Genetics affect lung disease and smoking behaviour, study finds

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Researchers from the United Kingdom have identified genetic differences that affect the likelihood of whether a person will smoke and the predisposition of heavy smokers and non-smokers to poor lung health

Smoking cigarettes may increase risk of schizophrenia, study shows

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Smoking may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, an analysis by a team from King’s College, London has found.

An association between cigarettes and psychotic symptoms has been reported before, but it has been generally assumed that this arises because people with the symptoms take up smoking as a way to relieve distress, counteract the symptoms, or manage the side effects of drugs used to treat them.

Smokers are more likely to quit as smoking prevalence decreases, study shows

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Smokers are more likely to reduce their smoking and try to quit as the proportion of people who smoke in a population decreases, an international study has found, suggesting that current smoking reduction strategies are working and questioning claims that electronic (e) cigarettes provide a harm reduction strategy for smokers who are unable to quit.

Experts call for tobacco industry to pay for smoking cessation work

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The tobacco industry should be forced to pay towards smoking cessation efforts in England as part of a new national tobacco control strategy, a multi-agency report has claimed.

Experts have called for a national annual levy on tobacco companies, fresh targets such as a drop in smoking rates to 5% by 2035, a new five year government tobacco strategy for England, and an increase to the tax escalator on tobacco products to 5% above the level of inflation.

Smoking ban cuts admissions for child respiratory infections

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Banning smoking in public places has cut hospital admissions for childhood respiratory infections in England by 11 000 a year, new research has estimated.

Researchers from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands said that evidence has shown that smoke-free public environments will benefit children’s health but that the exact effect on respiratory tract infections is unclear.

Evidence is insufficient to recommend e-cigarettes for quitting, US committee concludes

There are not enough data on the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes to determine whether the devices can help smokers quit, the US Preventive Services Task Force has concluded.1

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The Task Force, which makes recommendations on the effectiveness of preventive healthcare services such as screening, counselling, and use of drugs, issued its draft evaluation of tobacco smoking cessation in adults and pregnant women on 5 May.

NICE: This month in Eyes on Evidence

nice_nhs_evidenceIssue 69
January 2015


Pharmacy-based screening for cardiovascular risk
A systematic review suggests that pharmacy-based screening for cardiovascular risk factors may be possible. However, many people do not act on the advice to visit their GP, and the effect of screening on new diagnoses has not been robustly shown.

Self-management of hypertension in people at high risk of cardiovascular events
An open-label randomised controlled trial finds that people with hypertension who self-monitor their blood pressure and up-titrate their antihypertensive medication experience a greater reduction in systolic blood pressure than people who manage hypertension with usual care.

Mental health after stopping smoking
A meta-analysis finds that stopping smoking is associated with reductions in anxiety, depression and stress, and improvements in quality of life and mood.

Alpha-blockers for expulsion of ureteral stones
A Cochrane review reports that alpha-blockers are more effective at expelling ureteral stones less than 10 mm in diameter than standard therapy or calcium channel blockers.

Haemoglobin thresholds for blood transfusion
Two meta-analyses report that restricting transfusion of red blood cells to people with a haemoglobin level of either less than 7.0 g/dl or 6.4 g/dl to 9.7 g/dl reduces mortality and serious infection, but does not significantly affect the overall risk of infection.

Evidence Updates
NICE has recently published Evidence Updates on:

  • Spasticity in children and young people with non-progressive brain disorders
  • Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage
  • Hyperphosphataemia in chronic kidney disease

NHS Networks: News updates – children

Children and young people’s health report The first annual report by the Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum has praised progress but also highlighted areas where more needs to be done.    Read more »

New resources for keeping children safe Public Health England has launched two new resources for local authorities on preventing accidents to children and young people in the home and on the road.   Read more »

Number of pregnant mums smoking falls to record low New figures show that only 12 percent of mothers said they were smokers at the time they gave birth, the lowest percentage in eight years of data collection.   Read more »

Antibiotics for early-onset neonatal infection A summary of selected new evidence relevant to NICE clinical guideline 149 ‘Antibiotics for early-onset neonatal infection: antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of early-onset neonatal infection’ (2012).  Read more »

News from NHS Networks

NHS Networks requires free subscription before you can read any of the following articles in full.

Elearning: If you are looking for a less physically demanding alternative to gym membership in January, try our e-learning courses for practice managers looking to build a healthier, more robust business to meet the challenges of the new year.  There is a free course on CQC compliance, plus several courses on finance, employment and HR issues and primary care medical contracts.

Children and young people’s health and wellbeing in changing times
The NHS Confederation has published a report on the impact of the health reforms on children and young people’s health and wellbeing. Read more »

NHS Improvement turns spotlight on stroke
NHS Improvement has published Spotlight on Stroke.  Read more »

Health survey comes of age
The Health and Social Care Information Centre is running the annual health survey for England (HSE) for the twenty-first time.  Read more »

Action plan for improving the use of medicines and reducing waste
A report commissioned by the Department of Health looks at how the NHS is working to improve the use of medicines and tackle avoidable medicines wastage.  Read more »

Direct access to diagnostic imaging for cancer 
NHS Improvement has produced a document to help diagnostic imaging for cancer. Read more »

The health and social care ratings review  The Nuffield Trust has been commissioned by the secretary of state to review whether aggregate ratings of provider performance should be used in health and social care.  Read more »

National continence survey
The all party parliamentary group (APPG) for continence care is pushing to make integrated services more widely available to all age groups, and also to help break the taboo which prevents individuals seeking and receiving medical attention. Read more »

Key performance indicators for improving access to psychological therapies
Latest figures from the NHS Information Centre.  Read more »

Smoking campaign gets under way
The Department of Health has launched a new campaign to encourage smokers to quit in the new year.  Read more »

Making integrated out of hospital care a reality
This report discusses the foundations for integrated care for adults, children and young people, with a focus on implementing out of hospital care, and connecting primary, community and social care. Read more »

Primary care IT services operating model published The NHS Commissioning Board has published a document setting out how the management of IT systems will be organised for primary care providers (dentists, pharmacists and optometrists) from April 2013.  Read more »

New child abuse alert system for hospitals announced  Hospitals will have a new system to help doctors and nurses spot children suffering from abuse and neglect, Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter has announced.  Read more »

Lessons learned from the hospital pathways programme The hospital pathways programme aims to improve both processes of care and interactions between staff and patients through a collaborative programme involving five acute trusts, the King’s Fund and the Health Foundation to apply techniques, not widely used in the NHS.  Read more »

Allied health professionals bulletin – December 2012
December edition of the Allied health professionals bulletin.   Read more »

Cancer services coming of age report published   The cancer services coming of age report has been published.   Read more »

NHS funding transfer to local authorities
The Department of Health has written to the NHS Commissioning Board with provisional information on the transfer of £859m in 2013/14 to from the NHS to local authorities.  Read more »

Transforming end of life care in acute hospitals
A short report reflecting the views from a focus group complements progress reports from acute trusts involved in the transform programme pilot.
Read more »

NHS Commissioning Assembly: next steps
The NHS Commissioning Board has published further information about the NHS Commissioning Assembly, the community of leaders for NHS commissioning.  Read more »

Payment by results 2013/14 road test package   The road test exercise provides an opportunity for the service to test out the new tariff and supports the planning process. Read more »

Advance care planning toolkit   A team at the National End of Life Care Programme (NEoLCP) has developed an advance care planning toolkit to help care providers approach the planning process with confidence and knowledge.  Read more »

Kazmi S.M.H.; Patel S.; Watkins L.; Tack G.; Stead R.J.; Babores M; American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, May 2010,

Smoking habits of health care professionals in a district general hospital (DGH) two years after smoking ban

no smokingIntroduction A law was introduced in England and Wales on 1st July 2007 to ban smoking in enclosed public places. We conducted a survey 6 months after this ban to identify how it affected the smoking habits of health care workers in a DGH. It showed that 29% of ex-smokers had stopped following the ban and 49% of current smokers had cut down the number of cigarettes 1. We repeated the survey two years later to assess if the initial improvement has been maintained.

Rationale: To assess the continuous impact of national smoking ban on smoking habits of health care workers.

Methods:  Similar to the previous survey, an anonymous questionnaire was distributed to members of staff at Macclesfield DGH. Data was collected over one month period. Parameters collected included: age, sex, occupation, smoking status and action following ban.

Results: Three hundred questionnaires were distributed, 195 completed giving a response rate of 65%. The mean (SD) age was 35(11) years, females 67%. The distribution of the respondents were as follows: nursing staff 44%, 23% doctors, 11% administrative staff, 8% professions allied to medicine, 14% supportive services staff. 54% of respondents were non-smokers, 22% ex-smokers and 24% current smokers. In the ex smokers group, 17/44 (39%) stopped smoking since the introduction of the ban. 71% of those who had stopped said that the smoking ban had influenced their decision. The most popular methods of smoking cessation were will power and nicotine replacement therapy. In the smokers group, 25/46 (54%) health care workers were smoking less following the ban.

Results were similar to those from 2007 and as in previous survey there was no statistical significance in age, gender, or occupation in those who stopped smoking. There was no difference in average cigarette consumption of both groups which was 13 cigarettes /day.

Conclusion: Our results show that smoking ban has influenced health care workers to change their smoking habit and that this change has been maintained over two year period. The smoking ban has the potential to leave lasting impact on smoking behaviour which will help in reducing the burden of smoking-related lung diseases.

Available in fulltext at ProQuest – requires Athens account

News from NHS Networks: 3 November

This report highlights the process of care of children less than 18 years of age, including neonates who died within 30 days of emergency or elective surgery on the same admission.
This quarterly report presents provisional results from the monitoring of the NHS stop smoking services in England during the period 1 April 2011 to 30 June 2011.
A major push forward in the implementation of a screening programme for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), which will save the lives of thousands of older men, has been launched by health secretary Andrew Lansley.
A survey by the Medical Technology Group to explore the provision of and access to uterine fibroid embolisation (UFE) treatment for fibroids, found significant variation between PCTs and acute trusts in the numbers of women undergoing UFE, and a lack of patient involvment in commissioning fibroid treatments.
Many news sources have reported that a “major review” of the NHS breast screening programme is to take place. BBC News said “the evidence for breast cancer screening in the UK is being reviewed amid controversy about the measure’s effectiveness”.