Just one in 10 of us will be smokers in 2023, say health officials
Health officials have estimated that just 1 in 10 people will be smokers in five years’ time. Public Health England (PHE) said that smoking rates among adults in England are expected to fall from the current level of 14.9% to around 10% by 2023. The number of smokers in England has already fallen by more than a million since 2014, it added.
The estimate comes as PHE launched its annual Stoptober campaign, encouraging smokers to quit in October. The campaign will see the introduction of a free online personal quit plan service, which provides smokers with a suggested combination of support based on their level of tobacco dependency and what quitting support they have used previously. It will be available from Thursday ahead of the official start of the campaign on the 1st of October. PHE estimates that of the 6.1 million smokers in England, around six in 10 want to quit.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), said: “There are almost as many different ways of quitting as there are smokers, but to succeed smokers need motivation. ASH is delighted to see Stoptober is back on TV with a new ad campaign, which will raise awareness and provide valuable additional encouragement for smokers trying to quit with Stoptober.”
Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Councils remain committed to helping smokers quit, however this is made all the more difficult by the Government’s reductions to the public health budget, which councils use to fund stop-smoking services. We have long argued that this is a short-term approach which will only compound acute pressures for NHS services further down the line.”
Stoptober, Personal Quit Plan
The Telegraph, Smoking will be ‘eradicated in England by 2030’
BBC, ‘Don’t go cold turkey’ to quit smoking
Rye & Battle Observer, Smokers in East Sussex urged to kick the habit during Stoptober
Viking FM, Stoptober returns to Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire
Downs Mail, Increase your chances of quitting smoking with national campaign
Hartlepool Mail, Smoking-related hospital admissions in Hartlepool hit eight year high
Source: Free Press, 20 September 2018
Public health campaigns “incredibly good value for money”
Investing money in the Stoptober campaign leads to better results, says Professor Robert West, who was involved in the evaluation of the campaign in its first year. The review into the first Stoptober campaign estimated that it generated an additional 350,000 quit attempts, and led to a “significant increase in the quit attempt rate in that specific month compared to other months of the year,” according to Professor West.
Professor West said that public health campaigns are “incredibly good value for money in terms of public health benefit.” However, he also stated “it’s always a battle for the people in Public Health England (PHE) to get agreements for funding to do it.”
An official report evaluating the 2016 Stoptober campaign sets out a significant drop in media spend for the campaign. The PHE document found “In 2016, competing priorities led to a significant budget reduction for Stoptober. Most notably, media spend was reduced from £3.1 million in 2015 to £390,000 in 2016.”
Source: Basingstoke Gazette, 20 September 2018
North East: Quitting smoking saves thousands of pounds
With the help of an e-cigarette, South Shields mum Deborah Davison gave up cigarettes in January after 40 years of smoking. Deborah says she has noticed significant improvements to her health and has already saved over £2,000.
Deborah said, “Generally, I feel much better and a number of people have noticed a difference in me. With the money I’ve saved I’ve been able to buy things for my grandchildren without waiting for pay day to come around and when my son started a new job and needed a new bus pass, I was able to buy it for him. I have helped my daughter purchase school uniforms for her children and it’s great to be able to support them. I’m planning to treat myself next year and go on holiday to somewhere hot and exotic.”
Councillor Tracey Dixon, lead member for independence and wellbeing at South Tyneside Council, said, “The number of people smoking in the Borough has reduced in the last five years but it is a sad statistic that almost 400 people still die in South Tyneside each year as a result of smoking. Quitting smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your health and Stoptober is the perfect time to make that resolution to quit. While we would urge people to seek out the support of stop smoking services, vaping can also be an effective tool in helping people to kick the habit.”
Source: The Shields Gazette, 20 September 2018
US: Most citizens are still misinformed about e-cigarettes
A recent poll from Rasmussen found that 50% of Americans believe vaping is no safer than smoking cigarettes; 13% believe vaping is less safe than tobacco smoking; and 17% are unsure which is safer. Similarly, data compiled by the National Cancer Institute’s Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), indicated that in 2017, the number of smokers believing e-cigarettes to be more harmful than regular cigarettes had increased since 2013.
Rasmussen, Most Say E-Cigarettes No Healthier Than Traditional Ones
Source: Vaping Post, 19 September 2018
Is the UK’s vape shop boom about to end?
There has been a rapid increase in the number of specialist vape shops in the UK in recent years. This reflects the popularity of the devices, which for many smokers are used as a way to quit smoking.
Fraser Cropper is the managing director of Totally Wicked, the UK’s biggest vaping shop chain with 140 stores, and is sceptical about the sustainability in the growth of the industry. “There’s definitely a change from undersupply to oversupply [of vape shops], I think we’re in a period of rationalisation now”. He also said a lot of stores need investment otherwise they will be forced to close.
The UK Vaping Industry Association (which has tobacco companies as members) says there are around 2,000 UK vaping outlets. This number is likely to grow “exponentially”, mirroring the growth of coffee and mobile phone shops, it adds.
Source: BBC News, 20 June 2018
Campaign to tackle illicit tobacco reports hundreds of tip offs
Tobacco control group Fresh has announced that their ‘Keep it Out’ campaign, launched in the North East in November, has successfully raised awareness about illegal tobacco. Local authority trading standards teams have since received more than 350 anonymous pieces of information about illegal tobacco sales and dealers
The campaign, to help the public report illegal tobacco and discourage smokers from buying it, has subsequently been rolled out in West Yorkshire.
Keep It Out featured radio adverts, a leaflet drop to 360,000 North East households, posters and flyers for local communities, beer mats for pubs and a guide for retailers.
A poll found that 60% of people who saw the campaign felt more concerned about illegal tobacco in their community, 40% said they would be less likely to buy it and more likely to report local sales, and 30% said they thought it would make illegal tobacco dealers think twice.
Source: Talking Retail, 20 June 2018
Vaping helps smokers quit – even if they don’t want to, study finds
Vaping helps smokers quit – even if they do not want to, new research suggests. Some 17% of e-cigarette users said they used to enjoy smoking and once had no intention of quitting, a study funded by Cancer Research UK has found.
The researchers interviewed 40 vapers, who were asked how long they used e-cigarettes, their favourite flavours and why they took up the habit, as well as about their previous attempts to quit smoking.
Lead author Dr Caitlin Notley, from the University of East Anglia, said: “We found that vaping may support long-term smoking abstinence. Not only does it substitute many of the physical, psychological, social and cultural elements of cigarette smoking, but it is pleasurable in its own right, as well as convenient and cheaper than smoking. Our study group also felt better in themselves – they noticed better respiratory function, taste and smell.”
Source: Daily Mail Online, 20 June 2018
See Also: London South Bank University: The unique contribution of e-cigarettes for tobacco harm reduction in supporting smoking relapse prevention
Study pushes back earliest date of tobacco usage in North America
A newly discovered tobacco pipe found at a tribal site in present-day Alabama indicates tobacco was used by the first Americans much earlier than previously thought.
The pipe, carved from limestone, tested positive for nicotine. It dates back about 3,500 years, making it about 1,500 years older than a pipe previously considered to be the oldest evidence of tobacco use in North America.
“This new discovery changes how we think about the past,” Dr. Stephen Carmody, an assistant professor of anthropology at Troy University in Alabama, said. “Tobacco is one of the most, if not the most, important plants to native peoples. We’ve now dated its use in our area 1,500 years earlier than the earliest dates we had.”
Source: Indianz, 19 June 2018