ASH Daily News for 01 March 2017

  • Randomised controlled trial on self-help smoking cessation intervention for pregnant smokers
  • Fewer people ‘using e-cigarettes to quit smoking amid lack of official guidance’
  • Radio interview with Prof Linda Bauld on smoking in pregnancy
  • Support for Public Health Bill from Welsh Assembly Members
  • First national trial allowing vaping in HMP Berwyn Prison
  • China: Shanghai expands public smoking ban
  • Parliamentary Question

Randomised controlled trial on self-help smoking cessation intervention for pregnant smokers

A large multicentre pilot randomised controlled trial in 16 antenatal clinics in England tested a low-cost, tailored, self-help smoking cessation text message intervention for pregnant smokers. The study aimed to obtain results on the effectiveness of pregnancy smoking cessation support delivered by SMS text message.

There was some evidence, though not conclusive, that a text messaging programme may increase cessation rates in pregnant smokers when provided alongside routine NHS cessation care.

See also:
– Extended treatment for cigarette smoking cessation: A randomized control trial, Society for the Study of Addiction

Source: Society for the Study of Addiction – 26 February 2017
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Fewer people ‘using e-cigarettes to quit smoking amid lack of official guidance’

Mintel surveyed 879 adult internet users who are currently trying to quit or have quit smoking in October.

It found that while electronic cigarettes are by far the most popular method used to quit smoking in the UK, their usage has dropped from 69% of smokers or ex-smokers using them in 2014 to 62% last year. Use of non-prescription nicotine replacement therapy products remains stable at 15%, as does use of nicotine replacement gums or patches on prescription from health professionals at 14%.

The survey found more than half of Britons (53%) believe e-cigarettes should be regulated by the NHS, and 57% are concerned there is not enough information available on how the devices work.

See also:
E-cigarette use falls for the first time as MPs launch inquiry into whether use of the devices should be restricted, Mail Online
Britain’s e-cigarette boom is over, data suggests, The Telegraph

Source: BT News – 01 March 2017
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Radio interview with Prof Linda Bauld on smoking in pregnancy

In a radio interview, Professor Linda Bauld, Co-Chair of the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group talks about the proposed carbon monoxide screening for pregnant women and the need for stop smoking support for pregnant smokers.

1 in 5 pregnant women do not disclose that they are smoking. If smoking could be identified, more pregnant women could be offered support to quit.

Smoking in pregnancy causes around 2,000 premature births and 5,000 miscarriages and 300 perinatal deaths per year. It can also contribute to poor health of the baby after being born. Moreover, smoking in pregnancy is the leading cause of preventable death for the mother herself.

Source: BBC Radio 4 – 01 March 2017 (audio)
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Support for Public Health Bill from Welsh Assembly Members

Welsh Assembly Members have thrown their support behind a series of measures designed to improve and protect the health and wellbeing of people in Wales. Regulations which will be put in place by the Welsh Government’s Public Health Bill include banning smoking in school and hospital grounds and playgrounds and creating a national register of retailers of tobacco and nicotine products.

“Extending the smoke-free regime to outdoor settings of school grounds, hospital grounds and public playgrounds, as well as the other actions on tobacco, will break important new ground and build on the significant progress we’ve made over many years in protecting children from the harmful effects of smoking,” Social Services and Public Health Minister Rebecca Evans said.

Contentious plans included in a previous version of the bill, which was voted down on the final day of the previous Assembly, to ban the use of e-cigarettes in a number of public places are not included in the new bill. The bill will now continue to further scrutiny by the Assembly.

Source: South Wales Argus – 28 February 2017
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First national trial allowing vaping in HMP Berwyn Prison

HMP Berwyn opened on 28th February. HMP Berwyn will be a smoke free prison and will undergo the first national trial which will allow the men to vape, with devices being allowed on arrival and refills can then be earnt.

Source: 28 February 2017
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China: Shanghai expands public smoking ban

Shanghai widened its ban on public smoking as China’s biggest city steps up efforts to stub out the massive health threat despite conflicts of interest with the state-owned tobacco industry.

Anti-smoking measures pose a dilemma for China. On the one hand, smoking has created an enormous burden on the public health system — leading to as many as one million deaths in 2010, according to a 2015 study in the medical journal The Lancet. On the other, the state-run tobacco industry provides the government with an enormous source of income: 1.1 trillion yuan ($160 billion) in taxes and profits in 2015, according to the most recent figures, up 20 per cent year-on-year.

Shanghai has had a limited ban on public smoking since 2010, but the regulation covered only certain spaces such as schools and libraries. The new rule expands the restrictions to all public indoor areas and some outdoor ones.

See also:
Tobacco lobby holding back smoking ban, China Daily

Source: Digital Journal, 1st March 2017
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Parliamentary Question

Written Question: Smoking and surgery
Rachael Maskell Labour, York Central
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 9 February 2017 to Question 63000 on Surgery, how clinical commissioning groups that fund smoking cessation services only for pregnant women will provide other patients with the support they need to stop smoking before an operation.

David Mowat, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Health
Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have a statutory duty to meet the reasonable health requirements of their local population. As part of their duty to seek continuous improvement in the quality of services they commission, CCGs must act with a view to securing continuous improvement in the outcomes. Information on CCGs’ commissioning policies for smoking cessation services for patients due to undergo surgery is not held centrally. CCGs’ commissioning intentions are available from individual CCGs.

Source: Hansard – 28 February 2017
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