ACOSH Advocacy in Action - 13 June

Welcome to the latest edition of the ACOSH Advocacy in Action e-bulletin for 2019. We aim to provide topical information on advocacy for tobacco control in Western Australia, Nationally and around the world. Please forward to others who may be interested. Thank you for your support.The work of ACOSH is generously supported by Healthway and LotteryWest.

Hardening or softening? An observational study of changes to the prevalence of hardening indicators in Victoria, Australia, 2001–2016

Research by Brennan and collegues published in Tobacco Control reports no evidence for the hardening of smokers in Victoria over the past 16 years, adding to the evidence base against the hypothesis that remaining smokers are “hard-core” and incapable of quitting.

“Rather than supporting the modification or even abandonment of the current strategy, our findings show the importance of sustaining and strengthening Victoria’s comprehensive, evidence-based tobacco control policies. Such interventions could be implemented alongside enhanced efforts targeting and supporting disadvantaged groups who, despite showing no evidence of hardening, nonetheless experience a disproportionate burden from tobacco use.”

“This Victorian research is entirely consistent with a recent international review of the published evidence – the hardening hypothesis is now limp,” said Maurice Swanson, Chief Executive ACOSH.

See also 
Editorial in Tobacco Control by Richard Edwards Hardening is dead, long live softening; time to focus on reducing disparities in smoking


Electronic Cigarette Use and Myocardial Infarction Among Adults in the US Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health

What Is New?
• Both e‐cigarettes and combustible cigarettes are independently associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction.• Dual use of e‐cigarettes and combustible cigarettes is riskier than using either product alone and switching from combustible cigarettes to e‐cigarettes is not associated with lower risk of myocardial infarction than continuing to smoke; complete cessation is the only way to reduce risk of myocardial infarction.

• These results are unlikely to be because of reverse causality, where smokers who had myocardial infarctions started using e‐cigarettes in an effort to quit smoking.

What Are the Clinical Implications?
E‐cigarettes should not be promoted or prescribed as a less risky alternative to combustible cigarettes and should not be recommended for smoking cessation among people with or at risk of myocardial infarction. “



Evidence and E-Cigarettes: Explaining English Exceptionalism

Commentary by Professor Martin McKee in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) on how Public Health England (PHE) and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) came to different positions on e-cigarettes.

See also
The E-Cigarette Debate: What Counts as Evidence?



The Philip Morris-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World: tax return sheds light on funding activities

“Of the $80 million annual donation from Philip Morris International, the Foundation spent $6·46 million on research grants in 2018, $7·59 million on communications (the majority of which was spent on public relations organisations), and $7·03 million on staffing. $47·45 million remain unspent. With only a further $19·2 million of grant funding identified as approved for future payment, the Foundation appears to be struggling to fund research using the money it has received from the tobacco industry.

This greater expenditure on public relations than on research does not match the picture the Foundation paints of itself as a scientific body but instead supports the growing consensus that the Foundation provides a key public relations function for Philip Morris International.”


Suburbs with the worst smoking rates in Australia revealed

“The Australian Council on Smoking and Health argued reform was needed to ensure suburbs like Bridgewater and Mount Druitt were not left behind.

Chief executive Maurice Swanson said strategies such as plain packaging laws and increased taxation on tobacco were effective, but more should be done.

“The key missing ingredients to Australia’s approach to smoking are a national TV advertising campaign to encourage people to make quit attempts,” he said.

“We haven’t had a national campaign like this since 2013 and that’s despite the Federal Government receiving, this year, $12 billion in tobacco tax revenue and a projected $17 billion in the coming financial year.

“We also need resources and priority to ensuring that smoking is addressed when [smokers] come into contact with their health services.”


Chevrons, barcodes and arrows: PMI’s continued subliminal promotion of combustible products

Philip Morris continues to use innovative ways to promote Malboro cigarettes through its sponsorship of the Ferrari Formula 1 racing team reaching millions of current smokers and potential smokers.


What is the prevalence of regular smoking among 12-17 year-old West Australian students?



More misinformation from Philip Morris International

“Brazen Philip Morris summary: “We’re working at reentering the civil and civilized society”. But an industry that knowingly causes 7 million deaths a year, markets to the young and opposes measures to curb its sales has no place in a civilized society.” @DrOliviaDoll1, Senior Lecturer at the Subiaco College of Veterinary Science.


From the archives circa March 1982

“Dr William Whitby was a general practitioner in Sydney who, from 1978 until about 1987, self published two books extolling the virtues of smoking and ridiculing anti-smoking claims. Privately the tobacco industry regarded him as “nutty”, while nonetheless believing that his views should be promoted. They quietly supported him by distributing his book, offering legal advice, and persuading him to take media training. Many Australians would have been exposed to his views.”

Chapman S “It is possible he is a kind of nut”: how the tobacco industry quietly promoted Dr William Whitby Tobacco Control 2003;12:iii4-iii6.


Tobacco Control News

FDA finalizes guidance for premarket tobacco product applications for electronic nicotine delivery systems as part of commitment to continuing a strong oversight of e-cigarettes – US Food & Drug Administration

Kicking the habit: Most large agencies swear off e-cigarette clients – PR Week

‘I had pain all over my body’: Italy’s tainted tobacco industry – The Guardian

Vaping companies reprimanded for violating tobacco ad rules on Facebook, Instagram – CNBC

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