ASH Daily news for 21 September 2015



  • E-cigarette study discussion continues
  • Risk of misuse of e-cigarettes
  • Yorkshire: Campaign to tackle underage smoking among young Muslims
  • US: Teen girls more likely to smoke if their mothers do
  • Canada: Prizes for small retailers who sell more cigarettes?
  • Zimbabwe: Public smokers to be jailed
  • India: Denied tobacco, youth kills sister

    E-cigarette study discussion continues

    The Observer reports on the recent criticism of PHE’s review of e-cigarettes by two academics.

    The lead author of the review, Ann McNeill, professor of tobacco addiction at King’s College London, has warned that “discouraging smokers from using EC is irresponsible”.

    According to a YouGov poll conducted for ASH, a growing number of smokers are failing to understand the relative risks of smoking versus “vaping” and may, as a result, be put off switching to e-cigarettes. Between 2013 and 2015, the proportion of respondents to the ASH survey who believed electronic cigarettes were as harmful as regular cigarettes increased from 6% to 20%.

    John Moxham, professor of respiratory medicine at King’s College hospital and chair of ASH, said he was concerned by the trend. “I see the harm done by smoking to my patients, many of whom struggle to draw breath because of the damage it has done to their lungs and die prematurely as a result,” Moxham said. “It would be a public health tragedy if smokers were discouraged from switching to electronic cigarettes and vapers were encouraged to go back to smoking because they don’t understand that vaping is a lot less harmful than smoking. That really would cost lives.”

    Source: The Observer – 20 September 2015

    Risk of misuse of e-cigarettes

    E-cigarettes have caused 241 poisoning alerts after people accidentally gave themselves potentially huge overdoses of pure nicotine, the NHS National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) annual report has warned.

    A quarter of the victims were children under five who played with the refill capsules. Others were adults who mistook the nicotine capsules for eyedrop containers while several cases involved capsules releasing concentrated liquid nicotine when they should only have emitted a vapour.

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    – Report 2014/15, National Poisons Information Service

    Source: Sunday Times – 20 September 2015

    Yorkshire: Campaign to tackle underage smoking among young Muslims

    A new campaign to tackle underage smoking among young Muslims in Dewsbury has been launched.

    A series of talks, which aim to deter youngsters from smoking at an early age, is being run by West Yorkshire Police as part of the campaign.

    Kirklees Faith Network Initiative, a community group that promotes religious awareness in schools and mosques, helped organise the sessions.

    Source: Dewsbury Reporter – 19 September 2015

    US: Teen girls more likely to smoke if their mothers do

    Teenage girls are more likely to start smoking if their mums do but they are not more likely to pick up the habit if their dad puffs cigarettes.

    A new study by Columbia University Medical Center also found that teenage boys take up the habit if either parent smokes.

    The study analysed data from 67,000 teenagers and 35,000 parents over a period of eight years in the US. It found teens whose parents smoked had three times the odds of smoking at least one cigarette and nearly twice the odds of getting hooked compared to those whose parents didn’t smoke.

    Daughters were almost four times as likely to be dependent on nicotine when their mothers were smokers but were not affected by fathers’ habit. Sons’ dependence was not affected by either parents habits.

    Source: Irish Sun – 19 September 2015

    Canada: Prizes for small retailers who sell more cigarettes?

    Convenience store owners are lured by prizes and bonuses offered by tobacco companies to sell more of their products, according to the Journal de Montreal.

    The Journal reports that despite tobacco companies keeping the legal practice a secret it is in possession of a copy of the rewards program. The more cigarettes merchants sell, the more chances they get to win trips or get rebates on cartons of cigarettes; for example JTI Macdonald had a contest for a luxury yacht trip to the Bahamas and each carton of cigarettes of a particular brand sold meant two eligible draws.

    Source: CJAD – 16 September 2015

    Zimbabwe: Public smokers to be jailed

    Smoking in public will attract a fine of $500 or six months in jail after the country aligned the Public Health Act on Tobacco Control Regulation 264 of 2001 with the World Health Organisation statutes, an official has said.

    The deputy director Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Mrs Docas Sithole, said Zimbabwe became an affiliate member of WHO on Tobacco Control in March this year and some of the prerequisites were to align the tobacco control policies with the international treaty’s regulations.

    Source: Harare24 – 20 September 2015

    India: Denied tobacco, youth kills sister

    A man strangled his sister and later committed suicide in Dabri after an apparent argument over him not being allowed to have chewing tobacco. The family told police that he was suffering from tuberculosis and schizophrenia and was being treated at a government hospital in southwest Delhi.

    Police said that 24-year-old Neelam’s body was found inside a bed box while her brother, 21-year-old Deepak Kumar, was found hanging from a beam on the staircase leading to the terrace.

    Source: Times of India – 21 September 2015