ASH Daily News 12 October 2017



UK

  • House of Lords debates smoking on Love Island
  • Booker Group revenues rise despite sharp drop in tobacco sales
  • Heat-not-Burn devices receiving increased attention

International

  • USA: Smokers with high psychological distress are smoking less and more are trying to quit
  • Australia: Indigenous smoking deaths on the rise despite number of smokers reducing
  • Thailand bans smoking on 20 popular tourist beaches

 

UK

House of Lords debates smoking on Love Island

ITV reality TV show Love Island has been accused of glamourising smoking among young people, by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Storey, as he questioned the Government on whether it planned to strengthen Ofcom’s broadcasting code.

Lord Storey questioned Conservative Minister, Lord Ashton, saying “I don’t know if he’s a regular watcher of Love Island but if you were to look at the ITV website it describes Love Island as an ’emotional feast of love and passion in the sun’.” Lord Storey pointed out that the show was explicitly aimed at young people, and that contestants were regularly seen smoking.

In response, the Culture Minister said that this was ‘a matter for Ofcom.’

See also: They Work For You

Source: BBC Newsbeat, 11 October 2017
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Booker Group revenues rise despite sharp drop in tobacco sales

In the six months following the implementation of new tobacco control legislation, the wholesaler Booker Group has seen tobacco sales fall sharply. At the same time, the wholesaler has reported an increase in overall sales.

Earlier this year, new laws came into effect enforcing standardised packaging and minimum pack sizes for cigarettes in the UK. Booker Group has seen tobacco sales drop by 9% since the legislation.

But this drop has not been calamitous for the business, which has seen overall sales rise year-on-year by 2.5%, with pre-tax profits also increasing.

Source: Financial Times, 12 October 2017
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Heat-not-Burn devices receiving increased attention

A study has found that Google searches about heat-not-burn devices increased vastly over the past two years. Public health charity Action on Smoking and Health has said that due to the tobacco industry’s “long record of deceit over the health risks of smoking”, there’s an “urgent need” for more research into these new devices.

Deborah Arnott has said that, “From what we know so far, it is likely heat-not-burn products are less harmful than smoking, but more harmful than electronic cigarettes. However, unless and until independent evidence shows that these products are substantially less harmful than smoking, they should be regulated in the same way as other tobacco products.

“Fully independent research and assessment will be crucial if heat-not-burn tobacco products are to be accepted as useful in fighting the smoking epidemic.”

See also
Plos One: They’re heating up: Internet search query trends reveal significant public interest in heat-not-burn tobacco products.

Source: The Sun, 11 October 2017
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International

USA: Smokers with high psychological distress are smoking less and more are trying to quit

Those with high levels of psychological distress often smoke more heavily. However, new research has found that over the past two decades this group has smoked progressively fewer cigarettes per day.

The study, by researchers at UC San Francisco, used data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey, from 1997 to 2015. These years have also seen an increase in the number of quit attempts made by this group. Those who experience psychological distress often find it more difficult to quit and to remain smokefree

See also
American Journal of Preventative Medicine: Softening Among U.S. Smokers With Psychological Distress: More Quit Attempts and Lower Consumption as Smoking Drops

Source: Medical Xpress, 11 October 2017
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Australia: Indigenous smoking deaths on the rise despite number of smokers reducing

Though smoking prevalence among the indigenous population in Australia has begun to fall, smoking-related deaths continue to rise. This has been described as “a legacy from when smoking prevalence was at its peak”.

A study at Australian National University found that the number of smoking deaths was likely to keep climbing into the next decade.

In 1994, the rate of smoking among indigenous people stood at more than half the population. This has decreased to 40%, a figure two and a half times higher than the rest of the Australian population.

See also
Public Health Research & Practice: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking epidemic: what stage are we at, and what does it mean?

Source: Medical Xpress, 11 October 2017
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Thailand bans smoking on 20 popular tourist beaches

Smoking is to be prohibited on several popular tourist beaches in Thailand, following concerns over the effect of tobacco-related litter.

A recent survey found that, in the sample area studied, an average of 0.76 cigarette butts were found per square metre. On a 2.5km stretch of beach, this would equate to over 100,000 cigarette butts.

Those caught smoking could receive a fine of around £2,200, or a jail sentence of up to a year.

Source: The Guardian, 11 October 2017
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