ASH Daily news for 01 April 2016



HEADLINES

  • Researchers urge arthritis patients to give up smoking to help them live longer
  • Rise in Electronic Cigarette Stores
  • London: Epping Forest District Council proposes ‘vaping’ crackdown
  • USA: New York high court upholds outdoor smoking ban at state parks
  • Canada: Hookah ban to take effect in Toronto, starting April 1
  • Canada: Kamloops: Smoking ban in parks comes into force on 1st April
  • India: 85 percent pictorial warning on tobacco products in force from 1st April

    Researchers urge arthritis patients to give up smoking to help them live longer

    University of Manchester led research suggests that, not only is smoking associated with earlier deaths in those with rheumatoid arthritis, but also those who stop smoking dramatically reduce their risk of earlier death. The study is published in Arthritis Care and Research journal.

    The research, led by Rebecca Joseph, analysed anonymised patient information from an electronic UK-based GP database, which included information on hospital admissions and death certificates.

    Researchers found that the risk of death was almost two times higher in patients who smoked compared to those who never smoked, whilst the risk of death for former smokers was similar to that for never smokers. Furthermore in the patients who stopped smoking, the risk of death fell for each additional year they had given up.

    See also:
    Manchester: Researchers urge arthritis patients to give up smoking to help them live longer
    See the full report here: Smoking-related mortality in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis

    Source: Medical News Today 31 March 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1qlVRb2

    Rise in Electronic Cigarette Stores

    Researchers have found a notable increase in electronic cigarette stores across the UK. In 2012 there were 340 tobacconists, a category that includes vape stores, in England, Scotland and Wales. There are now 1,552.

    Euromonitor, a research firm, estimates that Britons spent around £800m on “vaping products” in 2015, up from £50m in 2011. Analysts reckon the British have taken to electronic cigarettes mainly because they are cheap; heavy taxes make ordinary cigarettes in Britain among the most expensive in the world. Vaping can cost 90% less a month for someone used to smoking 15-20 cigarettes a day, says Shane MacGuill of Euromonitor.

    Perhaps for that reason, the increase in vape shops has been concentrated in poorer areas: the north-west has nearly three times the number in the London area, according to researcher from the Local Data Company. While some fear that e-cigarettes act as a gateway to tobacco and reduce the stigma of smoking. Britain’s experience suggests otherwise. Despite the boom in e-cigarette sales, smoking and overall nicotine use has continued to fall. A tiny 0.2% of vapers did not previously smoke tobacco.

    Source: The Economist 1 April 2016
    Link: http://econ.st/21W0NPK

    London: Epping Forest District Council proposes ‘vaping’ crackdown

    Using electronic cigarettes could be banned in communal areas of Epping Forest council housing under new plans.

    People could be forbidden from charging the devices from council-owned computers, as part of an Epping Forest District Council crackdown on vaping. The proposals come as part of a new Smoking and Vaping Policy, which will be debated next week.

    Other changes in the policy include banning vaping from all council workplaces and vehicles being used for council business, even privately owned ones, and stopping the use of electronic cigarettes in other council run properties.

    The policy was drafted following a survey of 270 council staff members, eleven per cent of whom smoke and six per cent vape. The report adds: “Vaping is significantly safer than smoking and those that choose to vape as a means of quitting smoking should be encouraged to do so. However this does not mean that the majority of staff, who have expressed their preference not to be exposed to vaping products, should have their views ignored.”

    Source: Epping and Waltham Forest Guardian 30 March 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1MYGM4e

    USA: New York high court upholds outdoor smoking ban at state parks

    New York state’s highest court has upheld smoking restrictions in state parks, including an outright ban at seven smaller parks in New York City.

    The Court of Appeals unanimously rejected arguments from a smokers’ rights group that parks officials exceeded their authority and smoking limits should be left to state lawmakers. Judge Eugene Fahey stated that lawmakers gave responsibility to the parks department authority to provide for public health and welfare within the park system.

    Source: The Mail Online 31 March 2016
    Link: http://dailym.ai/1RPadXx

    Canada: Hookah ban to take effect in Toronto, starting April 1

    From today, 1st April 2016, smoking shisha pipes (also known as hookah or water pipes) in bars and lounges will be banned across the city. A motion to ban smoking water pipes was passed by the City Council last November, but businesses were given a five-month grace period, ending on April 1st.

    Between April and June bylaw enforcement staff will focus on public education on hookah use prohibition, said Toronto Public Health spokesperson Melissa Simone in a statement. Stricter measures, ranging from ticket issuances and court hearings, will come into force from July this year.

    Source: Toronto Metro 1 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/25A35bG 

    Canada: Kamloops: Smoking ban in parks comes into force on 1st April

    As of April 1st, smoking will be illegal in all parks in the City of Kamloops in British Columbia, as well as on city property. The ban also encompasses electronic cigarettes.

    Bylaw supervisor John Ramsay said officers will focus on making the public aware of the new rules rather than issuing tickets. “For us, I think it’s not about enforcing the change so much as it is about educating,” Ramsay said. “The whole intent was to adopt a healthier approach to public spaces and be part of that conversation.”

    Source: Kamloops This Week 30 March 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1RPbFJw

    India: 85 percent pictorial warning on tobacco products in force from 1st April

    Tobacco products will carry larger pictorial warnings covering 85% of the packaging space from 1st April 2016. The regulations are coming into effect despite a parliamentary panel’s recommendation for a drastic reduction in the size of the visual message.

    The images of specified health warnings were uploaded on the health ministry’s website and a public notice was issued on February 19, 2016, in all leading national and regional newspapers to facilitate enforcement of the new specified health warnings from April 1.

    Source: Hindustan Times 1 April 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Y3qvke