ASH Daily news for 10 May 2016



  • North Somerset: Costs of smoking revealed

    North Somerset is spending about £40 million on tackling smoking every year, including £7million on NHS treatments, according to new data. Approximately 20,500 people smoke in the district.

    Dr Mary Backhouse, chief clinical officer at North Somerset CCG, said quitting is the only way to save money both personally and through treatments the NHS provide. She said: “One way or another, smoking costs a lot of money. Whether that’s treating smoke-related illness or buying cigarettes in the first place. Smoking has a detrimental effect on both the health of the smoker and those around them. Making the choice to quit is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Not only will it save money, but it will have invaluable benefits to your health both in the short and the long term.”

    Source: The Weston Mercury 9 May 2016

  • Scotland: Vaping now allowed on the grounds of Vale of Leven Hospital

    Health chiefs have given the go-ahead for the use of electronic cigarettes on the grounds of Vale of Leven Hospital in an attempt to further cut smoking rates.

    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) says electronic cigarettes can now be used on hospital grounds by patients, visitors and staff, but not within buildings or at entrances or exits to hospitals and other health facilities. It is hoped that the new policy will help change the behaviour of a small hardcore of people who continue to smoke on hospital grounds and especially around hospital entrances.

    Source: The Daily Record 9 May 2016

  • USA: Keep electronic cigarettes out of reach of children: Surge in poisonings after swallowing liquid nicotine prompts safety calls

    New research, published in the journal Pediatrics, has found an increasing reports of young children in the US are being poisoned through ingesting e-liquid, mainly comprised of liquid nicotine and used in electronic cigarettes.

    Researchers examined calls to US poison centres between January 2012 and April 2015. The researchers focused on calls concerning children under the age of 6 and found that monthly calls regarding inhaling or swallowing of electronic cigarette liquid increased from 14 to 223 during the period.

    Typically, symptoms from drinking liquid nicotine, like vomiting, nausea, and a rapid heartbeat, went away within a few hours. Among the children who needed medical care, less than 3% were hospitalized and roughly 2% had severe complications like breathing difficulties, seizures and comas.

    The researchers say the results highlight a need for better parent awareness about the importance of keeping the devices out of sight and reach of young children.

    The full research report can be accessed here.

    See also:
    Yahoo News: E-cigarette poisoning on the rise in young kids
    Argyll Free Press: US poison centres report rising in children ingesting liquid nicotine

    Source: The Mail Online 9 May 2016

  • France: Tobacco Company to appeal standardised packaging law

     Seita, the French subsidiary of Britain’s Imperial Tobacco, said it would appeal to The Council of State, France’s highest administrative court, against regulations imposing plain packaging.

    France published in March a decree introducing plain packaging, the culmination of efforts launched by the government in 2014 to require tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in packages that contain neither logos nor distinctive colouring.

    Seita said the decree suppresses four out of five distinctive elements of a brand under French intellectual property laws, thus depriving businesses owners of their rights under the French constitution.

    Japan Tobacco International filed an appeal immediately after the announcement of the decree in March this year.

    Source: Medical X Press 10 May 2016

  • China: Cigarette sales fall after rise in tobacco tax

    Cigarette sales in China have fallen slightly over the past year after a rise in tobacco taxes, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

    The number of cigarettes sold in China fell 3.3% in the year up to March 2016 with sales of the cheapest cigarettes falling 5.5% over the period, signalling that the tax prompted poor smokers, in particular, to cut back on cigarette purchases.

    Last year, China increased its wholesale tax rate on cigarettes to 11%, up from 5%, an increase the WHO said earned revenue of about 70 billion yuan ($11 billion) for the central government in 2015. Retail cigarette prices rose about 10% on average, with the cheapest brands becoming as much as a fifth more costly.

    “This is good news, because it is people in the lowest socio-economic groups in China who are most profoundly affected by the health and economic burdens caused by smoking,” said Bernhard Schwartländer, the WHO’s representative in China.

    Source: Mail Online 10 May 2016

  • USA: The Federal Government is turning to hip hop in its new anti-smoking campaign

    For its latest anti-tobacco campaign, the Food and Drug Administration is trying to harness hip-hop sounds, style and swagger to reach black, Hispanic and other minority teens who disproportionately suffer the consequences of smoking.

    The campaign — called Fresh Empire — features videos with dancers, DJs, beat-boxers and rappers. The hip-hop stars featured in the public health campaign are spreading a simple message, says the FDA’s Kathy Crosby, who worked on the campaign: “They’re helping us seed the notion that you can be hip-hop and tobacco-free.”

    The adverts first aired nationally in conjunction with the BET Hip-Hop Awards in autumn 2015 and seem to have gone down well with teens. Amirah Johnson a high school student interviewed about the adverts said: “Especially the music in the background and the fashion and everything. It’s like we’re seeing ourselves on TV.”

    Source: 9 May 2016

  • USA: Massachusetts calls on tobacco companies to stop advertising to kids

    The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Cessation and Prevention program has launched a new campaign titled, “Big Tobacco is Sweet Talking Our Kids.” The state said the goal is to inform residents that flavoured tobacco products exist, and that the tobacco industry targets them at youth.

    The campaign asks residents to “Get OUTRAGED” about the tobacco industry’s tactics, seen in adverts running on public transportation, in convenience stores as well as on digital and social media. The Department of Public Health said the ultimate goal is to prevent Massachusetts youth from a lifetime of tobacco addiction.

    Massachusetts is also set to become the third US state to raise the legal buying age for tobacco from 18 to 21.

    Source: 9 May 2016