ASH Daily News for 10 May 2019
- Calls for sustainable funding for public health
- Muslims encouraged to quit smoking during Ramadan in Lancashire
- Shop employee storing illicit tobacco in Gloucester sentenced
- USA: Walmart raises minimum tobacco age to 21
- USA: Higher proportion of adult vapers have children living with them
Link of the Week
- A Changing Landscape: Stop smoking services and tobacco control in England
Calls for sustainable funding for public health
More than 80 organisations, including ASH, have signed a statement coordinated by Cancer Research UK calling on the government to raise the level of public health funding. A letter, sent to Secretaries of State Matt Hancock and James Brokenshire, stated that while local authorities have made efficiencies through better commissioning, cuts to funding were impacting prevention services. The public health grant is expected to see a real term reduction in funding of £700 million between 2014/15 and 2019/20.
Research conducted by ASH and Cancer Research UK shows that stop smoking services have been persistently cut across local authorities, with now only 56% able to offer specialist services to all smokers in their area.
George Butterworth, Cancer Research UK’s senior policy manager for cancer prevention, said “Local authorities have managed ongoing cuts as well as they can, but we have reached crisis point. The message is loud and clear: if the government wants to make its ‘prevention rather than cure’ vision a reality and ensure its £20.5bn investment in the NHS goes as far as it can, local services must be properly funded to support the health and wellbeing of communities.”
Source: PublicFinance, 9 May 2019
See also: Consensus Statement for Public Health
Muslims encouraged to quit smoking during Ramadan in Lancashire
Muslims living in East Lancashire have been encouraged to abstain from smoking and using chewing tobacco as part of the fasting period throughout the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a festival in the Islamic lunar calendar that observes daily fasting, charitable giving and increased self-accountability.
Whilst fasting, Muslims will be unable to consume tobacco during daylight hours and have been encouraged to use this period of abstinence as a step towards quitting for good.
Tracy Sutton, manager of the Quit Squad at Lancashire Care Foundation Trust, said “Ramadan is a good time for people to get into some healthy habits, and stopping smoking is one of those. We are aware it isn’t easy for people to stop smoking. However, the health and wellbeing benefits people will see when they do stop for good are definitely worth it. People are four times more likely to stop smoking for good with the help of NHS services than with will power alone.”
Source: Lancashire Telegraph, 10 May 2019
Shop employee storing illicit tobacco in Gloucester sentenced
An employee of a shop in Gloucester where illicit tobacco was stored in a hydraulic compartment beneath the floor has been sentenced to 18 months in jail. He was found guilty of possession of cigarettes and tobacco with false trademarks, supplying counterfeit cigarettes and supplying cigarettes that did not display a combined health warning.
Source: BBC News, 9 May 2019
USA: Walmart raises minimum tobacco age to 21
Walmart has announced that it will stop selling tobacco products and e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21 in the USA from the start of July. The company, which is currently the world’s largest retailer, has changed its sales policy after the US Food and Drug Administration found it was not consistently prohibiting under 18’s from purchasing tobacco.
This follows several states, including Illinois, Washington and California raising their minimum tobacco age to 21.
Source: CNN Business, May 8 2019
USA: Higher proportion of adult vapers have children living with them
A research letter has been published which shows that 4.9% of adults living with a child under the age of 18 vape, compared to 4.2% of those living without a child in the USA. The data was collected from the U.S. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a national phone survey conducted in 2016 and 2017. The survey did not collect data on whether current vapers had started smoking or using e-cigarettes first, or whether vapers were using e-cigarettes to help cut down or quit traditional tobacco.
In 2018, Public Health England launched a campaign to encourage smokers to transition from cigarettes to e-cigarettes which have been found to be up to 95% less harmful. Professor John Newton, director of health improvement said “We need to reassure smokers that switching to an e-cigarette would be much less harmful than smoking. We want to encourage more smokers to try and quit completely with the help of an e-cigarette, or by using other nicotine replacement such as patches or gum, as this will significantly improve their chances of success.”
Source: The Independent, 9 May 2019
Link of the Week
A Changing Landscape: Stop smoking services and tobacco control in England
ASH and Cancer Research UK’s most recent annual report on local tobacco control shows the impact of funding cuts to tobacco control and stop smoking services, as highlighted in CRUK’s public health funding consensus statement.