ASH Daily News 14 July 2017



  • Inside Philip Morris’ campaign to subvert the global anti-smoking treaty
  • UK Government releases 2017 Drug Strategy
  • Study shows girls can inherit smoking miscarriage risk
  • Smoking cessation in severe mental ill health: what works?
  • Study: Sinus damage from smoking reverses within a decade after quitting
  • Sussex: ‘We still have a long way to go to reduce number of smoking related deaths’, writes Nus Ghani MP

 

Inside Philip Morris’ campaign to subvert the global anti-smoking treaty

The world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company is deploying its vast resources against international efforts to reduce smoking. Internal documents uncovered by Reuters reveal details of the secret operation.

Reuters has found that Philip Morris International is running a secretive campaign to block or weaken treaty provisions that save millions of lives by curbing tobacco use. Confidential company documents and interviews with current and former Philip Morris employees reveal an offensive that stretches from the Americas to Africa to Asia, from hardscrabble tobacco fields to the halls of political power, in what may be one of the broadest corporate lobbying efforts in existence.

Details of those plans are laid bare in a cache of Philip Morris documents reviewed by Reuters, one of the largest tobacco industry leaks ever. Reuters is publishing a selection of those papers in a searchable repository, The Philip Morris Files.

Source: Reuters, 13 July 2017

Comment from Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health:
“Yet again the appalling hypocrisy and dishonesty of the tobacco industry has been revealed for all to see. On the one hand, Philip Morris executives talk about the end of smoking, and a new world of reduced harm nicotine products. On the other hand, they’re making enormous efforts to subvert and undermine the key world treaty on tobacco control. PMI’s actions make clear that it plans to continue to sell its lethal products to as many people as possible, particularly in developing countries. Nothing this company says about its positive intentions can be taken at face value.”

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UK Government releases 2017 Drug Strategy

The Government has published the 2017 Drug Strategy. The Strategy’s key themes are: prevention, restricting illicit supply, providing recovery support for those dependent on drugs, and driving action on a global scale.

The ‘Rise Above’ digital hub is one of the resources that will be developed as part of the Strategy. This “uses interactive and engaging content to delay and prevent young people from engaging in exploratory behaviours, including smoking.” The Strategy also notes the “move to a smokefree environment across the whole prison estate in England and Wales.”

Additionally, the Strategy notes the high prevalence of smoking among those who misuse alcohol and drugs, stating that “drug treatment services should work with local stop smoking services to offer smoking cessation to all, and harm reduction for people unable or unwilling to quit.”

Source: HM Government, 14 July 2017
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Study shows girls can inherit smoking miscarriage risk

Women exposed to cigarette smoke while in their mothers’ wombs are more likely to experience miscarriage as adults, according to a study.

University of Aberdeen researchers found the link remained even after taking account of the smoking habits of the women themselves who miscarried. Women exposed to cigarette smoke in the womb were also likely to have a pregnancy earlier than those not exposed.

 

See also:
Human Reproduction Open: Effects of maternal smoking on offspring reproductive outcomes: an intergenerational study in the North East of Scotland 

Source: BBC, 13 July 2017
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Smoking cessation in severe mental ill health: what works?

Researchers at the University of York and Northumbria University have undertaken a review of literature on the effectiveness of smoking cessation in severe mental ill health. The study was published in BMC Psychiatry.

People with severe mental ill health are more likely to smoke than those in the general population. It is therefore important that effective smoking cessation strategies are used to help people with severe mental ill health to stop smoking. This study aims to assess the effectiveness and cost–effectiveness of smoking cessation and reduction strategies in adults with severe mental ill health in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Bupropion and varenicline, which have been shown to be effective in the general population, also work for people with severe mental ill health and their use in patients with stable psychiatric conditions. Despite good evidence for the effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions for people with severe mental ill health, the percentage of people with severe mental ill health who smoke remains higher than that for the general population.

Source: BMC Psychiatry, 14 July 2017
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Study: Sinus damage from smoking reverses within a decade after quitting

Smoking can leave the lining of the nose less able to clear mucus. It can also irritate sinus passages, causing swelling and inflammation as well as changes in the healthy mix of bacteria inside the nose.

Researchers assessed the severity of symptoms and medication use among 103 former smokers with Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), which leads to facial pain, poor sleep and trouble breathing due to blocked nasal and sinus passages, and 103 people who had never smoked but also had CRS. They found smokers had worse symptoms and used more antibiotics and oral corticosteroids to treat sinus infections and reduce inflammation than nonsmokers.

But the study also found that symptoms among former smokers improved steadily over a decade.

Source: UPI, 13 July 2017
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Sussex: ‘We still have a long way to go to reduce number of smoking related deaths’, writes Nus Ghani MP

Nus Ghani, MP for Wealdon, has argued for the importance of a new Tobacco Control Plan, and the implementation of the Plan at a local level:

“Last week in the chamber I was pleased that I had the opportunity to ask Steve Brine MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, about the new Tobacco Control Plan and how it will be implemented in rural communities.

Locally, fewer people are smoking but we must contend with the fact that Wealden has the highest number of smoking-related deaths per year within East Sussex as well as an above average incidence of new cancers and cancer related-deaths compared to the rest of England.

Given this, it is vital that the Tobacco Control Plan serves our varied community effectively. Access to support when quitting smoking must be equal regardless of where you live, whether that be a small rural village or a busy market town.”

Source: The Sussex Express, 14 July 2017
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