ASH Daily news for 27 October 2015



HEADLINES

  • Meat and tobacco: the difference between risk and strength of evidence
  • Ageing gene linked to smoking, diet and exercise
  • Cambridge: County council cuts outlined
  • Man jailed over plot to smuggle ten million cigarettes into UK
  • US: Flavoured tobacco and teen smoking
  • Parliamentary Business

    Meat and tobacco: the difference between risk and strength of evidence

    Following headlines that the WHO has published a report which ranks processed meat alongside smoking as a cause for cancer, the Guardian writes that comparing smoking to bacon in terms of risk of cancer is extremely misleading, despite the strength of evidence being similar.

    The article argues because both processed meat and tobacco cause cancer it doesn’t mean they are as risky as each other, and states that “a substance can increase your risk of cancer a small amount, or, like tobacco, a huge amount. Comparing them like for like is just really confusing to anyone trying to work out how to lead a healthy life.”

    See also
    Mail Online: Processed meats as big a cancer threat as cigarettes, health experts to say
    Sun: Sausages and bacon top cancer list
    The Scotsman: Processed meat ranked alongside smoking as cancer cause
    Telegraph: Bacon, ham and sausages ‘as big a cancer threat as smoking’, WHO to warn

    Source: The Guardian, 26 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1GEzfto

    Ageing gene linked to smoking, diet and exercise

    A study carried out by scientists from the University of Exeter and published in the journal
    Nature Communications has identified genes linked to ageing and found that they are affected by smoking, diet and exercise.

    Source
    Nature Communications: The transcriptional landscape of age in human peripheral blood

    Source: The Scotsman, 27 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/2089B73

    Cambridge: County council cuts outlined

    Finance chiefs at Cambridgeshire county council are forecasting a budget shortfall of £119m by 2021.

    Amongst over things, these cuts will affect Public Health where savings of £512,000 are targeted for next year.

    Proposals to cut expenditure include sharing a Director for Public Health with Peterborough City Council, a move which is already being piloted. The Stop Smoking Service, which, the article states will continue to be proactive and accessible, currently predicts an underspend.

    Source: Ely News, 26 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1O4yBZ5

    Man jailed over plot to smuggle ten million cigarettes into UK

    A man has been extradited from Thailand and arrested following a 2008 plot to smuggle ten million illicit cigarettes into the UK.

    Source: Hartlepool Mail, 27 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1OUkplt

    US: Flavoured tobacco and teen smoking

    A study carried out by the Center for Tobacco Products, and published in JAMA suggests that flavoured tobacco products may be the main culprit in attracting young people to start smoking.

    The research found that the majority of young people used a flavoured product the first time they tried tobacco.

    Source
    JAMA: Flavored tobacco product use among US youth aged 12-17 years, 2013-2014

    Source: Medical News Today, 26 October 2015
    Link: http://bit.ly/1GDLarh

    Parliamentary Business

    PQ1: Electronic cigarettes 

    Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the number of smokers who have switched to e-cigarettes; and what estimate he has made of the effect of that switch on the NHS budget.

    Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

    Survey data suggests the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) among adults in Great Britain has increased to 2.6 million in 2015, of whom 1.1 million have completely stopped smoking.

    The Department recognises that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit and the evidence indicates that they are less harmful to health than smoking tobacco. There is not yet enough evidence on which to make an estimate of the impact on National Health Service costs of smokers switching to e-cigarettes.

    Source: Hansard HC Deb, 22 October 2015, cW)
    Link: http://bit.ly/1PRuj6F