ASH Daily News 25 January 2018



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UK

  • One cigarette a day ‘increases heart disease and stroke risk’
  • Local pharmacy-led smoking cessation services cut by a fifth of local authorities in past three years
  • Study suggests that young people who experience racism more likely to take up smoking

International

  • Nine out of ten children in Bangladesh are exposed to secondhand smoke
  • PMI envisages six million U.S. smokers switching to IQOS device if allowed to claim that it is less risky than cigarettes
  • South Africa: Government set to ban tobacco advertisement

 

UK

One cigarette a day ‘increases heart disease and stroke risk’

A comprehensive, global study published in the BMJ has suggested that smokers must quit cigarettes rather than cut back on them in order to significantly lower their risk of heart disease and stroke.

The study found that people who smoked even one cigarette a day were still about 50% more likely to develop heart disease and 30% more likely to have a stroke than people who had never smoked.

Compared with those who smoked 20 cigarettes per day, researchers found that men who smoked one cigarette per day had 46% of the excess risk of heart disease and 41% for stroke. For women it was 31% of the excess risk of heart disease and 34% for stroke.

Martin Dockrell, tobacco lead at Public Health England, said: “This study adds to the growing body of evidence which tells us that cutting down to just one cigarette a day still leaves a substantial risk of heart attack and stroke. The best and safest thing you can do is to quit completely for good.”

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “It’s addiction to nicotine that keeps people smoking but it’s the tar in cigarette smoke that does the serious damage. Vaping is much less harmful, but only if you quit smoking altogether.”

See also:
BMJ: Low cigarette consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: meta-analysis of 141 cohort studies in 55 study reports
The Guardian: Even one cigarette a day greatly raises cardiovascular risk, experts warn

Source: BBC, 25 January 2018
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Local pharmacy-led smoking cessation services cut by a fifth of local authorities in past three years

A freedom of information request sent out to all local authorities in England by The Pharmaceutical Journal has found that almost a fifth of local authorities in England decommissioned local pharmacy-led smoking cessation services in the past three years.

Among the seven local authority areas in England with the highest smoking rates, according to figures from Public Health England, four saw a significant decrease in the value of smoking cessation contracts with community pharmacies between 2013–2014 and 2016–2017 and two had smoking cessation services decommissioned from community pharmacies altogether.

A report released by CRUK and ASH on 15 January showed that cuts to the public health budget nationally have led to dramatic changes in services for smokers. The report said that only 61% of local authorities continue to offer all local smokers access to evidence-based support in line with NICE guidance, and that there is now at least one local authority in England where there is a no budget at all for smoking cessation.

Source: The Pharmeceutical Journal, 22 January 2018
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Study suggests that young people who experience racism may be more likely to take up smoking

Young people who experience racial abuse are around 80% more likely to take up smoking before the age of 16, new research suggests.

Interviews with 6,500 pupils between ages 11 to 13 across 51 London schools, conducted by academics from King’s College London, found that students from ethnic minority backgrounds who did not experience racism were less likely to become smokers. It also suggests that strong family ties or religious practices were associated with a lower likelihood of smoking.

The researchers said being the victim of racial abuse is a major cause of stress which in turn is a trigger for people to start smoking. Support offered by family or other groups could address this, they added.

See also:
PLOS One: The influence of racism on cigarette smoking: Longitudinal study of young people in a British multiethnic cohort

Source: The Independent, 24 January 2018
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International

Nine out of ten children in Bangladesh are exposed to secondhand smoke

A survey of primary school children in Dhaka found that 95% had recently been exposed to secondhand smoke, despite Bangladesh having outlawed smoking in public places in 2013.

In Bangladesh, 45% of men smoke tobacco, according to a national survey. Smoking on public transport and in the workplace is still commonplace, and there is no restriction on smoking in the home.

Secondhand tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, 70 of which can cause cancer. Children are particularly vulnerable to the harms caused by this smoke, as their lungs are still developing and they breathe at a faster rate than adults.

Cotinine is created when the body breaks down the nicotine found in tobacco smoke and the survey found that 95% of participating children had cotinine in their saliva, indicating recent exposure to secondhand smoke.

Source: The Independent, 23 January 2018
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PMI envisages six million U.S. smokers switching to IQOS if allowed to claim that it is less risky than cigarettes

Philip Morris International (PMI) told a U.S. advisory panel on Wednesday that it expects around 6 million smokers to switch completely to IQOS if the company is allowed to claim it is less risky than cigarettes.

PMI claims that IQOS produces up to 95% fewer potentially harmful chemicals than regular cigarettes. The company said if 15% of U.S. daily smokers switched completely to iQOS it would translate to about 6 million smokers over seven to 10 years.

FDA staff in a preliminary review of Philip Morris’ application said that IQOS contains fewer harmful chemicals than cigarettes but that it was unclear whether reduced exposure translates to a reduced risk of disease.

Last month, a Reuters investigation described several irregularities in the clinical trials that supported Philip Morris’ iQOS application to the FDA.

Source: Reuters, 24 January 2018
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South Africa: Government set to ban tobacco advertisement

The South African government has started the process of banning tobacco advertisement, citing that it lures people into smoking and makes tobacco usage look attractive.

The proposal itself will also cover e-cigarettes and other alternatives to combustible cigarettes.

Source: The Citizen, 25 January 2018
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