ASH Daily News 23 March 2018



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UK

  • Smoking prevalence in Netflix dramas disproportionate
  • Cancer Research UK state 4 in 10 cancer cases could be prevented if people ditched smoking, drank less alcohol and kept weight down
  • Chairman of the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group promotes smoking cessation amongst residents

International

  • Austria: Austrian MPs vote to drop smoking ban

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Questions

Link of the week

  • BBC iplayer radio: Smoking rises among African youth

 

UK

Smoking prevalence in Netflix dramas disproportionate

Streaming giant Netflix shows which are most popular with young people feature a disproportionately high number of smoking scenes, research shows. Cigarettes play a particularly prominent role in Stranger Things, with researchers counting a total of 182 “tobacco incidents” in the first series.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH calls for British authorities to act to close the ‘massive loophole’ in Netflix regulation. She said: “There’s good evidence that the more smoking on screen that children see, the more likely they are to become smokers themselves”.

Television services that deliver programmes over the internet from outside the UK are not regulated by Ofcom. Netflix is licensed by the Dutch Media Authority because its European base is in Amsterdam.

Source: The Times, 23 March 2018
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Cancer Research UK state 4 in 10 cancer cases could be prevented if people ditched smoking, drank less alcohol and kept weight down

New figures from Cancer Research UK (CRUK) show that more than 2,500 cancer cases a week are avoidable, with exposure to tobacco smoke the leading factor, accounting for just over 15% of cancer cases. Dr Katrina Brown, lead author of the study at CRUK stated that lung cancer contributes to well over half of those smoking-related cases, but there are also thousands of cancers associated with smoking such as bladder, oesophageal and bowel cancers every year to name just a few.

See also:
The Times: Preventable Cancer

Source: The Guardian, 23 March 2018
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Chairman of the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group promotes smoking cessation amongst residents

Dr Paul Williams, chairman of the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group wants residents to make life-changes that could help save the health-body, which has highlighted its need to make significant savings in recent weeks, up to £6 million. Lose weight, stop smoking and buy your own painkillers are just some of the measures being prescribed by Dr. Williams to help the local NHS save money.

Dr. Williams stated that “The CCG will offer support to people referred for surgery to help them lose weight and stop smoking before the operation, which will improve the outcomes for the patient and delivering savings up to £4 million”.

Source: Fenland Citizen, 22 March 2018
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International

Austria: Austrian MPs vote to drop smoking ban

The Austrian parliament on Thursday voted to drop plans to introduce a smoking ban in bars and restaurants. MPs voted to overturn the planned ban which was set to come into force in May 2018. This is despite public protests and a petition which attracted more than 500,000 signatures. The move to drop the potential ban was led by the far-Right Freedom Party (FPÖ), which made it a condition for joining the coalition government of Sebastian Kurz last year.

The decision means that Austria will remain one of the fast dwindling number of countries where it is still possible to smoke in enclosed public spaces.

Source: The Telegraph, 22 March 2018
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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary question

PQ1: Minimum pack sizes

Alex Sobel, Labour party MP for Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of smoking cessations as a result of the introduction of regulations on the minimum size of tobacco and cigarette packs in 2017.

Steve Brine, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care

The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 came into force on 20 May 2016. It is too soon to effectively evaluate the impact of this legislation; however, the Government is committed to completing and publishing a full post-implementation review.

Source: Hansard HC, 22 March 2018
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Link of the week

BBC iplayer radio: Smoking rises among African youth

Rising rates of cigarette use amongst youth in Africa, higher than the adult population.

‘Africa has the youngest population on earth, projected to have almost 1 billion under 18 year olds by 2050, in sub Saharan Africa tobacco consumption has grown by almost 50% in the last 35 years and in recent years there has been a dramatic uptake of smoking in countries such as Lesotho and Ethiopia where tobacco laws are weak’.

Listen from: 10 minutes 30 – 16 minutes
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