26 March 2024


Disposable bans will not work, says vape boss

North Wales MS marks 40th anniversary of No Smoking Day in Wales

Giving vapes to smokers can help them quit says study

Firefighters warning to smokers to dispose of their materials safely after fire breaks out at Rainham scaffolding yard


Disposable bans will not work, says vape boss

Banning disposable vapes will not be "effective", the boss of the UK's largest tobacco firm has told the BBC.

Tadeu Marroco, chief executive of British American Tobacco (BAT), also said raising the smoking age would have "non-intended consequences".

The government plans to outlaw disposable vapes next April as part of the "biggest public health measure in decades".

BAT is the UK's third-largest vape seller.

But Mr Marroco said such a ban had not worked overseas. "In other countries this hasn't been effective," he said. "In Australia they have banned the whole category, and the amount teenagers use in the illegal market is very high. The same is happening in Brazil," he added.

However, campaigners believe otherwise. Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said, "The ban on disposables can be made to work but it requires tough enforcement not just in shops but at the border to prevent illegal imports."

Mr Marroco agreed that tougher penalties are needed. He said proposed on-the-spot fines of £100 were "not enough", calling the French proposal of €100,000 (£86,000)"a proper fine".

But he warned of "non-intended consequences" for retail and law enforcement from the government's plan to keep raising the smoking age every year, so that people born in or after 2009 will never legally be able to buy tobacco.

"We need to tackle first of all the underage vapour use, we need to have a retail licence as we do for alcohol," he said, and repeated the company's calls for a ban on flavours which might appeal to children such as sweets and soft drinks.

"There is no doubt that the UK is being looked at by a number of countries around the world. That's why it's so important to get it right here," he said.

The Tobacco and Vapes Bill will give government powers to control sales of nicotine pouches.
Ms Arnott from ASH said: "We've heard it all before that BAT has turned a new leaf and is now on the side of the angels.

"But BAT is still promoting tobacco cigarettes...and that's still where they're making most of their profits. That's why they don't like the government's age of sale legislation, not because it won't work but because it will."

In a statement the Department for Health and Social Care said smoking was responsible for around 80,000 deaths a year in the UK, costing £17bn a year.

Source: BBC News, 26 March 2024

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North Wales MS marks 40th anniversary of No Smoking Day in Wales

A Member of the Senedd recently joined campaigners and school pupils to celebrate the 40th anniversary of No Smoking Day in Wales.

Llŷr Gruffydd, who represents North Wales in the Senedd, met with representatives from ASH Wales and young people from across Wales at the Welsh Parliament.

No Smoking Day is a national awareness campaign that is intended to help smokers who want to quit, show support to those who are already on their quitting journey and celebrate those who have successfully stopped smoking.

At the event in the Senedd, Mr Gruffydd, of Plaid Cymru, heard about the work that has been done to fight tobacco addiction in Welsh communities.

Llŷr Gruffydd MS said: “It was a pleasure to meet the team from ASH Wales at the Senedd and hear about the important work they’ve been doing to combat tobacco addiction in our communities.”

Source: Wrexham.com, 26 March 2024


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Giving vapes to smokers can help them quit says study

Giving out free vapes to smokers in emergency departments, along with advice on giving up cigarettes, could help thousands more people quit each year, a study has suggested.

The opportunistic approach could be helpful to people who are less likely to engage with stop smoking services, researchers said.

Academics from the University of East Anglia (UEA) conducted the trial between January and August 2022 in six emergency departments in the UK.

Academics from the University of East Anglia visited some 484 patients who smoked and offered brief advice from a dedicated stop smoking adviser while awaiting discharge, along with an e-cigarette starter kit and referral to stop smoking services.

A second group of 488 patients was given written information on how to access stop smoking services, but were not referred directly.

Smoking habits were assessed six months later, with researchers offering members of the study a carbon monoxide test to confirm if they had given up cigarettes.

It was found that those referred to services and offered vape kits were 76% more likely to have given up compared to the other group, with 7.2% quitting smoking at six months compared to 4.1%.

They were also more likely to attempt to quit, according to the study.

Researchers said that providing smoking cessation support in emergency departments should be considered to “reach groups of the population that may not routinely engage with stop smoking services but have the most to gain from stopping smoking”.

Dr Ian Pope, of UEA’s Norwich Medical School, added: “Swapping to e-cigarettes could save thousands of lives.

“We believe that if this intervention was widely implemented it could result in more than 22,000 extra people quitting smoking each year.”

Hazel Cheeseman, deputy chief executive of public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said the findings “are compelling” and should be “carefully considered by those in the NHS and local government who are planning services for smokers”.

“This type of low-cost offer of support combined with an e-cigarette and located where smokers are accessing existing care is exactly what we need to make rapid progress in our efforts to reduce smoking, particularly for disadvantaged groups,” she added.

Source: The Bolton News, 26 March 2024

See also: Notley C, Clark L, Belderson P, Ward E, Clark AB, Parrott S, Agrawal S, Bloom BM, Boyle AA, Morris G, Gray A, Coats T, Man MS, Bauld L, Holland R, Pope I. Cessation of smoking trial in the emergency department (CoSTED): protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial BMJ Open 2023

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Firefighters warning to smokers to dispose of their materials safely after fire breaks out at Rainham scaffolding yard

Firefighters are reminding smokers to dispose of smoking materials safely after a fire at a scaffolding yard on New Road in Rainham in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A mixture of timber and scaffold boards were destroyed by fire. There were no reports of any injuries.  

The fire is believed to have been accidental and caused by the unsafe disposal of smoking materials. 

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “This incident serves as a timely reminder for smokers to ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it. 

“If you don’t, you risk causing a fire which could not only destroy properties, but also cost you your life.” 

Source: The Havering Daily, 26 March 2024

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