ASH Daily news for 16 September 2015



HEADLINES

  • Debate over PHE report on electronic cigarettes continues
  • Government’s move to cut red tape is impeding public health measures, say charities
  • Smoking rates among pregnant women hit all time low in North-East
  • Bromley: Hospitals will be smoke-free from next month
  • Scotland: Smoking to be banned from play parks
  • Are smoking breaks causing dissention amongst employees?

    Debate over PHE report on electronic cigarettes continues

    Two academics have criticised the findings of the PHE review on electronic cigarettes in an article published in the British Medical Journal. In response the PHE and a number of other health organisations have issued a joint statement reiterating the relative safety of electronic cigarettes in comparison with smoking.

    Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “Smoking is many times more harmful than vaping. It would be a public health tragedy if smokers were discouraged from switching to electronic cigarettes and vapers were encouraged to revert to smoking. That really would cost lives.”

    See also:

    Experts criticise Public Health England e-cigarettes review   

    Source: Daily Mail, 16th September 2015
    Link: http://dailym.ai/1KptIGO

    Government’s move to cut red tape is impeding public health measures, say charities

    A government policy designed to reduce the regulatory burden on business is making it increasingly difficult to introduce measures to improve public health in the United Kingdom, such as steering people away from unhealthy foods, a group of medical bodies and charities has warned.

    The “one in, two out” process essentially makes it more difficult for those in public health to introduce new regulations.

    For more information, see the SFAC press release. 

    Source: BMJ, 15th September 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Qh3q9Z

    Smoking rates among pregnant women hit all time low in North-East

    Smoking rates in pregnancy have hit their lowest level on record in the North-East of England.

    However, despite this decrease, the region’s smoking in pregnancy rates remain the highest in the country.

    Latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that in the first quarter of 2015/16 16.3 per cent of women who were pregnant were smokers. This compares nationally to rates of 10.7 per cent.

    All eight of the North-East’s hospital foundation trusts, along with Stop Smoking services in the region, are supporting a major initiative to reduce smoking during pregnancy.

    Source: The Northern Echo, 15th September 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Lgg4X8

    Bromley: Hospitals will be smoke-free from next month

    The Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) and Orpington Hospital sites will be completely smoke-free from next month.

    The new policy means that smoking within the hospital grounds – including the use of e-cigarettes – will not be permitted for patients or visitors as of October 1.

    Source: News Bromley Borough, 15th September 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1KRtdHG

    Scotland: Smoking to be banned from play parks

    Smoking is to be banned from play parks across Edinburgh under new plans being drawn up by the council.

    ‘No smoking’ signs will be prominently displayed at children’s outdoor play areas and school playgrounds, as well as car parks, courtyards and entrances to city-owned buildings, as part of an expanded smoke-free policy for Edinburgh.

    Council-run fetes, fun days and community festivals have been included, with city chiefs revealing that a decision on introducing a smoking ban would be taken at the planning stage for each event.

    The regulations will also cover electronic cigarettes, despite the lack of evidence that they are directly harmful to health.

    Source: Edinburgh News, 15th September 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1KfyVNU

    Are smoking breaks causing dissention amongst employees?

    According to Alan Price, HR Director of an employment service, smoking breaks can potentially cause tension in the work place. Although it has become the norm for those who smoke to take smoking breaks, allowing these unofficial breaks without considering employees who do not smoke can cause significant issues in the workplace.

    Employees are not automatically entitled to take breaks for the purpose of smoking. However, they can use their statutory breaks to smoke outside of the workplace.

    If you give breaks for smokers, you are likely to get complaints from non-smokers so consider letting everyone have an equal number of breaks regardless of whether they smoke or not. Otherwise, any unauthorised breaks in addition to statutory rest breaks and contractual rest breaks can be treated as misconduct.

    Source: Fresh Business Thinking, 15th September 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1LxsLIQ