ASH Daily News for 1 May 2018



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UK

  • Smokers have more ‘bad’ and less ‘good’ bacteria than vapers, putting them at greater risk of disease, finds study
  • Tower Hamlets: Muslims helped to quit tobacco in run up to Ramadan

International

  • Japan Tobacco’s Push Abroad Offsets Weaker Domestic Demand
  • Manila, Philippines: Anti-smoking group calls for ban on e-cigarettes

 

UK

Smokers have more ‘bad’ and less ‘good’ bacteria than vapers, putting them at greater risk of disease, finds study

A small scale study has found that users of e-cigarettes (vapers) have healthier gut bacteria than smokers, researchers have discovered. This puts them at a lower risk of conditions such as colon cancer, colitis, Crohn’s disease and obesity, the first-of-its-kind trial suggests.

Scientists also uncovered that e-cigarette users have similar microbiomes to those who don’t smoke. Newcastle University experts today labelled the results of their study an ‘incentive’ for smokers to switch to e-cigarettes.

The Newcastle experiment, led by Dr Christopher Stewart, is the first to compare the microbiome between vapers and traditional smokers.

Dr Stewart said: ‘The bacterial cells in our body outnumber our own human cells and our microbiome weighs more than our brain. Yet we are only just beginning to understand its importance on our health. To find vaping is less-damaging than smoking on our gut bacteria adds to the incentive to change to e-cigarettes and for people to use them as a tool to quit smoking completely.’

Source: Daily Mail, 1 May 2018

The original study can be accessed here: Effects of tobacco smoke and electronic cigarette vapor exposure on the oral and gut microbiota in humans: a pilot study

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Tower Hamlets: Muslims helped to quit tobacco in run up to Ramadan

The ‘Quit Tobacco Before Ramadan’ campaign opens today, with residents being encouraged to pledge to stop chewing or smoking tobacco to prevent nicotine cravings when the holy month starts.

Ramadan begins on the evening of May 15 and will last until June 14.

Dr Somen Banerjee, council director of public health, said: “As Ramadan is a time for abstaining from addictive substances, quitting before it begins is a great way to kick start your health and benefit from reducing your risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke.

“Local stop smoking advisers are always available but they will be even more accessible over the next two weeks to offer advice on free services and quitting options.”

Last year, 1,350 people quit smoking in the borough with the help of council services

Source: East London Advertiser, 30 April 2018

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International

Japan Tobacco’s Push Abroad Offsets Weaker Domestic Demand

Japan Tobacco Inc.’s spate of acquisitions overseas is helping to stem declines in cigarette sales at home.

Operating profit for the maker of Winston and Mevius cigarettes fell to 146.8 billion yen ($1.3 billion) in the three months ending March 31 compared with a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Asia’s most-valuable cigarette maker has been on an acquisition spree, spending more than $3 billion in the past year to pick up companies in Russia, Indonesia and the Philippines. That’s helped ease the increasing pressure it faces as global regulations on smoking tighten and rivals challenge the company at home with competing high-tech smoking devices.

The company said profit decreased due to declining cigarette sales. That slide was partially offset by the growing demand for its smokeless tobacco product, Ploom Tech. Overseas, the company saw earnings gains in several key markets including Taiwan and Russia, even as demand in its home market of Japan waned.

Source: Bloomberg, 1 May 2018

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Manila, Philippines: Anti-smoking group calls for ban on e-cigarettes

An anti-smoking advocacy group has called on the government to ban electronic cigarettes in the country, claiming that health experts have yet to determine the dangers on the long-time use of the devices.

Source: Northbound Asia, 1 May 2018

Editorial Note: The 2018 Public Health England review of the evidence on e-cigarettes found that they are substantially less harmful than smoking tobacco, noting that: “Based on current knowledge, stating that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking remains a good way to communicate the large difference in relative risk unambiguously so that more smokers are encouraged to make the switch from smoking to vaping.”

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