ASH Daily News for 23 January 2017



  • Stop smoking services may improve mental health of smokers with depression
  • Southampton: Woman tried to smuggle nearly 35,000 cigarettes through docks
  • Editorial: Tobacco elimination, an economic and public health imperative
  • US: Non-smoking teens taking up vaping before cigarettes – study
  • Pakistan: PM urged to halt adoption of tobacco industry statistics by state institutions
  • Japan: JT’s domestic volume down
  • Slovenia must not flinch in battle with Big Tobacco over standard packs
  • US: Are ‘natural’ cigarette smokers being misled?

Stop smoking services may improve mental health of smokers with depression

Smokers with depression who successfully quit smoking using stop smoking services may see an improvement in their mental health, according to new research, funded by Cancer Research UK and published in Annals of Behavioural Medicine.

Researchers at Kings College London and the Charles University in Prague who studied people attending a stop smoking clinic in the Czech Republic, found that successful quitters had a considerable improvement in their depression.

And two-thirds (66.3 per cent) of those who had moderate or severe depression when smoking described no or minimal symptoms during a one-year follow up.

The researchers also found that all those who received the specialist behavioural support and medication provided by the clinic, were more likely to remain smoke free for a year if they went back for repeat visits.

But they noted that people with depression were still less likely to quit successfully than those without. This highlights that different groups can benefit to a different extent from the same support, and suggests that people with mental health problems need extra help.

Source: News Medical – 20 January 2017
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Southampton: Woman tried to smuggle nearly 35,000 cigarettes through docks

A woman attempted to smuggle nearly 35,000 cigarettes and 1.65kg of rolling tobacco through Southampton Docks, a court was told.

Tina Vaughan tried to avoid paying almost £11,500 in tax by storing the tobacco in her luggage following a 13-night luxury Caribbean cruise.

Source: Daily Echo – 20 January 2017
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Editorial: Tobacco elimination, an economic and public health imperative

Last week, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the US National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with WHO, released The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control—the 21st volume in a series of monographs on tobacco control produced from the NCI. The almost 700-page report contains an impressive body of work from more than 60 authors worldwide. It provides a comprehensive summary of the latest evidence and research, and what needs to be done on two areas. Firstly, the economics of tobacco control, including tobacco use and growing, manufacturing and trade, and, secondly, tobacco control interventions and policies to reduce tobacco consumption and its effects on health and disease burden.

Source: The Lancet – 21 January 2017
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US: Non-smoking teens taking up vaping before cigarettes – study

Researchers from the University of California claim that teenagers who would never normally smoke are now trying vaping before moving on to cigarettes. The study will be published in Pediatrics.

NB: There is no evidence of this occurring in the UK

See also:
E-cigarettes are expanding tobacco product use among youth, Eurekalert (University of California press release)

Source: Daily Mail – 23 January 2017
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Pakistan: PM urged to halt adoption of tobacco industry statistics by state institutions

The Network for Consumer Protection has appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to stop state institutions adopting and quoting the tobacco industry’s statistics to weaken the government’s anti-tobacco regulation.

Nadeem Iqbal, Chief Executive of The Network, pointed out that instead of generating their own statistics or adopting those of government agencies, some state institutions have been adopting the tobacco industry-generated deceptive statistics that health regulations result in loss of revenue to the government. These deceptive arguments are also the reflected in debates in the Parliament.

Source: The News – 21 January 2017
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Japan: JT’s domestic volume down

Japan Tobacco Inc.’s domestic cigarette sales volume during December, at 9.6 billion, was down by 3.6% on that of December 2015, at 9.9 billion, according to preliminary figures issued by the company. The December 2015 figure was down by 2.1% on that of December 2014.

Volume during January-December, at 106.2 billion, was down by 2.8% on that of January-December 2015, at 109.2 billion.

Source: Tobacco Reporter – 20 January 2017
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Slovenia must not flinch in battle with Big Tobacco over standard packs

A commentary notes that the Slovenian government’s recent bold decision to put an anti-tobacco law to parliament that includes plain packaging, larger health warnings and a ban on the display of tobacco at the point of sale puts Slovenia in a leading position in the region by joining the ranks of those nations fighting against the tobacco companies, and winning.

If Slovenians are to realise the benefits of living a healthy, tobacco-free life it is critical that MPs pass the law when it heads to parliament.

The tobacco industry has made it clear that it has no intention of voluntarily abandoning a sinister business model that depends on millions of new, largely youth consumers – cynically referred to by the industry as “replacement smokers” – to take up tobacco annually to replace those that die from tobacco-related illnesses.

Source: Balkan Insight – 20 January 2017
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US: Are ‘natural’ cigarette smokers being misled?

Natural American Spirit tobacco products are marketed as “natural” and “additive-free,” and many users think that means the cigarettes are safer to smoke, according to a recent U.S. study.

This raises the concern that people who might otherwise quit smoking might switch to American Spirit instead, thinking they will be safer, the researchers write in the journal Tobacco Control.

See also:
Misperceptions of harm among Natural American Spirit smokers: results from wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study (2013–2014), Tobacco Control

Source: Reuters – 20 January 2017
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