Smokefree Third Level Campuses could be the norm in Ireland

 

9th November, 2016: ASH Ireland today (Wednesday) organised a seminar at the Royal College of

Physicians, Dublin to explore ways of expanding Ireland’s smokefree third level campus sector.

 

Both Westport College and Athlone IT are already campus smokefree and both UCD and Trinity

College have commenced the ‘going smokefree’ process. Representatives of the third level sector

attended the seminar from all around the country with presentations from, Westport College,

Athlone IT, Trinity College and UCD.

 

Speaking at the seminar this morning, Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland said, “This

seminar is building on the decisions already taken by Westport College and Athlone IT to implement

a smokefree campus policy.

 

“We want to encourage and assist other colleges in pursuing a ‘smokefree campus’ policy. In the

United States over 1700 third level colleges have gone smokefree and will remarkable success.

 

“Ireland has been a world leader in the fight against tobacco for well over a decade and we now

have an opportunity to take the lead in Europe with this initiative. Denormalisation is a key issue in

the fight against introducing a ‘smokefree policy’ in key locations is key factor reducing smoking

prevalence. We must also remember that tobacco waste is our biggest urban waste, so smokefree

campuses will reduce cost and create a much healthier environment for all.”

 

Also speaking at the seminar today, were Micheál Martin, TD, who as Minister for Health introduced

the workplace smoking ban; anti tobacco campaigner Professor Luke Clancy and Martin Murphy,

Stadium Director at the smokefree Aviva Stadium.

 

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD commented, “The Smoking Ban still stands as an example of

what legislators can achieve for public health if we do the ground work, explain what we’re doing to

the public and then face down the vested interests.

 

“However, one important thing we need to guard against is any sense that the smoking ban was any

sort of an end point in the battle against tobacco.  It was an important breakthrough, but the

tobacco industry continues to work very hard and spend huge sums of money to find new

customers, and develop new ways to get those customers hooked on consuming their products.

 

“All those of us in politics who are interested in developing public health need to remain vigilant.  I

am particularly grateful to the team at ASH for their work in keeping these issues at the forefront of

debate and I look forward to working with them into the future to help Ireland keep leading the way

in the battle against tobacco.”

 

Today’s seminar is in keeping with ASH Ireland’s specific aims that direct its work towards the impact

of disease, disability and death caused by tobacco use in Ireland. This work is especially important as

Ireland moves toward the target date of 2025 for Ireland to become tobacco free.

 

Available for further comment and interview: Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman.

 

 

 

ASH Ireland welcomes European Commission decision not to renew or extend the controversial agreement with tobacco multinational Philip Morris International (PMI) on tackling the illicit tobacco trade.

07/07/2016

ASH Ireland welcomes yesterday’s (Wednesday) decision of the European Commission to reject renewal or extension of the PMI Agreement with the EU, beyond its current date of expiry – July 9, 2016.

The decision sets a milestone in the fight against illicit tobacco trade. It facilitates the allocation of resources and efforts for implementing more adequate measures as the set out in the global W.H.O. Protocol on eliminating the illicit trade in tobacco.

The PMI Agreement was signed 12 years ago, after the EU brought legal proceedings against the tobacco company for cigarette smuggling. It was intended to end PMI’s complicity in illicit tobacco trade, and introduced annual payments to the EU and its Member States, as well as fines when genuine PMI products were seized in illicit channels.

It was the first of four similar agreements signed with each of the major tobacco companies. After the Commission released a Technical Assessment on the January 24, 2016, which showed `no direct causality` between the PMI Agreement and decreasing numbers of PMI illicit cigarettes, the European Parliament also voiced its opinion, voting for a resolution against any renewal or extension on the  March 9, 2016. It is now clear to all involved in the fight against smoking that the tobacco industry must have no role in self monitoring an industry, which is essentially about profit and the marketing of a product which kills 50% of its users.

ASH Ireland made representations on this specific matter earlier this year on this matter to all Irish MEPs who supported the termination of the PMI agreement.

 

ASH Ireland Chairman meets with Health Ministers

Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland met with Minister for Health, Simon Harris and Minister of State Marcella Corcoran Kennedy at Government Buildings yesterday (Thursday) to discuss a range of tobacco related issues.

ASH Ireland looks forward to a productive working relationship with both Ministers into the future.

Below is the Press Release issued by the Department after the meeting:

Press Release issued by Department of Health, June 2, 2016

Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Minister of State for Health Promotion and Minister Simon Harris, Minister for Health, met with representatives of ASH Ireland today.

Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Minister of State for Health Promotion and Minister Simon Harris, Minister for Health, met with representatives of ASH Ireland today.

At the meeting, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to implementing Government Policy on tobacco, Tobacco Free Ireland.

“Given that approximately 5,870 people die annually from tobacco-related diseases in Ireland, we are committed to continuing to reduce the numbers of people smoking in Ireland,” said Minister Corcoran Kennedy.

“Ireland has been a world leader in relation to tobacco control as well as in our support for public educational campaigns such as the HSE’s influential QUIT Campaign. In place since June 2011, the QUIT campaign has prompted over 600,000 quit attempts and provided support to many thousands of quitters. This hugely successful campaign is complementary to the Government’s policy of a Tobacco Free Ireland by 2025, a policy I look forward to further implementing during my time as Minister of State for Health Promotion.”

ASH Ireland and the Ministers discussed a number of issues including the future introduction of standardised packaging for tobacco, the recent introduction of the Tobacco Products Directive in Ireland, advertising and awareness campaigns and the role of the increased price of tobacco in deterring people from smoking.

“I look forward to working closely with ASH Ireland and other NGOs in our national effort to move towards a tobacco free Ireland,” said Minister Corcoran Kennedy.

//ENDS

Plain Packaging a worldwide issue on World NO Tobacco Day 2016 (31st May)

Statement from ASH Ireland, 30th May 2016

Plain Packaging a worldwide issue on World NO Tobacco Day 2016 (31st May)

In recognition of World No Tobacco Day 2016 (31st May) the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) has asked countries all around the world to focus on the introduction of plain packaging of tobacco.

Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland said today: “We strongly urge the Government to prioritise the roll-out of this legislation in Ireland. The relevant Bill has been published and the legislation was due to come into effect on the 20th of May. This delay causes some concern as the tobacco industry had made its intentions clear – it will do everything possible to thwart this health legislation”

Dr Doorley continued:  “A significant body of evidence, primarily from Australia, now totally justifies and supports the introduction of plain packaging. A review published in Australia in early March found that the implementation of plain packaging legislation ‘has begun to achieve its public health objectives of reducing smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke in Australia, and it is expected to continue to do so into the future’. This comprehensive study was based pre-implementation experimental studies, post-implementation behavioural studies and the recent declines in smoking prevalence and consumption in Australia.”

The main aims of plain packaging legislation are to:

– Reduce the attractiveness of tobacco products;
– Eliminate the effects of tobacco packaging as a form of advertising and
promotion;
– address package design techniques, which may suggest that some products are
less harmful than others;
–       Increase the noticeability and effectiveness of health warnings.

Dr Doorley continued: “It is well established that the tobacco industry spend billions of euro annually on sponsorship, advertising and promotion of its lethal product – and pack design is central to the success of this massive drive to market and sell a product that kills 1 in 2 of its users. Plain packaging legislation combined with other measures will reduce prevalence and save lives. Close to 6,000 of our citizens die each year from smoking related disease and we must continue to everything possible to reduce this dreadful statistic.”

For media queries contact: ASH Ireland  – 0818 – 305055
Young Communications  – 087 2471520

(Interviews: Dr Patrick Doorley is available for interview)

Note to Editors 1:

The Member States of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. In 1987, the World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38, calling for 7 April 1988 to be a “a world no-smoking day.” In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed, calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on 31 May.
•       2016 – Get ready for plain packaging
•       2015 – Stop illicit trade of tobacco products
•       2014 – Raise taxes on tobacco
•       2013 – Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
•       2012 – Tobacco industry interference
•       2011 – The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
•       2010 – Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women
•       2009 – Tobacco health warnings
•       2008 – Tobacco-free youth
•       2007 – Smoke free inside
•       2006 – Tobacco: deadly in any form or disguise
•       2005 – Health professionals against tobacco
•       2004 – Tobacco and poverty, a vicious circle
•       2003 – Tobacco free film, tobacco free fashion
•       2002 – Tobacco free sports
•       2001 – Second-hand smoke kills
•       2000 – Tobacco kills, don’t be duped
•       1999 Leave the pack behind
•       1998 Growing up without tobacco
•       1997 United for a tobacco free world
•       1996 Sport and art without tobacco: play it tobacco free
•       1995 Tobacco costs more than you think
•       1994 Media and tobacco: get the message across
•       1993 Health services: our windows to a tobacco free world
•       1992 Tobacco free workplaces: safer and healthier
•       1991 Public places and transport: better be tobacco free
•       1990 Childhood and youth without tobacco: growing up without tobacco
•       1989 Women and tobacco: the female smoker: at added risk
•       1988 Tobacco or Health: choose health

Note to Editors 2
Specifically what the Oireachtas/Government must do as a matter of urgency:
Apply Part 5 of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016 and amend the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015.

ASH Ireland welcomes Axa decision to ditch tobacco

 

ASH Ireland welcomes the decision by Axa Insurance to dispose of its tobacco industry shares and cease investing in the industry.  This is an important signal for all those involved in the fight against tobacco and also for those who continue to manufacture and market a product that is known to contribute to the death of 1 in 2 of its users.

Interestingly AXA has affirmed in its statement, released today, something that the health sector have been emphasising for decades – “The human cost of tobacco is tragic; its economic cost is huge”

Tragically close to 6000 Irish people lose their lives each year due to the harmful effects of smoking and further thousands are continually endeavoring to cope with tobacco related disease.

It is imperative that our Government continues its efforts to reduce smoking prevalence and in this should have the support of all sectors of society. The drive for profit should never be allowed to take priority over the health of our citizens.

*Media queries to: Wally Young, Young Communications 087-2471520

ASH Ireland –   0818 305055

International Callers:  00 353 818 305055

ASH Ireland warns against undermining the Workplace Smoking Legislation

ASH Ireland would be deeply concerned that any consideration might be given to undermining the Workplace Smoking Legislation.

Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland said this morning, “This is one of the most progressive and successful pieces of health legislation introduced in recent years, and has been replicated by countries all around the world. This pro health legislation has shown the Irish Government as international leaders in the fight against tobacco and nicotine addiction.”Since the introduction of the workplace-smoking ban, prevalence in Ireland has been reduced by close to 10% to 19.5%. This is a remarkable development, which will save lives and massively reduced smoking related illness.  It will also contribute to the reduction of the close to €1bn spend on tobacco related illness annually.This legislation was introduced to protect workers from environmental tobacco smoke, an established carcinogen.

The public support for this legislation has always been over 90% and interestingly over 70% of smokers support this legislation.

The introduction of a ban on smoking in our pubs and restaurants has for the first time in decades allowed people with respiratory diseases, including asthma to socialise in public areas – surely we would never contemplate reversing this.

ASH Ireland would expect that the present Government will now proceed with the introduction of standardized packaging and look for every possible measure to save lives and reduce illness from tobacco related disease.

For media enquiries contact ASH Ireland at 0818 305055. International Callers:  00 353 818 305055

Or contact: Wally Young, Young Communications 087-2471520

 

ASH Ireland welcomes European Court of Justice decision against Big Tobacco

ASH Ireland welcomes the decision by the European Court of Justice today (Wednesday, May 4), to reject all three challenges brought forward by the tobacco industry against the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

The charges posed by Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco seeking to invalidate TPD as a whole, or various provisions of the Directive, were rejected along with the Polish state’s challenges on the ban on menthol flavours in cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco.

A third challenge brought by an electronic cigarette maker regarding the Directive’s provisions on e-cigarettes was also rejected by the Court.

Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman ASH Ireland said: “The decision to reject all three challenges by the tobacco industry by the European Court of Justice is to be welcomed.
“It is vitally important that the tobacco industry does not unduly influence legislation, and it is also very significant that this decision by the European Court of Justice means that the legal challenge cannot be taken any further and the TPD will take effect on May 20, as originally intended,” added Dr. Doorley.

Dr Doorley concluded, “Close to 6,000 Irish people die from the effects of tobacco related disease each year – with close to 600,000 dying within the EU for the same reason. These are dreadful statistics and the EU with the support of national governments must do everything possible at European level to fight the scourge of nicotine addiction and the multiplicity of health related issues.”

For media enquiries contact ASH Ireland at 0818 305055. International Callers:  00 353 818 305055

Or contact: Wally Young, Young Communications 087-2471520

For further information please refer to the European Court of Justice press
release:
http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2016-05/cp160048en.pdf

Read more here:
http://www.euronews.com/business-newswires/3188945-eus-highest-court-upholds-new-restrictive-law-on-cigarettes/

 

 

Employers should consider organising smoking cessation programmes

ASH Ireland welcomes research published by the Department of Health earlier today, which give a clear and irrefutable overview of the economic cost of smoking in Ireland. (The research was conducted by ICF International (UK) in association with DKM Economic Consultants, Ireland).

Speaking after the publication of the research today, Dr Patrick Doorley, Chairman of ASH Ireland said, “ASH Ireland welcomes this vitally important research as it give us a clear picture of the significant economic downside to smoking on the individual and on society in general. Tragically we learn that some 5870 Irish citizens die each year because of smoking – a significant increase on the earlier estimate of 5,200.”

Dr Doorley continued, “The research also highlights the major economic loss due to smoking breaks and absence due to smoking related disease. The research confirms a productivity loss of €136 million due to smoking breaks and a loss of €224 million attributed to absence associated with smoking related illness. These figures highlight the need for employers to consider smoking cessation assistance for employees. There is considerable assistance available and many workers who are addicted to nicotine would value and respond to this offer of assistance – and also the opportunity to tackle the smoking addiction in a supportive and community type setting.

“For the first time we have specific Irish based research which confirms the economic cost of treating tobacco related disease. This is now estimated to be €506 million annually. This is broken down into; Hospital based costs €211m, Primary care costs €256m and Domiciliary care costs €40 million. We can imagine what our heath services could do at this time with an additional €506 million to spend in other vital areas.”

Other key findings from the Report/Research as follows:

Cost of litter

The estimated cost of smoking related litter is €69 million

Loss of welfare:
• The loss of welfare from morbidity relating to smoking is estimated at just under €1.5 billion (€1,355 million)

• The loss of welfare from premature mortality has been estimated at nearly €8 billion (€7,657 million)

For media queries please contact Ash Ireland offices. Tel: 0818 305055

International Callers:  00 353 818 305055. Email: info@ash.ie

Or contact Wally Young on 087-2471520

ASH Ireland welcomes positive news from ‘Post-Implementation Review of Tobacco Plain Packaging in Australia’ 

ASH Ireland welcomes the positive news from the review of the implementation of Tobacco Plain Packaging in Australia, just published today.

 

The review finds that the implementation of plain packaging legislation “has begun to achieve its public health objectives of reducing smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke in Australia and it is expected to continue to do so into the future.” “This conclusion, the report finds,  is reached on the basis of the weight of available evidence, including pre-implementation experimental studies, post-implementation behavioural studies and the recent declines in smoking prevalence and consumption evident in major data sets”.

 

Dr Ross Morgan, Chairman of ASH Ireland said today, “For all of us who have been advocating for the introduction of standardised packaging of tobacco in Ireland; this is very good news. It also provides the Irish Government with definite evidence to show that plain packaging works and will saves lives – and we must now proceed to full implementation here in Ireland”

 

Dr Morgan went on to say, “Tragically smoking kills 5,200 of our citizens every year – and we must continue to take all necessary steps to reduce this dreadful statistic”

 

The Report and its appendices can be found on the Australian Government Office of Best Practice Regulation website at http://ris.dpmc.gov.au/2016/02/26/tobacco-plain-packaging/

 

26 February 2016

 

Ends