ASH Daily News for 23 January 2019



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UK

  • Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health release new report
  • Threats to funding for Shropshire’s stop smoking service

International

  • Tobacco donations to think tanks
  • PMI CEO writes open letter to ‘global leadership community’
  • PMI not to invest in cannabis market

UK

Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health release new report

The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) latest report, State of Child Health – Two Years On, has been released. It calls for increased investment in public health to ensure a healthier future for children.

The report commends the progress that has been made in areas such as obesity, mental health and alcohol but calls for more to be done on smoking. It shows that little progress has been made in extending the smoking ban to schools, sports fields and NHS premises. It also highlights ASH’s recent report, Smoking in the Home, which shows that second-hand smoke remains a major cause of childhood illness.

Professor Russell Viner, president of the RCPCH, said: “We are witnessing a hugely welcome shift towards the prioritisation of child health, which is exciting not just for us as paediatricians, but for the health prospects of children today and generations to come.”

However, it warns that cuts to funding could derail the progress made so far.

Source: The Independent, 22 January 2019

See also:

RCPCH: State of Child Health – Two Years On
ASH: Smoking in the Home: New solutions for a smokefree generation

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Threats to funding for Shropshire’s stop smoking service

Councillors in Shropshire have raised concerns over plans to reduce the budget for stop smoking services in the county. The Help2Change prevention service, which includes smoking cessation services, faces funding cuts that could see the service closed.

Dr Kevin Lewis, director of Help2Change said “There are 39,000 smokers recorded on GP registers in Shropshire and smokers using Help2Quit are four times more likely to be successful than if they try to quit alone.”

Dr Lewis has warned that the impacts of closing this service will have the biggest impact on pregnant women. Shropshire, which has a higher than average rate of mothers smoking during pregnancy, automatically enrols all pregnant smokers to its service. Smoking in pregnancy is the largest modifiable risk factor for poor birth outcomes, such as stillbirth, and can lead to lifelong health problems. Cutting the stop smoking service would have health impacts for generations to come.

Source: Shropshire Star, 22 January 2019

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International

Big Tobacco donations to think tanks

New analysis from The Guardian has found more than 100 free market think tanks from around the world have taken positions helpful to the tobacco industry, after accepting donations from Big Tobacco companies. Donations from Philip Morris International (PMI), British American Tobacco (BAT), Japan Tobacco and Altria have been made to think tanks in the USA, UK and South East Asia.

In the UK, the Institute of Economic Affairs has accepted donations from the tobacco industry before going on to comment on tobacco control polices.

These think tanks, who can be highly influential in policy development, have stated that they are independent and unswayed by donations. However, The Guardian found clear examples of institutes accepting donations and then going onto argue against specific tobacco control legislation.

Source: The Guardian, 23 January 2019

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PMI CEO writes open letter to ‘global leadership community’

Philip Morris International’s CEO, Andre Calantzopoulos, has written an open letter to the ‘global leadership community’. In this, he outlines the company’s stated commitment to a smokefree future.

Source: Politico, 21 January 2019

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PMI not to invest in cannabis market

Philip Morris International, the manufacturers of Marlboro internationally, has announced that it is not yet ready to invest in the cannabis market, despite Altria, the manufacturers of Marlboro in the US, making significant investments last year. CEO, Andre Calantzopoulus, defended the decision citing a lack of evidence into the long-term impacts of cannabis use. Also, logistics would be tricky in an international community with different regulations and approaches to the drug.

Source: Financial Times , 21 January 2019

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