Action on Smoking and Health

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ASH Daily News for 8 October 2018


  • New anti-smoking TV adverts hit the screens
  • BBC investigation: Children sold vaping products
  • Vapers to get the same insurance rates as non-smokers for the first time


  • WHO vows broader action against tobacco industry interference
  • Daily Bulletin 1: Framework Convention Alliance at the WHO FCTC Meeting of the Parties
  • Daily Bulletin 6: Framework Convention Alliance at the WHO FCTC Conference of the Parties (Saturday 6 October)


New anti-smoking TV adverts hit the screens

Two ex-smokers are appealing to the public to quit, in a hard-hitting new campaign launched by tobacco control organisation Fresh. Maggie Bratton, from Newcastle, was diagnosed with smoking-related mouth cancer at just 45, which led to her undergoing a gruelling operation to remove her palate. The mother-of-two is now forced to wear a piece of plastic in the roof of her mouth every day just to be able to eat and speak. Father Tony Osborne, who was diagnosed with cancer of the voice box on his 52nd birthday, also features.

The campaign was put together by Fresh who are the regional tobacco control office in the North East. Fresh’s director, Ailsa Rutter OBE, said: “Tony and Maggie are two incredibly brave people who want their experiences of smoking to be heard. They don’t want other people to have to go through the pain and the life-limiting surgery they went through at a relatively young age. Tony and Maggie’s stories do not make comfortable viewing, but campaigns are one of the most powerful ways to encourage people to stop and young people not to start in the first place.”

Source: Daily Mail, 8 October 2018

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BBC investigation: Children sold vaping products

BBC 5 Live followed investigations by Camden trading standards, to see if shops would sell nicotine products to a 16-year-old girl. The age of sale for vaping products is 18.

Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy at ASH, was interviewed as part of the station’s reflections on the investigation which found 1 in 3 shops sold to a 16 year old.

See also: 5 Live, Children Sold Vaping Products (Hazel can be heard from 18 minutes, 30 seconds in)

Source: BBC, 8 October 2018

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Vapers to get the same insurance rates as non-smokers for the first time

Most insurance companies treat e-cigarette users the same as smokers. However, a new comparison targeted at e-cigarette users will give them the option to save almost half of what they currently pay for life and critical illness insurance.

David Mead, chief executive of Future Proof Insurance who have launched the comparison website, said: “We wanted to bring an easy to use price comparison site to help vapers save money. The biggest winners are people who have only been vaping and… not been using tobacco products for at least 12 months.”

Source: The Sun, 8 October 2018

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WHO vows broader action against tobacco industry interference

The World Health Organization (WHO) unveiled a global strategy on Saturday to scale up the tobacco control agenda and to prevent further interference by tobacco industry in public health policies.

The strategy, titled the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF), aims to strengthen implementation of the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC), with a roadmap to guide the work of the convention parties, the secretariat and other stakeholders with regards to tobacco control from 2019 to 2025.

“The adoption of this strategy marks a key milestone in strengthening the FCTC,” said Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, head of the WHO FCTC Secretariat. “This strategy provides a very clear path forward, with priorities and objectives to reinforce government policies and accelerate global action for more effective implementation of the tobacco control treaty.”

The strategy was concluded during the eighth session (COP8) of the FCTC, which brought together over 1,200 participants, including delegations from 148 parties to the global tobacco control treaty and representatives of UN agencies, other intergovernmental organisations and civil society.

Source: The Asian Independent, 7 October 2018

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Daily Bulletin 1: Framework Convention Alliance at the WHO FCTC Meeting of the Parties

The first Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Illicit Trade Protocol (ITP) starts today, 8 October. There will be an FCA Bulletin released each day of the MOP. This bulletin focuses on the background to the ITP.

“The ITP aims to eliminate all forms of illicit tobacco but has a particular focus on securing the supply chain of legally manufactured tobacco products. Latest estimates suggest that approximately 60–70% of the illicit market is tobacco industry product, indicating that, at the very least, tobacco companies are failing to control their supply chain in the knowledge that their products will end up on the illicit market.

The ITP requires a global track and trace system to reduce tobacco smuggling which will be achieved by each party requiring that every pack manufactured in or imported to their territory has a unique, secure marking providing information on manufacture, shipping and distribution.”

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Daily Bulletin 6: Framework Convention Alliance at the WHO FCTC Conference of the Parties (Saturday 6 October)

Saturday was the final day for the WHO FCTC Conference of the Parties. The final bulletin highlights the new Global Strategy and funding issues.

“There have been significant achievements at COP8, most notably the new Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control, which should guide our collective efforts through to 2025. And yes, that will include an implementation Review Mechanism (IRM), albeit only as a pilot project. We hope we will learn from that pilot and be in a position to endorse the IRM at COP9.

In Committee B, there were also successes. Parties agreed to shift core funding so that some of the work outlined in the Global Strategy can begin in 2020. They also mandated the Convention Secretariat to explore new mechanisms for fundraising for the Secretariat’s workplan and budget.

There were disappointments too, such as the COP’s decision to keep the budget frozen for another biennium. We can only hope that future budgets, closely tied to the Global Strategy, will convince governments to loosen the purse strings.

And then there was the atmosphere of COP8. The frustration of enduring industry proxies’ efforts to delay, distract, and obstruct – in this respect, a sad repeat of COP7. And too much time – even amongst the good-faith delegates – spent haggling over words, rather than discussing our shared objective of reducing tobacco-caused deaths as quickly as possible.”

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