ASH Daily News 3 August 2017



UK

  • North East: South Tyneside on track for ‘smokefree generation’ by 2030
  • West Midlands: Stoke men sentenced after being caught with illegal tobacco and cigarettes worth £30k

International

  • USA: Maine becomes 4th state to raise legal age to buy tobacco to 21
  • USA: Exposure to toxins in e-cigarette vapour varies depending on scenario
  • Ireland: Pregnant women need more help to quit smoking
  • New Zealand: Campaigners seek tobacco tax increase

 

UK

North East: South Tyneside on track for ‘smokefree generation’ by 2030

Councillors in South Tyneside claim the borough is on track to have a ‘smokefree generation’ by 2030.

South Tyneside’s health and wellbeing strategy has been meeting its targets to reduce smoking. The number of people smoking in the borough is at its lowest level in five years, having fallen from 25% in 2010 to 18% today.

Cllr Tracey Dixon, lead member for independence and wellbeing, said: “Some 373 people die from smoking every year in South Tyneside. Furthermore, smoking costs the NHS £6.7 million and the South Tyneside economy, in terms of absenteeism and sickness, £2.1 million.”

Source: Shields Gazette, 3 August 2017
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West Midlands: Stoke men sentenced after being caught with illegal tobacco and cigarettes worth £30k

Two men have been sentenced after being caught with illegal tobacco and cigarettes worth more than £30,000. One defendant, who pleaded guilty to possession with a view to supply illicit goods which did not comply with tobacco labelling requirements, was handed a 12-month community order with 200 hours unpaid work; he must also pay £1,250 in costs. The other, who pleaded guilty to possession with a view to supply and selling counterfeit tobacco, was given a 12-month community order with 120 hours unpaid work, and was also ordered to pay £2,850 in costs.

Councillor Randy Conteh, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, today welcomed the sentence. Mr Conteh, who is also chairman of Smokefree Stoke-on-Trent, said: “The sale of illegal tobacco is far from being a victimless crime.

“It can impact on legitimate businesses who can’t compete with the prices, put people’s health at risk and it defrauds UK taxpayers out of billions of pounds each year which should be spent on vital public services. The illegal tobacco market, particularly the availability of cheap cigarettes, can also make it harder for smokers to quit and also encourage others – especially children and young adults – to smoke.”

Source: Stoke Sentinel, 2 August 2017
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International

USA: Maine becomes 4th state to raise legal age to buy tobacco to 21

Maine will become the fourth state to raise the smoking age to 21 after lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to override the governor’s veto.

In the last two decades, tobacco use among teenagers in Maine has dropped drastically, mirroring a similar decline across the country. But the state still ranks near the top for high schoolers who smoke cigarettes. In 2015, 11.2% of Maine high school students smoked, just above the national average of 10.8%, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: New York Times, 2 August 2017
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USA: Exposure to toxins in e-cigarette vapour varies depending on scenario

A report in the journal Environmental Science & Technology has suggested that heavy use and vapour emissions of e-cigarettes could lead to inhaled levels of toxins that exceed set exposure limits. But under typical use, secondhand exposure would have a lower impact on health than second- and third-hand cigarette smoke.

The study predicted that heavy users inhaling at a high rate of 250 puffs per day with devices at 3.8 to 4.8 volts would potentially inhale levels of acrolein, formaldehyde, and diacetyl that exceed U.S. occupational limits.

Source: Medical Xpress, 2 August 2017

Editorial note: the study above described levels of toxins delivered in a laboratory setting under extreme conditions, not actual use by vapers. Recently published research found that long-term e-cigarette or NRT only use by former smokers is associated with substantially reduced levels of measured carcinogens and toxins relative to smoking only combustible cigarettes.

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Ireland: Pregnant women need more help to quit smoking

Efforts in Irish maternity hospitals to persuade pregnant women to stop smoking have been described as inadequate.

The finding is the result of an audit of smoking cessation services at the country’s 19 maternity units by a team of medical researchers. The study, published in the Irish Medical Journal, says that the issue was of concern because it was widely recognised that stopping smoking in the first half of a pregnancy reduces the risk of birth complications.

The study goes on to say that there are financial benefits to be derived from reducing the number of pregnant women who smoked because an infant born prematurely or with low birth weight is estimated to cost the healthcare system €2,450 for each day they need hospital care.

See also:
Irish Medical Journal: A National Audit of Smoking Cessation Services in Irish Maternity Units

Source: Irish Times, 1 August 2017
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New Zealand: Campaigners seek tobacco tax increase

Campaigners are calling for New Zealand’s Government to increase tax on tobacco by 20% annually for three years to help the country achieve its target of being smokefree by September 2025.

Researchers, led by the University of Otago, proposed the increase alongside other measures aimed at cutting down smoking in New Zealand.

Their modelling predicts that smoking rates would drop below 5% much more rapidly if the Government hiked tax by 20% for three years, reduced the number of tobacco retailers, and implemented a higher minimum purchase age.

Source: Tax News, 2 August 2017
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