ASH Daily News for 08 December 2016



  • Wales: Public Health Wales call for ban on smoking outside nurseries and GP Practices
  • U.S. Surgeon General raises concerns over e-cigarette use among youth
  • Study suggests ibuprofen could reduce risks of lung cancer
  • Scotland: South Ayrshire Council cracking down on proxy purchasing
  • Ireland: Real IRA figure Aidan O’Driscoll shot dead in Cork Street
  • Parliamentary Questions

Wales: Public Health Wales call for ban on smoking outside nurseries and GP Practices

Plans to ban smoking in school and hospital grounds and playgrounds in Wales should be extended to outside all nurseries, GP practices, playing fields and sports grounds Public Health Wales (PHW) has told AMs.

Responding to proposals announced in November PHW said that they support the move, designed to protect children from exposure to secondhand smoke and denormalise smoking, but that the plans should go further.

The proposals are part of the Government’s second attempt to pass a Public Health Bill which Ministers hope will be passed by May 2017.

Source: BBC News Wales – 07 December 2016
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U.S. Surgeon General raises concerns over e-cigarette use among youth

The Surgeon General has called for action to reduce the use of e-cigarettes among young people after a notable increase in recent years.

Vivek Murthy’s report notes that young people are more vulnerable to negative effects from nicotine exposure than adults.

Between 2011 and 2015, use of e-cigarettes among US middle school students rose to 5.3% from 0.6%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Significantly as use of e-cigarettes has risen, traditional smoking has gone down. Between 2011 and 2015 the use of combustible cigarettes among U.S. middle school students has fallen to 2.3% from 4.3%.

Fears that e-cigarette use can lead to later smoking are one factor behind the report’s recommendation that e-cigarettes are incorporated into existing smoke-free policies, including preventing youth from accessing e-cigarettes, implementing price and tax policies that discourage use and encouraging federal regulation of e-cigarette marketing.

“We know a great deal about what works to effectively prevent tobacco use among young people,” the report says. “Now we must apply these strategies to e-cigarettes.”

Editorial Note: Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH said: “ASH is puzzled by the level of concern being expressed about e-cigarettes by the Surgeon-General. In the US as in the UK, young people are experimenting with e-cigarettes but vaping has not been associated with an increase in smoking, a point which is not made sufficiently clear in the report. While nicotine is not completely harmless, it is smoking that is lethal. In the UK we have a regulatory system that restricts advertising and controls sales to young people. There is no evidence of significant regular use by non-smoking children and, as in the US, smoking rates are going down, not up.”

Source: Reuters – 08 December 2016
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Study suggests ibuprofen could reduce risks of lung cancer

A new study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University has found that ibuprofen could reduce the risk of developing lung cancer in current or ex-smokers.

Examining data from 10,735 in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers collected baseline information on smoking status, use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and other lifestyle variables between 1988 and 1994. Subsequent mortality status was obtained from the National Death Index to 2006.

Estimates of NSAID effects were ascertained from a sub-cohort of 5,882 individuals who reported a history of past or current cigarette smoking.

Researchers found that among adults with a history of past or current smoking, ibuprofen intake was associated with a substantial (48%) reduction in the risk of dying from lung cancer. Aspirin and acetaminophen showed no significant impact.

The data was presented at the IASLC 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Vienna.

Source: The Express – 07 December 2016
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Scotland: South Ayrshire Council cracking down on proxy purchasing

A new campaign has been launched across South Ayrshire to crackdown on proxy purchasing, an illegal practice where an adult buys tobacco on behalf of under 18s. Adults found to be flouting this law can face a heavy fine.

53% of 15-year-olds in Scotland persuaded someone else to buy them cigarettes from shops in 2015 according to results from the latest SALSUS smoking report.

To help raise awareness the Council has teamed-up with NHS Ayrshire and Arran to promote a zero tolerance message to retailers and the wider public.

Source: Ayr Advertiser – 07 December 2016
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Ireland: Real IRA figure Aidan O’Driscoll shot dead in Cork Street

Two gunmen have ambushed and killed a former leading figure in the Real IRA in the first murder of its kind in four years in Ireland. Aidan O’Driscoll was shot three times on Wednesday afternoon, no group has yet claimed responsibility.

In 2013, the Real IRA said its new leadership had expelled O’Driscoll for pilfering profits from the group’s involvement in cigarette smuggling and other crimes. At the time, Real IRA colleagues shot O’Driscoll in both legs in a so-called “punishment” attack designed to cripple temporarily, not kill.

Source: The Guardian- 08 December 2016
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Parliamentary Questions

PQ1: Tobacco Control Plan
David Davies, Conservative, Monmouth
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when he plans to publish a new tobacco control plan.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
The Government is developing a new tobacco control plan, which will build on previous success and will be published shortly.

Source: Hansard – 06 December 2016
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PQ2: FCTC COP7
Lord Palmer Crossbench
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what actions they intend to take following publication of the decisions from the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention of Tobacco Control.

Lord Palmer Crossbench
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the decisions of the seventh session of the Conference of Parties to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in regard to non-nicotine delivery systems.

Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health
The United Kingdom is a world leader in tobacco control and is well advanced in the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). In the Autumn Statement, the Government announced legislation to require the licensing of tobacco manufacturing equipment which also takes the UK a further step forward towards ratifying the FCTC’s Illicit Trade Protocol.

In November, the seventh Conference of the Parties considered a report on e-cigarettes by the World Health Organisation and concluded that further monitoring of market developments, emerging research, development of emission testing methodology and regulatory response is required, but that Parties should be invited to regulate these products “as appropriate to their national laws and public health objectives.” The Government has already introduced a regulatory framework for these products in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and The Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015. The implementation and effect of these regulations will be monitored and the Government will examine all opportunities to maximise the health benefits of these products for smokers whilst minimising their uptake by children and non-smokers.

The Government will also shortly publish a new Plan which will set out a framework for future action on tobacco control.

Source: Hansard – 06 December 2016
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