A selection of the TSI’s contributions to government policy debate

A selection of the institutes contributions to government policy debate

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) Quality Standards Consultation Smoking: reducing tobacco use in the community

Nice, October 2014 TSI can offer useful data in support of this quality standard, in its annual Tobacco Control Survey, England 2013/14: A report of council trading standards service activity, funded by the Department of Health. The survey and report together provide trend data on levels of activity undertaken by respondents, the survey generating high response rates 98 per cent for the year 2013-14. TSI survey data on the level of activity undertaken by local authority trading standards, in tackling illicit tobacco supply, includes types of illicit product seized, and the quantity. This data is shared routinely with HM Revenue and Customs. Partnership working is vital in this area, but can be difficult to achieve and/or maintain. A 40 per cent cut in the trading standards workforce over the lifetime of this parliament has been a key factor in significantly reduced trading standards activity on underage sales and tobacco control enforcement work in 2013-14. This applies both to the number of trading standards services involved, and the amount of work they can undertake. This lack of capacity means retailers cannot expect training and support from local trading standards, however desirable this would be. Resources to assist retailers include Business Companion, which provides free impartial guidance. Although shops are a declining source of tobacco for 11 to 15-year-olds, data for the 16-17 age range may reveal a different picture. TSI would like to know whether reference to tobacco is only for cigarettes, or includes shisha. Reliable intelligence is particularly important for conducting test purchase operations, since the publication of the Better Regulation Delivery Office code of practice on age-restricted products and services. However, there is no specific offence of persistent sale of tobacco to people aged under 18 years; where repeated illegal sales are made, the appropriate sanction available is a restricted sale and/or restricted premises order. Where possible, TSI believes campaigns should be replicable across local authority areas/regions to maximise the use of limited resources, and should support any national campaigns. Sharing intelligence between organisations is also vital, but is often hindered by organisational protocol. Practical solutions to this should be developed nationally. The need for court authorisation under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 creates an additional step in the enforcement process. TSI does not support the inclusion of the statement: In addition, because many of these products are made from unregulated materials the health consequences for people who smoke them can be acute. This can only be proved by costly testing of each illicit product, which is not undertaken routinely for seized products, and it implies that the health consequences for people who smoke genuine tobacco products are less harmful, which is not true. Lead officer: Sandy Driskell, TSI information officer For more details, and to contribute to consultations such as these, Credits Published You might also like Images: Oramstock / Alamy, Tuesday 24 March, 2015 Consultations March 2015 scyther5 / shutterstock To share this page, click on in the toolbar

Consultation on introducing a minimum age of sale for nicotine inhaling products

Department of Health and Welsh government, January 2015 TSI broadly supports the definition of nicotine inhaling products as any device intended to enable nicotine to be inhaled through a mouthpiece. But the institute is concerned about the potential for products designed for nicotine to be inhaled through the nose, which would then not be subject to these proposed regulations. With dual use refillable devices readily available on the market, TSI is pleased to note the intention to cover such products. However, guidance for businesses will need to make clear that anything capable of being used as a nicotine-inhaling device will be deemed to be such a device whether or not supplied as such when purchased. TSI supports the proposals to exempt products authorised as medicines for use in smoking cessation or harm reduction by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, either on prescription or on general sale. While supporting the proposal to make local authority trading standards officers (TSOs) responsible for enforcing the proposed regulations, in order to achieve a consistent approach to age-restricted products, TSI is concerned that TSOs, whose staffing levels have fallen by approximately 45 per cent since 2009, already enforce more than 250 pieces of legislation of which tobacco control is a small but important part and will be further tasked with enforcing this new legislation. The institute therefore urges the government both to acknowledge the vital role local authority TSOs will play in the successful implementation and future compliance monitoring of these (and other tobacco control) regulations, and to recognise that, without continued investment in appropriate levels of support, this will be a significant challenge to local authority trading standards services, given their reduced resources and other enforcement responsibilities. A number of other concerns were also listed in this consultation response, including details and conclusions of research commissioned by Public Health England in 2014, on which the response is based. Lead officers: Jane MacGregor and Brandon Cook For more details, and to contribute to consultations such as these, visit www.tradingstandards.gov.uk