ASH Daily News for 21 February 2017



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  • King’s Fund report: make social care an ‘urgent priority’
  • Impact on smoking of England’s 2012 partial tobacco point of sale display ban
  • Smokers who cut down are still risking cancer and early death
  • Electronic cigarette shop owner criticises council for cuts to stop smoking service
  • US: Doctor-lawmaker tries to restrict smoking in tobacco country
  • Nigeria: Environmental activists have right to information on tobacco incentives, court affirms

King’s Fund report: make social care an ‘urgent priority’

The Government should make increased investment for social care an “urgent priority” for the NHS to be able to meet its aims, a new report by the King’s Fund says. Many of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) currently lack detail on how regions will find the staff and resources needed to invest in social care, the think tank warns.

The authors argue that “[e]ven if community services can be redesigned at scale, we doubt whether all of the ambitions of STPs can be delivered without more funding for social care, which has a critical contribution to make in achieving the aims of the [NHS Five Year] Forward View and STPs.”

The report’s concerns were supported by the Health Foundation. The charity said on Monday that the gap in social care funding should be addressed in next month’s Budget and that failure to invest in social care is a “false economy” which is resulting in inefficiency in the NHS.

See also:
Delivering sustainability and transformation plans: from ambitious proposals to credible plans, King’s Fund

Source: iNews – 21 February 2017
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Impact on smoking of England’s 2012 partial tobacco point of sale display ban

A partial tobacco point of sale (PoS) display ban was introduced in large shops (>280 m2 floor area) in England on 6 April 2012. A study analysed data on the medium-term effects of this PoS display ban on smoking in England.

According to the study, the implementation of a partial tobacco PoS display ban did not lead to an immediate step change in smoking; however, it was associated with a stronger decline in smoking after the introduction of the display ban. The researchers also found some evidence that the observed effect of the partial tobacco PoS display ban was stronger in individuals with manual occupations than in those with non-manual occupations.

Source: BMJ – 20 February 2017
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Smokers who cut down are still risking cancer and early death

Tobacco control group Fresh has re-launched the ‘Don’t be the 1’ campaign in the North East and warns that half of all long-term smokers will die from their habit – meaning that, of the region’s 392,000 smokers, 196,000 people are at risk unless they quit.

With many smokers cutting down to ten or fewer cigarettes a day, or to hand rolling tobacco, Fresh is warning people not to ignore the substantial risks from even moderate smoking. Medical evidence shows that even a few cigarettes a day can cause cancer and heart disease.

The warning comes after Fresh found that, as well as record numbers of people quitting in the North East, many smokers have cut down – with one in five consuming five or fewer cigarettes a day compared to one in 10 in 2009.

Source: Shields Gazette – 20 February 2017
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Electronic cigarette shop owner criticises council for cuts to stop smoking service

An ex-smoker and cancer survivor who now sells electronic cigarettes to help other people quit smoking criticises planned cuts to stop smoking services in Burton-on-Trent.

Graham Edkins survived throat cancer and now works alongside former cancer researcher Dr Robert Lees running an electronic cigarette shop in Burton. The shop used to be able to refer people to nicotine replacement therapy while they were starting vaping and stopping smoking, which increased their chances of quitting for good.

Council funding for specialist smoking cessation services is meant to end in April, which means that help will only be available to smokers through their GPs. “Getting people to stop smoking saves the council so much money in the long run. Fewer people are accessing the stop smoking services because more people are using e-cigarettes, and self-medicating, but it’s really important that the option is there,” says Edkins.

Source: Burton Mail – 20 February 2017
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US: Doctor-lawmaker tries to restrict smoking in tobacco country

For more than two years, Dr Ralph Alvarado, a doctor and member of the Kentucky State senate, has led the effort to restrict smoking in a state with the highest smoking rate in the US. This week, he convinced the Senate to approve a ban on all tobacco products from public schools and school-sponsored events, something only 36 percent of Kentucky’s 173 school districts had done.

Alvarado’s efforts have been thwarted by the cultural legacy of tobacco, which maintains its grip on public policy in Kentucky. Since 2011, the tobacco industry has spent more than $4.5 million lobbying the state legislature and most lawmakers have steered the debate away from health risks and toward the philosophy of personal choices.

Kentucky had more tobacco-related cancer cases per 100,000 people than any other state in the US, according to a study from 2009-13 by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: The Richmond Register, 20th February 2017
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Nigeria: Environmental activists have right to information on tobacco incentives, court affirms

A Federal High Court in Lagos has affirmed that the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) is within its rights to demand and get a response from the Nigerian Customs Service on its request for information on tax benefits granted to tobacco companies under the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme.

The Customs Service had previously ignored ERA/FoEN’s request to make public the volume and brand names of cigarettes exported from Nigeria from 2002 to date, those imported within that period, by which company and to which country, how much British American Tobacco Company Nigeria benefited from the EEG from 2004 to 2014 and the waivers or tax exemptions the company got from 2004 to date.

See also:
ERA/FoEN files legal action against customs over tax incentives given to tobacco companies, The Cable

Source: EnviroNews Nigeria – 20 February 2017
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