Action on Smoking and Health

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ASH Daily News for 10 August 2018


  • London: Fire brigade recommends vaping after cigarette causes flat fire
  • Don’t ignore lung cancer symptoms


  • US & France: When social policy saves lives
  • Link of the week
  • Panorama: Get rich or die young


London: Fire brigade recommends vaping after cigarette causes flat fire

On Thursday morning fire fighters were called to Cann Hall Road in Leytonstone after a passer-by reported a flat fire. The cause of the fire is believed to be a discarded cigarette.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Cigarettes are a leading cause of house fires but so many people fail to ensure they are stubbed out properly. Never leave cigarettes unattended and always ensure ashtrays are carefully emptied with all the debris. We’d rather people didn’t smoke at all but if you do, vaping is a safer option in terms of preventing fires.”

See also:
This is Local London, Fire brigade issue smoking safety warning after Eltham fire

Source: East London & West Essex Guardian, 10 August 2018

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Don’t ignore lung cancer symptoms

Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK, as well as being one of the most serious. Almost 45,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK every year, and those most at risk are smokers. Smoking accounts for about 80% of all lung cancer cases.

During its early phases, there are usually no warning signs of lung cancer, which makes it hard to spot in its early stages. As a result, the outlook for patients isn’t as good as it can be for other types of cancer.

However, lung cancer that’s spread to the liver can lead to a number of tell-tale signs. For example, if the tumour is large enough to block the bile ducts, it could cause yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Source: Express, 9 August 2018

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US & France: When social policy saves lives

Income inequality has been on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic over the past decades, accompanied by a broad public debate about its negative consequences. Impacts on health and longevity, and the question of whether income inequality is causing inequality in health, have been a particular focus.

Some of the difference in life expectancy observed at older ages in the US could be the result of successful social health policies. The cohorts that have entered old age over the past two decades experienced strong decreases in smoking rates that were particularly dramatic among persons of higher socioeconomic status.

When the Surgeon General warned about the health risks of smoking in the 1960s, it was the wealthier parts of society who stopped smoking first, while the more disadvantaged parts of society followed that trend about a decade later. As a result, current cohorts of the elderly have experienced longer life expectancy due to smoking cessation more strongly among the rich than among the poor, implying an increased difference in life expectancy between the two groups. However, since information about the dangers of smoking reached all parts of society and smoking rates are low across the entire socioeconomic spectrum in younger cohorts, it is likely that old age mortality gaps due to smoking-related causes will decrease again once those cohorts enter retirement age.

Source: Vox, 9 August 2018

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Link of the week

Panorama: Get rich or die young

Life expectancy in Britain varies dramatically depending upon where you live. The rich live longer and the poor die younger. Reporter Richard Bilton visits Stockton, the town with the country’s worst health inequality. He investigates why people in the town centre can only expect to live to 71, while their wealthier neighbours a couple of miles away will live an average of 14 years longer.

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