ASH Daily News for 13 September 2016



  • Protect children from toxic secondhand smoke, experts urge
  • Wigan: Improved diagnosis for health
  • North Lanarkshire: Crackdown on shops selling cigarettes to under-18s working say Trading Standards
  • US: New reference material helps assure accurate measurement of tobacco product constituents
  • USA: Results of Pfizer’s stop smoking drug study questioned by FDA

Protect children from toxic secondhand smoke, experts urge

Parents and policy advocates should take a zero tolerance approach to exposing children to secondhand cigarette smoke, which can be responsible for lifelong cardiovascular consequences in addition to respiratory and other health issues, according to a new scientific statement published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Geetha Raghuveer, M.D., M.P.H., paediatric cardiologist and chair of the American Heart Association expert panel that wrote the statement, said that parents should make moves to protect their children because: “cigarette smoke exposure is harmful to children’s long-term heart health and may shorten life expectancy.”

See also:
The full statement published in Circulation can be accessed here.
Reuters: Second-hand smoke can hurt kids years after exposure

Source: Medical X Press – 12 September 2016
Read Article


Wigan: Improved diagnosis for health

Wigan’s health inequalities have been laid bare in a stark overview which highlights the challenges facing town hall officials. The 2016 Public Health Profile for Wigan, published this week, has highlighted a range of concerns including high rates of smoking related deaths.

The profile highlights that many of the borough’s health problems are attributable to the fact more residents live in areas of severe deprivation.

Professor Kate Ardern, Director of Public Health for Wigan Council, said progress is being made: “It’s a fact that as a borough our health is improving year on year and the health gap with other areas in England is reducing. … Despite the borough having a history of poor health, statistics show that we have seen significant improvements in crucial areas such as life expectancy, alcohol hospital admissions and smoking prevalence.”

Source: Wigan Today – 13 September 2016
Read Article


North Lanarkshire: Crackdown on shops selling cigarettes to under-18s working say Trading Standards

The crackdown on shops selling cigarettes is producing impressive results, according to new figures released by the North Lanarkshire Trading Standards team.

Trading Standards noted that out of 79 test purchases from business just 5.1% sold tobacco products to Trading Standards under-age volunteers. This figure is significantly down from the 12.1% that was recorded for the previous 12 months.

A total of six Fixed Penalty Notices were served to local businesses for selling tobacco to under-age children with just one business receiving a second fine of £350 for a second sale.

Source: Daily Record – 13 September 2016
Read Article


US: New reference material helps assure accurate measurement of tobacco product constituents

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a reference material with certified amounts of nicotine and two carcinogens to help ensure accurate testing of commercial tobacco filler—the blended tobacco found in cigarettes.

Prepared in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Centre for Tobacco Products, NIST’s new Standard Reference Material helps companies meet the federal requirement for reporting “harmful or potentially harmful constituents” in tobacco products and tobacco smoke.

The requirement comes from the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which assigned FDA the authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution and marketing of tobacco products to protect public health.

Source: Medical X Press – 12 September 2016
Read Article


USA: Results of Pfizer’s stop smoking drug study questioned by FDA

In a preliminary review, officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressed concerns about the collection and interpretation of data from a post-marketing study on the stop smoking drug Champix (varenicline).

Pfizer has been trying to have the “black box” warning – which warns of psychiatric risks including suicidal thoughts, hostility and agitation – removed from the drug’s label and hoped results from this latest study would show that the warning could be removed.

However, FDA staff disputed the results, flagging inconsistencies in data collection and characterisation of the severity of some side-effects. These factors could have led to biased results, they said.

An independent panel will meet on Wednesday, 14th September, to discuss the trial findings and decide whether the warning should be removed. The FDA is not obligated to follow the panel’s recommendations, but it usually does.

Source: The Mail Online – 12 September 2016
Read Article