ASH Daily news for 09 January 2015



  • Suffolk: Smokefree Strategy set to be launched
  • Warwickshire: Bedworth house fire caused by e-cigarette charger
  • Football: Arsène Wenger gets tough with smoking ban
  • US: Many e-cigs’ labels show wrong nicotine content, study
  • Australia: Health Department offers hypnotherapy, acupuncture cash to help staff quit smoking
  • US: Major cancer groups call for e-cigarette research, regulation
  • Parliamentary business

    Suffolk: Smokefree Strategy set to be launched

    Public health officials at Suffolk County Council are set to launch a new strategy aimed at making Suffolk “smoke free” – despite the authority still investing millions of pounds in tobacco firms.

    Latest figures estimate smoking-related illnesses cause more than 1,100 deaths in Suffolk and a number of recommendations to bring down the number of smokers in the county have been laid out in a report to the county’s health and wellbeing board.

    This includes developing smoking prevention programmes for schools and youth organisations.

    The document has been welcomed, but has also led to renewed calls for the council to cease investing pension fund money in tobacco firms, an issue which has raged since the authority took on public health duties in 2013.

    Source: Felixstow Star – 08 January 2015

    Warwickshire: Bedworth house fire caused by e-cigarette charger

    Firefighters have extinguished the flames of a house fire in Bedworth caused by an electronic cigarette charger. A crew from Nuneaton Fire Station were alerted to the drama by the residents of the house who got themselves outside before dialling 999. The four people inside the house were unharmed.

    Source: Nuneaton News – 07 January 2015

    Football: Arsène Wenger gets tough with smoking ban

    Arsène Wenger (manager of the Arsenal Football Club) has laid down the law to his players by telling them that any of them caught smoking on club duty from now on will be sent to train with the youth team for the rest of the season.

    It is understood that Wojciech Szczesny’s ill-advised puff in the shower after the defeat by Southampton on New Year’s Day was not the first time that an Arsenal player has been apprehended for smoking in the dressing room and Wenger has resolved to clamp down.

    Szczesny was not singled out for criticism when Wenger addressed his players on the subject this week, the manager instead making it clear to the squad that any repeat of the goalkeeper’s actions would be punished severely. The Poland player was fined £20,000 by the club this week and has been told that the matter is closed, as long as he does not reoffend.

    Many of Arsenal’s players have welcomed Wenger’s approach, having become frustrated by other perceived lapses in discipline by their team-mates.

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    See also:
    – Smoking footballers: Wojciech Szczesny is not the only one who likes a puff, Daily Mirror

    Source: The Times – 09 January 2015

    US: Many e-cigs’ labels show wrong nicotine content, study

    Electronic cigarettes may contain much more nicotine than their labels show, or much less, according to a new study by the Salt Lake County Health Department and the Center for Human Toxicology at the University of Utah.

    Researchers found that 61 percent of the e-cigarettes they bought at 14 vape shops and 16 tobacco specialty stores had nicotine levels at least 10 percent higher or lower than the label showed.

    The industry’s own American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association requires that nicotine content be within 10 percent of the labeled content, the health department said.

    Seventy-three of the 120 samples had nicotine content that veered from its packaging by as much as 88 percent less than the label to 840 percent more.

    Source: Salt Lake Tribune – 08 January 2015

    Australia: Health Department offers hypnotherapy, acupuncture cash to help staff quit smoking

    The federal Health Department is paying for unproven therapies to help its employees quit smoking.

    In response to a question on notice from Labor senator Joe Ludwig, the department said it makes hypnotherapy and acupuncture available to its staff to help them quit smoking as part of its Smoke Free Workplace policy.

    So far this financial year, two staff members had been reimbursed for hypnotherapy at a total cost of $1000, a department spokeswoman said. There had been no applications or reimbursements for acupuncture.

    Source: Sydney Morning Herald – 08 January 2015

    US: Major cancer groups call for e-cigarette research, regulation

    Two of the largest cancer science and treatment groups in the United States have called on the government to start regulating “electronic nicotine delivery systems” and step up research on the health effects of vaping.

    “While e-cigarettes may reduce smoking rates and attendant adverse health risks, we will not know for sure until these products are researched and regulated,” said Peter Paul Yu, president of the 35,000-member American Society of Clinical Oncology, in a statement. His group was joined by the American Association for Cancer Research, which has more than 33,000 members.

    The joint statement endorsed the urgent need for new research into the health effects of e-cigarettes and using tobacco tax revenues to help fund studies. It also included a long list of recommended actions by state and federal government agencies.

    Source: Science Insider – 08 January 2015

    Parliamentary business

    Extract from the intervention by Lord Rea in the debate on the future of the NHS:

    […] Our expectation of life, however, continues to go up. Part of this is due to the success achieved in reducing cigarette consumption, partly due to the measures introduced by the last Government, including banning tobacco advertising. This Government have also brought in some tobacco control measures but, rather worryingly, they seem to be dragging their feet on the important issue of plain packaging. It is important to get this legislation on to the statute book before the election and to do that it must be laid before Parliament before the end of this month or sooner. I think that the noble Earl is aware of the widespread desire from across the health professions and elsewhere for this to be done. I hope that he will be able to assure the House, perhaps today, that this legislation will reach the statute book before the election. If not, the Government and the Conservative Party will lose even more credibility when they claim to safeguard the nation’s health. […]

    Source: Hansard – 08 January 2015 : Column 518