Online social networks help smokers quit

Study finds that online social networks designed to help smokers kick the tobacco habit are effective | PLOS ONE | story via ScienceDaily

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Researchers examined the tobacco use of more than 2,600 smokers who participated in an online smoking cessation community. The study found that 21 percent of those classified as active users after their first week in the community reported that they quit smoking three months later. Those who were less active in the community were less likely to quit.

This is the first study to look at smokers’ behaviors in an online community over time and to report a prospective relationship between social network involvement and quitting smoking.  After three months, 21 percent of  those who actively contributed content in the community had quit smoking; 11 percent of passive users (those who only read others’ posts) had quit smoking; and only 8 percent of study participants that never visited quit smoking.

Full story at ScienceDaily

Full reference: Amanda L. Graham et al. | A prospective examination of online social network dynamics and smoking cessation. | PLOS ONE| 2017; 12 (8)

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Tobacco control policy overview

Tobacco control policy overview | House of Commons Library

The Government’s new tobacco control plan was published in 2017, and seeks to reduce smoking overall and target this inequality in smoking rates. This briefing paper provides a summary on the tobacco control plan, tobacco control policies and smoking cessation services.

Full document available here

Quit rates for smoking at their highest for a decade

Success rates for quitting smoking are at their highest level for a decade, according to new figures. Experts suggest the use of e-cigarettes may be an important factor. | via OnMedica

Nearly one in five (19.8%) quit attempts were successful in the first half of 2017, up from an average of 15.7% over the last decade. The figures come from researcher carried out by University College London, with support from Cancer Research UK.

The researchers collected data from over 18,000 participants using cross-sectional household surveys from January 2007 to June 2017. The findings reveal that quit smoking success rates in England in the first six months of 2017 were higher than the average rate during the preceding decade.

Full report: Quit success rates in England 2007-2017

 

Stop smoking services: models of delivery

This document is intended to support directors of public health and local healthcare commissioners with the provision of local stop smoking support.

This briefing is intended to support directors of public health and local healthcare
commissioners in rapidly appraising the evidence, to enable informed decisions around the provision of local stop smoking support. The briefing describes interventions to support smokers to stop and evidence of effectiveness. In addition, it sets out the different models for delivering these interventions currently being considered by local authorities (service models)

Full document: Models of delivery for stop smoking services. Options and evidence

This is part of a group of tools provided by Public Health England to help local decision makers in relation to tobacco control. Other products include:

Rising popularity of e-cigarettes linked to higher quit rate

Findings from US observational study suggest E-cigarettes appear to have helped to increase smoking cessation at the population level.| OnMedica |BMJ

Researchers have looked at whether the increase in the use of e-cigarettes in the US was associated with a change in overall smoking cessation rate.

They drew on responses to five population surveys from 2001 to 2015. E-cigarette users were identified from the most recent survey (2014-15) and smoking cessation rates were obtained from those who said they had smoked cigarettes in the preceding 12 months. Rates from this most recent survey were then compared to those of four earlier surveys.

Of 161,054 respondents to the 2014-15 survey, 22,548 were current smokers and 2,136 recent quitters. More than a third (38%) of current smokers and nearly half (49%) of recent quitters said they had tried e-cigarettes.

E-cigarette users were more likely than non-users to make a quit attempt (65% vs 40%) and more likely to succeed in quitting for at least three months (8.2% vs 4.8%).

The overall population quit rate for 2014-15 was significantly higher (5.6%) than that for 2010-11 (4.5%), and higher than those for all other survey years.

The 1.1 percentage point difference might appear small, but it represents approximately 350,000 additional US smokers who quit in 2014-15, emphasise the researchers.

Full story at OnMedica

Full reference: Shu-Hong Zhu et al.  E-cigarette use and associated changes in population smoking cessation: evidence from US current population surveys  BMJ 2017; 358 (Published 26 July 2017)

Related BMJ editorial: Rise in e-cigarette use linked to increase in smoking cessation rates

Tobacco control playbook

This resource highlights the arguments and approaches that leaders in health systems across Europe have developed and used to counteract and succeed against the tobacco industry. |WHO Europe

The Tobacco Control Playbook has been developed by collecting numerous evidence-based arguments from different thematic areas, reflecting the challenges that tobacco control leaders have faced while implementing various articles of the WHO FCTC and highlighting arguments they have developed in order to counter and succeed against the tobacco industry.

This is the start of what is intended to be a living document, which will be updated and extended with further arguments and on the basis of feedback, as well as any developments in tobacco industry approaches. Everyone concerned with tobacco control is invited to contribute to its success by continuing to offer arguments and responses, and sharing their experiences through a dedicated website.

Towards a smoke-free generation: tobacco control plan for England

Outlining plans to reduce smoking in England, with the aim of creating a smoke-free generation | Department of Health

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The objectives of the tobacco control plan are to:

  • reduce the number of 15 year olds who regularly smoke from 8% to 3% or less
  • reduce smoking among adults in England from 15.5% to 12% or less
  • reduce the inequality gap in smoking prevalence, between those in routine and manual occupations and the general population
  • reduce the prevalence of smoking in pregnancy from 10.5% to 6% or less

The aim is to achieve these objectives by the end of 2022.

Full report available here