ASH Daily News for 28 February 2017



  • Study finds biomarker for lung cancer detection in the nasal passages of smokers
  • Southampton mums-to-be are set to receive £20 incentive to stop smoking
  • How pharmacy teams can support customers with quitting
  • US: Business groups, once tobacco-friendly, switch sides in fight
  • Parliamentary Questions

Study finds biomarker for lung cancer detection in the nasal passages of smokers

A new nasal test may allow patients suspected of having lung cancer to undergo a simple swab of their nose to determine if they have the disease. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have found that a genomic biomarker in the nasal passage can accurately determine the likelihood of a lung lesion being malignant.

After examining nasal epithelial brushings from current and former smokers undergoing diagnostic evaluation for pulmonary lesions suspicious for lung cancer, the researchers determined that the nasal airway epithelial field of lung cancer-associated injury in smokers extends to the nose and has the potential of being a non-invasive biomarker for lung cancer detection.

See also:
Shared Gene Expression Alterations in Nasal and Bronchial Epithelium for Lung Cancer Detection, Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Source: Medical Xpress – 27 February 2017
Read Article


Southampton mums-to-be are set to receive £20 incentive to stop smoking

Young pregnant mums in Hampshire are to be given shopping vouchers as an incentive to give up smoking. Under the new scheme expectant mums under 20 will receive £20 Love2shop vouchers each month for the length of their pregnancy. The initiative comes after figures revealed one in seven women in the city smoked while they were pregnant

The scheme is part of a programme to be launched by Solent NHS Trust and Southampton City Council next month. From March 6, a pilot group of 20 young mums-to-be will be enrolled on the Family Nurse Partnership Programme. Participants will be asked to set a quit date at the start of the project and will have to attend weekly support sessions at a hospital. They will monitored regularly to verify that they are staying off the cigarettes in order to receive the reward vouchers. At the end of the project ten of them will be interviewed to see if the initiative worked well.

Source: Daily Echo – 28 February 2017
Read Article


How pharmacy teams can support customers with quitting

Research shows that a combination of professional support and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) provides the greatest chance of success. Brief face-to-face discussions have been shown to be particularly effective in helping people to quit smoking for good. According to a training video made by the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training, 30 seconds is all it takes “to ask, advise and act to inspire someone to stop smoking for good”.

Pharmacy teams can play an important role in motivating and supporting their customers and providing advice on smoking cessation.

“Once a customer shows an interest in quitting, offer a free carbon monoxide test. A carbon monoxide reading can be a wake-up call as it shows people how bad their health is because of their smoking habit. This is definitely a worthwhile first step towards encouraging them to quit,” says Sultan Dajani, independent community pharmacist and member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board.

Source: Training Matters Magazine – 27 February 2017
Read Article


US: Business groups, once tobacco-friendly, switch sides in fight

Local chambers of commerce in the US are known to support battles against regulation. But when it comes to smoking rules, many business groups have decided they would rather switch than fight. Even in states where tobacco has played an important role in the economy – including North Carolina, Kentucky and Missouri – chambers have endorsed cigarette tax hikes, raising the smoking age and other efforts to curb tobacco habits.

The shift has accelerated since 2016, driven by a growing awareness that smoking drives up healthcare costs for employers, business groups said.

In Indiana, where smoking costs an estimated $7 billion in healthcare and lost productivity, the state chamber is pushing for a $1-a-pack increase in the state cigarette tax, to raise the smoking age to 21 and for more spending on cessation. “It’s not typical for a chamber to advocate for a tax increase,” said Kevin Brinegar, president and chief executive of the Indiana chamber. But, he added, the cost of smoking “gives us a black eye.”

Source: Health Medicine Network – 28 February 2017
Read Article


Parliamentary Questions

PQ1: Toxicity data regarding tobacco products
Charles Walker Conservative, Broxbourne
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2017 to Question 60244, what assessment he has made of the toxological data reviewed by the Committee on Toxicity as constituting independent research that could be included in a wider review by Public Health England on heated tobacco innovations.

Charles Walker Conservative, Broxbourne
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2017 to Question 60244, what assessment he has made of the capacity of Public Health England to independently verify the existing scientific findings concerning heated tobacco.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
It is for Public Health England (PHE) to make any necessary arrangements to conduct such work. The Government has asked the Committee on Toxicology to look at the data submitted by companies under the notification system and to give an opinion based on this research on the absolute and relative risk of the products concerned, and to indicate the strength of the evidence on which their opinion is based. PHE will consider this opinion and the results of their wider work on novel tobacco products in providing advice to the Government on this issue.

Source: HC Deb – 27 February 2017
Read transcript

PQ2: Review of Tobacco and Related Products Regulations
Charles Walker Conservative, Broxbourne
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2017 to Question 60244, what plans he has to review the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 ahead of the UK leaving the EU.

Nicola Blackwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
Until the shape of the final exit agreement is known, the potential scope of such a review will not be clear. However, the Government remains committed to completing a review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 by 2020, as required by those regulations.

Source: HC Deb – 27 February 2017
Read transcript