ASH Daily News 30 May 2017
- Tobacco kills more than 7 million people per year and is costing the world economy USD 1.4 trillion annually
- Disposed cigarette butts pose a potential ecological risk to the ocean
- Essex: Dunmow flat fire caused by badly discarded cigarette
- Tobacco production ‘breaches human rights laws’
- Scotland: Scientists find that smoking harms livers of unborn babies
- Austria: Study shows increasing the price of tobacco reduces consumption
Tobacco kills more than 7 million people per year and is costing the world economy USD 1.4 trillion annually
A new report from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) echoes the theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day on 31 May 2017: Tobacco – a threat to development.
The core message of the new report: The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control – an Accelerator for Sustainable Development, is that tobacco is both harmful to health and uniquely undermines sustainable development efforts across economic, social and environmental dimensions. In every region of the world, the poor are most likely to smoke and are the targets of the tobacco industry’s predatory marketing strategies. Not only do poor families spend proportionately more of their family income on tobacco, but because of out-of-pocket health expenditures to address tobacco-related illness, poor households can be pushed further into poverty.
Source: WHO, 31st May 2017
Disposed cigarette butts pose a potential ecological risk to the ocean
Approximately 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide each year, and a large portion of them find their way into the ocean. These filters contain large numbers of chemicals like arsenic, lead, nicotine and ethyl phenol which turn the water poisonous over time. In one series of tests done by the researchers, the toxic chemicals, much of which are carcinogenic, killed half of all the marine and freshwater fish exposed to it.
While these cigarette filters pose a major threat, they are not the only ones linked to tobacco. Plastic from cigarette packaging and lighters, if consumed by marine animals, can lead to choking.
Source: International Business Times, 29th May 2017
Tobacco production ‘breaches human rights laws’
After completing a collaboration with multi-national tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) to develop a “human rights implementation plan” for the company, the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) concluded that immediately stopping the sale and marketing of tobacco is the only way for tobacco companies to uphold basic human rights.
PMI approached DIHR last year to collaborate on a plan for the company. The DIHR was given access to the corporation to assess PMI’s “value chain” – the set of activities that a firm operating in a specific industry performs in order to deliver a valuable product or service for the market.
Following DIHR’s completion of their work, they concluded: “Tobacco is deeply harmful to human health, and there can be no doubt that the production and marketing of tobacco is irreconcilable with the human right to health. For the tobacco industry, the [United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights] therefore require the cessation of the production and marketing of tobacco.”
Source: OnMedica, 26th May 2017
Essex: Dunmow flat fire caused by badly discarded cigarette
Firefighters were called to reports of a fire in a flat and on arrival reported that the house was 50 per cent smoke logged and the fire was in the kitchen.
A spokesman for Essex Fire and Rescue said: “After investigation firefighters recorded the cause of the fire as accidental and was due to a cigarette which was not completely extinguished being discarded into a plastic bin.”
The service has issued advice to avoid fires and has offered a free home safety visit for Essex residents, during which smoke alarms will be fitted free of charge.
Source: Essex Live, 29th May 2017
Scotland: Scientists find that smoking harms livers of unborn babies
Scientists found that the cocktail of chemicals in cigarettes is particularly harmful to developing liver cells. They developed a method of studying the effects of maternal smoking on liver tissue using embryonic stem cells.
The team, led by the University of Edinburgh, also discovered the cigarette chemicals affect male and female foetuses differently. Male tissue showed liver scarring and female tissue showed more damage to cell metabolism.
Professor Paul Fowler, director of the institute of medical sciences at the University of Aberdeen, said: “This work is part of an ongoing project to understand how cigarette smoking by pregnant mothers has harmful effects on the developing foetus. These findings shed light on fundamental differences in damage between male and female foetuses.”
Spinger Link: Modelling foetal exposure to maternal smoking using hepatoblasts from pluripotent stem cells
Source: BBC, 29th May 2017
Austria: Study shows increasing the price of tobacco reduces consumption
In a 30-year-old study into pricing policy and tobacco consumption, it was found that increasing prices by only 1% reduces consumption by 0.5%.
Michael Kunze, the study supervisor, has suggested an increase in price by 5% so that consumption drops by 3.5%. This the level of a regular price increase that Kunze considers to be realistic. “A level that is acceptable to all parties: to us doctors, because a lot of people would give up smoking, but also to tobacconists and the Finance Ministry, because revenues and taxes would still yield a reasonable surplus.”
Medical University of Vienna: World No Smoking Day: Increasing the price of tobacco by 5% reduces consumption by 3.5%
Source: Medical Xpress, 29th May 2017