ASH Daily News 6 February 2018



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UK

  • Public Health England publishes new independent evidence review on e-cigarettes
  • Love Island showed ‘too much smoking’ and could have breached rules designed not to promote tobacco on TV
  • London: Bexleyheath town centre could become the first London Borough to implement smokefree zone
  • Greater Manchester: Local sports clubs pledge to go smokefree
  • Scotland: First person to be convicted of selling under-counter tobacco

International

  • New Zealand: Survey finds stopping smoking main reason to start vaping
  • North America: Public health schools decline funding from tobacco funded foundation
  • China: Hot tea linked to cancer in smokers and drinkers

 

UK

Public Health England publishes new independent evidence review on e-cigarettes

At least 20,000 people a year could be giving up cigarettes thanks to vaping, according to Public Health England’s (PHE) latest review, which said more could be done to get people to switch to products that are far safer than smoking. The independent report, commissioned by PHE from leading UK academics, says that vaping should be widely encouraged as a way to help people quit smoking, and e-cigarettes should even be offered for sale in hospital shops.

Less than 20% of adults understand that the harm from cigarettes is not due to the nicotine they contain, says the report. Thousands of smokers think e-cigarettes are just as dangerous and 40% of smokers have not tried one, it says. The report says: “Our new review reinforces the finding that vaping is a fraction of the risk of smoking, at least 95% less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders. Yet over half of smokers either falsely believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking or just don’t know.”

ASH Chief Executive Deborah Arnott said: “The PHE report is part of a growing scientific consensus that e-cigarettes are likely to be very much less harmful than smoking and can help smokers quit. E-cigarette use has stagnated in recent years, which is hardly surprising as many smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking. We hope this report will provide the reassurance needed to encourage the 40% of smokers who’ve failed to quit but never tried vaping to go ahead and switch. ASH supports PHE’s recommendation that smokers who have struggled to quit should try vaping as an alternative to smoking, and that e-cigarettes should be made available on prescription. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable premature death, responsible for over 1,000 hospital admissions a day in England.[4] Providing support to smokers to quit is highly cost-effective and essential for the sustainability of the NHS.”

See more:
BBC: E-cigarettes ‘should be on prescription’
The Telegraph: NHS patients should be allowed to vape indoors and even in their beds, public health body advises
The Times: Vaping in hospital wins support of health chiefs
The Sun: Hospitals urged to sell e-cigarettes and let patients vape in bed
Public Health England: E-cigarettes and heated tobacco products: evidence review

Source: The Guardian, 6 February 2018
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Love Island showed ‘too much smoking’ and could have breached rules designed not to promote tobacco on TV

Researchers have accused programme makers of breaching strict regulations to limit smoking by repeatedly showing contestants smoking and even Lucky Strike branding.

The law bans all advertising, promotion and brand placement, with an exemption for ‘artistic or editorial purposes’ while Ofcom’s broadcasting code said smoking ‘must not be condoned, encouraged or glamorised in other programmes likely to be widely seen, heard or accessed by under-eighteens unless there is editorial justification.’

Dr Rachael Murray, from the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham explained: “Reality television shows are popular with children and young adults. Exposure to media tobacco imagery causes smoking uptake, and in this series of Love Island many contestants smoked on screen, attracting widespread media criticism. Furthermore, while the cigarettes used had evidently been repackaged in plain white packs, on many occasions a specific brand of cigarette was identifiable from logos on the cigarette.”

Source: Mirror, 6 February 2018
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London: Bexleyheath town centre could become the first London Borough to implement smokefree zone

Bexley could become the first London Borough to have a smokefree pedestrian zone if the council carries out its proposals. The council say the proposal is to “protect young people from the influence of visible smoking and second-hand smoke”.

A Bexley Council statement read: “The proposed voluntary zone would initially run as a pilot for six months and cover the main pedestrianised areas in the town centre, including around Bexleyheath Clock Tower.”

If plans are acted upon Bexleyheath Town Centre would be a smokefree zone and electronic cigarette devices would also be banned.

Source: This is Local London, 5 February 2018
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Greater Manchester: Local sports clubs pledge to go smokefree

Six local sports clubs have pledged to go smokefree to give children the chance to enjoy physical activity without being subjected to harmful secondhand smoke.

They will now enforce a no smoking policy at their junior training sessions and matches to denormalise smoking around children and young people so they are less likely to take it up, promote healthy lifestyles and protect children and families from the health harms caused by smoking.

Source: Rochdale Online, 5 February 2018
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Scotland: First person to be convicted of selling under-counter tobacco

A man racked up £4,000 in fines for selling non-duty-paid cigarettes and tobacco from his butcher shop in Glasgow, and was banned from selling cigarettes from his shop for two years due to his repeat offences.

Trading standards found he was in breach of the ban, and was fined £1800. Almost 2000 cigarettes and 20 pouches of tobacco were seized and will be destroyed.

Source: The Scottish Sun, 5 February 2018
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International

New Zealand: Survey finds stopping smoking main reason to start vaping

A survey of New Zealand vapers has found most people started vaping e-cigarettes to quit smoking – and for the majority, it worked. The online survey, led by Dr Penny Truman from Massey University in 2016, recruited 218 people through vaping and smoking-cessation networks.

Almost all had been smokers, but three quarters no longer smoked, and the remainder significantly reduced their tobacco use. Three had not been smokers before they started vaping, but had not gone on to smoke tobacco. Most vapers surveyed also waited longer in the morning before vaping than they had when smoking, and generally reduced nicotine levels in their e-cigarette liquid over time.

The study was funded by the Tobacco Control Research Tūranga programme, set up by the Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Source: New Zealand Herald, 1 February 2018
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North America: Public health schools decline funding from tobacco funded foundation

The deans of 19 schools of public health from prominent universities in the US and Canada have signed a joint statement declining offers of research funding from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, an organisation set up with money from tobacco giant Philip Morris International.

The deans wrote that “both the tobacco industry and Philip Morris International have a long history of funding ‘research’ in ways meant to purposely confuse the public and advance their own interests, aggressively market cigarettes globally, including to children, and persist in their relentless opposition to evidence based tobacco control interventions.”

Source: BMJ, 5 February 2018
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China: Hot tea linked to cancer in smokers and drinkers

Hot tea can increase the risk of cancer five-fold for people who also regularly drink alcohol, Chinese research suggests.

People who drink at least one alcoholic beverage and a “burning hot” cup of tea on a daily basis were five times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than people who drank tea at any temperature less than once a week, the study found.

Lv Jun, of Peking University Health Science Centre in China, who co-authored the study, told The Telegraph: “Boiling hot tea will harm the cells in the oesophagus. “If the person also drinks alcohol and smokes, then the harm caused will be more heightened.”

See More:
Annals of Internal Medicine: Effect of Hot Tea Consumption and Its Interactions With Alcohol and Tobacco Use on the Risk for Esophageal Cancer: A Population-Based Cohort Study

Source: The Telegraph, 5 February 2018
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