Action on Smoking and Health

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ASH Daily News for 2 October 2018


  • Stoptober 2018: Public Health England Campaign to quit smoking revealed
  • London: Southwark Council issues shisha warning this Stoptober
  • North West: First hospital to offer addiction therapy to all smoking patients


  • Daily Bulletin 2: Framework Convention Alliance at the WHO FCTC conference of the parties
  • Philip Morris sues South Korea over e-cigarette info disclosure
  • Campaigners urge WHO to give vaping a chance
  • Tobacco control measures are working, but too slowly for low and middle-income countries


Stoptober 2018: Public Health England Campaign to quit smoking revealed

PHE’s Stoptober campaign, aimed at helping people to quit smoking, has launched this week.

Launched in 2012, the campaign offers free support and resources for those looking to stop smoking, including through medications, apps, social media groups and personal support from local health services. Today, the campaign is the largest and most popular event in the UK aimed at getting masses of people to give up smoking.

Since launching in 2012, Stoptober has led to more than 1.5 million quit attempts in the UK. In addition, a 2017 report by the University College of London has showed that quitting success rates in the UK are the highest they’ve been in at least a decade, up to 19.8% for the first six months of 2017 and considerably higher than the ten-year average of 15.7%.

See also: Birmingham Mail, Stoptober is here – here’s what happens to your body when you quit smoking

Source: MSN News, 01 October 2018

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London: Southwark Council issues shisha warning this Stoptober

There are many misconceptions that surround shisha and this Stoptober Southwark Council is highlighting how smoking shisha tobacco can affect your health.

Research data suggests that the vast majority of people do not realise the dangers of smoking shisha, often seeing it as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes. A 2014 survey of 1,200 people in south east London found that 64% of people did not know that shisha usually contains tobacco. A further 53% of people did not think that shisha represented any danger to their health.

In partnership with ‘It’s Still Tobacco’, a community and advocacy group, Southwark Council will be raising awareness of the health impacts of smoking shisha tobacco on social media and via posters around the borough.

Source: Southwark Council, 01 October 2018

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North West: First hospital to offer addiction therapy to all smoking patients

Wythenshawe Hospital in Greater Manchester has become the first in the UK to offer addiction treatment to all of its patients that smoke. Patients admitted to the hospital, which is part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, will be prescribed medication and offered intensive support to stay smokefree. This is part of the CURE programme being launched at the hospital to coincide with the first day of Stoptober.

The CURE is modelled on the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation which has helped 35% of smoking patients to quit and led to marked falls in re-admissions and mortality rates in Canada.

CURE forms part of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s Making Smoking History programme. Following an initial six-month phase at Wythenshawe, the programme is due to be rolled out in hospitals across Greater Manchester by 2020. As well as transforming lives, the trust noted that the initiative would free up thousands of hospital beds each year and save the NHS in Greater Manchester an estimated £10m a year.

Source: Nursing Times, 01 October 2018

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Daily Bulletin 2: Framework Convention Alliance at the WHO FCTC conference of the parties

The eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is now onto its second day.

Today’s bulletin is titled ‘Global Strategy and IRM – Let’s Shift Gears’. It refers to the proposed ‘Global Strategy to Accelerate Tobacco Control’ which calls for coordinated action on a small number of high-impact interventions in order to reduce tobacco use between now and 2025. According to the bulletin, if endorsed the strategy will be an important tool for raising the visibility of the treaty and for helping to fund tobacco control at the global and national level.

The bulletin goes on to add that the kind of problem-solving and knowledge exchange such a strategy would make possible “is truly valuable and will support implementation of the FCTC.”

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Philip Morris sues South Korea over heat-not-burn info disclosure

Philip Morris Korea has filed a lawsuit against the South Korean government, demanding the disclosure of information from recent tests that concluded heat-not-burn products contain harmful substances.

Seoul’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said in June after a study that up to five cancer-causing substances were found in the heated smoking devices, and the level of tar discovered in two products, including Philip Morris’ iQOS, exceeded that of regular cigarettes. The ministry’s announcement ran counter to the U.S.-headquartered company’s claim that its heated tobacco product is less likely to cause disease than traditional cigarettes, citing studies conducted in Germany, Japan and China.

Philip Morris said the government study wrongly centered on tar, which is only applicable to smoke created by regular cigarettes, while the electronic devices do not generate smoke.

See also: Financial Times, Philip Morris sues Seoul over e-cigarette information disclosure

Source: Reuters, 01 October 2018

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Campaigners urge WHO to give vaping a chance

Seventy public health experts and tobacco control campaigners have urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to adopt a more sympathetic attitude to e-cigarettes and other alternatives to smoking in a letter to the WHO Director General, stating that the devices “have the potential to bring the epidemic of smoking-caused disease to a more rapid conclusion”.

Their joint letter to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, is intended to influence this week’s conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

In their letter, the advocates of harm reduction, most of whom are university or medical school professors, urged the WHO not to let uncertainty about long-term effects of e-cigarettes block their introduction: “It is true we will not have complete information about the impacts of new products until they have been used exclusively for several decades — and given the complex patterns of use, we may never,” they wrote. “But we already have sufficient knowledge based on the physical and chemical processes involved, the toxicology of emissions and exposure markers, to be confident these non-combustion products will be much less harmful than smoking.”

Source: Financial Times, 01 October 2018

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Tobacco control measures are working, but too slowly in less-developed countries

“Great progress” has been made in tackling tobacco consumption and saving lives but more needs to be done to challenge the industry’s attempts to “bypass” international regulations, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

The 181 Parties to the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) have developed strategies “to prevent tobacco industry interference with tobacco control policies”. As a result of the treaty, countries have increased taxes on tobacco, established smokefree spaces and made it obligatory for manufacturers to show graphic health warnings on their products, as well as using plain packaging.

Despite these advances, “this is not a time to be complacent,” said Dr Vera Luiza da Costa e Silva, head of the WHO FCTC Secretariat. “With astronomical budgets, the tobacco industry continues its furious efforts to undermine the implementation of our treaty.”

See also: Mail on Sunday, Battle for lungs and minds as tobacco control treaty meeting opens

Source: UN News, 01 October 2018

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