A time to quit: supporting smoking cessation in general practice
Following evidence released by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) showing a 75% decline in the number of stop smoking aids dispensed between 2005 and 2017, Practice Business has highlighted what GP practices can do to support cessation and help reduce smoking rates.
Practices play a key role in providing information and advice about smoking cessation services and motivating smokers to quit. Health professionals should identify smokers and offer advice and cessation support, particularly when the patient has a health condition which is caused or exacerbated by smoking.
National risk assessments should be used to identify people aged between 40 and 74 who are at risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of dementia, so that they can receive advice on achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and be referred to stop smoking support where relevant.
Source: Practice Business, 20 August 2018
Lancashire County Council health lead backs MPs e-cigarette report
Lancashire County Council’s health lead, Councillor Shaun Turner, has backed the Science and Technology Select Committee’s recommendation that vaping be encouraged as an alternative to smoking.
The Committee highlighted evidence showing that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than tobacco cigarettes and could help to accelerate already declining smoking rates.
Councillor Turner said: “E-cigarettes can also help as an alternative way to quit. Cancer Research UK highlight that all the evidence so far points to e-cigarettes being far less harmful than tobacco products and that they can help people stop smoking. We would only recommend them as a tool to help people stop smoking. We’d never recommend people to take up vaping if they don’t currently vape or smoke.”
Source: Lancashire and Morecambe Citizen, 20 August 2018
Scotland: NHS Highland joins campaign to stop adults buying tobacco for under-18s
NHS Highland’s improvement team and Highland Council’s trading standards team have been working with ASH Scotland to support the charity’s #notafavour initiative.
The initiative consists of a series of videos, produced with the help of students at Inverness College UHI, highlighting the problem of adults buying cigarettes for under-18s.
Inverness College UHI’s wellbeing officer Claire Killburn-Young said: “Inverness College UHI is also a member of ASH Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation, so it’s an issue we are really passionate about. We hope these videos have the desired effect and discourage adults form purchasing tobacco for young people.”
Source: The Press and Journal, 20 August 2018
US: Child passive smoking increases chronic lung risk
A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine (AJPM) shows that non-smoking adults have a higher risk of dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) if they grew up with parents who smoked.
The researchers found that secondhand smoke exposure in both childhood and adulthood was associated with a higher risk of mortality from COPD and vascular disease, and warn that childhood passive smoking was “likely to add seven deaths to every 100,000 non-smoking adults dying annually”.
Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy at ASH, said: “This latest study adds to the compelling case to take smoke outside to protect children from harm. The best way to do this is for parents to quit.”
Dr Nick Hopkinson, medical adviser to the British Lung Foundation, agreed, saying: “Passive smoking has a lasting impact well beyond childhood. Unfortunately, stop smoking services in the UK are being cut. We need to make sure that everyone, especially parents of young children and pregnant women who smoke, get the help they need to quit.”
Source: BBC, 19 August 2018
American Journal of Preventative Medicine: Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Childhood and Adulthood in Relation to Adult Mortality Among Never Smokers
Australian tobacco taxes set to rise again
Australia—which has the world’s highest tax rate on cigarettes—is set to raise its tobacco tax rate by 12.5% from 1 September.
However, tobacco can be purchased at a lower price from black market sellers and discount tobacco websites that charge up to 70% less than retailers.
The Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Home Affairs estimates that illicit tobacco costs the government $600 million every year.
Source: Mail on Sunday, 20 August 2018
Japan: British American Tobacco to raise prices alongside October tax rise
British American Tobacco Japan (BATJ) is set to raise its tobacco product prices alongside the planned tobacco tax increase on 1 October.
This would see BATJ product prices rising by ¥30 to ¥40 per 20 pack, in addition to the ¥1 per cigarette tax increase.
In addition, Philip Morris plans to file for a price increase of ¥40 which would see the cost of Marlboro cigarettes rise from ¥470 to ¥510.
Source: Japan Times, 20 August 2018
US: Small study finds potential link between e-cigarette use and DNA damage
A small study at the University of Minnesota has found a potential link between regular e-cigarette use and DNA damage which could contribute to cancer.
The researchers analysed saliva samples from five e-cigarette users for traces of chemical compounds which are known to damage DNA. Compared with people who don’t vape, four of the five e-cigarette users showed increased DNA damage. The study does not show how this compares to the damage caused by smoking cigarettes.
Source: ecancer News, 20 August 2018