ASH Daily News for 4 July 2018


  • Call for ‘bold’ Government action on smoking in pregnancy
  • One in four smokers has quit since 2011
  • Northern Ireland: Smoking rates fall, but still highest in UK
  • North-East: Smoking rates almost halved since 2005


  • China: Wuhan bans government and party employees smoking on the job


Call for ‘bold’ Government action on smoking in pregnancy

With new Government statistics on smoking in pregnancy showing little change, the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group, a coalition of health and maternity organisations, has called for ‘bold’ Government action.

NHS figures reveal that just under 11% of pregnant women were known to be smokers at the time of delivery in 2017/18. This is slightly up from 10.4% in 2016/17. A new report from the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group warns that unless more is done, the Government is unlikely to meet its ambition of reducing the smoking in pregnancy rate to less than 6% by 2022. According to the Challenge Group, if the Government met its stated ambition, it would mean that around 30,000 fewer women would be smoking in pregnancy.

The Challenge Group makes a number of recommendations to increase the ‘pace of change’, including increased support for women from disadvantaged backgrounds where smoking in pregnancy rates are highest, alternative sources of nicotine to support pregnant women to quit, and better training for midwives, obstetricians and health visitors.

See also:
Rochdale News, Helping mums to be quit smoking
Midwives Information & Resource Services, Call for government action as smoking in pregnancy rates stall

Source: Nursery World, 3 July 2018

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One in four smokers has quit since 2011

The number of people in Britain who smoke has fallen by 2 million — or a quarter — since 2011, figures show. Eliminating smoking entirely is within reach if the NHS gets serious about helping people quit, say experts. Last year 15.1% of the UK adult population — 7.4 million people — smoked, which is down from 20.2% in 2011, according to Office for National Statistics data published yesterday.

Robert West, a professor of psychology at University College London who specialises in nicotine withdrawal, said that the “striking” fall “could be due to a combination of smoking becoming less ‘normal’ as a result of plain packaging and display bans, as well as e-cigarettes providing a route to quitting.”

The fall coincides with the popularity of electronic cigarettes, with 2.8 million people now vaping. The biggest fall in smoking was among people aged 18 to 24, which is down from 25.7% in 2011 to 17.8%. Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said: “Smoking is no longer something everyone does and for most young people it’s just not cool to smoke.”

See also:
The Mirror, Rise of vaping has helped 1.6 million smokers kick habit smoking in six years
The Guardian, Britain is winning the war on tobacco, health chief insists
Mail on Sunday, Is the end of smoking finally in sight? 270,000 people gave up last year in the UK, official figures show

Source: The Times, 4 July 2018

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Northern Ireland: Smoking rates fall, but still highest in UK

The number of people smoking in Northern Ireland is at an all-time low, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics. Around one in six adults said they used cigarettes, which is the equivalent of 16.5% of the adult population in Northern Ireland. However, this remains higher than England (14.9%), Wales (16.1%) and Scotland (16.3%).

It is estimated that smoking is still responsible for 2,300 deaths each year in Northern Ireland. Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the health charity, Action on Smoking and Health, said: “Smoking must become history for all of society, not just for the wealthy. Cuts in public health funding and lack of treatment for smoking on the NHS mean poorer more heavily-addicted smokers, including those who are pregnant, are not getting the help they need to quit.”

See also:
ITV News, Smoking rates remain higher in NI than rest of UK

Source: Belfast Telegraph, 4 July 2018

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North-East: Smoking rates almost halved since 2005

The number of smokers in the North East has almost halved since 2005, according to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In 2005, 29% of adults in the North East were smokers. In 2017 that figure stood at 16.2%. That represents a 44% fall in North-East adult smokers. Between 2016 and 2017 the reduction in North-East adult smokers was nearly twice the national average.

Fresh, a regional programme dedicated to tobacco control, is now urging smokers to try and stop at least once a year and take inspiration from those who have successfully stopped.

Ailsa Rutter OBE, director of Fresh, said: “It is very encouraging to see the North-East is still making faster progress to reduce smoking, and we have narrowed the gap on other areas such as the South-East. As smoking among adults has fallen, we have also seen fewer children start in the first place. The North-East has a vision of 5% of people smoking by 2025 and we can make it happen.”

See also:
Hartlepool Mail, North-East smoking rates halved – claims latest figures
Northern Echo, North-East smoking rates hit historic low

Source: ITV News, 3 July 2018

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China: Wuhan bans government and party employees smoking on the job

Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, has banned government and party employees from smoking while performing their official duties, with smoking prohibited inside party and government office buildings. This comes as part of a campaign to control smoking inside public spaces, which also focuses on hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants, public transport, theatres and internet cafes.

The organisers of official government activities are no longer allowed to provide tobacco products, accept sponsorship from tobacco companies or publish tobacco advertisements, and ashtrays and lighters are no longer provided. Meanwhile, those taking part in official activities are not allowed to smoke, give cigarettes to others, or persuade others to smoke. The use of public funds to pay for tobacco consumption will also be forbidden.

Source: China Daily, 3 July 2018

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