ASH Daily News for 26 August 2016



  • The ‘ethical’ investment funds pumping millions into oil firms and big tobacco

    According to data compiled by Bloomberg, some ‘ethical’ investment funds are investing money into oil firms and tobacco companies. Bloomberg examined the holdings of the 30 biggest funds that invest following environmental or social governance guidelines.

    The wide range of holdings is the result of each institution deciding on its own what meets the ethical threshold and there’s no agreed definition on what an ethical fund should be. This has allowed rapid growth in the number of funds saying they support companies guided by standards on environmental and social governance.

    Source: The Independent 25 August 2016

  • USA: Research finds US teens more likely to vape for flavourings than nicotine in e-cigarettes

    US teens are more likely to vape for the flavourings found in e-cigarettes rather than nicotine, suggests research published in the journal Tobacco Control.

    Researchers from University of Michigan analysed data come from Monitoring the Future, an annual, nationally representative survey of USA 12th-grade, 10th-grade and 8th-grade students. Respondents reported what substance they vaped the last time they used a vaporiser such as an e-cigarette.

    Among those who had ever vaped, “just flavouring” was by far the most commonly vaped substance at last use for around two thirds of students across all three grades. Vaping of nicotine came in a distant second, with one in five (20%) 10th graders, a similar proportion (22%) of 12th graders, and 13% of 8th graders, giving this answer.

    Full study: What are kids vaping? Results from a national survey of US adolescents, Tobacco Control

    Source: Health Medicine Network 26 August 2016

  • Aberdeen: Unions take on council amid threats to fine staff over smoking at work

    Aberdeen unions say staff have been verbally told that anyone caught breaking new council rules on smoking while at work will be issued with a £50 fixed penalty notice.

    Tommy Campbell, a Regional Industrial Organiser for Unite said the measures had been imposed without any consultation with union members. However, a council spokeswoman said: “The policy is in line with the tobacco control strategy for Scotland which recommends all local authorities implement fully smoke-free policies and was approved following extensive consultation with employees.”

    Source: The Press and Journal 25 August 2016

  • Research: Smokers with newly discovered genetic markers have higher lung cancer risk

    University of Hawai’i Cancer Centre researchers have discovered new genetic markers associated with a fast rate of nicotine metabolism, which potentially leads smokers to smoke more therefore increasing their risk for lung cancer.

    Smokers who have these markers may smoke more cigarettes and inhale a greater amount of nicotine per cigarette in order to keep their nicotine levels high and achieve the desired effects of nicotine in the brain.

    The research findings could help identify smokers who are at greater risk for lung cancer.

    Source: Science Magazine 25 August 2016

  • Switzerland: New research suggests cash may convince some smokers to quit

    Paying smokers to quit and giving them more money the longer they avoid cigarettes might help get more people to quit than cessation advice on its own, a recent study suggests.

    Researchers in Switzerland offered about 800 low-income smokers pamphlets and online cessation guides. Half of them were also eligible to receive as much as $1,650 if a series of six lab tests verified that they stopped smoking.

    At six months, 36% of the payment group and about 6% of the control group had quit smoking. One year after the payments ended, about 10% of the people eligible for financial incentives remained abstinent, compared with roughly 4% for the control group.

    Source: Health News 25 August 2016

  • USA: Pharmacies sell cigarettes for less than other stores

    Cigarettes are often cheaper at the very place that people shop for health supplies, according to a new study in California.

    “Compared to other types of stores, pharmacies charged customers less for cigarettes, more for bottled water,” said lead author Lisa Henriksen of the Stanford Prevention Research Centre at Stanford University.

    “Price is the single best predictor of use, with lower cigarette prices driving higher smoking rates, lower quitting rates, and higher rates of smoking initiation among teens,” she said.

    Source: Yahoo News 25 August 2016

  • USA: Truth campaign goes #Squadless to stop teen smoking

    The US public health organisation dedicated to eradicating smoking, Truth, is promoting a new hashtag to let kids know that smoking can seriously harm their spending power, leading to less time with their friends.

    They are promoting #Squadless with a video which will debut on the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. The video highlights the “smokers wage gap”: according to the US Department of Labour and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, smokers earn 20% less than non-smokers, and young adults miss out on up to $10,000 each year.

    Source: The Drum News 26 August 2016

  • USA: Miami Township parks to be smoke-free

    Miami Township trustees have voted to make all township property, including all parks, tobacco and smoke free beginning January 1st 2017.

    Eric George, tobacco prevention coordinator for Partners for a Drug-Free Milford Miami Township said the reasoning behind this is that there is no safe level of second hand smoke, and that children sometimes model adult behaviour.

    Source: The Clermont Sun 25 August 2016