ASH Daily News 31 July 2017
- Swapping cigarettes for e-cigarettes could ‘prevent you and your kids getting meningitis’
- Big tobacco ‘manipulating cigarette prices’ to thwart taxes on smoking
- Tobacco use has come down in the past 40 years yet stamping it out completely remains elusive
- How millions of us have become dependent on tobacco for income
- Isle of Man: Transition to e-cigarettes at prison having positive impact
- USA: FDA plans to reduce nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels
- New Zealand: Youth more likely to discourage than promote smoking among peers
- Germany: Study reveals tobacco smoke can impair the brain’s ability to suppress fear
Swapping cigarettes for e-cigarettes could ‘prevent you and your kids getting meningitis’
It’s thought that smoking is responsible for a third to half of all meningococcal cases, according to campaign group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). But e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes, and could lower the risk of meningococcal disease.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “It is the smoke not the nicotine that causes the risk. I don’t think people realise just how dangerous smoking is. People probably know it (smoking) causes lung cancer, heart disease and stroke, but it’s also a major cause of blindness, deafness, if you have diabetes it makes it more likely you will have bad side effects. You can see why that would be true for meningitis too, if you are being exposed to tobacco smoke you will be more vulnerable to infections of all sorts.”
Source: The Scottish Sun, 29 July 2017
Big tobacco ‘manipulating cigarette prices’ to thwart taxes on smoking
Big tobacco companies have been manipulating the prices of cigarettes for more than a decade to undermine government attempts to deter people from smoking, research suggests.
Researchers at King’s College London and the University of Bath analysed data from more than 6,000 smokers to look at the price they paid for tobacco between 2002 and 2014.
“Our research suggests that tobacco companies are able to meet tax requirements and keep cheap products available by markedly increasing prices on premium brands,” says the study’s co-author, Rosemary Hiscock from the University of Bath’s Tobacco Control Research Group.
The practice is known as “over-shifting”, whereby cigarette companies use their premium products to in effect subsidise cheaper alternatives.
Nicotine and Tobacco Research: Availability and use of cheap tobacco in the UK 2002 – 2014: Findings from the International Tobacco Control Project
Source: The Guardian, 30 July 2017
Tobacco use has come down in the past 40 years yet stamping it out completely remains elusive
Tim Tonkin writes an oped on public health bodies’ and the Government’s plan to find the last piece of the puzzle to achieving a smokefree generation.
Figures published last year found that smoking still results in almost 100,000 premature deaths in the UK each year, with England accounting for 79,000 of the total. Treating the effects of smoking is thought to cost the NHS around £2.5bn every year, while costs to the wider economy are estimated by the Government to exceed £11bn.
Since 2010 the UK has consistently come top out of more than 30 countries in Europe-wide rankings for tobacco control. Yet in spite of this, tobacco continues to be a health burden on the UK.
Source: BMA, 27 July 2017
How millions of us have become dependent on tobacco for income
Even if you do not directly own shares in Britain’s two biggest tobacco firms – British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands – you are quite likely to have exposure via pensions, Isas or other funds.
Currently, 47 out of the 84 funds in the UK Equity Income sector (encompassing the most popular funds) own either or both BAT and Imperial Brands as a top 10 holding.
Source: The Telegraph, 30 July 2017
Isle of Man: Transition to e-cigarettes at prison having positive impact
Midway through a trial period for e-cigarettes at Isle of Man Prison, it appears the measure is having a positive effect.
The specialist devices, which are tamper proof, are issued with a unique index number so inmates are unable to swap them.
It was reported prisoners were smoking substances such as banana peel, tea bag, and, in some cases, hair, before the e-cigarettes were brought in.
Source: Manx Radio, 29 July 2017
USA: FDA plans to reduce nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels
Nicotine levels in cigarettes could be reduced to non-addictive levels, according to new plans set out by the US regulatory body.
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday announced a roadmap to reduce deaths from tobacco, and tobacco-related disease. According to the body, more than 480,000 deaths in the US are caused by tobacco every year.
“Because nicotine lives at the core of both the problem and the solution to the question of addiction, addressing the addictive levels of nicotine in combustible cigarettes must be part of the FDA’s strategy for addressing the devastating, addiction crisis that is threatening American families,” said Scott Gottlieb, the FDA commissioner.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the public health charity ASH, welcomed the move. “We have long recognised in this country that it’s not the nicotine but the smoke in cigarettes which makes them so deadly,” she said. “Until recently, however, the UK government was a voice in the wilderness in supporting smokers who are unable to quit to switch to less harmful nicotine products.”
Financial Times: US considers plan to cap nicotine levels in cigarettes
Mail Online: Tobacco shares nosedive on FDA regulation warning
BBC News: US plans to curb nicotine in tobacco
Financial Times: Big Tobacco told to read FDA smoke signals on e-cigarettes
Source: The Guardian, 28 July 2017
New Zealand: Youth more likely to discourage than promote smoking among peers
Young people more often discourage smoking among their peers than encourage it, new University of Otago research suggests.
Around half of 14- and 15- year old New Zealanders have carried out at least one behaviour during the past year to discourage smoking, most often by telling their peers that smoking is bad for their health; to stop smoking; that they do not like smoking; and that smoking is a waste of money. By contrast, fewer than one in ten 14- and 15- year olds did something to encourage smoking among their peers, most typically by giving them a cigarette or offering to share a cigarette.
The study’s lead researcher, Dr Louise Marsh, says the Tobacco industry often uses the argument that smoking among young people is due to peer pressure. She says: “Our findings suggest that there is considerable promotion of non-smoking in the opposite direction.”
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health: New Zealand adolescents’ discouragement of smoking among their peers
Source: Medical Xpress, 28 July 2017
Germany: Study reveals tobacco smoke can impair the brain’s ability to suppress fear
Smoking may leave people more vulnerable to suffering from phobias and other types of chronic fear like post-traumatic stress disorder, according to new research.
Scientists at the University Medical Centre in Hamburg-Eppendorf have found that tobacco smoke can impair the brain’s ability to repress fear-related memories, leaving smokers less able to deal with fear and anxiety after a traumatic event.
It could have serious implications for people in jobs where they are most at risk of developing PTSD, such as in the armed forces. Around 33 percent of soldiers are thought to smoke.
Source: Daily Mail, 31 July 2017