Action on Smoking and Health

Tag Archives: cigarettes


Smoking rates at a record low: but not for poorer or pregnant smokers  

3rd July 2018

Smoking rates at a record low: but not for poorer or pregnant smokers

Overall smoking rates for 2017 have just been published for England, and are at all-time low of 14.9%, down from 19.3% just five years ago [1]. This brings the estimated number of smokers in England in 2017 to 6.1 million, 1.6 million fewer than in 2011. This progress is thanks to the world-leading strategy implemented by successive Governments to support more people to quit and prevent children from taking up smoking.

However, the new figures also reveal that there is no room for complacency. Action is urgently needed to address the lack of progress in reducing smoking rates among pregnant women and the growing gap in smoking rates between rich and poor.

One in four people in routine and manual occupations smoke compared to one in ten in professional and managerial occupations. The data published today shows that this gap is widening over time, not reducing in line with the ambition set out in the Tobacco Control Plan for England published last year [2]. The Government is also failing to meet its target for reducing smoking in pregnancy, with smoking rates stuck at 11% for the last three years.

Deborah Arnott chief executive of health charity ASH said:

“ASH supports the Government’s vision, set out in the Tobacco Control Plan for England, of a smokefree generation. But smoking must become history for all of society not just for the wealthy. Cuts in public health funding and lack of treatment for smoking on the NHS mean poorer more heavily addicted smokers, including those who are pregnant, are not getting the help they need to quit.” 

The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group has today published a report [3] setting out its recommendations for ensuring that the Government target is met, of reducing smoking in pregnancy to 6% or less by 2022. Key is ensuring the right support is integrated into NHS care, something all smokers would benefit from.

Commenting on the report, Francine Bates, Chief Executive, The Lullaby Trust and Co-Chair of the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group said:

“This report should be a wake-up call. On the current trajectory, the Government will miss its ambition to reduce rates of smoking among pregnant women with tragic consequences. We have made real progress in the past in helping women to have smokefree pregnancies and we must be ambitious about what can be achieved in the future to protect thousands of families from entirely preventable and heartbreaking outcomes.” 

The full report and recommendations are available here. This includes a new analysis of the number of deaths of babies and other adverse health outcomes which would be avoided if government targets for the reduction in smoking in pregnancy were achieved.

Last week the Royal College of Physicians published a report calling for support to smokers to be fully embedded throughout the NHS with the potential to save thousands of lives and millions of pounds [4]. Stepping up the care provided by the NHS would help to address the the big differences in smoking rates between social groups.

ENDS

Notes and Links:

Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: www.ash.org.uk/about-ash

ASH receives funding for its programme of work from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

ASH staff are available for interview and have an ISDN line. For more information contact ASH on 020 7404 0242 or out of hours Deborah Arnott on 07976 935 987 or Hazel Cheeseman on 07754 358 593.

References 

[1] NHS Digital https://digital.nhs.uk/news-and-events/latest-news/around-1.6-million-fewer-adult-smokers-in-england-in-six-years 

[2] Department of Health, Towards a Smokfree Generation; Tobacco Control Plan for England, 2017 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/towards-a-smoke-free-generation-tobacco-control-plan-for-england

[3] Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group, A Review of the Challenge, 2018
Full report: https://ash.org.uk/information-and-resources/reports-submissions/reports/smoking-in-pregnancy-challenge-group-review-of-the-challenge-2018/  
Press release: http://smokefreeaction.org.uk/smoking-in-pregnancy-challenge-group-review-of-the-challenge-2018/

[4] Royal College of Physicians, Hiding in plain sight; treating tobacco dependency in the NHS, 2018 https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/news/innovation-medicine-2018-providing-smoking-cessation-patients-hospitals-will-save-lives-and  

ASH Daily News for 29 June 2018

UK

  • Tobacco giant buys stake in medical cannabis
  • North West: Burnley women urged to stop smoking

International

  • The protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products is live
  • Australia: WTO backs plain cigarette packets
  • China: Low funding cited as top reason for lackluster smoking control
  • China: Paternal smoking linked to miscarriage risk
  • Japan: Smoke exposure during pregnancy and infancy tied to hearing loss
  • US: Opinion: 12-year-olds can’t buy cigarettes. Why can they work in tobacco fields?

Link of the week

  • Cigarettes and Chimneys

UK

Tobacco giant buys stake in medical cannabis

One of the UK’s biggest tobacco manufacturers is seeking to diversify from the under-pressure cigarette market by taking a stake in a start-up researching medical uses of cannabis.

Imperial Brands, the FTSE 100 company behind Winston and Gauloises cigarettes, is investing in Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCT). It is thought to be the first time that a Big Tobacco company has invested in cannabis research in the UK.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said: “Imperial talks of there being ‘significant potential’ in cannabinoid products but they’re not a pharmaceutical company, they’re a recreational drug company. This is all about developing the expertise they need to market cannabis not as a medicine, but as a recreational drug. It’s a bad move for a start-up like OCT to besmirch its reputation by taking money from an industry responsible for killing more than seven million people a year. And it bucks the trend. Major investors all round the world, from banks and pension funds, to insurers and sovereign wealth funds, are all getting out of tobacco.”

See also: BBC, ‘Tobacco giant Imperial Brands invests in medical cannabis’

Source: The Times, 29 June 2018

Read Article

North West: Burnley women urged to stop smoking

Burnley has the second highest rate of women smokers in the country. In Burnley 25.5% of women are smokers, second only to Hastings in East Sussex, with fellow Lancashire area South Ribble having the least amount of women smokers at just 4%.

Lancashire County Council has commissioned a ‘Quit Squad’ which encourages people to stop smoking, and includes support for pregnant women to quit in partnership with midwifes, health visitors and children’s centres.

Shaun Turner, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We know how difficult it is to stop smoking, but we’re here to help. Current figures show that 16% of Lancashire’s population smokes, which is just above the national average. Rates in the county are falling. However, we are aware of tobacco use hotspots such as Burnley and our targeted work with communities will help us address them. Our aim is to cut smoking rates in Lancashire to 12% or less by 2022.”

Source: Burnley Express, 28 June 2018

Read Article

International

The protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products is live

On the 27 June 2018, the conditions for the entry into force of the first legally binding instrument adopted under the WHO FCTC were met. The ratification of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, meant the necessary number of Parties to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products was reached, paving the way to eliminate illicit trade of tobacco products.

This achievement is a milestone in the history of tobacco control, as the Protocol contains a full range of measures to combat illicit trade distributed in three categories: preventing illicit trade, promoting law enforcement and providing the legal basis for international cooperation. Moreover, it aims to secure the supply chain of tobacco products, through licensing, due diligence and record keeping, and requires the establishment of a global tracking and tracing regime that will allow Governments to effectively follow up tobacco products from the point of production to the first point of sale.

The Parties can now hold the First session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (MOP1) in Geneva, Switzerland, from the 8th to the 10th of October 2018, following the Eighth Conference of the Parties (COP8) of the WHO FCTC.

Source: FCTC, 28 June 2018

Read Article

Australia: WTO backs plain cigarette packets

Australia has won a major trade dispute over its pioneering plain packaging for cigarettes, in a decision handed down by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Australia made it mandatory in 2011 for cigarettes to be sold in plain packets that carry health warnings. Seven years on, the WTO has rejected complaints from four nations that the laws violate international trade. Unless there is a successful appeal, the decision is expected to hasten similar regulations around the world.

“Australia has achieved a resounding victory,” its government said in a statement on Friday. Cuba, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Indonesia – all tobacco producers – had argued that plain packaging infringed on trademarks and intellectual property rights. But the WTO rejected those arguments and assertions that alternative measures could achieve an equivalent benefit to public health.

See also:
Financial Times, Australia wins landmark WTO ruling over cigarette packaging
The Guardian, ‘Resounding victory’: Australia wins tobacco plain packaging dispute
Daily Mail Online, ‘Australia wins landmark WTO ruling on plain tobacco packaging’

Source: BBC News, 29 June 2018

Read Article

China: Low funding cited as top reason for lackluster smoking control

Lack of funding has become a major obstacle to the enforcement of tobacco control regulations, according to a new report based on feedback from the governments of 18 major cities on the Chinese mainland. Wang Zhenyu, the head of the law firm that carried out the study, said “We found that lack of government funding is the biggest difficulty in tobacco control for many cities, and the problem has not improved over the past few years.”

Of the 18 cities, nine disclosed the amount of money allocated for tobacco control for 2016. Beijing was top, with total funding of about 4.8 million yuan ($724,000), followed by Guangzhou, Guangdong province, at 4.6 million yuan. Funding on all the other seven cities was below 500,000 yuan.

However, Jiang Yuan, director of the tobacco control office of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that although Beijing has placed more emphasis on tobacco control than most other cities in China, but the funding level is still far from adequate. She said, “Per capita funding is far below many other countries and regions, such as Hong Kong.”

Source: China Daily, 29 June 2018

Read Article

China: Paternal smoking linked to miscarriage risk

Would-be fathers may increase their partner’s risk of miscarriage by smoking during the pregnancy, or even during the time leading up to conception, a large study from China suggests.

Based on data for nearly 6 million pregnancies, researchers found that women whose partner smoked during the first few months of the pregnancy were 17% more likely to miscarry than women with nonsmoking partners. Women whose partners quit smoking around the time of conception had an 18% lower risk of miscarriage than those whose smoking partner didn’t quit, the study team reports in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

“Although we have known for a long time that if the mother smokes there is an increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, dads who smoke also influence the ‘success’ of the pregnancy,” Dr. Alison Holloway, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Source: Reuters, 27 June 2018

Read Article

Japan: Smoke exposure during pregnancy and infancy tied to hearing loss

Kids exposed to tobacco smoke in the womb and early in infancy could have double the odds of developing hearing loss compared with children who were not exposed to tobacco at all, a Japanese study suggests.

Researchers examined data on 50,734 children born between 2004 and 2010 in Kobe City, Japan. Overall, about 4% of these kids were exposed to smoking during pregnancy or infancy, and roughly 1% had tobacco exposure during both periods.

Hearing tests done when kids were 3 years old found that 4.6% of the children had hearing loss. They were 68% more likely to have hearing loss if they were exposed to tobacco during pregnancy, and 30% more likely if they inhaled second-hand smoke during infancy, the study found. When kids had smoke exposure during both periods, they were 2.4 times more likely than unexposed kids to have hearing loss.

Source: Reuters, 28 June 2018

Read Article

US: Opinion: 12-year-olds can’t buy cigarettes. Why can they work in tobacco fields?

In the US, a 12-year-old cannot legally walk into a store and buy cigarettes, but the law allows that same child to work in a tobacco field. A 16-year-old child tobacco worker told Human Rights Watch that tobacco was “the hardest of all the crops we’ve worked in. You get tired. It takes the energy out of you. You get sick, but then you have to go right back to the tobacco the next day.”

When the seminal legislation the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in 1938, it exempted agriculture from its extensive labor protections, including child labor. In 2011-12, the Obama administration attempted to ban teen work in tobacco, but farm groups claimed this would “kill the family farm” and the Obama administration promised to never implement them again during Obama’s tenure. Now, the Trump administration is working to remove hazardous work restrictions for students and apprentices that would allow minors to use chainsaws, meat slicers, compactors and other dangerous machinery for longer hours than currently allowed.

We call on the tobacco industry to raise the minimum age of work on tobacco farms to 18 in the US and around the world immediately. It’s bad enough that the tobacco industry is willing to kill its customers with a dangerous product; it really should move to protect the workers who produce that product.

See also: Guardian, ‘The US children working in tobacco fields’

Source: Guardian, 29 June 2018

Read Article

Link of the week

Cigarettes and Chimneys

In a short 15 minute programme, Radio 4 tells the story of how Richard Doll’s research in the 1950s identified that smoking caused lung cancer and how the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) had to weigh in to ensure that government took the evidence seriously.

When lung cancer, a new deadly disease, began to grip the nation, the NHS was focused on treatment, not prevention. Lung cancer was a disease that doctors couldn’t treat. The suggestion that something you could prevent – cigarette smoking – might be causing it, led to a radically new way of thinking about the role of the health service.

The RCP has been in the forefront of promoting this change in perspective since its seminal 1962 report Smoking and Health, and it continues to promote the role of prevention in the NHS today with its latest report Hiding in plain sight.

See also:
RCP, Smoking and Health (1962)
RCP, Hiding in plain sight: treating tobacco dependency in the NHS (2018)

Many other RCP reports are also available for free to download on the RCP website.

Source: BBC Radio 4, 25 June 2018

Listen

ASH Daily News for 28 June 2018

UK

  • Belfast: Vaping ban in the grounds of hospitals

International

  • WTO to rule on landmark tobacco case later today (Thursday 28th June)
  • Tokyo passes tough anti-smoking law ahead of 2020 Olympics
  • China: Court verdict paves way for smokefree railways
  • Study: Breastfeeding mothers stop nursing sooner when living with smokers

UK

Belfast: Vaping ban in the grounds of hospitals

The Western Health and Social Care Trust has strengthened its strict no smoking policy to include no vaping on its hospital grounds. Staff are being warned that they may face disciplinary action if they fail to stick to the rules. Staff have been directed to ask carers and service users who smoke, to refrain from doing so an hour before any scheduled visit and while they are there.

Source: Belfast Telegraph, 27 June 2018

Read Article

International

WTO to rule on landmark tobacco case later today (Thursday 28th June)

A World Trade Organization adjudication panel will rule today on a dispute over Australia’s tough tobacco packaging rules, widely seen as a test case for public health legislation globally.

The WTO said the ruling in the case, brought against Australia by Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Indonesia, would be published at around 1500 GMT. The ruling is expected to be appealed, the WTO’s chief judge has said.

Source: Reuters, 28 June 2018

Read Article

Tokyo passes tough anti-smoking law ahead of 2020 Olympics

Tokyo, Japan’s capital and host of the 2020 Summer Olympics, passed a tough anti-smoking law on Wednesday that will effectively ban smoking in most of the city’s bars and restaurants in the run-up to the games. Japan lags behind many countries in efforts to fight smoking, with attempts to tackle tobacco often stymied by pro-smoking politicians, restaurateurs and Japan Tobacco, which is one-third owned by the government.

The new city law, which takes full effect several months before the Olympics open on July 24, 2020, bans smoking in any bar or restaurant with hired employees.

Source: Reuters, 27 June 2018

Read Article

China: Court verdict paves way for smokefree railways

A provincial court ruled on Tuesday that the Harbin Railway Bureau (of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province) should remove smoking zones and ashtrays in its trains and stations. In June last year, a college student sued the Harbin Railway Bureau because of the secondhand smoke she was forced to inhale on a train. The student claimed compensation of 102.5 yuan ($15.54), the price of her ticket, plus 1 yuan for mental distress, and sought the removal of all the smoking zones and ashtrays in the bureau’s railway stations and trains.

Legal Daily comments: “The judgment is meaningful as it is the first time that a railway department has been instructed by a court to ban smoking in its stations and on the trains it operates, which is directly related to the health and safety of hundreds of millions of passengers.”

According to the Railway Safety Administration Regulation that came into effect on Jan 1, 2014, smoking is strictly banned on high-speed trains and in the carriages of other trains. However, it is permitted in the connecting areas between carriages of non high-speed trains, where ashtrays are often installed. The smoke from these areas often drifts into the carriages, making all passengers exposed to secondhand smoke.

Source: China Daily, 28 June 2018

Read Article

Hong Kong study: Breastfeeding mothers stop nursing sooner when living with smokers

Nursing mothers who live with two or more smokers are more likely to stop breastfeeding sooner than those who live in non-smoking households. In a Hong Kong-based study, researchers discovered that these mothers are at 30% higher risk for ending breastfeeding before a year.

The study examined a cohort of 1,277 mother and baby pairs from four major hospitals in Hong Kong. Researchers used self-reported questionnaires to collect demographic data, parental smoking habits, and other variable data.

Source: Bright Surf, 27 June 2018

See also: Breastfeeding Medicine, The Effects of Secondary Cigarette Smoke from Household Members on Breastfeeding Duration: A Prospective Cohort Study

Read Article

ASH Daily News for 15 June 2018

UK

  • Retailers in the dark over new tobacco codes
  • Cambridge: Football team back no smoking campaign ‘Kick Ash’
  • Stafford: Council use World Cup inspired anti-litter initiative to keep the town clean

International

  • EU challenges Belgium’s attempt to outlaw menthol cigarettes before 2020
  • France: Minister orders tobacco industry to stub out cigarette butt pollution
  • USA: Smokers don’t believe vaping is less harmful than smoking
  • USA: Study suggests flavouring chemicals in E-cigarettes may harm blood vessels

Link of the week

  • Rapid review of compliance with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations: 2017

UK

Retailers in the dark over new tobacco codes

Clarity is being called for on new track and trace regulations for tobacco products.

The regulations which are set to be introduced in May 2019 as part of the EU Tobacco Products Directive, will create a new method of tracking the sale of legitimate tobacco products through the supply chain, requiring retailers to apply for and receive a unique ‘economic operator identifier code’ for their businesses and a ‘facility identifier code’ for each of their stores. Without the codes, retailers will not be able to buy tobacco legally.

However, with less than one year to go before implementation, there is still a lack of clarity over the time that retailers will be given to apply, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) said. ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The illicit trade in tobacco is a damaging criminal enterprise that cost the Treasury over £2.5 billion last year in lost duties and VAT.”

Clarity on when retailers are able to apply will support them to sell tobacco legally.

Source: Convenience Store, 30 May 2018

Read Article

Cambridge: Football team back no smoking campaign ‘Kick Ash’

An innovative no smoking programme led by young people in Cambridgeshire has scored winning support from its local football club – Cambridge United.

Kick Ash, an award-winning campaign led by young people to prevent smoking in under 16’s across the county is being endorsed by the club who will be promoting the initiative in its programme, website and newsletter.

Supported by a partnership involving Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridgeshire PSHE service and Everyone Health’s CAMQUIT Stop Smoking Service, the programme works with 10 secondary schools across the county and their partner primary schools to encourage all young people to be proud to be smoke free.

Since launching in 2009, 952 year 10 students have been trained in county secondary schools to become Kick Ash mentors, who provide informal support to young people who want information and advice on smoking as well as supporting an education programme for year 6 pupils in partner primary schools and year 8 pupils in secondary schools.

Source: Cambridgeshire County Council, 14 June 2018

Read Article

Stafford: Council use World Cup inspired anti-litter initiative to keep the town clean

Stafford Borough Council has put up a cigarette butt ballot box bin on the wall of the town’s Civic Centre. The bin poses the question: “Will England do well in Russia” and has two slots for people to put their cigarette ends in – one for yes and the other for no.

Smokers will be encouraged to cast their votes on the performance of the England Football Team during the World Cup using their cigarette butts.

In the last year more than 170 people have been fined or taken to court for discarding rubbish, with the majority of litter being cigarette butts. Money from the fines is spent on helping tackle environmental issues.

Source: The Stone and Eccleshall Gazette, 14 June 2018

Read Article

International

EU challenges Belgium’s attempt to outlaw menthol cigarettes before 2020

The Belgian Minister of Public Health, Maggie De Block wants to ban methanol tobacco before the European 2020 deadline.

The Minister of Public Health prepared a royal decree draft, transposing the European Directive into Belgian law, but without taking into consideration the exemption granted to methanol tobacco.“Protection of health, especially for young people, justifies the application of this measure at the earliest” stated Mrs De Block.

The European Commission have sent the Belgian government a warning threatening to take this to the EU Court of Justice. European Administration reminded them that the directive text indicates that the banning of menthol tobacco “should extend over a long period to allow consumers enough time to switch to other products”.The European Commission is awaiting a response on Belgians intentions, but the cabinet has said it will go-ahead to ban methanol before the European 2020 deadline.

Source: The Brussels Times, 15 June 2018

Read Article

France: Minister orders tobacco industry to stub out cigarette butt pollution

France will force tobacco companies to help end the scourge of cigarette butts that litter streets and contaminate water, unless they take voluntary action in the next three months, a government minister said on Thursday 14th June.

The city of Paris picks up 350 tonnes of cigarette butts every year despite wall-mounted ashtrays and the threat of a 68 euro fine for anyone caught throwing butts on the street.

“If no effective commitments are proposed by September, the government will force the industry to get involved in the collection and elimination of its waste,” Junior Environment Minister Brune Poirson said ahead of a meeting with industry representatives.

The government has not said what measures it might impose, but one official said a mandatory recycling scheme was an option.

Source: Reuters, 14 June 2018

Read Article

USA: Smokers don’t believe vaping is less harmful than smoking

A growing proportion of U.S. adults do not believe that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking, according to an analysis of the U.S. Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study data from 2013 to 2015 presented yesterday at the fifth Global Forum on Nicotine conference.

The analysis of the latest PATH data suggests that the proportion of adult current smokers who believed e-cigarettes were just as, or more, harmful than smoking increased substantially from 43% in 2013 to 57% in 2015.

In the wider adult population (including non-smokers) the perception was even more skewed with the analysis showing the proportion of the adult population believing that e-cigarettes were as harmful, or more harmful, than smoking increasing from 54% in 2013 to 65% in 2015.

Source: EurekAlert! 14 June 2018

Read Article

USA: Study suggests flavouring chemicals in E-cigarettes may harm blood vessels

A new study by researchers from Boston University on endothelial cells suggests that the flavour additives used in e-cigarettes can impair blood vessel function.

In the study, the researchers looked at the effects of nine chemical flavourings often used in e-cigarettes on endothelial cells – the cells that line the blood vessels and the inside of the heart. Flavours tested included menthol, burnt flavour, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, butter, strawberry, banana and spicy cool. Their analysis revealed that all nine flavours had detrimental effects on endothelial cells.

The researchers noticed that when blood vessels were exposed to these flavouring additives, normally released chemicals to promote blood flow were decreased and inflammation increased, indicators of short-term toxicity.

Source: The Mirror, 14 June 2018

See also: ATVB Journal: Flavorings in Tobacco Products Induce Endothelial Cell Dysfunction

Read Article

Link of the week

Rapid review of compliance with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations: 2017

The Tobacco & Regulated Products Regulations 2016 (TRPR) came into full effect in May 2017 following a 12 month transition period.

This report from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute presents the findings from phase 3 of monitoring carried out by Trading Standards and focuses on the compliance of nicotine inhaling products with these Regulations.

Read Report

ASH Daily News for 23 May 2018

UK

  • TV show ‘Love Island’ bosses ban cigarettes in the villa and garden for 2018 series
  • Should alcohol follow in the footsteps of cigarettes and enforce health warning labels on packaging?
  • Essex: Maldon District Council backs nine-year-old’s call for smoke-free play areas
  • Coventry: Smoking putting more patients in hospital

 

International

  • US: Study finds quitting will improve lung health but smoking fewer does nothing
  • USA: Youtube removes e-cigarette content

 

Parliamentary Activity

  • Parliamentary Question

UK

TV show ‘Love Island’ bosses ban cigarettes in the villa and garden for 2018 series

In response to complaints from the general public and health charities including ASH, ITV has taken decisive action to ban cigarettes in both the villa and garden.

If a contestant wishes to smoke they will have to ask a producer who will take them to a designated smoking shelter away from the villa, where they will only be able to smoke alone.

Despite this, the smokers will still be filmed as producers hope to capture the drama of the contestants after a row in the smoke shed. The source added: ‘It will still be filmed, but as they’ll be alone, there won’t be as many gossipy moments as last year.’

Source: Daily Mail, 22 May 2018

Read Article

 

Should alcohol follow in the footsteps of cigarettes and enforce health warning labels on packaging?

The Global Drug Survey (GDS) released details of the biggest ever survey about alcohol labelling in the UK. It found that labelling alcohol with warnings regarding its health dangers could help almost half of the survey’s participants think about drinking less alcohol.

The survey trialled labels based around seven different themes, however the most potent message was “Drinking less reduces your risk of seven types of cancer” with 22% of survey participants saying this would make them think about drinking less, while 26% said it might. More surprising was the fact that 65.5% of females under 25 and 58.7% of males under 25 said this information was news to them.

Deborah Arnott, Chief executive at Action on Smoking and Health agrees with health warning for alcohol, stating “For younger people, the idea that you’re going to die slightly early doesn’t really matter,” she says. “The idea that you’re going to be unable to do the things you enjoy doing is much more challenging. Messages around impotence and fertility are both key for us, and the effect smoking has on the skin.” Smoking rates in this country have been gradually falling through the century and are now at 15.8%.

Source: Vice, 22 May 2018

Read Article

 

Essex: Maldon District Council backs nine-year-old’s call for smoke-free play areas

New posters have gone on display across parks in the district which ask adults not to smoke in children’s play areas.

The posters were designed, drawn and submitted by nine-year-old Emily from Burnham, who wrote to Maldon District Council about how she didn’t like the smell of cigarettes and wanted to have the children’s play zones in the district as a smoke-free area.

Ben Page, Health Improvement Officer at Maldon District Council, said: “Second hand smoke is especially harmful to children, including reducing lung growth, wheezing and triggering asthma attacks.”

Source: Clacton Gazette, 22 May 2018

Read Article

 

Coventry: Smoking putting more patients in hospital

The number of Coventry hospital admissions from smoking-related illnesses has risen slightly since 2015.

Figures from Public Health England revealed people were admitted to hospital for smoking-related diseases on 2,583 occasions in 2016-17, that’s a 1.65% increase on 2,541 similar cases in 2015.

Source: Coventry Telegraph, 23 May 2018

Read Article

 

International

US: Study finds quitting will improve lung health but smoking fewer does nothing

A new study by Northwestern University, Illinois has found that heavy smokers who quit had lower odds of suffering from lung disease than light smokers.

‘We were surprised to find that those who quit had lower disease risk than the group we identified as stable, low-rate smokers, even though those who quit had a greater lifetime exposure to cigarettes,’ said Dr Amanda Matthew, a research assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Those who continue to smoke 10 cigarettes per day were more likely to develop emphysema than those who used to smoke 20 cigarettes per day or more and have since stopped entirely. Light smokers also suffer a larger decrease in lung function than those who have quit, regardless of how long they smoked for previously.

Experts long-believed that smokers used intermittent smoking as a bridge to quitting. However, one-quarter of all smokers are considered light smokers who have no intention of ceasing their habit.

See also: ATS Journal: Life Course Cigarette Smoking and Lung Health from Young Adulthood to Middle Age: Findings from the CARDIA Lung Study

Source: Daily Mail, 22 May 2018

Read Article

 

USA: Youtube removes e-cigarette content

Some YouTube reviewers of e-cigarette products have had their content taken down from the platform and in some cases their channels deleted.

This is despite consensus that e-cigarettes reduce the harm associated with smoking. In July, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that it is ‘committed to encouraging innovations that have the potential to make a notable public-health difference’ with regards to smoking.

YouTube has been key to raising awareness about the benefits of vaping among some groups.

Source: Spiked, 23 May 2018

Read Article

 

Parliamentary Activity

Parliamentary Question

Jon Ashworth, Shadow Secretary of State for Health
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to deposit the instruments of ratification for the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.

Robert Jenrick, The Exchequer Secretary
Answered on: 22 May 2018
The government is fully committed to the Protocol and steps to achieve ratification have begun. Subject to parliamentary approval, the government intends to deposit the instruments of ratification by 2 July 2018. This will enable the UK to participate if there is a first Meeting of the Parties later this year.

Source: Hansard HC, 22 May 2018

Read Question

ASH Briefing on Tobacco Vending Machines

The sale of tobacco products from vending machines became illegal in England from 1 October 2011. This briefing explains the background to the law and why it was introduced.

ASH Briefing on Tobacco Vending Machines
X