ASH Daily News 09 May 2017



  • North East: New data shows benefit of plain packaging
  • Scotland: The importance of mental health to tobacco control
  • East Midlands: Cigarette dropped on doorstep caused Nottingham bar to be evacuated
  • America: Study shows secondhand smoke increases heart disease in unique group of female nonsmokers
  • Australia: E-cigarette companies fined over false claims about toxic chemicals

 

North East: New data shows benefit of plain packaging

With less than a month to go before all tobacco is sold in plain standardised packs, new North East data has revealed the impact of the new style of packs on smokers.

Packs have been appearing in the shops since last summer and now very few non-standardised packs are still available for sale. A major survey in the North East, led by Fresh, a regional tobacco control office, has studied the effect on smokers. Among 1,550 smokers who had seen the packs: 60% thought they looked less attractive; 51% noticed the health warnings more; 29% prompted thoughts about quitting; 29% made them wish they didn’t smoke.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “Standard packs are a landmark public health policy the tobacco industry fought tooth and nail to prevent.”

Source: Berwick Advertiser, 8th May 2017
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Scotland: The importance of mental health to tobacco control

Sheila Duffy, Cheif Executive of ASH Scotland, comments on the importance of mental health to tobacco control:

“This year’s Mental Health Awareness week runs from 8 to 14 May, with a theme of “Thriving or Surviving?” I was especially drawn to the focus on “what steps we can take to look after our mental health, building resilience to cope with the demands of life?” This recognition of the role of resilience goes to the heart of why mental health is so important to ASH Scotland’s work to reduce the harm and inequality caused by smoking.

Most people with mental health issues who smoke say they want to stop, so shouldn’t those people be offered stop-smoking support as quickly and easily as psychotropic medications? We do have work to do in exploring and developing the alternative, less harmful, coping mechanisms that can help people build resilience in the face of their problems.

That kind of discussion takes time, but support staff already have the skills. Smoking is the biggest contributor to people with mental health issues dying 10-20 years earlier than the general population.”

Source: The Scotsman, 9th May 2017
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East Midlands: Cigarette dropped on doorstep caused Nottingham bar to be evacuated

A discarded cigarette outside a Nottingham city centre bar led to it being evacuated.

Upon investigation firefighters located the smoke coming from a smouldering fire underneath a doorstep at the front of the premises. There were no injuries, and minimal damage caused.

A Nottingham City Council spokesman said: “Discarding cigarettes thoughtlessly is not only littering, which can result in a £75 fine, but as this incident shows can also be dangerous.

Source: The Nottingham Post, 8th May 2017
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America: Study shows secondhand smoke increases heart disease in unique group of female nonsmokers

New research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) has found that secondhand smoke tends to have somewhat different effects on men and women. The research, conducted in a Pennsylvania Amish community where virtually no women smoke, found that women who were exposed to secondhand smoke had a greater risk for cardiovascular disease, while men exposed to secondhand smoke tended to have a higher body mass index (BMI).

“The way the Amish live makes them uniquely suited for this kind of study,” says lead investigator Robert M. Reed, MD, UM SOM associate professor of medicine. “They live a lifestyle now that’s very similar to the lifestyle their ancestors lived many generations ago. They have a lot of physical activity, don’t drive, and the different Amish families live more similar lifestyles than do non-Amish populations.”

“The study confirms that even a small amount of secondhand smoke is harmful; it confirms prior findings and extends them by adding to the degree of certainty we have in the harmful associations we are seeing,” says Reed.

See also:
PLOS One Journal: Gender differences in first and secondhand smoke exposure, spirometric lung function and cardiometabolic health in the old order Amish.

Source: Science Daily, 5th May 2017.
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Australia: E-cigarette companies fined over false claims about toxic chemicals

Australia’s competition regulator has become the first in the world to successfully take legal action against e-cigarette companies for making false and misleading claims about the carcinogens in their products.

In separate proceedings the court found each of the companies had claimed their products did not contain harmful carcinogens and toxins, when this was not the case. It also found that the directors of Joystick and Elusion, and the CEO of Social-Lites, were knowingly involved in this deception.

Editorial Note: The level of toxic chemicals inhaled through e-cigarettes is significantly lower than through smoked tobacco.

Source: The Guardian, 8th May 2017
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