Link of the week
NHS smoking in pregnancy data shows 10.4% of pregnant mothers still smoke in England
New NHS figures have revealed the number of women who said they were smokers at the time of giving birth between April and June this year. The numbers relate to 147,770 births during this three-month period. In total 15,151 of those babies – 10.4% – were born to mothers who continued to smoke tobacco while they were pregnant.
Nationally there is a Government ambition to reduce the number of pregnant mothers smoking to 6% or less by 2022. However, only 33 out of 195 areas met this target in the first quarter of this year, and a tenth of women across England were smoking at the time of delivery.
Smoking during pregnancy has been proven to worsen babies’ health as they grow older and to increase the risk of a premature birth or cot death.
Vicky Salt, policy manager at Action on Smoking and Health, said:
“Smoking during pregnancy is a leading cause of still birth and miscarriage as well as premature birth and low birth weight. The data released today shows a welcome decline in women smoking during pregnancy. However, this is only across three months and while a few areas are already reaching the Government’s 6% target, many more are nowhere near. We must ensure fewer women are smoking when they become pregnant and that midwives are properly trained to help those who are smoking quit as soon as possible.”
Source: Daily Mail, 6 September 2018
Opinion: It’s time to stop tarring e-cigarettes and tobacco with the same brush
Rt Hon Norman Lamb, chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee, writes about the relative harms of e-cigarettes compared with tobacco cigarettes.
“You might have seen some huffing and puffing over the Science and Technology Committee supposedly recommending that e-cigarettes should be allowed on public transport. Yesterday, I made a statement to the House of Commons about our recent report on e-cigarettes to clarify what we actually said. The evidence is clear: e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to a smoker’s health than conventional cigarettes.
Public Health England estimates that e-cigarettes are around 95 per cent less harmful. They’re not the only ones — NICE, the British Medical Association, Cancer Research UK, the Royal Society for Public Health, and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh are just some of the organisations that agree.
A growing number of people are turning to e-cigarettes as a useful tool to stop smoking. Yet many misconceptions about e-cigarettes persist, with some people demanding that e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes should be treated in the same way.”
Source: The Times, 7 September 2018
Don’t send vapers to use smoking shelters, MPs suggest
About 2.9 million people in the UK are currently using e-cigarettes. On Thursday, MPs debated a report on e-cigarettes, by the science and technology select committee, which suggested that e-cigarettes were too often overlooked by the NHS as a tool to help people stop smoking.
Organisations should consider having a separate vaping room or area instead of vapers having to use smoking shelters. Putting vapers and smokers together had been likened to “an alcoholic being put in a pub situation and expected to refrain”, SNP MP Carol Monaghan said.
Ms Monaghan, a member of the committee, said that the evidence they heard suggested e-cigarette users were “having to go out and use smoking shelters outside buildings” and urged a “more realistic view of the use of e-cigarettes”.
Source: BBC News, 6 September 2018
Prevention must be the heart of the NHS long-term plan
Chief executive of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie, has said he wants a “smoke-free society” by the year 2030. He told the NHS England Expo in Manchester: “Smoking should no longer be seen as a lifestyle choice. It is an addiction that warrants medical treatment. Everyone who smokes must be offered the support they need to quit. With the right long-term plan in place, we can remove smoking from England. This is the single biggest thing we can do to improve the nation’s health.”
He said the move would save thousands of lives and free up almost £900million a year; funds that the NHS currently spends on treating illnesses caused by tobacco.
See also: Public Health England: Prevention must be the heart of the NHS long-term plan
Source: The Sun, 7 September 2018
Most U.S. colleges are not tobacco- and smokefree
Most U.S. universities and community colleges don’t have tobacco-free or smokefree policies on campus, a new study has found. About 35% have tobacco-free policies that prohibit all tobacco use, 10% have smokefree policies that prohibit cigarettes but not all tobacco and 54% don’t have any policy, researchers report in the American Journal of Public Health.
“Despite years of public health effort, only 59% of the U.S. population is covered by smoke-free non-hospitality workplace, restaurant and bar laws in 2018,” said senior study author Kelvin Choi, a researcher with the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities in Bethesda, Maryland.
See also: American Public Health Association, Adoption of Tobacco- and Smoke-Free Policies in a US National Sample of Postsecondary Educational Institutions
Source: Reuters, 6 September 2018
Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK tobacco product track and trace system will be compliant with the requirements of the (a) EU Tobacco Products Directive and (b) WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of implementing a tax stamp, label-based track and trace system.
Robert Jenrick The Exchequer Secretary
The government published an invitation to tender for the issuing of unique identifiers for the tobacco product track and trace system on 31 August. It is a key condition of securing this contract that the system proposed meets all the requirements of both the EU Tobacco Products Directive and WHO FCTC Protocol to Eliminate the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.
The government has no plans to introduce tax stamps for tobacco products. If a label-based track and trace system is proposed by any of the bidders for the contract, this will be assessed against the requirements for the system alongside any other bids made.
Source: Hansard, 6 September 2018
Link of the week
Keep Britain Tidy video
Keep Britain Tidy have launched a new national campaign – #BinTheButt – to stamp out cigarette litter, which causes significant damage to marine life.
They’re calling on smokers across the UK to rethink how they dispose of their cigarettes, as research reveals that only half (53%) of Brits think that cigarette butts get washed into the sea if they get dropped, blown or washed down the drain.
Links of the week
Number of over-65s needing 24-hour care ‘to rise by third over next 20 years’
The number of adults aged 65 and over needing round-the-clock care will rise by over a third to more than one million during the next 20 years, experts have suggested. Moreover, the research indicates the number of over-85s requiring 24-hour care will almost double to 446,000 in England by 2035.
Researchers used the Population Ageing and Care Simulation (PACSim) model to examine changing levels of dependency in older people. PACSim accounts for multiple risk factors for dependence and disability, including a wide range of sociodemographic factors (such as level of education) and health behaviours (for example, smoking status and physical activity), as well as 12 chronic diseases and geriatric conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, cancer and depression.
The Lancet, Forecasting the care needs of the older population in England over the next 20 years: estimates from the Population Ageing and Care Simulation (PACSim) modelling study
The Independent, Social care crisis: Over-85s needing 24 hour care set to double by 2035, major study shows
BBC News, Numbers of elderly in 24-hour care set to double by 2035
Source: The Telegraph, 31 August 2018
Wales: Highest UK rates of smoking in pregnancy is cause for concern
An estimated 11,864 unborn babies are exposed to harm from tobacco smoke each year in Wales. And worryingly, as many as 16% of women continue to smoke throughout their pregnancy – the highest of all the UK nations. Midwives across Wales are therefore raising awareness of the dangers of smoking and providing access to support to help pregnant women quit.
Smoking in pregnancy puts both mother and baby at risk of significant harm. It doubles the chances of the baby being stillborn or having a heart defect. Even secondhand smoke can have a devastating effect on the health of the child – increasing the chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by 45%.
Kate Evans, public health specialist midwife at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, said: “We know a high percentage of pregnant women smoke. We already work with mums-to-be who smoke and know how hard it can be to quit. We also appreciate the bravery of taking that step to seek help and as midwives we want to reassure women that we are here to support and advise, not judge. If you are pregnant and smoking please discuss it with your midwife who will be able to signpost you to cessation support to enable you to quit. Quit for you, quit for your baby.”
Source: Wales Online, 28 August 2018
Terminally ill cancer patient shows effects of smoking 300,000 cigarettes in a lifetime
Anthony Pillage, a 57-year old from Coventry, has shared harrowing pictures and videos documenting his final months, following his battle with terminal cancer. The pictures and videos have received more than a quarter of a million views.
Anthony smoked more than 300,000 cigarettes in his life. He started smoking at the age of 17 due to peer pressure, and continued for a further 36 years, at times going through 40 cigarettes (two packets) a day. He was diagnosed with a thymic carcinoma, a rare cancer that grew to the size of a grapefruit and engulfed his heart and lung.
“I put up a video where I had very bad pain and couldn’t breathe online to show the perils of smoking, within two days it hit 100,000 views,” Anthony said. “Over 600 people have said they have given up smoking and the way they have written it I believe them. Even more pledged to see a doctor about cessation. I’m not sure how many months I have left, but the message I have is a powerful one and I want to make some good of the time I have left.”
Source: Metro, 30 August 2018
Opinion: Tobacco’s love of social media shows it can’t be trusted
Ben Williams, author at The London Economic, takes a look at insidious tobacco advertising techniques.
“New research has shown the tobacco giants have a new favourite marketing trick: using Instagram influencers as Trojan horses to infiltrate the youth market. The findings only reinforce the view that the industry will stop at nothing to maintain sales, despite its products’ rather unfortunate tendency to kill its customers. As the world’s powers gather to discuss how to regulate the industry and stop tobacco smuggling, it’s critical that they keep this in mind.
The newly published study, funded by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) and led by California PR expert Robert Kozinets, analysed over 100 social media campaigns by the ‘big four’ – Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Brands. The researchers conducted anonymous interviews with several Instagram stars who had been paid by the quartet, and found that the tobacconists’ PR teams were training them in what slogans to push, then sending them off to take selfies at glitzy parties emblazoned with corporate branding. In total, these campaigns had racked up over 25 million views worldwide.”
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, New Investigation Exposes How Tobacco Companies Market Cigarettes on Social Media in the U.S. and Around the World
Source: The London Economic, 30 August 2018
Israel: Ban on smoking in public places to see significant expansion
New Health Ministry rules significantly expanding the smoking ban in public places will come into effect on the 1st of September 2018.
Under the new Health Ministry guidelines, smoking will be entirely prohibited — including in any previously specially designated areas — in government offices, courts, religious councils, hospitals and clinics. It will also be banned at concerts, conferences, demonstrations and any open-air event of more than 50 people, swimming pools, open-air sports facilities, playgrounds, zoos, entrances to preschools and in closed car parks. Moreover, institutions will be allowed to set a non-smoking area at a distance of 10 meters from the entrance.
Local municipality inspectors will be authorised to hand out fines of NIS 1,000 to private individuals and NIS 5,000 to owners of public spaces where the rules are broken. The move was pushed by the Health Ministry after years of accusations of inaction in the face of an epidemic that claims thousands of lives in Israel every year.
Source: The Times of Israel, 31 August 2018
Philippines: Smoking in public prohibited on Boracay island
The Philippines’ Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has prohibited smoking in public places on the island of Boracay. The ban covers not only the beach but other public places in Boracay. ASH Philippines, the Philippine’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance (FCAP), and the Ecowaste Coalition have commended the decision.
“We laud Sec. Puyat for her recent pronouncement that the island of Boracay will now be smokefree. She is the only Secretary that has the audacity to implement this policy and this only goes to show that she is a true servant of the Filipino people,” said Roberto Del Rosario, ASH President.
Meanwhile, the green-group Ecowaste Coalition said that it welcomes the DOT’s initiative, which will protect urban, rural and marine ecosystems from cigarette butts. “Although small and lightweight, cigarette butts take several years to degrade, contain many harmful chemicals, pose environmental health risks, and waste public funds for cleanup and disposal,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator for Ecowaste Coalition.
Source: EcoWaste Coalition, 31 August 2018
Russia: Decline in tobacco deaths
Life expectancy in Russia between 1994 and 2016 increased by more than 7 years, according to the most extensive health study on the nation ever conducted. The study found that age-adjusted rates of premature death from smoking dropped by nearly 34% over the same time period.
“These are significant accomplishments,” said Dr. Mohsen Naghavi, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington. “Russia’s public health officials deserve recognition for their efforts lowering the country’s burden of disease.”
However, the study suggests the nation continues to face considerable health challenges. Researchers found that more than half of all deaths in Russia are attributable to behavioural risk factors, such as smoking, alcohol use, dietary risks, low physical activity, drug use, and unsafe sex.
Source: Science Magazine, 31 August 2018
US: More Americans are quitting smoking for good
The overall smoking rate among US adults has hit an all-time low, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Preliminary data from the National Health Interview Survey showed that smoking rates declined from 15.5% in 2016 to 13.9% in 2017.
“Cigarette smoking among adults has been on a downward trajectory for decades,” said Brian King, deputy director for research translation in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “It’s the lowest percentage we’ve seen since we started monitoring smoking rates in 1965.” The decline has been the combined result of a suite of tobacco control measures including taxation, public health campaigns, smokefree laws, and access to smoking cessation programs.
However, 34 million Americans still smoke, and an estimated 480,000 Americans still die each year as a result of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. Dr. Charlie Shaeffer, a California-based cardiologist who has been active in tobacco control efforts, warned that “The numbers have declined but seem to be plateauing.”
Source: Medical Xpress, August 30 2018
Links of the week
Cigarette litter causes significant damage to marine life. Yet only 53% of Brits think that cigarette butts get washed into the sea if they get dropped, blown or washed down the drain. Dropped cigarette butts are the most common form of littering seen across the UK, and just under 39% smokers – equivalent to 3.6 million in the UK – admit to throwing a cigarette butt down a drain within the past month. 11% of smokers do not even consider cigarette butts to be litter.
This week, Keep Britain Tidy has therefore launched a new campaign to tackle cigarette related litter, urging smokers to #BinTheButt. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness amongst smokers and highlight the link between the cigarette butt they drop on the street or down the drain and the impact it has on the marine environment.
Source: Keep Britain Tidy
Where there’s smoke…
TakeAPart, in collaboration with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), is raising awareness about the deceptive strategies deployed by tobacco companies to get the next generation addicted to cigarettes.
CTFK research has found that tobacco companies are secretly paying social media stars to advertise their brand on people’s newsfeeds. Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Brands are all subverting tobacco advertising laws, flying under the radar of government regulators and abusing the policies of social media platforms to market cigarettes to youth. It’s all part of a deceptive strategy to get the next generation addicted.
Opinion: Britain’s vaping revolution – why this healthier alternative to smoking is under threat
In this opinion piece, Matt Ridley explores how vested interests are hampering e-cigarettes as a method of harm reduction for smokers.
Britain is the world leader in vaping. More people use e-cigarettes in the UK than in any other European country. It’s more officially encouraged than in the United States and more socially acceptable than in Australia, where it’s still banned. There is a thriving sector here of vape manufacturers, retailers, exporters, even researchers; there are 1,700 independent vape shops on Britain’s streets. It’s an entrepreneurial phenomenon and a billion-pound industry.
The British vaping revolution dismays some people, who see it as a return to social acceptability for something that looks like smoking with unknown risks. Yet here, more than anywhere in the world, the government disagrees. Public Health England says that vaping is 95% safer than smoking and the vast majority of people who vape are smokers who are partly or wholly quitting cigarettes. The Royal College of Physicians agrees: “The public can be reassured that e-cigarettes are much safer than smoking.”
Yet, despite official endorsement and the growing strength of the evidence for vaping’s harm reduction, public opinion has been moving against e-cigarettes. More than 25% of people now erroneously believe vaping to be at least as harmful as smoking, up from 7% in 2013, thanks to tabloid headlines claiming as much.
Source: The Times, 8 July 2018
Opinion: Fears of future strain on NHS as councils slash health programmes
In this opinion piece, Denis Campbell (Guardian Health Policy Editor) discusses cuts to health programmes and the impact this will have on the NHS.
Stop-smoking programmes are being cut despite May’s promise of £20bn extra on health, according to the Health Foundation. New analysis shows that by next year, spending per head in England on programmes to tackle smoking, poor diet and alcohol abuse will have fallen by 23.5% over five years. By next year, councils will be spending £95m on smoking and tobacco-control services, 45% less than they were in 2014-15.
Although smoking rates are falling, the habit leads to almost 500,000 hospitalisations a year and is a major cause of strokes, heart problems and life-threatening respiratory conditions. Tim Elwell-Sutton of the Health Foundation said “It is incredibly shortsighted not to invest in keeping people well. We’re crazy if we’re not taking seriously the underlying cause of one of the most harmful illnesses – cancer – which is also one of the most expensive to treat.”
Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, accused ministers of “confused thinking” over health. “These figures demonstrate a frustrating contradiction from the government, whereby welcome extra money is given to the NHS with one hand, while the other generates more strain on NHS services by draining public health and prevention.”
Source: The Guardian, 8 July 2018
Parents celebrate success of smokefree sidelines initiative
An evaluation of the #smokefreesidelines campaign, which was designed to stop parents and carers from smoking on the sidelines when watching youth football, has found the initiative to be hugely successful. The aim was to reduce the likelihood of children seeing adult smoking behaviour as the norm.
Researchers visited clubs to observe smoking behaviour, look for discarded smoking materials and interview families and staff. Their evaluation report said that, over time, clubs who signed up to #smokefreesidelines demonstrated “a small but important change in observations of smoking. Particularly marked were changes to the environment (a reduction in smoking debris) and the introduction and widespread use of the smokefree sidelines promotional materials. This suggests a successful and positive move towards the denormalisation of smoking at youth football games. There was strong support from parents and coaches for not smoking on the sidelines.”
Dr Caitlin Notley, a Senior Lecturer from the Norwich Medical School who led the evaluation, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in evaluating this innovative project. Community based initiatives like #smokefreesidelines are an important part of the public health approach to denormalise the visibility of smoking, thus contributing to decreased smoking prevalence in the UK.
Source: BJFM, 6 July 2018
North-West: Smokers in Blackburn with Darwen are kicking the habit
Smokers in Blackburn with Darwen have had success in quitting, according to new statistics. Figures issued by the Office of National Statistics, show that the rates of adults smoking in Blackburn with Darwen dropped from 27.1% in 2011 to 16.7% in 2017, putting the borough close to the North West average of 16.1 per cent.
Staff at Blackburn with Darwen’s Stop Smoking and Wellbeing Services have worked hard to offer a range of personalised support to help people stop smoking for good. Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group have also worked together to deliver the local Tobacco Control Policy and worked on initiatives around smokefree homes, cars and outdoor spaces.
Councillor Brian Taylor, executive member for health and adult social care, said: “Giving up smoking is the single most immediate and important action we can take to improve health and wellbeing, improve life expectancy and reduce hospital admissions so I’m delighted to see such positive stats. We want to help as many people quit as possible and our Stop Smoking Service is a great chance to get help to break away from this addiction and start to feel the health and financial benefits of becoming smokefree.”
Source: Lancashire Telegraph, 8 July 2018
North-West: Dog detectives sniff out illegal tobacco haul
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) Trading Standards officers enlisted the help of tobacco detection dogs during recent operations in Northwich and Chester.
The dogs helped detect concealed stashes of tobacco and cigarettes in two of the premises searched, allowing Trading Standards to seize the haul. Seizures included cigarettes and tobacco that were not in standardised packaging and failed to contain health warnings in English. These products cannot be legally sold in the UK.
Cllr Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment and community at CWAC, said: “People may be tempted by the cheap price tag, but it’s worth considering the great cost to your health, safety and community. Illegal tobacco supports other criminal activity and has many damaging effects on our local communities, as well as causing poor health.”
Source: Northwhich Guardian, 6 July 2018
Wales: Smoking litter still a big problem
A new report published by Keep Wales Tidy has revealed the prevalence of smoking related litter and the far reaching impacts on our health, wildlife and environment. During recent street cleanliness surveys, smoking related litter was found on 80.3% of our streets, making it the most common type of litter in Wales. They are also the most counted item on beaches in Europe.
Across the UK, it is estimated that 122 tonnes of smoking-related litter are dropped every day. This is predominantly in the form of cigarette ends which are difficult and time-consuming to clean up – costing the taxpayer millions of pounds each year. Contrary to popular belief, cigarette filters are not biodegradable, but are made of a type of plastic which means they can stay in the environment for up to 15 years. And, because of their small size, cigarette ends are easily transported to our waterways and coast.
Cigarette ends can also have deadly consequences for wildlife and have been found in the guts of whales, dolphins, turtles and seabirds who have mistaken them for food. Jemma Bere, Policy and Research Manager for Keep Wales Tidy said: “We want to debunk the myths and misconceptions around the disposal of cigarette ends. Despite their size, cigarette ends still count as litter – so dropping them is a criminal offence. Put simply, our pavements and drains are not ashtrays!”
Source: Wales 247, 9 July 2018
Isle of Wight: Young adults shun smoking, figures show
Young people on the Isle of Wight are shunning cigarettes, according to the latest figures. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the percentage of the Isle of Wight’s population who have never smoked has risen by 38% since 2011.
Nationally, the group comprised of 18 to 24-year-olds had the biggest drop in smoking. Last year, across Britain, 17.8% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they were current smokers, compared with 2011 when more than a quarter smoked.
Deborah Arnott, Action on Smoking and Health chief executive, put this reduction down to banning tobacco advertising. She said, “The brightly coloured pack displays we used to have in shops disappeared completely in 2015 and the packs they do see nowadays are a sludgy green colour, with large picture warnings, rather than the brightly coloured, highly branded packs we used to have. Is it any wonder young people today increasingly choose not to smoke. It’s much less cool than it used to be.”
Source: On the Wight, 6 July 2018
Study shows smoking linked to increased stillbirth risk
Experts at Stellenbosch University, which is situated in South Africa, have found that women who drank alcohol and smoked during pregnancy had an almost three times higher risk of stillbirth compared with women who completely abstained from these behaviours. Between 2007 and 2015, the study followed the drinking and smoking behaviour of nearly 12,000 South African and American women during pregnancy.
Smoking alone had a relative risk of 1.6 for stillbirth, while drinking alone had a relative risk of 2.2. This risk increased when these behaviours continued beyond the first trimester of pregnancy. The study also found a 12 times higher risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in cases where women drank and smoked during pregnancy. In cases where the women drank but did not smoke, the risk for Sids increased by four, and when they smoked but did not drink, there was a five times higher chance for Sids.
Professor Hein Odendaal, who led the South African chapter of the study said, “What’s particularly alarming is that these behaviours were quite common among study participants. More than half used alcohol (52.3%) sometime during pregnancy, and 17% continued drinking throughout the entire pregnancy. Almost half of them smoked (49%) sometimes during pregnancy, and a third (33%) continued smoking for the duration of the pregnancy,” Odendaal said.
Safrica 24, Drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy even more deadly than we knew: Study
Stellenbosch University, Drinking and smoking in pregnancy compound the risk for stillbirth, SIDS
Source: MFA News Network, 8 July 2018
Australia: Health warnings need updating after research shows smokers still unaware of health risks
There are calls for cigarette packets to show more graphic images, with research showing smokers are still unaware of the health risks. The graphic health warnings introduced in 2012 – including images of a lung with emphysema and a mouth with tongue cancer – are in need of a update to maintain their effectiveness, new research by Cancer Council Victoria has found.
The research findings, published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday 9 July, said the images were effective for increasing knowledge about the harms of tobacco, but they require ‘updating regularly to maintain salience and impact’. The Cancer Council research also identified a host of health conditions – including acute leukaemia, diabetes and bladder cancer – that more than half of respondents did not realise were caused by smoking.
Public health researcher, Mike Daube, said ‘We know what needs to be done, the evidence is there, let’s get on with new, research-based health warnings and a major media campaign that will make us world leaders on both counts again.’
See also: Medical Journal of Australia, Population awareness of tobacco-related harms: implications for refreshing public health warnings in Australia
Source: This is Money, 9 July 2018
Glasgow health board signs ASH Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-Free Generation
Scotland’s largest health board has thrown its weight behind a health charity’s goal to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034.
The director of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), John Matthews OBE, has signed ASH Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-Free Generation, designed to further help drive down smoking rates. Despite the continuing drop in Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s smoking rates, smoking remains the biggest single preventable cause of ill-health and premature death in Scotland.
John Matthews OBE, chair of the board’s Public Health Committee, said: “Tobacco is still the most common preventable cause of death in Scotland with smoking to blame for around a quarter of all deaths.
Signing this charter today is important as it shows our continued commitment to reducing smoking and our determination to ensure that all children will grow up free from the harmful effects of tobacco.”
Source: Glasgow Live, 12 June 2018
Cigarette butts and filters the most common pieces of litter on Europe’s beaches
The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released new data about litter found on Europe’s beaches. Based on nearly 700,000 collected items, disposable plastics are the biggest contributor to marine litter, with cigarette butts and filters being the most commonly found individual items.
A new EEA analysis on marine litter showcases data collected by volunteer groups at beaches across Europe’s four regional seas — the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the North-East Atlantic Ocean.
Using the EEA’s Marine LitterWatch mobile app, volunteer groups collected litter data at 1,627 beach clean-up events between 2014 and 2017.
Source: Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, 8 June 2018
Global Electronic Cigarette Market expected to generate $26.83bn of revenue in 2023
The global electronic cigarette market is expected to be worth $26,839 million by 2023, up from $8,610 million in 2016, registering a compound annual growth rate of 17.4% from 2017 to 2023.
The figures are based on data from the commercial research organisation Research and Markets.
Source: Cision PR Newswire, June 2018
Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the level of vendor compliance with the tobacco and related products regulations in respect of vaping; and if he will make a statement.
Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care
The Department commissioned the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) to assess compliance with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 including e-cigarettes. The CTSI published its latest report ‘A Rapid Review of Nicotine Inhaling Product Compliance with the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations’ in May 2018 and is available at the following link: https://www.tradingstandards.uk/news-policy/tobacco-control/tobacco-compliance-and-rapid-reviews
Source: Hansard, 11 June 2018
Stoke on Trent: Illicit tobacco worth £90k seized in raids on three city shops
A haul of illegal tobacco and cigarettes with a street value of more than £90,000 has been seized following raids on three Stoke-on-Trent shops.
More than 10,000 packs of cigarettes and 17kg of hand-rolling tobacco were found after trading standards conducted an investigation on the back of information received from the public.
Councillor Randy Conteh, chair of Smokefree Stoke-on-Trent, said: “This is another fantastic result for our trading standards team following on from a similar operation in February, which saw £80,000 worth of illegal tobacco confiscated from five shops in the city.”
Source: Stoke on Trent Live, 5 June 2018
Smokers fined for dropping cigarette butts in Peterborough city centre
More than a dozen smokers caught dropping cigarette butts in Peterborough city centre have been fined at court. A total of 14 people were handed a bill of £440 each by Peterborough Magistrates Court after they were caught by officers dropping their cigarettes on the floor.
All 14 were caught at the beginning of August and were given the chance to pay an £80 fixed penalty notice – however they still had not paid up, and the cases were brought to court. None of the 14 turned up for the hearing, or indicated a plea by post.
They were all fined £220, ordered to pay costs of £180 and a £30 victim surcharge – which goes to a general pool of money to help all victims of crime.
Source: Peterborough Today, 5 June 2018
USA: Senate Democrats aim to eliminate tobacco imagery in movies
Several Democratic senators are encouraging the new head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPPA) to ensure “responsible” practices when it comes to displaying use of tobacco in films – a plea they believe will help stop young people from taking up smoking.
In a letter sent to MPPA CEO Charles Rivkin, the senators detail what they say is the strong correlation between on-screen smoking in films and youth smoking rates. A 2012 study by the U.S. Surgeon General cited in the letter finds “a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and initiation among young people.”
The MPAA is responsible for assigning ratings to films and, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the association provides a “smoking label” for some films that portray smoking – but fails to label 89 percent of movies that do.
“Although evidence connecting smoking imagery to youth smoking initiation is strong, MPAA has yet to take meaningful action to discourage tobacco imagery in films or effectively warn viewers and parents of tobacco’s presence in a movie,” the letter states.
Source: abc News, 5 June 2018
Austria: New research suggests prostate cancer survival odds worse for smokers
Prostate cancer patients who smoke are more likely to have tumours return, spread to other parts of the body, and become fatal than nonsmokers, a new study suggests.
Researchers examined data from previous studies with a total of 22,549 men with prostate cancer that hadn’t spread to other parts of the body. The cancers were treated with either surgery or radiation. Overall, nearly one in five were current smokers. The rest were either former smokers or had never smoked.
The researchers tracked half the men for at least six years. During follow-up, compared to men who never smoked, current smokers were 40 percent more likely to have tumours return after treatment and more than twice as likely to have cancer spread beyond the prostate. Smokers were also 89 percent more likely to die from cancer.
“Prostate cancer diagnosis, even when it is not associated with tobacco smoking, is a teachable moment for patients to quit smoking,” said senior study author Dr. Shahrokh Shariat of the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.
“Former smoking was associated with higher risk of relapse, but not with spread or cancer-specific death, which underlines the importance of smoking cessation in improving disease outcome,” Shariat said. In fact, he added, men who had stopped smoking more than 10 years earlier “were not significantly different than patients who had never smoked.”
Source: Reuters, 5 June 2018
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 2015.