ASH Daily News for 26 January 2017



  • Poverty in the UK is threatening child health warns landmark report
  • Hospitals in Ipswich and Colchester reveal plans to go smokefree in March
  • USA: Tobacco-Product Use by Adults and Youth in the United States in 2013 and 2014
  • Kenya: Report shows children are highly exposed to tobacco
  • EU should pressure Belarus over illicit tobacco trade
  • Parliamentary Question

Poverty in the UK is threatening child health warns landmark report

A new report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has warned that the health of children in the UK is in jeopardy with higher mortality rates, obesity and ill-health than in other European countries.

The report found that the UK has the 15th highest mortality rates for children under the age of one out of 19 European countries, along with one of the highest mortality rates for older children and young people.

A key risk factor for childhood morbidity and mortality is maternal smoking during pregnancy. Rates of smoking during pregnancy are 11% in England, and rise up to 15% in Scotland and Northern Ireland. This compares to a rate of 5% in other European countries including Sweden and Lithuania. Rates of smoking during pregnancy are highest in deprived communities and among mothers under 20 the report found. Other factors, including obesity and breastfeeding, also show stark differences between poorer and more affluent communities.

Among the measures proposed in the report, the College wants to see the public smoking ban extended to schools and playgrounds, and to be properly enforced on hospital sites. A Department of Health Spokesman said: “There is more to do, but we have shown that we are willing to take tough action to protect public health and especially that of children – by banning smoking in cars if children are present, introducing a soft drinks industry levy and publishing a comprehensive childhood obesity strategy.”

See also:
State of Child Health Report 2017, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Child health in UK ‘lagging behind’ among deprived families, BBC News
Child health ‘in jeopardy’ due to increasing levels of inequality, iNews
Scotland one of the worst for child health in western Europe, finds report, The Scotsman

Source: The Guardian – 26 January 2017
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Hospitals in Ipswich and Colchester reveal plans to go smokefree in March

Ipswich and Colchester hospitals have revealed plans to go smokefree on 8th March, which marks national No Smoking Day 2017. The trusts will removing smoking shelters from their grounds in a bid to highlight the health risks of smoking and support people to quit.

Use of e-cigarettes will not be covered by the ban, but users will have to go to a designated vaping shelter.

Ipswich Hospital respiratory consultant Dr Jonathan Douse said: “The most effective and important health intervention for any medical condition is to stop smoking. … There is a good chance that smoking has contributed to their admission in the first place, which means that stopping is key if they want to avoid coming back again. We will do everything we can to support them and can also signpost them to the stop smoking service available on site.”

Source: Bury Mercury – 26 January 2017
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USA: Tobacco-Product Use by Adults and Youth in the United States in 2013 and 2014

Researchers have presented prevalence estimates for use of 12 types of tobacco products based on data from over 45,000 adult and youth participants from September 2013 through to December 2014.

Results show that more than a quarter (28%) of US adults were using at least one type of tobacco product during the period, while nearly 9% of young people had used a tobacco product in the last 30 days with 1.6% being daily users. Among tobacco users, use of multiple products was common with use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes being the most common combination.

Source: The New England Journal of Medicine – 26 January 2017
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Kenya: Report shows children are highly exposed to tobacco

Children in Nairobi are highly exposed to tobacco products and marketing according to a new report by the Consumer Information Network.

The report focused on 112 schools in Nairobi and found that all had a retail outlet selling tobacco within a 250 metre radius. Further findings shows that 92% of those retailers selling near schools sold single sticks making tobacco affordable to children, while a further 8 out of 10 did not display age of sale warning signs.

“It should be noted that the sale and promotion of tobacco products around schools encourages school children to smoke. The health effects of tobacco use and addiction are not disputed … the tobacco industry is turning to school children to maintain and grow their market. This must be stopped immediately and punished in order to protect children from the effects and use,” said Consumer Information Network CEO Samuel Ochieng.

The report was conducted alongside John Hospkins University with support from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

Source: Standard Digital – 26 January 2017
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EU should pressure Belarus over illicit tobacco trade

The European Union and Member States should apply pressure on Belarus to combat the trade in illicit tobacco and adopt a “carrot and stick” approach with sanctions if necessary, Czech MEP Tomáš Zdechovský has argued.

Mr Zdechovsky says that far more action is needed to tackle illicit tobacco trade across Europe. Belarus has said it wants closer economic cooperation with the EU. However Zdechovsky argues that this needs to come with an agreement for tackling the level of illicit tobacco trade coming from Belarus.

Source: SAT Press – 26 January 2017
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Parliamentary Question

PQ1: Heated tobacco products
Charles Walker Conservative, Broxbourne
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what his policy is on the need for an independent review of the evidence relating to heated tobacco innovations.

Charles Walker Conservative, Broxbourne
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department will ask Public Health England to undertake a review of heated tobacco innovations in the manner of its previous review of e-cigarettes.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 require a range of information to be submitted to the Government on novel tobacco products including heated tobacco innovations. The Committee on Toxicity has been asked to review the toxicological data that has been submitted. Public Health England will review any independent publicly available research that has been undertaken.

Source: Hansard – 20 January 2017
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