ASH Daily News for 12 April 2019


  • Wiltshire support for smokers to quit renewed
  • Ilford shisha bar owner made to pay £2,000 for breaking smokefree laws


  • US: Teen cigarette smoking declining more slowly in rural areas

Link of the week

  • Bespoke smoking cessation intervention for people with severe mental ill health



Wiltshire support for smokers to quit renewed

Wiltshire County Council has renewed funding for its stop smoking support. This comes as a recent report from ASH and Cancer Research UK reveals that investment in stop smoking support has fallen by a third since 2014 across the South West region primarily as a result of central government cuts to public health budgets. Across the South West, spending per smoker has fallen by 26%, from £14.63 per smoker in 2014 to £10.87 per smoker in 2017.

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “Through great partnership working and effective support to stop smoking, 86% of Wiltshire’s population and over 90% of young people are now non-smokers…we established a multi-agency tobacco control alliance and developed a local plan to continue to drive down smoking prevalence. Although smoking prevalence in the general population is low, smoking prevalence for those in routine and manual occupations and the military are still high at as much as 30% in some cases.”

Kruti Shrotri, Policy Manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “The UK Government needs to reverse its cuts to public health budgets in England…Smokers in disadvantaged circumstances generally find quitting harder but are around three times more likely to quit successfully with the help of stop smoking services. We can’t deny those most in need of vital help that could save their life.”

Source: Wiltshire Times, 11 April 2019

See also: Action on Smoking and Health & Cancer Research UK – A Changing Landscape: Stop smoking services and tobacco control in England

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Ilford shisha bar owner made to pay £2,000 for breaking smokefree laws

The owner of a shisha bar in Ilford has been prosecuted by Redbridge Council. The owner pleaded guilty to allowing people to smoke within a substantially enclosed space. He was fined £1,000 and made to pay additional costs of £1,100.

Under the Health Act 2006, smoking tobacco or anything containing tobacco in an enclosed or substantially enclosed premises (where a roof is present and less than 50% of the surrounding walls are open), is an offence.

Councillor Jas Athwal Leader of Redbridge Council said there are “very clear and strict rules” in place to protect people from the dangers of smoking in public places. “We will not allow shisha bars to flout the law…Our message is clear: we will continue to crack down on offenders and target shisha bars that allow smoking indoors with tough action” he said.

Source: The Shields Gazette, 10 April 2019

See also: Smokefree England – A quick guide to the smokefree law

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US: Teen cigarette smoking declining more slowly in rural areas

The odds of smoking for U.S. adolescents are 50% higher in rural areas than in urban areas, even as rates of teen smoking in both settings have fallen, a recent study found.

Using data from more than 95,600 adolescents who participated in the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, researchers analysed smoking rates over two periods: 2008-2010 and 2014-2016. 15% of the youth lived in rural counties. Teenage smoking in urban areas fell by half from the first period to the second, after accounting for socioeconomic factors such as gender, race, ethnicity and family income. But it only declined by a third in rural places.

“We can’t expect that the things we are doing in urban places (will) translate and work in rural communities,” lead study author Erika Ziller of the University of Southern Maine in Portland said. Efforts to reduce smoking “need to pay attention to the rural places as well and really understand how these policies or programs may work or not work as well in rural places,” she added.

Source: Reuters, 11 April 2019

American Journal of Public Health – Rural–Urban Differences in the Decline of Adolescent Cigarette Smoking

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Link of the week

Bespoke smoking cessation intervention for people with severe mental ill health

New research from the University of York’s Mental Health Addictions Research Group has found tailored smoking cessation support for people with severe mental ill health can double quit rates at 6 months compared to usual support.

The Smoking Cessation Intervention for Severe Mental Ill Health Trial (SCIMITAR+) involved mental health nurses being trained to deliver behavioural support, alongside Nicotine Replacement Therapy or other medications in smokers’ homes. The Mental Health and Smoking Partnership, coordinated by ASH, has recommended that the results from this study are incorporated into smoking cessation support for those with mental illnesses nationally.

ASH will be conducting a webinar on the trial on Monday 29th April, 3.15 – 4.15pm. Professor Simon Gilbody, lead researcher, will be presenting the research findings with Practitioners involved in the trial joining for a Q&A session.

You can register for the webinar here:

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