ASH Daily News for 14 September 2016

  • New research says e-cigarettes can help smokers quit
  • Stoptober campaign to focus on Facebook
  • Children’s willpower linked to smoking habits throughout life
  • Barnet: Health and Wellbeing Board set to approve campaign to alert public to risks of smoking shisha
  • Australia: Liberals call for rethink on e-cigarette ban

New research says e-cigarettes can help smokers quit

Electronic cigarettes could help smokers quit and do not appear to pose serious side-effects in the short- to mid-term, say researchers.

The findings come from medical research group the Cochrane Collaboration, which has examined the best available evidence on the devices, together with a new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The new Cochrane Review builds on a 2014 review of the evidence on e-cigarettes, since when 11 more studies have been added. From examination of this evidence the Cochrane committee has concluded that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit and there is no evidence of serious side-effects from use over a two-year period.

The review coincides with the publication in the BMJ of a study that suggests that e-cigarettes can increase success rates for smokers who are attempting to quit.

The study looked at survey data from 170,490 individuals aged 16 and older in England between 2006 and 2015, 23% of whom had smoked in the past year, and 21% of whom were current smokers. The study also incorporated data on the use of NHS stop smoking services, which encompassed more than 8 million smokers.

“We estimate for every 10,000 people who used an e-cigarette to quit, approximately 580 would have quit who wouldn’t have quit otherwise,” said Robert West, co-author of the study and Professor of Health Psychology at University College, London. Overall, in 2015 the researchers estimate that e-cigarettes helped roughly 18,000 people to quit who would not have done otherwise.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity Action on Smoking and Health, said: “Taken together, the Cochrane review and BMJ article provide further reassurance that e-cigarettes are not undermining quitting. Indeed, the evidence from England, where smoking prevalence is continuing to decline, is that e-cigarette use is associated with a higher rate of successful quit attempts by smokers.”

See also:
Association between electronic cigarette use and changes in quit attempts, success of quit attempts, use of smoking cessation pharmacotherapy, and use of stop smoking services in England: time series analysis of population trends, BMJ
– Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation, Cochrane Library
Study finds e-cigarettes helped 18,000 smokers to quit last year, Financial Times
– Scientific evidence grows for e-cigarettes as quit-smoking aids, Reuters
– E-cigarettes ‘help more smokers quit’, BBC News
– Why can’t scientists agree on e-cigarettes?, The Guardian

Source: The Guardian – 13 September 2016
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Stoptober campaign to focus on Facebook

Health leaders are to spend over £500,000 on Facebook advertising to try and encourage smokers to quit this October.

Instead of the usual drive of TV, newspaper and radio adverts, this year’s “Stoptober” campaign – which encourages smokers to kick the habit for 28 days – will be largely online.

Speaking at the Public Health England (PHE) annual conference at the University of Warwick, PHE Chief Executive Duncan Selbie said that almost three-quarters (73%) of smokers are Facebook users and that the online campaign will save money and resources compared to previous years.

Selbie added that there are 15 million ex-smokers in England, while nine million are still smoking which he thinks gives every reason to believe that in one or two generations we will be tobacco free.

Source: Daventry Express – 14 September 2016
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Children’s willpower linked to smoking habits throughout life

Scientists from the University of Stirling have discovered a link between childhood self-control and smoking habits across life.

Behavioural Scientist Dr Michael Daly and his team examined 21,000 people from the UK tracked over four decades. The researchers found children with low self-control by age 10/11 were more likely to take up smoking in adolescence and had substantially higher rates of smoking as adults, even decades later aged 55.

Additionally, the study found that children who lacked self-control tended to go on to smoke more cigarettes, had greater difficulty quitting smoking and relapsed to smoking at higher rates when they did manage to quit.

Dr Daly said: “Many efforts focus exclusively on educating children about the dangers of smoking. However, our findings suggest that a complementary approach – one which increases general self-control – could have lifelong health benefits.”

Source: Scienmag – 13 September 2016
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Barnet: Health and Wellbeing Board set to approve campaign to alert public to risks of smoking shisha

In March 2016, Barnet Health and Wellbeing Board formed a shisha health task group to find out the health risks of smoking shisha pipes and come up with a campaign to educate the public.

The Board is expected to approve the group’s proposals at a meeting on Thursday, 15 September, and a campaign will roll out in October. The campaign will see posters displayed in public around Barnet’s high streets and town centres, in GP surgeries, pharmacies, libraries and schools detailing the health risks.

The group will also be consulting with businesses dealing with shisha, such as specialised shisha bars, to advise them on how to make the health risks more apparent to customers.

Source: Times Series – 13 September 2016
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Australia: Liberals call for rethink on e-cigarette ban

A Liberal backbencher has called for a rethink of Australia’s ban on nicotine e-cigarettes, arguing the devices could spell the end of harmful cigarette smoking.

Senator Parterson hopes the government will facilitate rather than block moves to legalise what advocates say is a healthier alternative to smoking. “We could in our lifetime see the end of conventional cigarette smoking and tobacco smoking and it could be replaced by a much safer alternative,” he told parliament. “We have to look at very seriously whether or not we should legislate these products.”

Dozens of academics and researchers have written to the Therapeutic Goods Administration in support of the application, calling for the ban to be lifted.

Source: Yahoo News Prime7 14 September 2016
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