ASH Daily News for 6 September 2019



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UK

  • Blog: What does the Spending Round mean for public health?

International

  • Tests show contaminant found in marijuana vaping products linked to deadly lung illnesses
  • Second US death linked to vaping is reported in Oregon
  • Mice study finds vaping could harm fertility and delay conception

Link of the week

  • Consultation for England and Wales on the impact of tobacco laws introduced between 2010 and 2016

UK

Blog: What does the Spending Round mean for public health?

Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, president of the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) comments on Wednesday’s Spending Review:

“After years of deep cuts, a settlement even slightly above inflation is positive and we warmly welcome it.”

“However, this modest and short-term rise falls short of ending austerity for public health. Inflation is just one of the cost pressures facing public health budgets. Across many services, such as sexual health, demand continues to grow. We can expect new calls to achieve ‘more for less’ – while performance has largely held up partly due to innovation, this perilous juggling act will continue to be a huge challenge next year.”

“The huge reduction in funding in recent years matters. Analysis by the Health Foundation shows that the Public Health Grant, which currently amounts to £3.1bn a year, is now £850m lower in real-terms than initial allocations in 2015/16. With population growth factored in, £1bn will be needed to restore funding to 2015/16 levels. The Spending Round has not undone the cuts of recent years that have led to a reduction in, for example, smoking services to help people quit and fewer health visitors to support families.”

“Finally, directors of public health and colleagues in local government know all too well that public health is about more than the Public Health Grant and health services. It is the social determinants – education, housing, transport, income – that do more to shape our health than the services that pick up the pieces when ill-health strikes.”

“The presumption of year-on-year of cuts to public health is hopefully a thing of the past. We must now fortify our collective voice to renew the case for an ambitious, long-term settlement for public health and local government. We need a multi-year package which ensures properly funded core services and enables councils to invest in prevention and wellbeing, in creating heathy places where communities can live well and flourish.”

Source: The Municipal Journal, 5 September 2019

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International

Tests show contaminant found in marijuana vaping products linked to deadly lung illnesses

State and federal health officials investigating mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping have found the same chemical in samples of marijuana products used by people sickened in different parts of the country and who used different brands of products in recent weeks.

Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the chemical in cannabis products in samples collected from patients who fell ill across the country. FDA officials shared that information with state health officials during a telephone briefing this week, according to several officials who took part in the call. The same chemical was also found in nearly all cannabis samples from patients who fell ill in New York in recent weeks, a state health department spokeswoman said.

State and federal health authorities have said they are focusing on the role of contaminants or counterfeit substances as a likely cause of vaping-related lung illnesses. Many patients have told officials and clinicians that they bought cannabis products off the street. Many of those who have fallen ill say they have vaped products containing marijuana, but some also used traditional nicotine e-cigarettes. Many report using both. Authorities said they are not ruling out adulterants in nicotine vaping products.

However, the FDA also told state officials Wednesday that its lab tests found nothing unusual in nicotine products that had been collected from sick patients, according to another person who took part in the call.

Source: MSN News, 5 September 2019

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Second US death linked to vaping is reported in Oregon

A second person has died in the US from a severe lung disease apparently caused by vaping, public health officials in the state of Oregon have said.

The person was said to have fallen ill after trying a product bought at a dispensary for recreational cannabis.

The first vaping death was reported in Illinois in August.

Experts are investigating a mysterious lung disease linked to use of e-cigarettes which has affected more than 200 people around the country.

Several of the cases – which have emerged since the end of June – involve vaping THC, the main active compound in cannabis, experts from the US Centers for Disease Control Prevention said.

Oregon health official Ann Thomas said it was not clear whether the most recently reported victim’s illness was caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or the vaping device itself.

Ms Thomas said the patient, who died in July, was hospitalised and put on a ventilator. They were “otherwise healthy and quickly became very ill”, she said.

Source: BBC News, 5 September 2019

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Mice study finds vaping could harm fertility and delay conception

A study by the Endocrine Society has found that e-cigarette usage may impair fertility and pregnancy outcomes. The researchers found that exposing female mice to vapour from e-cigarettes resulted in both decreased embryo implantation and a significant delay in conceiving a first litter. Female offspring exposed to the vapour in utero also failed to gain as much weight as animals who were not exposed to it after eight and a half months.

It is unclear whether the findings could apply to humans as well as mice. The reason for this link in mice remains uncertain.

Source: i News, 5 September 2019

See also:
Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group. Use of electronic cigarettes before, during and after pregnancy: A guide for maternity and other healthcare professionals. 2019

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Link of the week

Consultation for England and Wales on the impact of tobacco laws introduced between 2010 and 2016

The Department of Health and Social Care is conducting a post-implementation review looking at how effective the tobacco legislation that came into force between 2010 and 2016 has been.

This consultation closes at 11:59pm on 15 September 2019. If you have any queries get in touch with john.waldron@ash.org.uk

View Consultation