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September 26th, 2013:

ASH Daily News for 26 September 2013


Smoking ‘costs Welsh economy £800m a year’

The cost of smoking to the Welsh economy amounts to nearly £800m a year, according to a new report from ASH Wales.

The total figure is £790.66m of which the greatest expenditure is £302m spent on healthcare costs. The report also shows that lost productivity associated with premature deaths costs Wales £288m a year while £4m is lost to smoking breaks.

The Welsh Government welcomed the report and said that it was doing all it could to reduce smoking prevalence, including examining whether it would be able to go it alone in legislating for standardised packaging before Westminster.

Source: Wales Online, 25 September 2013

Mentally ill ‘dying needlessly’

Thousands of people with mental health problems in England are “dying needlessly” every year, according to a new report from the charity Rethink Mental Illness.

The deaths include thousands from causes considered to be avoidable, including smoking. Patients with mental health problems are less likely to be given support to help them quit despite 40% of cigarettes being smoked by people with mental illness.

Norman Lamb, Minister for Care and Support, said that the Government would soon be publishing a five-year action plan on how to reduce avoidable deaths, including for people with mental health problems.

Source: BBC, 26 September 2013

US: State Attorneys call on FDA to regulate e-cigarettes

40 State Attorney Generals in the US have called on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start regulating e-cigarettes in the same was as tobacco products.

The State Attorneys, who are all members of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), are urging the FDA to put in place a regulatory framework that would control the advertising, ingredients and sale of the devices to minors.

Source: BioPortfolio, 25 September 2013

Canada: Toronto to consider wider outdoor smoking ban

The Canadian city of Toronto is considering whether to expand its smokefree law to include a host of outdoor areas, including restaurant and bar patios, beaches, sportsfields and entrances to public buildings.

Councillor Joe Mihevc, chair of the city’s health board, said that the proposals were the “next step” in protecting people from tobacco smoke.

The proposals follow a series of public consultations on a comprehensive strategy for a more smokefree Toronto during which the city’s top medical officer urged the city to strengthen its smokefree law.

Source: The Toronto Star, 23 September 2013

US: ATF lost track of 420 million cigarettes from unapproved tobacco stings

Agents of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted unauthorized undercover investigations, misused $162m in profits from their operations, and lost track of at least 420 million cigarettes, according to an official on Wednesday.

Auditors found that agency operatives sold $15 million worth of illicit cigarettes in operations which were not approved either by the ATF or the US Justice Department. Officials, who were heavily criticised for a lack of oversight, have vowed to tighten standards.

Source: Mail Online, 25 September 2013

Are you thinking about quitting smoking?

Do you know anyone who is trying to quit smoking and would be interested in taking part in an online survey? If so, please pass on the following:

Psychologists at Northumbria University are conducting a study looking at how people respond to online information about quitting smoking. They are looking for smokers aged between 18-65 years who are thinking about quitting to take part. Participation is anonymous and you would receive £20 after you have completed all sessions.

Involvement would require you to complete an online survey at three time points. The first can be done as soon as you receive your login details and the survey link, and takes around 20 minutes to complete. The second (2 weeks later) and third session (3 months after the first session) take approximately 5 minutes to complete. All sessions can be completed in the convenience of your own home.

If you are interesting in taking part, please contact the researcher Dr Claire Hardy ( or 0191 227 3716) for more information.

This research has been granted ethical approval by Northumbria University’s Psychology Department (Ref: RE30-01-131677)


For more information ring (020) 7404 0242, email or visit

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