ASH Daily News for 28 February 2019



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UK

  • Stockton, Hartlepool and Peterlee hospitals ban smoking on site
  • Five tonnes of suspected illicit tobacco seized in Glasgow
  • Why do planes still have ash trays?

International

  • USA: Study finds joint use of tobacco and alcohol may increase neural damage

 

UK

Stockton, Hartlepool and Peterlee hospitals ban smoking on site

The University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton, the University Hospital of Hartlepool and Peterlee Community Hospital will operate a no smoking policy across their grounds, preventing patients, staff and visitors from lighting up from 1 March 2019. The smoking ban is being put in place to help try and reduce smoking rates in the region.

Julie Gillon, chief executive for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “Smoking statistics for the North-East are sobering to read. We have some of the highest rates of smoking related deaths in the country… We must tackle this issue and our sites becoming smoke free on March 1, 2019, is just one of the steps we will take.”

Deepak Dwarakanath, medical director of the trust, added: “We would encourage anyone with a tobacco addiction to seek help. We owe it to our patients, visitors and staff to explicitly ban smoking on all of our hospital sites.”

Source: Northern Echo, 26 February 2019

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Five tonnes of suspected illicit tobacco seized in Glasgow

About 5 tonnes of suspected illicit tobacco has be seized in raids across Glasgow. Authorities have also found two illicit factories as part of the search operations. Three women and one man have been charged with excise duty fraud in connection with the find.

Joe Hendry, of HMRC’s fraud investigation service said “The sale of illegal tobacco will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies. Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clampdown on the illicit tobacco market.”

Source: BBC News, 26 February 2019

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Why do planes still have ash trays?

Smoking has been banned on all flights since the year 2000, and planes are filled with no smoking signs. However, it is a legal requirement for planes, no matter how new, to also provide ash trays in bathrooms and in some other locations. Contrary to popular belief, they are not an invitation to start smoking, but a necessary safety feature.

The requirement is in place to help lower the risk of fires. Despite the no smoking rule being in effect for almost 20 years, some passengers still attempt to smoke on flights. Safe places to put out cigarettes are necessary in case a passenger is caught trying to smoke.

Source: The Daily Express, 19 February 2019

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International

USA: Study finds joint use of tobacco and alcohol may increase neural damage

New research has found that the combination of smoking and drinking leads to increased neural inflammation in specific brain areas in rats. Namely the hippocampus, striatum and frontal cortex all showed adverse effects after exposure to both alcohol and tobacco for a 28 day period.

In all of the brain areas studied, combined alcohol and tobacco treatment increased the levels of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines compared to no treatment, or alcohol or smoking treatments alone. In the striatum and frontal cortex, rats with combined treatment showed lower levels of a brain-derived growth factor that helps existing neurons survive and stimulates the growth of new ones. These results suggest that alcoholics who smoke could be at additional risk of neural damage.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, many people who smoke tobacco also drink alcohol excessively, and vice versa. Therefore, studying the combined effects of the two drugs on the central nervous system is extremely important.

Source: ACS, 27 February 2019

See study, Combined Exposure to Alcohol and Tobacco Smoke Changes Oxidative, Inflammatory, and Neurotrophic Parameters in Different Areas of the Brains of Rats

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