ASH Daily News for 27 September 2016



  • Illnesses associated with lifestyle factors costs the NHS £11 billion
  • Smoking and Disability: Give up this October
  • Wales: Smoking ban could be rolled out across Swansea Bay beaches
  • Australia: Cancer Council Victoria welcomes ruling on sensitive data
  • PAHO recognizes Uruguay for defending tobacco control policies against commercial interests

Illnesses associated with lifestyle factors costs the NHS £11 billion

Health problems related to poor diet, drinking and smoking are costing the NHS in England more than £11bn each year, officials say.

Public Health England (PHE) says that unless they are tackled more effectively the NHS will become unaffordable. It warns conditions such as type 2 diabetes and smoking-related bronchitis are a new and untreatable epidemic.

Dr Rebecca Wagstaff of PHE says these conditions pose a real threat to the future sustainability of the health service. “When you look back to Victorian times, we worried about things like diphtheria and polio, and we’ve actually managed to conquer those now. The new threats are things like diabetes and chronic bronchitis. They could overwhelm us. They are illnesses for which there is no cure, and they cost the NHS more than £11bn each year. That’s a phenomenal amount of money and more than that, it is taking years off people’s lives.”

Source: BBC News – 25 September 2016
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Smoking and Disability: Give up this October

For the fifth year running October is becoming Stoptober, a designated month for giving up tobacco. Last year, Stoptober saw 2.5 million people try to quit, and for one in five of them, it was a successful attempt.

It is estimated that rates of smoking amongst disabled adults are some 50% higher than among the general population, and one reason that has been put forward for this is less access to smoking cessation services.

However, this year Stoptober is moving online. Not only does the NHS have a dedicated website, but Public Health England is preparing a suite of online resources and utilising social media tools such facebook messenger to give advice and support to those attempting to quit. For those who find stop smoking services inaccessible this move online could be a new route to quitting tobacco.

Source: Independent Living – 26 September 2016
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Wales: Smoking ban could be rolled out across Swansea Bay beaches

Swansea Councillors are to discuss the possibility of the ban on smoking at Caswell Bay being extended to other areas around Swansea Bay.

The prohibition was put into force at the end of April. One survey of beach goers by the authority has found 90 per cent supported the move, and 88 per cent would “like to see a similar smoking restriction on other beaches.”

Suzanne Cass, chief executive of ASH Wales Cymru, said: “We know that seeing smoking highly influences young people and it is imperative we do anything we can to stop smoking being seen as ‘normal’ and keep our next generation away from tobacco’s clutches.”

Source: South Wales Evening Post – 26 September 2016
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Australia: Cancer Council Victoria welcomes ruling on sensitive data

Cancer Council Victoria has welcomed a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) ruling that British American Tobacco (BAT) will not be granted access to data files containing information provided by thousands of Australian school children. VCAT has ruled that five of six documents sought by BAT should not be released to the cigarette company.

The data in question is from the Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drug Survey (ASSAD) which is undertaken by Cancer Council Victoria.

“The ASSAD survey is an important piece of scientific public health research that is subject to stringent approval processes from ethics committees, education authorities and schools. Handing over such sensitive data would be a breach of trust, and would have jeopardised Cancer Council’s ability to continue surveying students in future years, potentially ending our ability to understand smoking behaviour in Australian adolescents,” said Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper.

Source: Cancer Council Victoria – 27 September 2016
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PAHO recognizes Uruguay for defending tobacco control policies against commercial interests

The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has recognized the Government of Uruguay for ‘its global leadership in defending tobacco control policies in benefit of public health over commercial interests.’ The recognition was made before an audience of health leaders from throughout the Americas attending the 55 PAHO Directing Council.

In July 2016 Uruguay won an international legal case brought by the tobacco company Philip Morris International against tobacco control regulations implemented in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

President Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay called on the countries of the Americas to form a global alliance against the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases including not only governments but other interested parties as well. He added that tobacco consumption is among the most important risk factor for noncommunicable diseases and urged the application of measures called for in the WHO FCTC.

Source: Public Now – 26 September 2016
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