ASH Daily News for 17 December 2018


  • NHS Long term plan delayed
  • Public health campaign spending a record low in Scotland
  • Smokers in Wales encouraged to quit after lung cancer death rates increase


  • USA: University Campus bans smoking, vaping and chewing tobacco
  • Japan: New restrictions on secondhand smoke exposure



NHS Long term plan delayed

The government has delayed publishing the NHS long term plan until next year. The plan, which outlines how the £20.5 Billion funding settlement will be spent is now due on the 7th of January 2019 at the earliest. It is expected to detail the priorities for the NHS over the next 5 years and include targets for improvements for the next 10.

Delays are thought to be due the Treasury not having had time to properly consider the plan.

Source: The Guardian, 17 December 2018

See also: HSJ ‘NHS Long term plan very likely to be delayed until January 2019’

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Public health campaign spending a record low in Scotland

Spending on public health campaigns aimed at tackling smoking and obesity in Scotland has fallen over two thirds in recent years to less that £1million. These campaigns are a vital tool for delivering information to the public about the health impacts of smoking and other issues and for tackling health crises. Research from UCL found that there is a direct link between the amount spent on mass media stop smoking campaigns and the number of people attempting to quit. With the number of smokers attempting the quit the lowest since records began, experts have warned that underfunding these activities will undermine efforts to reduce smoking as well as obesity.

Gregor McNie, CRUK’s head of external affairs in Scotland, said: “Public awareness campaigns are important and do work. It’s concerning that investment in them appears to have fallen significantly. We know past campaigns to encourage people to use smoking cessation services have worked, as have those making people more aware of symptoms to go to their doctor with.”

Source: The Herald, 15 December 2018

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Smokers in Wales encouraged to quit after lung cancer death rates increase

Smokers in Wales are being encouraged to use the Help Me Quit program from Public Health Wales after it was found that the lung cancer death rate is increasing across several age groups for women and men. The program offers free treatment and support which means smokers are four times more likely to quit than if the go it alone.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in Wales, accounting for almost 2,000 deaths in 2017. Overall, the rate of reduction in cancer deaths has fallen by almost half since 2010, with only a 5.2 percent decrease compared to nearly 10% prior to 2010.

Ashley Gould, consultant with Public Health Wales has said: “We’ve known for a long time that smoking is the biggest cause of premature death and disability in Wales – it causes 16 per cent of all cancers, and over 80 per cent of lung cancers. The good news is that the NHS in Wales can help reduce the single biggest cause of lung cancer – by helping smokers to quit.”

Source: South Wales Argus, 16, December 2018

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USA: University Campus bans smoking, vaping and chewing tobacco

Starting in the new year students at Whitworth University will not be allowed to consume any form of tobacco, or e-cigarettes, on campus. If they are caught smoking, vaping or using chewing tobacco on campus they’ll face a conduct process, although the university has emphasised that its main goal is to help students quit.

The ban follows surveys and meetings held with students over a year long period to gain feedback over whether a ban would be welcomed or not. Amy Cutler, director of Student Health Services, said discussions for the ban had been going on for more than two years with the majority in support.

Source: The Spokesman Review, 17 December 2018

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Japan: New restrictions on second hand smoke exposure

Hyogo Prefecture, a state in western Japan, has proposed restrictions to cut down on exposure of secondhand smoke. Protective measures, aimed particularly at pregnant women and children, include banning smoking in public areas such as parks, and sanctions for people who these individuals to bars and restaurants where smoking is permitted. If the new restrictions are approved, Hyogo will be the first local body in Japan to enforce this type of sanction.

The panel also proposed banning smoking by guardians in front of children even when they are in private spaces such as homes or family cars. They also called for smoking prohibitions at parks, events with children participating, and areas around schools, among other places.

Source: The Mainichi, 14 December 2018

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