ASH Daily News for 27 September 2019



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UK

  • Royal Hampshire County Hospital to go smokefree this Stoptober

International

  • French tobacconists fear business will go up in smoke
  • Ex-Health and Human Services Secretary in the US expresses concern at tobacco industry ownership of Juul

Links of the week

  • New ASH publications and updated resources

UK

Royal Hampshire County Hospital to go smokefree this Stoptober

The Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester will go smokefree to coincide with the launch of Stoptober on October 1st 2019. The policy will see smoking prohibited on the grounds of any hospitals covered by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. E-cigarettes will continue to be allowed outdoors.

Hampshire hospitals will also be providing additional support to patients, visitors and staff who would like to quit, with nicotine replacement therapy available for patients on the wards. The Trust will also be directing people who smoke to Hampshire’s stop smoking service.

After smoking for more than 25 years, Terri Chivers, an administrator and receptionist working at the Trust, gave up on 10th June 2019 with the help of the stop smoking service. She said: “I would not have been able to do it without them. They have lots of different options in terms of nicotine replacement therapy, I’ve found the weekly meetings really helpful and the team are great, sending me motivational texts and just being there for me if I need them.”

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals said: “We will be providing lots of additional support to help people stop smoking as part of our smokefree programme, so we hope that this initiative will also help to reduce smoking.”

Source: Southern Daily Echo, 27 September 2019

See also
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: PH48 Smoking: acute, maternity and mental health services

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International

French tobacconists fear business will go up in smoke

Hannah Copeland and David Keohane write in the Financial Times on the role of the ‘café-tabac’ in France amid efforts to reduce smoking prevalence in the country:

“Higher tobacco taxes and health concerns have contributed to 1.6m people stopping smoking in France between 2016 and 2018 […] The country’s love affair with tobacco appears to be ending and, as a result, the tobacco sellers that have long been at the heart of French communities have been forced to sell everything from bitcoin to swimming costumes to attract customers. “There are less people buying tobacco, so it’s about finding things that make up for that fall in sales,” said Chuun, who runs a busy café-tabac in the 16th arrondissement in Paris. She took it over from her parents 15 years ago and now offers e-cigarettes, bitcoin, Western Union services and Nickel bank accounts from BNP as well as cigarettes and cigars.

“Such is the importance of these café-tabacs to rural areas that French president Emmanuel Macron is spending €80m over the next four years to help businesses such as hers diversify, as well as allowing them to sell train tickets and collect taxes — roles traditionally carried out by the state […] There is a clear political incentive for the government to act […] More than one quarter, or 8,500, of all tobacco shops have shut since the turn of the millennium […] Of those that remain, 40 per cent are in towns with less than 3,500 inhabitants, precisely the kinds of places with which Mr Macron is trying to reconnect, and more than half front cafés, bistros and bars.

“This was made clear to Mr Macron during last year’s Great Debate, launched in response to the yellow vest street protests that shook his administration over the past year. “In the Great Debate we had people in the countryside desperate for more places to socialise and talk,” said Julien Damon, associate professor at Sciences Po university […] He supports the government’s aid for tobacconists. “It’s trendy to support start-ups. It’s less trendy to talk about reviving old institutions like bistros and cafés. But we need to. It’s a very important part of the quality of life in France.”

“[…] With 73,000 smoking-related deaths a year in France, Mr Macron wants to raise the cost of a packet of cigarettes to €10 in 2020, from €8 now […] Tobacconists understand that they can no longer rely on cigarette sales to secure their future. But what they can rely on are locals remaining fiercely loyal to institutions which they have grown up with. “It will be hard to change these places,” said Françoise Delaunay, a 76-year-old woman who worked in a café-tabac in the small town of Vaucresson near Paris between 1965 and 1980. “People will fight to keep their villages like this.”

Source: Financial Times, 27 September 2019

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Ex-Health and Human Services Secretary in the US expresses concern at tobacco industry ownership of Juul

Kathleen Sebelius, former Health and Human Services secretary, told CNBC on Wednesday that she’s concerned about Marlboro-maker Altria having a large stake in e-cigarette leader Juul. “Altria made their money and staked their company on selling legal products, but products that we knew if you used them exactly as directed, they would kill you,” said Sebelius, who led HHS during Barack Obama’s presidency.

Since launching in 2015, Juul has risen to prominence in the US e-cigarette landscape holding roughly 40% of the market. Earlier this year Altria, the largest US tobacco company, invested $12.8 billion in Juul for a 35% ownership stake.

E-cigarette makers are “using exactly the same techniques that tobacco companies used in the early days to market to kids, to be cool to kids,” Sebelius claimed, adding that “that’s a very dangerous public health path for us to go down again.”

Source: CNBC, 25 September 2019

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Links of the week

New ASH publications and updated resources
This week ASH has published a number of resources, including new material and updates to existing resources:

  1. Fact sheet: Use of e-cigarettes among adults in Great Britain, 2019
    o This fact sheet presents the latest data from ASH’s Smokefree GB Survey conducted online by YouGov between 12th February and 10th March 2019. The fact sheet was published alongside a press release, which can be viewed here.
  2. Costs of smoking to social care
    o An update to ASH’s previous analysis of the impact smoking has on the development of social care need and the costs this implies for individuals and local authorities. This update was published alongside a press release, which can be viewed here.
  3. Health Inequalities Resource Pack
    o An update to ASH’s Health Inequalities Resource Pack, containing a range of briefings on population groups disproportionately harmed by tobacco and what can be done to support them in addition to a compilation of ASH’s resources on health inequalities.