ASH Daily news for 28 April 2016



  • Electronic cigarettes ‘much less harmful than smoking and should be encouraged’ major report concludes

    A major report by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has concluded that electronic cigarettes are likely to be beneficial to UK public health, and smokers should be encouraged to switch to vaping.

    The report authored by the RCP’s Tobacco Advisory Group examines the growing body of evidence on electronic cigarettes concluding that the health hazards arising from long-term use of electronic cigarettes are unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm that comes from smoking tobacco. The report further found that electronic cigarette use is mainly confined to current or ex-smokers quelling concerns that the devices will act as a ‘gateway’ encouraging young people and never smokers to take up the habit.

    Professor John Britton, chair of the Royal College of Physicians’ Tobacco Advisory Group, said: “This report lays to rest almost all of the concerns over these products, and concludes that, with sensible regulation, electronic cigarettes have the potential to make a major contribution towards preventing the premature death, disease and social inequalities in health that smoking currently causes in the UK. Smokers should be reassured that these products can help them quit all tobacco use forever.”

    Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the health charity Action on Smoking and Health and co-author of the report said: “switching to vaping is a positive and sensible life choice” for smokers. “Electronic cigarette vapour does not contain smoke, which is why vaping is much less harmful.”

    See also:
    The Royal College of Physicians: Nicotine without smoke: Tobacco harm reduction
    The New York Times: Smokers urged to switch to e-cigarettes by British Medical Group
    Reuters: UK doctors urge wide promotion of e-cigs to help smokers quit
    BBC News: E-cigarettes should be offered to smokers, say doctors
    Medical News Today: New report shows electronic cigarettes are beneficial to UK public health

    Source: The Independent 28 April 2016

  • Government pauses implementation of anti-lobbying clause

    The government has put on hold its implementation of the controversial anti-lobbying clause, after weeks of criticism from sector representative bodies.

    In a statement issued today, the Cabinet Office said it was considering “the comments of all interested parties” before the introduction of the clause and was pausing its implementation “pending a review of the representations made”. The statement said a decision on the form of the clause would be taken after a review.

    No date for when the policy will be implemented has been announced, and no formal consultation has been launched. A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said there was no set timescale for implementation of the clause at this stage.

    Source: Third Sector 27 April 2016

  • Tobacco lobbyists demand say in EU debate on … tobacco lobbying

    Tobacco lobbyists have been raising their voices to dispute a decision to bar them from discussions on how to the EU should progress with implementation of the World health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Tobacco industry lobbyists have been banned from participating in discussion but are allowed to be present in the audience to watch discussion on the FCTC.

    Lobbyists insist that the treaty should not be used to ban them from public events. “Keeping the industry off the panel while they talk about our business doesn’t make any sense and has nothing to do with FCTC,” one tobacco lobbyist said.

    A spokesman for European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly issued a response stating that line with the convention, they did not invite in industry representative, she wrote, adding that the event “is not about the tobacco industry. It is about how the EU institutions comply with their transparency obligations as regards their dealings with representatives from the industry.”

    Source: Politico EU 26 April 2016

  • Leicestershire: GP backs quit campaign

    City GP Dr Paul Danaher is backing the Leicester Mercury campaign to persuade 200 people to quit smoking over the next four weeks. He is an advocate of the use of e-cigarettes, both in helping people to quit and helping others smoke more safely.

    Dr Danaher said: “Some doctors have an aversion to any ongoing addiction but using electronic cigarettes is similar to making clean needles available to drug users.” One thing he would like to see is a better quality electronic cigarette device available on the NHS. Dr Danaher said: “If people were given this they could carry on buying the liquid at their own expense.”

    Source: Leicester Mercury 27 April 2016

  • USA: Smoking banned from San Fran parks for animal health

    San Francisco park authorities have voted to ban smoking in their parks with the main goal being to protect local wildlife health. They hope the ban will reduce cigarette butt litter and improve health conditions for park visitors, including furry and feathered friends, and water-dwelling wildlife.

    Park district officials said smoking will still be legal at overnight campsites but will be prohibited everywhere else.

    Source: Health Medicine Network 26 April 2016