ASH Daily News 19 January 2018



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UK

  • Selbie: Devolution, not NHS, is where ‘most energy’ is for health creation
  • Exeter city centre flat fire prompts warning about smoking in the home
  • Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon joins international health taskforce
  • Plan to improve respiratory health in Wales

International

  • USA: Millions of Americans still using tobacco products, despite risks
  • Norway: More people switching from cigarettes to snus

 

UK

Selbie: Devolution, not NHS, is where ‘most energy’ is for health creation

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, believes that devolution, combined authorities and elected mayors are where the focus should be if we want to create healthy communities.

“What I am asking for is a focus on place, and saying it’s about a place budget, not an NHS budget or a council budget or a police budget. It’s about a Birmingham budget or a Newcastle budget or a Suffolk budget or a Cornwall budget… it’s about new forms of localism at scale.”

Source: Public Sector Executive, 18 January 2018
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Exeter city centre flat fire prompts warning about smoking in the home

A fire at a flat in Exeter city centre early on Thursday morning has sparked a warning from the fire service about smoking in the home.

Lee Blackburn, the watch manager at Danes Castle Fire Station, said: “The best way to protect your family from the dangers of smoking inside the home is by choosing to smoke outside. Not only are you drastically reducing the risk of a fire in the home, but you are also providing a cleaner, healthier living environment for your loved ones.”

One in three fire deaths in the South West are caused by smokers’ materials and in the UK every three days somebody dies from a fire started by a cigarette.

Source: Devon Live, 18 January 2018
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Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon joins international health taskforce

Nicola Sturgeon is to join an international taskforce looking at how tax and spending policies can help cut preventable diseases often caused by tobacco, alcohol and junk food.

Scotland was the first country in the UK to introduce a smoking ban in public places in 2006 and in spring will introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol.

The group has been set up by Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York, who is now the World Health Organisation Ambassador for Non-communicable Diseases. Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) are the cause of 70 per cent of the world’s deaths, killing approximately 40 million people each year, with tobacco, alcohol and obesity three of the leading risk factors for developing NCDs.

The task force will look at using taxes to curb the use of unhealthy products and recommend how countries can improve public health and raise additional revenue.

Source: The Herald Scotland, 18 January 2018
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Plan to improve respiratory health in Wales

The Welsh Government has launched a new plan to improve respiratory health. The Plan includes work to improve smoking cessation services, better diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and reduce variation in prescribing.

Among other things health boards have committed to ensure staff undertake routine carbon monoxide screening of smokers and implement referrals to specialist cessation services as routine for smokers attending respiratory outpatient appointments.

Source: ITV News, 19 January 2018
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International

USA: Millions of Americans still using tobacco products, despite risks

Figures gathered in 2015 and just published show that 42 million American adults continue to smoke, despite the well documented health risks, reports Harvard Medical School. A further 7 million used e-cigarettes or non-smoked tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said: “These results make clear that more action is needed to reduce the disease and death caused by cigarette use – and the FDA has announced a comprehensive approach to do just that.”

The FDA plans to focus on strategies such as regulating nicotine content in cigarettes and developing less harmful products.

Source: Harvard Health Publishing, 19 January 2018
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Norway: More people switching from cigarettes to snus

More Norwegians are switching from cigarettes to snus with national statistics showing that 12% of adults used snus daily in 2017 compared to 11% who smoked cigarettes every day.

Snus is a form of oral tobacco which is banned across the EU though Sweden, where it is manufactured, has an exemption and Norway is not an EU member state. Snus consumption has risen steadily in Norway while cigarette smoking has halved since 2007.

In November, Norway’s government won a lawsuit against snus producer Swedish Match which refused to sell its snus in neutral packaging. Swedish Match has appealed the ruling.

Source: The Guardian, 19 January 2018
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