ASH Daily news for 14 June 2016



HEADLINES


  • Hackney Council: Quit smoking for Ramadan and for good

    Muslim smokers are being encouraged to use the holy month of Ramadan as an opportunity to stop smoking for good.

    Hackney Council’s Stop Smoking Service advisors have teamed up with local mosques and will be on hand to provide free, confidential support, information and advice around prayer times. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims must not eat, drink or use any kind of tobacco during daylight hours. Supported by the North London Muslim Community Centre, Hackney Council said Ramadan provides fasting Muslims an ideal time to beat cravings and stop smoking.

    Source: East London Times 13 June 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1UhfGL8

  • Study suggests young cancer survivors are more likely to smoke than people without cancer history

    Researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have found that cancer survivors who were diagnosed as an adolescent or young adult are more likely to be current cigarette smokers than people who have not had cancer.

    The researchers identified 1,019 survivors of cancer who were diagnosed between age 15 and 39 and were at least 5 years on from their diagnosis. A comparison group of people without a history of cancer was matched. The people in the study self-reported their smoking status, whether they were diagnosed with cancer and chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes, and their general health status.

    The study found that 33% of survivors were current smokers compared with 22% of the people without a history of cancer. Among the survivor group current smokers were significantly more likely to report chronic illness, such as having asthma, heart diseases, lung diseases, diabetes and poorer general health.

    Researchers said the study shows the need for more targeted smoking cessation interventions.

    The full research can be accessed here.

    Source: Medical X Press 13 June 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1YnOkFE

  • US: New study claims electronic cigarettes could act as a gateway to adolescent smoking

    Researchers surveyed 11th and 12th grade students, average age 17, about use of electronic cigarettes, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and hookahs. Of those, 146 had ever used electronic cigarettes and 152 had never tried them. None had smoked cigarettes. 16 months later, the researchers found that 40% of those who had ever tried an electronic cigarette had begun smoking traditional cigarettes. This compared to 11% of those who had never vaped.

    However, the study has recieved criticism from other academics. Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, said: “The authors seem to argue that trying one puff of an e-cigarette caused some young people to try tobacco smoking within the next 16 months. If so, we would be seeing large increases in tobacco smoking, but instead we are seeing marked declines in youth tobacco smoking since e-cigarettes came on the market.”

    The full study can be accessed here.

    Expert reaction to the study published by the Science Media Centre can be accessed here.

    Source: Medical X Press 13 June 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1S3ztZU

  • Parliamentary Questions

    PQ1: Electronic cigarettes

    Anne Main Conservative, St Albans
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what his policy is on e-cigarettes as a potential gateway to smoking.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    The Government has set a regulatory framework in place that aims to prevent the take up of e-cigarettes by children and non-smokers whilst making them freely available to smokers who wish to use them to quit tobacco use. Gateway effect is difficult to prove or disprove but to date, in the United Kingdom, we have not seen any significant use of e-cigarettes outside of existing smokers and ex-smokers.

    Source: Hansard (Citation: HC Deb, 10 June 2016, cW)
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Ux0GWM

    PQ2: Tobacco Products Directive

    Anne Main Conservative, St Albans
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the proportion of e-cigarette users who will return to smoking tobacco products in the year ending May 2017 as a result of the Tobacco Products Directive.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
    No such estimate has been made given the range of factors which may impact on rates of smoking tobacco and use of e-cigarettes.

    Source: Hansard (Citation: HC Deb, 10 June 2016, cW)
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Ux0GWM