From growing the tobacco plant to the disposal of butts and packaging, the whole life cycle of a cigarette takes a heavy toll on the environment. September 2021.
Smoking is ranked third among nine modifiable risk factors for dementia and is linked to an estimated 14% of cases of Alzheimer’s disease worldwide. July 2019.
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.”
This is Local London, Fire brigade issue smoking safety warning after Eltham fire
Source: East London & West Essex Guardian, 10 August 2018
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
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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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.
Sunderland: Fire chiefs issue safety advice after suspected vape battery fire
Fire chiefs have issued safety advice after a fire in a family home which is thought to have been caused by a vape battery.
They advised that vapers never overcharge or leave e-cigarettes on charge unattended for long periods, not to mix components of different e-cigarettes and ensure they purchase their e-cigarette from a reputable source. Moreover, they recommend that users check the e-cigarette carries a CE certification, always use the correct charger and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
National Fire Chief Council, Guidance on e-cigarettes
Source: Sunderland Echo, 6 August 2018
Norfolk: Roadshow will provide information about illegal cigarettes and tobacco
This Thursday, between 9am and 5pm, residents will be able to meet Yoyo the tobacco sniffer dog at Kings Square in Thetford. This visit is part of a bigger illegal tobacco roadshow, which will also be visiting King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Norwich.
The purpose is to help people find out more about illegal cigarettes and tobacco, and the hazards they pose. So far, a two-year clampdown on illicit traders has seen Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards and Public Health teams seize more than 1.3 million illegal cigarettes in addition to 123kg of illegal hand rolling tobacco, with 11 traders being prosecuted.
Smokefree Norfolk will also be present at the roadshow to provide residents with help on quitting smoking.
Source: Thetford and Brandon Times, 6 August 2018
Former smokers might want to eat more tomatoes
A new study has found that former smokers with diets high in tomatoes and fresh fruit had a slower rate of decline in lung function.
Researchers also found that among all adults, including people who had never smoked or had stopped, those with the highest tomato consumption had the slowest decline in lung function—meaning the benefits may not just be for former smokers. The study offers important evidence for the effect of diet on lung function.
European Respiratory Journal, Dietary antioxidants and 10-year lung function decline in adults from the ECRHS survey
Source: Vice, 6 August 2018
US: Tobacco marketed more heavily in city’s minority neighbourhoods, study finds
Tobacco products in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are more aggressively marketed in stores in African-American and Latino neighbourhoods than in white ones, according to a study led by a public health researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Results are in line with other studies, showing that communities with lower incomes, lower educational attainment and more minority residents are targeted with significantly more tobacco promotion.
This study is the first to document the trend in Milwaukee. “The evidence is increasingly clear that children who are exposed to tobacco marketing in stores are more likely to start smoking,” said Linnea Laestadius, assistant professor in the Zilber School of Public Health.
Tobacco Regulatory Science, Identifying Disparities and Policy Needs with the STARS Surveillance Tool
Source: Medical Xpress, 6 August 2018
US: Secondhand smoke is giving teens severe breathing problems, study says
A study has found that young people are missing school due to breathing problems caused by secondhand smoke. Young people who live with a smoker are more likely to report shortness of breath, wheezing and difficulty performing exercise. Those exposed to more than an hour of secondhand smoke had a 1.5 times increased risk of frequently missing school due to being sick. Additionally, they were 3.5 times more likely to have visited an urgent care facility or an emergency department over the past 12 months. The team of researchers from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, is therefore calling on lawmakers to implement policy changes that further prohibit smoking in public places in all 50 states, to prevent teens from developing a number of health problems including asthma and lung cancer.
Lead author Dr Ashley Merianos, an assistant professor of health promotion and education at the University of Cincinnati, said “There was a [lack] of information about how [secondhand smoke] affects adolescents [without asthma], so we decided to look into this specific group of people.” The young people who took part in the study were part of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, a US government study that looks at tobacco use and health among adolescents and adults.
Source: Mail Online, 6 August 2018
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.