NHS ‘Stop Smoking’ ads working in Essex
Half of young people surveyed in Essex say they’ve been put off taking up smoking by national NHS ‘Stop Smoking adverts’ on TV. The YEAH!3 report, by Healthwatch Essex, found the adverts have discouraged young people from ever taking up smoking, many said that constant reminders of the dangers prevented them from starting. The visual impact of warnings on cigarette packets was also a common factor reported to discourage young people from smoking.
Dr David Sollis, CEO of Healthwatch Essex, said: “It is very encouraging to hear that some of the adverts currently being used by the NHS are proving successful in deterring young people from smoking. That was a very clear message that came out of the report, which is really positive. It seems, for young people who already smoke, being warned of the long-term dangers is not always the strongest incentive to quit. In fact, we found that tailoring smoking-cessation information to include more immediate side effects and consequences may benefit this group more.”
Source: Heart, 26 July 2018
BAT to launch heated tobacco in US
British American Tobacco has said it received a “substantial equivalence” clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an new version of its carbon-tipped tobacco heating product called Eclipse.
This means the product can be legally marketed in the US and BAT said it would test launch Eclipse in the United States within the next 12 months.
Source: Reuters, 26 July 2018
USA: Study finds smokers confused about benefits of lung cancer screenings
A study by the VA Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care in Seattle has found that patients hold misconceptions around the benefits and limitations of lung cancer screenings. Regular cancer screenings can lower chance of death from lung cancer due to earlier detection expanding treatment options, but cannot reduce the risk of developing lung cancer for people who smoke.
To test patients’ actual knowledge about lung cancer, the researchers surveyed 83 smokers after their lungs were screened, with a series of questions. Nearly half (47%) answered the question “For people over age 55 who are current smokers, which is more likely to prevent the most premature deaths – lung cancer screening or quitting smoking?” incorrectly. This means nearly half of patients believed lung cancer screenings were at least as good as quitting smoking as a way of protecting against death.
See also: Annals of the American Thoracic Society, Smokers’ Inaccurate Beliefs about the Benefits of Lung Cancer Screening
Source: Scienmag, 26 July 2018
Indonesia: Tobacco use becoming part of the ‘rite of passage’ for some rural boys
Indonesia has one of the highest smoking rates in the world, with 63% of men (but just 5% of women) reported to be smokers. It’s the fifth largest tobacco market in the world, in part due it’s large, expanding, population of 260 million.
Some cultures in Indonesia regard circumcision as the mark of when a boy becomes a man and often at this time boys will receive gifts. In tobacco-producing district in Magelang, Central Java, smoking has become part of the rite of passage for boys and cigarettes are now a common gift.
The Magelang regency administration launched an intensive campaign against children smoking early this year including targeting junior high school students to explain the dangers of smoking.
Source: Jakarta Post, 26 July 2018
Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how he plans to ensure that the UK tobacco product track and trace system as required by Article 8 of the WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products will be fully independent from the tobacco industry.
Robert Jenrick The Exchequer Secretary
The government is committed to meeting the requirements for independence from the tobacco industry as per Article 8 of the WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
The track and trace system will be implemented under the EU Tobacco Products Directive. The implementing legislation for the Directive specifies strict and comprehensive criteria by which independence from the tobacco industry is determined. Providers of the track and trace system will need to demonstrate to HM Revenue & Customs that they satisfy this criteria both before and during the period they provide the services required as a condition of holding the respective contracts.
Source: Hansard, 26 July 2018
Guernsey: Islander picks up cigarette butts from dawn until dusk for WNTD
Andrew Munro, of Pick it Up Guernsey, walked from 5am to 9pm collecting hundreds of cigarette butts in aid of World No Tobacco Day. He also picked up general litter and invited people, and the police, to join them for an hour over lunch. He said that outside the hospital was one of the worst areas.
Andrew said “This is hopefully growing awareness about how bad cigarette butts can be – they are very nasty. I don’t think people realised that they don’t biodegrade either.”
Source: Guernsey Press, 1 June 2018
Cornwall: How much smoking is really costing the region
Research from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has found that smoking is costing Cornwall more than £120m every year. This number encompasses the cost to healthcare and to businesses.
Across the south west, the annual cost is £277.2 million to the NHS, and £72.4 million to local authorities from smoking-related social care needs.
Whilst Hospital bosses say that smoking remains the largest cause of preventable death in the region, a 2016 audit found that more than 1 in 4 hospital patients were not asked if they smoke and 50% of front line staff are not given routine smoking cessation training.
ASH Chief Executive Deborah Arnott said: “The Five Year Forward View calls for a ‘radical upgrade in prevention and public health’ but this has not been followed through and smokers are not getting the support they need to quit from the NHS. In some areas, Local Authority Stop Smoking Services have been reduced due to cuts in local authority funding. Cuts to public health budgets need to be reversed and the NHS needs to step-up and play a larger role in supporting smokers to quit.”
Source: Pirate FM, 4 June 2018
Tower Hamlets: Thousands of pounds worth of illegal tobacco seized
Tower Hamlets Council’s Trading Standards Officers and detection dogs found £8,000 worth of illegal tobacco hidden inside cereal boxes, coat pockets and behind display panels during a recent two-day operation. Officers found illegal products in 10 of the 18 premises visited.
Overall 12,360 cigarettes, 2,250g of hand-rolled tobacco and 68 pots of chewing tobacco were seized.
Source: Brit Bangla, 1 June 2018
Shocking World Health Organisation video reveals how smoking damages the heart
Released by the World Health Organization (WHO) for World No Tobacco Day, the video aims to raise awareness of the effect of cigarettes on the heart and encourage smokers to quit.
The 30-second clip starts with a heart beating slowly, as it asks viewers if they were aware that tobacco is a major cause of heart disease. But as the video proceeds, it beats quicker and more smoke can be seen puffing from its valves – designed to mimic being overworked.
The footage ends with the message ‘protect your heart and choose health – not tobacco’.
Dr Tedros Adhanom, from WHO called for more awareness of the links between smoking and heart disease. He said: “Most people know that using tobacco causes cancer and lung disease, but many people aren’t aware that tobacco also causes heart disease and stroke.”
Source: Daily Mail Online, 1 June 2018
Indonesia: lax smoking laws are helping next generation to get hooked
It is estimated that smoking-related diseases kill nearly 250,000 Indonesians every year.
Indonesia is the only country in Asia that has not signed and ratified the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) which endorses restrictions on the extent to which tobacco companies can lobby governments, and recognises that a complete ban on tobacco marketing activities is an effective way of reducing youth smoking uptake.
This is most likely a result of the influence large tobacco companies such as Philip Morris and British American tobacco have in the Indonesian market.
Cigarettes continue to be sold cheaply with a pack of 20 Marlboro available for US$1.55, compared to around US$20 in Australia.
Indonesia is the only country in the region that still allows direct tobacco advertising. To reduce exposure to children and teenagers, advertising is restricted on TV and radio to between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. But youngsters are still exposed through billboards, roadside stalls, music concerts, sporting events and the internet. There are shops and restaurants branded with tobacco advertising everywhere.
Source: The Jakarta Post, 4 June 2018
USA: Hollywood silent on request to give R rating to movies with smoking
In August 2017, the American Heart Association and 16 other health and medical groups bought trade adverts and sent a letter to the six major movie studios represented by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), urging them to apply an R rating to any motion picture with tobacco imagery submitted for classification after Friday 8th June 2018. The only exceptions would be biographical films about people who smoked or when the film depicted the dangers of smoking.
However with the June deadline here, Chris Ortman, vice president of corporate communications for the MPAA, declined to comment.
Source: American Heart Association News, 31 May 2018
USA: Cigarette prices increase in New York
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has raised the cost of a pack of cigarettes from $10.50 to $13, the equivalent of $17 Australian dollars, to take effect this month.
Whilst this tax increase is a step in the right direction, other countries such as Australia, Japan and New Zealand continue to lead the way in having some of the highest tobacco taxes – a pack of cigarettes in Australia reaching nearly $40 Australian dollars in this year’s budget. Increases in taxation are one of the most effective mechanisms for prompting quit attempts.
Source: Daily Mail Online, 4 June 2018