ASH Daily News 25 August 2017



UK

  • Fewer people accessing smoking cessation services following funding cuts
  • Milton Keynes Hospital to become a smokefree zone
  • Parliamentary group with links to the tobacco industry set up

International

  • USA: Smokers in clinical studies who report quitting often haven’t

Link of the Week

  • Department of Health Report: Strengthening tobacco control in low and middle income countries

 

UK
Fewer people accessing smoking cessation services following funding cuts

NHS Digital’s annual smoking cessation report revealed last week that 307,507 people had set a quit date using NHS services in 2016/2017 — a decrease of 15% from 2015/2016.

Marissa Conway, communications and knowledge officer at Action on Smoking and Health, said there was a correlation between cuts in funding and fewer people accessing services. “At the same time as local public health funding has been slashed, there has been a drop in the numbers accessing smoking cessation services,” she said.

“These services are highly effective in supporting people to quit smoking. As such, they play a crucial part in addressing the gap in life expectancy between rich and poor.” Conway said the charity was also seeing fewer smokers being prescribed medications like nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), “as CCGs instruct GPs to limit prescriptions”.

Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal, 24 August 2017
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Milton Keynes Hospital to become a smokefree zone

Joe Harrison, the CEO for Milton Keynes University Hospital, has confirmed that the hospital will become a smokefree zone from Monday 2nd October.

Mr Harrison said, “the hospital will offer help and support for people to give up by promoting healthier lifestyle choices. Anyone who wants to continue smoking will need to do this away from the hospital and its grounds”

Source: MKFM, 24 August 2017
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Parliamentary group with links to the tobacco industry set up

An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) with links to the tobacco industry has been set up. The group, which will be led by Matthew Offord MP, has set out to examine the illicit trade in tobacco and alcohol.

PA Consulting Group will be advising the APPG. This group have previously worked for British American Tobacco on several occasions. The creation of the APPG comes exactly one month after Japan Tobacco International hosted an event in parliament, attended by several MPs.

Editorial Note
The tobacco industry regularly uses the illicit trade as a means to increase engagement politicians and the media, often citing a potential increase in illicit trade as a counterargument to tobacco control measures. Over the last decade, the proportion of tobacco sold that is illicit has fallen.

Source: Better Retailing, 24 August 2017
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International
USA: Smokers in clinical studies who report quitting often haven’t

A new US study has found that a high proportion of smokers enrolled in stop-smoking programs during a hospital stay report having quit though they have not. The findings suggest that when the smoking status of a patient is assessed, it is vital to use an objective measure.

Lead author Dr. Taneisha Scheuerman says, “Our study shows that in studies where participants may feel pressure to say they have quit when they have not, it is essential to verify claims of quitting using an objective test such as examining cotinine levels to know true quit rates. For clinical researchers, another important finding is that misreporting rates were similar across intervention and control conditions, suggesting that the relative effectiveness of interventions tested was the same using self-report and cotinine levels.”

See also

Addiction: Accuracy of self-reported smoking abstinence in clinical trials of hospital-initiated smoking interventions

Source: Medical News Today, 24 August 2017
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Link of the Week
Department of Health Report: Strengthening tobacco control in low and middle income countries

The Department of Health has published a business case detailing the rationale for investing £15 million to help deliver the WHO’s Framework Convention for Tobacco Control’s FCTC 2030 project in low and middle income countries.

The report states that: “It is estimated that every year around 7 million deaths around the world are linked to tobacco – more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. 80% of the 1 billion smokers live in low and middle income countries (LMICs), putting a huge strain on their development.

The UK Government, as a global leader in tobacco control, has invested £15 million of Official Development Assistance funding in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) 2030 project to support the implementation of tobacco control measures in LMICs in order to reduce the burden of tobacco related death and disease.”

Read report