ASH Daily News for 16 September 2016



  • Percentage of pregnant smokers in North-East lowest on record
  • Research: Adolescents’ interest in trying flavoured e-cigarettes
  • Ireland: Gaelic football club ban smoking on its grounds
  • USA: Health experts urge Obama to reignite fight against menthol cigarettes
  • USA: Former speaker John Boehner to join Reynolds American Inc.
  • USA: Massachusetts: Northampton raises tobacco buying age to 21

Percentage of pregnant smokers in North-East ‘lowest on record’

Smoking rates among pregnant women in the North-East have fallen by nearly a third over the last six years, new figures reveal.

New health initiatives mean that every woman in the North-East still smoking when they see a midwife is now given information about risks to their unborn baby and put in contact with support to quit.

The so-called BabyClear approach, which launched in 2012, has coincided with a gradual fall in the percentage of women smoking at the time they give birth, down from 22.2% in 2009/10 to 15.6% in the first quarter of this year. BabyClear has been rolled out by the group Fresh, along with hospital foundation trusts and stop smoking services.

The new figure is the lowest on record, although the North-East still has a higher proportion of smokers in this category than any other area in the country.

Ailsa Rutter, Director of Fresh, said: “The North-East has seen the largest falls in smoking in England and we still have lots to do before we are down to the national average or lower for pregnancy, but we are moving in the right direction.”

Source: The Northern Echo – 16 September 2016
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Research: Adolescents’ interest in trying flavoured e-cigarettes

More US teens use e-cigarettes than smoke cigarettes. Researchers surveyed 1125 teenagers aged 13-17 asking them about e-cigarettes flavoured with either tobacco, alcohol, menthol, sweets or fruit, and used regression analysis to examine the impact of flavour on interest in trying e-cigarettes and harm beliefs.

Participants were more likely to report interest in trying an e-cigarette offered by a friend if it were flavoured with menthol, sweets or fruit compared with tobacco. They also believed that fruit flavoured e-cigarettes were less harmful to health than tobacco flavoured e-cigarettes. This perception of harm mediated the relationship between some flavours and the participants’ interest in trying e-cigarettes.

Source: Tobacco Control – 15 September 2016
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Ireland: Gaelic football club bans smoking on its grounds

A Donegal GAA (Gaelic football) club has become the second in the country to introduce a complete smoking ban within its grounds.

St Mary’s in Convoy has said that it hoped others would follow suit. The ban requires those inside the club’s gates to refrain from smoking anywhere, including pitch side. We hope that people will respect the decision and that we will not have to enforce the rules too harshly,” said Conor McDermott, the club’s chairman.

The club is one of 60 signed up to the GAA’s Healthy Clubs initiative, which offers grants to assist with the promotion of healthy living.

Source: The Times Ireland – 16 September 2016
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USA: Health experts urge Obama to reignite fight against menthol cigarettes

Health activists are calling on President Obama to reignite the federal push against menthol cigarettes.

More than 45,000 black American smokers die every year, and more than two thirds of black smokers in America use menthols.

The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council is calling on the President to take a stand and put pressure on the FDA. “Over 80 per cent of Black smokers use mentholated tobacco products, which is due to decades of geographically racialised targeting of mentholated tobacco products by the tobacco industry,” the Council said in a letter issued on Tuesday.

They described menthols as an issue of social justice, and called on the President to give the African American community a fighting chance against their number one killer.

Source: The Mail Online – 15 September 2016
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USA: Former speaker John Boehner to join Reynolds American Inc.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, a known smoker, is joining the board of tobacco giant Reynolds American Inc, the company has announced.

Boehner resigned in October after serving in Congress for 25 years, but is still politically active having spent the summer campaigning for over 20 Republicans running in the November elections.

Boehner will serve on the board’s corporate governance, nominating and sustainability committee, the company said.

Source: The Journal Gazette – 15 September 2016
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USA: Massachusetts: Northampton raises tobacco buying age to 21

The Northampton Board of Health has adopted new measures to curb tobacco use within the city, including raising the legal purchasing age to 21 and restricting the sale of flavoured tobacco products.

The new age of sale regulations will also affect nicotine delivery products including electronic cigarettes.

The regulations will come into effect on the 1st January 2017, from when shop owners will face fines and have licences revoked if they’re found to be breaking the new rules.

Source: Mass Live – 15 September 2016
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