ASH Daily News for 7 June 2019
- Chief Medical Officer tells Commons committee e-cigarettes ‘clearly much safer than tobacco smoking’ but questions public use
- New chief medical officer and deputy appointed
- Daughter of Morecambe woman who died from emphysema urges others to quit smoking
Link of the week
- New strategic guidance for local authorities: The End of Smoking
Chief Medical Officer tells Commons committee e-cigarettes ‘clearly much safer than tobacco smoking’ but questions public use
Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, has given evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology as part of a session examining her work as CMO. Dame Sally was asked by committee chairman Stephen Metcalfe MP for her view on e-cigarettes, and whether the NHS should use them to help people stop smoking.
She said e-cigarettes were “clearly much safer than tobacco smoking and they have become a much-liked way of stopping smoking. I’m quite relaxed about that. If they help people stop, they’re so much safer, I’d encourage them to use them.”
Dame Sally also said that she disliked the use of e-cigarettes in public places: “I would have them not smoked in public places. I hate it when I walk past someone and they waft vapour over me.”
Dame Sally will leave her role in October, after nine years in post.
Source: Daily Mail, 7 June 2019
New chief medical officer and deputy appointed
A London consultant and public health professor will be England’s next chief medical officer, the Cabinet secretary announced on Thursday 6 June. Chris Whitty, who has been the Department of Health and Social Care’s chief scientific adviser since 2016, will take over from Dame Sally Davies when she steps down in October to become master of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Professor Whitty, who was appointed following an open recruitment, is also an acute medicine and infectious diseases consultant at University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust and professor of public and international health at the nearby London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
In a statement, he said: “It is a huge honour to be given the opportunity as chief medical officer for England to be able to support colleagues in public health, the NHS and social care around the country to improve the health of the nation.”
In addition, Dr Jenny Harries OBE has been appointed as the new Deputy Chief Medical Officer and will take up her position on 15 July. Dr Harries joined Public Health England (PHE) in February 2013 as Regional Director for the South of England and is also PHE’s Deputy Medical Director. She leads PHE’s support to the specialised commissioning agenda, having gained direct commissioning experience when with Public Health Wales.
Dr Harries said: “I feel hugely privileged to be taking up the role of Deputy Chief Medical Officer and to be able to contribute at a national level to support health improvement in our population.”
Source: Health Service Journal, 6 June 2019
Daughter of Morecambe woman who died from emphysema urges others to quit smoking
A woman who lost her mum to emphysema is supporting the Quit 16 smoking awareness campaign by asking smokers to make a quit attempt this month. The Campaign was launched by Fresh in 2016 to raise smokers’ awareness of the links between smoking and 16 types of cancer, and to trigger quit attempts.
Cath McLennan, 54, from Morecambe, lost her mother, Thelma Burrow, in 2002 from a smoking related illness when she was just 62 years old. Thelma, a mother-of-three, started smoking at a very young age and was only able to quit when she hit 40. Even though Thelma did manage to quit, the years of heavy smoking had already caused irreparable damage to her lungs and she was diagnosed with emphysema just two years before she passed away.
Her daughter Cath said: “I look back and sometimes think, if she just hadn’t smoked then I’d have had so much longer with my mum. I miss her every day. She was such a good laugh, a brilliant role model and a right character…
There’s so much support out there, no one is saying you have to succeed the first time, just start the ball rolling and make a quit attempt this month.”
Source: Lancashire Post, 6 June 2019
Quit 16 website
Link of the week
New strategic guidance for local authorities: The End of Smoking
ASH and Fresh have produced a new guide ‘The End of Smoking’ for local authorities on how to achieve a smokefree generation (where 5% or less of the population smoke).
– Currently in England, only 30% of smokers make at least one quit attempt every year. At this rate, it will take until 2043 to reduce smoking prevalence to 5%.
– But, if 50% of smokers made an annual quit attempt, we could get to 5% smoking prevalence by 2029.
– The End of Smoking outlines how local authorities can motivate more smokers to quit to achieve faster declines in prevalence.