ASH Daily News for 17 May 2018



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UK

  • Telford: Figures coming down as midwife supports pregnant smokers to quit
  • Nottinghamshire: £2.4 million of illicit cigarettes and tobacco seized in county in one year

International

  • Obesity linked to increased risk of taking up smoking and smoking frequency
  • US: Man first to die from vape pen malfunction

UK

Telford: Figures coming down as midwife supports pregnant smokers to quit

Telford and Wrekin had a much higher than average number of women who smoked at the time of giving birth in 2016/17. A total of 21% of pregnant women were smoking when their babies were born compared to the national average of 10.5%.

However numbers have reduced over the past year after a new role was created to tackle the problem head-on.

Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group and Telford & Wrekin Council decided to jointly commission a public health midwife role to try to tackle the issue. Figures show that since Michelle Powell who had been a local midwife for over 25 years was appointed to the position, the number of women still smoking at the time of birth has dropped. The current 2017/18 figure shows a decline to 17.2%.

Michelle, who works alongside a support midwife, encourages mothers-to-be to stop smoking using nicotine replacement therapies, offers advice and monitors their progress.

Source: Shropshire Star, 17 May 2018

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Nottinghamshire: £2.4 million of illicit cigarettes and tobacco seized in county in one year

More than 124,000 illicit cigarettes and 6,000kg of tobacco were seized in Nottinghamshire last year, with 44 arrests made.

During 2017/18, officers from Nottinghamshire County Council’s trading standards team conducted a total of 124 inspections at premises in the county. In 45 instances there were seizures of illicit tobacco.

Source: Nottingham Post, 16 May 2018

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International

Obesity linked to increased risk of taking up smoking and smoking frequency

A team of researchers based in France and the UK set out to determine whether genetic markers associated with obesity play a direct (causal) role in smoking behaviour.

They analysed genetic variants with known effects on body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage and waist circumference for nearly 450,000 individuals from the UK Biobank database and the Tobacco and Genetics (TAG) consortium, using a technique called Mendelian randomisation.

The results show that each 4.6 kg/m2 increase in BMI was associated with an 18% increased risk of being a smoker in UK Biobank and a 19% increased risk in the TAG consortium data.

Each increase in BMI was also estimated to increase smoking frequency by around one cigarette per day (0.88 in UK Biobank and 1.27 in the TAG consortium).

If it could be established that obesity influences smoking behaviour, this would have implications for prevention strategies aiming to reduce these important risk factors.

See also:
BMJ: Role of obesity in smoking behaviour: Mendelian randomisation study in UK Biobank

Source: Medical Express, 16 May 2018

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US: Man first to die from vape pen malfunction

A man has died after his vape pen exploded. Tallmadge D’Elia suffered traumatic head injuries and burns to over 80% of his body due to the malfunctioning e-cigarette, a post-mortem found.

The 38-year-old had being using the product on May 5th when the device exploded, igniting a blaze at the beach resort home of his parents in St Petersburg, Florida.

Mr D’Elia’s death is understood to be the first recorded death due to a vape pen explosion in the United States.

Source: The Mirror, 17 May 2018

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