ASH Daily News for 13 February 2020



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UK

  • Health inequality greater than previously thought, report finds
  • Updated Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) advice clarifies menthol tobacco ban

International

  • USA: Juul bought advertising space on children’s websites, including Cartoon Network
  • USA: Study explores why some smokers reject electronic cigarettes

UK

Health inequality greater than previously thought, report finds

Women are living nearly ten years longer in poor health than previous estimates, while men are living an extra seven years, according to a report based on new NHS data launched by the health secretary on Wednesday 12 February. The report, The Health of the Nation: A Strategy for Healthier Longer Lives, has been written by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Longevity. It found that women in the UK are living for 29 years in poor health and men for 23 years: an increase of 50% for women and 42% for men on previous estimates based on self-reported data. The new analysis means that men on average are being diagnosed with their first significant long-term condition at 56 and women at 55. In the poorest areas, women are getting their first significant long-term illness at just 47 and men at 49 years old.

Lord Geoffrey Filkin, joint APPG lead and co-author of the report, said the report contained important messages for the new prime minister’s promise to ‘level up’ the country: “Boris Johnson’s majority at the election was built on seats in areas with low healthy life expectancies,” he said. “But high levels of chronic illness in the north contribute to its lower levels of employment. Poor health causes people to drop out of work: men aged 55 to 65 are less likely to be in employment now than in the 1970s.”

The report also found that up to 75% of new cases of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, 40% of cancer incidence and dementia risks could be reduced if we cut smoking, unhealthy diet, harmful consumption of alcohol and insufficient physical activity.

“This report describes both a shocking current picture – and an optimistic future one,” said Damian Green, MP and chair of the APPG for Longevity. “What is shocking is that far too many citizens get prematurely ill with illnesses that could have been avoided. Premature avoidable ill-health is rampant, and it is bad for individuals, our society and our economy.

“The optimistic point is that we can change this,” he added. “But it will require action by charities, local authorities, business, academia, central government and by citizens themselves.”

Source: The Guardian, 12 February 2020

See also:
All-Party Parliamentary Group for Longevity. The Health of the Nation: A Strategy for Healthier Longer Lives. 12 February 2020.

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Updated Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) advice clarifies menthol tobacco ban

Retailers will legally be allowed to sell menthol-flavoured filters and papers in the same transaction as tobacco products when the ban on menthol cigarettes is enforced on 20 May 2020. The clarification on the coming menthol ban is one of several updates included in new versions of the Association of Convenience Stores’ (ACS) Assured Advice guides.

The updated menthol ban advice provides clarity that it is only cigarettes and rolling tobacco (RYO) packaged together with flavoured filters or papers that will be banned from 20 May. Selling cigarettes and RYO tobacco in the same transaction as flavoured filters or papers will still be permitted.

Under further European Union Revised Tobacco Products Directive rules, it will be an offence for manufacturers to produce menthol cigarettes and for retailers to sell menthol cigarettes, including capsule and click cigarettes, from 20 May 2020. There is no sell-through period which means that retailers must have sold through any remaining stock of menthol cigarettes by 20 May 2020. The UK’s exit from the European Union does not impact the introduction of the menthol ban.

Source: Convenience Store, 12 February 2020

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International

USA: Juul bought advertising space on children’s websites, including Cartoon Network

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc bought online advertisements on teenager-focused websites for Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Seventeen magazine after it launched its product in 2015, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday by the Massachusetts attorney general’s office.

The lawsuit filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said the company worked through online ad buyers to purchase space on websites that were “highly attractive to children, adolescents in middle school and high school, and underage college students,” including educational websites such as coolmath-games.com and socialstudiesforkids.com.

The Attorney General’s office said that the advertising space purchases began in June 2015, when the product launched, and continued into 2016. The office also said that Juul had the ability to put certain websites onto a “blacklist” that would prohibit adverts from appearing, but the company chose not to do so.

Source: Reuters, 12 February 2020

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USA: Study explores why some smokers reject electronic cigarettes

“Not wanting to substitute one addictive product for another” was cited as a major reason why US smokers choose not to use e-cigarettes to try and quit smoking, according to a new study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence by researchers from Georgia State University’s School of Public Health.

The study used a 2017-18 sample of about 1,800 US adults from the national online Tobacco Products and Risk Perceptions Survey. 70% of current smokers in the study were not current ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery system) users. They had either never used (40%) or discontinued using ENDS while continuing to smoke.

The larger segment of smokers in the study who have never used ENDS cited other reasons for rejecting them, including safety concerns and scepticism that ENDS could help them quit or cut down on smoking. The smaller but sizable segment of smokers who tried but discontinued ENDS reported the device did not replicate the feel of smoking a traditional cigarette and failed to reduce the craving to smoke.

“For ENDS to achieve their potential for harm reduction, they need to be sufficiently appealing to smokers to initiate and continue using them in complete replacement of smoking cigarettes while not appealing to youth or nonsmokers,” said Scott Weaver, lead author of the study. “Smokers’ increasing concerns about addiction and their safety and experiences of inadequate craving reduction and incomparability to smoking remain major obstacles for ENDS to completely replace and meaningfully reduce the societal harm of cigarette smoking.”

Source: Medical XPress, 12 February 2020

See also:
Scott R. Weaver et al. What are the reasons that smokers reject ENDS? A national probability survey of U.S. Adult smokers, 2017-2018. 2020.

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