ASH Daily News for 4 March 2020


  • False fears about vaping stopping smokers using e-cigs
  • The state of our children’s health in Wales with higher smoking and obesity rates than rest of UK


False fears about vaping stopping smokers using e-cigs

More than half of UK smokers now wrongly believe that nicotine-containing “vapes” or e-cigarettes are as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes and these “false fears” are preventing smokers from switching, health experts said on Wednesday (4 March).

In a report commissioned by the health agency Public Health England (PHE), researchers at King’s College London said the mistaken belief that e-cigarettes are more harmful than smoking had gained ground rapidly following thousands of reported cases of lung injury in the United States in late 2019.

But the belief is “out of line” with expert reviews from Britain and the United States concluding that using regulated nicotine e-cigarettes is far less harmful than smoking, they said.

The report reiterated PHE’s view that “e-cigarettes are much less harmful than tobacco but are not completely safe”. They contain far fewer of the harmful chemicals which cause smoking-related diseases, it said, “but the long-term impact of using e-cigarettes will remain unknown for some time”.

John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies, said the PHE report’s findings were “disturbing”. “Smoking remains the biggest avoidable cause of death and disability in the UK, and using electronic cigarettes is an effective means of quitting smoking,” he said. He called for campaigns to ensure that “all smokers understand that switching to e-cigarettes is one of the most effective ways of quitting smoking and protecting their health”.

Source: Reuters, 4 March 2020

See also:
McNeill, A., Brose, L.S., Calder, R., Bauld, L., and Robson, D. (2020). Vaping in England: an evidence update including mental health and pregnancy, March 2020: a report commissioned by Public Health England. London: Public Health England.

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The state of our children’s health in Wales with higher smoking and obesity rates than rest of UK

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has today published its ‘State of Child Health 2020 report’, the largest ever compilation of data on the health of babies, children and young people across all four UK nations. The report presents a distinctly mixed picture for children’s health in Wales.

There are welcomed improvements in breastfeeding rates, reduced child mortality and fewer young people drinking alcohol. However, it found other concerning trends with more young people smoking (9%) than in 2014 (8%) and rising rates of obesity.
The authors warn that progress is being held back – or even reversed – by a widening gap between the health of children from wealthy and deprived backgrounds. Almost universally, outcomes are worse for children who live in deprived areas.

Source: Wales Online, 4 March 2020

See also:
RCPCH: State of Child Health in the UK 2020

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