ASH Daily News for 4 April 2019
- Poor diet causes 11 million premature deaths a year worldwide
- Facebook Brexit ads campaign funded by Lynton Crosby firm
- Hospital in Wales installs stop smoking buzzer
- More policy work needed to reduce smokeless tobacco use around the world
- New Zealand teen smoking at record low
Poor diet causes 11 million premature deaths a year worldwide
According to new research published in the Lancet, poor diet now kills more people globally than smoking. In total 10 million out of 11 million diet related deaths worldwide were due to cardiovascular disease, for which high salt diets are a major risk factor.
The most dangerous diets were those containing:
• Too much salt – responsible for three million premature deaths
• Too few whole grains – responsible for three million premature deaths
• Too little fruit – responsible for two million premature deaths
In the UK it is estimated that 14% of premature deaths are related to diet, compared to 20% globally.
Source: BBC News, 4 April 2019
Editorial note: In 2016 there were estimated to be 77,900 deaths attributable to smoking in England. This represents 16% of all deaths and 33% of deaths for conditions that can be caused by smoking 
Facebook Brexit ads campaign funded by Lynton Crosby firm
A series of prominent Facebook advertising campaigns calling for a no-deal Brexit have been linked to the former Conservative Party strategist Lynton Crosby through his firm CTF Partners. The campaigns, which have seen £1 million investment in targeted adverts on Facebook, were designed to put pressure on MPs to vote for a hard Brexit.
The collective expenditure on these campaigns is more than the amount spent in the last six months by all the UK’s major political parties and the UK government combined.
Source: The Guardian, 3 April 2019
See also: Tobacco Tactics – Lynton Crosby’s connections with the tobacco industry
Hospital in Wales installs stop smoking buzzer
A big red buzzer has been installed at University Hospital Wales in Cardiff to discourage smoking outside hospital buildings. Anyone can press the buzzer if they see someone smoking outside to activate a speaker which plays a pre-recorded message asking smokers to put out cigarettes.
This system has been installed outside hospital buildings after staff expressed concerns over the number of patients, visitors and fellow employees smoking on hospital grounds.
A spokesman from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “When people smoke on hospital sites patients are forced to breathe in toxic second-hand smoke – including some of our most vulnerable. In its first 10 days the button has been pressed over 200 times and staff have noticed a dramatic improvement outside the unit”.
Source: Wales Online, 3 April 2019
More policy work needed to reduce smokeless tobacco use around the world
New research has shown that regulation of smokeless tobacco is still lacking around the world, despite 181 countries being party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Out of the 181 countries, just 6 check and regulate the content of smokeless tobacco products and only 41 require pictorial health warnings.
According to Professor Kamran Siddiqi, from the University of York’s Department of Health Sciences smokeless tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco which are popular in Asia and Africa, contain high levels of toxic chemicals making head and neck cancers common in those who consume them.
He said: “We found that there is a policy implementation gap in smokeless tobacco control, highlighting the need for increased global efforts to reduce the use of the products to catch-up with the progress made in curbing cigarette consumption.”
The researchers are now working to establish a new global health group to address smokeless tobacco use in South Asia. The team will bring together researchers from around the world to assess policy and develop interventions to address the problems caused by smokeless tobacco, particularly in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Source: EurekAlert! 3 April 2019
New Zealand teen smoking at record low
New research from, ASH New Zealand has found that daily smoking rates for teenagers is at an all-time low. The data, from a survey of 29,000 14 and 15-year olds, showed that 1.9% per cent smoke daily, down from 15.2% in 1999. It was also found that 81% have never smoked.
Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa has said that the results of the survey were good new but more needed to be done to reduce smoking inequalities among teens. Around 6% of Maori girls smoke daily, which is much higher than the average of 1.9%.
Source: New Zealand Herald, 4 April 2019