Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

UK

Big Tobacco is losing the fight to stop plain packaging of cigarettes

Dr Enrico Bonadio, a Senior Lecturer in the City Law School, says the tobacco industry’s bid to avoid plain packaging by relying on legal arguments around trade and intellectual property rights, is being systematically dismissed by courts around the world.

https://www.city.ac.uk/news/2017/may/big-tobacco-is-losing-the-fight-to-stop-plain-packaging-of-cigarettes

You may already have seen the tobacco packs currently sold in the UK: a dark, murky green colour with large graphic health-warning images and scary messages aimed at informing current and potential smokers about the devastating consequences of tobacco consumption. They have no colourful logos, with the brand name just displayed in small characters in a standard font.

These packs are now required by new regulations which entered into force in May 2016. There has been a one-year transitional period for the sell-through of old stock – and from May 20 2017 all tobacco products on sale in the UK must comply with the new rules.

The legislative move has been recommended to all countries by the World Health Organisation to reduce the attractiveness of smoking and eventually reduce consumption. Australia was the first country to introduce such strict packaging requirements in December 2012. France and, of course, the UK have since followed suit.

It follows significant research that shows these new standardised cigarette packs are much less appealing to consumers – and young people especially.
The industry’s legal defeats

No wonder tobacco companies have challenged the measure in the courts. They have argued that it is useless, too harsh – and is an infringement of their fundamental and intellectual property rights, especially trademarks. Yet, their claims are based on weak arguments and have been rejected by both the High Court of England and Wales and the Court of Appeal.

The tobacco industry has faced numerous courtroom defeats of late. Last year Uruguay won a landmark case against the Swiss giant Philip Morris International. The company had sued the Latin American state after it introduced two measures affecting tobacco packaging and trademarks. These were mandatory graphic health warnings covering 80% of cigarette packets (a measure very close to plain packaging) and the obligation for tobacco companies to adopt a single presentation for their brands, dropping for example the “gold” and “blue” descriptors, that could lead smokers to believe one variant was safer than another.

The fact that the courts sided with Uruguay would have been encouraging to other countries aiming to introduce controls on tobacco packaging. And even greater encouragement came recently from a World Trade Organisation ruling which deemed that the plain packaging requirements introduced by Australia as compliant with international trade and intellectual property rules – and are therefore a legitimate public health measure.

The decision has not been officially announced, but a confidential draft of the interim ruling was leaked to the media and the final decision is expected later this year. The Australian measure had been challenged at the WTO tribunal by Cuba, Dominican Republic, Indonesia and Honduras, countries whose economies strongly rely on the tobacco industry.

A domino effect

This is a blow to the industry. The short-term consequences of the WTO ruling – Imperial Tobacco’s shares fell more than 2% after the decision was leaked – reflects the longer-term danger that this ruling poses. It will likely convince other states to introduce plain packaging legislation without fear of violating international trade and intellectual property laws. It basically gives them a green light by removing the regulatory chilling effect that such legal action has produced on countries that wanted to follow Australia’s example.

After all, more and more countries seem interested in adopting standardised packaging. As well as France and the UK, Ireland and Norway will introduce packaging restrictions later in 2017, and Hungary in 2018. Many other states are debating similar measures, including New Zealand, Canada, Belgium, Slovenia, Belgium, Singapore and Thailand.

So, a legislative trend has started which aims to restrict the ability of tobacco manufacturers to make their products appealing to consumers by using eye-catching words, logos or ornamental features on the pack. And attempts by Big Tobacco to stop it by relying on legal arguments around trade and intellectual property rights are being systematically dismissed by courts around the world.

Ultimately, the industry needs to accept the fact that its ability to use fancy brands, especially on packaging, may be reduced by governments for public health reasons. Also that a company’s property rights are not absolute or untouchable. Not only does it not have enough legal basis – as has now been confirmed by several courts and tribunals – but it also disregards legitimate policies adopted by democratically elected governments.

Cigarette plain packaging is here – but a tobacco-free society looks a long way off

The UK has, almost, led the world when it comes to tackling one of the tobacco industry’s leading promotional tools.

https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/health/cigarette-plain-packaging-tobacco-rules-introduced/

 

Australia was the first country to require cigarettes to be sold in plain, standardised packaging in December 2012. The United Kingdom became the second to pass similar legislation, on 20 May last year, with Ireland and France following suit.

Companies had a year’s grace period where they could get rid of old stock that no longer complied with the rules. The new legislation means all wording on cigarette packs must be confined to a uniform size and designed on a muddy green background. There is to be no misleading information such as “low tar” or “organic”, and a ban on flavoured cigarettes and flavoured rolling tobacco

In the UK, standardised packaging was introduced in addition to implementation of the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). The UK’s legislation goes further than the EU requires on tobacco taxes, on advertising and on packaging and labelling – a case of the UK leading the continent rather than the other way around. This is one area of public health, at least, that Brexit will not effect.

“This is a measure the UK led Europe in introducing and the legislation was passed with strong cross party political support,” Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), told i: “It therefore seems highly improbable if not impossible that any incoming government would see fit to reintroduce brightly coloured and glitzy branding on cigarette packs.”

As far as what impact the measures will have, Ms Arnott says it is “too soon to tell” for the UK. “The impact was always expected to be longer-term as young people today have grown up with the glitzy packaging, but the evidence from Australia is that we can expect to see an increase in attempts to quit and decrease in smoking prevalence before too long.”

£2,000 a year

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) estimates that the average smoker will still spend more than £2,000 each year on tobacco, enough to fill a family’s food trolley for six months, buy a pair of Premier League season tickets, or even take the kids to Disneyland, the charity says. It believes price – new ‘minimum duty’ means cigarettes can not be sold for less than £8.82 – is one of the biggest deterrents to smoking and that the higher the price of a pack, the more people will quit.

Alison Cox, CRUK’s director of prevention, said: “Smoking is still the single largest preventable cause of death in the UK and kills around 96,000 people every year – this cannot continue. For decades the tobacco industry has got away with promoting their products in slickly designed packaging, which distracts from the true lethal and addictive nature of the contents.”

She said the full introduction of the new rules over the weekend “marks a momentous victory in the battle for a tobacco free future”.

She added: “Standardised packs will help protect the next generation from an addiction that kills around half of all regular smokers. But there’s still a lot more to do – there is a real opportunity for the next government to help the UK’s 9 million smokers quit for good.”

Big tobacco has already tried to get around the rules. The maker of Marlboro cigarettes had been by selling branded durable tins that look just like ordinary cigarette packets – taking advantage of the grace period. in the run-up to the change, Philip Morris distributed tin containers, the same size as a 10-pack of cigarettes, to shops around the country, including big chains such as Sainsbury’s, Londis and Budgens, with the apparent aim to allow consumers to use the tins as refills.

Plain packaging campaigner Alex Cunningham, the Labour MP for Stockton North said that the move was an “immature trick” and an attempt by the company to “retain” its branding. “I hope people will soon put them into their bins and they’ll find their way to the recycling centre,” he said.

‘This will save lives’

Smoking remains a leading cause of preventable death in the UK, accounting for around 80,000 deaths a year in England alone. The British Medical Association (BMA), which has lobbied in favour of standardised packaging for many years, said the new regulations are “a significant step forward and will save lives.”.

Professor Parveen Kumar, BMA board of science chair, said: “We know that children who recognise brand images including packaging, are far more likely to start smoking. Standardised packaging will help to eradicate this marketing power for tobacco companies, and will increase the impact of health warnings.

“We must not stop there though. Doctors want to see a tobacco-free society by 2035, and the BMA is calling on the next government to introduce a new ‘Tobacco Control Plan’, replacing the current, outdated strategy on smoking, and a ‘polluter pays’ levy on tobacco companies. This would generate funding to support smoking cessation programmes, and would see many more smokers kicking the habit.”

Brands Test Limits as UK Introduces Plain Tobacco Packaging

The UK is now the second country in the world and the first in Europe to require cigarettes to be sold in plain, standardized packaging, following the lead of Australia, which implemented the first such measure in December 2012.

http://brandchannel.com/2017/05/22/uk-tobacco-plain-packaging-052217/

In May 2016, new EU legislation dictated how tobacco products are manufactured, produced and sold across Europe. The revised rules, called the Tobacco Products Directive, banned certain products from sale such as flavored cigarettes (except menthol). Retailers were given 12 months, until May 20th, to sell old products and comply with the new laws, or face stiff fines or criminal prosecution.

In tandem with the new EU rules taking effect, the UK government’s plain packaging legislation came into force, introducing standardized packaging of tobacco products to limit the impact of logos, colors, brand images or promotional information on packaging other than brand names and product names that are displayed in a standard colour and typeface.

Standardised packaging design, including; shape, size, material and opening mechanisms. The UK’s Standardised Packaging Regulations aim to unify (and not make stand out) the material, size, shape and opening mechanisms of tobacco packaging; create a drab, off-putting color (a sickly brownish green) of tobacco packaging, as well as standarized font, size and positioning of text.

No glossy finishes to catch the light now; the tobacco packs come with a matt finish. Prices aren’t printed on the packaging, but health care warnings have increased in size with graphic images depicting the adverse health impact of smoking. Text is only in Helvetica font, with no logo or typeface of a brand name or variety name permitted.

Failure to comply with retailer guidelines for selling e-cigarettes and tobacco products may result in a three month custodial sentence, a fine, or both, following a summary conviction.

Health groups have welcomed the measure and are hopeful as new smoker numbers continue to decline in the UK with about 17% of the UK adult population currently smokers. Smoking advocates decry the move as an anti-choice effort by a nanny state that “infantilise” consumers and will make no difference to public health. Smokers’ rights group Forest also told the BBC that the new rules “treat adults like naughty children.”

No matter: they’re stuck with the compulsory standardised packaging with larger, health warnings on two-thirds of the front and back of any packet is “the ugliest colour in the world.”

Hazel Cheeseman, a member of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), told the BBC that the packaging itself has been shown to be a “form of advertising” that cigarette companies call “their silent salesman. Branding and advertising is one of the things that helps to recruit young people into smoking. So removing the branding features, making the health warnings bigger and more prominent, is intended to protect young people from taking up smoking in the future.”

Two-thirds of smokers start before age 18, according to Cancer Research UK, so the organization supports removing branding from cigarette packs in order to reduce their attractiveness to children. Research has shown that young people are attracted to the color and design of cigarette packs.

Scotland was the first country in the UK to support plain packaging for tobacco products in a change that could lead to 300,000 fewer smokers in the UK over the next year.

Testing the legislation, Marlboro-maker Philip Morris introduced durable tins that look like ordinary cigarette packets. The tins, available at chains including Sainsbury’s, Londis and Budgens, sport Marlboro’s logo and distinctive branding, the required deterrent photos and the warning message, “Smoking kills.” No chance they’d get away with that, the Guardian reports.

“Research shows that packs of 10 appeal to young people and the price conscious,” said Karen Reeves-Evans, of the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath. “By offering packs of 10 in reusable tins, Philip Morris International is knowingly increasing the lifespan of packs of 10 and promoting its brand, if smokers decant their cigarettes into these small branded tins. The fact that these tins appeared almost immediately prior to the branding and size restrictions coming into force is suspicious.”

Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North added, “It’s against the whole spirit of what’s intended with the plain packaging legislation. The tobacco companies will stop at nothing in order to retain their branding and sell a product that everyone knows has such tremendous health risks. It’s an immature trick and I hope people will soon put them into their bins and they’ll find their way to the recycling centre.”

Philip Morris rival JTI Gallaher also issued aluminum tins for its Benson & Hedges, Mayfair and Camel brands in the run-up to the plain packaging laws, described by Ireland’s former health minister James Reilly as “extremely cynical.”

As tobacco brands and activists balk at the changes, Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK’s director of prevention, told the Guardian that “Today marks a momentous victory in the battle for a tobacco free future. Standardised packs will help protect the next generation from an addiction that kills around half of all regular smokers.”

Tobacco firms denied plain pack appeal

The UK supreme court has made a final decision, denying tobacco firms permission to appeal against plain packaging.

http://www.packagingnews.co.uk/news/markets/tobacco/tobacco-firms-denied-plain-pack-appeal-12-04-2017

The decision means that all cigarettes sold in the UK after 20 May must come in the standardised packaging that’s been increasingly appearing in shops during the trial period over the last year.

There will also no longer be packs of 10 cigarettes available in a move designed to deter young people from taking up smoking. For the same reason menthol cigarettes are being phased out but more gradually. They will disappear from shelves by May 2020.

Last November, British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and Philip Morris International went to the supreme court after the court of appeal claiming that the plain pack law would infringe their human and intellectual property rights but he appeal was rejected.

Any hopes the companies might have had that there was still a slim chance a challenge could be mounted will have been dashed by the final ruling.

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, welcomed the supreme court’s decision, saying: “Standardised packaging will cut smoking rates and reduce suffering, disease and avoidable deaths.”

Cigarettes and tobacco: what are the new rules and regulations?

The new rules have been made under new European Union law called the Tobacco Products Directive.

https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/health/cigarettes-tobacco-new-rules-regulations/

Technically, the law came into force on 20 May last year, but companies were given a 12-month grace period to sell their old packs and bring in standardised packaging.

From next month, all tobacco must be packaged in drab, dark brown packs with no graphic branding.

standardised-packaging

The new packs are the same shape, size and colour, with two thirds of the front and back surfaces covered by pictorial health warnings, and written warnings on the sides.

From 21 May this year, anyone caught selling non-plain packs will face severe penalties.

Smokers will also no longer be able to buy smaller packs of cigarettes and rolling tobacco while menthols will be phased out completely by May 2020.

At the moment, rolling tobacco comes in 10g and 20g packets – but soon 30g will be the smallest size.

The ban includes some flavoured tobacco and cigarettes – including fruit, spice, herbs, alcohol, candy and vanilla.

There are also internal packaging requirements as well as rules for individual cigarette sticks. All other trademarks, logos, colour schemes and promotional images are prohibited.

Cost of cigarettes

A pack of cigarettes is now at least £8.81, which campaigners say is a key factor in making people quit smoking.

Action on Smoking and Health believe that removing the packet of ten cigarettes this means people will have to find that extra money for a packet.

“It will hit poorer and younger smokers harder who are more likely to buy smaller packs,” a spokesperson said.

Smokers’ rights group Forest said the new rules “treat adults like children and teenagers like idiots”.

New vaping laws will also come into force next month restricting sale of e-liquids and e-cigarettes.

Among the rules are: refillable tanks must have a capacity of no more than 2ml, e-liquids can not be sold in quantities greater than 10ml and e-liquid packaging must be child-resistant and tamper evident.

 

What the new tobacco and cigarette packaging laws mean

Ten packs and smaller tobacco bags are out, while standard plain covers are in

http://www.theweek.co.uk/83551/what-the-new-tobacco-and-cigarette-packaging-laws-mean

New laws that standardise the appearance of tobacco packets and limit the range of products on offer come into force next month after a bid to halt the legislation was thrown out by the Supreme Court.

What was the Supreme Court ruling about?

Four tobacco giants took legal action in a last-ditch attempt to stop the introduction of mandatory plain packaging on cigarettes sold in the UK.

They argued the law would infringe their human and intellectual property rights by making their products indistinguishable. In addition, they also questioned evidence that plain packaging would deter smokers.

However, Judge Nicholas Green, who heard the original application for a judicial review of the 2015 legislation, ruled the regulations “were lawful when they were promulgated by parliament and they are lawful now in the light of the most up-to-date evidence”.

What happens on 21 May?

All cigarette packets will come in a single shade of “opaque couche” – a muddy green which The Sun describes as “the world’s ugliest colour”.

Brand names will be written in a standard font, size and location on the pack, while health warnings will cover at least 65 per cent of the box or packet. They can also no longer carry words such as “lite”, “natural” or “organic” and menthol cigarettes will be phased out completely by 2020.

Smokers will additionally not be able to buy smaller packs of cigarettes or rolling tobacco. Packets of ten are being axed, as are 10g (a third of an ounce) and 20g packs (0.7oz) of rolling tobacco.

Amanda Sanford, spokeswoman for Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), told the Liverpool Echo that banning smaller packers was intended to deter younger smokers who are more likely to buy them because they are cheaper.

Technically, the law came into force on 20 May 2016, but tobacco companies were given a 12-month period to standardise packaging and dispose of old stock. From 21 May this year, anyone breaking the new rules faces strict penalties.

Is this a good move?

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said standardised packaging “will cut smoking rates and reduce suffering, disease and avoidable deaths”, while government chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies says she was “thrilled” the tobacco industry was not allowed to appeal.

However, smokers rights group Forest said the new rules “treat adults like children and teenagers like idiots”.

Is the UK the first country to do this?

No. Australia led the way with a law that meant tobacco products on sale after 1 December 2012 had to carry plain packaging and French packaging legislation came into effect at the start of 2017. Similar laws in Ireland, Hungary and New Zealand have not yet been rolled out.

How tobacco firms flout UK law on plain packaging

Brands use competitive price labels to avoid restrictions on marketing

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/09/tobacco-companies-flout-law-plain-packaging

An insider in the tobacco industry has revealed some of the unscrupulous tactics it is using to avoid new restrictions governing the marketing of cigarettes that come into force next month.

One strategy – sticking competitive pricing labels on packets, a move designed to attract cost-conscious poorer smokers who make up the majority of the market – is already in breach of the regulations, according to legal advice obtained by Action on Smoking and Health (Ash).

The whistleblower, until recently employed by Imperial Tobacco, one of the UK’s largest companies, told the Observer that all four of the industry’s main players were employing a range of branding initiatives involving pack design to differentiate their products before the new regulations come into force on 20 May. From this date, cigarettes must be sold in dark green packs of 20 that carry health warnings covering at least 65% of the box.

Plain packaging was first introduced in May last year. “Any branded stock you see out there now will have been produced before 20 May last year,” said the whistleblower who used the pseudonym, Martin Sempah. “So the cigarette companies have been on a massive stock building exercise to make sure they have their branded packs in the market for as long as possible, to leverage the brand benefit.” But, under the new regulations, any packs manufactured after 20 May last year must be devoid of eye-catching price labels, something that severely limits the tobacco companies’ ability to market them aggressively.

“Price with cigarettes is massive,” Sempah said. “It’s what drives growth in market share. You get your price mark wrong and you can lose market share and millions. The issue for Imperial was that from 20 May 2016 until 20 May 2017 they’d have branded packs out there but no way of controlling the price on them.”

The solution was to employ a separate agency to add promotional price stickers to the packets’ cellophane wrappers, a practice known in the trade as “stickering”, that, according to Sempah, involved “millions and millions” of packs and which the tobacco firms insist is not in breach of the regulations because it is not part of the manufacturing process.

Imperial employed an agency called Clipper to add the stickers, Sempah said. Ash has written to the other three major tobacco companies –JTI, BAT and PMI – saying it is aware that they have been employing a similar strategy.

The health organisation has received a legal opinion from Peter Oliver, a barrister at Monckton Chambers, that suggests the strategy breaches the regulations which state that cigarette packets must be wrapped in cellophane that is “clear and transparent” and must not be “coloured or marked”.

“Once again, the tobacco companies seem to be stretching the law to snapping point,” said Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Ash. “They have already wasted thousands of legal hours and millions of pounds in fees trying to get the standardised packaging rules scrapped and failed miserably. Now it seems they are trying to get round the rules, by adding stickers to cigarette packs after the 20 May 2016 and claiming that this is not part of the production process. But, as our legal opinion confirms, such claims are false and the behaviour unlawful. We would like to see appropriate enforcement action taken against any tobacco manufacturer engaged in this practice without delay.”

Stickering is only one weapon in the industry’s arsenal, Sempah suggested. “When the regulations came out they started to look for loopholes. They said: how can we use particular varnishes and finishes on our plain packs to make them more tactile in a person’s hands, to make them more attractive? Do we use a different type of foil? If you look at a pack of Marlboro Gold it has got a trademark type of foil – it’s resealable. There are methods they are using to get round the regulations to increase the brand equity in their packs.”

Another strategy is to use key words to signify different “strengths” of cigarette – something that is banned. The word “real” is being used to suggest “full flavour” while “bright” denotes cigarettes that were once labelled ‘light’.

Two, separately wrapped, packs of 10 cigarettes inserted inside a 20-size pack have been developed to appeal to smokers who prefer smaller packs.“They’re going to be investing a lot more in festivals and nightclubs,” Sempah said. “You can’t say ‘sponsored by’ but you can create a fantastic experience which kind of looks like a cigarette brand.

“For example, last year Golden Virginia did stuff at the Latitude festival. They had a bar and a smoking area – all green furniture and green T-shirts for staff. It was a slightly different green from Golden Virginia and it was called Roll and Rock rather than Golden Virginia but at the bar you could only buy Golden Virginia.”

In their written responses to Ash all four tobacco companies and Clipper insisted that they complied with all the regulations. Sempah said most in the tobacco industry doubted the marketing strategies would have much of an impact in the long run. “Nobody really expects this to work, but there’s so many big salaries tied up in marketing in the tobacco companies they have to try to make it work.”

Bright’s Path of Maldon High Street set to ban smoking on premises completely from April 1

SMOKERS will be banned from lighting up in a Maldon town centre street from next month, it has been announced.

http://www.maldonandburnhamstandard.co.uk/news/15174390.Boutique_shops_street_set_to_go_smoke_free_from_April/

Shoppers will no longer be able to smoke outside Bright’s Path, the row of boutique businesses off Maldon High Street, from April 1. Vaping will still be allowed.

The shopping area features independent businesses for several years such as Mrs Salisbury’s Famous Tea Rooms, Chameleon Jewellery, Sew In Pressed, Rock Hard Candy and newcomer Little Poppets’ Baby Boutique.

Owner Mark Salisbury said statistics showing tobacco sales in the UK were at the lowest in recorded history meant now was the right time for the ban on the privately owned area.

He said: “We’ve been really keen on the idea for some time now, as we have a great deal of outdoor space.

“Our client range has a lot of mothers with young children and families, many of whom are not a fan of the effects of many people smoking when sitting out here.

“This may prove controversial and frustrate some people, but with the summer season approaching we’re going to have more people coming along to sit outside, and when the majority of our clients support the idea, we feel it’s the best time to do it.”

Mr Salisbury also owns the Continental Café further up the High Street which also has an outdoor seating area, where smoking will still be allowed.

He added: “With the news the government brought out the sales are the lowest that they have ever been, we felt if we’re going to do it, it’s now or never.

“The Continental will still allow smoking, and we’re allowing vaping in Bright’s Path, but my wife and I reached the stage where we feel enough is enough and we’re pushing through with it.”

Julie Ciniglio, of Maldon Business Association, welcomed the move.

She said: “I can’t see why this would be anything but a good thing.

“We’re blessed with local independent businesses in Maldon, and the decision to ban smoking like this rests with the business owner and the voice of their clientele.

“There are still a lot of smokers around the town who may have something to say about it, but if they have support from most of their customers then it could prove successful.

“It could even work as an incentive for frequent High Street users who don’t like smoking to go to Bright’s Path more often as a place to get away.”

Workers urged to ask smokers to stop smoking in their homes during visits as part of East Cambs District Council’s new anti-smoking policy

Tough new anti smoking rules within East Cambridgeshire Council – including a ban on electronic cigarettes and making workers get their manager’s permission for a smoking break- are ready to be implemented.

http://www.elystandard.co.uk/news/workers_urged_to_ask_smokers_to_stop_smoking_in_their_homes_during_visits_as_part_of_east_cambs_district_council_s_new_anti_smoking_policy_1_4932524

With two people a week in the district dying from smoking related diseases, the council is determined it will lead by example with its compulsory ‘smoking at work’ policy.

Spencer Clark, open spaces and facilities manager, will tell the regulatory and support services committee the refreshed policy supports the council’s duty of care.

“This smoking policy will apply to all staff, elected members, visitors, contractors and others who enter any premises or vehicles used as workplaces by the council,” he says.

“The legislation applies to all council enclosed buildings, related areas and council owned vehicles”.

Mr Clark said the smoke free workplace policy is to “guarantee a healthy working environment” and protect the current and future health of staff members and the public.

Any council employee found breaching the new guidelines will face disciplinary action.

It also asks employees who visit smokers in their homes as part of their duties to ask them to consider refraining from smoking. Managers may also be asked to complete risk assessments before visits to protect employees from exposure to second-hand smoke.

Smoking in workers’ private vehicles is also strongly discouraged and those workers who do smoke must do so off-site and must get their line manager’s permission,

All visitors, contractors and deliverers must also abide by the new policy.

All premises owned and occupied by the council – including staff car parks – will be covered by the smoking ban. Those buildings owned by the council – such as E-Space North and South – which have multi tenanted offices will also be brought into the non smoking in the grounds policy.

The policy is in line with the council’s aim to reduce the number of smoke-related deaths in the district and “guarantee the right of everyone to breathe in air free of tobacco smoke.”

Statistics from Public Health England have revealed that there were 97 smoke-related deaths in East Cambridgeshire in 2016.

* Portley Hill depot, Littleport, is the only council owned property that will be allowed to retain a designated smoking area.

Budget hits smokers as price of pack of 20 cigarettes increases 35p – putting average pack of 20 to £10.26

• Tobacco duty will increase at two per cent above inflation putting prices up
• Cost of 30g pack of rolling tobacco will also rise by 44 pence from 6pm tonight
• New ‘minimum duty’ means cigarettes can not be sold for less than £8.82
• Part of series of ‘sin taxes’ which will hike price of wine, spirits and beer

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4294664/Smokers-hit-Budget-cigarette-price-rise-TONIGHT.html

Smokers have been hit by Philip Hammond’s spring Budget with the cost of a pack of 20 cigarettes rising by 35 pence tonight.

Tobacco duty will increase at two per cent above inflation under planned price hikes first announced in 2014.

The average cost of a 20-pack of premium cigarettes could now rise from £ 9.91 to £10.26, according to the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA).

It also means the price of a 30g pack of rolling tobacco will increase by 44 pence from 6pm tonight.

A new ‘minimum duty’ is separately being introduced from the 20th May based on a packet price of £7.35 – meaning it will not be possible to buy a pack of cigarettes for less than £8.82.

Cigarette makers are furious about the rises with the TMA claiming it could force buyers to turn to the black market.

The organisation’s director general Giles Roca said: ‘We are disappointed that the Government has once again raised taxation on tobacco when tax on some of the lowest priced cigarettes already accounts for 90 per cent of the price.

‘Taxation on tobacco in the UK is already the highest in the EU meaning that prices in the UK are up to four times higher than in other European countries.

‘Taxation on tobacco has also increased by over 50 per cent over the last 5 years. Today’s move will simply encourage people to buy from the black market.

During his Spring Budget speech Philip Hammond, pictured above, announced a series of so-called ‘sin taxes’ which will see the price of wine, spirits and beer increase
‘It takes business away from the legitimate trade whilst costing the taxpayer around £2.4billion in lost taxes in the last year alone.’

It is part of a series of so-called ‘sin taxes’ which will also see the price of wine, spirits and beer increase.

Duty on alcohol had not risen for five years but in today’s Spring Budget speech the Chancellor announced plans that will hike the price of a bottle of still wine by 8p.

The duty on sparkling wine will increase by 10p with a litre of gin up by 43p and a litre of vodka rising by 40p, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chairman Colin Valentine said: ‘UK beer drinkers, pubs and brewers have been let down by the Chancellor’s decision to increase beer duty for the first time in five years.

‘The announced two penny a pint increase marks a return to the days when the much-hated Beer Duty Escalator contributed to 75,000 job losses, 3,700 pub closures and a 24per cent fall in beer sales in pubs.

‘The rise in beer duty will ultimately hit consumers in their pockets and lead to pub closures across the country.’

The cigarette price hike is one of a series of ‘sin tax’ increases on wine, spirits and beer.