Links of the week
Number of over-65s needing 24-hour care ‘to rise by third over next 20 years’
The number of adults aged 65 and over needing round-the-clock care will rise by over a third to more than one million during the next 20 years, experts have suggested. Moreover, the research indicates the number of over-85s requiring 24-hour care will almost double to 446,000 in England by 2035.
Researchers used the Population Ageing and Care Simulation (PACSim) model to examine changing levels of dependency in older people. PACSim accounts for multiple risk factors for dependence and disability, including a wide range of sociodemographic factors (such as level of education) and health behaviours (for example, smoking status and physical activity), as well as 12 chronic diseases and geriatric conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, cancer and depression.
The Lancet, Forecasting the care needs of the older population in England over the next 20 years: estimates from the Population Ageing and Care Simulation (PACSim) modelling study
The Independent, Social care crisis: Over-85s needing 24 hour care set to double by 2035, major study shows
BBC News, Numbers of elderly in 24-hour care set to double by 2035
Source: The Telegraph, 31 August 2018
Wales: Highest UK rates of smoking in pregnancy is cause for concern
An estimated 11,864 unborn babies are exposed to harm from tobacco smoke each year in Wales. And worryingly, as many as 16% of women continue to smoke throughout their pregnancy – the highest of all the UK nations. Midwives across Wales are therefore raising awareness of the dangers of smoking and providing access to support to help pregnant women quit.
Smoking in pregnancy puts both mother and baby at risk of significant harm. It doubles the chances of the baby being stillborn or having a heart defect. Even secondhand smoke can have a devastating effect on the health of the child – increasing the chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by 45%.
Kate Evans, public health specialist midwife at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, said: “We know a high percentage of pregnant women smoke. We already work with mums-to-be who smoke and know how hard it can be to quit. We also appreciate the bravery of taking that step to seek help and as midwives we want to reassure women that we are here to support and advise, not judge. If you are pregnant and smoking please discuss it with your midwife who will be able to signpost you to cessation support to enable you to quit. Quit for you, quit for your baby.”
Source: Wales Online, 28 August 2018
Terminally ill cancer patient shows effects of smoking 300,000 cigarettes in a lifetime
Anthony Pillage, a 57-year old from Coventry, has shared harrowing pictures and videos documenting his final months, following his battle with terminal cancer. The pictures and videos have received more than a quarter of a million views.
Anthony smoked more than 300,000 cigarettes in his life. He started smoking at the age of 17 due to peer pressure, and continued for a further 36 years, at times going through 40 cigarettes (two packets) a day. He was diagnosed with a thymic carcinoma, a rare cancer that grew to the size of a grapefruit and engulfed his heart and lung.
“I put up a video where I had very bad pain and couldn’t breathe online to show the perils of smoking, within two days it hit 100,000 views,” Anthony said. “Over 600 people have said they have given up smoking and the way they have written it I believe them. Even more pledged to see a doctor about cessation. I’m not sure how many months I have left, but the message I have is a powerful one and I want to make some good of the time I have left.”
Source: Metro, 30 August 2018
Opinion: Tobacco’s love of social media shows it can’t be trusted
Ben Williams, author at The London Economic, takes a look at insidious tobacco advertising techniques.
“New research has shown the tobacco giants have a new favourite marketing trick: using Instagram influencers as Trojan horses to infiltrate the youth market. The findings only reinforce the view that the industry will stop at nothing to maintain sales, despite its products’ rather unfortunate tendency to kill its customers. As the world’s powers gather to discuss how to regulate the industry and stop tobacco smuggling, it’s critical that they keep this in mind.
The newly published study, funded by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) and led by California PR expert Robert Kozinets, analysed over 100 social media campaigns by the ‘big four’ – Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Brands. The researchers conducted anonymous interviews with several Instagram stars who had been paid by the quartet, and found that the tobacconists’ PR teams were training them in what slogans to push, then sending them off to take selfies at glitzy parties emblazoned with corporate branding. In total, these campaigns had racked up over 25 million views worldwide.”
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, New Investigation Exposes How Tobacco Companies Market Cigarettes on Social Media in the U.S. and Around the World
Source: The London Economic, 30 August 2018
Israel: Ban on smoking in public places to see significant expansion
New Health Ministry rules significantly expanding the smoking ban in public places will come into effect on the 1st of September 2018.
Under the new Health Ministry guidelines, smoking will be entirely prohibited — including in any previously specially designated areas — in government offices, courts, religious councils, hospitals and clinics. It will also be banned at concerts, conferences, demonstrations and any open-air event of more than 50 people, swimming pools, open-air sports facilities, playgrounds, zoos, entrances to preschools and in closed car parks. Moreover, institutions will be allowed to set a non-smoking area at a distance of 10 meters from the entrance.
Local municipality inspectors will be authorised to hand out fines of NIS 1,000 to private individuals and NIS 5,000 to owners of public spaces where the rules are broken. The move was pushed by the Health Ministry after years of accusations of inaction in the face of an epidemic that claims thousands of lives in Israel every year.
Source: The Times of Israel, 31 August 2018
Philippines: Smoking in public prohibited on Boracay island
The Philippines’ Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has prohibited smoking in public places on the island of Boracay. The ban covers not only the beach but other public places in Boracay. ASH Philippines, the Philippine’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance (FCAP), and the Ecowaste Coalition have commended the decision.
“We laud Sec. Puyat for her recent pronouncement that the island of Boracay will now be smokefree. She is the only Secretary that has the audacity to implement this policy and this only goes to show that she is a true servant of the Filipino people,” said Roberto Del Rosario, ASH President.
Meanwhile, the green-group Ecowaste Coalition said that it welcomes the DOT’s initiative, which will protect urban, rural and marine ecosystems from cigarette butts. “Although small and lightweight, cigarette butts take several years to degrade, contain many harmful chemicals, pose environmental health risks, and waste public funds for cleanup and disposal,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator for Ecowaste Coalition.
Source: EcoWaste Coalition, 31 August 2018
Russia: Decline in tobacco deaths
Life expectancy in Russia between 1994 and 2016 increased by more than 7 years, according to the most extensive health study on the nation ever conducted. The study found that age-adjusted rates of premature death from smoking dropped by nearly 34% over the same time period.
“These are significant accomplishments,” said Dr. Mohsen Naghavi, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington. “Russia’s public health officials deserve recognition for their efforts lowering the country’s burden of disease.”
However, the study suggests the nation continues to face considerable health challenges. Researchers found that more than half of all deaths in Russia are attributable to behavioural risk factors, such as smoking, alcohol use, dietary risks, low physical activity, drug use, and unsafe sex.
Source: Science Magazine, 31 August 2018
US: More Americans are quitting smoking for good
The overall smoking rate among US adults has hit an all-time low, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Preliminary data from the National Health Interview Survey showed that smoking rates declined from 15.5% in 2016 to 13.9% in 2017.
“Cigarette smoking among adults has been on a downward trajectory for decades,” said Brian King, deputy director for research translation in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “It’s the lowest percentage we’ve seen since we started monitoring smoking rates in 1965.” The decline has been the combined result of a suite of tobacco control measures including taxation, public health campaigns, smokefree laws, and access to smoking cessation programs.
However, 34 million Americans still smoke, and an estimated 480,000 Americans still die each year as a result of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. Dr. Charlie Shaeffer, a California-based cardiologist who has been active in tobacco control efforts, warned that “The numbers have declined but seem to be plateauing.”
Source: Medical Xpress, August 30 2018
Links of the week
Cigarette litter causes significant damage to marine life. Yet only 53% of Brits think that cigarette butts get washed into the sea if they get dropped, blown or washed down the drain. Dropped cigarette butts are the most common form of littering seen across the UK, and just under 39% smokers – equivalent to 3.6 million in the UK – admit to throwing a cigarette butt down a drain within the past month. 11% of smokers do not even consider cigarette butts to be litter.
This week, Keep Britain Tidy has therefore launched a new campaign to tackle cigarette related litter, urging smokers to #BinTheButt. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness amongst smokers and highlight the link between the cigarette butt they drop on the street or down the drain and the impact it has on the marine environment.
Source: Keep Britain Tidy
Where there’s smoke…
TakeAPart, in collaboration with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), is raising awareness about the deceptive strategies deployed by tobacco companies to get the next generation addicted to cigarettes.
CTFK research has found that tobacco companies are secretly paying social media stars to advertise their brand on people’s newsfeeds. Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Brands are all subverting tobacco advertising laws, flying under the radar of government regulators and abusing the policies of social media platforms to market cigarettes to youth. It’s all part of a deceptive strategy to get the next generation addicted.
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.
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
Wales: Smoking ban plan for playgrounds and hospital grounds
A ban on smoking in the outdoor grounds of hospitals and schools in Wales has moved a step closer. The Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, has launched a consultation, with the ban planned for summer 2019.
Voluntary bans are currently in place in some school and hospital grounds and also in public playgrounds. If the new law is passed, it will mean patients and visitors will have to leave hospital grounds to smoke. This would contribute to a change in culture around smoking, by presenting it as unacceptable in places where children could be influenced or where good health is meant to be promoted.
Public health experts believe smoking still accounts for more than 5,000 deaths in Wales each year, around one in every six of all deaths in people aged 35 and over.
Source: BBC News, 25 May 2018
Somerset: Over 1,000 babies born smokefree
The Smokefree Somerset Alliance recently celebrated the news that over 1,000 babies have now been born smokefree as a result of their Mums2Be Smokefree service. Midwives now refer women to this Somerset County Council funded Mums2Be service, where specialist advisors work with them on a one-to-one basis throughout their pregnancy, helping them to quit smoking and stay quit.
Councillor Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing at Somerset County Council, said: “Smoking in pregnancy is a major public health challenge and one where we are making good progress. It remains one of the few modifiable risk factors in pregnancy. There are significantly increased risks for the pregnant woman and baby due to smoking and pregnant women who smoke increase their risk of early miscarriage. I would encourage any smoker who is either pregnant or planning to start a family to get support to stop smoking immediately.”
Source: Somerset County Council Newsroom, 24 May 2018
Australia: Are tobacco health warnings are burning out?
Explicit images and dire health warnings advertised on tobacco packaging to deter smokers may be losing their impact, a Queensland researcher has found.
Aaron Drovandi, a pharmacy lecturer and PhD candidate at James Cook University, analysed the response of more than 900 people, including both smokers and non-smokers, to shock advertising tactics used on tobacco packaging.
He found younger consumers with less exposure to tobacco packaging were less jaded than older people, but were more likely to ignore health warnings. Overall, however, research participants believed health messaging had a greater deterrent value than those without, with more than 80% still supporting the warnings.
Source: This is Money, 24 May 2018
New Zealand: Expert tells Government to ban cigarette sales by 2025 as smokefree goal is “a train wreck for Maori and Pasifika”
A Maori health leader and anti-smoking campaigner has told politicians they should pass a law now to make selling cigarettes illegal by 2025.
The chief executive for Maori Public Health Lance Norman sounded a warning to the first combined meeting of the Health and Maori Affairs select committees that the goal of making New Zealand smokefree in seven years time will not be achieved. Currently 35% of Maori smoke and 25% of Pasifika.
One suggestion was to to ban the sale of cigarettes, with Mr Norman stating, “you should pass legislation now to make it illegal to sell cigarettes by 2025.”
Source: One News, 23 May 2018
New Zealand: Response: A ban on cigarettes would criminalise addiction
Banning cigarettes in New Zealand would be a premature and unjust step for those already addicted, smokefree activist says. This comes after calls for the government to move towards banning cigarettes. Boyd Broughton, from Action for Smokefree Ateoroa, said there are a number of steps that need to be taken before New Zealand considers banning smoking.
“The problem with banning something is that if it’s legal and then one day it’s banned you make criminals of people who were previously addicted to it and that’s the issue that we face if we make it illegal immediately,” Mr Broughton said.
Source: One News, 23 May 2018
USA: Using Facebook to help young adults to quit smoking
A national clinical trial testing a smoking cessation intervention for young adults that was conducted entirely on Facebook has found that smokers are 2.5 times more likely to quit after three months with the Facebook-based treatment than if they were referred to an alternative online quit-smoking program. The study was published on the 24th of May in the journal Addiction.
Researchers said they believe the method is promising, and that it can be used effectively to support short-term positive behaviour change, especially among young adult smokers. This is especially interesting because this has been a challenging group to reach and treat.
Source: Medical Xpress, 24 May 2018
USA: Lung cancer incidence in young women surpasses that in young men
A collaborative study between the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute finds rates of lung cancer, historically higher among men than women, have flipped among white Americans and Hispanic Americans born since the mid-1960s.
However, smoking behaviours have become increasingly similar between men and women in the United States, with previous reports indicating incidence rates among women and men were converging. As a result, the historical patterns of higher incidence rates of lung cancer among men than among women have reversed among white Americans and Hispanic Americans born since the mid-1960s.
The authors conclude that this “may foreshadow a higher future burden of overall lung cancer among women than among men as younger cohorts age, which further underscores the need to intensify anti tobacco measures to decrease smoking among young women.”
New England Journal of Medicine, Higher lung cancer incidence in young women than young men in the united states
Source: Ecancer news, 24 May 2018
Damien Moore (Southport)
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the sale of illegal tobacco.
Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury
The joint HMRC/Border Force strategy to tackle illicit tobacco (‘Tackling Illicit Tobacco: From leaf to light’) published on 24 March 2015 reinforced the government’s commitment to tackle illicit tobacco at all points in the supply chain. This was further demonstrated by increased investment in resources to fight this fraud announced at Summer Budget 2015 and Budget 2016.
Effective action requires collaboration across government and HMRC and Border Force work closely with other enforcement agencies, including Trading Standards and the police to target those involved in the fraud. In the last two years alone, over 2.8 billion illicit cigarettes and over 660 tonnes of hand-rolling tobacco have been seized resulting in approximately 700 prosecutions.
HMRC has also reviewed the impact of sanctions and is currently developing options, with particular focus on the approach taken to repeat offenders.
In accordance with international commitments, HMRC is also developing a new track and trace system for tobacco products. This will go live in May 2019 and will make it easier to identify where genuine product has been diverted into the illicit market and more difficult for illicit goods to enter the legitimate market.
Source: Hansard, 24 May 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
ASH response to Welsh Government consultation on smoking in prisons.ASH_welshprisonsconsultationresponse.pdf