Essex: Elderly homeowner escapes fire caused by discarded cigarette
Firefighters were called to a house fire on Wednesday morning after an elderly occupant was awoken by the sound of burning, they were able to evacuate with the help of neighbours.
An investigation found that the fire had been caused accidentally by a discarded cigarette, which had ignited the shed in the property’s back garden. The fire had then spread to the adjacent back wall of the home and quickly reached the upstairs.
This is the second time in three days that firefighters have attended a serious fire at a domestic property caused by inappropriately discarded cigarettes.
Source: The Maldon Standard, 23 May 2018
Study finds cigarette smoke directly damages muscles in the body
We already know that smoking restricts a person’s ability to exercise because it makes their muscles weaker. It is widely believed this muscle weakness is because the lungs become inflamed and eventually destroyed by habitual smoking, therefore limiting activity and exercise.
Research shows that components in cigarette smoke also directly damage your muscles. The research, published in The Journal of Physiology, indicates that smoking decreases the number of small blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to muscles in the legs.
Reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients muscles can receive can impact metabolism and activity levels, both of which are risk factors for many chronic diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes.
The Journal of Physiology: Cigarette smoke directly impairs skeletal muscle function through capillary regression and altered myofiber calcium kinetics in mice
Source: Medical Express, 24 May 2018
USA: Money motivates smokers to quit
A smoking cessation study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found financial incentives in conjunction with free cessation aids resulted in a higher rate of sustained smoking abstinence than free cessation aids alone.
The study utilised groups of employees, with the most successful being the group that chose the cessation products they wanted plus $600 in an account with the threat that they would lose the money if they didn’t stay smokefree for six months. Their success rate was 12.7% which was better than those who got e-cigarettes or free cessation aids alone.
New England Journal of Medicine: A Pragmatic Trial of E-Cigarettes, Incentives, and Drugs for Smoking Cessation
Source: Reuters, 23 May 2018
USA: Scientists warn of the dangers of cinnamon flavoured e-cigarette liquid
Cinnamon-flavoured e-cigarettes may damage the lungs, a study has found.
Scientists in the US carried out tests in which they investigated the effects of 7 flavoured nicotinefree e-liquids on primary human alveolar macrophages, neutrophils, and natural killer (NK) cells (airway cells). Cinnamaldehyde-containing e-liquids (cinnamon flavour) had the most immunosuppressive effects across the different end points and cell types examined.
The researchers concluded that cinnamaldehyde has the potential to impair respiratory immune cell function, illustrating an immediate need for further toxicological evaluation of chemical flavouring agents to inform regulation governing their use in e-liquid formulations.
Source: American Journal of Physiology, 1 August 2017
Editorial note: The author of the article about Youtube removing e-cigarette content featured in yesterday’s Daily News (23/05/2018), Martin Cullip, is also known as Dick Puddlecote.
See tobacco tactics: http://www.tobaccotactics.org/index.php/Martin_Cullip
TV show ‘Love Island’ bosses ban cigarettes in the villa and garden for 2018 series
In response to complaints from the general public and health charities including ASH, ITV has taken decisive action to ban cigarettes in both the villa and garden.
If a contestant wishes to smoke they will have to ask a producer who will take them to a designated smoking shelter away from the villa, where they will only be able to smoke alone.
Despite this, the smokers will still be filmed as producers hope to capture the drama of the contestants after a row in the smoke shed. The source added: ‘It will still be filmed, but as they’ll be alone, there won’t be as many gossipy moments as last year.’
Source: Daily Mail, 22 May 2018
Should alcohol follow in the footsteps of cigarettes and enforce health warning labels on packaging?
The Global Drug Survey (GDS) released details of the biggest ever survey about alcohol labelling in the UK. It found that labelling alcohol with warnings regarding its health dangers could help almost half of the survey’s participants think about drinking less alcohol.
The survey trialled labels based around seven different themes, however the most potent message was “Drinking less reduces your risk of seven types of cancer” with 22% of survey participants saying this would make them think about drinking less, while 26% said it might. More surprising was the fact that 65.5% of females under 25 and 58.7% of males under 25 said this information was news to them.
Deborah Arnott, Chief executive at Action on Smoking and Health agrees with health warning for alcohol, stating “For younger people, the idea that you’re going to die slightly early doesn’t really matter,” she says. “The idea that you’re going to be unable to do the things you enjoy doing is much more challenging. Messages around impotence and fertility are both key for us, and the effect smoking has on the skin.” Smoking rates in this country have been gradually falling through the century and are now at 15.8%.
Source: Vice, 22 May 2018
Essex: Maldon District Council backs nine-year-old’s call for smoke-free play areas
New posters have gone on display across parks in the district which ask adults not to smoke in children’s play areas.
The posters were designed, drawn and submitted by nine-year-old Emily from Burnham, who wrote to Maldon District Council about how she didn’t like the smell of cigarettes and wanted to have the children’s play zones in the district as a smoke-free area.
Ben Page, Health Improvement Officer at Maldon District Council, said: “Second hand smoke is especially harmful to children, including reducing lung growth, wheezing and triggering asthma attacks.”
Source: Clacton Gazette, 22 May 2018
Coventry: Smoking putting more patients in hospital
The number of Coventry hospital admissions from smoking-related illnesses has risen slightly since 2015.
Figures from Public Health England revealed people were admitted to hospital for smoking-related diseases on 2,583 occasions in 2016-17, that’s a 1.65% increase on 2,541 similar cases in 2015.
Source: Coventry Telegraph, 23 May 2018
US: Study finds quitting will improve lung health but smoking fewer does nothing
A new study by Northwestern University, Illinois has found that heavy smokers who quit had lower odds of suffering from lung disease than light smokers.
‘We were surprised to find that those who quit had lower disease risk than the group we identified as stable, low-rate smokers, even though those who quit had a greater lifetime exposure to cigarettes,’ said Dr Amanda Matthew, a research assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Those who continue to smoke 10 cigarettes per day were more likely to develop emphysema than those who used to smoke 20 cigarettes per day or more and have since stopped entirely. Light smokers also suffer a larger decrease in lung function than those who have quit, regardless of how long they smoked for previously.
Experts long-believed that smokers used intermittent smoking as a bridge to quitting. However, one-quarter of all smokers are considered light smokers who have no intention of ceasing their habit.
Source: Daily Mail, 22 May 2018
USA: Youtube removes e-cigarette content
Some YouTube reviewers of e-cigarette products have had their content taken down from the platform and in some cases their channels deleted.
This is despite consensus that e-cigarettes reduce the harm associated with smoking. In July, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that it is ‘committed to encouraging innovations that have the potential to make a notable public-health difference’ with regards to smoking.
YouTube has been key to raising awareness about the benefits of vaping among some groups.
Source: Spiked, 23 May 2018
Jon Ashworth, Shadow Secretary of State for Health
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to deposit the instruments of ratification for the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
Robert Jenrick, The Exchequer Secretary
Answered on: 22 May 2018
The government is fully committed to the Protocol and steps to achieve ratification have begun. Subject to parliamentary approval, the government intends to deposit the instruments of ratification by 2 July 2018. This will enable the UK to participate if there is a first Meeting of the Parties later this year.
Source: Hansard HC, 22 May 2018