The week’s news unpacked Reply

This week’s tobacco news included stories about weight gain, life insurance and bacon butties…..

Wednesday the 13th of March was the 30th anniversary of No Smoking Day. Writing in the Huffington Post, Maura Gillespie of the British Heart Foundation explained why No Smoking Day is still so vital after all these years.  BHF follow up on this theme in their ‘final fifth’ campaign which charts important milestones in the decline in smoking prevalence from 35% of the UK population in 1984 to 20% today, ending with their pledge that No Smoking day won’t quit till every day is no smoking day.

We know that almost seven in ten smokers want to quit and one of the most feared features of quitting is potential weight gain. But do the cardiovascular health benefits of giving up compensate for any weight gain?  They most certainly do, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Another potential benefit of quitting smoking is the savings to be made, and not just on cigarettes.
Quitting can slash some life insurance premiums by half, and result in significant reduction in other forms of financial outgoings.  Smoking has hidden, associated costs but no benefits.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has commissioned an expert working group to look at both market and scientific research on e-cigarettes, and a final decision is imminent.  This will come too late for the Manchester United season ticket holder who was banned from their ground for using an e-cigarette.  We’ll keep you posted on the MHRA’s decision on the ASH Scotland website.

According to new research in the journal Tobacco Control, young people in the UK are exposed to millions of tobacco images and messages every week on TV before and after the watershed.  The authors call for regulations and guidelines on tobacco content to be reviewed to protect children and write ‘we would recommend that future television programming remove gratuitous depictions of tobacco, particularly actual smoking and tobacco branding, from programmes aimed at young people, or, in the UK, scheduled before the 2100 watershed’.

Finally, following all the press reports about the dangers of eating processed meat, if you want to accurately assess the risk factors involved in eating a bacon buttie see this great site (recommended by Cancer Research UK).

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