** A new plan to force bigger pub chains to reveal the number of calories in all alcoholic drinks is set to be put in place, leaked documents show. The push would also see all alcohol sold in shops have to publish calorie information and a health warning by law.
All pre-packaged alcohol labels would have warnings about drinking from Professor Chris Whitty, as well as the risks of drink-driving and the number of calories. The Government’s figures say that there will be a £92 million hit to the already Covid-ravaged alcohol industry - but “the benefits to consumers have not been quantified.”
Public Health Minister Jo Churchill has told colleagues she wants to launch a 12-week consultation on the plans. They would force any business with at least 250 people to publish the calorie information about drinks - meaning the change in the law would hit most major pub chains.
Jo Churchill points out that 7-8% of drinkers’ calorie intake comes from alcohol, with lower socio-economic households and those already overweight benefiting the most from the policy.
Source: The Sun, 13 April 2021
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** Graphic new warnings on tobacco packs are being rolled out during 2021, encouraging smokers to think twice about smoking. The suite of hard-hitting new warnings from Australia – due to the UK no long being able to use previous EU images – include lung cancer, clogged arteries, harm to unborn babies and blindness.
And a new report published by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) shows smokers in England on average need social care at the age of 63, ten years earlier than non-smokers.
Fresh, the North East regional tobacco control programme, has underlined the importance of tobacco control measures which have helped reduce adult smoking rates in the North East from around 18.7% of adults smoking in 2015 to 15.3% in 2020. Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh, said: “A picture is worth a thousand words, and the new warnings are stark reminders why we need to make smoking history for more North East families. […] We need to go further and increase the size of warnings and the range of messages. The time is right for consideration of further measures – these could include warning messages on every cigarette and quit support details in every cigarette pack.”
Ailsa went on to say: “The appalling fact is that smoking still kills over 74,000 people in England a year, with smokers losing on average 10 years of life expectancy compared to non-smokers. Smoking not only kills but robs people of their mobility and independence. We must do everything we can to make smoking history for more families starting with a new national tobacco plan and making tobacco companies pay a levy on their sales as they do in the US.”
Fresh is also calling for a bigger range of health warnings on packs, pack inserts encouraging people to quit; and “Challenge 25” applying to all tobacco and electronic cigarettes as a further measure to reduce youth smoking.
Source: News Post Leader, 14 April 2021
See also: ASH report - The cost of smoking to the social care system ([link removed])
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An ad for a nicotine pouch has been banned for implying that it had a mood-altering and stimulant effect that made gaming more enjoyable.
The video ad for Nordic Spirit, seen in December on the Crunchyroll anime streaming service app, featured people getting ready to play an online video game together and putting the pouches in their mouths. The players were then shown reacting enthusiastically to the game. Gallaher, the UK trading company of Japan Tobacco International (JTI), which makes Nordic Spirit, said the ad was not intended to target minors or be viewed by them. They had instructed their advertising agency to target existing smokers over the age of 18.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the ad had been appropriately targeted to its audience and did not breach rules on this point. However, it said the presence of nicotine, which was addictive, meant that the product needed to be advertised responsibly.
It said: “We considered that the combination of the depiction of players using the product as they were about to start the game, the sense of anticipation created by music building to a drop, and their reactions of excitement associated the use of the product with the game. These all implied that it had a mood-altering and stimulant effect which would enhance enjoyment and gameplay. In the context of an ad for a product that contained nicotine, we considered that was irresponsible and breached the code.”
** Indianapolis city-county councillors will consider banning smoking in public parks, extending the city’s non-smoking ordinance that currently applies to city-owned property, bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and most places of employment.
The proposal, which will be heard in committee later this month, forbids smoking in public park spaces owned, leased, or operated by the city or county. Smokers violating the ban would face an initial fine of $100, with subsequent violations starting at $200.
John Barth, a Democratic council member who supports the measure, said: “One thing I’ve noticed consistently is there’s a fair amount of smokers in the parks. And as a parent, you don’t want to see that, and you don’t want to expose your children to secondhand smoke — especially when the surgeon general has stated clearly that there’s no risk-free level of exposure of secondhand smoke.”
** A new BTS project which aims to support those who provide smoking cessation services in hospitals will begin later this year. BTS is seeking a part-time project manager to support this project. This new project will support sharing, supporting, disseminating and updating information throughout the life of the Long-Term Plan smoking cessation project.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to bring forward proposals in the Green Paper, Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s, in the upcoming Tobacco Control Plan.
Asked by Jason McCartney, Colne Valley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care if he will publish his timeframe for the policy development and publishing of the Tobacco Control Plan.
Answered by Jo Churchill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Care
A new Tobacco Control plan is due to be published later this year and will set out further ambitions to deliver a smoke free country by 2030. Policies for the new plan are currently under development. We will consider all proposals from the 2019 Green Paper, including those on e-cigarettes and addressing smoking in particular vulnerable groups.
Source: Hansard, 13 April 2021
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