ASH Daily News for 05 April 2017



Public health cuts will lead to more sick people, report warns
Parental smoking linked to genetic changes found in childhood cancer
Raised risk of serious infections for people with schizophrenia
Impact of water pipe tobacco heated electronically on lung cells
Barnet children make film about the dangers of shisha for school workshops
Man escapes cigarette fire in Reading

 
Public health cuts will lead to more sick people, report warns

In a strongly worded report published today, the House of Lords select committee on the long-term sustainability of the NHS warns that cuts of £531m to public health budgets in England during this parliament could backfire badly.

Evidence submitted to the inquiry showed that the public health budget for England was cut by £200m in 2015-16 and will shrink by a further £331m by 2021. Services to help people stop smoking and manage their weight are also at risk, the report says.

The report cautions that socioeconomic factors can make it difficult for poorer people to live healthily. “If we are to expect the public to make healthier lifestyle choices, we must also empower them to do so. We still live in a country where social and environmental factors predetermine many of our health outcomes and where the ‘choice’ to live healthily or unhealthily is illusory for many,” said Shirley Cramer, the Royal Society for Public Health’s chief executive.

The Lord’s select committee’s full report: The Long-term sustainability of the NHS and adult social care

Source: The Guardian, 5th April 2017
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Parental smoking linked to genetic changes found in childhood cancer

The link between acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and parental smoking – especially paternal smoking – has already been established, but a new study points to specific genetic changes in the tumour cells of children with the cancer.

Smoking by either parent helps promote genetic deletions, which are associated with the development and progression of the most common type of childhood cancer, according to the research headed by UC San Francisco. While the strongest associations were found in children whose parents smoked during their infancy, these deletions were also noted in the offspring of parents who may have quit smoking even before conception.

The scientists found that approximately two-thirds of the tumour samples (353) contained at least one deletion. Deletions were considerably more common in children whose mothers had smoked during pregnancy and after birth. For each five cigarettes smoked daily during pregnancy, there was a 22 percent increase in the number of deletions; and for each five cigarettes smoked daily during breastfeeding, there was a 74 percent increase in the number of deletions.

The study was published in the journal Cancer Research.

Source: MedicalXpress, 4th April 2017
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Raised risk of serious infections for people with schizophrenia

People who have schizophrenia appear to be much more likely to have serious infections than those without the mental health condition, suggests a new study.

The research presented at this year’s European Congress on Psychiatry being held in Florence, Italy, this week found that people with schizophrenia were around 63% more likely to have serious infections such as HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis and skin infections than the general population.

Patients with schizophrenia are more likely to have many risk factors such as high co-occurrence of medical conditions, cigarette smoking or substance abuse, which make them more susceptible to infections.

Source: onmedica, 4th April 2017
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Impact of water pipe tobacco heated electronically on lung cells

Chemists from the University of Cincinnati found that water pipe (“hookah”) tobacco heated electronically kills 70 percent more lung cells than traditional charcoal. Unlike e-cigarettes, which heat liquid into a vapour, hookah pipes burn tobacco mixed with glycerine and flavourings.

In an experiment to examine the toxicity of hookah smoke on human lung cells, the same hookah tobacco was heated with two types of commercially available charcoal and an electric heat source (“e-charcoal”). The researchers subjected lung cells to an extract of the resulting hookah smoke at different dilutions. The results suggested that lower-toxin charcoal killed 10 percent of lung cells after 24 hours and higher-toxin charcoal killed 25 percent of lung cells, while e-charcoal killed 80 percent of lung cells.

Ryan Saadawi, the lead author of the study, has been studying this popular form of tobacco use for years. He said he does not want anyone to misinterpret his studies to suggest that hookah is somehow better for cardiovascular health than cigarettes. “I do not condone any smoking. I’m not saying quit smoking cigarettes and start hookah,” he said. “All smoking is bad for you.”

Source: MedicalXpress, 4th April 2017
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Barnet children make film about the dangers of shisha for school workshops

A shisha awareness film which busts misconceptions about smoking has been made by six Barnet young people in conjunction with Cut Films, the education arm of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

Filmmaker Sanchia Farmer-Moruthoane, 12, said: “It was a fantastic experience being able to create a film, and it really taught me the effects of smoking shisha and will prevent me from trying it.”

The film called “More Than One Choice” can be watched here.

Source: Times Series, 4th April 2017
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Man escapes cigarette fire in Reading

A man escaped a fire from his home in Reading, which had been started by a cigarette. The man’s sofa and carpet were badly damaged in the fire but crews managed to stop the fire from spreading to the rest of the property.

Cigarettes burn at approximately 700ºC and if they remain smouldering they can start a fire. RBFRS statistics show that careless use or disposal of smoking materials is the highest single cause of fire (60 percent) in accidental fire deaths.

Iain Harrison, Group Manager for Prevention, said: “More people die in fires caused by smoking, than in fires caused by anything else. If you’re a smoker, make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished after use, to ensure that you don’t end up as another statistic.”

Source: Heart, 5th April 2017
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