ASH Daily News for 2 April 2019


  • Study: Increased e-cigarette use hasn’t led to normalisation of smoking in young people
  • Inequalities in lung cancer survival grow
  • Life expectancy drops in poorer women in England
  • Thousands of illicit cigarettes seized in Bolton


  • Study: Asia’s tobacco epidemic on the rise



Study: Increased e-cigarette use hasn’t led to normalisation of smoking in young people

New research from Cardiff University has found that young people’s views towards smoking have become increasingly negative since the introduction of e-cigarettes.

The study examined survey data from nearly 250,00 young people across Great Britain and found the number who thought experimenting with a cigarette was acceptable declined from 70% in 1999 to 27% in 2015. This rate of decline dropped fastest from 2011 onwards, a period when e-cigarettes were becoming more popular in the UK but smoking prevalence declined among young people.

Researchers from The National Institute for Health Research, who funded the study, have said that these results suggest that concerns about e-cigarette use leading to an uptake in tobacco use in young people have not materialised.

Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Edinburgh and Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies said “Teenagers across Great Britain were trying e-cigarettes during the period when they were unregulated, and recent data suggests that these trends have continued up to the present day. But the findings of this study show that youth tobacco smoking has nevertheless continued to decline. Clearly longer term data is required to fully assess the effects of e-cigarette use in young people. The next stages of this study and other ongoing research will provide us with more information in the future.”

Source: myScience, 2 April 2019

See study: Have e-cigarettes renormalized or displaced youth smoking? Results of a segmented regression analysis of repeated cross sectional survey data in England, Scotland and Wales

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Inequalities in lung cancer survival grow

According to the Office of National Statistics, the gap in lung cancer survival rates between the best and worst performing areas in England is growing, despite overall cancer survival rates improving since 2001.

In the UK, lung cancer kills more people than any other form of the disease and accounts for 21% of all cancer deaths. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for developing lung cancer.
In 2016 survival rates between Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) varied with the largest gap between CCGs being 23.1 percentage points. This compares to 2001 when the gap was just 19.1 percentage points.

Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation and chair of the Taskforce for Lung Health, said “Where you live shouldn’t determine your chance of surviving lung cancer. Early diagnosis is key, as many people with lung disease remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years and only learn of their condition when it’s too late for effective treatment”.

The Independent, 1 April 2019

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Life expectancy drops in poorer women in England

In recent years, the life expectancy of woman living in the poorest areas of England has decreased by 100 days, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Women in the most deprived areas in England can expect to live for 78.7 years, while women in the least deprived areas can live for 86.2 years – a gap of 7.5 years. For woman living in the most deprived areas, this means they can expect to live the shortest lives and have the shortest healthy life expectancy.

The gap in life expectancy among me between more deprived and less deprived areas has also widened, although less dramatically, meaning that life expectancy in the UK has stopped improving at the expected rate.

Tim Elwell-Sutton, assistant director of strategic partnerships at the Health Foundation, said “To reduce these stark inequalities, cross-government action and investment is needed on the wider determinants that influence our health.”

Source: BBC News 27 March 2019

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Thousands of illicit cigarettes seized in Bolton

Over 15,000 cigarettes and 1.5 kg of rolling tobacco has been seized in raids on shops as part of a crackdown on Bolton’s illegal tobacco operations. The raids saw handlers with sniffer dogs enter 19 businesses across the borough, alongside police and representatives from the council’s Housing Standards and Licensing Enforcement teams. The raids were based upon intelligence which had been received by the council about the supply of illicit tobacco.

Source: Bolton News 29 March 2019

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Study: Asia’s tobacco epidemic on the rise

A new study has found that smoking attributable mortality has continued to increase in men living in Asia, with the proportions of men smoking increasing in recent decades.

The study examined around 1 million participants in a meta-analysis of 20 cohort studies conducted in countries that collected data on tobacco habits from representative individuals above 35 years of age (China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and India).

On average, 65.4% of men and 7.8% of women smoked tobacco in Asia. Except for urban Chinese women, the number of cigarettes smoked per day has continued to increase across all population groups, with Japanese men topping the list.

The researchers concluded that tobacco smoking will remain a significant public health problem in most Asian countries and stressed the need to implement and enhance comprehensive tobacco-control programmes in Asia.

Source: Research Matters, 2 April 2019

See study: Tobacco Smoking and Mortality in Asia

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