Scotland: New life breathed into Dumfries and Galloway smoking strategy
NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s Smoking Matters service is looking at new ways to improve its smoking cessation strategy, including using social media and virtual clinics to engage with smokers.
The service was tasked with helping at least 232 people in deprived areas quit smoking over the last twelve months. However, after nine months the service has only managed to help 126 people quit, prompting a review of its strategy.
It is estimated that £15-20 million is spent in the region each year treating tobacco-related illnesses.
Source: BBC, 3 August 2018
US: Juul reveals plans for smart Bluetooth e-cigarettes that prevent use among teenagers
US e-cigarette company, Juul, is planning to launch a Bluetooth enabled e-cigarette with an age verification system, to prevent teenagers from using its products.
The company has publicly acknowledged that schoolchildren in the US are using Juul e-cigarettes and is proposing a range of measures to ensure that future products cannot be used by anyone under the age of 18. The new e-cigarettes will use biometric data to prove a smoker’s age and won’t work near schools.
A Juul spokesperson said: “We are actively evaluating new technologies and features to help keep Juul out of the hands of young people.”
Source: Mail on Sunday, 2 August 2018
E-Cigarette Sales Have Surged Immensely in the US
New research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that sales of e-cigarettes in the US have risen significantly over the last few years, increasing by 126% between 2012 and 2016.
Rechargeable e-cigarettes such as the Juul brand were the most popular type with sales increasing by 154% and average prices nearly halving between 2012 and 2016.
Brian King, senior author of the study and a deputy director in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said: “It’s ultimately reflective of the changing landscape, and we’re seeing more of these pod mod devices such as Juul that are now entering the marketplace. It just reinforces the importance [for] us as a public health community to ensure that we’re considering the diversity of different e-cigarette products … so we can implement evidence-based strategies to ensure we’re preventing public health harm.”
Source: US News, 2 August 2018
Chinese tobacco regulators call for control on e-cigarettes
Chinese tobacco regulators are calling for more education and control on e-cigarettes, following several high profile examples of people using them in places where they are prohibited, including in the cockpit of an airoplane.
There are currently no national regulations applying to e-cigarettes but authorities in some Chinese cities, including Hangzhou City in east China’s Zhejiang Province, have ceased to make any distinction between vaping and smoking.
Zhang Jianshu, president of the Beijing Tobacco Control Association, said: “We are currently calling for relevant departments to look into regulation for standardized control on e-cigarettes.”
Source: CGTN, 2 August 2018
Netherlands: Plans to ban smoking on multiple Rotterdam streets
Officials in Rotterdam are considering banning smoking on multiple streets in the area around a local hospital and two educational institutions. The ban would make Rotterdam the first municipality in the Netherlands to ban smoking for entire streets.
Erasmus MC, the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and the Erasmiaans Gymnasium – which are all based in the same part of the city – sent a letter to Rotterdam Mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, asking him to implement the ban to prevent smokers just moving onto neighbouring streets.
A spokesperson for the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences said: “We have trouble with dumped cigarette butts and are thinking about the health of the 30 thousand students, pupils, patients and employees who are here on a daily basis.”
Source: Nl Times, 3 August 2018
US: Hookah smoking raises cardiovascular risk comparable to traditional cigarette smoking, study finds
A new study published in the American Journal of Cardiology has found that just a half-hour of hookah smoking resulted in the development of cardiovascular risk factors similar to what has been seen with traditional cigarette smoking.
Hookah is exempt from the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act which prohibits the use of artificial or natural flavours in cigarettes. This is thought to contribute to hookah’s popularity among young people and college students.
Mary Rezk-Hanna, lead author of the study, said: “We know that flavoured tobacco products are frequently the first kind of tobacco product used by youth. One of the major issues with hookah is the fact that the tobacco is flavoured with fruit, candy and alcohol flavours, making hookah the most popular flavoured tobacco product among this audience. Our findings challenge the concept that fruit-flavoured hookah tobacco smoking is a healthier tobacco alternative. It is not.”
Source: Medical Xpress, 3 August 2018
American Journal of Cardiology: Acute Effect of Hookah Smoking on Arterial Stiffness and Wave Reflections in Adults Aged 18 to 34 Years of Age
Scotland: Radical new plans unveiled to turn Scotland smokefree by 2034
A ban on smoking in council homes is among a raft of new measures being considered by ministers as part of their efforts to make Scotland smokefree by 2034.
The new strategy was unveiled on the 20th of June, after recent figures showed smoking cessation in Scotland had fallen to a record low, prompting fears that the 2034 target may not be reached.
A crackdown on smoking in open public places where children are present such as play parks is also included in the new blueprint, whilst smoking outside hospitals will be outlawed. Under the proposals, cigarettes will be banned completely in prisons, as well as in communal stairwells.
See also: Raising Scotland’s Tobacco-free Generation: our tobacco control action plan 2018
The Times, Smokers face minimum price for tobacco
STV, Action plan for ‘tobacco free generation’ unveiled
Source: The Scotsman, 21 June 2018
Wales: Health body ‘disappointed’ nearly one fifth of Welsh adults still smoke
The smoking rate for adults in Wales has not decreased, according to the latest figures from the National Survey for Wales.
The report, which involved more than 11,000 randomly-selected adults aged 16 and over, found that 19% of adults said that they smoked. Public Health Wales has said it is ‘disappointed’ the rate has not fallen since 2017.
The number of adults that ‘vape’ using e-cigarettes has also stayed the same (7%) when compared to last year.
Source: ITV News, 20 June 2018
North East: Anonymous tip offs boost illegal cigarette campaign
More than 350 anonymous tip offs from the public have been received by trading standards teams since the launch of a campaign tackling the sale of illegal tobacco. The ‘Keep it Out’ campaign went live in the North East in November. It highlights how children can easily get hooked on illicit cigarettes and how such trade can benefit criminals.
The campaign was launched by the tobacco control group Fresh, which receives funding from 11 of the region’s 12 local councils. Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh, said: “We are delighted to see this campaign making people think twice about buying and selling illegal tobacco, and also to see hundreds of pieces of information coming through.”
Owen Cleugh, a consumer protection manager with Durham County Council, said: “Illegal tobacco has a serious impact as it makes it easier for children to smoke and brings crime into our communities. We would encourage members of the public to help us in tackling this crime and report concerns via the Keep It Out hotline.”
Source: The Northern Echo, 20 June 2018
Hull: School gates to go smokefree
Parents are no longer allowed to smoke at 24 primary schools in Hull, in a bid to create a smokefree generation. The move follows last year’s introduction of a smokefree playground policy, which saw smoking banned at all 91 playgrounds in the city.
Councillor Gwen Lunn, the city council’s portfolio holder for public health, says: “Introducing measures like smokefree school gates and before that smokefree sidelines and playgrounds helps to chip away the places children see smoking, breathe in smoke and have it reinforced as something that is normal for grown-ups to do. We’ve been delighted by the response from schools, most of which have been keen to update their policies and involve children in designing signs to communicate the change to their parents and carers.”
Source: KCFM, 20 June 2018
Leeds: Shopping centre introduces smoke and vape free zone
White Rose Shopping Centre has introduced a ‘Smoke and Vape Free Zone’ in its outdoor leisure area, The Village, following the opening of its brand new children’s play area and ahead of Clean Air Day (21 June).
In consideration of children and young families, all visitors are now asked to refrain from smoking and vaping within The Village and the surrounding area, marked by green bollards. This move comes in partnership with Leeds City Council and Child Friendly Leeds in support of the city’s Clean Air Leeds ambition, a council-led initiative to improve the quality of Leeds air.
Source: Business Up North, 20 June 2018
Wirral: Smokefree community champions needed
The Annual Population Survey (2016) estimates the number of adults who reported smoking in Wirral is 15.7%. However, it is estimated that in the most deprived neighbourhoods in Wirral, approximately 32% of the population smoke.
Wallasey Constituency Team is therefore working in partnership with A Better Life (ABL) to provide free training for local people across Wallasey to become Smokefree Community Champions and help their community stop smoking. Champions are to act as ambassadors by raising awareness and promoting the local ABL stop smoking service.
Source: Wirral view, 20 June 2018
US: American Lung Association and Mental Health America partner to support residents in smokefree public housing transition
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has required all public housing agencies to implement a smokefree policy by July 31, 2018. The new smokefree rule will protect around two million residents living in public housing from exposure to secondhand smoke.
The American Lung Association and Mental Health America have announced their ‘Smokefree at Home’ project, which will support public housing residents who are living with behavioural health issues, such as mental illness and substance use disorders, in the transition to a smokefree environment. The project’s goal is to ensure these people are supported in their adjustment to the new smokefree policy, remain in their homes, and have access to cessation programs and services.
Source: PharmiWeb.com, 20 June 2018
Devon: Men jailed after international tobacco smuggling operation used fridges and vacuum cleaners to evade £12m in tax
Two men from Devon have been jailed for their role in a gang which smuggled illegal tobacco hidden inside fridges, microwaves and vacuum cleaners to evade £12 million in tax.
Ivybridge man, Kyle Langdon, 31, was jailed for two years and Andrew Carver-Trotter, 35, was sentenced to one year in March. The gang were sentenced to a total of 21 years and five months with the last member of the 11-strong operation to be sentenced at Manchester Crown Court yesterday, with a three-year jail term.
Investigators observed the smuggling ring at work in a large warehouse where hollow white goods were being used to smuggle tobacco into the UK.
After being emptied in the UK, the carcasses were returned to the warehouse in Luxembourg to be re-filled with more illicit tobacco destined for the UK.
Source: Devon Live, 15 Jun 2018
Scotland: Experts dismiss pub ‘smoking room’ idea
A poll of more than 1,000 Scots, by Forest, a pro-smoking lobby group, has found that 57% of respondents thought bars and private clubs should be allowed to provide specially ventilated smoking rooms.
The poll findings were released in advance of the Scottish government publishing its Tobacco Control Action Plan, restating the aim of a tobacco-free country by 2034.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland, dismissed claims made by Forest stating “Tobacco companies and their allies have long argued in favour of expensive solutions that don’t work, while trying to derail cheap and effective ones that do. Ventilation cannot and does not protect workers from being exposed for hours to breathing a toxic substance that is harmful to health and easily prevented”.
She added: “Two thirds of Scotland’s smokers want to quit. Hardly anyone is ambitious for the children in their families and neighbourhood to take up smoking. We need to support people and communities looking to improve their health, wellbeing and finances by relegating cigarettes to the past.”
Source: The Sunday Times, 17 June 2018
Scotland: Smokers offered £160 incentive to quit
Smokers across Scotland are being given shopping vouchers in a publicly funded attempt to help them ditch the habit. In Lanarkshire, about half of smokers living in the poorest parts of the area ditched cigarettes after being offered a financial incentive for 12 weeks.
From next month, a new initiative in Greater Glasgow and Clyde will see pregnant smokers given up to £160 to ditch cigarettes, after a successful pilot scheme.
Medical experts have welcomed the schemes as a “cost effective” way to improve the health of patients. But opposition politicians warn many taxpayers will be “sceptical” about this approach, despite the early results being positive.
Source: The Scotsman, 17 June 2018
Ireland: Smokers held responsible for most littering
19% of Irish people smoke but their litter is responsible for more than half of that found on the country’s streets.
Cigarette butts accounted for 52.5% of the rubbish left on streets last year, but when boxes, wrappers, matches, matchboxes and lighters were added, smoking paraphernalia accounted for 56%, local authorities said.
Denis Naughten, the environment minister, has implored smokers to clean up after themselves, stating “Smokers in particular can bring about a significant improvement in the litter situation through relatively minor behavioural changes. Everyone must accept that, ultimately, it is their own actions that will ensure whether or not we live in a litter-free environment.”
Source: The Times, 18 June 2018
Australia: Majority of Australians want e-cigarettes to be legalised – as thousands of former smokers are forced to illegally import nicotine
Most Australians want the ban on electronic cigarettes lifted, according to an Australian Retailers Association survey.
Conducted by the Crosby Textor Group, the poll shows 61% of 1200 adults backed a move towards legalising e-cigarettes.
Almost half of those surveyed agreed that vaporisers, used by 4.4% of smokers at the time of the 2016 Australian National Drug Strategy Household Survey, were a safer alternative than traditional tobacco cigarettes.
“More and more Australians are buying personal vaporisers with nicotine online from overseas, simply because they can’t buy them locally. It is clear that smokers are not prepared to wait around for the government to act and improve their health” said ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman.
Source: Mail Online, 18 June 2018
Health policy is largely formulated and implemented by the devolved administrations of each of the member countries of the United Kingdom. However, as tobacco falls within the remit of a number of different government departments: e.g. Treasury, Business, HMRC as well as Health, tobacco control policy is partly determined at UK-wide level and partly by the devolved administrations. The four nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have responsibility for their own smoking cessation and health education campaigns while UK-wide policy and law applies to taxation, smuggling, advertising, and consumer protection issues such as the provision of health warnings on tobacco packaging. Some of these measures are determined by European Union legislation.UK Tobacco Control Policy and Expenditure: An overview