ASH Daily News 4 September 2017



UK

  • Cigarettes cause majority of lethal council housing fires
  • Wales: Call to help people with mental health problems who smoke

International

  • Indonesia’s ongoing child tobacco epidemic
  • India: Bloomberg charity Scrutinised by Indian Government
  • India: Banning e-cigarette removes less harmful alternative for smokers

UK

Cigarettes cause majority of lethal council housing fires

Freedom of Information Act requests to every stock-retaining local authority in the UK revealed 27 tenant deaths in fires were recorded between 2010/11 and 2016/17.

Of these, lit cigarettes and cigarette lighters accounted for 12 of the deaths – by far the most frequent cause of fatality.

While cooking equipment caused the largest number of all household fires, cigarettes are particularly dangerous due to the danger posed by falling asleep smoking or with a smouldering cigarette.

Source: Inside Housing, 1 September 2017

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Wales: Call to help people with mental health problems who smoke

Better services such as counselling and nicotine replacements are needed for people with mental health problems, according to a Plaid Cymru MP.

Arfon Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams, a former social worker who worked in mental health, said: “I saw that almost everybody smoked, especially inpatients at the former North Wales Hospital Denbigh.

“Now so much treatment is out in the community. Practical steps could be taken. People with mental health problems need help to give up somking as part of their treatment plans. It affects their psychological and physical health and would also save them a great deal of money. Alternatives should be encouraged such as nicotine replacements or counselling as part of the treatment. This would raise awareness of the relationship between smoking and mental health problems. I don’t know if there is a relationship between the toxins in tobacco and the exacerbation of mental health conditions, however, stopping smoking can only be a good thing.”

Source: Daily Post, 1 September 2017

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International

Indonesia’s ongoing child tobacco epidemic

Six years ago, Aldi Suganda, also known as Aldi Rizal, was a 2-year-old chain smoker addicted to cigarettes, smoking packs each day. Videos of him smoking excessively were watched by millions around the world. But he is far from the only child who picked up the habit across the islands of Indonesia: more than 267,000 children there are estimated to use tobacco products every day.

The country has the highest percentage of male smokers globally and among the highest rate of adolescent and child smokers in the world — fuelled by lack of control over advertising, relaxed sales and low prices.

Now, the Ministry of Health is working to align with other ministries as well as international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, to tackle the appeal of cigarettes once and for all. The ministry also hopes to provide greater support for people trying to quit smoking and to increase public awareness about tobacco’s harms — as well as push harder for the country to join the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Source: CNN, 4 September 2017

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India: Bloomberg charity scrutinized by Indian Government

India has been investigating how Bloomberg Philanthropies, founded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, funds local non-profit groups for tobacco control.

Critics say the government has used foreign funding laws as a tool to silence non-profit groups which have raised concerns about the social costs of India’s rapid economic development.

Source: Reuters, 29 August 2017

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India: Banning e-cigarette removes less harmful alternative for smokers

Banning e-cigarettes may deprive Indian smokers of a substantially less harmful alternative, which can be against public health and can result in adverse consequences, experts have warned.

Some states in India, including Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra and Kerala, have prohibited sales of e-cigarettes, while tobacco cigarettes remain legal.

“The ban will deprive Indian smokers of a substantially less harmful alternative,” Konstantinos E. Farsalinos a research fellow at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, Greece.

Source: Indian Express, 3 September 2017

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