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ACOSH Advocacy in Action e-bulletin - 17 December

Welcome to the final edition of the ACOSH Advocacy in Action e-bulletin for 2018. 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.

ACOSH expresses its best wishes to all subscribers for a happy and safe Christmas, and prosperous New Year.

Canada: Concerns over levels of teenage vaping

Latest data shows a substanital increase in e-cigarette use by Canadian teenagers, similar to the U.S. where rates shot up 78 per cent in one year, a trend the US FDA Commissioner Dr Scott Gotlieb called an ‘epidemic’.

Cigarette smoking in Canadian teenagers also appeared to be rising for the first time in 30 years.

The data contributes to growing evidence around the potential for e-cigarettes to create earlier and more significant nicotine addiction in teens and act as a gateway to cigarettes.

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Smoking still on the way down in Australia

Latest data on smoking released by the ABS shows some encouraging trends for Australia:

• Since 1995, the proportion of adults who are daily smokers has decreased from 23.8% to 13.8% in 2017-18.

• The proportion of adults who have never smoked has increased from 49.4% in 2007-08 to 52.6% in 2014-15 and 55.7% in 2017-18.

• In 2017-18, young adults aged 18-24 years were more likely to have never smoked than any other age group.

• In 2017-18, 1.9% of 15-17-year-olds were daily smokers. A further 0.9% smoked less often than daily, while 1.7% were ex-smokers and 95.3% reported that they had never smoked.

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UK Paediatric Specialists strike back against Public Health England

“The complacency of Public Health England while thousands of children become nicotine addicted through vaping is a most pusillanimous abrogation of responsibility.”

E cigarettes: Tar Wars: The (Tobacco) Empire Strikes Back

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Does smoking cause poor mental health?

“Smoking appears to be a risk factor for poor mental health, and quitting can help improve mental health. Therefore, by failing to discourage smoking in mental health settings, and offer adequate smoking cessation support, clinicians are missing a key ingredient in mental health treatment.”

“Identifying the causal factor is particularly important given the growth in popularity of e-cigarettes in recent years—whether it is nicotine or some other constituent of tobacco smoke that causes mental health symptoms will inform public health policy around the use of e-cigarettes in psychiatric populations.”

Comment in The Lancet Psychiatry

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Tobacco smoking and schizophrenia

“New research has drawn a causal link between tobacco smoking and schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). Eight longitudinal studies were identified linking tobacco smoking and psychosis with six of the eight studies showing a statistically significant positive association between tobacco smoking and the onset of SSD.

The researchers speculate nicotine as being responsible for this association and because of this, raise urgent concern over rapidly growing e-cigarette use among young people. Policy makers, the researchers suggest, must be cautious when developing regulations for the availability of e-cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapy products and smokeless tobacco.

Moreover, care should be taken by healthcare practitioners who recommend e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products as a safe alternative to combustibles, especially when giving advice to adolescents. ”

Tobacco in Australia Facts & Issues

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Did cigarette prices fall following the introduction of plain packaging?

“In the lead up to plain packaging in Australia, tobacco companies argued that the absence of branded packaging for cigarettes would result in forced price competition between tobacco manufactures as well as the illicit tobacco trade, resulting in lower cigarette prices.

Contrary to the tobacco industry’s prediction that plain packaging would result in lower cigarette prices, a new study has recorded real cigarette prices in Australia as having risen by 15.2% in the three years following the implementation of plain packaging.

Furthermore, these price increases remained above both inflation as well as increases in excise duty. Similar arguments put forward in other countries by the tobacco industry, with the goal of impeding plain packaging legislation, should be challenged. ”

Tobacco in Australia: Facts & Issues

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E-cigarettes – new product, old tricks

“This concerted marketing strategy suggests an intensive effort by the tobacco industry to normalise alternative nicotine products despite unforeseen future health effects” The Lancet Ocology Editorial 
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Conrad Foundation Should Sever Ties with Philip Morris-Funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

Leading public health groups are calling on the Texas-based Conrad Foundation to immediately sever ties with the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, an organization founded and entirely funded by tobacco giant Philip Morris International.
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2018 Bob Elphick Medal

The 2018 Bob Elphick medal was presented to the WA Aboriginal Tobacco Control Strategic Leadership Team for its outstanding contribution to tobacco control in Western Australia.

Representatives of the WA Aboriginal Tobacco Control Strategic Leadership Team from the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West, Wheatbelt and Perth Metropolitan region were honoured to receive the 2018 award, presented by the Hon Roger Cook MLA, Deputy Premier, Minister for Health; Mental Health, at a breakfast ceremony in Perth attended by over 95 people.

Images from the NACCHO Aboriginal Health News.

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Tobacco Control News

‘A disturbing complacency’: We’re losing focus on tobacco control – Sydney Morning Herald

JUUL Takes a Page from Big Tobacco –  East Bay Express

Turkey adopts plain packaging law in fight against smoking – Daily Sabah

As the rest of the world quits, Indonesia wants lax rules for tobacco investment – The Jakarta Post

Altria shutters its e-cigarette brands as it eyes Juul, awaits iQOS decision – CNBC

E-cigarettes boost the risk of heart attack – Harvard Heart Letter

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