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.

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 updates: June 2013

More treatments for women at risk of breast cancer                            

Updated guidance from NICE gives more options to women to reduce their risk of breast cancer. NICE recommends tamoxifen or raloxifene as preventative treatments for certain women at high risk of breast cancer due to a family history.

Nicotine products can help people to cut down before quitting smoking         

Licensed nicotine products, such as patches and gum, should be offered to people who smoke and are struggling to quit to help them cut down on cigarettes, NICE says. NICE recommends that stop smoking advisers and health professionals advise people to stop smoking in one go, but for those who aren’t ready or are unable to stop in one step, they should suggest considering a harm-reduction approach.

Offer range of effective treatments for people with hep B

More people with hepatitis B should be assessed, referred and offered the range of clinical and cost effective treatments available for the disease, according to NICE. In its first clinical guideline on hepatitis B, NICE recommends a range of measures to help raise awareness of the condition and reduce the current variation in treatments offered.

Older patients at high risk of hospital falls

Updated guidelines from NICE recommend that healthcare professionals should consider patients aged 65 or older, and those aged over 50 with underlying conditions such as stroke, at high risk of falling while in hospital care.

Podcasts available on falls and antisocial behaviour and conduct disorders

We’ve produced implementation podcasts on our updated falls guidance and our guideline on antisocial behaviour and conduct disorders to help you get the most out of these products.

Two shared learning examples from London and Portsmouth on hepatitis B are also now available, which highlight innovative uses of NICE guidance.

Let us know what you think of our draft guidance on behaviour change. The behaviours covered are alcohol, diet, physical activity, sexual behaviour and smoking, and the consultation closes on 31 July 2013.

We’d also like to hear your thoughts on our draft update of our guideline on neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is pain caused by a lesion or disease of the central somatosensory nervous system. The consultation closes on 18 July 2013.


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

An offer from BMJ – too good to refuse?

BMJ Learning is fast approaching two million module completions!

To celebrate, from 2-9 July, everyone will be able to access all of our modules for free – including journal related modules.

Plus, if you complete the two millionth module, you will win an iPad. We expect this module completion to happen this week.

Here are our latest and most popular modules which you could complete: