ASH Daily News for 09 December 2016



  • E-cigarette alert from US angers experts in Britain
  • London: Figures reveal where most mums smoke during pregnancy
  • BAT’s vaping robots find e-cigarettes don’t deliver as much nicotine as traditional smokes
  • St Helens: Opinion is divided by Totally Wicked Stadium name
  • EU: Ombudsman ruling on commission’s tobacco lobby secrecy welcomed
  • Australia: Plain packs get more support than expected
  • Switzerland: Parliament rejects tobacco advertising ban

E-cigarette alert from US angers experts in Britain

British and American health experts are at loggerheads over e-cigarettes after the US Surgeon General said they should be treated in the same way as tobacco.

The report provoked an angry response from British experts who believe that the devices could save thousands of lives by helping people to quit smoking.

Linda Bauld, of the University of Stirling, accused him of a fundamental misunderstanding of the evidence. She said that he used studies in mice and rats to predict what might happen in humans. Professor Bauld said that vaping was a relatively safe way for pregnant women to stop smoking.

The disagreement reflects the fact that British experts tend to compare vaping with smoking.

Kevin Fenton, of Public Health England, which has endorsed vaping as a way to quit smoking, said the picture was different in Britain, where studies found that few non-smoking teenagers had tried e-cigarettes.

“We have comprehensive regulations in place including a ban on selling e-cigarettes to under-18s,” Professor Fenton said. “Our review of the evidence found e-cigarette use carries a fraction of the risk of smoking.”

A spokeswoman for ASH said she was puzzled by Dr Murthy’s dire warnings. “While nicotine is not completely harmless, it is smoking that is lethal,” she said. “There is no evidence of significant regular use [of e-cigarettes] by non-smoking children.”

See also:
U.S. surgeon general e-cigarette report sparks controversy, Reuters
US and UK differ on dangers of vaping – so who’s right?, The Grocer (£)

Source: The Times – 09 December 2016 (£)
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London: Figures reveal where most mums smoke during pregnancy

Greenwich has the highest rate of smoking during pregnancy in the capital – two percent less than the national average, new figures reveal.

Some 8.6% of the borough’s mums-to-be are smokers when they give birth to their child, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The figure is high for London, joint first with Barking and Dagenham, but falls short of the national average of 10.6%.

Westminster had the lowest pregnancy smoking rate in the capital, at 1.5 per cent, and Blackpool has the highest in the country – 26 per cent logged as smokers at birth.

[includes map]

Source: Sutton Guardian – 08 December 2016
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BAT’s vaping robots find e-cigarettes don’t deliver as much nicotine as traditional smokes

Vaping robots are testing British American Tobacco’s electronic cigarettes to find out how nicotine and vapour are delivered to lung cells compared to traditional cigarettes.
Dr James Murphy, head of risk substantiation at BAT, said the company had to be sure that other tests weren’t just saying e-cigarette vapour had a reduced impact because it was lost in the air.

The results show, puff by puff, e-cigarettes deliver less nicotine despite contributing more mass to lung cells. This is because vapour is made of heavier, but arguably less harmful, materials like water and flavouring.

Source: City AM – 09 December 2016
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St Helens: Opinion is divided by Totally Wicked Stadium name

Dozens of fans have expressed dismay over the renaming of Langtree Park as the Totally Wicked Stadium from next year, citing the debate over vaping and the uncertainty of its long-term effects. They also argue the title The Totally Wicked Stadium has opened the club to ridicule.

But there are also plenty of supporters who are backing the club, believing the commercial pressures facing rugby league mean Saints’ top brass could not afford to back away from a money-spinning deal.

Source: St Helen Star – 08 December 2016
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EU: Ombudsman ruling on commission’s tobacco lobby secrecy welcomed

The European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly today ended her inquiry into the European Commission’s implementation of UN tobacco lobby rules, which began in 2014 following a complaint from Corporate Europe Observatory.

Corporate Europe Observatory welcomes her strongly worded final ruling, which rebukes the European Commission for maladministration over its violation of the UN rules. This decision by the Ombudsman follows the Commission’s rejection of her recommendations for greater transparency on tobacco lobbying across the institution earlier this year.

Source: Blue and Green Tomorrow – 08 December 2016
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Australia: Plain packs get more support than expected

Young Australians say they’re less likely to try smoking and more likely to quit since the country’s mandatory plain packaging for all tobacco products was implemented, according to a new study.

In telephone surveys of Australians 12 to 24 years old, between 15 percent and 20 percent of non-smokers, ex-smokers and experimental smokers alike said the plain packaging made them less likely to take up smoking. A third of current smokers said they tried to quit or thought about quitting because of the packaging.

One fourth reported experiencing a sense of social denormalisation of smoking, such as hiding their pack from view, using a case to cover their pack or feeling embarrassed about smoking.

Source: Reuters – 08 December 2016
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Switzerland: Parliament rejects tobacco advertising ban

A plan to restrict tobacco advertising has been rejected in Parliament by 101 votes to 75. Those against the plan think it went too far and said there was nothing that proved that banning advertising would reduce tobacco consumption. In addition, they thought a federal ban limited the power of cantons to introduce stricter rules.

According to a study published by the Swiss federal office of public health last December, two thirds of the Swiss public were in favour of banning tobacco advertising, everywhere except at the point of sale. 58% were even in favour of a blanket ban, while one in six wanted to see cigarette price increases.

Source: Le News – 08 December 2016
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