ASH Daily News for 8 June 2018



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UK

  • Smokers trying to quit should use stronger e-cigarettes, to protect their health, experts say
  • Minister announces smoking ban in prisons has not caused unrest among prisoners
  • North East: Sustained efforts to go smokefree by Mental Health Trusts reap rewards for patients and staff

International

  • US: Huge drop in teens smoking tobacco: Centre for Disease Control report reveals 20% drop in under-18s lighting up since 2011
  • US: E-cigarette sellers turn to scholarships to promote brands
  • India: Philip Morris plans to target Indian smokers with IQOS device

Link of the week

  • Department of Health and Social Care publish ‘Delivery Plan’ for the Tobacco Control Plan for England

UK

Smokers trying to quit should use stronger e-cigarettes, to protect their health, experts say

Researchers from London South Bank University have found that smokers who want to switch to vaping may be better to start with higher, rather than lower, nicotine levels to reduce compensatory behaviour and the amount of e-liquid used.

Dr Lynne Dawkins, from London South Bank University, said: “Some vapers might believe that starting out on a low nicotine strength is a good thing. But they should be aware that reducing their nicotine concentration is likely to result in the use of more e-liquid”. This is because when trying get the same hit as a high-nicotine e-cigarette, you have to puff harder, and for longer which exposes people to higher levels of toxins, including formaldehyde – which is formed when the e-cigarette is heated.

Source: The Sun, 8 June 2018

See also: Real-world compensatory behaviour with low nicotine concentration e-liquid: subjective effects and nicotine, acrolein and formaldehyde exposure

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Minister announces smoking ban in prisons has not caused unrest among prisoners

A smokefree ban is now in place in all 102 high and medium secure prisons across England and Wales with open prisons only allowing smoking in designated outside areas.

Rory Stewart, Prisons Minister said there was no evidence of a decline in safety to prisoners or staff, and that it had only contributed to some low level disorder and a small number of more serious incidents. Stewart said as smokefree prisons were rolled out the number of inmates using e-cigarettes have gone up, with 50,000 vaping products, including re-fill packs being bought every week.

Source: The Today Programme, BBC Radio 4, 8 June 2018

Starting time: 4 minutes 50 seconds

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North East: Sustained efforts to go smokefree by Mental Health Trusts reap rewards for patients and staff

Research by Teesside University and Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, shows that the number of patients in mental health hospitals who smoke in the North East is falling thanks to a sustained approach by partner organisations.

In March 2016 two mental health trusts in the region; Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, went fully smoke free.

The report outlines figures from Public Health England which found there was a considerable drop in smoking prevalence recorded across both organisations. In one of the Trusts, clinical audit showed that the proportion of inpatients that smoked fell from 43% in 2015 to 21% in 2018.

The report also highlights the preliminary work undertaken to prepare for the smoke free policy and noted that both Trusts had prepared 18 months in advance and introduced a range of measures to aid successful implementation. This included training staff to give advice on quitting, appointing stop smoking advisers on every unit and providing patients with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) within 30 minutes of admission.

Source: North East Connected, 8 June 2018

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International

USA: Huge drop in teens smoking tobacco: Centre for Disease Control report reveals 20% drop in under-18s lighting up since 2011

Tobacco use is continuing to fall among children and teenagers in the US, an encouraging sign that the leading cause of preventable death in the US is finally falling out of fashion, a new report from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reveals.

According to the report the number of middle and high school students that use tobacco products has fallen by 20% since 2011.

In the last five years, e-cigarette use, or vaping, has overtaken smoking as the favourite nicotine delivery system for students.

Source: Daily Mail, 7 June 2018

See also: Cigarette smoking among U.S. high school students at an all-time low, but e-cigarette use a concern

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US: E-cigarette sellers turn to scholarships to promote brands

A growing number of e-cigarette sellers have started offering college scholarships as a way to get their brands listed on university websites.

The scholarships, ranging from $250 to $5,000, mostly involve essay contests that ask students to write about the dangers of tobacco or whether vaping could be a safer alternative. At least one company asks applicants to write about different types of e-cigarettes and which one they recommend.

Although some of the scholarships are limited to students 18 and older (the nation’s legal age to buy vaping products), many are open to younger teens or have no age limit.

Source: Mail Online, 8 June 2018

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India: Philip Morris plans to target Indian smokers with IQOS device

Philip Morris International is planning to launch its iQOS (Heat not burn) smoking device in India, as the tobacco giant seeks a foothold in a country with the world’s second-biggest smoker population.

India has stringent laws to deter tobacco use, which the government says kills more than 900,000 people every year. But the country still has 106 million adult smokers, second only to China according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), making it a lucrative market for Philip Morris to target.

If Philip Morris are to persuade officials, it would need to convince a government that has in recent years raised cigarette taxes, ordered companies to print bigger health warnings on tobacco packs and launched a quit-smoking helpline.

Source: Reuters, 8 June 2018

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Link of the week

Department of Health and Social Care publish ‘Delivery Plan’ for the Tobacco Control Plan for England

On the 7th June 2018, the Department for Health and Social Care released a ‘Delivery Plan’, setting out how the Tobacco Control Plan for England is to be delivered.

The delivery plan will monitor how the aims of the tobacco control plan for England are being met, setting out specific milestones and what is expected at national and local levels.

Read Delivery Plan