Barnsley: Council warned market smoke ban might be ‘unlawful’
Barnsley Council intends to prevent the sale of smoking related goods in a new shopping complex that will fully open later this year. However, solicitors acting on the behalf of market traders have challenged the upcoming ban and have written to the council arguing that the ban would be in conflict with traders’ legal rights.
The council is planning a range of measures for new developments, with an aim to improve the town’s health. This includes encouraging healthy eating food outlets and extending its work to reduce smoking, putting tobacco use out of the sight of children, so they have no ‘role model’ to follow in future.
Source: Barnsley Chronicle, 18 September 2018
Sheffield: Council targets shisha users in health campaign
Sheffield council has launched a health campaign aimed at shisha users, saying that smoking shisha for an hour is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes. Since June, Sheffield City Council has prosecuted a number of bars across the city, issuing £15,000 in fines for breaking the ban on smoking in work places.
The authority is now targeting users in a campaign on social media.
Greg Fell, director of public health in the city, said some people believe it is safer than smoking traditional cigarettes. “We want people to know shisha is not safe and to inform them about the risks”, he added.
Source: BBC News, 18 September 2018
World Health Organisation calls on Pakistan to introduce uniform tobacco taxation structure
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called upon the government of Pakistan to simplify its tobacco taxation. Its core suggestions are to implement a uniform tax structure, increase tobacco taxation to 70% of the retail price and immediately withdraw the ‘third tier’ of taxation introduced by the previous government. Cigarette brands sold in Pakistan are placed into three tiers of tax, with most in the ‘third tier’ which applies the lowest taxes.
The prevalence of tobacco product use in Pakistan is very high (19.1%), particularly among men (31.8%). Moreover, 70% people in Pakistan are exposed to secondhand smoke at indoor workplaces which is also damaging.
Pakistan has signed and ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and there are many measures it is yet to enforce. Stricter implementation of existing laws on tobacco control, a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship and increase in tobacco taxation have the potential for visible impact.
Source: The News, 18 September 2018
Finns accused of smuggling tonnes of Swedish snus across the border
Snus, moist oral tobacco snuff, has been banned from being sold anywhere in the EU since 1992, apart from in Sweden which negotiated an exemption to the ban when it joined the Union in 1995. Eight people are now suspected of having smuggled more than 12 tonnes of snus from Sweden to neighbouring Finland between 2016 and 2018, the Finnish customs authority said on Monday. The eight suspects are accused of smuggling and aggravated tax fraud.
Source: The Local Sweden, 18 September 2018
Barnsley: Increasing numbers of smokers quit following intensive work by health officials
New figures released by the Office of National Statistics show that Barnsley achieved a 2.4 per cent reduction in adult smoking rates in 2016-17. The smoking rate fell from 20.6 per cent in 2016 to 18.2 per cent in 2017, exceeding a target to reduce levels to 20 per cent.
Barnsley Council is working to help existing smokers quit and to ensure that children and young people are not tempted by tobacco use, by making parks and school grounds voluntary smokefree zones and discouraging parents from smoking when they drop off or collect children from school.
Kaye Mann, Barnsley Council’s senior health improvement officer, said: “Evidence tells us that is the best way to stop them from smoking, to denormalise it. When they don’t see it as normal to do so, they don’t start. As well as getting the current generation to quit, it is about stopping people taking it up. The aim so to create a smoke free generation by 2025.”
Source: The Star, 5 July 2018
Peers and parents may have influenced drop in childhood smoking
A recent study has found that socioeconomic status and parental/peer behaviour are strongly linked to the risk of childhood smoking.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University in University Park analysed data from two groups of UK children, one born in 1970 and the other born 2000-2002. They found that 14.5 per cent of the 1970 cohort had smoked at last one cigarette by age 10-11, while that was true for only 2.4 percent of the 2000-2002 cohort.
Two of the biggest factors influencing smoking rates for the 2000-2002 cohort were educational backgrounds and smoking prevalence among the children’s mothers. The authors of the study state that: “childhood smoking in today’s young people in the UK is now more strongly linked to early life disadvantages compared to a generation ago.”
Source: Reuters, 11 July 2018
USA: Research suggests E-cigarette flavourings may have adverse health effect
A study at Boston University has found that electronic cigarette liquids sweetened with flavourings like clove and vanilla may damage cells in the blood vessels and heart even when they don’t contain nicotine.
Researchers applied common e-cigarette flavourings to samples of endothelial cells, which line arteries and veins as well as the inside of the heart. Five common flavours, including mint and cinnamon, impaired production of nitric oxide which could contribute to an increased risk of heart disease or strokes.
Source: Reuters, 11 July 2018
Editorial Note: The study concludes that short-term exposure to flavours may have relevance to cardiovascular issues. The researchers note that more serious issues such as cell death were induced only at high concentrations unlikely to be achieved under normal conditions of use.
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology: Flavorings in Tobacco Products Induce Endothelial Cell Dysfunction
Ireland: Young filmmakers lift prize for anti-smoking film
A group of young people representing Nenagh Training Centre in Tipperary have come second in the Short Film Competition Senior Category at this year’s Irish Cancer Society X-HALE Youth Awards 2018.
The group’s short film entitled ‘Get off the Nicotine Road’, was among a number of other anti-tobacco films produced as part of the event which aimed to raise awareness about the harm caused by tobacco. According to recent statistics produced by Healthy Ireland, 16 per cent of Irish children aged nine or older have smoked cigarettes in their lifetime and 6 per cent are classified as current smokers.
Donal Buggy, head of services at the Irish Cancer Society, said that young people “have a vital role to play on the journey to Ireland becoming a tobacco-free country”.
Source: Tipperary Star, 12 July 2018
Matt Hancock begins new role as Health Secretary
The MP for West Suffolk, Matt Hancock, said he is looking forward to starting his new role as Health Secretary after being appointed yesterday (July 9). Hancock was promoted to the cabinet as the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in a reshuffle in January. He replaces Jeremy Hunt who has taken over as Foreign Secretary following the resignation of Boris Johnson on Monday afternoon.
The Department of Health faces significant challenges over staffing levels, waiting times and patient care, despite a £20bn cash pledge from Ms May to mark its 70th anniversary.
Source: The Independent, 10 July 2018
Argyll and Bute urged to adopt anti-tobacco policy
Community leaders in Argyll and Bute are to push for a new anti-tobacco strategy already in use elsewhere in Scotland. One in six people aged 16 and over in Argyll and Bute are smokers, a meeting of the area’s community planning partnership (CPP) heard last week.
Ms Stephenson works as the smoking cessation co-ordinator with NHS Highland, which runs the HSCP together with the council. Ms Stephenson told members of the CPP: “We don’t have a tobacco policy in Argyll and Bute, so we are asking to adopt [the] policy which is in use by NHS Highland.”
Source: Helensburgh Advertiser, 10 July 2018
Barnsley: significant drop in smoking levels in the space of only 12 months
Barnsley is on course towards its target of eradicating smoking among the current primary school population as they reach maturity. Barnsley Council and other public bodies are working together to help existing smokers to quit and to ensure older children are not tempted into tobacco use, by keeping the habit hidden from children, so they do not reach their teens regarding the habit as normal.
That work has included making all the town’s major play parks voluntary smoke free zones and rolling out a similar programme for schools, starting with primaries, to discourage parents from smoking when they drop off or collect children.
Latest figures have just been released which show in 2017, 18.2% of the town’s adult population were smokers, down from 20.6% the previous year and beating a target to reduce levels to 20%.
Source: Barnsley Chronicle, 10 July 2018
Singapore: Cameras to be deployed to detect illegal smoking
The National Environment Agency (NEA) intends to deploy surveillance cameras with high-definition thermal sensors around the island to help detect smoking in prohibited areas. Smoking is now prohibited in about 32,000 premises and locations, such as entertainment outlets, shopping malls, office premises, hospitals, bus stops, covered walkways, lift lobbies, stairwells and entrances to buildings.
Cameras deployed in areas where smoking is prevalent but prohibited will record images of the person as well as the date and time. The tamper-proof thermal cameras, which can detect a person holding a lighted cigarette during the day or night, will be placed discreetly on rooftops, in common corridors and staircases of residential buildings, multi-storey car parks and other locations.
Source: The Straits Times, 10 July 2018
USA: LGBT teens are ‘far more likely’ to smoke or vape than straight teens
According to a new report out of Ohio, almost double the number of gay, lesbian, or bisexual teens smoke regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes than their straight and questioning peers. The data came out of the state’s Health Department and the Ohio Healthy Youth Environments Survey Data.
A little over 25% of trans or gender nonconforming teens have used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days and almost 20% reported having smoked. For straight teens, just over 6% have smoked and 10% have vaped in the last 30 days.
The survey was conducted during the 2016-17 school year.
Source: Gaystar News, 9 July 2018