ASH Daily News for 7 September 2018



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UK

  • NHS smoking in pregnancy data shows 10.4% of pregnant mothers still smoke in England
  • Opinion: It’s time to stop tarring e-cigarettes and tobacco with the same brush
  • Don’t send vapers to use smoking shelters, MPs suggest
  • Prevention must be the heart of the NHS long-term plan

International

  • Most U.S. colleges are not tobacco and smokefree

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Question

Link of the week

  • Keep Britain Tidy video

UK

NHS smoking in pregnancy data shows 10.4% of pregnant mothers still smoke in England

New NHS figures have revealed the number of women who said they were smokers at the time of giving birth between April and June this year. The numbers relate to 147,770 births during this three-month period. In total 15,151 of those babies – 10.4% – were born to mothers who continued to smoke tobacco while they were pregnant.

Nationally there is a Government ambition to reduce the number of pregnant mothers smoking to 6% or less by 2022. However, only 33 out of 195 areas met this target in the first quarter of this year, and a tenth of women across England were smoking at the time of delivery.
Smoking during pregnancy has been proven to worsen babies’ health as they grow older and to increase the risk of a premature birth or cot death.

Vicky Salt, policy manager at Action on Smoking and Health, said:
“Smoking during pregnancy is a leading cause of still birth and miscarriage as well as premature birth and low birth weight. The data released today shows a welcome decline in women smoking during pregnancy. However, this is only across three months and while a few areas are already reaching the Government’s 6% target, many more are nowhere near. We must ensure fewer women are smoking when they become pregnant and that midwives are properly trained to help those who are smoking quit as soon as possible.”

Source: Daily Mail, 6 September 2018

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Opinion: It’s time to stop tarring e-cigarettes and tobacco with the same brush

Rt Hon Norman Lamb, chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee, writes about the relative harms of e-cigarettes compared with tobacco cigarettes.

“You might have seen some huffing and puffing over the Science and Technology Committee supposedly recommending that e-cigarettes should be allowed on public transport. Yesterday, I made a statement to the House of Commons about our recent report on e-cigarettes to clarify what we actually said. The evidence is clear: e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to a smoker’s health than conventional cigarettes.

Public Health England estimates that e-cigarettes are around 95 per cent less harmful. They’re not the only ones — NICE, the British Medical Association, Cancer Research UK, the Royal Society for Public Health, and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh are just some of the organisations that agree.

A growing number of people are turning to e-cigarettes as a useful tool to stop smoking. Yet many misconceptions about e-cigarettes persist, with some people demanding that e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes should be treated in the same way.”

Source: The Times, 7 September 2018

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Don’t send vapers to use smoking shelters, MPs suggest

About 2.9 million people in the UK are currently using e-cigarettes. On Thursday, MPs debated a report on e-cigarettes, by the science and technology select committee, which suggested that e-cigarettes were too often overlooked by the NHS as a tool to help people stop smoking.

Organisations should consider having a separate vaping room or area instead of vapers having to use smoking shelters. Putting vapers and smokers together had been likened to “an alcoholic being put in a pub situation and expected to refrain”, SNP MP Carol Monaghan said.

Ms Monaghan, a member of the committee, said that the evidence they heard suggested e-cigarette users were “having to go out and use smoking shelters outside buildings” and urged a “more realistic view of the use of e-cigarettes”.

Source: BBC News, 6 September 2018

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Prevention must be the heart of the NHS long-term plan

Chief executive of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie, has said he wants a “smoke-free society” by the year 2030. He told the NHS England Expo in Manchester: “Smoking should no longer be seen as a lifestyle choice. It is an addiction that warrants medical treatment. Everyone who smokes must be offered the support they need to quit. With the right long-term plan in place, we can remove smoking from England. This is the single biggest thing we can do to improve the nation’s health.”

He said the move would save thousands of lives and free up almost £900million a year; funds that the NHS currently spends on treating illnesses caused by tobacco.

See also: Public Health England: Prevention must be the heart of the NHS long-term plan

Source: The Sun, 7 September 2018

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International

Most U.S. colleges are not tobacco- and smokefree

Most U.S. universities and community colleges don’t have tobacco-free or smokefree policies on campus, a new study has found. About 35% have tobacco-free policies that prohibit all tobacco use, 10% have smokefree policies that prohibit cigarettes but not all tobacco and 54% don’t have any policy, researchers report in the American Journal of Public Health.

“Despite years of public health effort, only 59% of the U.S. population is covered by smoke-free non-hospitality workplace, restaurant and bar laws in 2018,” said senior study author Kelvin Choi, a researcher with the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities in Bethesda, Maryland.

See also: American Public Health Association, Adoption of Tobacco- and Smoke-Free Policies in a US National Sample of Postsecondary Educational Institutions

Source: Reuters, 6 September 2018

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Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary Question

Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK tobacco product track and trace system will be compliant with the requirements of the (a) EU Tobacco Products Directive and (b) WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of implementing a tax stamp, label-based track and trace system.

Robert Jenrick The Exchequer Secretary

The government published an invitation to tender for the issuing of unique identifiers for the tobacco product track and trace system on 31 August. It is a key condition of securing this contract that the system proposed meets all the requirements of both the EU Tobacco Products Directive and WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.

The government has no plans to introduce tax stamps for tobacco products. If a label-based track and trace system is proposed by any of the bidders for the contract, this will be assessed against the requirements for the system alongside any other bids made.

Source: Hansard, 6 September 2018

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Link of the week

Keep Britain Tidy video

Keep Britain Tidy have launched a new national campaign – #BinTheButt – to stamp out cigarette litter, which causes significant damage to marine life.

They’re calling on smokers across the UK to rethink how they dispose of their cigarettes, as research reveals that only half (53%) of Brits think that cigarette butts get washed into the sea if they get dropped, blown or washed down the drain.

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