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Quitting smokers ‘should not vape’

Anti-tobacco group says to use ‘safe’ nicotine gum and patches

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/quitting-smokers-should-not-vape-35332992.html

Smokers considering giving up tobacco as a New Year’s resolution are being advised not to switch to electronic cigarettes for their nicotine hit due to safety worries about the long-term use of the devices.

The anti-tobacco advocacy group ASH Ireland has advised quitters to instead use nicotine patches or gum.

Vaping has been endorsed by governments in the UK and other countries but ASH chairman Dr Pat Doorley said he was concerned about the risk it poses to long-term health.

“Some people say they do help them but we don’t think the evidence is strong enough for us to support them and there are concerns about their long-term safety,” he said.

“Only a limited body of work has been carried out in the area of e-cigarettes and more research would have to be carried out here before we could endorse their use.”

The Health Information and Quality Authority is due to release a report on its study into smoking stimulation and smoking interventions.

While Dr Doorley said he would welcome any findings in the report, he advised that people looking to give up cigarettes should stick to “very useful” gums and patches.

He added: “Nicotine replacements will not give you the same hit but they can get you through cravings, especially for people who are highly addicted, for example those people who need a cigarette first thing in the morning.

“We would recommend those rather than e-cigarettes because they are proven to be effective and have proven to be safe. There is no such thing as a medicine or a pill with zero risk but they’re very safe.”

Despite a huge reduction ion in the number of smokers in recent decades, more than 5,900 people died from the effects of smoking in 2016.

Dr Doorley warned that the majority of people who kick the habit only do so after making numerous attempts and advised that people seek out support to quit.

“Having a plan is key and anyone who does have one will benefit,” he said. “This should involve having a date they want to quit by but there is no one-size-fits-all approach.”

People who manage to give up smoking will not just experience health benefits but will also make financial savings. Dr Doorley said: “A 20-a-day smoker will spend just over €4,000 on cigarettes annually. The overall cost of smoking in society is also significant, costing the State well over €1.6bn annually, with €506m spent on direct healthcare costs.

“Quitting is all positive – there are no downsides.”

Sunday Independent

ASH reaction to new Philip Morris IQOS ‘heat not burn’ product

Tobacco company Philip Morris has today launched IQOS, a potentially ‘reduced risk’ tobacco product in the UK. The device uses compressed tobacco in a ‘mini-cigarette’ form in a vapouriser. Unlike electronic cigarettes which vapourise nicotine suspended in a liquid, the IQOS heats and vapourises tobacco.

Globally, smoking killed 100 million people in the 20th century, many more than all deaths in World Wars I and II combined. If current trends continue tobacco-related deaths will number around 1 billion in the 21st century, mainly in low and middleincome countries. [1] In the UK alone, smoking still kills nearly 100,000 people every
year. [2]

ASH believes, therefore, in line with the Royal College of Physicians, that in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes, NRT and other non-tobacco nicotine products as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking in the UK. [3] Vapourised tobacco may also be substantially less harmful as the tobacco is not combusted to produce smoke.

However:

Particularly because of the tobacco industry’s long record of deceit over the health risks of smoking, there is an urgent need for independent research into the level of harm these products may cause. Philip Morris accepts that IQOS is likely to be as addictive as smoking, so the risks of youth uptake need to be investigated. Furthermore, because the product is expensive, there also needs to be research on the economic and social cost of dependence, and not just on any physical harm. We understand that the UK Government has asked the independent Committee on Toxicity to look at the data; this is welcome but not sufficient. It should be noted that the tobacco industry, including Philip Morris, was found by the Judge in the recent case on standardised packaging to have submitted evidence which fell “significantly below internationally accepted best practice.” [4]

Although Philip Morris claims to be working towards a world without smoking, the company is still reliant on conventional tobacco and admits that it will continue to be so for many years to come. [5] In countries with relatively weak legislation, PMI is still using marketing and advertising tactics designed to promote smoking to young people, for example through its “Be Marlboro” campaign. [6]

ASH therefore believes that unless and until independent evidence shows that IQOS and similar products are substantially less harmful than smoking then these products should be regulated in the same way as other tobacco products.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH said:

“Philip Morris states that this is potentially a reduced risk product. If smokers switch to electronic cigarettes or other products that can be shown to cut the risks to their health, this could lead to a big improvement in public health. But we need independent evidence to support any claims made by the tobacco industry.

Philip Morris claims to be moving towards a post smoking future but, like other tobacco companies, it is still actively promoting smoking around the world, using methods that would be illegal in the UK. From past experience nothing the tobacco companies say should be accepted at face value. Fully independent research and assessment will be crucial if IQOS and related products are to be accepted as useful in fighting the smoking epidemic.”

ENDS

Notes and Links:

Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: www.ash.org.uk/about-ash ASH receives core funding from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Anti-smoking campaigner wins top award

http://scottishcancerfoundation.org.uk/news/anti-smoking-campaigner-wins-top-award/

An anti-tobacco campaigner who has played a leading role in reducing the harm caused by cigarettes in Scotland has been honoured by the Scottish Cancer Foundation.

Sheila Duffy, the chief executive of ASH Scotland, is this year’s recipient of Scottish Cancer Foundation prize which recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution in the fight against cancer.

Today, smoking rates in Scotland are half what they were in the 1970s and the number of young people taking up the habit is at the lowest level ever recorded. Meanwhile public support has grown for measures to regulate tobacco even further.

Sheila Duffy has been at the heart of these changes for the past 20 years. She played a prominent role in building the case in Scotland for the introduction of a smoking ban in enclosed public places in 2006 – the first part of the UK to introduce such a measure. It has been credited with changing attitudes to smoking and has been described as one of the most important public health changes of the past 100 years.

In addition Ms Duffy has campaigned successfully to move tobacco out of the reach of young people, enhance support for those who want to quit, and remove attractive branding from tobacco packaging which reduces its appeal, particularly to young people.

Professor Bob Steele, Chairman of the Scottish Cancer Foundation said: “Smoking causes or increases the risk of a range of cancers and it has been very pleasing to see the positive reductions that have taken place in tobacco use in Scotland in recent years. Sheila Duffy and the organisation she leads have been instrumental in many of these changes which will free hundreds of thousands of Scots from the fear of contracting tobacco related cancer.

“Her commitment has helped to make Scotland a healthier country and she is a very worthy winner of the Scottish Cancer Foundation prize.”

Ms Duffy said : “I am greatly honoured to receive this award, especially in 2016 as we celebrate ten years of smoke-free indoor spaces. Tobacco is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer, and working to put cigarettes out of sight, out of mind and out of fashion must be a priority going forward.”

“The national ambition is that a child born this year will grow up and reach the age of 18 smoke-free. Achieving this will prevent future cancers, and directly reduce health inequalities.”

The award comes with £10,000 prize money which is to be used to further reduce the burden of cancer in Scotland. Ms Duffy said that ASH Scotland plans to use the money on research to improve the help that can be given to people living in challenging circumstances. The smoking rate for the poorest fifth of the population is still 34%, amongst those with a long-term disability or unemployed it is nearly 50% and among prisoners it is 72%. A third of all tobacco used is by people with mental health issues.

The research will focus on factors that lead people in these groups to smoke and the barriers they face to stopping. It is hoped this will fill gaps in our current knowledge and lead to more effective measures to help them.

The Scottish Cancer Foundation prize is supported by the Grant Simpson Trust which helps organisations involved in the “advancement of health.”

The award to Ms Duffy was presented at the Scotland Against Cancer conference on November 21 at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Vanish

PRESS RELEASE: CAMPAIGN TO EXPOSE BIG TOBACCO’S LOBBY FRONT MAY SAVE MILLIONS OF LIVES IN LOWER-INCOME COUNTRIES

‘INTERNATIONAL TAX AND INVESTMENT CENTER’ (ITIC) FORCED TO WITHDRAW CLAIMS OF ASSOCIATION WITH WORLD BANK, IMF, TAX AUTHORITIES AND MAJOR MULTINATIONALS

http://taxtobacco.org/2016/11/press-release-campaign-expose-big-tobaccos-lobby-front-may-save-millions-lives-lower-income-countries/

Today, an unprecedented joint movement of leading international development and public health organisations including the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, Christian Aid and Save the Children, declared a major success in their campaign against the tobacco lobby.

For more than two decades, big tobacco companies have used the neutral-sounding ‘International Tax and Investment Center’ (ITIC) to promote their agenda around the world. Since tax policies are the single most powerful measure to reduce tobacco consumption, and the inevitable deaths that follow, the influence of ITIC on public officials and finance ministers has the potential to be – quite literally – a killer. ITIC has targeted developing countries as the major growth markets for tobacco; it is in these countries where the death toll will be greatest, if the tobacco lobby succeeds.

Central to ITIC’s credibility with policymakers is the claim that it works closely with leading international organisations, multinationals and global professional services firms. The campaign to expose ITIC as a front for tobacco interests, coordinated by the Tax Justice Network, ASH (UK) and the FCA contacted all the groups named by ITIC, described the ITIC’s role as a lobbyist for tobacco and asked the groups to disassociate themselves from ITIC. The letter that was sent can be viewed here.

The organisations that responded overwhelmingly expressed support for the the campaign to counter big tobacco’s tax lobbying efforts, and in many cases outlined their dismay at the claims made by ITIC.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS

Previously, ITIC regularly claimed – including on the very front of their website – that “ITIC works closely with ministries of finance, customs services and tax authorities in 85 countries, as well as international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Customs Organization, and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”[1]

itic-front-250416-1024x499

Timothy Evans, writing on behalf of World Bank president Dr Jim Yong Kim, said:

“I am writing to confirm that the World Bank Group (WBG) does not have a formal partnership with ITIC. We have, in fact, previously contacted ITIC (on November 29 and December 1, 2015), requesting that they remove the name of the World Bank Group from their homepage, and also remove the World Bank Group’s logo from several other pages and PDFs on their website. I am pleased to note that this request has been complied with by the ITIC… I appreciate all of your strong advocacy for better global public health policy on tobacco, which has been extremely important to ensure better regulation of tobacco and to save lives. We look forward to working together towards the same goals.”

The International Monetary Fund stopped short of full disassociation, but wrote: “We understand your concerns with the work of the ITIC on tobacco… [W]e have asked them to clarify the nature of our interactions with them on their website.”

This involved, again, the removal of nearly all references and above all the claim on the site’s front page of ‘working closely together’. The World Customs Organisation wrote that “ITIC is not a partner”, and references have also since been deleted from the ITIC website (except a quote from 2011).

Perhaps most damning of all was the response from the African Tax Administrators’ Forum (ATAF), a key regional body, whose executive secretary Logan Wort said:

“Allow me to state categorically that ATAF does not partner, cooperate nor collaborate with the ITIC in any way, and has no intention of doing so. Officials of the ATAF Secretariat had attended two of its meetings a few years ago in order to establish its motives and how the organisation functioned, however we soon distanced ourselves from the ITIC, with the ATAF Council also directing the Secretariat to inform all ATAF members of this decision, and warning them against associating with the organisation…

“We are thus well aware of the activities of the organisation and find its objectives and modus operandi to be in direct conflict with everything that ATAF stands for. In recent discussions with officials of the World Health Organisation, we were also in full agreement that higher taxes are particularly effective in reducing tobacco use among vulnerable populations.

“We had also requested the ITIC to remove the ATAF logo from its website and all of its publications. Should we find that the ITIC has continued to abuse our logo or (mis)informed stakeholders of any association or partnership between our respective organisations, we will demand, in the strongest of terms, that they desist with this practice. Rest assured of our full support for this campaign.”

ITIC’S CLAIMED ‘SPONSORS’

Before the campaign to counter big tobacco’s tax lobbying efforts, ITIC listed around a hundred multinationals, global professional services firms and national authorities on its roster of sponsors. While some have told the campaign they will continue with their support, such has been the response that ITIC has now removed the list entirely from their website – so it is no longer possible to see which supporters remain.

Nestlé said that it had ceased to make any contribution to ITIC in 2014, but that the letter had drawn their attention to the fact Nestlé’s logo was still displayed on ITIC’s website, so “we have taken action on this.” Similarly, the law firm Pinsent Masons said there was “no on-going relationship with ITIC, having last engaged with the organisation in 2013.” The Qatar Financial Center thanked the campaign for highlighting the claims on the ITIC website, and said: “we will write to ITIC formally to request the immediate removal of our name from their list of sponsors and any promotional materials or publications; we will also consult with Qatar’s Ministry of Finance on any further action that needs to be taken.”

However, Carlsberg told campaigners: “we do not plan to participate in the activities mentioned in your letter. We have our policy of Responsible Drinking and other projects are beyond our plans.” IBM said: “The policy issues discussed in your letter fall outside the scope of, and do not directly impact, IBM’s business.”

RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS

ITIC’s approach has often involved working with or funding existing think tanks or research centres, in order both to draw on their credibility and in some cases to generate new findings that support the case against strong tobacco tax measures – notably, by suggesting that high tobacco taxes will simply lead to growth in illicit trade. Most prominent amongst these has been Oxford Economics, whose chair Adrian Cooper told campaigners in May: “I can assure you that we consider all such representations very seriously and we will table your letter for a discussion with our Board.” Subsequent requests for an update or Board response have not been replied to.

CAMPAIGNER REACTIONS

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH UK), said: “This is a fantastic victory. For years, this tobacco industry-funded tax think tank has bolstered its credibility by claiming the support of major global organisations – and now those claims have been revealed as completely hollow. We should no longer be surprised at the tobacco companies being liberal with the truth, but the willingness to misrepresent relationships is still striking. Nobody should take this outfit or its claims seriously – least of all, public officials.”

Dereje Alemayehu, chair of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ), said: “For developing country policymakers, the claim of working closely with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank carry a great deal of weight. Now these organisations have demanded that ITIC stop making these misleading statements, people can see the true picture – that this is just one more lobby group, pretending to offer technical analysis but really just pushing an agenda. And a particularly poisonous agenda at that.”

Mary Assunta, Senior Policy Advisor of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), said: “We need to expose how the tobacco industry funds third parties to do its lobbying. Every lobbying success of Big Tobacco causes a delay in life-saving measures in developing countries. This wave of public disassociations should send a clear message to the ITIC that being a spokesperson for the tobacco industry runs counter to global movement to reduce tobacco use.”

Alex Cobham of the Tax Justice Network said: “If current trends persist, tobacco will kill more than 8 million people worldwide annually by the year 2030, with 80 percent of these deaths in low- and middle-income countries. If ITIC’s loss of credibility undermines their ability to influence for Big Tobacco, in a way that reduces that by just 5%, it would save 400,000 lives a year.”

NOTES

[1] Quotation from ITIC website as at 18 November 2015, currently available in archive from: http://web.archive.org/web/20151118225508/http://www.iticnet.org/.

[2] Quotations from ITIC website as accessed at 8 July 2016.

ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR EDITORS

The organisations involved in the campaign to counter big tobacco’s tax lobbying efforts are: Action on Smoking and Health, (UK); Action on Smoking & Health, USA; Action on Smoking and Health, Scotland; African Tobacco Control Alliance; Association of Directors of Public Health, UK; British Heart Foundation; British Lung Foundation; CAFOD; Cancer Research UK; Christian Aid; Faculty of Public Health, UK; Framework Convention Alliance; FRESH; Global Alliance for Tax Justice; Health Poverty Action; InterAmerican Heart Foundation; International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease; Latindadd; Save the Children; Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA); Tax Justice Europe; Tax Justice Network; Tax Justice Network – Africa; and Vital Strategies.
This press release and the original letter sent to companies and organisations can be accessed at http://taxtobacco.org.
CONTACTS

Alex Cobham, Tax Justice Network: +44 7982 236863 and alex@taxjustice.net

Deborah Arnott, ASH (UK): +44 7976 935 987 and deborah.arnott@ash.org.uk

Tobacco companies ‘exaggerating need for small retailers to sell cigarettes’

Tobacco companies are exaggerating the need for small retailers to sell cigarettes and the impact it has on footfall and profits, according to Action on Smoking and Health (Ash)

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-us/cancer-news/news-report/2016-10-19-tobacco-companies-exaggerating-need-for-small-retailers-to-sell-cigarettes

A new study (link is external) found corner shops made an average profit of just £242 a week on tobacco products compared with £2,611 from everything else they sell – or less than 10 per cent of their total weekly profits.

Retailers’ average profit margins were just 6.6 per cent for tobacco products compared with 24.1 per cent for all other products, the Ash and National Addiction Centre at King’s College London study found.

The report said falling tobacco sales meant that 79 per cent of all small retailer transactions did not include the purchase of tobacco products.

A survey of 591 local newsagents included in the report found that 69 per cent “acknowledged that they do not make much profit from cigarettes compared to other products”.

Newcastle-based small retailer John McClurey, who has been a member of the Ash Advisory Council for the past four years, said: “I have little choice to sell tobacco as many of my customers still smoke. But tobacco makes me very little money while tying up plenty of cash in stock. Tobacco is a burden to me.

“The decline in the market, the disappearance of cigarettes behind gantry doors and the shift to plain packaging have made the traditional approach to selling tobacco out-dated. A better alternative for retailers is to reduce stock, shift the gantry and free up space for products that actually turn a decent profit.”

Ash chief executive, Deborah Arnott, said that tobacco companies rely on the sales from corner shops.

“Nearly half (45 per cent) of smokers buy cigarettes from corner shops, so for the tobacco industry it is essential that it puts a lot of effort into persuading retailers to maintain the profile of tobacco sales in those stores,” she said.

“Tobacco is a high-cost, low-profit product and money spent on tobacco is money not available for other more profitable purchases.

“Our report invites retailers to see the long-term decline in smoking as an opportunity, not a threat.”

Alyssa Best, Cancer Research UK’s tobacco policy advisor, said the report offered reassurance to shop owners that were worried about the effects falling tobacco sales may have on their profits.

“Contrary to tobacco industry claims, small retailers do not make large profits from selling cigarettes,” she said.

“The billions in profit are made by the large multinational companies who produce these lethal products.

“Shop owners can feel confident that their businesses will not suffer from measures to help people quit smoking, like the ban on Point of Sale displays of tobacco, and they can use this space to sell alternative products that will earn them more profit.”

MP Bob Blackman, of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on smoking and health, said that the report questioned “the core messages promoted by tobacco manufacturers that tobacco is essential to retailers’ success”.

“I hope that the findings will support and encourage small retailers to consider whether the traditional approach to selling tobacco in small shops remains in their best interests,” he added.

“A new approach to selling tobacco will benefit our corner shops, and ensure their continued place at the heart of our local communities.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS TOBACCO TO SMALL RETAILERS?

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Researchers find tobacco use linked to most fatal form of stroke

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14680337.Researchers_find_tobacco_use_linked_to_most_fatal_form_of_stroke/

A possible link between a deadly form of stroke and smoking has been discovered by scientists.

Researchers in Finland found a sharp drop in the number of people who suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage – the most fatal form of stroke – occurred in the same period as a decline in smoking numbers.

Between 1998 and 2012, the number of people who smoked plunged 30% among 15 to 64-year-olds in the country, the study found.

During this time, cases of the killer stroke also went down by 45% among women under 50 and 38% among men under 50, as well as by 16% among women over 50 and 26% among men over 50.

Scientists said they could not establish whether the change in smoking habits caused the drop, but it was “highly likely” Finnish tobacco policies played a role.

A British charity said the findings were a “wake-up call” to smokers.

In recent years, Finland has slashed smoking numbers through a series of public health campaigns and legislative action against the sale of tobacco and its use in public.

Professor Jaakko Kaprio of the University of Helsinki said of the findings, which were published in the journal Neurology: “It is extraordinary for the incidence of any cardiovascular disease to decrease so rapidly at the population level in such a short time.

“Even though we cannot demonstrate a direct causation in nation-wide studies, it is highly likely that the national tobacco policies in Finland have contributed to the decline in the incidence of this type of severe brain haemorrhage.”

Health charity Ash said the findings should motivate smokers in the UK to quit.

Chief executive Deborah Arnott said: “The Finnish study is a wake-up call to smokers.

“They need to know that if they don’t quit smoking they’re twice as likely to die from stroke than non-smokers.

“But stopping smoking can be tough, which is why it is so important to ensure that all smokers are given the best possible support and encouragement to give up.”

Statistics ‘do not bear out claims’ of major tobacco firms

http://www.thenational.scot/news/statistics-do-not-bear-out-claims-of-major-tobacco-firms.17559

‘BIZARRE’ claims that tougher tobacco laws will boost crime must be ignored to protect public health, an anti-smoking charity said yesterday.

ASH Scotland’s ‘Dodgy Cigs’ report shows the UK trade in black market cigarettes and tobacco has declined every year since 2000, despite the introduction of stronger regulations and the increasing price of over-the-counter packs.

The report is released as new standardised plain packaging and other tobacco regulations come into force.

Major tobacco firms have claimed such moves would boost the trade in smuggled and counterfeit goods.

However, ASH Scotland head Sheila Duffy called this claim bizarre, in light of current trends.

Considering the impact on the Scottish government’s 2034 smoke-free target, she said: “The tobacco industry has often predicted that public health measures will cause rises in illicit tobacco. But this stance looks increasingly bizarre as illicit tobacco continues to reduce while regulation and price increase.

“We need to be wise to these tactics, and support proven public health measures. Standardised packaging will help put tobacco out of sight, out of mind and out of fashion for the next generation, making smoking less attractive for our children. Although it will take many years to see the full effects of this policy, the evidence from Australia, where plain packs have been used since 2012, shows that they can help to protect children from starting smoking and could help adults to quit.

“These new laws won’t single-handedly solve the problem of tobacco addiction. But they are another step on the journey to a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034.”

Updated packaging rules come into force on May 20, requiring new cartons to feature drab colours and graphic health warnings.

By May 2017, all packs sold in the UK will be required to adhere to the regulations.

Tobacco industry delaying tactics criticised as new tobacco laws come into force

http://www.ashscotland.org.uk/media/news/2016/05/tobacco-industry-delaying-tactics-criticised-as-new-tobacco-laws-come-into-force/

As standardised “plain” packaging and other tobacco regulations come into force (20 May), health campaigning charity ASH Scotland has released a new report, Dodgy Cigs, detailing the way the tobacco industry has raised ill-founded concerns about illicit tobacco to oppose public health measures.

Big Tobacco has claimed in the past that new public health laws will cause rises in the market for illicit tobacco, such as smuggled tobacco and counterfeit cigarettes. This has been particularly prominent in Australia, the first country to introduce plain packaging. The tobacco industry claimed that the policy would cause rises in illicit tobacco use, but official figures in the years since implementation have not agreed.

In the UK, the illicit tobacco market has declined since the year 2000, despite new laws protecting people from tobacco and increases in the price of a pack of twenty cigarettes.

dodgycigs-fig-1_500x299

Figure 1 – HMRC’s estimate of the size of the illicit tobacco market in the UK, plotted alongside to the price of a pack of 20 cigarettes (in 2014 GBP). The illicit market has consistently fallen at a time when tobacco prices have increased.

Commenting on the release of Dodgy Cigs, ASH Scotland Chief Executive Sheila Duffy said:

“The tobacco industry has often predicted that public health measures will cause rises in illicit tobacco. But this stance looks increasingly bizarre as illicit continues to reduce while regulation and price increase.

“We need to be wise to these tactics, and support proven public health measures. Standardised packaging will help put tobacco out of sight, out of mind and out of fashion for the next generation, making smoking less attractive for our children. Although it will take many years to see the full effects of this policy, the evidence from Australia, where plain packs have been used since 2012, shows that they can help to protect children from starting smoking and could help adults to quit.

“These new laws won’t single-handedly solve the problem of tobacco addiction. But they are another step on the journey to a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034.”

Ends

Notes –

Dodgy Cigs isavailable from www.ashscotland.org.uk/dodgycigs. A two-page key points report is available at /media/547507/dodgy-cigs-key-points-nt.pdf.

For further information please contact ASH Scotland on 0131 225 4725 or enquiries@ashscotland.org.uk Out of hours mobile 07776 142 299

Standardised “plain” packaging

From 20 May, plain packs of cigarettes will start to appear in the shops. These packs (above) feature drab colours and graphic health warnings to show the real impact of smoking tobacco. By 20 May 2017, all tobacco sold in the UK will have to be in plain packs.

Plain packs have led to a significant drop in the smoking rate in Australia, and are a key component in putting tobacco out of sight, out of mind and out of fashion to meet the Scottish Government’s target of a smoke-free Scotland by 2034.

Plain packs are not blank, white packs,but instead feature drab colours and graphic health warnings about the dangers of smoking (see picture above). Print quality images are available – please contact enquiries@ashscotland.org.uk.

EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)

The TPD will make certain changes to all tobacco products sold in every country in the EU:

All products in the EU must have 65% of the front and back of their packaging covered by health warnings
No cigarettes will be able to use misleading descriptions like “light” or “natural”, which promote the false idea that some cigarettes are less harmful
Cigarette packs will contain a minimum of 20 sticks, with hand-rolling tobacco pouches containing at least 30g of tobacco
There will be new regulations on the sales of e-cigarettes containing nicotine, including:

Television and other “cross-border” advertising will no longer be permitted
Mandatory warning labels about the addictive nature of nicotine
All products must be registered with the UK Government by 20 May 2017