ASH Daily News for 23 October 2018



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UK

  • Study: Smoking and obesity can cause ‘worrying changes’ in the womb
  • Comment: How smoking adverts have evolved over the decades, from a gentleman’s pastime to a life threatening activity
  • Edinburgh e-cigarette firm Vaporized to open 200 shops UK-wide

International

  • US: Juul’s social media campaign popular with teens
  • Philip Morris aims to revive Japan sales with cheaper heat-not-burn tobacco

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Questions

UK

Study: Smoking and obesity can cause ‘worrying changes’ in the womb

A recent study by Aberdeen University has found that smoking during pregnancy can cause worrying changes in the development of an unborn baby’s thyroids, which can lead to cognition problems in children and greater predisposition to disease after birth.

This effect is increased for female babies.

Dr Panagiotis Filis, a first author of the project and post-doctoral scientist at Aberdeen University, said: “Our results show for the first time that if the mother smokes or is overweight, there are worrying changes in the development and function of her baby’s thyroid gland. The effects are different between these two lifestyle factors and they also have sex-specific aspects. Overall, this study shows that the mother’s lifestyle choices – cigarette smoking and being overweight – are affecting the development of her children’s thyroid systems, probably predisposing them to disease after birth.”

Source: The Press and Journal, 23 October 2018

BMC Medicine: Maternal smoking and high BMI disrupt thyroid gland development

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Comment: How smoking adverts have evolved over the decades, from a gentleman’s pastime to a life threatening activity

Writing in the Independent, Sabrina Barr explores the evolution of tobacco advertising throughout history:

“The Second World War… led to a huge rise in the number of smokers around the world.

By the late 1940s, eight out of 10 British men and four out of 10 British women were regular smokers… A number of regulations have been put into place in the UK in recent years in order to prohibit tobacco companies from advertising health-damaging products.

The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act was established in the UK in 2002, with the majority of tobacco advertisements being banned in the country from February 2003.

A recent study conducted by researchers at Imperial College London found that the banning tobacco product displays in UK shops, which came into effect in 2015, may have reduced the number of children buying cigarettes by 17 per cent.”

Source: The Independent, 22 October 2018

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Edinburgh e-cigarette firm Vaporized to open 200 shops UK-wide

The Edinburgh based e-cigarette company, Vaporised, is planning to open 200 new stores in the UK, in addition to its current 100 outlets.

A review by Public Health England published in 2018 restated previous estimates that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco.

Doug Mutter, director at Vaporized, said: “Vaping represents a huge public health opportunity and the market will continue to grow as increasing numbers of smokers recognise its effectiveness in helping people to quit smoking.”

Source: The Herald, 23 October 2018

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International

US: Juul’s social media campaign popular with teens

New research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health has found that up to a quarter of Juul’s Twitter engagement in 2017 came from under-18s. According to the researchers, many of these adolescents/children – to whom it is illegal to sell nicotine delivery products – are retweeting Juul’s Twitter messages, amplifying the company’s reach to a teen audience.

The study examined 3,239 tweets from Juul’s official Twitter account between February 2017 and January 2018. These tweets were retweeted 1,124 times by 721 unique Twitter users, 171 of which were under 18, with 107 identified as “followers” of Juul on Twitter.

The study did not ascertain whether any of these were users of the product however.

Source: Reuters, 22 October 2018

Journal of Adolescent Health: Juul: Spreading Online and Offline

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Philip Morris aims to revive Japan sales with cheaper heat-not-burn tobacco

Philip Morris International (PMI) has released cheaper versions of its IQOS ‘heat not burn’ products in Japan in an effort to revive its sales and ward of competition from other alternatives to cigarettes. Japan accounts for the vast majority (85%) of the global heat not burn market, in part due to the country’s ban e-cigarettes with nicotine-containing liquid.

The new “HEETS” line – tobacco sticks used with the IQOS device – is priced at 470 yen ($4.18) a pack is cheaper than Philip Morris’s current version which is priced at 500 yen per pack.

IQOS has a 15.5% share in Japan’s overall tobacco market however growth has slowed due to competition from other brands including British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco Inc.

Source: Reuters, 23 October 2018

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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary questions

Parliamentary Question 1: Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016

Asked by Mr. Jim Shannon, Strangford
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to amend the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 after the UK leaves the EU.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the UK will continue to include vaping products as tobacco products in the EU Tobacco Products Directive after the EU leaves the UK.

Answered by Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
Vaping products are covered by the European Union Tobacco Products Directive which has been implemented into United Kingdom domestic law through the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. The Government will introduce legislation to ensure that existing tobacco control legislation continues to operate effectively after EU exit.

Under s58 of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 the Government is required to carry out and publish a review of the legislation by May 2021. As announced in the Tobacco Control Plan the Government will review where the UK’s exit from the EU offers us opportunities to re-appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health.

Source: Hansard, Written Question, 18 October 2018

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