Action on Smoking and Health

Tag Archives: smokefree sidelines

ASH Daily News for 17 September 2018


  • Quit smoking for World Alzheimer’s Day
  • North Yorkshire: Smokefree places fund reopened
  • North Yorkshire: Campaign urges smokers to quit for the sake of their families
  • East Yorkshire: Kick-off for smokefree sidelines


  • Affordable vaping for smokers in poor countries branded a ‘human rights issue’
  • US: Health Secretary backs FDA’s proposed ban on e-cigarette flavours


Quit smoking for World Alzheimer’s Day

Friday the 21st September is World Alzheimer’s Day. A number of factors increase your risk of developing the condition, including smoking.

The disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of proteins in and around brain cells, and although the cause of the process is unknown, we do know that it begins many years before symptoms appear. As brain cells become affected, certain parts of the brain shrink, usually beginning with regions responsible for memory. As the disease progresses, hallucinations, anxiety and personality changes become more common.

Source: Sunderland Echo, 16 September 2018

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North Yorkshire: Smokefree places fund reopened

A fund to help make North Yorkshire’s public spaces smokefree has been reopened by the County Council. The fund was launched last October as part of efforts to promote a smokefree lifestyle.

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson said: “Applications for funding are welcomed from any organisation responsible for public spaces which is permitted to allocate places as smokefree. Funding can be used for community events, signs and events to promote a smokefree lifestyle.”

Source: York Press, 17 September 2018

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North Yorkshire: Campaign urges smokers to quit for the sake of their families

Breathe 2025’s hard-hitting “Don’t Be The 1” campaign highlights how one in two long-term smokers will die from a smoking-related disease. It asks smokers to quit once and for all for the sake of their loved ones.

Katie Needham, consultant in public health for North Yorkshire, said “Worryingly, surveys show nine out of ten smokers underestimate the one in two risk, with about half believing their risk to be one in ten or less. Smoking tobacco is much more harmful than most people think. It might be tempting to say ‘this won’t happen to me’ but a one in two chance is odds that nobody would want.”

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, executive member for public health, prevention and supported housing, said: “The ‘Don’t Be The 1’ campaign starts the run-up to Stoptober – the country’s mass stop smoking attempt – and there are more ways to quit than ever before. We are urging people to give it a go.”

See also:
Don’d Be The 1, Smoking kills 1 in 2

Source: Whitby Gazette, 14 September 2018

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East Yorkshire: Kick-off for smokefree sidelines

The first junior football match in east Yorkshire with smokefree sidelines happened on Sunday the 16th of September. It’s hoped the ban will promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the chances of children seeing adults smoking.

Smoking rates in Hull have fallen steadily, but remain above the national average, with 27% of adults in Hull and 11% in the East Riding smoking.

Keith Pinder, from the Hull and District Youth Football League, said, “As part of creating a safe environment for children and young adults to play football this is very much a positive step forward and one which is being embraced by our clubs. Parents, family and coaches are real role models for our players and it is important we give them the right message.”

Source: KCFM, 14 September 2018

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Affordable vaping for smokers in poor countries branded a ‘human rights issue’

Researchers addressing a 300-strong audience at a tobacco industry conference in London have discussed the importance of making harm reduction products available to those living in poor countries as well as rich ones. There are 1.1 billion smokers worldwide and 6 million die each year as a direct result of smoking, according to the World Health Organisation. A single cigarette contains more than 200 carcinogenic chemicals, as well as the addictive stimulant nicotine. There is not yet agreement on the pros and cons of long-term nicotine use.

Substance use expert Helen Redmond told the tobacco and vaping industry representatives that poor countries should not be priced out of nicotine-based products that could potentially help them quit smoking.

Clinical psychologist Karl Fagerström called for research into the positive benefits of nicotine, which he believes can aid people suffering from Alzheimer’s and depression. He also advised that the industry should move from combustible to nicotine-based products.

Martin Jarvis, emeritus professor of health psychology at University College London, said the US (where the Food and Drug Administration is eager to reduce the level of nicotine in cigarettes) was moving towards prohibition-type enforcement. He said, “Society doesn’t understand nicotine…because they think it is particularly bad.” However, Jarvis said “describing nicotine as being addictive is justified”, adding that “80% of smokers wished they never started”.

Source: The Guardian, 14 September 2018

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US: Health Secretary backs FDA’s proposed ban on e-cigarette flavours

The US Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, has said he is “completely in support” of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed ban on e-cigarette flavours.

“We are not going to permit e-cigarettes to become a pathway to nicotine dependency” Azar said in an interview with CNBC. He said he disagreed with the belief that banning e-cigarettes would push youth towards traditional cigarettes.

FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, said on Wednesday the agency was considering a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes from Juul Labs and other companies as it grapples with an “epidemic” of youth e-cigarette use that threatened to create a new generation of nicotine addicts.

Source: Reuters, 14 September 2018

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ASH Daily News for 9 July 2018


  • Opinion: Britain’s vaping revolution – why this healthier alternative to smoking is under threat
  • Opinion: Fears of future strain on NHS as councils slash health programmes
  • Parents celebrate success of smokefree sidelines initiative
  • North-West: Smokers in Blackburn with Darwen are kicking the habit
  • North-West: Dog detectives sniff out illegal tobacco haul
  • Wales: Smoking litter still a big problem
  • Isle of Wight: Young adults shun smoking, figures show


  • Study shows smoking linked to increased stillbirth risk
  • Australia: Health warnings need updating after research shows smokers still unaware of health risks


Opinion: Britain’s vaping revolution – why this healthier alternative to smoking is under threat

In this opinion piece, Matt Ridley explores how vested interests are hampering e-cigarettes as a method of harm reduction for smokers.

Britain is the world leader in vaping. More people use e-cigarettes in the UK than in any other European country. It’s more officially encouraged than in the United States and more socially acceptable than in Australia, where it’s still banned. There is a thriving sector here of vape manufacturers, retailers, exporters, even researchers; there are 1,700 independent vape shops on Britain’s streets. It’s an entrepreneurial phenomenon and a billion-pound industry.

The British vaping revolution dismays some people, who see it as a return to social acceptability for something that looks like smoking with unknown risks. Yet here, more than anywhere in the world, the government disagrees. Public Health England says that vaping is 95% safer than smoking and the vast majority of people who vape are smokers who are partly or wholly quitting cigarettes. The Royal College of Physicians agrees: “The public can be reassured that e-cigarettes are much safer than smoking.”

Yet, despite official endorsement and the growing strength of the evidence for vaping’s harm reduction, public opinion has been moving against e-cigarettes. More than 25% of people now erroneously believe vaping to be at least as harmful as smoking, up from 7% in 2013, thanks to tabloid headlines claiming as much.

Source: The Times, 8 July 2018

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Opinion: Fears of future strain on NHS as councils slash health programmes

In this opinion piece, Denis Campbell (Guardian Health Policy Editor) discusses cuts to health programmes and the impact this will have on the NHS.

Stop-smoking programmes are being cut despite May’s promise of £20bn extra on health, according to the Health Foundation. New analysis shows that by next year, spending per head in England on programmes to tackle smoking, poor diet and alcohol abuse will have fallen by 23.5% over five years. By next year, councils will be spending £95m on smoking and tobacco-control services, 45% less than they were in 2014-15.

Although smoking rates are falling, the habit leads to almost 500,000 hospitalisations a year and is a major cause of strokes, heart problems and life-threatening respiratory conditions. Tim Elwell-Sutton of the Health Foundation said “It is incredibly shortsighted not to invest in keeping people well. We’re crazy if we’re not taking seriously the underlying cause of one of the most harmful illnesses – cancer – which is also one of the most expensive to treat.”

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, accused ministers of “confused thinking” over health. “These figures demonstrate a frustrating contradiction from the government, whereby welcome extra money is given to the NHS with one hand, while the other generates more strain on NHS services by draining public health and prevention.”

Source: The Guardian, 8 July 2018

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Parents celebrate success of smokefree sidelines initiative

An evaluation of the #smokefreesidelines campaign, which was designed to stop parents and carers from smoking on the sidelines when watching youth football, has found the initiative to be hugely successful. The aim was to reduce the likelihood of children seeing adult smoking behaviour as the norm.

Researchers visited clubs to observe smoking behaviour, look for discarded smoking materials and interview families and staff. Their evaluation report said that, over time, clubs who signed up to #smokefreesidelines demonstrated “a small but important change in observations of smoking. Particularly marked were changes to the environment (a reduction in smoking debris) and the introduction and widespread use of the smokefree sidelines promotional materials. This suggests a successful and positive move towards the denormalisation of smoking at youth football games. There was strong support from parents and coaches for not smoking on the sidelines.”

Dr Caitlin Notley, a Senior Lecturer from the Norwich Medical School who led the evaluation, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in evaluating this innovative project. Community based initiatives like #smokefreesidelines are an important part of the public health approach to denormalise the visibility of smoking, thus contributing to decreased smoking prevalence in the UK.

Source: BJFM, 6 July 2018

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North-West: Smokers in Blackburn with Darwen are kicking the habit

Smokers in Blackburn with Darwen have had success in quitting, according to new statistics. Figures issued by the Office of National Statistics, show that the rates of adults smoking in Blackburn with Darwen dropped from 27.1% in 2011 to 16.7% in 2017, putting the borough close to the North West average of 16.1 per cent.

Staff at Blackburn with Darwen’s Stop Smoking and Wellbeing Services have worked hard to offer a range of personalised support to help people stop smoking for good. Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group have also worked together to deliver the local Tobacco Control Policy and worked on initiatives around smokefree homes, cars and outdoor spaces.

Councillor Brian Taylor, executive member for health and adult social care, said: “Giving up smoking is the single most immediate and important action we can take to improve health and wellbeing, improve life expectancy and reduce hospital admissions so I’m delighted to see such positive stats. We want to help as many people quit as possible and our Stop Smoking Service is a great chance to get help to break away from this addiction and start to feel the health and financial benefits of becoming smokefree.”

Source: Lancashire Telegraph, 8 July 2018

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North-West: Dog detectives sniff out illegal tobacco haul

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) Trading Standards officers enlisted the help of tobacco detection dogs during recent operations in Northwich and Chester.

The dogs helped detect concealed stashes of tobacco and cigarettes in two of the premises searched, allowing Trading Standards to seize the haul. Seizures included cigarettes and tobacco that were not in standardised packaging and failed to contain health warnings in English. These products cannot be legally sold in the UK.

Cllr Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment and community at CWAC, said: “People may be tempted by the cheap price tag, but it’s worth considering the great cost to your health, safety and community. Illegal tobacco supports other criminal activity and has many damaging effects on our local communities, as well as causing poor health.”

Source: Northwhich Guardian, 6 July 2018

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Wales: Smoking litter still a big problem

A new report published by Keep Wales Tidy has revealed the prevalence of smoking related litter and the far reaching impacts on our health, wildlife and environment. During recent street cleanliness surveys, smoking related litter was found on 80.3% of our streets, making it the most common type of litter in Wales. They are also the most counted item on beaches in Europe.

Across the UK, it is estimated that 122 tonnes of smoking-related litter are dropped every day. This is predominantly in the form of cigarette ends which are difficult and time-consuming to clean up – costing the taxpayer millions of pounds each year. Contrary to popular belief, cigarette filters are not biodegradable, but are made of a type of plastic which means they can stay in the environment for up to 15 years. And, because of their small size, cigarette ends are easily transported to our waterways and coast.

Cigarette ends can also have deadly consequences for wildlife and have been found in the guts of whales, dolphins, turtles and seabirds who have mistaken them for food. Jemma Bere, Policy and Research Manager for Keep Wales Tidy said: “We want to debunk the myths and misconceptions around the disposal of cigarette ends. Despite their size, cigarette ends still count as litter – so dropping them is a criminal offence. Put simply, our pavements and drains are not ashtrays!”

Source: Wales 247, 9 July 2018

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Isle of Wight: Young adults shun smoking, figures show

Young people on the Isle of Wight are shunning cigarettes, according to the latest figures. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the percentage of the Isle of Wight’s population who have never smoked has risen by 38% since 2011.

Nationally, the group comprised of 18 to 24-year-olds had the biggest drop in smoking. Last year, across Britain, 17.8% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they were current smokers, compared with 2011 when more than a quarter smoked.

Deborah Arnott, Action on Smoking and Health chief executive, put this reduction down to banning tobacco advertising. She said, “The brightly coloured pack displays we used to have in shops disappeared completely in 2015 and the packs they do see nowadays are a sludgy green colour, with large picture warnings, rather than the brightly coloured, highly branded packs we used to have. Is it any wonder young people today increasingly choose not to smoke. It’s much less cool than it used to be.”

Source: On the Wight, 6 July 2018

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Study shows smoking linked to increased stillbirth risk

Experts at Stellenbosch University, which is situated in South Africa, have found that women who drank alcohol and smoked during pregnancy had an almost three times higher risk of stillbirth compared with women who completely abstained from these behaviours. Between 2007 and 2015, the study followed the drinking and smoking behaviour of nearly 12,000 South African and American women during pregnancy.

Smoking alone had a relative risk of 1.6 for stillbirth, while drinking alone had a relative risk of 2.2. This risk increased when these behaviours continued beyond the first trimester of pregnancy. The study also found a 12 times higher risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in cases where women drank and smoked during pregnancy. In cases where the women drank but did not smoke, the risk for Sids increased by four, and when they smoked but did not drink, there was a five times higher chance for Sids.

Professor Hein Odendaal, who led the South African chapter of the study said, “What’s particularly alarming is that these behaviours were quite common among study participants. More than half used alcohol (52.3%) sometime during pregnancy, and 17% continued drinking throughout the entire pregnancy. Almost half of them smoked (49%) sometimes during pregnancy, and a third (33%) continued smoking for the duration of the pregnancy,” Odendaal said.

See also:
Safrica 24, Drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy even more deadly than we knew: Study
Stellenbosch University, Drinking and smoking in pregnancy compound the risk for stillbirth, SIDS

Source: MFA News Network, 8 July 2018

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Australia: Health warnings need updating after research shows smokers still unaware of health risks

There are calls for cigarette packets to show more graphic images, with research showing smokers are still unaware of the health risks. The graphic health warnings introduced in 2012 – including images of a lung with emphysema and a mouth with tongue cancer – are in need of a update to maintain their effectiveness, new research by Cancer Council Victoria has found.

The research findings, published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday 9 July, said the images were effective for increasing knowledge about the harms of tobacco, but they require ‘updating regularly to maintain salience and impact’. The Cancer Council research also identified a host of health conditions – including acute leukaemia, diabetes and bladder cancer – that more than half of respondents did not realise were caused by smoking.

Public health researcher, Mike Daube, said ‘We know what needs to be done, the evidence is there, let’s get on with new, research-based health warnings and a major media campaign that will make us world leaders on both counts again.’

See also: Medical Journal of Australia, Population awareness of tobacco-related harms: implications for refreshing public health warnings in Australia

Source: This is Money, 9 July 2018

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