ASH Daily news for 16 October 2015



HEADLINES

  • Government urged to intervene over smoking during pregnancy
  • Leeds: Hundreds of pupils support bid for smokefree playgrounds with signs to back new ban
  • Rochdale: Smokefree Summer campaign helps protect children across Greater Manchester
  • Opinion: How public health moralists are promoting harm from tobacco and helping the tobacco industry
  • Talking to kids about smoking risks may help parents quit
  • BAT poised to take over Brazil’s Souza Cruz

    Government urged to intervene over smoking during pregnancy

    The Government should take action to halve rates of smoking in pregnancy, a coalition of health groups and charities has said. The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group is calling for the gap to be narrowed in smoking rates between the rich and the poor.

    More than 70,000 pregnancies every year are affected by mothers-to-be smoking, figures suggest. It is estimated that smoking during pregnancy causes around 2,200 premature births, 5,000 miscarriages and 300 stillbirths every year in the UK. The smoking in pregnancy rate has now fallen below 11% across England but wide variations remain.

    The smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group is made up of 20 organisations including Action on Smoking and Health, Bliss, the Faculty of Public Health, the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Nursing. The Lullaby Trust, Tommy’s and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Rcog) are also involved.

    The group wants the Government to set a new national ambition to reduce smoking in pregnancy to less than 6% by 2020. It is also calling for a more robust data collection system, mandatory training for health professionals and automatic referral for pregnant smokers to specialist services unless they opt out.

    Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said: “We know that local services to help support pregnant women quit smoking are under threat and the in-year cuts to the public health budget will only make this worse.”

    A Department of Health spokesman said: “Smoking rates in general and in pregnancy are at their lowest ever levels. We have made significant progress in combating smoking. We have introduced standardised packaging for cigarettes, banned smoking in cars with children and we are determined to continue to reduce smoking rates, particularly in pregnant women. We have committed to developing a new tobacco control strategy and will consider all recommendations as part of this process.”

    See also:
    – Smoking Cessation in Pregnancy: A review of the Challenge, Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group
    – Regional divide in smoking in pregnancy, BBC News

    Source: Mail Online – 16 October 2015
    Link: http://dailym.ai/1Plx2Wv

    Leeds: Hundreds of pupils support bid for smokefree playgrounds with signs to back new ban

    More than 140 playgrounds across Leeds are set to be deemed smokefree zones after the winners of a sign design competition were revealed.

    The Yorkshire Evening Post teamed up with Leeds City Council to encourage creative children to design bright and bold ‘no smoking’ signs to help the local authority introduce a new voluntary smoking ban in all of its children’s playgrounds this year.

    More than 100 colourful creations were submitted as scores of pupils put pen to paper last month. The overall winner, runners up and three others whose entries were commended will be given prizes such as Leeds Rhinos and Tropical World tickets before designs are reproduced and put up in Leeds playgrounds to discourage smoking.

    Source: Yorkshire Evening Post – 15 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1PlybgG

    Rochdale: Smokefree Summer campaign helps protect children across Greater Manchester

    Smokefree Summer – a campaign that helped turn a series family-friendly events across Greater Manchester into smokefree zones this summer – has been heralded as a success by both the public and local health professionals.

    As well as promoting healthy behaviours to children and reducing exposure to adult’s smoking, the smokefree events will also help to reduce litter and reduce the chances of young children picking up and potentially eating cigarette butts that are toxic.

    Demand for smokefree events and spaces with children present is high across Greater Manchester, with 83% of the public surveyed responding that they are supportive of smokefree outdoor events for children and families, with only 5% opposed.

    Support at all of the Smokefree Summer events was high, with members of the public requesting more smokefree events for children and supportive of the campaign.

    Source: Rochdale Online – 16 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Plyp7x

    Opinion: How public health moralists are promoting harm from tobacco and helping the tobacco industry

    Richard Smith, a former editor of The BMJ, report on an interview with David Sweanor, a Canadian tobacco control campaigner and lawyer. Sweanor explains why he thinks people who react instinctively against e-cigarettes may not only be harming those who find it impossible to stop smoking but also helping tobacco companies.

    Source: BMJ – 15 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1PlyMz9

    Talking to kids about smoking risks may help parents quit

    Parents who quit smoking may be less likely to relapse when they discuss the dangers of cigarettes with their children, a U.S. study suggests.

    Researchers at RTI International followed almost 700 ex-smokers with children for one year. Half of the parents received educational materials explaining the risks of tobacco and activities to help them discuss these dangers with their children. The other parents served as a control group and didn’t get any help.

    After one year, the parents supported by mail were twice as likely to still be abstinent.

    Source: Reuters – 15 October 2015
    Link: http://reut.rs/1Plz497

    BAT poised to take over Brazil’s Souza Cruz

    British American Tobacco has purchased the final necessary number of shares in Brazilian subsidiary Souza Cruz, the country’s largest cigarette maker, to enable it to make the company private in coming months.

    An auction launched by wholly owned subsidiary British American Tobacco Prestação de Serviços has taken BAT’s total ownership of Souza Cruz to 97.7% of the company.

    This buyout has given BAT total control over Souza Cruz, which will now cancel its registration as a publicly listed company.

    Source: Digital Look – 16 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Plzkoz