ASH Daily News for 17 January 2017



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  • British American Tobacco takes control of Reynolds for $49bn
  • Study on Preconception care: dietary and lifestyle advice
  • Imperial Tobacco steps up anti-illicit trade campaign
  • New stop-smoking app
  • USA: Interview with Alan Blum MD
  • Every 007 movie has featured smoking, except one
  • Zimbabwe: Gold leaf growers up by 15%

British American Tobacco takes control of Reynolds for $49bn

British American Tobacco has agreed a $49.4bn (£40bn) deal to take control of US rival Reynolds, creating the world’s largest listed tobacco firm. The merger would bring together some of the tobacco industry’s best-known brands, including Lucky Strike, Rothmans, Dunhill and Camel cigarettes.

Source: BBC Business News – 17 January 2017
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Study on Preconception care: dietary and lifestyle advice

A healthy life style before conception is an essential part of prenatal care. Given that 40% of pregnancies are unplanned, health experts should be encouraged to provide preconception advice to couples of reproductive age, regardless of their intent to become pregnant. This includes advising women and men to stop smoking.
As smoking is an important cause of infertility, all women who smoke who are planning to become pregnant should be advised by pharmacists and healthcare professionals to stop smoking.

In men, smoking causes dose-dependent reduction in sperm concentration up to an average of 22%. It also affects sperm density, motility and morphology. Therefore, male partners who smoke should also be advised to try and quit smoking.

Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal – 16 January 2017
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Imperial Tobacco steps up anti-illicit trade campaign

In an attempt to battle the illicit tobacco trade, Imperial Tobacco will send out its Suspect it? Report it! anti-illicit trade campaign packs to 50,000 convenience retailers in the UK this month. The campaign materials consist of infographics, posters and stickers to be displayed in shops. The information is intended to discourage smokers from buying tobacco products from illicit sources.

The initiative by the tobacco company has got the support of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents and its 15,000 members.

Source: Talking Retail – 16 January 2017
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New stop-smoking app

An app called “Quit Smoking Now” uses different hypnotherapy techniques to encourage smokers to stop smoking by changing the way they think. According to the London-based developer, Max Kirsten, the app will prevent those trying to quit from having any unwanted withdrawal symptoms. The app comes with a Stop Smoking Calculator, designed to help users keep track of their progress.

Source: Daily Mail – 17 January 2017
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USA: Interview with Alan Blum MD

Dr Alan Blum, anti-smoking activist and founder of DOC (Doctors Ought to Care) is interviewed in the journal Oncology. He states that the campaign group’s modus operandi was to use laughter and ridicule to get people to think differently about cigarettes and the tobacco industry.

According to Dr Blum, the industry didn’t like to see ad campaigns by doctors that debunked cigarette filters, menthol brands, “light” and “ultra-light” cigarettes, and the very notion that smoking could be made safer.

Source: Oncology journal – 15 January 2017
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Every 007 movie has featured smoking, except one

Researchers examined smoking-related content in all 24 James Bond movies in the Eon Productions series from 1962 to 2015. They found that only one film of the 007 series does not feature smoking. The persisting smoking content remains problematic from a public health perspective, especially given the popularity of this movie series.

The most recent film (‘Spectre’ in 2015), had no smoking by major associates of Bond, but there was still smoking by others, including indoors. It is estimated that up to 261 million young people between 10 and 29 in the US alone were exposed to “tobacco impressions” in this particular movie.

See also:
Die Another Day, James Bond’s smoking over six decades, BMJ

Source: International Business Times – 17 January 2017
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Zimbabwe: Tobacco growers up by 15%

The number of tobacco growers in Zimbabwe has gone up by 15% this season. Tobacco is one of Zimbabwe’s major export goods and generated a revenue of $ 93m last year. The Zimbabwe Reserve Bank has introduced a 5% export incentive to encourage more exports. Thus far, Zimbabwean tobacco has been exported to 65 countries around the world including Belgium, Greece and Germany.

Source: Chronicle – 17 January 2017
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