Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England – 2016

This report contains results from an annual survey of secondary school pupils in England in years 7 to 11 (mostly aged 11 to 15). 12,051 pupils in 177 schools completed questionnaires in the autumn term of 2016. The survey report presents information on the percentage of pupils who have ever smoked, tried alcohol or taken drugs and their attitudes towards these behaviours.  It also includes breakdowns by age, gender, ethnicity and region. The report observes a large increase in the number of pupils reporting that they had ever taken drugs.

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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.

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Modelling foetal exposure to maternal smoking using hepatoblasts from pluripotent stem cells

Lucendo-Villarin, B., Filis, P., Swortwood, M.J. et al. Archives of Toxicology (2017). doi:10.1007/s00204-017-1983-0

This study looks at the effect of cigarette smoking on the developing liver cells of foetuses whose mothers smoke with a new approach using embryonic stem cells.  The study showed that a chemical cocktail – similar to that found in cigarettes – harmed foetal liver health more than individual components.

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POST Note: Electronic Cigarettes

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, August 2016

This POSTnote updates POSTnote 455 (January 2014), summarising the latest data on scale of use, safety and quality of electronic cigarettes, and their value as a stop smoking tool. It also explores the implications of the new EU Tobacco Products Directive and regulatory approaches in the UK.

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Primary prevention and risk factor reduction in coronary heart disease mortality among working aged men and women in eastern Finland over 40 years: population based observational study

BMJ, 1 March 2016

This population based observational study aims to estimate how much changes in the main risk factors of cardiovascular disease (smoking prevalence, serum cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure) can explain the reduction in coronary heart disease mortality observed among working aged men and women in eastern Finland.

The study concludes that reductions in disease burden and mortality due to coronary heart disease can be achieved through the use of population based primary prevention programmes. Secondary prevention among high risk individuals and treatment of acute events of coronary heart disease could confer additional benefit.

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Secondhand smoke and incidence of dental caries in deciduous teeth among children in Japan: population based retrospective cohort study

BMJ, 21 October 2015

The aim of this study is to question whether maternal smoking during pregnancy and exposure of infants to tobacco smoke at age 4 months increase the risk of caries in deciduous teeth.

Among the findings the study concludes that exposure to tobacco smoke at 4 months of age was associated with an approximately twofold increased risk of caries, and the risk of caries was also increased among those exposed to household smoking, by 1.5-fold, whereas the effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy was not statistically significant.

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