ASH Daily news for 20 April 2015



HEADLINES

  • Leeds: Take 7 Steps Out’ to protect children from secondhand smoke
  • Wales: Drug users experiment with hallucinogens and even heroin in e-cigarettes, charities warn
  • Opinion: Peering Through the Haze
  • World Medical Association supports growing moves for plain tobacco packaging
  • How tobacco firms tried to undermine Muslim countries’ smoking ban
  • Germany: Smoking costs €79bn per year
  • US: Hillary pressed to take on Big Tobacco
  • US: Smokers spend gas savings on tobacco, fueling surprise gain
  • Romania: Cigarette makers ask for impact study on planned smoking ban
  • France: ‘Astonishing’ number still believe just a few cigarettes a day aren’t harmful, doctors warn
  • India: `Female tobacco users double in 15 years’
  • Tributes paid after Labour minister McCabe dies at 60

    Leeds: Take 7 Steps Out’ to protect children from secondhand smoke

    Leeds City Council has launched an innovative new campaign last week to encourage people who smoke to ‘Take 7 Steps Out’ of their home to protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

    StepaRoo, the campaign’s kangaroo mascot, was in the city this week to take children across seven musical steps highlighting the need to be at least seven steps away from homes when smoking. Parents are also encouraged not to smoke in confined spaces such as a car, when children are present.

    StepaRoo was joined by the Take 7 Steps Out team who have been speaking to parents across Leeds about the dangers of secondhand smoke, which is responsible for over 300,000 GP consultations and approximately 9,500 hospital admissions each year in the UK.

    Source: Morley Observer and Advertiser – 18 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1zATnUs

    Wales: Drug users experiment with hallucinogens and even heroin in e-cigarettes, charities warn

    Drug users have been experimenting with e-cigarettes so they can take cannabis, hallucinogens and even heroin without being noticed, according to a drug helpline charity.

    Because the devices do not produce smoke there is none of the smell often associated with taking opiates and marijuana.

    Source: Wales Online – 18 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1zAUfs1

    Opinion: Peering Through the Haze

    Commentator Joe Nocera notes that on Thursday, the C.D.C. issued its annual National Youth Tobacco Survey. The headline in the accompanying news release read: “E-cigarette use triples among middle and high school students in just one year.”

    This was, indeed, true. And yet buried in the news release — and played down by Frieden and others at the C.D.C. — was an astonishing fact. Actual cigarette smoking — the kind that requires inhaling carcinogens, that kills one out of every two long-term smokers and that public health officials have been trying to eradicate for decades — that kind of smoking has dropped to a mere 9.2 percent among teens.

    Source: New York Times – 17 April 2015
    Link: http://nyti.ms/1zATNdv

    World Medical Association supports growing moves for plain tobacco packaging

    The World Medical Association has supported the increasing number of countries planning to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products. It has joined the Norwegian Medical Association in supporting proposals to introduce plain packaging in Norway.

    The WMA, in Oslo last week for its 200th Council meeting, was responding to a public consultation by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services suggesting that all tobacco products sold in Norway should have standardised packaging.

    Source: Medical News Today – 17 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1zAUymG

    How tobacco firms tried to undermine Muslim countries’ smoking ban

    The tobacco industry attempted to reinterpret Islamic teaching and recruit Islamic scholars in a bid to undermine the prohibition on smoking in many Muslim countries, an investigation has shown.

    Evidence from archived industry documents from the 1970s to the late 1990s shows that tobacco companies were seriously concerned about Islamic teaching. In 1996, an internal document from British American Tobacco warned that, because of the spread of “extremist views” from fundamentalists in countries such as Afghanistan, the industry would have to “prepare to fight a hurricane”.

    Prof Mark Petticrew from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who led the research, said he was amazed by what researchers had found in the archives.

    Source: The Guardian – 20 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1zAV8ky

    Germany: Smoking costs €79bn per year

    The cost of smoking in Germany is nearly 1,000 euros per man, woman and child, according to a new report.

    According to the German Cancer Research Institute (DKFZ) and University of Hamburg, who released the research last Friday, the yearly costs in Germany are due to shorter lifespans (20 billion euros or $21.5 billion), long-term unemployment from illness (13 billion), a general incapacity to work (8 billion), short-term unemployment (7 billion), and reduced earning capacity (5 billion). Smoking leads to the deaths of 110,000 each year.

    Source: Germerica – 19 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1zAVEis

    US: Hillary pressed to take on Big Tobacco

    Public health groups are urging Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to follow in her husband’s footsteps and take on Big Tobacco.

    The calls for Clinton to make the issue part of her campaign platform take place amid a growing push to raise the national smoking age to 21.

    Source: MSN – 19 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1zAVVBQ

    US: Smokers spend gas savings on tobacco, fueling surprise gain

    The U.S. tobacco industry sold 0.5 percent more cigarettes in the first quarter, Reynolds American Inc. said in its earnings report, the first increase since 2004. The maker of Camel cigarettes partly credited lower fuel prices for the gain.

    The fall in petrol prices had led to speculations that consumers have more money to spend on cigarettes.

    Source: Bloomberg – 17 April 2015
    Link: http://bloom.bg/1zAWiwe

    Romania: Cigarette makers ask for impact study on planned smoking ban

    Cigarette producers in Romania are opposing a proposal to ban smoking in enclosed public places.

    They have recently submitted at the Chamber of Deputies a statement on this issue, asking for an impact study on the proposed smoking ban.

    The chain effect of banning smoking could lead to the loss of 20,000 jobs and halve the turnover of the shops that sell cigarettes, cigarette producers said.

    They also claim that the decrease in cigarette sales can lead to a drop in sales for other products. A smoker’s shopping basket is 30% bigger than a non-smoker’s, according to the document.

    Source: Romania Insider – 17 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1zAXAr9

    France: ‘Astonishing’ number still believe just a few cigarettes a day aren’t harmful, doctors warn

    Smokers still wrongly believe just a few cigarettes a day aren’t damaging their health, researchers have warned.

    A third of smokers claimed up to 10 cigarettes a day was not associated with any risk of lung cancer, French doctors found. And only half of smokers considered themselves at higher risk of lung cancer than the general population. Less than two fifths were aware that the risk of lung cancer remains even after they stop smoking.

    The study analysed the results of a survey of 1,600 French people aged 40 to 75 years. This included 1,463 people with no history of cancer, of whom 481 were former smokers and 330 current smokers with an average daily habit of 14.2 cigarettes.

    The findings were presented at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

    See also:
    – Smokers underestimate risks of a few cigarettes: Survey shows that many live in ‘denial’ of the real risks, Medical News Today

    Source: Mail Online – 17 April 2015
    Link: http://dailym.ai/1zAYeoF

    India: `Female tobacco users double in 15 years’

    The number of women consuming tobacco products has doubled over 15 years, according to a report by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

    While 10% of women consumed tobacco products during the mid and late-1990s, the number has increased to 20% in recent years, the report said. Tobacco consumption among men has remained in the range of 45-57% between 1995-96 and 2009-10.

    The increase in tobacco consumption among women has largely been fueled by the rise in smokeless tobacco use and promotional tactics linking tobacco consumption to empowerment, the PHFI report said.

    Source: Times of India – 20 April 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1zAZg46

    Tributes paid after Labour minister McCabe dies at 60

    Politicians from across the spectrum have paid tribute to Tom McCabe, the former Labour MSP and minister who has died at the age of 60 after a short illness.

    Mr McCabe had the distinction of being the first MSP to be elected to the Scottish parliament, with his Hamilton South constituency declaring the result an hour after polls closed in 1999.

    The former South Lanarkshire council leader went on to serve as finance minister in a coalition government and held other senior positions. Among his achievements was introducing the ban on smoking in public places.

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    See also:
    – Former Labour MSP Tom McCabe dies, Evening Times

    Source: The Times – 20 April 2015
    Link: http://thetim.es/1zAZM22