ASH Daily News for 12 November 2019


  • British teenager nearly died from vaping, doctors in Nottingham say
  • E-cigarette alternative launches in UK
  • E-cigarettes are now the most popular stop-smoking tool in Wales
  • Childhood pneumonia cases up 50% in 10 years, NHS data shows


  • US: Donald Trump to meet with vaping industry bosses


British teenager nearly died from vaping, doctors in Nottingham say

Ewan Fisher started vaping in early 2017. He was 16 at the time and wanted to quit smoking to improve his boxing. Despite being underage, he said, “it was easy” to buy either cigarettes or e-cigarettes. Ewan developed a condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis – something he was breathing in was setting off his immune system, with catastrophic consequences. Ewan was connected to an artificial lung to keep him alive after his own lungs failed and he could not breathe.

His doctors say vaping is “not safe”, although health bodies in the UK say it is 95% safer than tobacco.

One of the most common forms of hypersensitivity pneumonitis is “bird fancier’s lung”, which is caused by particles from feathers or bird droppings. When scientists tested the two e-cigarette liquids Ewan had been using, they found one of them was triggering an immune reaction.

Rosanna O’ Connor, Public Health England’s director of drugs, alcohol and tobacco, said: “Smoking kills half of lifelong smokers and accounts for almost 220 deaths in England every day. Our advice remains that while not completely risk free, UK regulated e-cigarettes carry a fraction of the risk of smoked tobacco.”

Professor John Britton, the director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, at the University of Nottingham, said: “This is worrying, and the risk needs to be acknowledged, but in absolute terms it is extremely small and, crucially, far smaller than that of smoking. The advice remains the same: if you smoke, switch to vaping; if you don’t smoke, don’t vape.”

Source: BBC News, 12 November 2019

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E-cigarette alternative launches in UK

A new device has launched in the UK that delivers nicotine in a similar way to an asthma inhaler and is safe for pregnant women. The device, called Voke, has been licensed as a medicine by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and delivers craving relief without heat, burn or vapour.

Alan Sutherland, CEO at Kind Consumer Ltd, said; “With over seven million smokers remaining in the UK, it is clear there is still a need for new options that help people in their quitting journey. Voke is a tremendously exciting innovation that is coming on to the market at a perfect time with the potential to make a difference to many lives, first in the UK and then internationally as we roll it out.”

Source: Mirror, 11 November 2019

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E-cigarettes are now the most popular stop-smoking tool in Wales

E-cigarettes are by far the most common quit smoking tool in Wales, according to new figures published by the Welsh Government. In the past year more than twice as many Welsh smokers chose e-cigarettes as their quit smoking aid compared to patches or gum.

According to the latest figures from the National Survey for Wales, of the 467,000 smokers – 45% tried to give up last year, with 49% choosing e-cigarettes whilst 22% tried nicotine patches, inhaler or gum. 6% of adults in Wales now use e-cigarettes with the vast majority (76%) saying they started vaping to give up smoking tobacco. Of the e-cigarette users surveyed, 50% were smokers, 49% were ex-smokers and only 1% had never smoked.

ASH Wales CEO Suzanne Cass said the figures showed just how effective e-cigarettes can be as a smoking cessation tool:

“Over 5,000 people in Wales are dying every year from a tobacco related illness and e-cigarettes are proving to be a vital weapon in our armoury against this deadly addiction. Research has shown e-cigarettes are the most effective stop smoking tool available when combined with behavioural support. […] The fact that so many Welsh smokers are switching from tobacco to vaping, proves just how popular this quit smoking tool is and what an opportunity there is to reach the remaining 30% of smokers that have yet to give it a try.”

Smoking remains highest among the most deprived communities in Wales with 20% of those in the 3 most deprived quintiles smoking compared to 14% in the least deprived.

Source: Wales 24/7, 12 November 2019

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Childhood pneumonia cases up 50% in 10 years, NHS data shows

Emergency hospital admissions for children with pneumonia have risen by more than 50% in England over the past decade, figures suggest, with admission rates highest in more deprived areas.

According to NHS Digital data analysed by the charities Unicef and Save the Children, between April 2018 and March 2019 there were 56,210 emergency admissions in England for pneumonia in those aged 18 or younger. In contrast, there were 36,862 such admissions between April 2008 and March 2009. The charities said the current figure was equivalent to six children being taken to hospital every hour.

When the team scrutinised recent data, it found rates of hospital admissions of children were higher in more deprived areas of England. The team said it was still unpicking why rates were higher in more deprived regions. However, according to the World Health Organisation, crowded housing, indoor air pollution, parental smoking, lack of breastfeeding, and malnutrition are among the factors known to increase the risk of pneumonia in children.

Source: The Guardian, 12 November 2019

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US: Donald Trump to meet with vaping industry bosses

President Donald Trump said that he plans to meet with vaping industry officials after calling for the age of sale for e-cigarettes to be raised to 21.

The president announced the future meeting on Monday 11th November, days after calling for an increase in the minimum age for purchasing vaping products. The president indicated the meeting would seek a solution to the e-cigarette ‘dilemma.’

‘Will be meeting with representatives of the vaping industry, together with medical professionals and individual state representatives, to come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma,’ the president tweeted. ‘Children’s health & safety, together with jobs, will be a focus!’ Trump tweeted.

Source: Mail Online, 11 November 2019

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