Link of the week
Londis recommends stores replace tobacco gantries
Londis has recommended to its stores to replace visible tobacco gantries with craft alcohol and vaping products in its new and refitted stores. It has said that this move could significantly increase sales.
The symbol group’s brand director Martin Swadling said the strategy would help future-proof the company’s estate. “Tobacco is still important, but it’s declining and selling it from a big cupboard isn’t using space very well,” he said.
Raj Aggarwal, of Spar Wigston in Leicester, said weekly vape sales increased from £100 to £400 after he replaced his gantry with e-liquids. He said: “Traditional gantries aren’t relevant anymore because customers immediately ask for certain brands or the cheapest pack. Vaping is more profitable. We make between 25% to 40% margins.”
A retailer, who asked not to be named, said weekly alcohol sales grew by £1,600 when she replaced her gantry with craft gin this year. “There’s no future in tobacco gantries. Ours was replaced with 22 gin products and we added lights to make it more attractive. Alcohol sales rose immediately,” she said.
Source: Better Retailing, 3 July 2018
Blog: Duncan Selbie, Public Health Matters
On Tuesday new PHE and ONS smoking prevalence figures for England showed that rates have dipped below 15% for the first time representing a near quarter reduction over the past five years. Notwithstanding, smoking remains the nation’s biggest killer and there is still much to do to achieve the first-ever smokefree generation in England.
Source: Public Health England, 6 July 2018
Increasing number of holiday destinations completely banning vaping
Holidaymakers are being urged to check vaping laws before their summer getaway after five more destinations banned e-cigarettes with punishment ranging from fines to prison. India, the Philippines, Lebanon, Cambodia and Vietnam have all recently clamped down on the devices.
In some countries the punishment can be particularly strict. In Thailand, tourists face a 10-year jail sentence for bringing e-cigarettes or e-liquid refills into the country.
Source: Daily Mail Online, 6 July 2018
Swedish study: Mother’s health linked to foetus’s future fertility
Women who are overweight or who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have daughters who develop polycystic ovary syndrome, a nationwide Swedish study has found.
Polycystic ovary syndrome affects about one in 10 women and is the most common cause of female infertility. It is typically characterised by ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles and high testosterone levels. The exact causes are unknown, but mounting evidence suggests that the syndrome can be triggered by environmental factors in the uterus.
Source: New Scientist, 3 July 2018 (Print only)
See also: BJOG, An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Prenatal exposures and birth indices, and subsequent risk of polycystic ovary syndrome: a national registry‐based cohort study
Oral evidence given by Simon Stevens at the Health Select Committee
Simon Stevens’ oral evidence to the Health & Social Care Select Committee on Monday 2 July 2018 covered the issue of smoking cessation – see below for extracts.
“It is pretty clear that we will have to keep pushing harder on smoking, and smoking cessation is part of that. That cannot all be done through local authority commissioned services; we are going to have to look at whether the NHS can embed smoking cessation in more of the routine contacts that we have with vulnerable groups who are still smoking. ASH and the Royal College of Physicians have put out an important set of proposals in the last 10 days, which we will take a very careful look at.”
“The point is that smoking has been going down, and we want it to go down even further. ASH talks about 5% as being the smoking level at which you could say that we are almost smoke free. As a result of the judgments that Public Health England has made, we have a big hypothesis in this country that moving on a harm minimisation basis away from smoked tobacco to e-cigs represents a good thing to do.
“That is different from the judgment that some other countries have come to, but it is the judgment that our public health experts have come to. We absolutely have to look at smoking because of its obvious impact on cardiac disease and cancer. We know that two fifths of cancers are preventable, so, to the extent that we can give ourselves headroom for continued gains there, it means that whatever funding the country wants to put into health services we can actually deploy on new therapies for conditions that could not otherwise have been prevented.”
Source: Parliament, 2 July 2018
Read oral question
Parliamentary business: Lord Faulkner’s speech in the NHS debate
Lord Faulkner spoke in the debate on the 5th July in the House of Lords on the Creation of the NHS in 1948, and the case for integration of health, mental health, social and community care to equip the NHS for the next 70 years. He asked the Minister to confirm that he would ensure that NHS England takes into account the evidence and the recommendations set out in the recent RCP report on treating tobacco dependency as it develops the new Plan for the NHS.
Watch full debate here (Lord Faulkner’s speech starts 16:26:34)
Lord Shaugnessy’s response to Faulkner’s challenge
In response to Lord Faulkner’s challenge the Minister said, “Our Tobacco Plan lays out an ambition to reduce smoking among adults to 12% or less and I can confirm that the Plan does align with the RCP report recommendations.”
Source: Parliament live TV, 5 July 2018
Launch of the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group report: Review of the Challenge 2018
This report details how smoking in pregnancy rates have stalled in the last few years at just below 11%. The current ambition is to reduce SATOD rates to less than 6% by 2022. However on the current sluggish trajectory, by 2022 SATOD rates will be around 8.7%. The Challenge Group report makes a number of policy recommendations to address the ongoing slowdown.