ASH Daily news for 05 August 2015



HEADLINES

  • Electronic cigarette use by 15-year-olds higher in more deprived parts of England
  • Children who have been bullied or admit they were bullies themselves ‘more likely to be smokers’
  • Swedish study reveals combined effects of smoking and early menopause on overall mortality
  • US: Residential location affects pregnant women’s likelihood of smoking
  • Opinion: Taxing tobacco to reduce expenditure on illnesses

    Electronic cigarette use by 15-year-olds higher in more deprived parts of England

    A report released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre found that electronic cigarette use by 15-year-olds mirrors the trend for teenagers’ tobacco smoking, generally being higher in the more deprived parts of England.

    The new survey found that young white people are also more likely than black or minority ethnic (BME) teenagers to try or regularly use both forms of smoking, whereas BME teenagers are more likely to use other tobacco products such as shisha.

    The survey, which allows comparison at local authority level, shows similar trends to others concentrating on the national picture. It suggests 24% of young people have ever smoked, 8% are current smokers, girls are more likely than boys to have ever smoked (28% to 21%), those in the most deprived areas are more likely to have smoked than those in the least (27% to 21%); and a regional variation with 28% of 15-year-olds in the north-east having ever smoked, compared to 21% in London.

    With regards to electronic cigarettes, 18% have ever tried them – there is no significant gender difference – but only 3% currently use them. The north-west, Yorkshire and Humberside regions have the highest prevalence and London has the lowest.

    Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “Smoking among young people is continuing to decline but one in 12 young people are still smoking by the age of 15. If we are to succeed in achieving the smokefree generation called for by the health minister, Jeremy Hunt, there is still much more to be done.”

    See also:

    Disparity in prevalence of young smokers

    Bradford teenagers smoking habits revealed in new survey 

    North West ‘heaviest area for young smokers’ 

    Source: The Guardian, 4th August 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1IoXirt

    Children who have been bullied or admit they were bullies themselves ‘more likely to be smokers’

    The HSCIC Survey referred to above also shows that children who have been bullied or admit to being bullies themselves are more likely to be smokers.

    Figures show that 15-year-olds who had bullied others were far more likely to be regular smokers (13%) than those who had not bullied others (5%).

    Meanwhile those who had been bullied were also twice as likely to be a regular smoker (7%) compared with those who had not (4%).

    More than three-quarters said they had never smoked (76%) and a further 12% had only tried it once.

    Source: Mirror, 4th August 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1M4nH2n

    Swedish study reveals combined effects of smoking and early menopause on overall mortality

    A Swedish study involving 25,474 women is the first to quantify the combined effects of smoking and age at menopause on overall mortality in terms of survival time by investigating the role of smoking as a possible effect modifier.

    The researchers of this study found that not only does the age at menopause and smoking relate in predicting mortality, but also that smoking exaggerates the effects of oestrogen deficiency in women with menopause at a younger age.

    However, differently from other studies, this study demonstrated a non-significant association between age at menopause and mortality among never smokers. Of note was the fact that the women with later menopause were more likely to be non-smokers and more likely to use hormone therapy.

    Source: News Medical, 5th August 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1IWVOu0

    US: Residential location affects pregnant women’s likelihood of smoking

    According to a new study from Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, women are more likely to smoke during pregnancy when they live in areas where socio-economic resources are lower but also where smoking is more socially accepted.

    The study finds that counties with higher values on the socio-economic status scale have lower average odds of women smoking during pregnancy.

    Source: Medical News Today, 4th August 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1eSpv1v

    Opinion: Taxing tobacco to reduce expenditure on illnesses

    According to the latest World Health Organisation Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, levying taxes on tobacco is one of the cheapest and most effective measures to prevent death and suffering. However, levying is a tool that few countries are using.

    The report details the efforts countries are making to meet tobacco-control targets and makes recommendations for improvement. In many cases, it suggests raising taxes on tobacco. Despite the strategy’s proven effectiveness, it is the least implemented tobacco control measure. According to a WHO report, only 33 countries levy sufficiently high taxes on tobacco, amounting to at least 75 percent of the retail price of cigarettes. This means that only one in 10 people worldwide benefits from this measure.

    Taxes on tobacco cost little to implement and lead to a windfall of benefits. They make tobacco products less affordable, helping smokers quit and preventing non-users – especially young people, women and the poor – from ever starting.

    The levies also provide countries with additional revenue that can be used to fund vital health programmes and other essential public services.

    Source: China Daily, 5th August 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1M4sJw1