ASH Daily News 19 April 2017



  • Wales: NHS Wales launches ‘Help Me Quit’ campaign to improve awareness of smoking support services
  • Lib Dem Health Spokesman questions government on elusive tobacco control plan
  • York: Hope for smoking support services
  • Greenpeace fined under Lobbying Act

Wales: NHS Wales launches ‘Help Me Quit’ campaign to improve awareness of smoking support services

NHS Wales is launching a campaign to make it easier for people to find help if they want to give up smoking. It said ‘Help Me Quit’ will bring together all of the stop smoking brands in Wales to support the 68% of the estimated 492,000 smokers who would like to give up.

According to NHS Wales, recent research suggests there are ‘low levels of awareness’ of the free expert help available as well as ‘limited understanding’ and ‘misperception’ about the type of support.

A report by anti-smoking charity ASH Wales in 2014 said smokers are ‘four times more likely to quit’ successfully by using medication alongside behavioural support, than if they attempt to quit unaided.

Source: ITV News, 19th April 2017
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Lib Dem Health Spokesman questions government on elusive tobacco control plan

Norman Lamb MP, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesman, submitted a written question to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, enquiring as to the date of publication for the forthcoming tobacco control plan. He also asked if the under-secretary ‘will take steps to ensure that that plan guarantees adequate and sustainable funding for local smoking cessation services.’

In response, Nicola Blackwood MP stated that the new plan will be published ‘shortly’. She also declared that ‘[c]ouncils will receive £16 billion of public health funding between 2016 and 2021 to provide vital services for their local population including smoking cessation services’.

Source: They work for you, 18th April 2017
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York: Hope for smoking support services

It is hoped that the support services to help people stop smoking in York could be saved from cuts.

There had been criticism of plans to withdraw council support to help people quit at the same time as NHS bosses in York approved plans to delay non-emergency operations for smokers for six months unless they stopped the habit.

A Labour motion had required the council’s public health team to explore options for reducing the impact of the proposed cuts and now a health scrutiny committee meeting has seen councillors from all parties agree to call on Cllr Carol Runciman, the council’s executive member for health and adult social care, to reverse previously agreed cuts to smoking cessation.

Source: York Press, 15th April 2017
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Greenpeace fined under Lobbying Act

Greenpeace has become the first organisation to be fined under the government’s Lobbying Act which critics warned would silence legitimate campaign groups.

Ministers said the legislation, dubbed the “gagging law” by charities, would hold corporate lobbyists to account when it was introduced in 2014. But the act has faced intense criticism from civil society groups which have repeatedly warned that the restrictions it imposes on spending during an election would hamper the activities of legitimate groups.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: ‘If you’re a corporate lobbyist paid by a tobacco company to fight anti-smoking legislation you’ve got little to worry about, the Lobbying Act does hardly anything to restrict you.’

Source: The Guardian, 18th April 2017
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