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May 23rd, 2013:

ASH Daily News for 23 May

23 May 2013

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BAT employs former senior police officer

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, a former chief constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (today known as the Police Service of Northern Ireland) has become the latest former senior police officer to gain appointment with the tobacco industry.

He joins Will O’Reilly, previously of Scotland Yard and now of Philip Morris, and Peter Sheridan, another former senior Northern Ireland officer, in working with tobacco multinationals.

Peter Sheridan founded the campaign group the Common Sense Alliance to lobby against plain packs. The group was later found to be supported by British American Tobacco.

Source: The Times (subscription required), 22 May 2013

Beating cancer doesn’t make you kick habit

People who have been successfully treated for cancer are no more likely to quit smoking after being declared disease free, according to a new study.

The British study of more than 5,000 adults found that cancer survivors were more likely to drink more, smoke, and live a more sedentary lifestyle compared to individuals who remained cancer free.

The results of the study challenge the myth that a diagnosis of cancer can act as a “wake up call” in motivating individuals to take steps to lead a healthier life.

Source: The Times (subscription required), 22 May 2013

Ireland: Taoiseach conducts formal talks with tobacco industry

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has conducted discussions with senior members of the tobacco industry – the first time any such meeting between industry representatives and an Irish premier has taken place.

Although the officials declined to comment on the focus of the meeting a Government source indicated that discussions had revolved around efforts to reduce the illicit trade.

Source: The Irish Times, 23 May 2013

Cigarette giant looks for ad agency

British American Tobacco is seeking an advertising agency to assist in the launch of its own brand of electronic cigarette.

The company is aiming to launch its Vype e-cigarette next year.

Source: Brand Republic, 23 May 2013

US: H. pylori, smoking trends, and gastric cancer

An American study has concluded that a reduction in smoking trends combined with the successful treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection over recent decades has accounted for almost half of the observed decline in stomach cancer.

The link between H. pylori infection and stomach cancer was only established after pioneering work by Robin Warren and Barry Marhsall who reversed decades of medical doctrine in linking the bacteria with peptic ulcers. Marshall famously imbibed a broth containing the bacteria to prove this was the case, later sharing a Nobel Prize with Warren for his efforts.

However this latest study, conducted by researchers from Harvard University, shows how eliminating modifiable risks, such as smoking, can have a significant effect in reducing the risk of disease.

Source: National Cancer Institute at the NIH, 22 May 2013