Action on Smoking and Health

Tag Archives: Nicotine

Smoking and Mental Health

Higher smoking rates remain the single largest cause of the estimated 10-20 year reduced life expectancy for people with mental health conditions. August 2019.

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What’s in a cigarette?

Cigarettes look deceptively simple but in fact they are highly engineered products, designed to deliver a steady dose of nicotine to the smoker. September 2018.

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ASH Daily News for 28 August 2018


  • Hartlepool: Only one third of smokers accessing support services successfully quit
  • Sunderland: Councillor criticises ‘inappropriate’ investment in tobacco industry


  • Europe: Smokers are starting younger
  • Almost one in 20 U.S. adults now use e-cigarettes according to new research
  • Researchers develop drugs which could potentially curb smoking


Hartlepool: Only one third of smokers accessing support services successfully quit

Just a third of the people using the NHS Stop Smoking Service in Hartlepool managed to quit, according to the latest figures. In the 12 months from April 2017 to March this year, 1,228 people in Hartlepool signed up with the Stop Smoking Service and set themselves a date to quit.

At follow up meetings four weeks later, 454 said they had given up, according to data from NHS England. That’s 37%, which is well below the average rate for England of 51% during the period. The average for the North East was 47%.

Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at Action on Smoking and Health, said: “We want to see investment going back into funding these services through local authorities. We need the NHS to step up in its referral of people to stop smoking services and we’d like to see greater investment in mass media campaigns to make smokers aware of these services.”

Source: Hartlepool Mail, 28 August 2018

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Sunderland: Councillor criticises ‘inappropriate’ investment in tobacco industry

The Tyne and Wear Pension Fund – which is managed by South Tyneside Council – has £31.133m invested in British American Tobacco (BAT). The pension fund covers retirement schemes for employees of Sunderland City Council, South Tyneside Council, Gateshead Council, Newcastle City Council and North Tyneside Council and – as of March 31 – was worth £8.24billion.

Sunderland City Council’s Conservative opposition leader Councillor Robert Oliver called the investment inappropriate in light of efforts to curb smoking in the North East and said that councils should ‘lead by example’. He said: “I think that the pension fund should sell the shares in BAT, which they are now able to do. They’re able to do that for ethical reasons, so long as the fund doesn’t lose out. It is totally wrong that anything is done to profit from this in the public sector.”

Source: Sunderland Echo, 27 August 2018

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Europe: Smokers are starting younger

People are more likely to start smoking while still at school than at any other time in their life, a 39-year study has found. The study by the University of Bergen in Norway looked at information about 120,000 people from 17 countries in Europe. The data was collected between 1970 and 2009 and recorded the age at which smokers started.

On average, European smokers are now 17.2 years old when they first become hooked on cigarettes. The popularity of taking up cigarettes is falling in all age groups except among those aged between 11 and 15. The most common age for someone to begin smoking is now 16 for boys or 15 for girls – down from 18 and 19 respectively in 1970.

See also: PLOS One, Trends in smoking initiation in Europe over 40 years: A retrospective cohort study

Source: Mail on Sunday, 27 August 2018

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Almost one in 20 U.S. adults now use e-cigarettes according to new research

Approximately 10.8 million (4.5%) American adults are currently using e-cigarettes, and more than half of them are under 35 years old, a U.S. study has found. The data suggests that 15% of e-cigarette users are never-cigarette smokers. The sample size of participants with information on e-cigarette use was 466,842, although the data were self-reported.

According to the study, one in three of e-cigarette users are vaping daily. The most common pattern of use is dual use with combustible tobacco. Prevalence was also high amongst lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons and those with chronic health conditions.

See also: Annals of Internal Medicine, Prevalence and Distribution of E-Cigarette Use Among U.S. Adults: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2016

Source: Reuters, 27 August 2018

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Researchers develop drugs which could potentially curb smoking

Researchers have created more than a dozen candidate drugs with the potential to curb smokers’ desire for nicotine, by slowing how it is broken down in the body.

The drugs were designed to target a liver enzyme, called CYP2A6, which metabolizes nicotine. Canadian researchers in the mid-90s found that people who have fewer copies of a gene for the enzyme tend to smoke less and are less likely to be addicted to smoking. Nicotine triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin, two pleasure causing chemicals produced by the body. But as it gets metabolised, users can experience withdrawal symptoms like tingling in the hands and feet, sweating, anxiety and irritability.

The researchers hope that by inhibiting CYP2A6, the drugs would alleviate withdrawal symptoms and this could help smokers quit.

See also: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Identification of the 4-Position of 3-Alkynyl and 3-Heteroaromatic Substituted Pyridine Methanamines as a Key Modification Site Eliciting Increased Potency and Enhanced Selectivity for Cytochrome P-450 2A6 Inhibition

Source: Medical Xpress, 28 August 2018

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Nicotine and Addiction

A comprehensive look at why and how nicotine is so addictive. This fact sheet examines the mental and physical aspects of nicotine addiction. August 2018.

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Stopping smoking: ASH’s top tips

ASH’s top tips to help you stop smoking. September 2014.

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