ASH Daily News for 26 October 2018



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UK

  • Study: Early death ‘twice as likely’ in most deprived parts of England

International

  • Opinion: WHO not taking on board expert opinion around tobacco and harm reduction
  • US: Marlboro maker axes flavoured e-cigarettes

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Questions

Link of the Week

  • New NHS Maternity Statistics for England 2017-18

UK

Study: Early death ‘twice as likely’ in most deprived parts of England

A new study published in the Lancet has found that rates of premature mortality are two times higher in the most deprived area of England (Blackpool), compared to the most affluent areas (Wokingham, Surrey, Windsor and Maidenhead, and West Berkshire).

Although rates of premature death have fallen since 1990, half of all premature deaths in 2016 were linked to risk factors including tobacco use, unhealthy diet, alcohol and drug use, obesity and high blood pressure.

Lung cancer and COPD were among the top 4 causes of premature death along with ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease. The association with deprivation was particularly strong for lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which are strongly linked to tobacco smoking.

Source: The Spectator, 26 October 2018

The Lancet: Changes in health in the countries of the UK and 150 English Local Authority areas 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

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International

Opinion: WHO not taking on board expert opinion around tobacco and harm reduction

In this opinion piece Lizi Jenkins, board member at the tobacco industry funded UK Vaping Industry Association along with other figures from the global vape industry discuss the World Health Organisations stance on vaping and harm reduction.

They are critical of the WHO’s reluctance to treat vaping as distinct from smoking and highlight the importance of vaping as part of a broader harm reduction approach.

Source: Financial Times, 26 October 2018

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US: Marlboro maker axes flavoured e-cigarettes

Altria, the parent company for Philip Morris which owns the popular Malboro cigarette brand, has decided to stop selling several of its e-cigarette products in the US. The company will only sell tobacco, menthol and mint flavours for its remaining vaping devices.

This follows a US Food and Drug Administration investigation into the appeal of e-cigarette marketing to under-18s. Altria also said it would support moves to make 21 the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products.

Source: BBC, 25 October 2018

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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary Questions

Parliamentary Question 1: Smoking cessation

Asked by Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the advice on the efficacy of e-cigarettes as a stop smoking aid between Public Health England’s document entitled Stop smoking options: guidance for conversations with patients and NICE’s document entitled Stop smoking interventions and services guidance.

Answered by Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) agree that, although not risk free, e-cigarettes are substantially less harmful than smoking. PHE and NICE also agree that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit and that it is important for a smoker to quit smoking completely to get the full benefits to their health.

PHE’s document ‘Stop smoking options: guidance for conversations with patients’ and NICE’s document entitled ‘Stop smoking interventions and services guidance’ are also well aligned with advice from the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Source: Hansard, 25 October 2018

Link: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-10-17/180852/

Parliamentary Question 2: E-cigarettes

Asked by Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Public Health England’s document, Stop smoking options: guidance for conversations with patients, published on 20 August 2018, what evidence Public Health England assessed to inform its recommendation that E-cigarettes can help people quit smoking, with similar or better results than NRT.

Answered by Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
Public Health England (PHE) referenced two papers in the guidance that helped inform its recommendation. They were:
– ‘Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation: a randomised controlled trial’ by Bullen and others.
– ‘Real‐world effectiveness of e‐cigarettes when used to aid smoking cessation: a cross‐sectional population study’ by Brown and others.

PHE’s recommendation is also supported by evidence from local stop smoking services in England, where people using e-cigarettes and stop smoking medicines consecutively have the highest rates of success, with 75% quitting successfully compared to 50% for those using medicines alone.

Source: Hansard, 24 October 2018
Link: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-10-16/180204/

Parliamentary Question 3: Smoking cessation funding

Asked by Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of changes in the level of funding for smoking cessation services on health inequalities.

Answered by Steve Brine, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
Smoking rates vary considerably across the country and local authorities are best-place to take decisions about the services required to meet the needs of their populations.

Source: Hansard, 24 October 2018
Link: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2018-10-16/180203/

Link of the Week

New NHS Maternity Statistics for England 2017-18

The NHS has published the latest annual data on maternity activity for England. Among other things, the data shows that 31% of women aged under 20 were recorded as a current smoker at their booking appointment.

Source: NHS Digital, 25 October 2018

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