ASH Daily News for 21 December 2016



  • Do stronger school smoking policies make a difference? Analysis of the health behaviour in school-aged children survey
  • The perfect gift for you and your family this Christmas? Stopping Smoking
  • Children and Tobacco
  • Parliamentary Questions

Do stronger school smoking policies make a difference? Analysis of the health behaviour in school-aged children survey

Researchers have examined the strength of schools’ policies on smoking, vaping and cannabis and the association with behaviours of school aged children in Wales. Researchers surveyed a nationally representative selection of 11-16 year olds as well as senior management teams in 67 schools.

Results showed that school policies were not associated with pupils’ tobacco or e-cigarette use, however there was some association between the strength of a school’s policy and children’s use of cannabis.

Source: Oxford University Press – December 2016
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The perfect gift for you and your family this Christmas? Stopping Smoking

Smokers in Cumbria are being encouraged to celebrate Christmas this year by using local stop smoking services to help them quit, which will improve their health and save money.

On average, a pack-a-day smoker will save around £250 each month and can save up to £3,000 a year by going smoke free.

Colin Cox, Director of Public Health for Cumbria County Council, said: “There has never been a better time to quit. Research shows that two thirds of smokers want to quit and our local support line can help you to achieve this through friendly, expert advice and support. Also, there is now strong evidence that vaping and e-cigarettes are considerably less harmful than smoking tobacco and that there is a strong case to be made for encouraging smokers who can’t or don’t want to quit to make the switch to vaping instead.”

Source: The Westmorland Gazette – 20 December 2016
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Children and Tobacco

The journal Tobacco Control has published a supplement which focuses on children and tobacco. The 12 research papers consider varying issues from respiratory health and hospital admissions to the socioeconomic status of young smokers.

Source: Tobacco Control – December 2016
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Parliamentary Questions

PQ1: Electronic cigarettes
Adam Afriyie Conservative, Windsor
Despite some of the obvious challenges in the healthcare service, this is a wonderful time of year when hundreds of thousands of people choose to quit smoking by putting down their cancer stick and picking up an electronic vaping device. Does the Minister share my concern, however, that we must be very cautious in any implementation of the EU tobacco products directive so that it does not act as a barrier to people quitting smoking and taking up vaping?

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
The Government are very clear that vaping is significantly less harmful than continuing to smoke. Under the current regulatory regime, huge numbers of smokers are successfully using these innovative products as an effective quitting tool. We have already committed to reviewing the TPD and we will fully explore the opportunities that Brexit may provide, but until exit negotiations are concluded we remain a full member of the EU.

Source: Hansard – 20 December 2016
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PQ2: Electronic cigarettes
Adam Afriyie Conservative (Windsor)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he has taken to increase access to electronic vaping devices for people giving up smoking.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
More smokers use e-cigarettes to help them quit than any other stop smoking aid.
E-cigarettes are already very widely available for people who want to use them as part of their attempt to quit – indeed one in three smokers making a quit attempt are using an e-cigarette.

Source: Hansard, HC Deb, 20 December 2016, cW
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PQ3: Tobacco Control Plan
Lord Palmer (Crossbench)
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will publish a full evidence base, including any supporting research, for each measure contained in their forthcoming tobacco control strategy.

Lord Palmer (Crossbench)
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, and how, they will ensure that the views of the independent retail sector will be taken into account when putting together their forthcoming tobacco control strategy.

Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health
We have a long track record in this country of implementing tobacco control measures which are supported by a strong evidence base, and the new tobacco control plan will build on this approach. As part of our development of the tobacco control plan, stakeholders were invited to give views during the initial stages. This included representatives of the independent retail sector. We will continue to consult with our stakeholders before introducing any new tobacco control measures.

Source: Hansard HL Deb, 20 December 2016, cW
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