Tobacco industry advice goes up in smoke

Fag money

Here in the Woodland we don’t like saying “We told you so”. However, in the case of tobacco industry lobbying masquerading as “evidence”, we can make an exception. In which case, We told you so. On the day the Department of Health’s review concluded it is: Highly likely that standardised packaging would serve to reduce [read the full story…]

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Smoking bans may have reduced premature births and asthma emergencies

Passive smoking

We’re still mining a rich seam of evidence summaries from the latest Eyes on Evidence.  The same issue that looked at how to encourage poorer women to be more physically active also contains an evidence summary on the impact of smoke-free legislation on population health. The summary focuses on the impact of passive smoking, and [read the full story…]

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Quitting smoking is the easy part, staying quit is hard

During 2010/11 there were 1.53 million hospital admissions for illnesses directly attributable to smoking in the UK. These admissions, along with other smoking-related expenses, cost the NHS approximately £5 billion pounds per year. Fortunately, the NHS is spending £88.2 million per year on cessation treatments, many of which have been repeatedly demonstrated to be highly [read the full story…]

Passive smoking increases the risk of bacterial meningitis in children

NICE’s Eyes on Evidence newsletter reports on a meta-analysis of observational studies looking at the incidence of bacterial meningococcal disease in relation to exposure to passive smoking. Bacterial meningitis is rare, which makes it hard to study.  There are only 2 to 6 cases per 100,000 people in the UK every year, with a mortality [read the full story…]

Mass media and smoking: cause and cure?

Smoking

Do mass media anti-smoking campaigns work? A recent Cochrane systematic review evaluated the evidence from controlled trials of mass media interventions on tobacco cessation. Not surprisingly, the reviewers found huge variation between the studies in the types of campaign they evaluated, and how they measured success. A key difficulty with this type of research is [read the full story…]

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The New York Tobacco Control Program may be cost-effective

Money, cigarettes and health

Reducing the prevalence of tobacco use is best achieved through a range of tobacco control measures designed to both prevent or reduce uptake, and encourage and support existing smokers to stop smoking. These measures can include education, taxation and cessation support, but while all of these have been shown to be effective, there remains uncertainty [read the full story…]

Uptake of plain packaging was associated with reduced satisfaction from smoking and increased will to quit

A packet of fags

We are constantly told by the tobacco lobby that we need more evidence for plain (i.e. unbranded) cigarette packaging as a public health measure. This in spite of the vast sums they spend on, er, packaging, marketing, lobbying etc.  Presumably for no benefit to themselves.  This tremendous example of commercial philanthropy in support of the [read the full story…]

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Medicines improve your chance of quitting smoking

cigarette and pills

We’ve always got plenty to say about smoking here at the Lifestyle Elf and few things make our pointy ears prick up as fast as hearing about new, high quality evidence on what can help people quit. So we’re very pleased to see a Cochrane overview on the effectiveness and safety of medicines to help [read the full story…]

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No link found between smoking and weight in young people

cigarettes and tape measure

Smoking – bad for your health, good for your waistline? Overall, weight is lower in smokers and higher in those who quit, but we know that the relationship between smoking and weight is complicated and there’s a fair bit of research seeking to understand it better. Many people think that smoking can help them keep [read the full story…]

Schools can help to prevent kids starting smoking

“See you round the back of the bike shed at lunchtime?”  That was a familiar whisper from a rebellious bunch of elf maidens when I was at school.  To be followed by a lot of giggling and a smoke cloud rising up from the aforementioned bike shed just after the bell rang.  In those days [read the full story…]