ASH Daily news for 17 February 2016



HEADLINES

  • Cancer rates up 12% in 20 years, say Cancer Research UK
  • Letter: A ban on smoking in psychiatric hospitals would reduce self-burn injuries
  • Primary school informs police of cannabis-smoking parents
  • South West: Discarded cigarette believed to be cause of house fire
  • Devon: Illegal tobacco worth more than £63,000 confiscated in police raids
  • Parliamentary Question

    Cancer rates up 12% in 20 years, say Cancer Research UK

    Figures from Cancer Research UK show that cancer rates have risen by 12% since the mid-1990s. However, the chances of surviving the disease have also increased. Earlier diagnosis, screening programmes, better tests and treatments have all led to the chances of surviving cancer doubling over the last 40 years. Death rates, too have fallen by nearly 10% over 10 years.

    Peter Johnson, the charity’s chief clinician, said there were still things people could do to reduce risk, as four in 10 cases of cancer could be prevented by lifestyle changes.

    “The most important thing is not to smoke. Most people know smoking causes lung cancer, but it’s linked to at least 13 other types. We also know that maintaining a healthy bodyweight, exercising and eating a healthy balanced diet is important. There is no guarantee against cancer but there are things we can do to make us less likely to get it, and things that the government can do to help us make the right choices and protect future generations.”

    Source: The Guardian, 17 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Vlpcfs

    Letter: A ban on smoking in psychiatric hospitals would reduce self-burn injuries

    In a letter to the British Medical Journal, plastic surgeons from Queen Victoria Hospital argue that the role of smoking related paraphernalia in deliberate self-burn injuries, warrants discussion as part of the debate about a ban on smoking in psychiatric hospitals.

    They write that patients presenting with recurrent non-suicidal self-burn injuries made up 17% of inpatient admissions in their unit. Of these more than a quarter occurred during a psychiatric admission, and all recurrent injurers had at least one formal mental health diagnosis.

    Source: British Medical Journal, 16 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1oIQQZy

    Primary school informs police of cannabis-smoking parents

    A primary school in Manchester has written to parents after some were spotted smoking cannabis while dropping off their children.

    The letter stated: “This is a serious safeguarding concern and if further complaints are brought to our attention, we will notify the relevant authorities. We have informed the community police service and they are likely to be keeping a close eye on this situation.

    “Please respect our school as a place of learning and make sure you set an appropriate example within the community.”

    Source: The Guardian, 16 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1oH1oIv

    South West: Discarded cigarette believed to be cause of house fire

    Firefighters were called to a house in Frome yesterday to tackle a blaze believed to have been caused by a discarded cigarette.

    [Editorial note: Cigarette and smoking materials are the most common cause of accidental fires in homes in England.]

    Source: Blackmore Vale, 16 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1R7AEtV

    Devon: Illegal tobacco worth more than £63,000 confiscated in police raids

    In a joint operation carried out with Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service and HRMC, police have seized Illegal tobacco with an on-the-street value of more than £63,000

    Somerset County Council’s deputy leader, David Hall, said: “All tobacco is harmful but illegal tobacco poses an additional threat to our children and communities because it is sold at pocket money prices by criminals who are not interested in asking for proof of age. This isn’t just about shops and retail premises. Younger people are more likely to visit ‘fag houses’ to buy cigarettes. This puts them into risky situations with adults who might also be selling alcohol or drugs.”

    Source: North Devon Journal, 16 February 2016
    Link: http://bit.ly/1SRRyAA

    Parliamentary Question

    PQ1: Smoking rates

    Lord Palmer Crossbench
    To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 8 December 2015 (HL3861), what assessment they have made of why, when the UK ranks number one in tobacco control activity of 34 European countries, nine other European countries have lower levels of smoking prevalence.

    Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health
    Countries use different ways to assess smoking prevalence within their population and there is variation as to whether they include daily, weekly, or occasional smokers within the figures. It is therefore not always possible to compare smoking prevalence rates directly between countries. In contrast, Joossens and Raws’s Tobacco Control Scale in Europe, which ranks the United Kingdom as number one in tobacco control activity of 34 European countries, uses a set criteria to assess the implementation of tobacco control policies across European countries, enabling a direct comparison to be made between the countries of tobacco control measures.

    Source: Hansard HL Deb, 11 February 2016, cW
    Link: http://bit.ly/218b8tb