ASH Daily News for 02 March 2017



On-site smoking bans ignored at Bristol hospitals

Call for government to intervene over operation delays in York

Smokers in Kirklees urged to be quitters on No Smoking Day

The shifting rationale for vaping

Ireland: Call for cigarette plain packaging start date

South Africa: BAT says planned tobacco rules may close plant

New Zealand: Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox calls for subsidies for e-cigarettes

Parliamentary Question

 
On-site smoking bans ignored at Bristol hospitals

On-site smoking bans at two Bristol hospitals continue to be ignored by visitors – despite clear warnings telling them not to and designated shelters nearby. Members of the public – including staff – were caught lighting up outside the main entrances to the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Southmead Hospital on Tuesday.

It comes as Public Health England launched a nationwide campaign to make the NHS completely ‘tobacco-free’ by banning smoking in all hospital buildings and their grounds.

“25 per cent of patients in hospitals are smokers. I believe we can make the NHS a place that provides a supportive tobacco-free environment for patients, staff and visitors, where helping people quit is fully integrated into their treatment,” Duncan Selbie, PHE Chief Executive, said.

See also:
Patients, staff and visitors at Wishaw General Hospital are continuing to flout smoking ban. Daily Record

Source: Bristol Post – 01 March 2017

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Call for government to intervene over operation delays in York

The Government has been asked to intervene over an “operation ban” affecting obese people and smokers in York. Patients who smoke or are obese face new rules which mean if they don’t quit or lose weight, they face lengthy delays for non-life threatening operations. GPs in York are now unable to refer patients for a surgical assessment if they smoke or are overweight, and instead people are sent a standard letter telling them to stop smoking or to lose weight.

MP Rachael Maskell has spoken in Parliament to criticise York’s Clinical Commissioning Group. She said the priority should be in investing money into public health to help people lose weight and stop smoking. However, in York the Council has cut smoking cessation services funding altogether, as well as the ‘health walks’ programme to help people people lose weight.

The Royal College of Surgeons has said “introducing blanket bans that delay patients’ access to what can be life-changing surgery for up to a year is wrong.”

Source: The Press – 01 March 2017
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Smokers in Kirklees urged to be quitters on No Smoking Day

Dr David Kelly, Chair of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We understand that the majority of smokers want to stop smoking, but many find the task too daunting. No Smoking Day is the perfect opportunity to inspire smokers in Kirklees to quit for good. In addition to cigarettes, it’s important to remember that tobacco that you don’t smoke (including paan, betel quid and chewing tobacco) is not a ‘safe’ way to use tobacco. It causes cancer and can be as addictive as smoking.”

This year’s No Smoking Day takes place on Wednesday, March 8.

Source: Spenborough Guardian – 01 March 2017
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The shifting rationale for vaping

A new study by San Diego State University harnesses social media data to explore—in their own words—the reasons people use electronic cigarettes and why they started vaping in the first place. Three million public tweets about electronic cigarettes between 2012 and 2015 were analysed to understand vaping’s surge in popularity over that time. Nearly half of people say they began vaping in an effort to quit smoking cigarettes, while other reasons included their taste, the ability to use them indoors and their “cool factor.”

Source: Medical Xpress – 01 March 2017
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Ireland: Call for cigarette plain packaging start date

The Irish Cancer Society (ICS) is calling on the Government to implement the law on standardised packaging. A survey the charity carried out found that 78% of people in Ireland support the introduction of standardised packaging of tobacco products. The smoking rate in Ireland is currently 23%.

“We welcome the passing of the Health Bill. However, delays have meant that we missed the deadline for commencement of plain packaging last May, and have fallen behind our European partners in France and the UK. It is time for the Minister to set out a start date on plain packaging, so we don’t fall even further behind,” Mr Buggy from the ICS noted.

Source: Irish Health – 01 March 2017
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South Africa: BAT says planned tobacco rules may close plant

British American Tobacco Plc said it may close South Africa’s only cigarette plant if plans to ban branded tobacco packaging are implemented. BAT operates its eighth-largest factory globally in Heidelberg, south of Johannesburg. The proposed new rules would put the financial viability of the operation at risk, Joe Heshu, BAT’s head of external affairs in Southern Africa, said.

South Africa has drafted a bill introducing plain cigarette packaging, which is expected to be made available for public comment soon. “You don’t want to build jobs based on people who are sick,” said Joe Maila, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health. “The process is in place and we are not apologetic about it.”

More than 44,000 South Africans a year die from tobacco-related diseases, according to the Cancer Association.

Source: Bloomberg – 01 March 2017
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New Zealand: Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox calls for subsidies for e-cigarettes

Making New Zealand smoke-free by 2025 is a key Maori Party goal and co-leader Marama Fox has been outspoken on the issue, calling an Imperial Tobacco spokesman a “peddler of death, destruction and misery” in a television interview last year.

Plain packaging for tobacco is on the way and the Government has carried out a consultation on its proposal to legalise the sale of electronic cigarettes in New Zealand. Currently, nicotine patches and gum can be bought, but nicotine e-cigarette liquid must be bought from overseas.

If evidence backs the product’s use, then the Government should subsidise vaping as a tool to help quit smoking, Marama Fox said.

Source: NZ Herald – 02 March 2017
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Parliamentary Question

PQ: Tobacco Control Plan
Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, for what reasons his Department has not yet set a date for publication of the Tobacco Control Plan.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
The United Kingdom is a world leader in tobacco control and we need to maintain our proactive evidence-led approach. It is important that we take the time we need to review the evidence and ensure the plan offers the best possible strategy.

Source: Hansard – 01 March 2017
Link: http://bit.ly/2mOeXFa