Matt Hancock begins new role as Health Secretary
The MP for West Suffolk, Matt Hancock, said he is looking forward to starting his new role as Health Secretary after being appointed yesterday (July 9). Hancock was promoted to the cabinet as the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in a reshuffle in January. He replaces Jeremy Hunt who has taken over as Foreign Secretary following the resignation of Boris Johnson on Monday afternoon.
The Department of Health faces significant challenges over staffing levels, waiting times and patient care, despite a £20bn cash pledge from Ms May to mark its 70th anniversary.
Source: The Independent, 10 July 2018
Argyll and Bute urged to adopt anti-tobacco policy
Community leaders in Argyll and Bute are to push for a new anti-tobacco strategy already in use elsewhere in Scotland. One in six people aged 16 and over in Argyll and Bute are smokers, a meeting of the area’s community planning partnership (CPP) heard last week.
Ms Stephenson works as the smoking cessation co-ordinator with NHS Highland, which runs the HSCP together with the council. Ms Stephenson told members of the CPP: “We don’t have a tobacco policy in Argyll and Bute, so we are asking to adopt [the] policy which is in use by NHS Highland.”
Source: Helensburgh Advertiser, 10 July 2018
Barnsley: significant drop in smoking levels in the space of only 12 months
Barnsley is on course towards its target of eradicating smoking among the current primary school population as they reach maturity. Barnsley Council and other public bodies are working together to help existing smokers to quit and to ensure older children are not tempted into tobacco use, by keeping the habit hidden from children, so they do not reach their teens regarding the habit as normal.
That work has included making all the town’s major play parks voluntary smoke free zones and rolling out a similar programme for schools, starting with primaries, to discourage parents from smoking when they drop off or collect children.
Latest figures have just been released which show in 2017, 18.2% of the town’s adult population were smokers, down from 20.6% the previous year and beating a target to reduce levels to 20%.
Source: Barnsley Chronicle, 10 July 2018
Singapore: Cameras to be deployed to detect illegal smoking
The National Environment Agency (NEA) intends to deploy surveillance cameras with high-definition thermal sensors around the island to help detect smoking in prohibited areas. Smoking is now prohibited in about 32,000 premises and locations, such as entertainment outlets, shopping malls, office premises, hospitals, bus stops, covered walkways, lift lobbies, stairwells and entrances to buildings.
Cameras deployed in areas where smoking is prevalent but prohibited will record images of the person as well as the date and time. The tamper-proof thermal cameras, which can detect a person holding a lighted cigarette during the day or night, will be placed discreetly on rooftops, in common corridors and staircases of residential buildings, multi-storey car parks and other locations.
Source: The Straits Times, 10 July 2018
USA: LGBT teens are ‘far more likely’ to smoke or vape than straight teens
According to a new report out of Ohio, almost double the number of gay, lesbian, or bisexual teens smoke regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes than their straight and questioning peers. The data came out of the state’s Health Department and the Ohio Healthy Youth Environments Survey Data.
A little over 25% of trans or gender nonconforming teens have used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days and almost 20% reported having smoked. For straight teens, just over 6% have smoked and 10% have vaped in the last 30 days.
The survey was conducted during the 2016-17 school year.
Source: Gaystar News, 9 July 2018
This briefing explains why smoking is a major contributory factor and what can be done to reduce health inequalities caused by smoking. It examines the relationship between smoking and socio-economic status, and certain social groups such as people with mental health conditions, prisoners, looked-after children and ethnic minorities.ASH Briefing: Health inequalities and smoking