ASH Daily News 15 May 2017

  • British Medical Association Manifesto: Public Health
  • County Durham: Health leaders taking action to help pregnant women stop smoking
  • Ireland: Branded tobacco tins ‘are a cynical wheeze to beat law’
  • Indonesia: Indonesians take steps against tobacco companies
  • Switzerland: Study investigates accuracy of e-cigarette liquid labelling


British Medical Association Manifesto: Public Health

According to the British Medical Association (BMA) manifesto for June’s general election, ‘Politicians must take urgent action to improve the health of the population and reverse cuts to public health’.

The BMA calls on all political parties to: work with health professionals to deliver a public health strategy focused on tackling the causes of ill-health over a generation; deliver on the existing commitment to ensure parity of esteem between physical and mental health services; and prioritise measures to tackle the impact of unhealthy food and drink, tobacco and alcohol on the public’s health.

Source: BMA, 11th May 2017

See also: BMA Manifesto
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County Durham: Health leaders taking action to help pregnant women stop smoking

One in four pregnant women in Stockton and Hartlepool are smokers – but local health leaders are doing everything they can to help expectant mums give up the habit.

They recently secured funding to help to further reduce smoking among pregnant women and their families, which will be spent on educational materials and will fund a project worker to work with families to try and offer motivational support.

Pat Marshall, stop smoking service manager at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We know it is difficult for women to stop smoking in pregnancy, but the sooner you can stop smoking, the better.

Source: Gazette Live, 13th May 2017
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Ireland: Branded tobacco tins ‘are a cynical wheeze to beat law’

A tobacco manufacturer is offering cigarettes for sale in durable branded tins, days before plain packaging rules come into force. James Reilly, the former health minister who tabled the plain packaging legislation, described the move by Japan Tobacco International (JTI) as “hugely cynical”.

JTI is offering Benson & Hedges, Mayfair and Camel cigarettes in limited-edition tins. The Mayfair and Benson & Hedges tins follow the branding of a normal packet, while the Camel cigarettes come in a multicoloured design.

Some consumers could transfer cigarettes into tins, but some health experts believe this has a limited potential to undermine the new rules, which will be phased in over a year. Reilly said: “This was always one of the risks — that people would be offered some other form of container to put them in. But plain packaging will have a huge impact. It will inhibit hugely the chances of children taking up smoking, and if that happens, this killer habit will die out.”

Source: The Times, 14th May 2017
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Indonesia: Smoke alarm – Indonesians take tiny steps against Big Tobacco

A neighbourhood in the Indonesian capital has informally declared itself a smokefree zone as students plan further protests against what they see as an increased effort by cigarette companies to target the young.

In eastern Jakarta, a row of at least a dozen houses at the Penas Tanggul neighbourhood were painted with bright colours in March, with a blue banner hung near the entrance declaring it a smokefree zone. Residents there have been encouraged to stop or to avoid smoking “so this neighbourhood will not just be beautiful, but also healthy”, said Nobby Sail Andi Supu, a 22-year-old student who coordinated the programme with a civic group.

More than 200 people, mostly students, held a protest last month to oppose an upcoming industry exhibition of cigarette-making machines in Jakarta and is planning another rally next week, said Manik Marganamahendra, one of the protest organisers. Cigarette companies are targeting young Indonesians with new products such as fruit-flavoured cigarettes, as well as attractive packaging and advertisements, the 20-year-old Marganamahendra said.

Source: Reuters, 13th May 2017
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Switzerland: Study investigates accuracy of e-cigarette liquid labelling

A recent Swiss study sought to assess the accuracy of e-cigarette liquid labelling.

In order to do so, the researchers purchased 18 models from 11 brands of e-liquids on the Internet, in 2013. They then purchased a second sample of the same models 4 months later, before testing for pH level and for the content of various chemicals, including nicotine.

The researchers found that for 82% of the samples, the actual nicotine content was within 10% of the value on the labels.

Source: Science Direct, 10th May 2017
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