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May 17th, 2013:

Going Up In Smoke

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ASH Daily News for 17 May 2013


Welsh smoking rate fall of just 1% since 2007 smoking ban sparks health expert concerns

The Welsh Health Survey 2012, published on Thursday, found 23% of people admitted to smoking – representing just a 1% drop since the introduction of the smoking ban in 2007.

Health campaigners have branded the statistics “desperately disappointing” after the survey showed Wales’ smoking rate had remained static since 2010, and had fallen by only 3% since 2003-2004.

Source: Wales Online – 17 May 2013

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP: Cameron has caved in to lobbyists

The Conservative MP criticises the PM’s U-turns on alcohol pricing and standardised packaging and says “we should all be aware” of Lynton Crosby’s links to the alcohol and tobacco industries.

See also:
– Plain cigarette packets could reduce nicotine addiction, BMJ (£)

Source: The New Statesman – 16 May 2013

BMA warns of coalition policies failing children on a grand scale

A series of coalition policies threaten to have profoundly deleterious effects on children’s lives, driving widening inequalities and sending more families into poverty, according to a scathing report by the British Medical Association.

Even when the government has made the right noises on alcohol and cigarettes, it has drawn back from legislating for minimum pricing or plain wrapping for tobacco, the BMA notes.

Source: The Guardian – 16 May 2013

Ipswich: Volunteer calls for government to ban smoking on hospital sites

A smoking ban similar to that imposed in pubs and clubs should be enforced at hospital sites, one Ipswich Hospital volunteer told The Star.

Source: Ipswich Star – 16 March 2013

USA: NY busts multi-million dollar ‘cigarette smuggling ring’

New York officials say they have busted a multi-million dollar cigarette smuggling ring.

Officials allege that three of the 16 Palestinian immigrants charged had links to known terrorists.

The state’s attorney general said investigators had recovered only “a fraction” of the proceeds from sales of more than a million untaxed cartons.

Source: BBC News – 17 May 2013

Turkey: Türk Telekom pushes health awareness to top of agenda

One the country’s largest employers, Türk Telekom has won government praise for a comprehensive campaign influencing employees, families and wider public opinion.

The main focus was cancer prevention, smoking cessation and obesity screening, coupled with a preventive medicine project offering vaccination and inoculation against several major diseases.

Source: The Guardian – 16 May 2013

Super fund quits tobacco shares

Super fund quits tobacco shares

Rhianna King, The West Australian May 17, 2013, 5:28 am

The State Government’s superannuation fund, GESB, has put an end to its investment in tobacco and cigarette companies in the wake of similar moves by other government funds.

WA’s biggest super fund had investments of A$52 million, or 0.33 per cent of its total portfolio, in companies involved in the production of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

GESB chief executive Howard Rosario said the decision, which was made after a review, had come at the right time.

“With approximately 25 per cent of our members working in the health sector and tobacco consumption on the decline, GESB is confident our decision will be welcomed by both members and the public alike,” he said.

Mike Daube, from the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, said the move sent out a positive signal from the Government.

Professor Daube said the move brought WA into line with the Commonwealth Future Fund’s decision in February.

“The issue isn’t so much about the amount as about the messages it sends out,” Professor Daube said.

“Tobacco companies are estimated to make about $10,000 in profit per smoker death.

“Government funds should not be used to invest in a product that is lethal when used as intended.

“GESB is to be congratulated on an honourable decision, which is especially appropriate as so many of its members are involved in treating and preventing diseases caused by smoking.”