ASH Daily News for 5 July 2018



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UK

  • Manchester: Aims to make smoking history as smoking rates continue to fall
  • West Hampstead: Firefighters say cigarette butt caused new build blaze
  • Wales: Swansea’s Langland Bay goes smokefree
  • Scotland: South Ayrshire outdoor smoking ban scrapped

International

  • France: Paris authorities try to stub out smoking habit with public parks ban
  • Belgium: Cercle Brugge stadium goes smokefree
  • US: ‘Safety net’ clinics uneven in delivery of help to quit smoking

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Question

UK

Manchester: Aims to make smoking history as smoking rates continue to fall

National figures have shown a further fall in the numbers of people smoking across Greater Manchester, with rates falling from 18.4% to 17.5% during 2017. Rates of smoking still remain higher than the England average of 14.9%, down from 15.5% in 2016.

Greater Manchester’s health leaders have pledged to make smoking history over the next decade. This includes an ambitious target of supporting 115,000 of the city region’s 393,000 smokers to quit over the next three years.

Sarah Price, Director of Population Health for the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: ‘We have an unprecedented ambition of making smoking history in Greater Manchester by inspiring a smokefree generation and supporting every smoker to end their addiction. By tackling the number one cause of preventable illness, early death and health inequalities, we will transform the health, wealth and wellbeing of people across our region.”

Source: Rochdale News, 4 July 2018

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West Hampstead: Firefighters say cigarette butt caused new build blaze

This week a devastating fire at a new build block of flats in West Hampstead saw families evacuated and five balconies destroyed.

The London Fire Brigade’s investigators have said the fire was thought to have been started by a cigarette which was left in a plant pot on the balcony.

Firefighters have issued a smoking safety warning, encouraging residents not to smoke or to try safer products such as vaping. They stated, “If you do choose to smoke cigarettes, it is absolutely vital you ensure your cigarette is completely out when you’ve finished smoking it. If you don’t, you risk causing a fire which could not only destroy your home, but also cost you your life.”

Source: Ham & High, 4 July 2018

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Wales: Swansea’s Langland Bay goes smokefree

One of Swansea’s most visited coastal bays has become Wales’ third smokefree beach. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world and can take up to 12 years to decompose since they are made from plastic fibres. Toxins from tobacco residue in the butts also pollutes waterways and poses a danger to animals who often mistake them for food.

Mark Child from Swansea Council has said, “The aim is to encourage adults not to light-up at the beach because of…the potential bad habits it might encourage children to get involved [in]. We don’t have powers to ban smoking at beaches. This is a voluntary initiative where we are asking the public to support it.”

Swansea and Neath Port Talbot have some of the highest smoking rates in Wales: on average 19% Welsh adults smoke, however, in Swansea this is 20% and neighbouring Neath Port Talbot has the highest rate in the country at 24%.

Source: ITV News, 5 July 2018

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Scotland: South Ayrshire outdoor smoking ban scrapped

This week Labour councillor Phil Saxton successfully tabled a motion to drop South Ayrshire’s ban on smoking outside street cafes. Council leaders introduced the ban in December 2015, but it lay dormant until last month, when Ayr’s ‘Cafe Le Monde’ was warned their permit could be revoked.

Addressing the council’s last full meeting before summer recess, Mr Saxton said: “Visitors and members of the public have no idea why they can’t smoke outside these cafes. It’s not illegal to do so which makes this very hard for anyone to enforce.”

Source: Daily Record, 4 July 2018

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International

France: Paris authorities try to stub out smoking habit with public parks ban

The Paris authorities are planning to ban smoking in public parks from the autumn in the latest effort to tackle tobacco addiction and reduce litter. A trial ban is being introduced this summer in four parks, and the Mayor plans to extend it to all city parks within months.

Laurence Goldgrab, a Paris councillor, said the ban was motivated by public hygiene as well as public health. Smokers often leave cigarette ends lying on the ground and some 350 tons of butts were collected last year. “In 2017, the city issued nearly 21,000 fines to smokers who left their cigarette ends on the ground,” she said.

Throwing a cigarette end on the ground will now incur a €68 (£60) fine, while fines have been set at €450 for smoking in proscribed public areas. There will also be a €750 penalty for smoking in a car with a minor.

Source: Telegraph, 4 July 2018

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Belgium: Cercle Brugge stadium goes smokefree

The Belgian First Division A club Cercle Brugge has detailed plans to make its Jan Breydel Stadium a completely smokefree zone from next season. The club said the decision has been unanimously approved by its board of directors and has been supported by the League and Kom op tegen Kanker (Stand up to Cancer). The ban will be in effect for the club’s first home match next season, and will also be in place for next month’s friendly against French Ligue 1 team AS Monaco.

FIFA and UEFA, football’s global and European governing bodies, support stadiums going smokefree, with venues across the English Premier League and English Football League already upholding the policy.

Source: S B News, 4 July 2018

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US: ‘Safety net’ clinics uneven in delivery of help to quit smoking

A recent study has found that US ‘safety net’ clinics (where low-income people go to receive medical care) don’t always offer smoking cessation support, and the availability of that assistance may vary by patients’ ethnicity and insurance.

Dr. Steffani Bailey examined data from 136,314 smokers at 143 clinics in 12 states between 2014 and 2016, looking at the type of smoking cessation assistance received, and whether age, gender, race, income, insurance status and the presence of medical and psychiatric conditions influenced who received cessation help.

The study found that the odds of getting both counselling and medication – which is considered best practice – were higher among non-Hispanic whites than all other ethnicities combined. Though the clinics exist to reduce barriers to healthcare, the study also found that uninsured people were found to have the lowest odds of receiving counselling and medication.

See also:
American Journal of Public Health, Disparities in smoking cessation assistance in US primary care clinics

Source: Reuters, 4 July 2018

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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary Question

Jim Shannon, MP DUP, Strangford
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure the provision of vaping areas that are separate from smoking areas in NHS hospital grounds.

Steve Brine, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
The provision of separate vaping areas is a matter for individual National Health Service organisations. Public Health England (PHE) has published advice to support organisations in developing policies on vaping in public places and workplaces. Such policies should be based on the evidence and support smokers to quit while managing any identified risks. The Government would encourage NHS organisations to consult PHE’s guidance in developing their policies on vaping.

Source: Hansard HC, 4 July 2018

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