokers in the country.
Experts say a comprehensive suite of tobacco control campaigns, cigarette taxes and smoking bans have contributed to this overall decline. The launch of electronic cigarettes and their growing popularity has also likely played a role, since e-cigarettes heat liquid nicotine into a vapour without the harmful by-products generated from burning tobacco.
Source: The New York Times, 19 June 2018
US: Tobacco companies’ websites to post court-ordered warnings
Tobacco companies must now include statements on their websites that clarify the health impact of smoking and secondhand smoke, the addictive nature of smoking, that cigarettes labelled “low tar” and “light” are no less harmful, and the way in which nicotine delivery has been enhanced by cigarette design.
The statements were ordered on the 1st of May as part of a 2006 federal court decision that found major cigarette manufacturers, including R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris, had defrauded the public about the health risks of their products. The companies affected are Philip Morris USA and its parent company Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and Lorillard, which is now owned by Reynolds American.
Robin Koval, CEO and president of the Truth Initiative, a tobacco control nonprofit, has said “the corrective statements are fine, but we would have rather seen corrective action from the tobacco industry.” He also points out that these statements will have little impact on smoking in young people, since such websites are not available to those under 21.
Source: CNBC, 18 June 2018
US: Vermont tobacco control group calls for smokefree area
A tobacco control group in Vermont has urged Montpelier leaders to create a half mile long smokefree zone in the city’s downtown area. The Central Vermont New Directions Coalition will present a petition to the Montpelier City Council later this month, and so far the group has collected about 1,500 signatures.
Coalition member Ann Gilbert says the organisation is trying to protect families and elderly residents who visit the downtown area, claiming that a smoking ban is a big part of creating a health community.
Source: US News & World Report, 18 June 2018
Thailand: Uttaradit province runs tobacco control campaign on social media
A tobacco control campaign is underway in the Uttaradit province of Thailand to encourage community health leaders to create tobacco control video clips for distribution on various social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, highlighting the dangers of cigarettes.
The Uttaradit Mass Communication Club will be working with ASH Thailand and other health and public relations volunteers to discourage smoking and call for strict enforcement of the Tobacco Control Act 2017.
Source: National news Bureau of Thailand, 18 June 2018
Australia: Secret website selling cheap tobacco
Australia is the most expensive place in the world to buy cigarettes, with the average cost at nearly $40 a packet. The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has also planned the second of four consecutive 12.5% tobacco excise increases for the 1st September. This is expected to add another $3 to the price of a typical packet.
However, some smokers are now using a secret website called ‘Ciggies World’ to buy packets of cigarettes at prices up to 70% lower than retail price. Whilst a packet of Marlboro Gold cigarettes retails for about $30 in Australia, the Ciggies World website sells a pack of 20 for $4.
Although the prices are comparatively cheaper, smokers may have to wait for over a month before they receive their cigarettes, and could be forced to pay unexpected taxes.
Source: Mail Online, 19 June 2018
How likely is your e-cigarette to explode?
In the UK, e-cigarettes have caused burns and fires, however these cases are rare.
Fire services have reported being called out to a small number of fires caused by exploding e-cigarettes usually as a result of people using the wrong charger, over-charging the battery, or incorrectly storing it.
Gary Asquith, station commander at West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: “It’s not the e-cigarettes that are unsafe in themselves, but the misuse of the lithium-ion batteries that they use. If you buy an e-cigarette and it doesn’t come with a charger, and then you buy a cheap one online, that is when you might see the lithium-ion battery overcharging and catching fire”
Source: BBC News, 18 May 2018
Oldham: Shisha bar fined for flouting smokefree laws
Two Apples shisha bar has been prosecuted after a visit to the premises found customers were openly smoking tobacco shisha pipes in a smokefree room, a contravention of the Health Act 2006.
Oldham Council has now successfully prosecuted Two Apples Oldham Limited, trading as Two Apples and manager Mohammed Kayali, 49, of Rochdale Road, Oldham.
Source: The Oldham Times, 18 May 2018
Italy: Prospective coalition Government pledge to reduce tax on e-cigarettes
A prospective Italian coalition government involving political parties ‘Five Star Movement’ and ‘The League’ have written a 57-page “contract”, which would underpin a new coalition government. The contract includes two lines promising to lower levies on smokeless cigarettes to the benefit of Italy’s 2 million e-cigarette users.
Current taxation has doubled the cost of liquid refills for vape pens to as much as 9 euros, an industry source told Reuters, this new contract seeks to counter this.
“Out with the tax on electronic cigarettes!” League leader Matteo Salvini said earlier this week in a video streamed on Facebook.
Source: Reuters, 18 May 2018
Turkey: App to help enforce smokefree zones
A mobile phone app has been developed to help enforce smokefree policies, ‘the Green Detector’, or ‘Yeşil Dedektör’ in Turkish. The app allows users to alert authorities about violations of the smoking ban in restaurants, cafes and even bus stops.
Şavaş Yılmaz, head of ‘The Green Crescent’ charity who founded the app said relevant authorities need to take immediate action for an effective anti-smoking strategy. Cafes and restaurants that are repeat offenders can be shut down.
Source: Daily Sabah, 20 May 2018
China investment cuts tobacco giant’s cigarette dependence
British American Tobacco has backed a Chinese investment fund called ‘China Materialia Venture Capital’ that seeks out early-stage technology firms in a bid to help them develop products which could subsequently be sold to larger companies.
BAT hopes the fund will identify a company or technology it will be able to use to help develop its range of so-called “next generation” products, the latest gadgets that the tobacco giants are developing amid a persistent decline in cigarette sales.
Source: The Telegraph, 20 May 2018
This Mental Health and Smoking Partnership webinar examines implementation of smokefree policies in mental health settings, including case studies from trusts, an overview of NICE Guidance PH48 and recommendations from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Provides an overview of the smokefree legislation including details of enforcement, exemptions and penalties.FaG: Implementation of the smokefree law