ASH comment on Royal College of Physicians press release
ASH comment on Royal College of Physicians press release
Please find below an embargoed press release from the Royal College of Physicians with an additional quote from Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, one of the co-signatories of the letter to Simon Stevens being published tomorrow in the British Medical Journal:
Additional quote: Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said
“The evidence is clear that even people already seriously ill from smoking can improve the quality and length of their lives by quitting. For example, a third of lung cancer patients still smoke at diagnosis. If they quit they can nearly double their life expectancy, yet currently only 13% of cancer patients are prescribed stop smoking treatment and, unsurprisingly, the majority continue to smoke. Tobacco dependence treatment is cheap and cost-effective and NHS England must ensure it’s integral to the new long-term plan.”
Notes and Links:
Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: www.ash.org.uk/about-ash
ASH receives funding for its programme of work from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.
ASH staff are available for interview and have an ISDN line. For more information send an email to email@example.com or ring 020 7404 0242. Out of hours contact Deborah Arnott (Chief Executive, ASH) on 07976 935 987 or Hazel Cheeseman (Director of Policy, ASH) on 07754 358 593.
RCP Press release:
EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 THURSDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2018
Medical Royal College presidents and chair urge Simon Stevens to offer treatment to every smoker
The Presidents of the RCP, RCPsych, RCOG, RCPCH, the Chair of Council of the RCGP, and over 800 other doctors, health professionals and academics are calling on NHS England to ensure that tobacco dependence treatment is provided for every smoker cared for by the NHS, as part of the long-term plan. In a letter to NHS England’s Chief Executive Simon Stevens published in the BMJ today, they point out that treatment for tobacco dependency is one of the most cost-effective healthcare interventions, with the potential to produce substantial in-year savings by reducing demand on the NHS.
Professor Andrew Goddard, President of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), said:
‘It is vital that tobacco dependence treatment for all smokers is part of the NHS long-term plan if we are to ensure the sustainability of the NHS and the wider social care system.’
Professor Wendy Burn, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) said:
‘Smoking rates are much higher among those with mental illness compared to the rest of the population. Therefore, it is crucial as part of meeting the government’s commitment to parity for mental health that there are effective and comprehensive treatment services in place to meet their needs.’
Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said:
‘Pregnancy is a significant opportunity to help women stop smoking, so improving the health of the mother, her baby and the wider family that she influences. Reducing smoking rates is also key to achieving the Government’s goal of halving stillbirth and neonatal deaths by 2025. The NHS needs to ensure all pregnant smokers have access to evidence based support that will help them stop.’
Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said:
‘Rates of infant mortality in England already lag behind other comparative wealthy nations and if the status quo remains, they are predicted to rise to 140% higher than comparable wealthy nations by 2030. Maternal smoking is one of the leading modifiable risk factors for infant mortality, so if we are to eliminate this disparity we need to do much more to support mothers, and other family members, to quit smoking.’
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:
‘We know that smoking can lead to many serious, long-term health conditions that present in general practice on a daily basis, and cost the NHS billions of pounds a year. We also know that smoking cessation services can help to reduce our patients’ dependence on smoking, so it’s important that this is reflected in the forthcoming NHS long-term plan, in the best interests of our patients’ long-term health and wellbeing, and the NHS as a whole.’
For further information please contact RCP Head of PR and public affairs Linda Cuthbertson on 020 3075 1254, 07748 777919, firstname.lastname@example.org.
FULL TEXT OF LETTER
The Government’s ambition for a five year improvement in disability free life expectancy by 2035  is one we can all share, but if it is to be achieved the NHS has to ensure that tobacco dependence treatment is provided for every smoker cared for by the NHS.
Smoking is the leading cause of years of life lost in the UK,  responsible for half the difference in life expectancy between richest and poorest . Smokers lose on average 10 years of life , and for every death caused by smoking it is estimated that another twenty people are suffering from serious illnesses attributable to smoking . Smoking can also end life before it has even begun, with maternal smoking one of the leading modifiable risks for infant mortality in the UK .
Treatment for tobacco dependency is one of the most cost-effective healthcare interventions, with the potential to produce substantial in year savings by reducing demand on the NHS.  For example, smokers are five times more likely to get influenza, a major contributor to winter pressures,  and babies of mothers who smoke are more likely to be born prematurely, and to require emergency or sustained healthcare.  Stopping smoking improves life expectancy and quality of life for every patient, from cancer to cardiovascular and respiratory disease, through maternity to mental health, yet tobacco dependence treatment is not offered as a matter of course to all smokers accessing healthcare.
Health Ministers have made clear their support for the RCP proposals  . NHS England must now ensure that treatment for tobacco dependence is integral to the long-term plan. This is vital not just for the health and wellbeing of individual smokers and their families, but also for the sustainability of the NHS and the wider social care system.
Professor Andrew Goddard, President of the Royal College of Physicians; Professor Wendy Burn, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists; Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; Professor Russell Viner, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health; Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners – the letter has also been signed by over 800 other doctors, healthcare professionals and academics.
 Department for Health and Social Care. Prevention is better than cure – our vision to help you live well for longer. https://wwwgovuk/government/publications/prevention-is-better-than-cure-our-vision-to-help-you-live-well-for-longer 2018
 Steel, N. et al. Changes in health in the countries of the UK and 150 English Local Authority areas 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet 2018 (392) 1647-1661
 Fair Society, Healthier Lives. Marmot review University College London, 2010 http://www.ucl.ac.uk/gheg/marmotreview
 Doll R. Peto R. Boreham J. Sutherland I. Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years’ observations on male British doctors. BMJ 2004;328:1519 https://www.bmj.com/content/328/7455/1519
 Cigarette smoking-attributable morbidity – United States, 2000. MMWR Weekly Report. 5 Sep. 2003 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5235a4.htm
 Child Health in 2030 in England, RCPCH, October 2018
 Royal College of Physicians. Hiding in plain sight: treating tobacco dependency in the NHS.
 Prevention is better than cure – Matt Hancock’s speech to IANPHI . DHSC. 5 November 2018. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prevention-is-better-than-cure-matt-hancocks-speech-to-ianphi
 Hansard. HC vol 645 c 665 19 July 2018 https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-07-19/debates/AC4C0223-B31C-4AD8-A594-8CD963C96710/TobaccoControlPlan