ASH Daily news for 02 December 2015



HEADLINES

  • Scientists may have identified gene which makes quitting harder
  • Scotland: Ban on e-cigarettes for under-18s moves closer
  • Ban on smoking e-cigarettes at London Midland stations starts
  • Will EU renew legal agreement with tobacco firm PMI?
  • Study reveals new mechanism in nicotine addiction

    Scientists may have identified gene which makes quitting harder

    A ‘pleasure’ gene that makes it harder to quit smoking has been discovered by scientists.

    According to the new research published in Translational Psychiatry, people are less or more able to give up cigarettes depending on what forms of the protein they carry.

    Researchers found that the gene, dubbed Taq1A, plays a role in processing dopamine, a brain chemical which is associated with pleasure and reward and is released when smoking. According to the research those Caucasians with the gene type known as A2/A2 found it easier to give up cigarettes than those who had other versions called A1/A1 or A1/A2.

    The new discovery could mean more personalised treatments to help people quit smoking.

    Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy at ASH, said: “This is an important area for research and provides further insights into why some people become both more addicted and find it harder to quit.

    “In the UK we already have excellent services that increase a person’s chances of quitting by four times and clearly genes could help identify smokers in greatest need of such help.

    “These services are currently under threat and this research highlights just how vital they are to those who find it that much harder to quit smoking on their own.”

    Source: West Briton, 1st December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1l74GmY

    Scotland: Ban on e-cigarettes for under-18s moves closer

    Legislation restricting the sale of electronic cigarettes to children has passed its first stage at Holyrood.

    MSPs unanimously backed a Scottish government bill at its first stage that would ban under-18s from buying the devices and limit their advertising.

    The Health Bill would also make smoking near hospital buildings a statutory offence.

    Source: The Times, 2nd December 2015
    Link: http://thetim.es/1TkjJV0

    Ban on smoking e-cigarettes at London Midland stations starts

    Passengers at London Midland train stations throughout Warwickshire are banned from using electronic cigarettes from today.

    London Midland runs 147 stations across the country and staff are also now barred from using e-cigarettes at the company’s offices and depots.

    Source: Coventry Telegraph, 1st December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1OFnaEu

    Will EU renew legal agreement with tobacco firm PMI?

    There is not long left until the binding legal ageement between tobacco company Philip Morris International (PMI) and the European Union expires.

    The 2004 deal saw Europe halt all its legal claims against PMI in exchange for the multinational’s cooperation in the fight against cigarette smuggling. The EU had previously sued PMI and other tobacco companies in the US over suspected involvement in smuggling operations.

    With the PMI agreement the first to expire, several policy watchers in Brussels have begun to wonder if it will be extended.

    Source: Euobserver, 2nd December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/21sXBxx

    Study reveals new mechanism in nicotine addiction

    Part of the reason people find smoking difficult to quit is that each time they have a cigarette, feelings of craving, irritability and anxiety melt away. This component of addiction is known as negative reward and is controlled in part by a region of the brain called the habenula.

    Researchers have discovered that neurotransmitters that play an important part in the habenula, actually interact and work together to reinforce addiction.

    Source: Medical Xpress, 1st December 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1TkhT6x