(Vaping360) (Vaping360)
January 2017
Happy New Year 2017! (Vaping360)
The ENSP Board and Secretariat would like to thank all our members, partners and stakeholders for your contribution to a fruitful and highly productive year in tobacco control. We have come a long way but there is still so much to do. With your tireless effort and ongoing support every single day, wherever you are, we are convinced that together, we will be able to climb even higher mountains and tackle more aggressive opponents.

We wish everyone a very happy New Year 2017 and look forward to working even closer with all of you in reducing tobacco consumption to create a smokefree Europe.
ENSP International Conference on Tobacco Control 2017
Athens, 24-26 May

Registration and Abstract Submission now open (Vaping360)
Join ENSP for the International Conference on Tobacco Control 2017 - Bridging the Gap between Science and policy for better tobacco control strategies in Athens on 24, 25 and 26 May 2017. The conference will gather ENSP members, experts and advocates in the field of tobacco control for three days of in-depth presentations and discussions. Conference topics include the FCTC Article 20 on Research, Surveillance and Exchange of Information and its translation into strong policy decisions, FCTC Article 14 on Smoking Cessation as well as national implementation of the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

Submission of abstracts for oral presentations, parallel and poster sessions is now open. Deadline to send your abstract online: 15 February 2017. Please note there will be no extension to the deadline.

"The ABC to lead actions on Chronic Respiratory Diseases in Europe"
Event and free CO breath test at the European Parliament, Brussels (Vaping360) (Vaping360) (Vaping360) (Vaping360)
On 11 January, ENSP and organising partners, EFA, ERS and EAACI, held the event "Act. Believe. Care. The ABC to taking action on chronic respiratory diseases" followed by free CO breath tests in the European Parliament, Brussels.

The event was the final milestone in the #BreatheMission campaign for signing the Written Declaration on Chronic Respiratory Diseases, which calls for better prevention, access and research in chronic respiratory diseases in Europe.

Presenters addressed the need for focusing on chronic respiratory diseases by means of the written declaration, the impact of investments in major chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and COPD, on sustainable healthcare, as well as the European Commission's research priorities in the field. MEP Karin Kadenbach (S&D) highlighted the need to value and promote legislation on chronic respiratory diseases and promised to work hard on gaining momentum for the topic in the course of 2017.

You can help to get the Written Declaration signed by sharing it with your national MEPs and among your networks until 24 January 2017. Read more about the campaign and see which MEPs have already signed.

'Hybrid tobacco products (e.g. IQOS) should be treated with caution’
EU Health Commissioner Andriukaitis addresses the issue of
“Heated-Not-Burnt” products (Vaping360)

Hybrid tobacco products are on the rise in Europe and globally. The heated-not-burnt product IQOS, manufactured by Phillip Morris International, has been launched in Japan, Italy, Switzerland and since November 2016 also in the UK. Similar products already exist on the market (iFuse by BAT, Ploom by JTI, Revo by Reynolds American), and are expected in 2017 to be re-launched.

In his answer to a written question from Member of the European Parliament Frédérique Ries (ALDE), EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, underlines that the new products should be treated with caution as their impact on health is yet unknown. He notes that the products should be treated as regular tobacco products under the Tobacco Products Directive:

“…with regard to the sale, presentation and manufacturing of [new tobacco products, including “heated not burned” tobacco products] within the European Union, the relevant provisions of the Tobacco Products Directive [1] apply and should be enforced.”

European Commission holds Stakeholder Workshop on
Traceability and Security Features
On 12 December, the European Commission held a Stakeholder Workshop on Traceability and Security Features concerning the implementation of an EU system for traceability and security features pursuant to Articles 15 and 16 of the Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU.

Over 84 participants were present at the workshop, representing NGOs, the Tobacco Industry, Tracing system companies, Professional Associations and the European Commission. The tobacco industry and related organisations were strongly represented, with 23 organisations, against only 7 tobacco control organisations.

Main discussions of the meeting concerned the technical and governmental provisions of a system of traceability and security features, including the governance model, data storage model, allowance of data carriers, allowed delays in reporting events and methods of adding a security feature.

Unsurprisingly, the tobacco industry defended the industry-controlled governance model, while ENSP, other tobacco control organisations and tracing companies were in favour of the third party operated solution, based on the requirements of FCTC compliance and the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. No organisation supported the third solution, which suggests a mixed control by the industry and a third party.

The Workshop allowed Stakeholders to express their opinions face-to-face following the online Public Consultation, closed on 4 November 2016. A few days after this event, the European Commission organised a very similar workshop, inviting only European Member State representatives to a consultation meeting in Brussels. Official minutes from both meetings should be available on the European Commission website shortly.
TOB.g project allowed sixty Greek midwives to be trained on smoking cessation (Vaping360) (Vaping360)

On 15 October 2016, the TOB.g Project (Tobacco Cessation Guidelines), held a successful 1-day workshop “Smoking Cessation during Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period” with the participation of almost 60 midwives in Athens, Greece.

The purpose of the training was to improve attitudes and knowledge of midwives and to provide them with the necessary skills in order to provide smoking cessation intervention to pregnant women who smoke. The training included an overview of the TOB.g guidelines and recommendations including a review of the health risks of tobacco use to foetuses and new borns, issues affecting ability and motivation to quit in woman smokers and best practices for supporting cessation. The trainers further shared best practice techniques for advising pregnant women who smoke to quit and built attendees’ skills in motivational interviewing using case studies and role play activities. (Vaping360)
TOB.g project aims to develop and implement an innovative and cost effective approach to prevent chronic diseases related to tobacco dependence. The specialized guidelines for high risks groups are being developed according to ENSP’s evidence based and good practices in tobacco cessation. High risk populations are considered those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases, COPD, type 2 diabetes, adolescents & pregnant women.
France: Plain packaging mandatory as of 1 January 2017
As of 1 January 2017, the French tobacconists are no longer allowed to sell tobacco products that are in not in plain pakaging. The French plain packaging measure was adopted on December 2015 in the loi Santé de 2015 and ratified by the Constitutional Council on 21 January 2016 with deadline for implementation on 20 May 2016.

Plain packaging has been implemented in Australia and France, with Ireland and the UK to follow suit in 2017.
Ukraine increases tobacco taxes by 40% to decrease tobacco consumption and increase budget revenue
On 20 December 2016 the Ukrainian parliament supported the amendments to the Tax Code that increases the specific tobacco tax by 40% starting from 1 January 2017. This has become the third year that Ukraine raises tobacco taxes by 40% urging the tobacco corporations to spend billions to keep the prices low and support the consumption level. Experts are sure that at least 10% of the domestic tobacco market reduction will be seen in 2017 in Ukraine and that tobacco taxes will generate no less than 40 bln UAH ($1.4 bln) in 2017, which is 7 bln UAH more than in 2016.

Thus, a pack of cheap cigarettes will cost up to 20 UAH ($0.74) and expensive cigarettes up to 40 UAH ($1.5), which is a considerable growth of prices by $0,2– $0,3 per pack.

Andriy Skipalskyi, head of the board of Advocacy Center “Life”, comments:

“This time MPs failed to support the parallel increase of the ad valorem tax, as proposed by the Ministry of Finances, because of the tobacco industry interference into the Tax and Customs Committee. An increase of the ad valorem tax could bring additional 2 bln UAH of revenues to the state budget in 2017. Nevertheless 40% increase of the specific tobacco tax is a considerable move towards the reduction of the cigarettes’ affordability.”

Read more..

Belgian Minister of Finance proposes decrease in excise taxes on tobacco
On 9 January, Belgian Minister of Finance, Johan Van Overtveldt, proposed to decrease the federal excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, arguing that the decrease would help to balance out the federal budget. The measure was proposed in response to an announcement by cigarette producers and importers in Belgium and Luxembourg who claimed to have lost 151 million euro in profit compared to estimations made for 2016.
The proposal was however refused by Minister of the Environment, Marie-Christine Marghem and Minister of Health, Maggie De Block. Mrs De Block noted that from a public health point of view she could not agree with the proposal. On 10 January, Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, confirmed that discussions on the issue will not take place before the next budgetary control, particularly in regards to excise duties on tobacco.

Read more [French]..
Evidence-based tobacco control interventions have economic and
public health benefits (Vaping360)

On 10 January, the National Cancer Institute and the World Health Organisation has published the comprehensive monograph “The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control”.

Topics covered in the monograph include:

  • Patterns of tobacco use by time, region, and country income group
  • The economic costs of tobacco use, including health care costs and lost productivity
  • The impact of tax and price on demand for tobacco products
In 17 chapters, the monograph presents extensive new evidence from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and highlights the unique challenges of implementing tobacco control measures in these countries. It examines global tobacco control efforts since the 2003 adoption and 2005 entry into force of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and discusses new infrastructure issues ranging from privatization to trade liberalization and evolving trends in tobacco use and the tobacco product market.

The research summarized in the monograph confirms that evidence-based tobacco control interventions make sense from an economic as well as a public health standpoint.

Read more..

WHO Tobacco Control Playbook:
Smokefree legislation does not harm the hospitality industry (Vaping360)
WHO's Tobacco Control Playbook developed by its Regional Office for Europe aims to provide a single source of information explaining how tobacco industry players proactively misinform the general public, and offers governments as well as the public health community clear evidence-based responses to their deceptive arguments.
To disseminate this important work carried out by WHO Europe, the Network features each month key arguments from the Playbook of relevance to ENSP members and stakeholders in the tobacco control community. Read more about the positive or neutral effects of smokefree legislation on the hospitality industry:
"Smokefree legislation does not harm the hospitality industry" (Vaping360)
Smokefree legislation has a positive impact on the hospitality industry. Damage to the industry is a myth: rigorous studies have shown that these measures have a positive or neutral effect, discounting industry claims that are mostly based on poorly designed studies . Key arguments for implementing smokefree legislation include:
  • Guidelines for implementation of Article 8 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on protection from exposure to tobacco smoke [17] state that all indoor public places should be completely smokefree. The Guidelines also state that industry-proposed so-called solutions such as partial smoking bans and ventilation systems have repeatedly proven to be ineffective [16].
  • Article 5.3 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control [18] states that the development of public health policy should be protected from the commercial and vested interests of the tobacco industry. This includes the industry’s manipulation of the hospitality sector and use of front groups to delay, dilute or avoid comprehensive smokefree legislation.

Read more about the arguments for pictorial health warnings on Tobacco Control Playbook.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partneship (TTIP):
Empowering the position of the tobacco industry (Vaping360)
To maintain its business activities in spite of governments' reactions against the harm of tobacco consumption, the tobacco industry channels its interests through trade or investment treaties. Among the draft treaties, the tobacco industry is particularly interested in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which has the ambition to create a free-trade and free-investment zone between the United States and the European Union.
A newly published study produced for ENSP outlines the three central elements of the future TTIP and of trade and investment agreements in general, which are potential threats to tobacco control and public health.

Read the full study TTIP: Issues for Tobacco Control
Two pre-doctoral positions for TackSHS and EUREST-PLUS (Vaping360) (Vaping360)
The Tobacco Control Unit (UCT) at the Catalan Institute of Oncology offers two PhD (pre-doctoral) fellow positions under the H2020 (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions) – “LaCaixa” doctoral fellowship programme INPhINIT. Read more here.
Do e-cigarettes really help to quit smoking? (Vaping360)

HORIZON, the EU Research & Innovation Magazine, has recently published a list of Top 10 science facts we liked in 2016. Among topics covered in the list, also the e-cigarette vaping habit was included with serious questioning of the belief that e-cigarettes are an efficient mean for quitting smoking conventional cigarettes. Scientific research has proven that 67% of e-cigarette users start vaping to stop or reduce smoking, and 45% of users did not reduce smoking at all.

Read more about the research done by TackSHS on the effects of second-hand emissions from conventional and e-cigarettes and by EUREST-PLUS on monitoring the implementation of the TPD across Europe, assessing the effects of e-cigarettes on smoking behaviour.

Low-intensity smoking increases mortality (Vaping360)

A recent study by JAMA Internal Medicine finds that low-intensity [fewer than 10 cigarettes per day] smoking over the lifetime was associated with a significantly higher risk of all-cause mortality, including deaths from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease than those who never smoke. Former smokers who had consistently used fewer than 10 cigarettes per day, but who had quit smoking, had progressively lower risks with a younger age at cessation.

The study evaluated a cohort of 290 215 older adults identifying the associations of long-term low intensity smoking with all-cause and cause-specific mortality compared with never smoking cigarettes. The results provide further evidence that there is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke.

Read the full study abstract.
Philip Morris admits to illegal production at unregistered cigarette factory
The Daily Times reports that the multinational cigarette manufacturing company Philip Morris (Pakistan) Ltd has confessed to illegal use of its machinery installed in an unregistered cigarette factory in Buner, Pakistan.
The Pakistani Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation examined the production site revealing that the cigarette production machines found on the site were purchased from M/S Philip Morris (Pakistan) Ltd. The report developed by the Pakistani authorities concluded the that the manufacturing site funcioned as a facilitator for concealed manufacturing for other local cigarette manufacturers. Read the full article. (Vaping360)
New Published Articles

A Dollars and “Sense” Exploration of Vape Shop Spending and E-cigarette Use
Clara G Sears, Joy L Hart, Kandi L Walker, Alexander S Lee, Rachel Keith, S. Lee Ridner

Tobacco Control at Community Colleges: Context and Opportunities
Scott McIntosh, Andrew F. Wall, Tye Johnson, Douglas H. Done, Jordan H. Kurtzman, Duncan Ververs, Deborah J. Ossip

Prevalence and predictors of e-cigarette trial among adolescents in Argentina
Paola Morello, Adriana Perez, Lorena Peña, Paula Lozano, James F. Thrasher, James Sargent, Raul Mejia (Vaping360) (Vaping360)
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