ASH Daily News 17 August 2017



UK

  • NHS smoking cessation services see continued decline in patient take-up
  • NHS cuts are stripping basic medicines from the poor
  • Vaping ads promoting healthier lifestyles may break advertising rules
  • Doncaster: Man sentenced over illegal tobacco
  • Manchester: More parks go smokefree

International

  • USA: Study finds daily e-cigarette users had highest rates of quitting smoking
  • Thailand: Travellers unaware of vaping ban

 

UK

NHS smoking cessation services see continued decline in patient take-up

The number of people accessing NHS Stop Smoking Services fell for the fifth consecutive year in 2016/17.

NHS Digital’s annual smoking cessation report said there was a 15% drop in the number of patients setting a quit date, to 307,507, compared with the previous year.

The number of people who successfully quit smoking with the help of NHS services also declined, by 16%, to 155,875. This meant the self-reported quit rate remained stable at around 51% of service users, the report added.

Comment
Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy, ASH: “The reduction in people using stop smoking services is disappointing. Despite impressive ambitions in the Government’s recently published Tobacco Control Plan these highly successful services have been left under-funded. The Government must put its money where its mouth is and provide proper investment to local authorities to fund these services.”

See also:
NHS Digital Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services: England, April 2016 to March 2017

Source: Pulse Today, 17 August 2017
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NHS cuts are stripping basic medicines from the poor

The NHS has been ordered to cut £22bn by 2020 – but there is no national instruction as to what. Prof Azeem Majeed, head of primary care and public health at Imperial College and a Lambeth GP, has written in the British Medical Journal on the latest withdrawal of a service: many clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), including his own, are banning GPs from prescribing anything that can be bought over the counter. Bristol, Lincolnshire, Dudley, Telford and Essex are among many others issuing the same edict.

At first glance it makes sense not to prescribe what most people can get for themselves, until you consider poorer patients who can’t afford the 22 drugs now banned for prescribing. Majeed says “Low-income families often can’t afford ibuprofen, or gluten-free products for coeliac disease sufferers. A single mother on low pay with two children can’t afford the £10 it would cost for nit treatment.”

Editorial note: NRT is not included on the list of drugs banned.

Source: The Guardian, 17 August 2017
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Vaping ads promoting healthier lifestyles may break advertising rules

The UK’s advertising watchdog has cautioned that there is legal complexity around advertising rules and vaping.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today upheld an anonymous complaint made about an advert for an e-cigarette shop Vape Station, in the magazine The Journal. An ASA spokesman stated, “It’s still a legal minefield, but watch this space,” adding that the ASA would likely consult on clearing up the issue.

Source: The Register, 16 August 2017
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Doncaster: Man sentenced over illegal tobacco

A retired Doncaster man has been sentenced after being caught with smuggled tobacco worth more than £230,000 in evaded tax.

He admitted excise duty evasion at Derby Crown Court on 12 July and was sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and eight days rehabilitation, at the same court on 14 August.

Source: ITV, 16 August 2017
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Manchester: More parks go smokefree

A city ordinance for Manchester parks to go smokefree will now also be enforced at Pulaski, Bronstein, Victory, and Veterans parks.

The ban, which passed easily with only one vote against it, is a modified version of the original proposal. City leaders said the ban will remain in effect for six months, at which point they will reassess to see how well the ordinance is working.

Source: NewsyUK, 16 August 2017
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International

USA: Study finds daily e-cigarette users had highest rates of quitting smoking

Among U.S. adults who were established smokers in the past five years, those who use e-cigarettes daily were significantly more likely to have quit cigarettes compared to those who have never tried e-cigarettes, a US study has found.

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Rutgers School of Public Health found that over half of daily e-cigarette users had quit smoking in the past five years, compared to just 28% of adults who had never tried e-cigarettes. This is one of the first studies to reveal the patterns of cessation prevalence among e-cigarette users at a national level.

See also:
Addictive Behaviors: Prevalence of population smoking cessation by electronic cigarette use status in a national sample of recent smokers

Source: EurekAlert, 16 August 2017
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Thailand: Travellers unaware of vaping ban

A travel agent is urging others to tell their customers not to vape in Thailand as they could face up to 10 years in prison.

Pat Waterton, manager at Langley Travel, said she was previously unaware of the ban. She only learnt of the law when her nephew was forced to pay £125 as an on-the-spot fine after being threatened with jail for using an e-cigarette in Bangkok.

Source: The Independent, 15 August 2017
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