Sunderland: Fire chiefs issue safety advice after suspected vape battery fire
Fire chiefs have issued safety advice after a fire in a family home which is thought to have been caused by a vape battery.
They advised that vapers never overcharge or leave e-cigarettes on charge unattended for long periods, not to mix components of different e-cigarettes and ensure they purchase their e-cigarette from a reputable source. Moreover, they recommend that users check the e-cigarette carries a CE certification, always use the correct charger and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
National Fire Chief Council, Guidance on e-cigarettes
Source: Sunderland Echo, 6 August 2018
Norfolk: Roadshow will provide information about illegal cigarettes and tobacco
This Thursday, between 9am and 5pm, residents will be able to meet Yoyo the tobacco sniffer dog at Kings Square in Thetford. This visit is part of a bigger illegal tobacco roadshow, which will also be visiting King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Norwich.
The purpose is to help people find out more about illegal cigarettes and tobacco, and the hazards they pose. So far, a two-year clampdown on illicit traders has seen Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards and Public Health teams seize more than 1.3 million illegal cigarettes in addition to 123kg of illegal hand rolling tobacco, with 11 traders being prosecuted.
Smokefree Norfolk will also be present at the roadshow to provide residents with help on quitting smoking.
Source: Thetford and Brandon Times, 6 August 2018
Former smokers might want to eat more tomatoes
A new study has found that former smokers with diets high in tomatoes and fresh fruit had a slower rate of decline in lung function.
Researchers also found that among all adults, including people who had never smoked or had stopped, those with the highest tomato consumption had the slowest decline in lung function—meaning the benefits may not just be for former smokers. The study offers important evidence for the effect of diet on lung function.
European Respiratory Journal, Dietary antioxidants and 10-year lung function decline in adults from the ECRHS survey
Source: Vice, 6 August 2018
US: Tobacco marketed more heavily in city’s minority neighbourhoods, study finds
Tobacco products in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are more aggressively marketed in stores in African-American and Latino neighbourhoods than in white ones, according to a study led by a public health researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Results are in line with other studies, showing that communities with lower incomes, lower educational attainment and more minority residents are targeted with significantly more tobacco promotion.
This study is the first to document the trend in Milwaukee. “The evidence is increasingly clear that children who are exposed to tobacco marketing in stores are more likely to start smoking,” said Linnea Laestadius, assistant professor in the Zilber School of Public Health.
Tobacco Regulatory Science, Identifying Disparities and Policy Needs with the STARS Surveillance Tool
Source: Medical Xpress, 6 August 2018
US: Secondhand smoke is giving teens severe breathing problems, study says
A study has found that young people are missing school due to breathing problems caused by secondhand smoke. Young people who live with a smoker are more likely to report shortness of breath, wheezing and difficulty performing exercise. Those exposed to more than an hour of secondhand smoke had a 1.5 times increased risk of frequently missing school due to being sick. Additionally, they were 3.5 times more likely to have visited an urgent care facility or an emergency department over the past 12 months. The team of researchers from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, is therefore calling on lawmakers to implement policy changes that further prohibit smoking in public places in all 50 states, to prevent teens from developing a number of health problems including asthma and lung cancer.
Lead author Dr Ashley Merianos, an assistant professor of health promotion and education at the University of Cincinnati, said “There was a [lack] of information about how [secondhand smoke] affects adolescents [without asthma], so we decided to look into this specific group of people.” The young people who took part in the study were part of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, a US government study that looks at tobacco use and health among adolescents and adults.
Source: Mail Online, 6 August 2018
Maternity units ‘could prevent 600 stillbirths a year in England’
A recent evaluation of maternity guidance in the NHS has found that around 600 stillbirths a year could be avoided if practical steps, including reducing smoking in pregnancy, were more widely implemented.
According to the evaluation conducted by the University of Manchester, implementation of the ‘Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle’ saved the lives of more than 160 babies over a two-year period.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said: “We still have more to do but these results demonstrate really positive progress towards our ambition to halve the rates of stillbirth, neonatal death and maternal death by 2025.”
Source: The Guardian, 29 July 2018
Juul’s UK launch raises questions
The popular US e-cigarette brand, Juul, has launched in the UK. Public Health England hope that the availability of Juul e-cigarettes will help the UK’s 7.5 million adult smokers switch from conventional cigarettes to significantly less harmful e-cigarettes.
However, the reported popularity of Juul e-cigarettes among US teenagers has triggered concerns over the susceptibility of British schoolchildren to the product. In response, the company has promised to implement stringent age checks in shops selling the product and will require ID checks for online purchases. British regulation also demands that Juul pods must be less than half their US strength and significantly restricts the amount of advertising the company is allowed to employ.
Hazel Cheeseman, of the public health charity ASH, said that there was “reason for optimism” about Juul’s introduction to the UK market. “It is a product that has potential to have mass appeal,” she said, notably to the 40 per cent of smokers who have not yet tried vaping.
Source: The Times, 28 July 2018
Rightwing UK thinktank ‘offered ministerial access’ to potential US donors
A recording has emerged showing Mark Littlewood, director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), offering potential US donors access to British government ministers and civil servants. The IEA, which describes itself as the UK’s original free-market thinktank, is currently campaigning for a clean-break Brexit.
The recording was produced by Unearthed, an investigations unit set up by Greenpeace amid concerns about the IEA’s role in using Brexit to lower environmental standards.
In the video, Littlewood states that his organisation is in “the Brexit influencing game”, and claims the IEA could make introductions to senior ministers. As a registered educational charity the IEA is not allowed to engage in political lobbying, and these comments will likely raise questions about the thinktank’s independence and status.
Source: The Guardian, 30 July 2018
Study suggests non-smoking teens using e-cigarettes
A recent study of four schools in Warwickshire found that of 11.4% (57) of 11-16 year olds who had ever used an e-cigarette, nearly 53% were non-smokers. Just under 40% of the teenagers in the study did not know that e-cigarettes contained nicotine or that they were addictive. The authors of the study are calling for more education about e-cigarettes.
However, they acknowledge that caution is needed when interpreting the results due to the small sample size.
Source: Mail Online, 30 July 2018
Editorial Note: This study surveyed 499 students. The results, which found 15 students who had never smoked but were currently using an e-cigarette, should be seen in the context of larger representative studies. Bauld et al (2017) analysed data covering 60,000 11-16 year olds and found rates of regular e-cigarette use of between 0.1% and 0.5% among non-smokers.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: Young People’s Use of E-Cigarettes across the United Kingdom: Findings from Five Surveys 2015-2017
Sunderland to reform Tobacco Control Alliance
Following the publication of new figures showing that Sunderland has the second highest number of adult smokers in England, health leaders have agreed to reform the Sunderland Tobacco Alliance to tackle smoking in the borough.
The data published by Public Health England shows that the smoking rate in Sunderland rose to 22.7% in 2017, bucking the national trend of steadily declining smoking rates.
The current target endorsed by Sunderland’s Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) is a smoking prevalence of 5% by 2025.
Source: Chronicle Live, 30 July 2018
US e-cigarette group Juul launches in Britain
The San Francisco vaping start-up, Juul, launched in the UK on Tuesday, gaining access to the second-largest e-cigarette market in the world. Since launching in 2015, Juul now accounts for approximately 70% of all e-cigarette sales in the US.
The company has dedicated itself to eliminating “combustible cigarettes from the face of the earth”, and wants to help the £7.4 million smokers in the UK transition to less harmful forms of nicotine consumption and ultimately stop smoking altogether.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in the UK, said: “e-cigarette use in the UK has stagnated since 2013, to the detriment of public health. If Juul takes off in the UK as it did in the US it could reboot the market and hasten the arrival of the smoke-free future we’re all hoping for.”
Source: Financial Times, 17 July 2018
Blackburn: Smokers supported to stop smoking on Hospital site
Senior figures at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust (ELHT) are offering smokers at Royal Blackburn Hospital support to help them quit.
Kevin McGee, chief executive of the ELHT, said: “What we now do is challenge in a very positive way anybody that does smoke and offer them support and offer them help. What I would say to anyone is to respect that this is a no smoking site.”
Source: This is Lancashire, 17 July 2018
Essex: Plastic box being used as an ashtray starts fire in block of flats
Fire crews have identified a plastic box being used as an ashtray as the cause of a small fire in a block of flats in Westbourne Grove, Essex.
No one was injured and smoke damage was limited to the stairwell where the box was located.
A spokesman from the fire service said: “This incident could have been worse if the fire had spread; cigarettes are the most deadly cause of house fires and this incident shows how important it is to ensure they are put right out in a suitable ashtray.”
Source: Echo News, 17 July 2018
Blackpool: Pregnant smokers to get vouchers as part of new Stop Smoking Service
Pregnant smokers in Blackpool could receive shopping vouchers and other incentives to give up smoking. This is one of a number of schemes being considered by health officials in the resort, which has a smoking in pregnancy rate of 27.8%, the highest in the UK.
The proposed new stop smoking service will offer more support to smokers to help them quit, including advice in leaflets and websites, advice on nicotine replacement therapies, and access to helplines in a bid to make the service more accessible.
Councillor Amy Cross, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for reducing health inequalities, said: “Supporting mothers-to-be to quit smoking during pregnancy helps give unborn children a good, healthy and fair start in life. Smoking during pregnancy is a major health problem and is associated with various adverse effects during pregnancy, including an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birthweight and stillbirth.”
Source: Blackpool Gazette, 17 July 2018
Sunderland: School pupils hope anti-smoking film will go viral
Pupils from Whitburn Church of England Academy in Sunderland, have produced an anti-smoking film they hope will go viral. The video was produced as part of a campaign led by South Tyneside Council and the Customs House Theatre who worked with students across the region to develop a creative campaign persuading peers to say no to smoking.
A 2017 borough health survey found smoking rates of 5% for Year 8 pupils (12-13) and 11% for Year 11 pupils (15-16), with 11% of primary school pupils stating that someone they live with smoked in the same room as them.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, lead member for independence and wellbeing, said: “Who better to lead the fight against tobacco than our creative young people! I think it’s fantastic that these students are leading the way in South Tyneside.”
Source: Sunderland Echo, 17 July 2018
India: Tobacco companies fight pictorial warnings in Supreme Court
Tobacco industry representatives have objected to a recent Supreme Court decision to increase the size of pictorial warnings on tobacco packaging from 40% of the pack size to 85%.
The Court’s decision was motivated by a petition to help consumers take informed choices when purchasing tobacco. One of the main advantages of pictorial warnings compared to warning messages is that they convey the dangers of tobacco to people who are illiterate.
The Court justified the policy on the grounds that: “[the government] want the pictorial message to be such that it would inform consumers about the evil effects of the product.”
Source: Times of India, 17 July 2018