ASH Daily News 3 April 2018



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UK

  • Death of the cigarette on the horizon as tobacco giant invests in new ‘safer’ smoking devices
  • Some NHS authorities refusing to fund IVF for those using e-cigarettes or nicotine patches

International

  • USA: E-cigarettes less risky than smoking but concerns raised around Juul use
  • Japan: Smoking banned in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park

UK
Death of the cigarette on the horizon as tobacco giant invests in new ‘safer’ smoking devices

Big tobacco is gambling big on the rise in popularity of Heat not Burn products. The most popular is Philip Morris International’s IQOS (I quit ordinary smoking). At the Papastratos factory last week PMI announced it would become the second of its tobacco factories to cease all production of ordinary cigarettes and instead churn out only the IQOS tobacco sticks, known as HEETS. Since 2008 the company has spent more than $4.5bn in scientific research, production and commercial development of IQOS and related products.

By the end of 2018, according to staff at the factory, the aim is to produce 20bn of the tobacco sticks a year. PMI – and the other big tobacco firms investing in similar technologies – insist this is all for the common good. But can the company that once sold us Marlboro Man really now be putting public health over profit?

Alan Boobis, professor of toxicology at Imperial College London who is chair of the committee, says while they discovered heated tobacco products reduce known toxic constituents of cigarettes by between 50 to 90 percent, any reduction in the medium to long-term health impact of smoking cannot be stated for certain because of the dearth of available independent evidence.

Source: The Telegraph, 30 March 2018

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Some NHS authorities refusing to fund IVF for those using e-cigarettes or nicotine patches

Some people are being denied NHS-funded IVF treatment because they use e-cigarettes or nicotine patches, as an increasing number of health authorities are adopting this policy – even though there is scant evidence that ‘vaping’ harms human fertility or unborn children.

At least 16 NHS authorities in England, called clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), now refuse to fund IVF for e-cigarette users, according to a survey carried out by the Daily Mail. Of the 117 CCGs that responded to the survey, 101 said they had no e-cigarette restrictions in their IVF policies. Some said they were considering changing their policies, while others had no plans to do so.

Aileen Feeney, of charity Fertility Network, said: ‘This is another example of how health bosses are trying to ration NHS fertility services by introducing arbitrary access criteria.’

Professor Peter Hajek, of London’s Wolfson Institute for Preventive Medicine, said ‘vapers’ used e-cigarettes to stop smoking and warned lumping the two together risked sending out the false message that pregnant women who smoked had nothing to gain by switching to vaping.

Source: Daily Mail, 31 March 2018

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International
USA: E-cigarettes less risky than smoking but concerns raised around Juul use

In the U.S., cigarettes are still responsible for 480,000 deaths a year, and with proven links to lung cancer, stroke, emphysema, and heart disease, efforts to vilify them are based on cold, hard facts.

“There’s just so little you can do that’s worse than smoking,” says Nancy Rigotti, M.D., director of the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Rigotti is one of several authors of a major National Academies report on vaping released in January. Among its conclusions: “Across a wide range of studies and outcomes, e-cigarettes appear to pose less risk to an individual than combustible tobacco cigarettes.”

Vapes can also be helpful for weaning yourself off a more insidious smoking habit, as most e-liquids come in different strengths, allowing users to titrate down. But adults are drawn to the Juul for many of the same reasons as teenagers, who have started sneaking them into classrooms, sparking a national debate. It’s sleek, techie, tidy, and can be discreetly used in places where smoking is banned. The concern among parents and legislators is that it could also hook a new generation on nicotine, providing a gateway back to cigarettes and mucking up teen-smoking rates, which have been on the decline since the nineties.

Source: Vogue, 3 April 2018

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Japan: Smoking banned in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima has completely banned smoking in the city’s Peace Memorial Park as of Sunday.

Ashtrays in 4 former smoking areas were covered, and cones were set up around them to make it clear that they are now off-limits. Posters explaining the new rule were also put up. Violators will be fined 1,000 yen or approximately 10 dollars.

Source: NHK, 1 April 2018

 

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