ASH Daily News for 14 December 2016



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  • USA: Many people don’t know what makes smoking dangerous
  • USA: new survey shows both youth smoking and e-cigarette use have fallen this year
  • Indonesia: Court rules against tobacco expansion plan
  • Philippines: House approves cigarette tax hike
  • Parliamentary Questions

USA: Many people don’t know what makes smoking dangerous

A new study suggests that many Americans don’t appreciate that the chemicals produced from burning a cigarette are more harmful than the manufactured additives also contained in cigarettes, and many mistakenly believe that filters can protect them from these toxicants.

To study perceptions of risk researchers examined three surveys conducted online or over the phone with over 9000 adults and 1000 children.

61% of adults surveyed by phone and 71% surveyed online mistakenly thought most toxins in cigarettes came from chemicals added by manufacturers rather than tobacco itself. Smokers were more prone to this mistaken belief than non-smokers.

Among teenagers, beliefs about the source of toxins were split with 43% saying additives were the source and 46% saying tobacco. Among teenagers, there wasn’t a notable difference between smokers’ and non-smokers’ beliefs.

See also:
– Public understanding of cigarette smoke constituents: three US surveys. BMJ

Source: Yahoo News – 13 December 2016
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USA: new survey shows both youth smoking and e-cigarette use have fallen this year

The 2016 Monitoring the Future Survey released yesterday, 13th December, shows that the historic decline in youth smoking has continued in 2016, but also provides the first evidence that the rise in youth e-cigarette use may be starting to reverse. Use of cigars and hookah (water pipes) has also declined.

Among 17-18 year olds smoking has declined to a record low of 10.5% with e-cigarette use declining notably from 16.3% in 2015 to 12.5% this year. Similar declines in rates of smoking were seem among 10th graders (15-16 year olds) and 8th graders (13-14 year olds) with levels reaching lows of 4.9% and 2.6% respectively.

Source: Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids – 13 December 2016
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Indonesia: Court rules against tobacco expansion plan

The Supreme Court has ruled against a Government plan designed to increase national tobacco production, ruling that the plan is incompatible with child and public health, alongside other concerns.

The case was taken to the Supreme Court after five anti-tobacco activists appealed against the plan to increase tobacco output to nearly 525 million cigarettes by 2020. The court ruled that the plan violated five higher-level regulations including two on health and one on child protection.

“Massive cigarette production will support massive consumption. Massive consumption will lead to massive health damage,” said Solidarity of Public Advocates for Tobacco Control (SAPTA) lawyer Julius Ibrani.

Source: The Jakarta Post – 14 December 2016
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Philippines: House approves cigarette tax hike

The Philippines’ House of Representatives has voted to approve a bill seeking to increase cigarette taxes from next year. The bill also proposed keeping the two tiered cigarette tax structure based on the price of packs.

Under the new bill, tax will rise up to 32 pesos (approximately 51p) for a pack costing up to 11.50 pesos with tax set at 36 pesos for packs costing over 11.50 pesos.

Source: The Philippines Star – 14 December 2016
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Parliamentary Questions
PQ1: Reducing smoking rates
Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department plans to require tobacco manufacturers to publish sales data at a local level; and if he will make a statement.

Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans his Department has to reduce the smoking rate in people under the age of 16; and if he will make a statement.

Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans his Department has to reduce the smoking rate in manual workers; and if he will make a statement.

Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans his Department has to reduce the smoking rate in pregnant workers; and if he will make a statement.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
We are working on developing a new tobacco control plan, which we will be publishing shortly. The plan will focus on supporting priority groups such as pregnant women and young people.
The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations require tobacco producers (manufacturers and importers) to supply sales data annually for the whole of the United Kingdom alongside a range of other information when products are notified. Public Health England will make public all data that is not commercially sensitive.

Source: Hansard – 08 December 2016
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PQ2: Sustainability and Transformation Plans
Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the role of sustainability and transformation plans is in (a) promoting the use of Stop Smoking Services and (b) implementing a more integrated approach between public health teams on smoking cessation and local efforts on tobacco control.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
Sustainability and Transformation Plans have no explicit instruction on smoking cessation. Public Health England has provided a Menu of Preventative Interventions to support local decision making. It provides specific advice on reducing the burden on National Health Service by focusing on supporting patients to stop smoking.

Source: Hansard – 08 December 2016
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PQ3: Health Inequalities
Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he had made of the level of regional variation in smoking prevalence across England; and whether the Government plans to take steps to address those regional variations.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
There are unacceptable variations in smoking prevalence across England which ranges from 9.5% to 26.8%. This information can be found as part of the Tobacco Control Profiles

The new tobacco control plan will place tackling these inequalities at its heart.

Source: Hansard – 12 December 2016
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PQ4: Regional smoking rates
Sharon Hodgson Shadow Minister (Public Health)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the number of smokers in each English region in each year from 2010 to 2016.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
Data for adult smoking prevalence in England by region can be found on Public Health England’s Local Tobacco Control Profiles:

The Tobacco Control Profiles show The Office of National Statistics (ONS) Integrated Household Survey data for 2010 and 2011, and ONS Annual Population Survey data from 2012 to 2015; 2016 data is not yet available.

Source: Hansard – 13 December 2016
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