Hiding in plain sight: Treating tobacco dependency in the NHS: A report by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians

Royal College of Physicians, June 2018

Report from the Royal College of Physicians that addresses the harms and costs arising from smoking in patients, and argues for a new approach to treating their addiction.  It identifies giving smokers the help they need to quit smoking while in hospital will save lives, improve quality of life as well as increasing life expectancy, and help to reduce the current £1 billion per year cost to the NHS of smoking by patients and staff.

It also argues that:

  • Treating tobacco dependency is not just about preventing disease: in many cases it represents effective disease treatment. Clinicians working in all areas of medicine can improve their patients’ lives by helping them to quit.
  • Current models of delivering stop smoking services separately from mainstream NHS services, while successful in the past, may now not be the best approach because the patient has to seek help themselves
  • Most health professionals receive little or no training in treating smokers
    The NHS does not collect data on smoking treatment delivery, or have a payment tariff for treating tobacco dependency
  • Smoking treatment also tends to be squeezed out, even in the management of diseases caused by smoking, by other, less cost-effective interventions.

Click here to view the full report.

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Tobacco Control Plan delivery plan 2017 to 2022

Department of Health and Social Care, June 2018

This delivery plan will monitor how the aims of the tobacco control plan for England are being met. specific milestones and what is expected at national and local levels. It includes actions for:

  • government departments
  • national agencies
  • local partnerships

The plan will be updated as new actions are identified and existing ones are completed.

Click here to view the report.

Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products 2018: A report commissioned by Public Health England

Public Health England, February 2018

This report has been commissioned to summarise evidence to underpin policy and regulation of e-cigarettes/vaping devices.  It finds:

  • The addictiveness of nicotine depends on the delivery system.
  • It is possible that the addictiveness of tobacco cigarettes may be enhanced by compounds in the smoke other than nicotine.
  • As e-cigarettes have evolved, their nicotine delivery has improved. This could mean that their addiction potential has increased, but this may also make them more attractive to smokers as a replacement for smoking. It is not yet clear how addictive e-cigarettes are, or could be, relative to tobacco cigarettes.
  • While nicotine has effects on physiological systems that could theoretically lead to health harms, at systemic concentrations experienced by smokers and e-cigarette users, long-term use of nicotine by ‘snus’ (a low nitrosamine form of smokeless tobacco) users has not been found to increase the risk of serious health problems in adults, and use of nicotine replacement therapy by pregnant smokers has not been found to increase risk to the foetus.
  • Adolescent nicotine use (separate from smoking) needs more research.
  • The long-term impact of nicotine from e-cigarettes on lung tissue is not yet known and may be different from its impact systemically.

Click here to view the report.

Tobacco-free generations: protecting children from tobacco in the WHO European Region

World Health Organisation, August 2017

Several Member States in the WHO European Region are moving towards becoming tobacco-free: a smoking prevalence of 5% or less. Emphasis, in particular, is on protecting younger generations from smoking initiation and other tobacco-related harm. Protecting children from tobacco in the Region is essential, not only because smoking initiation is a key component of an important public health crisis, but also because Member States are responsible for supporting various children’s rights. This report highlights ongoing and emerging tobacco-related issues that affect children in the Region and examines the regulatory frameworks, commitments and other tools that Member States should use to protect children from tobacco. This also includes more novel approaches that could – and should – be used to pave the way towards a tobacco-free European Region.

Click here to view the full report.

Working together to promote cessation of smoking in children and young people: briefing for commissioners of Tier 4 Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Public Health England, December 2016

This briefing aims to clarify what we know about the relationship between mental health and smoking prevalence amongst children and young people, what Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are doing to support children and young people with smoke free advice and support, and what actions commissioners and the public health system might take to reduce levels of smoking and the harms that arise from it.

Click here to view the briefing.

Smoking Cessation Audit Report 2016

British Thoracic Society, December 2016

This report finds that NHS hospitals across UK are falling ‘woefully short’ of national standards on helping patients who smoke to quit and enforcing smoke-free premises with many NHS hospitals missing out on a ‘golden opportunity’ to provide what is often the most effective front-line treatment for smoking patients.

Click here to view the full report.