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ACOSH Advocacy in Action - 22 April 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of the ACOSH Advocacy in Action e-bulletin for 2021.
We aim to provide topical information on advocacy for tobacco control in Western Australia, Nationally and around the world. Please forward to others who may be interested.
Thank you for your support.Has a colleague forwarded this to you? Subscribe here to receive your own copyThe work of ACOSH is generously supported by Healthway and Lotterywest.

An end to cigarettes? New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation

“New Zealand has announced a suite of proposals aimed at outlawing smoking for the next generation and moving the country closer to its goal of being smoke-free by 2025.

“The plans include the gradual increase of the legal smoking age, which could extend to a ban on the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to anyone born after 2004, making smoking effectively illegal for that generation.

“Also under consideration was a significant reduction in the level of nicotine allowed in tobacco products, prohibiting filters, setting a minimum price for tobacco, and restricting the locations where tobacco and cigarettes can be sold.

“We need a new approach,” Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall said on Thursday, announcing the changes. “About 4,500 New Zealanders die every year from tobacco, and we need to make accelerated progress to be able to reach that goal [of Smokefree 2025]. Business-as-usual without a tobacco control program won’t get us there.”

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Philip Morris’ Secret War against the World Health Organization and tobacco control experts

“Here is an English translation of a piece published on 14 April, 2021 in the French newspaper Le Monde. It is a profile of Derek Yach, the former senior WHO official who played a major role in establishing the global Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (the FCTC). Today Yach leads the Foundation for a Smokefree World, an “independent” organisation entirely funded by Philip Morris International.”

PMI’s Foundation for a Smoke Free World is funneling financial resources to other tobacco industry front groups to undermine evidence-based tobacco control strategies around the globe.

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Guide for Smoke Free Strata Housing in Western Australia

Western Australia’s strata laws have recently undergone significant reform, and changes to the Strata Titles Act 1985 (WA) came into effect on 1 May 2020.

ACOSH and Cancer Council WA have published an updated Guide for Smoke Free Strata Housing in Western Australia. 

The Guide provides resources on how to introduce a non-smoking by-law, with the aim to:

• Increase awareness about the dangers of exposure to second-hand smoke among the strata community;

• Enable tenants, owners and owners’ corporations to increase their skills and confidence to implement non-smoking by-laws in strata-titled properties; and

• Enable Strata Managers to facilitate and support this process.

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State Capture: Nationals’ corporate funders revealed, tobacco giant Phillip Morris a party member

“While Labor stopped taking donations from the tobacco industry in 2004, and the Liberals followed suit a decade later, the Nationals continue to accept donations from the tobacco industry.

“Australian Electoral Commission data shows that since the 1998-99 financial year tobacco giant Philip Morris has donated $613,608 to the Nationals. The company is also a top-tier member of the Nationals, paying a $55,000 membership fee in the 2019-20 financial year.”

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Industry watch: Philip Morris International used the e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) outbreak to market IQOS heated tobacco

“25 July 2021 will mark the second anniversary of the e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) outbreak. The concerns raised and news media attention focused on EVALI created a fertile environment for the tobacco industry to promote their e-cigarette alternatives, but this has not been studied.

“PMI capitalised on EVALI by using an earned news media strategy to market their IQOS brand of heated tobacco for free across scores of news outlets that reached millions of readers. This marks the first known case where a tobacco company used the EVALI outbreak to promote tobacco products. It raises questions about the propriety of PMI’s claims, how regulators should address earned media campaigns, concerns about how earned media can serve covert tobacco industry promotion and the need for tobacco control to invest in surveillance to detect earned media marketing campaigns.”

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Electronic cigarette use and its association with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma-COPD overlap syndrome among never cigarette smokers

“Data from this large nationally representative sample suggest that e-cigarette use is associated with increased odds of self-reported asthma, COPD, and ACOS [asthma-COPD overlap syndrome] among never combustible cigarette smokers. The odds of ACOS were twice as high among e-cigarette users compared with never smokers of conventional cigarettes. The findings from this study suggest the need to further investigate the long-term and short-term health effects of e-cigarette use, since the age of those at risk in our study was 18–24 years.”
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World Health Organization: Tobacco Taxes Save Lives, Money

“The evidence is clear: significant increases in excise taxes that lead to price increases have consistently proven to be the most effective, as well as the most cost-effective, mechanism for reducing tobacco consumption. Despite this undeniable fact, tobacco tax increases remain the least implemented policy in the package of effective tobacco control policies globally. In 2018 only 38 countries, covering 14% of the global population, had sufficiently high tobacco taxes. Tobacco industry interference and their SCARE tactics remains a major stumbling block to significant tax increases. Government resolve and commitment to protect people’s health is needed to counter powerful vested interests long opposed to tobacco taxation reform.

“This manual will guide readers through the necessary steps to create and implement the strongest tobacco taxation policies for their specific countries, including practical pointers on how to navigate through the political process and ensuring the right support for tax policy change.”

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Fresher with flavour: young women smokers’ constructions and experiences of menthol capsule cigarettes and regular cigarettes

“Findings reveal that the perceived fresh and improved taste of menthol and the ability to customise the smoking process positively contributed to young women’s experiences of smoking menthol capsule cigarettes. In particular, menthol capsule flavour cigarettes were constructed by the young women as “fresh”, “light” and “minty”, and “popping” the menthol capsule allowed the young women to personalise their smoking experience.

“…In conclusion, the findings from this study lend support to research urging the banning of menthol capsule cigarettes in an effort to improve public health, as well as provide evidence for the increased legislation of plain tobacco products to include innovative filters in Australia and internationally.”

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Smoking cessation brief advice online training for maternity services

Make Smoking History offers a variety of online training courses which are available for different community and health settings and different professions.

New online training package for maternity health providers NOW AVAILABLE to help GPs, obstetricians, midwives and pharmacists have a simple conversation and provide best practice care so pregnant women and their partners can lead healthier lives for themselves and their babies. Free for WA users.

Originally developed by Quit (nationally-recognised tobacco control peak body) in consultation with Victorian health professionals and other experts, the training has been contextualised for WA professionals in collaboration with Make Smoking History and WA community and health services.

Make Smoking History worked with Quit to bring the training to WA thanks to funding from Department of Health, Healthway and Cancer Council WA.

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Tweet of the week: Tobacco mythbusting – tobacco is not a major driver of foot traffic in low socio-economic small retail stores

“#hotoffthepress @UWAresearch dispelling myth that delis & small stores will ‘go broke’ or ‘lose customers’ if they can’t sell tobacco. Thanks to @HealthwayWA for funding, and @msh_wa research partners,” said Associate Professor Lisa Wood, University of Western Australia.
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Tobacco Control News

Tobacco giant’s stock falls on report of potential new cigarette regulation – 9News.com.au

The Industry Transformation Coalition – Tobacco Tactics, University of Bath

Industry manipulation of pictorial health warning labels in Pakistan – Tobacco Control

How the COVID-19 pandemic impacts tobacco addiction: Changes in smoking behavior and associations with well-being – Addictive Behaviours