ASH Daily News for 11 May 2018



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UK

  • Making e-cigarettes a prescribed medicine may discourage vaping, vape industry argue

International

  • Alcohol and tobacco are by far the biggest threat to human welfare of all addictive drugs
  • Australia: Local Health District publishes video to support pregnant women to quit smoking
  • US: Even young men who smoke have increased stroke risk
  • US: Little ‘quit-smoking’ help at mental health centres

 

UK

Making e-cigarettes a prescribed medicine may discourage vaping, vape industry argue

Leaders of the UK vape industry has cautioned that allowing doctors to prescribe e-cigarettes as a stop-smoking tool could have a “detrimental effect” on their success.

Industry representatives told the Commons Science and Technology Committee that vaping has been a “consumer-driven innovation” and, while products are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, users don’t feel like they are using a medical product.

Fraser Cropper, chairman of the Independent British Vape Trade Association, warned MP’s that medical regulation might restrict choice but said members would support medical prescription of some products, if it gave access to the products among low-income groups. He further stated “We as an industry body would love for there to be clarity coming from the NHS. We would love for that messaging to be clear and unequivocal about the benefits sand if that meant that certain products had to be prescribed to deliver that clarity of message, we would be four-square behind it”.

Source: The Sun, 10 April 2018

Editorial note: ASH does not support the idea that making e-cigarettes a prescribable medicine would affect the availability of e-cigarettes online or on the high street. Making them a prescribed medicine would encourage health professionals to promote their use amongst smokers, and give smokers more trust in e-cigarettes.

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Alcohol and tobacco are by far the biggest threat to human welfare of all addictive drugs

A new review published in the journal Addiction has compiled the best, most up-to-date source of information on alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use and the burden of death and disease. It shows that in 2015 alcohol and tobacco use between them cost more than a quarter of a billion disability-adjusted life years, with illicit drugs costing a further tens of millions.

The largest health burden from substance use was attributable to tobacco smoking and the smallest was attributable to illicit drugs. Global estimates suggest that nearly one in seven adults (15.2%) smoke tobacco and one in five adults report at least one occasion of heavy alcohol use in the past month.

Europeans proportionately suffered more but in absolute terms the mortality rate was greatest in low and middle income countries with large populations.

See also:
Wiley Online: Global statistics on alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use: 2017 status report

Source: Medical Express, 11 May 2018

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Australia: Local Health District publishes video to support pregnant women to quit smoking

To help pregnant mothers understand the risks of smoking during pregnancy, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) has developed an animated video, titled Smoking in Pregnancy – No Butts Baby.

The short animated video makes it easier for women to navigate complex information. ISLHD Health Promotion Officer, Janet Jackson, said, “We’ve found that expectant mothers are overwhelmed about quitting smoking while pregnant. We wanted to dispel some of the common myths and give information to help smokers take a step towards quitting”. “We hope that the video will be a conversation starter. It shows what happens to a baby when you smoke in a really easy to follow format,” she added.

See also:
Youtube: Smoking in Pregnancy – No Butts Baby video

Source: Coordinare, 11 May 2018

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US: Even young men who smoke have increased stroke risk

Young men who smoke are more likely to have a stroke before age 50 than their peers who avoid tobacco, a small study suggests.

Smoking has long been linked to an increased risk of stroke in older adults, but research to date examining this connection in younger adults has mainly focused on women.

For the current study, researchers examined data on 615 men who had a stroke before age 50 and compared their smoking habits to a control group of 530 similar men who didn’t have a history of stroke. Overall, current smokers were 88% more likely to have a stroke than men who never smoked, the study found.

“The simple takeaway is the more you smoke, the more you stroke,” said lead study author Janina Markidan of the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine in Baltimore.

See also:
Stroke Journal: Smoking and Risk of Ischemic Stroke in Young Men

Source: Reuters, 10 May 2018

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US: Little ‘quit-smoking’ help at mental health centres

Many mental health and addiction treatment centres in the United States don’t help patients quit smoking, a new government study finds.

Analysing 2016 data, the researchers found that only 49% of mental health treatment facilities were smokefree, and about one-third of addiction treatment centres were smokefree.

In addition, only 49% of mental health treatment facilities and 64% of addiction treatment facilities screened patients for tobacco use.

Looking specifically at quit-smoking assistance, the researchers found that 38% of mental health facilities offered counselling to help quit smoking. One-quarter offered nicotine-replacement therapy, such as nicotine patches or gum, and about one in five offered non-nicotine medications.

There were also significant differences between states. Only 20% of Idaho’s mental health centres offered smoking-cessation counselling versus 68% in Oklahoma, the report noted.

Source: Medical Express, 10 May 2018

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