ASH Daily news for 04 November 2015



HEADLINES

  • Cuts to public health funding will cost the NHS dear
  • Higher smoking rates in north of England
  • Opinion: Northern Ireland smoking ban in cars needed now
  • Teen tobacco dependence should be treated with ‘same urgency as other drugs,’ study says
  • Malaysia hikes cigarette taxes by more than 40%

    Cuts to public health funding will cost the NHS dear

    In the next few weeks it will be revealed whether the government is going to take £1bn or more out of health spending in this parliament. This will not be cuts to just any health spending, but to services aimed at some of the country’s most intractable and costly problems, such as obesity and mental health.

    In July, the new Conservative government announced it would be slicing £200m from this year’s public health funding. That’s a 6.2% cut. Councils are supposed to use this funding to reduce obesity, smoking, drug and alcohol misuse, provide regular checks on children up to five years old and adults over 40, improve sexual health, keep tabs on infectious diseases, and much more.

    Cutting public health budgets could be costly. The Faculty of Public Health has estimated that this year’s £200m cut alone will cost the NHS an extra £1bn.

    Source: The Guardian, 3rd November 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1LOqv2S

    Higher smoking rates in north of England

    New data shows that Blackpool has the highest rate of smoking among adults in England, with one in four people still smoking cigarettes in the northern seaside town.

    The latest smoking data published by Public Health England, found that most of the towns in top five percentage of smokers are in the north of England.

    See also:

    Blackpool lights … up most – The Sun (£)

    Source: Mirror, 3rd November 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1NdgR84

    Opinion: Northern Ireland smoking ban in cars needed now

    On October 1, 2015 a law to protect children came into force in England and Wales. It bans people from smoking in cars which have children in them. Health Minister Simon Hamilton said earlier this year that a similar ban would be introduced in Northern Ireland.

    Yet now, without explanation, there appears to be no more plans to bring this legislation forward… but children in Northern Ireland have the basic right to be protected from the effects of cigarettes.

    Source: Belfast Telegraph, 3rd November 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1KX8NGL

    Teen tobacco dependence should be treated with ‘same urgency as other drugs,’ study says

    Substance abuse treatments that target serious drug and alcohol addiction are rarely used to also prevent adolescents from tobacco use, a University of Georgia study finds.

    Tobacco addiction in adolescents is often an overlooked issue because it does not carry with it the stigma that alcohol abuse and other serious drugs do, according to the study’s lead author, Jessica Muilenburg, an associate professor at UGA’s College of Public Health and health promotion and behaviour graduate coordinator.

    She said that what most people do not realise is that tobacco “changes the chemistry of your brain and makes you crave whatever your drug of choice is, which is why kicking the tobacco habit with the rest of your addictions is important.

    “It’s a drug, but it’s not treated in the same capacity and with the same urgency as other drugs. We are saying to treat it with the same urgency, because relapse is less likely if you treat the nicotine as well.”

    Source: Medical Xpress, 3rd November 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1MgJ4hU

    Malaysia hikes cigarette taxes by more than 40%

    Malaysia has raised cigarette taxes by more than 40 per cent, a move which British American Tobacco Malaysia (BAT Malaysia) described as an “unprecedented massive increase in cigarette excise”.

    In a statement, BAT Malaysia said it had to increase prices of its brands, which include Dunhill, Lucky Strike and Benson & Hedges, after “taking into consideration the sum mandated by the excise increase and its impact on GST and inflationary cost pressures”.

    Source: Channel News Asia, 4th November 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1NPzykZ