ASH Daily News 15 March 2018


  • Smoking linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Northumbria Healthcare signs pledge to go ‘truly’ smokefree
  • Smokers urged to quit by using e-cigarettes
  • BMA: Help to quit goes up in smoke
  • “If smoking is so damn bad for you why don’t they just make it illegal?”


  • USA: Study claims vaping leads to more people smoking
  • Japan: Smoking may increase risk of hearing loss

Parliamentary activity

  • Parliamentary Question

Smoking linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes

Researchers from the University of Oxford, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking University have found that smoking is linked to higher rates of type 2 diabetes. The study looked at 500,000 adults from ten areas of China with no history of diabetes at baseline and they were monitored for nine years.

The researchers found that, compared with people who have never smoked, regular smokers have a 15-30% higher risk of developing diabetes, after taking into account the effects of age, socioeconomic status, alcohol consumption, physical activity and adiposity.

Study author Professor Liming Li of Peking University, said: “We can’t conclude from these findings that smoking causes type 2 diabetes, but irrespective of this, smoking should be targeted as an important modifiable lifestyle factor in future disease prevention strategies, including for diabetes, in China and elsewhere.”

Source: University of Oxford, 14 March 2018

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Northumbria Healthcare signs pledge to go ‘truly’ smokefree

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has announced it is going completely smokefree. The Trust has signed the NHS Smokefree Pledge to support a smokefree NHS, making a commitment to helping staff and patients to quit by creating a smokefree environment that helps them to do so.

See also: NHS Smokefree Pledge on the Smokefree Action Coalition website

Source: ITV News, 15 March 2018


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Smokers urged to quit by using e-cigarettes

Yorkshire Cancer Research is urging smokers to quit by using e-cigarettes. They are also calling on healthcare professionals to support smokers who choose to quit by vaping. People who use e-cigarettes with the help of local stop smoking services are more likely to successfully quit.

The article also contains links to further useful materials, including key facts about e-cigarettes and an e-cigarette position statement.

Source: Yorkshire Cancer Research

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BMA: Help to quit goes up in smoke

The British Medical Association (BMA) has drawn attention to the plight of stop smoking services. They highlight that many stop smoking services are being either shut down or downgraded and take Bromley as a specific example. Until it closed, their local service helped around 1,200 patients to quit each year at a cost of about £300 per quitter. This is opposed to the £3,000 per year the council estimates a single 20-a-day smoker costs Bromley businesses, fire service and NHS.

Source: BMA, 14 March 2018

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“If smoking is so damn bad for you, why don’t they just make it illegal?”

That’s the question posed by ShortList magazine. They asked ASH, and also Forest, to explain why tobacco products aren’t outlawed.

Stevie Benton, Communications Manager at ASH, said: Our primary aim is to reduce the number of people smoking tobacco. The most effective way to achieve this is through regulation, not through prohibition.”

Source: ShortList, 14 March 2018

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USA: Study claims vaping leads to more people smoking

A paper published by PLoS Medicine claims the use of e-cigarettes leads to more people start smoking tobacco. This is despite a continuing fall in cigarette use in the US as people switch to less harmful alternatives.

The authors of the paper used census data from 2014, published literature and survey data on e-cigarette usage to build a model which they used to estimate how many smokers had used e-cigarettes to quit and how many people became smokers after using them.

The paper claims that in 2014 2,070 smokers were able to quit with the help of e-cigs, while estimating that 168,000 young people became smokers after first using e-cigarettes. However, the paper has been met with scepticism by other researchers.

Professor Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, said: “This new ‘finding’ is based on the bizarre assumption that for every one smoker who uses e-cigs to quit, 80 non-smokers will try e-cigs and take up smoking. It flies in the face of available evidence but it is also mathematically impossible. In the UK alone, 1.5 million smokers have quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes. The ‘modelling’ in this paper assumes that we also have 120 million young people who became smokers.”

Source: Bloomberg, 14 March 2018

See also:
PLoS Medicine: Quantifying population-level health benefits and harms of e-cigarette use in the United States

Science Media Centre: Expert reaction to modelling study on electronic cigarettes in the US

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Japan: Smoking may increase risk of hearing loss

A new study suggests that smoking affects the ability to hear both high and low frequency sounds. Researchers included 50,195 people in the study, aged from 20-64 years and free of hearing loss and analysed data from annual health check-ups, including hearing tests.

After adjusting for factors including occupational noise exposure, researchers noted a 1.2 to 1.6 increase risk of hearing loss among current smokers compared to never smokers.

Lead author of the study, Huanhuan Hu from the National Centre for Global Health and Medicine in Japan, said: These results provide strong evidence to support that smoking is a causal factor for hearing loss and emphasise the need for tobacco control to prevent or delay the development of hearing loss.”

Source: Independent Online, 15 March 2018

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Parliamentary Activity
Parliamentary Question

Sir Mike Penning, Conservative (Hemel Hempstead)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to monitor smoking prevalence among serving armed forces personnel and veterans; and if he will he make a statement.

Mr Tobias Ellwood answered on 14 March 2018obert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has been monitoring smoking prevalence among UK Armed Forces personnel since 2014. We are taking targeted measures to reduce smoking rates in support of Government plans for a smokefree generation.

From January 2014 to January 2018 smoking prevalence among Serving personnel reduced by approximately 5%.

The MOD has no plans to monitor smoking prevalence in veterans.

Source: They Work For You, 14 March 2018



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