ASH Daily News for 14 December 2018



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UK

  • Local Authority funding settlement announced
  • Sheffield business urged to be smokefree

International

  • USA: Infants in low income and rural areas at greater risk of second-hand smoke
  • New Zealand: Calls for greater investment in stop smoking services
  • Malaysia: State health department warns of imitation no smoking signs

 

UK

Local Authority funding settlement announced

The annual funding settlement for Local Authorities was announced on Thursday for the year 2019-2020. The settlement assumes that every council will adopt a maximum 4.99% increase in tax with the government providing little extra funding for council services. While 2% of the increase will be ear-marked for adult social care, these services are still expected to see a shortfall in funding according to Adam Lent, director of the New Local Government Network.

Lord Porter, chair of the Local Government Association said the next year would be “hugely challenging” for councils who are already facing a total £3.2 billion gap in funding.

Peter John, Chair of London Councils, stated that this settlement means that austerity is not over for local authorities.

Source: Public Finance, 13 December 2018

See also: Financial Times Households face £80 council tax rise in April

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Sheffield business urged to be smokefree

Sheffield City Council Health and Safety Enforcement Team have urged business owners in Sheffield to not allow smoking on their premises. It found businesses across the city have been fined a total of £41,000 for not adhering to the rules around smoking and tobacco. 2018 saw £13,000 of these fines, including those for selling tobacco to under-18s.

Lewis Dagnall, Cabinet Member for Environment and Streetscene, said: “This Council takes its responsibilities towards the public health of the people of Sheffield extremely seriously. It’s important that businesses recognise and fulfil their responsibility to prevent people suffering from passive smoking, and we will continue to take appropriate action to ensure that people are protected.”

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health, said: “Allowing any kind of smoking indoors puts customers and staff at risk from the dangers of inhaling the 4000 toxic chemicals in second-hand smoke, which has been proven beyond doubt to cause serious harm to health…”

Source: Sheffield City Council News, 13 December 2018

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International

USA: Infants in low income and rural areas at greater risk of second-hand smoke

A new study from New York University’s Steinheardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development has found that infants and toddlers from lower income or rural areas are at greater risk from second and third hand smoke.

The study found that 15% of children had levels of a by-product formed when the body breaks down nicotine (cotinine) similar to that of adult smokers. Further, 63% of children had lower, yet still detectable levels of the by product.

Clancy Blair, senior author of the paper, said: “This is a really big initiative of [National Institutes of Health] to address the risk factors that kids are exposed to from infancy on or from the prenatal period on and how those exposures early in life affect adult health outcomes.”

Source: Crain’s New York Business, 13 December 2018

Nicotine and Tobacco Research: Magnitude and Chronicity of Environmental Smoke Exposure Across Infancy and Early Childhood in a Sample of Low-Income Children

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New Zealand: Calls for greater investment in stop smoking services

Stop Smoking groups in New Zealand are calling for more funds from tobacco taxes to be invested in smoking cessation schemes. The government received approximately $1.8 billion per year from tobacco exercise tax, of which only $70 million (4%) is spent on stop smoking services and campaigns. ASH New Zealand has called for more of the money that comes from smokers, to go towards helping them stop.

Source: NewstalkZB, 13 December 2018

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Malaysia: State health department warns of imitation no smoking signs

Restaurant and business owners in Malaysia have complained of ‘fake’ government officials attempting to enforce the purchase of no smoking signs for RM20 (£3.20). Officials have confirmed that they have not appointed any party, including genuine health officers, to sell signs to eateries or the general public.

Chairman of the Action Committee on Health, Environment, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs reminded members of the public and food operators to be wary of any “irresponsible persons claiming to be health officers wanting to sell any product or collect donations.”

Source: EdgeProp, 13 December 2018

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