Scotland: Radical new plans unveiled to turn Scotland smokefree by 2034
A ban on smoking in council homes is among a raft of new measures being considered by ministers as part of their efforts to make Scotland smokefree by 2034.
The new strategy was unveiled on the 20th of June, after recent figures showed smoking cessation in Scotland had fallen to a record low, prompting fears that the 2034 target may not be reached.
A crackdown on smoking in open public places where children are present such as play parks is also included in the new blueprint, whilst smoking outside hospitals will be outlawed. Under the proposals, cigarettes will be banned completely in prisons, as well as in communal stairwells.
Source: The Scotsman, 21 June 2018
Wales: Health body ‘disappointed’ nearly one fifth of Welsh adults still smoke
The smoking rate for adults in Wales has not decreased, according to the latest figures from the National Survey for Wales.
The report, which involved more than 11,000 randomly-selected adults aged 16 and over, found that 19% of adults said that they smoked. Public Health Wales has said it is ‘disappointed’ the rate has not fallen since 2017.
The number of adults that ‘vape’ using e-cigarettes has also stayed the same (7%) when compared to last year.
Source: ITV News, 20 June 2018
North East: Anonymous tip offs boost illegal cigarette campaign
More than 350 anonymous tip offs from the public have been received by trading standards teams since the launch of a campaign tackling the sale of illegal tobacco. The ‘Keep it Out’ campaign went live in the North East in November. It highlights how children can easily get hooked on illicit cigarettes and how such trade can benefit criminals.
The campaign was launched by the tobacco control group Fresh, which receives funding from 11 of the region’s 12 local councils. Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh, said: “We are delighted to see this campaign making people think twice about buying and selling illegal tobacco, and also to see hundreds of pieces of information coming through.”
Owen Cleugh, a consumer protection manager with Durham County Council, said: “Illegal tobacco has a serious impact as it makes it easier for children to smoke and brings crime into our communities. We would encourage members of the public to help us in tackling this crime and report concerns via the Keep It Out hotline.”
Source: The Northern Echo, 20 June 2018
Hull: School gates to go smokefree
Parents are no longer allowed to smoke at 24 primary schools in Hull, in a bid to create a smokefree generation. The move follows last year’s introduction of a smokefree playground policy, which saw smoking banned at all 91 playgrounds in the city.
Councillor Gwen Lunn, the city council’s portfolio holder for public health, says: “Introducing measures like smokefree school gates and before that smokefree sidelines and playgrounds helps to chip away the places children see smoking, breathe in smoke and have it reinforced as something that is normal for grown-ups to do. We’ve been delighted by the response from schools, most of which have been keen to update their policies and involve children in designing signs to communicate the change to their parents and carers.”
Source: KCFM, 20 June 2018
Leeds: Shopping centre introduces smoke and vape free zone
White Rose Shopping Centre has introduced a ‘Smoke and Vape Free Zone’ in its outdoor leisure area, The Village, following the opening of its brand new children’s play area and ahead of Clean Air Day (21 June).
In consideration of children and young families, all visitors are now asked to refrain from smoking and vaping within The Village and the surrounding area, marked by green bollards. This move comes in partnership with Leeds City Council and Child Friendly Leeds in support of the city’s Clean Air Leeds ambition, a council-led initiative to improve the quality of Leeds air.
Source: Business Up North, 20 June 2018
Wirral: Smokefree community champions needed
The Annual Population Survey (2016) estimates the number of adults who reported smoking in Wirral is 15.7%. However, it is estimated that in the most deprived neighbourhoods in Wirral, approximately 32% of the population smoke.
Wallasey Constituency Team is therefore working in partnership with A Better Life (ABL) to provide free training for local people across Wallasey to become Smokefree Community Champions and help their community stop smoking. Champions are to act as ambassadors by raising awareness and promoting the local ABL stop smoking service.
Source: Wirral view, 20 June 2018
US: American Lung Association and Mental Health America partner to support residents in smokefree public housing transition
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has required all public housing agencies to implement a smokefree policy by July 31, 2018. The new smokefree rule will protect around two million residents living in public housing from exposure to secondhand smoke.
The American Lung Association and Mental Health America have announced their ‘Smokefree at Home’ project, which will support public housing residents who are living with behavioural health issues, such as mental illness and substance use disorders, in the transition to a smokefree environment. The project’s goal is to ensure these people are supported in their adjustment to the new smokefree policy, remain in their homes, and have access to cessation programs and services.
Source: PharmiWeb.com, 20 June 2018
North East: NHS staff make pledge on World No Tobacco Day
Senior staff at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, a provider of mental health and disability services, have made a public commitment to reduce smoking rates among both their patients and staff.
NTW Chair, Ken Jarrold, Chief Executive, John Lawlor and Medical Director, Dr Rajesh Nadkarni have all signed the NHS smokefree pledge, which has been endorsed by NHS England, the Department of Health, the Royal College of Physicians and the British Medical Association.
John Lawlor, Chief Executive said: “The NHS Smokefree Pledge is a really positive step towards improving the health of people with serious mental health conditions who die on average 20 years earlier than the general population due to smoking. We will play our part by signing the pledge and continuing to reduce smoking rates across our organisation.”
Source: NE Connected, 4 June 2018
Suffolk: County Council invests in tobacco firm
Information published for Suffolk County Council’s pension fund committee shows that despite criticism for investing in tobacco stocks the Council has increased its tobacco portfolio.
New figures have revealed that the investment in British American Tobacco is worth £16.2m – 0.6% of the fund and the fourth largest sum behind Royal Dutch Shell, Microsoft and Ferguson.
Ipswich MP Sandy Martin has said that the public health team, central government and health services were all helping people to stop smoking, which made the council’s investment “ridiculous”.
Source: Coastal Scene, 4 June 2018
California: Social Smoking Campaign Urges ‘Smokers in Denial’ to Wake Up
Duncan Channon and the California Tobacco Control Program have launched a new anti-smoking campaign that targets social smokers age 21 to 35 who typically don’t view themselves as ‘smokers’ and therefore underestimate the harm of lighting up at parties and other social events.
The campaign evokes smokers’ distorted perception of their habit and its harm, along with statistics that reveal the true health consequences of occasional smoking and alternate forms of tobacco.
The campaign launches across the state with special focus on reaching LGBTQ, Hispanic, Asian and African-American communities that are at higher risk for social smoking.
Source: Media Post, 4 June 2018
See also: Never Just a Smoke
USA: Lung cancer risk ‘drops dramatically’ within five years of quitting smoking
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the US have analysed the Framingham Heart Study, which looked at 8,907 people who had been followed for 25 to 34 years.
During this period, 284 lung cancers were diagnosed, nearly 93% of which occurred among heavy smokers – those who had smoked at least a pack of cigarettes a day for 21 years or more.
Five years after quitting, the risk of developing lung cancer in former heavy smokers dropped by 39% compared to current smokers, and continued to fall as time went on.
However, even 25 years after quitting, their lung cancer risk remained over threefold higher compared to people who had never smoked.
Author Hilary Tindle, professor of medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said: “The fact that lung cancer risk drops relatively quickly after quitting smoking, compared to continuing smoking, gives new motivation.”
Source: Health Insurance Daily, 4 June 2018
See also: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Lifetime smoking history and risk of lung cancer
Nigeria: Tax rise on tobacco and alcohol as fears grow of a public health crisis
A rise in excise duties has come into force in Nigeria, amid fears that growing tobacco and alcohol consumption could threaten a public health crisis. Although the number of women smoking has nearly halved over the past 18 years, the proportion of Nigerian men who have taken up the habit has increased to 17.4% from 11% in 2000. The rise has been attributed to less control on tobacco advertising and a growth in disposable income in the region, experts say.
The finance ministry has said it hopes the duties would have “a dual benefit of raising the government’s fiscal revenues and reducing the health hazards associated with tobacco-related diseases and alcoholic abuse.”
However, though the IMF proposed a doubling of tariffs, taxes on cigarettes will be raised by just four pence a year for the next three years, so campaigners have questioned how effective this will be.
Source: Telegraph, 4 June 2018
China: Tobacco regulator argues for indoor space for smokers
The regulator of China’s tobacco industry, which oversees state monopoly China National Tobacco Corp, has called for the introduction of designated indoor smoking areas, claiming enforcing bans in all public spaces was too difficult.
The former head of tobacco control at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Yang Gonghuan, has accused China Tobacco of attempting to thwart control measures by interfering in policy-making. Around 300 million of China’s 1.4 billion people smoke, and China Tobacco sells 98% of all tobacco consumed in China. It is easily the world’s largest tobacco producer by volume, with its sales totalling 1.1 trillion yuan ($171.81 billion) last year.
Source: Reuters, 4 June 2018