From Action on Smoking and Health <[email protected]>
Subject ASH Daily News for 29 April 2024
Date April 29, 2024 11:29 AM
  Links have been removed from this email. Learn more in the FAQ.
  Links have been removed from this email. Learn more in the FAQ.
View this email in your browser ([link removed])

** 29 April 2024

** UK

** Taxing junk food can help reduce obesity, London study finds (#2)

** Top Tory MP defects to Labour in fury at NHS crisis (#1)

** International

** US: Biden administration delays plan to ban menthol cigarettes again (#3)

** UK

** Taxing junk food can help reduce obesity, London study finds

Introducing a tax on unhealthy food could help to reduce obesity, a study has revealed.

Researchers at Imperial College Business School reviewed results from 20 studies from countries who have implemented taxes on foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS).

They found that countries such as Mexico, which has an 8 per cent tax on junk food including sweets and crisps, saw a reduction in the sale of taxed foods of 18 per cent in supermarkets and up to 40 per cent in other retailers.

The study's authors argued that a tax of between 20 per cent and 50 per cent on unhealthy foods could be used to fund subsidies for healthier alternatives.
Low-income groups, who were greater consumers of unhealthy foods beforehand, showed the biggest drop in consumption once the tax was implemented, according to the study.

The findings are particularly relevant for London, which is seeing rates of obesity increase among children in particular. Nearly one in four London children in primary school are now obese, according to the latest NHS Digital figures.

Dr Elisa Pineda, an academic at Imperial's School of Public Health who authored the paper, said: "For governments, especially in the UK, our findings underscore the efficacy of HFSS food taxes as a viable strategy to reduce unhealthy food consumption and address the public health challenges of obesity.”

See also: Review: Effectiveness and policy implications of health taxes on foods high in fat, salt, and sugar ([link removed])

Read Here ([link removed])

** Top Tory MP defects to Labour in fury at NHS crisis

A Tory MP and former health minister has staged a dramatic defection to Labour, saying the Conservatives have become a “nationalist party of the right” that has abandoned ¬compassion and no longer prioritises the NHS.

Dr Dan Poulter, the MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, who works part-time as a mental health doctor in an NHS hospital, announced he was resigning as a Tory MP and would be taking the Labour whip until the next election in an exclusive interview with the Observer.

He said he would not seek re-election to the House of Commons at the next general election. But, writing in the Observer, he says he envisages a role advising the Labour party on its policies on mental health while focusing more on his NHS work.

Poulter said his experiences on more than 20 night shifts over the last year in a severely overstretched accident and emergency department had been “truly life-changing” and persuaded him to defect to the only party he believed was now really committed to investing in improving the NHS.

He said: “I could not go on as part of that. I have to be able to look my NHS colleagues in the eye, my patients in the eye and my constituents in the eye. And I know that the Conservative government has been failing on the thing I care about most, which is the NHS and its patients.”

The Observer understands that discussions between Poulter and senior Labour figures have been going on for many months at the highest levels about the timing and organisation of his likely defection, as well as advisory roles he could play in future in developing the party’s health policies, with the benefit of his first-hand inside knowledge.

Poulter was first elected to parliament in 2010 and served as a health minister under David Cameron from 2012 to 2015.

Source: The Guardian, 27 April 2024

See Also: Opinion: I am resigning from the Tory party and crossing the floor. Only Labour wants to restore our NHS- Dan Poulter ([link removed])

Read Here ([link removed])

** International

** US: Biden administration delays plan to ban menthol cigarettes again

For the second time in recent months, the Joe Biden White House has delayed a sweeping plan to ban menthol cigarettes, a decision that is certain to infuriate anti-smoking advocates but could avoid angering Black voters ahead of November elections.

In a statement on Friday, the president’s top health official gave no timeline for issuing the rule, saying only that the administration would take more time to consider feedback, including from civil rights groups.

“It’s clear that there are still more conversations to have, and that will take significantly more time,” said the health and human services (HHS) secretary, Xavier Becerra, in a statement.

The announcement is another setback for the health officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who drafted the ban and predicted it would prevent hundreds of thousands of smoking-related deaths over 40 years. The agency has worked toward banning menthol across multiple administrations for more than a decade without ever finalizing a rule.

Previous FDA efforts on menthol have been derailed by tobacco industry pushback or competing political priorities.

Anti-smoking advocates have been pushing the FDA to eliminate the flavor since the agency gained authority to regulate certain tobacco ingredients in 2009. Menthol is the only cigarette flavor that wasn’t banned under that law, a carveout negotiated by industry allies in Congress. But the law instructed the FDA to study the issue.

More than 11% of US adults smoke, with rates roughly even between white and Black people. But about 80% of Black smokers smoke menthol, which the FDA says masks the harshness of smoking, making it easier to start and harder to quit. Most teenagers who smoke cigarettes also smoke menthols.

Source: The Guardian, 26 April 2024

Read Here ([link removed])
Have you been forwarded this email? Subscribe to ASH Daily News here. ([link removed])

For more information email [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) or visit
@ASHorguk ([link removed])

ASH Daily News is a digest of published news on smoking-related topics. ASH is not responsible for the content of external websites. ASH does not necessarily endorse the material contained in this bulletin.

Our mailing address is:
Action on Smoking and Health
Unit 2.9, The Foundry
17 Oval Way
SE11 5RR

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can ** update your preferences ([link removed])
or ** unsubscribe from this list ([link removed])
Screenshot of the email generated on import

Message Analysis