ASH Daily News 5 January 2018



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UK

  • Tower Hamlets Council campaign to help smokers quit sees success

International

  • USA: New report shows that cancer death rates are continuing to fall as more Americans quit smoking
  • Ireland: Research shows there are now more quitters than smokers in the country
  • New Zealand: 10% tobacco tax increase comes into force
  • Japan: Bleak outlook for Japan Tobacco’s new CEO

 

UK

Tower Hamlets Council campaign to help smokers quit sees success

A new year public health campaign by Tower Hamlets Council to combat smoking rates and high levels of heart disease has started positively.

Bruce Davidson, a local resident and long term smoker of 27 years, was spending £60 a week on his smoking habit but has since managed to make the transition to nicotine patches and e-cigarettes.

He made use one of Tower Hamlets Council’s free stop smoking services after referral from his GP and with the support offered by the specialists he has seen an improvement in his breathing, stamina and sleep after six weeks.

Tower Hamlets Councillor Denise Jones said: “You start reducing the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke as soon as you quit. It’s the best thing you can do for your health—and your wallet.”

Source: The Docklands and East London Advertiser, 4 January 2018
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International

USA: New report shows that cancer death rates are continuing to fall as more Americans quit smoking

Fresh figures from the American Cancer Society have shown that cancer death rates in the US fell by 1.7% between 2014 and 2015, extending a continuous 24 year decline.

This represents 26% decline from the peak mortality rate of cancer in 1991, which has been driven particularly by a steep decline in the rate of lung cancer deaths. The reduction in lung cancer deaths is largely due to a decrease in smoking rates; around 15% of Americans are still smokers, but this is down 10% from a decade earlier.

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said: “This new report reiterates where cancer control efforts have worked, particularly the impact of tobacco control. A decline in consumption of cigarettes is credited with being the most important factor in the drop in cancer death rates. Strikingly though, tobacco remains by far the leading cause of cancer deaths today, responsible for nearly three in ten cancer deaths.”

Source: The Daily Mail, 4 January 2018
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Ireland: Research shows there are now more quitters than smokers in the country

New research from the Heath Service Executive (HSE) has shown that there are now more people who have quit smoking than there are current smokers in Ireland.

The Healthy Ireland Survey, part of the HSE’s latest Quit campaign, found that there are over a million people who have successfully quit smoking, whereas around 22% of people are daily or occasional smokers – which comes out at around 830,000 people.

The survey noted that although this was an encouraging sign, especially since about 12% of people who smoked a year ago have now quit, the figures still suggest that around 20% of deaths in Ireland are directly attributable to smoking.

Source: TheJournal.ie, 3 January 2018
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New Zealand: 10% tobacco tax increase comes into force

The first of four annual 10% tax increases on tobacco has come into force in New Zealand.

Campaigners for the policy had initially called for consecutive 20% increases for the next three years in August, but this was modified slightly to extend until 2020.

It is hoped that the policy will be effective in achieving the country’s Smokefree 2025 ambition and in helping the estimated 550,000 daily smokers in New Zealand to quit.

Smoking related illness kills around 5,000 people each year across the country and Andrew Slater, the chief executive of New Zealand cessation service Quitline, said that the price rise would lead to a rise in the number of quit attempts. He also expected double the number of calls to the Quitline phone services over the coming months.

Source: Radio NZ, 1 January 2018
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Japan: Bleak outlook for Japan Tobacco’s new CEO

Masamichi Terabatake, the new CEO of Japan Tobacco, faces a difficult job at the embattled industry giant with tighter regulations, slowing cigarette demand and competition to offer alternative devices all combining to harm the company’s fortunes.

In a similar move to other large tobacco brands, Terabatake said he wanted to focus on taking more market share in developed countries, entering new emerging markets, and developing the company’s next-generation tobacco devices.

Yet in the emerging field of ‘heat not burn’ products, Japan Tobacco’s own heated device, Ploom Tech, has lagged well behind Philip Morris International’s IQOS product in both availability and sales.

Furthermore, shares in Japan Tobacco fell 5.5% in 2017 amidst a climate of renewed health campaigns, dwindling demand for cigarettes and tighter governmental regulations, despite an overall 20% boom for the Japanese stock market.

Source: The Japan Times, 5 January 2018
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