ASH Daily news for 03 February 2015



HEADLINES

  • Lung disease sufferer inspires smokefree campaign
  • Do low-tar cigarettes put women more at risk of aggressive lung cancer?
  • Plain tobacco packaging: NI to be included in UK-wide legislation
  • Smoke gets in your genes: Further dangers of smoking while pregnant revealed
  • Outdoor smoke-free zones under consideration in Stoke-on-Trent
  • USA: California bill could raise smoking age to 21

    Lung disease sufferer inspires smokefree campaign

    A mother from Torquay has made an impassioned plea for people to stop smoking after her lung collapsed. She has thrown her support behind a hard-hitting campaign by Smokefree South West which encourages people to stop smoking by showing how their loved ones suffer.

    Latest research conducted by Smokefree South West shows:
    29% of people had stopped encouraging loved ones to quit because they were scared of starting an argument.
    84% of parents said they encourage their child to stop as they don’t like to see them harm themselves
    67% of people, whose parents smoke, try to encourage them to stop because they’re scared of losing them early.

    Source: itv.com 2 Feb. 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/16qeUHQ

    Do low-tar cigarettes put women more at risk of aggressive lung cancer?

    A case study of a 62-year old woman with lung cancer is profiled in the Daily Mail as part of Cancer Research UK’s Cross Out Cancer campaign. Marion Brown had given up smoking 10 years before the diagnosis and had been a light smoker, smoking low-tar brands.

    Ian Hunt, a consultant thoracic surgeon at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, commented: “Decades ago, we saw a rise in more women smoking. While in recent years that number has decreased, particularly among middle-aged women, smoking among young women is still quite prevalent.”

    Another change is in the type of cigarettes people smoke. When Marion did smoke, she tended to choose low-tar varieties. Mr Hunt said: “Many people, especially women, have moved on to low-tar cigarettes in the mistaken belief they’re better for them – but there is some evidence to suggest that people inhale these more deeply than they would a stronger cigarette in order to get the same effects. This has led to a change in the types of cancer we now see.”

    Source: Daily Mail, 3 Feb. 2014
    Link: http://dailym.ai/1D8C5Ta

    Plain tobacco packaging: NI to be included in UK-wide legislation

    Northern Ireland is to be included in UK-wide proposals to introduce plain, standardised packaging for cigarettes.

    Stormont’s Health Minister Jim Wells said he expects to see plain packaging made compulsory in the UK by next year.

    He said ministers in England, Wales and Scotland were all proposing to implement the same legislation.

    The regulations are to be laid out during the current parliament and could come into force in May 2016.

    Source: BBC News, 3 Feb. 2015
    Link: http://bbc.in/1zxaKHt

    Smoke gets in your genes: Further dangers of smoking while pregnant revealed

    Smoking while pregnant causes chemical changes to the DNA of a foetus detectable from as early as 12 weeks and may predispose children born to smokers to a range of health conditions which last throughout life, new research by Scottish academics has revealed.

    Their findings, published today in BMC Medicine, add significant weight to existing knowledge of the dangers of smoking while pregnant and show that risks may be even greater than previously thought.

    The study, by researchers from the universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, together with Professor Kevin Sinclair from the University of Nottingham, showed that maternal smoking leads to crucial changes in chemical tags known as ‘epigenetic marks’ which are normally attached to DNA. These epigenetic marks, known as DNA methylation, can affect how genes function. The researchers were able to show for the first time that such changes are present in the livers of foetuses of between 12 and 20 weeks gestation.

    The full academic paper can be viewed online at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/13/18

    Source: University of Glasgow, 2 Feb. 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1BYJTFo

    Outdoor smoke-free zones under consideration in Stoke-on-Trent

    A move to prohibit smoking in Stoke’s city parks and playgrounds and outside Hanley’s new bus station is being considered.

    Stoke-on-Trent City Council is looking at creating the outdoor ‘smoke free zones’ to try to encourage the city’s 55,000 smokers to quit. Smoking prevalence in Stoke is 28% – well above the national average.
    The idea of smoke-free zones is being explored by the city’s Tobacco Control Alliance (TCA), which is chaired by senior councillor Adrian Knapper.

    A council report states: “The TCA will undertake work to consider the establishment of a smoke-free Smithfield, smoke-free playgrounds and parks and a smoke-free city centre bus station.
    “The move to smoke-free status of these important settings will contribute to the broader tobacco control programme which aims to reduce the harm and health inequalities caused by tobacco use in the city.”

    Source: Evening Sentinel, 2 Feb. 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1yzBSD6

    USA: California bill could raise smoking age to 21

    California could make history and become the first state to raise the smoking age to 21.
    Many other states have tried to pass similar legislation but have ultimately failed.
    Sen. Ed Hernandez introduced Senate Bill 151 last Thursday, which would raise the legal smoking age in California from 18 to 21.

    Source: Bakersfieldnow.com, 2 Feb. 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1z9HXda