ASH Daily News 17 November 2017



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UK

  • Why does smoking increase your risk of Multiple Sclerosis?
  • Lessons for landlords in fire and carbon monoxide safety
  • 13 ways to help save money

International

  • US: Investigators compare effects of nicotine with and without menthol on brain and behaviour
  • Japan: Health Ministry to water down proposal on restaurant smoking
  • US: Environmental factors may trigger lupus onset and progression
  • US: How can we help people quit smoking? Pay them

Link of the Week

Webinar – the use of e-cigarettes among people with a mental health condition

 

UK

Why does smoking increase your risk of Multiple Sclerosis?

There is strong evidence that smoking increases your risk of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and that it is bad for both disease activity and long-term disability progression. But why smoking influences MS is unclear.

One explanation is that the chemicals in cigarette smoke alter the tagging and folding of DNA in human cells. A new Swedish study has identified a possible link, suggesting that smoking leads to epigenetic changes, affecting gene expression and facilitating the development of MS.

Source: Multiple Sclerosis Research blog, 16 November 2017

 

Lessons for landlords in fire and carbon monoxide safety

When preparing fire safety assessments, landlords should consider implementing smoking policies, says James King of FireAngel. These policies reduce the risk of smoking related fires. He also suggests landlords consider installing smoking points with safe cigarette disposal facilities, outside of the property.

Source: Building Construction Design, 16 November 2017

 

13 tips to help save money

People wanting to save money should consider their smoking habits, this article in the Evening Standard highlights.

Smoking 15 cigarettes a day costs almost £2,000 over the course of the year. The NHS has a cost of smoking tool that can help smokers to quit.

Source: Evening Standard, 16 November 2017

 

International

US: Investigators compare effects of nicotine with and without menthol on brain and behaviour

A new study from UMass Medical School has explored the link between mentholated tobacco and nicotine addiction. They found that menthol administered with nicotine alters connectivity patterns in an area of the brain associated with drug reward and addiction, resulting in behavioural changes.

The findings of the study suggest that menthol combined with nicotine contributes to addictive behaviours. Guillaume Poirier, PhD, co-author of the study, concludes: “Menthol may be considered a psychoactive agent until proven otherwise.”

Source: Medical Xpress, 16 November 2017

 

Japan: Health ministry to water down proposal on restaurant smoking

Reuters is reporting that a proposal to restrict smoking in restaurants in Japan is likely to be significantly weakened. An earlier proposed bill for a blanket ban on smoking in public places also failed.

The dilution of these public health measures follows strong opposition from pro-smoking politicians, restaurateurs and Japan Tobacco – which is one-third government owned. The WHO places Japan at the bottom of its global rankings for anti-smoking measures.

Source: Reuters, 16 November 2017

 

US: Environmental factors may trigger lupus onset and progression

A new report from the US this week identifies several environmental factors associated with the development of auto-immune disease lupus.

The article identifies smoking as a particular hazard because cigarette smoke contains multiple triggers, including cadmium and polycyclic hydrocarbons.

Source: Medical Xpress, 16 November 2017

 

US: How can we help people quit smoking? Pay them

This comment piece in Fortune examines the effect of initiatives such as this week’s Great American Smokeout.

The Smokeout event increases news on smoking cessation by about 60% and related Twitter posts by 13%. The article argues that while events such as this are good at raising awareness, they need additional supportive efforts, such as offering financial incentive to quit.

Source: Fortune, 16 November 2017

 

Link of the Week

Webinar – the use of e-cigarettes among people with a mental health condition

This week the Mental Health & Smoking Partnership hosted a webinar looking at the use of e-cigarettes among people with mental health conditions. The webinar featured presentations from Dr Debbie Robson, Louise Ross and Sam Churchward.

You can view the webinar by following the link below.

Source: ASH, 13 November 2017