ASH Daily News for 15 January 2020



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UK

  • Report: Funding cuts put 2030 smokefree target ‘at risk’
  • Being wealthy adds nine years to life expectancy, says study

International

  • Juul Labs to stop selling fruit flavoured pods in Canada
  • Low-income people in Japan more likely to smoke, health ministry report reveals

Parliamentary activity

  • House of Lords Question – Health: Vaping

UK

Report: Funding cuts put 2030 smokefree target ‘at risk’

Funding shortages for local tobacco control could put the 2030 smokefree target at risk, campaigners have warned today.
A new survey by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and Cancer Research UK has found a third of local authorities no longer provide a specialist stop smoking service.

It also found in a quarter (23%) of local authorities, GPs did not prescribe any Nicotine Replacement Therapy to help smokers quit. Just 11% of local authorities offer smokers free e-cigarette starter packs through their stop smoking service.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “Local authorities have a key role to play in achieving the Government’s smokefree 2030 ambition – but they cannot do so without the right financial support. To fund the support smokers need to quit, the Government should impose a ‘polluter pays’ charge on the tobacco industry which could raise at least £265m annually. This could adequately fund stop smoking services, local authority enforcement against the illicit tobacco trade and underage sales, and adequately funded public health campaigns to reduce smoking.”

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Councils can help the Government achieve its ambition of eliminating smoking by 2030 with adequate long-term funding for their public health services. Smoking rates continue to fall, which is good news, but as this report highlights there needs to be greater help for those most in need of support, including routine and manual workers or people with mental health conditions.”

Source: Local.Gov.co.uk, 14 January 2020

See also:
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and Cancer Research UK (CRUK). Many Ways Forward: Stop smoking services and tobacco control work in English local authorities. 2020.

Pharmacy Business: Give out e-cigarette starter kits to help quitters, report recommends

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Being wealthy adds nine years to life expectancy, says study

Being wealthy adds nine years to healthy life expectancy: a life free from disability and pain, according to transatlantic research. The 10-year study, conducted across the UK and US, looked at all the social and economic factors behind the reasons why people sink into ill-health as they age.

Published on Tuesday in the Journal of Gerontology, the data from 10,754 UK adults aged 50 and older, and 14,803 US adults over 50, examined how long people can expect to live free from disabilities and to what extent socio-economic factors play a part.

In both countries people in the study were divided into groups based on total household wealth. Comparisons were made between the richest and least wealthy groups. The paper shows that at 50 the wealthiest men in England and the US lived about 31 additional healthy years, compared with about 22 to 23 years for those in the poorest wealth groups. Women from the wealthiest groups from the US and England lived around 33 additional healthy years, compared with 24.6 and 24 years from the poorest wealth groups in England the US respectively.

The proportion of life expected to be spent in good health in the UK has decreased between 2009-11 and 2016-18, from 79.9% to 79.5% for males and from 77.4% to 76.7% for females.

“We found that socio-economic inequalities in disability-free life expectancy were similar across all ages in England and the US but the biggest socio-economic advantage in both countries and across all age groups was wealth,” said Dr Paola Zaninotto, a professor in epidemiology and healthcare at University College London, which led the research.

“By measuring healthy life expectancy we can get an estimate of the number of years of life spent in favourable states of health or without disability,” said Zaninotto. “We know that improving both the quality and the quantity of years that individuals are expected to live has implications for public expenditure on health, income, long-term care of older people and work participation and our results suggest that policy makers in both England and the US must make greater efforts into reducing health inequalities,” she added.

Source: The Guardian, 15 January 2020

See also:
The Journals of Gerontology: Socioeconomic Inequalities in Disability-free Life Expectancy in Older People from England and the United States: A Cross-national Population-Based Study

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International

Juul Labs to stop selling fruit flavoured pods in Canada

Juul Labs Inc confirmed on Tuesday (14 January) it will stop selling its fruit flavoured vaping pods in Canada, a move that could help the e-cigarette maker stave off mounting scrutiny over the popularity of its products with teenagers. Existing supplies of the flavoured pods will not be pulled from store shelves and could be reintroduced under the guidance of the Canadian health regulator.

Juul has adopted a similar strategy in the United States where it also withdrew fruit, dessert and mint nicotine flavours from retail stores and website.

Canadian health regulators have been considering stricter regulations on the e-cigarette industry. In December, Canada’s minister of health had proposed a ban on promotion and advertising of vaping products in public spaces, convenience stores and online.

Source: Reuters, 14 January 2020

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Low-income people in Japan more likely to smoke, health ministry report reveals

Smoking rates among low-income people exceed those of their higher-income counterparts, the health ministry said in a national health and nutrition survey report on Tuesday (14 Januray).

The survey showed that 34.3% of men with an annual income of less than ¥2 million (£14,000) smoke, compared to 32.9% among those with an income between ¥2 million and ¥4 million (£28,000) and 27.3% among those with an income of at least ¥6 million (£42,000).

For women, the smoking rate came to 13.7% among those with an income of less than ¥2 million (£14,000), 9.6% among those with an income between ¥2 million and ¥4 million (28,000) and 6.5% among those with an income of ¥6 million (£42,000) or higher.

Additionally, 30.6% of male respondents said they use heat-not-burn tobacco products, including those who also smoke conventional cigarettes, compared to 23.6% among women. The survey showed heat-not-burn products are popular among young people. A majority of male smokers between 20 and 39 said they also use the products.

Japan will put into effect a revised health promotion law in April to ban indoor smoking at locations including corporate offices and restaurants.

Source: The Japan Times, 15 January 2020

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Parliamentary activity

House of Lords Question – Health: Vaping

Asked by Baroness Redfern
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effect of vaping on public health.

Answered by Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Care
My Lords, despite reductions in smoking rates, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in England. E-cigarettes are not risk free but are less harmful to health than smoking tobacco. Each year, more than 50,000 additional people who would not have quit through other means quit smoking through e-cigarette use. We continue to monitor the evidence base on e-cigarettes. The next Public Health England annual review is due in February 2020.

Source: Hansard, 14 January 2020

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