From Action on Smoking and Health <[email protected]>
Subject ASH Daily News for 13 March 2024
Date March 13, 2024 10:44 AM
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** 13 March 2024

** UK

** People damaged by smoking in the North East to speak in Parliament (#2)

** Coleen Nolan urges smokers to quit after health scare (#4)

** Menthol cigarettes still being smoked despite ‘ban’ on flavour (#1)

** NHS Trust announces smoking cessation support for pregnant women across Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury (#3)

** Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service stands behind National No Smoking Day (#6)

** UK

** People damaged by smoking in the North East to speak in Parliament

People from the North East will be in Parliament today to call on the Government to commit to creating a smokefree generation.

Campaigners, young people and cancer survivors - like Sue Mountain and Cathy Hunt - will be joining Action on Smoking and Health, MPs and Peers, Fresh and members of Durham Youth Council at the event held by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health in Parliament.

People from across the country will be at the event to tell their stories about the impact of smoking on their lives, why they want to grow up in a smokefree UK and why parliamentarians should back the vision for a smokefree generation.

Cathy Hunt, from County Durham, started smoking at the age of 11. She had half a lung removed when she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015 just before her 50th birthday. She underwent surgery again last year when the cancer returned and also had a kidney removed after she was diagnosed with kidney cancer.

Fresh North East welcomed a Government announcement by the Prime Minister in January to press ahead with a historic new law to “stop the start” of new smokers by making it illegal for any child who turned 14 last year or younger to be ever sold lethal tobacco products in England. However, to date no moves have been made to move forward with legislation.

The event follows new polling last week showing that more than two thirds of the public want to see the country free from smoking and new analysis from UCL which found that every day 350, 18-25 year olds start smoking regularly.

Ailsa Rutter, OBE Director of Fresh and Balance, said: “I’m proud to see so many from the North East at this important event asking parliamentarians to do something amazing and to end the harm of smoking.

“Countless families in our region have suffered from the death and diseases of smoking. Adult smoking rates in the North East have more than halved since the turn of the century but people still feel the harm and the pain.

“There is huge public support for a smokefree generation – and no wonder when most smokers start as children on an addiction which costs tens of thousands of pounds and kills 2 out of 3.

“The next few months will give our parliamentarians one of the biggest chances they will ever have to prevent our biggest cause of cancer, stop the start of young smokers and create a better life free of addiction for our children. We are urging them to take this chance without delay – it will be a significant moment to help transform the nation’s health and ease a massive pressure on our NHS and economy.”

Source: Metro Radio, 13 March 2024

See also: Fresh & Balance - No Smoking Day plea to Government – create a smokefree generation ([link removed]) | ASH - Every day 350 young adults aged 18-25 start smoking regularly ([link removed])
Read Here ([link removed])

** Coleen Nolan urges smokers to quit after health scare

Singer and presenter Coleen Nolan has urged smokers to follow in her footsteps after she kicked the habit after 40 years of smoking.

The 58-year-old recently opened up about how she thought she was “going to die” when she was struggling to breathe as a result of an acute chest infection.

After the health scare she gave up cigarettes and has not smoked for more than three months.

She has joined forces with leading health charities Cancer Research UK, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and Asthma and Lung UK and the Government to urge smokers to quit on No Smoking Day.

“I smoked for about 40 years and was heavily influenced by my friends and family around me,” she said.

“At such a young age I wasn’t aware of the health risks of smoking and soon found myself becoming addicted.

“Following a recent health scare, I realised how precious life is and became determined to quit, not just for my own health, but so I can be there fully for my children and grandchildren.

“To anyone out there thinking of giving up smoking, my advice is do it.”

Professor Sir Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said: “Cigarettes kill. They cause at least 15 different types of cancers and increase your risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions.

“Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health – no matter your age or how long you have smoked.”

Public health minister Dame Andrea Leadsom said: “Cigarettes are responsible for 64,000 deaths a year in England – no other consumer product kills up to two-thirds of its users.”

Source: Daily Mail, 13 March 2024
Read Here ([link removed])

** Menthol cigarettes still being smoked despite ‘ban’ on flavour

One in seven UK smokers still use menthol cigarettes despite the flavour being banned in 2020, new research shows.

Experts said tobacco firms had exploited “loopholes” in the law to sell legal alternatives such as menthol-flavoured drops, which can be added to normal cigarettes.

Flavoured cigarettes were banned in 2020 in the UK and EU, under legislation designed to tackle youth smoking. Menthol cigarettes are popular in the young as their minty taste is thought to be less harsh and easier to inhale.

A study by University College London looked at survey data from 67,000 adults in the UK since 2020, finding that the ban had failed to significantly reduce the use of menthol-flavoured cigarettes.

In May 2023, some 14 per cent of adult smokers used menthol cigarettes — the equivalent of nearly one million people in the UK. This compares to 16 per cent in October 2020. Use is highest in young people aged 18-24, with one in five smokers in this age group using menthol cigarettes in early 2023.

The study found that most of these menthol smokers are not buying cigarettes illegally, but are using legal accessories such as menthol-flavoured drops, filter balls or cards. They called for new legislation to close the loopholes and ban use of all menthol products.

Dr Ian Walker, Cancer Research UK’s executive director of policy, said: “Smoking is still the leading cause of cancer, causing around 150 cancer cases across the UK every single day, so the number of people continuing to smoke menthol-flavoured cigarettes is deeply concerning. These findings show why it’s vital that measures to tackle smoking don’t contain legal loopholes which can be exploited by the tobacco industry.

“We support the government’s plans to include all tobacco products in proposed legislation to raise the age of sale of tobacco, which will help prevent the next generation from ever taking up smoking in the first place.”

Analysis by UCL researchers for Action on Smoking Health suggests that since legislation to phase out smoking was announced in the King’s speech in November, some 42,500 young people aged 18-25 have started smoking, with 350 taking up the habit each day.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said: “It is shocking to realise that hundreds of young adults start smoking every day, risking a lifetime of addiction. Raising the age of sale is vital if we are to put an end to the dreadful toll of disease, disability and premature death caused by smoking. We urge the government to put the bill to parliament before the Easter break. Time is running out if the legislation is to pass before the general election.”

Source: The Times, 13 March 2024

See also: Buss, vera; Tattan-Birch, harry; Cox, Sharon; Bauld, Linda; Shahab, Lion; Brown, James; (2024) Smoking prevalence and purchasing of menthol cigarettes since the menthol flavour ban in Great Britain: a population-based survey between 2020 and 2023 ([link removed]) . Tobacco Control

ASH - Every day 350 young adults aged 18-25 start smoking regularly ([link removed])
Read Here ([link removed].)

** NHS Trust announces smoking cessation support for pregnant women across Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury

In honour of national No Smoking Day on Wednesday, the Mid Yorkshire Trust’s Tobacco Dependency Advisors is reminding expectant women and birthing people of the support available to help them to quit.

The national day, which takes place annually on the second Wednesday of March, is designed as a time for people to reach out to friends or family members who suffer from nicotine addiction.

In honour of the day, the Trust, which covers Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury Hospitals, is encouraging pregnant smokers to find support through their Tobacco Dependency Advisors.

Shelly Gascoigne, Specialist Midwife for Smokefree Pregnancy at the Trust said: “Maternal smoking is known to be a leading cause of poor birth outcomes, including stillbirth and miscarriage, and a contributing factor to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

“Stopping smoking is one of the most important things women can do in pregnancy to ensure the health and development of their baby so it’s really important to me that they feel supported to be smoke-free during pregnancy, and our in-house Smokefree Pregnancy Service helps to make that a reality.”

Emma Barry was recently supported by one of the Trust’s Tobacco Dependency Advisors.

She said: “My Tobacco Dependency Advisor supported me throughout my pregnancy and continues to do so. At no time did I feel pressured to stop smoking and I didn’t feel judged. Now I’m 25 weeks smoke- free and couldn’t be happier.

"“I feel proud of myself and feel I’ve done what’s best not only for me but for my unborn baby.”

Source: Wakefield Express, 12 March 2024
Read Here ([link removed])

** Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service stands behind National No Smoking Day

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is supporting National No Smoking Day on Wednesday, March 13.

While smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK, accidental fires started by cigarettes and other smoking materials kill more people than any other type of fire.

These incidents are most likely to happen in the living room, closely followed by the bedroom.

HWFRS is calling on smokers to quit if they can but to otherwise always be vigilant when smoking or disposing of materials.

Emma Roberts, HWFRS Head of Prevention, said: “No Smoking Day provides us with the ideal opportunity to encourage people to consider giving up smoking.

“Where this isn’t possible, we are asking people to be extra vigilant when putting out cigarettes.”

Source: The Ross Gazette, 12 March 2024
Read Here ([link removed])
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