ASH Daily News 1 November 2017



UK

  • Scotland: Cancer death rates 61% higher among poor
  • Scotland: Western Isles quit attempt success rate increases
  • North East: 15,000 suspected illegal cigarettes seized in Newcastle
  • South East: Surrey council accused of hypocrisy over pension fund tobacco investment

International

  • South Korea: Study on mice finds smoking linked to Crohn’s disease
  • USA: New Jersey law raising smoking age to 21 takes effect
  • Japan Tobacco Inc blames new products and tax for drop in sales

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Questions

 

UK

Scotland: Cancer death rates 61% higher among poor

Rates of death caused by cancer are 61% higher in the most deprived areas of Scotland, NHS Scotland figures show.

A new report states that cancers that were associated with smoking “tended to be strongly correlated with deprivation”. In the least affluent areas, rates of lung, bronchus and trachea cancer were three times higher than in the most affluent areas.

In the ten years to 2016, the rate of death caused by lung cancer dropped 23% in men and 6% in women, following “historical trends in the prevalence of smoking.”

See also
NHS Scotland: Cancer Mortality

Source: BBC, 31 October 2017
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Scotland: Western Isles quit attempt success rate increases

The success rate of quit attempts in the Western Isles has increased, with the percentage of successful attempts at 12 weeks hitting 55%. This figure is significantly higher than the average across Scotland.

Joanne O’Donnell, Smoking Cessation Coordinator, said: “Smokefree Hebrides are committed to supporting smokers to quit. Our service offers an open door policy to all those who would like to receive support to quit smoking. We provide free, confidential advice, help, and support across the Islands and can offer face-to-face contact, telephone, texting and e-mail services. It is our intention to introduce an ‘Attend Anywhere’ remote access facility and further detail on this can be provided by contacting any of our advisors.”

Source: Stornoway Gazette, 31 October 2017
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North East: 15,000 suspected illegal cigarettes seized in Newcastle

Officers from Trading Standards have seized around 15,000 cigarettes suspected to be illicit following a sequence of raids.

The raids, part of ‘Operation Beagle’ came as new data from tobacco control office Fresh revealed that over half of 14 and 15 years-olds who smoke buy illicit tobacco.

Source: itv, 31 October 2017
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South East: Surrey council accused of hypocrisy over pension fund tobacco investment

According to Cllr Robert Evans, Surrey County Council is sending “all the wrong messages” due to its pension fund’s investment in the tobacco industry. A written question to the council revealed that the pension fund held £27.3m worth of investment in tobacco companies.

In response, the council cabinet member for property and business services said, “The pension fund has a duty to ensure it acts in the best interests of its past, present and future members – both employees and employers – and also that it acts impartially.”

However, Cllr Evans maintained that the investment conflicted with the council’s support of tobacco control and of stop smoking campaign Stoptober.

Source: Get Surrey, 31 October 2017
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International

South Korea: Study on mice finds smoking linked to Crohn’s disease

A study by South Korean scientists has found that smoking could cause Crohn’s disease, a condition affecting the digestive system.

The study exposed mice to cigarette smoke, finding that compared with a control group those exposed to cigarette smoke showed inflammation of the bowels, as well as other symptoms.

See more
Frontiers in Immunology: Cigarette Smoking Triggers Colitis by IFN-γ+ CD4+ T Cells

Source: Mirror, 31 October 2017
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USA: New Jersey law raising smoking age to 21 takes effect

Legislation raising the legal age for sale of tobacco to 21 will take effect from today in New Jersey, making it the third state to make such a move.

Other states where the legal age is 21 are California and Hawaii.

Democratic Senator Vitale said making it more difficult to buy cigarettes “will help prevent our youth from becoming lifelong smokers and suffering the long-term effects of the habit.”

Source: The State, 1 November 2017
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Japan Tobacco Inc blames new products and tax for drop in sales

Japan Tobacco has said it expects to sell 92 billion cigarettes in Japan in 2017, down over 13% from last year, as proposed tax increases and new products take their effect.

Japan Tobacco’s executive vice president, Hideki Miyazaki, told reporters, “When there are media reports of tax, some people think it’s time to quit”. In addition, some believe Japan Tobacco is behind Philip Morris International in taking advantage of e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products.

Source: Reuters, 1 November 2017
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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary Questions

PQ: International status of healthier living
Jim Shannon, Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to improve the UK’s relative international status for healthier living.

Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
The Department has taken a number of steps to improve the health of the population. This includes action at the national level, such as our world-leading programme to combat childhood obesity, implementation of one of the most comprehensive vaccination programmes in the world and the publication of the new Tobacco Control Plan for England in July 2017. The latter sets out a range of commitments which aim to deliver significant further reductions in smoking prevalence by 2022, as part of a long-term goal to create a smokefree generation.

The Government also charges Public Health England through its annual remit letter to take steps to tackle major public health issues and thereby promote healthier living. At the local level local authorities have the role of improving the health of their populations, backed by £16 billion funding over the Spending Review period. The United Kingdom performs well on a number of public health indicators; for example, adult smoking rates in the UK are down to their lowest levels at just below 16% in 2016 and are one of the lowest in Europe, whilst by 2014 late diagnosis among newly diagnosed HIV cases in the UK had fallen to 22%, significantly better than the EU21 average of 27%.

Source: HC Deb, 31 October 2017, cW
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