ASH Daily news for 24 November 2015



HEADLINES

  • Osborne injects £3.8bn to help reduce financial pressure on NHS
  • 7,000 Wiganers live in poverty because of smoking
  • West Midlands Pension Fund invests £168m in alcohol and tobacco firms
  • Prenatal smoking exposure can potentially affect someone’s health for years after birth
  • US: Covering tobacco displays in stores might lower kids’ smoking rates
  • Australia: Labor leader Bill Shorten defends policy to increase price of cigarettes to $40

    Osborne injects £3.8bn to help reduce financial pressure on NHS

    It is reported that Chancellor George Osborne will hand the NHS in England a £3.8bn increase in funding to help it contend with the pressures caused by staff shortages, an ageing population and growing health demands.

    The financial injection will form part of the Chancellor’s spending review due on Wednesday, and represents a front-loading of the £8.4bn previously promised by 2021 after weeks of intense arguments between the Treasury and Simon Stevens, the NHS England chief executive.

    The Guardian reports that this will be at the expense of the Public Health Budget.

    Source: The Guardian, 24th November 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1lfuA7y

    7,000 Wiganers live in poverty because of smoking

    Figures from the Action on Smoking and Health Local Poverty Calculator reveals that almost 7000 people in Wigan are living in poverty because of smoking.

    The Local Poverty Calculator also estimates that 3,925 households in the borough would be lifted out of poverty if they became smoke-free.

    The figures estimate that these households include 3,833 adults below the pension age, around 1,014 pension age adults and 1,921 dependent children meaning 6,768 people would not be living below the poverty line if the cost of smoking was returned to the household.

    Source: Wigan Today, 23rd November 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1jhzvU4

    West Midlands Pension Fund invests £168m in alcohol and tobacco firms

    More than £168 million of pension money in the West Midlands has been invested in alcohol and tobacco firms – despite the authorities spending millions combatting smoking and drinking.

    British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International, Diageo and Heineken are among 30 alcohol and tobacco businesses which have received money from the West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF).

    Smoking costs Birmingham about £24 million each year due to premature deaths, researchers claim, and the city council’s public health budget is about £80 million a year.

    A total of 17.8 per cent of the West Midlands’ residents are smokers, according to Public Health England.

    That puts major pressure on the NHS in the region, with almost 1,800 out of every 100,000 hospital admissions down to smoking.

    Source: Birmingham Post, 24th November 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1Lx8K4N

    Prenatal smoking exposure can potentially affect someone’s health for years after birth

    New research indicates that blood taken from children up to the age of five contains molecular evidence about whether their mothers smoked during pregnancy.

    The findings, published online in the journal Environmental Research, offer strong evidence that environmental exposures that go as far back as the womb may continue to remain in the body and potentially affect someone’s health for years after birth.

    Source: News Medical, 23rd November 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1P5nmQs

    US: Covering tobacco displays in stores might lower kids’ smoking rates

    Teenagers may be less likely to buy cigarettes in convenience stores if tobacco ads and products are out of sight, according to a new study.

    “These findings suggest limiting the visibility of tobacco displays in retail stores may reduce the number of young people who try cigarettes,” said William Shadel, a senior behavioural scientist at RAND Corporation.

    Source: Health Day, 23rd November 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1R31R28

    Australia: Labor leader Bill Shorten defends policy to increase price of cigarettes to $40

    The Labor Party wants to increase the price of a pack of 25 cigarettes to cost more than $40 in five years’ time. It currently costs around $25-$30.

    A new plan will take cigarette costs to a new level by 2020. The tax on cigarettes will increase if Labor win the elections.

    According to the Opposition, the policy is likely to save around $50 billion over the medium term. It argues it will nearly double the rate of quitting the smoking habit.

    Source: International Business Times, 24th November 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/21dPx3z