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ASH Daily News for 25 April 2013


Lancet Oncology: Editorial in support of plain packaging

An editorial in The Lancet Oncology comments on the series of advertisements by Japan Tobacco International against plain, standard tobacco packaging. The journal notes that the inferences in the ads are fallacies as there is very clear evidence that branding of cigarette packages makes them more appealing to young people. The article concludes:

“The cynical lobbying of the tobacco companies—and their renewed attempts to sway public opinion with misleading advertising—to continue to market a substance that is known to be a leading cause of cancer should not be tolerated. Enough is enough, it’s time to quit.”

Source: Lancet Oncology, 25/4/2013

Cigarette packets: the case for a new law

Peter Kellner, President of pollling company YouGov, explains why he believes there is a case for standard tobacco packaging.  He concludes:

As in the past, the [tobacco] industry has been highly imaginative in trying to link their opposition to arguments about civil liberties, intellectual property rights, tobacco smuggling, free trade and unemployment. The bottom line is that, as for the past half century, they have been fighting a rearguard action to defend their right to kill their customers.

In the next few weeks we shall find out whether the ministers find the pro- or anti-arguments more persuasive.

Source: YouGov blog, 25 April 2013

Plain cigarette packaging ‘puts women off smoking’

Women get less satisfaction and enjoyment when smoking cigarettes that come in plain packaging, Scottish research suggests.

A study by researchers at Stirling University involved 187 young female smokers who used plain brown packs.

The women said they were more embarrassed about smoking from plain packs and felt more negative about it, even though they were using their usual brand.

They also reported smoking fewer cigarettes, stubbing out cigarettes early, smoking less around others and thinking more about quitting.

Source: The Scotsman, 25 April 2013

Call for plain packaging to cut toll of young Rotherham smokers

An estimated 952 young people in Rotherham have taken up smoking in the last year.

MP Kevin Barron has again urged the Government to commit to plain cigarette packs as Cancer Research UK’s figures were revealed.

A public consultation on packaging was launched 12 months ago but the Government has yet to issue a response.

Mr Barron, who represents Rother Valley, said: “It is appalling that so many children are being tempted into taking up smoking.

“Cigarette packs are designed to make smoking look cool and attractive yet the reality is a life-time of addiction, illness and premature death.”

Source: Rotherham Advertiser, 24 April 2013

Café in Hendon fined for allowing customers to smoke shisha in cellar

The former manager of a shisha bar in Hendon, north London, has been prosecuted for breaking the smokefree law. .

Meysan Ebra has been ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £1,347.58 for allowing customers to smoke shisha pipes in a downstairs cellar at Casablanca Café in Queens Parade.

The prosecution was brought after Barnet Borough Council’s environmental health inspectors visited the café on several occasions where they issued warnings to the management and owners requiring them to stop serving shisha inside the premises.

Source: Hendon & Finchley Times, 24 April 2013

India: West Bengal smoking tax to aid ‘duped investors’

The leader of India’s West Bengal state has announced a new tax on cigarettes to raise money for thousands of investors allegedly duped by a private company into losing their savings.

Mamata Banerjee said a 10% tax on cigarettes would help set up a special fund for them. Businessman Sudipto Sen, who ran the investment company, has been arrested.

India has over 100 million smokers and the government says smoking kills nearly a million people a year.

Ms Banerjee apologised for the 10% tax increase on cigarettes and “all kinds of tobacco products”. But she said the money raised would be put towards a good cause.

Source: BBC News India, 25 April 2013

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