Tag: Tobacco

World No Tobacco Day – how to get where we need to be?

Nick HopkinsonThe path to a smokefree generation demands decisive action and innovative strategies. To mark World No Tobacco Day, Professor Nick Hopkinson from the National Heart & Lung Institute (NHLI) offers his insights, drawing on years of dedicated research to suggest ways in which we can achieve this. 

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of premature disability and death; two out of three people who continue to smoke will die from a smoking-related disease. Ending this requires two things: First, ensuring that people don’t start to smoke in the first place; and second, supporting the more than six million people in the UK who still smoke to quit.

‘Stopping the start’ involves making smoking less appealing,less affordable, and less available to children and young people. A key step to creating a smokefree generation will be steadily raising the age of sale, ensuring that tobacco products can never legally be sold to people born on or after 1 January 2009. The General Election has paused the progress of this legislation, but the policy has enjoyed cross-party support, so is almost certain to become law. We can be confident that it will be effective – youth smoking rates fell when the age of sale in the UK was increased from 16 to 18 in 2007, and similarly where it has been increased to 21 in the US. The year-on-year increase will also prevent the tobacco industry from addicting people later in life.


Can we trust the tobacco industry?

Image credit: Stanford Medical School

Originally published on Dr Nick Hopkinson’s blog and reproduced here with permission, this post looks at the Tobacco Industry’s dark history of appropriation and subversion of science.

It ain’t no new thing” sang Gil Scott Heron in 1972, condemning the appropriation of black culture by white recording artists. A recent research paper published in Tobacco Control throws light on Tobacco Industry appropriation and subversion of science. Their goal, to prevent or delay measures which reduce their ability to market products that are among the leading causes of death worldwide (1). (more…)

Smoke and the burnout of muscles

Image: Shutterstock - SMOKE & THE BURNOUT OF MUSCLESFor World No Tabaco Day 2017, researchers from Imperial’s Muscle Lab provide an insight into how smoking takes its toll on our lung health. 

Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and disease in the world. It is estimated that the society costs associated with smoking are approximately ₤12.9 billion a year, including the NHS cost of treating smoking related diseases and loss of productivity.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the major diseases caused by smoking. The disease ranks third among the leading causes of death worldwide. Around 1.2 million Britons suffer from the disease (Source: British Lung Foundation). The usual clinical picture is that of a smoker with symptoms that include shortness of breath and chronic cough. (more…)