ASH Daily News for 16 February 2017



North East: BabyClear’s success at stopping mums-to-be smoking
UK spending less on alcohol and tobacco and more on eating out
Bury: Smokefree sports championed by parents
Nottinghamshire: Smoking ban proposed in children’s play areas
Slovenia passes law enforcing plain tobacco packaging from 2020
Canada: Court of Appeal orders British Columbia to give up data in smoking lawsuit
Imperial Brands forms joint venture with China National Tobacco


North East: BabyClear’s success at stopping mums-to-be smoking

Pregnant women are almost twice as likely to quit smoking if they are supported from their first midwife appointment making it more likely they will have heavier, healthier babies a new study has found.

The “BabyClear” approach, based on National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidance, which promotes screening all pregnant women for smoking using carbon monoxide monitoring was rolled out across the North East led by the regional tobacco control office Fresh.

Under the approach, any woman smoking when she first saw a midwife was given information about the risks to their unborn baby and put in contact with smoking cessation services.

The approach has now been evaluated by researchers at Newcastle University. Publishing in the journal Tobacco Control, the researchers report that the study of nearly 40,000 mothers-to-be shows the number of women stopping smoking almost doubled. Further women who quit smoking during their pregnancy were shown to have heavier babies (by around 0.46lb) compared to those mothers who smoked throughout their pregnancy.

Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, which led the introduction of the BabyClear approach said: “These findings and the drastic decline in smoking in pregnancy in the North East by around a third since 2009 shows the vital role the NHS can play in reducing harm from tobacco. But it is vital this work continues. There is a lack of awareness around just how smoking harms unborn babies and midwives played an important role in communicating this. Women overwhelmingly supported this approach, even if some initially found the facts shocking. There has also been demand for this approach to be rolled out nationally by leads from the national Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group, a coalition working to reduce the harm caused by tobacco.”

See also:
ASH comment on BabyClear study to reduce smoking in pregnancy, ASH press release
Evaluation of a complex healthcare intervention to increase smoking cessation in pregnant women: interrupted time series analysis with economic evaluation, Tobacco Control
Expectant mums who quit smoking will have heavier and healthier babies, study shows, ChronicleLive
Mums-to-be twice as likely to quit smoking if they get early help, Newcastle University study finds, The Northern Echo

Source: Medical Xpress – 16 February 2017
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UK spending less on alcohol and tobacco and more on eating out

Families in the UK may be seen as becoming more health conscious with less money being spent on alcohol and tobacco and more on eating out.

The Big Family Spending Survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics showed that family spending on tobacco varies significantly across the UK with families in England spending £2.90 per week, those in Wales spend £3 while in Scotland families spend £4.90 and those in Northern Ireland £6.60.

Overall the survey shows little change in family spending.

Source: BBC News – 16 February 2016
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Bury: Smokefree sports championed by parents

A sports and community club has held its first smokefree football match to promote healthy behaviour to children and was widely supported by parents asking for more smokefree sport events.

The Smokefree Sports campaign, being led by regional tobacco control office Healthier Futures, is a pilot scheme being run from January to March 2017. At the first event on Sunday, 12th February there was wide ranging support for the campaign.

Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of Healthier Futures, said: “It is great to see so much support for the Smokefree Sports pilot campaign at Maccabi sports and community club in Bury. This is a positive step forward which will help to promote healthy behaviour to children and create more family-friendly spaces. In Greater Manchester, 83% of people surveyed agreed that there should be no smoking at outdoor events which are specifically for children and families. We hope other sports clubs will listen to local people and implement a smokefree policy. The more spaces that become smokefree, the less likely children are to take up smoking – preventing them from entering into a deadly addiction that kills one in two long-term smokers.”

Source: My News Desk – 15 February 2017
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Nottinghamshire: Smoking ban proposed in children’s play areas

Parents could be urged to stop smoking in children’s play areas as Bassetlaw District Council considers a voluntary smoking ban.

The Council is asking people if they would support a ban on smoking in public play areas. If the majority of people support the ban then signs will be placed in and around children’s play areas asking people not to smoke.

Source: Lincolnshire Live – 16 February 2017
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Slovenia passes law enforcing plain tobacco packaging from 2020

On Wednesday, 15th February, Slovenia’s Parliament passed new laws to introduce standardised tobacco packaging from 2020 and impose tighter restrictions on tobacco advertising in an attempt to reduce levels of smoking.

The new law will prohibit advertising of tobacco products on television programmes and at public events aimed at under 18s, in an attempt to reduce uptake of smoking.

Source: Mail Online – 15 February 2017
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Canada: Court of Appeal orders British Columbia to give up data in smoking lawsuit

The British Columbian Government has been ordered to hand over details about patients that tobacco company Philip Morris International says it needs in order to fight the province’s efforts to recover healthcare costs from tobacco related diseases.

The unanimous decision released on Tuesday, 14th January, upheld a lower court decision that the tobacco company must be given access to the raw data used by British Columbia in 2001 when it filed its lawsuit against 13 tobacco companies.

Source: CTV News – 14 February 2017
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Imperial Brands forms joint venture with China National Tobacco

Britain’s Imperial Brands has formed a new joint venture with China National Tobacco (CNT) in an attempt to break into the world’s largest cigarette market with a smoking population of approximately 300 million.

The new joint venture is to be called Global Horizon Ventures Limited (GHVL) and will consider new ‘next-generation’ products as well as traditional tobacco.

Source: Euromonitor International – 15 February 2017
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