Smoking and increased risks

Smoking and increased risks associated with COVID-19  

Evidence has been published that indicates people who smoke are at significantly increased risk of contracting COVID-19. They are also more likely to have severe symptoms and 2-3 times more likely to be admitted to intensive care, need mechanical ventilation or die compared to non-smokers. Please see full details on the http://www.tobaccoinduceddiseases.org/COVID-19-and-smoking-A-systematic-review-of-the-evidence,119324,0,2.html

NHS Stop Smoking Advisors through out UK are urged to identify ALL SMOKERS and give brief intervention advice on the increased risks of smoking and COVID-19. Advisors are prompted to prioritise the over 70s or those who have organ transplants, diabetes, treatment for cancer, the immunosuppressed, those who have respiratory or cardiac disease or are pregnant. 

Smokers can now get help at home at stopsmokingclinic.co.uk

‘No better time to quit’

No better time to quit

NHS Stop Smoking Advisor James Cameron says there’s no better time to kick the habit.

The coronavirus crisis could lead to a reduction in smoking

With COVID-19 attacking the lungs, smokers are at much higher risk of becoming severely ill if they get infected

“Many smokers are staying at home and looking for new challenges, new hobbies, something new to focus on besides the virus and the news cycle.  So what better time to direct mental energies to something most smokers actually think about; quitting cigarettes.  

The first UK online stop smoking clinic is launched this month to help smokers quit at home without attending a clinic in their GP surgery or pharmacy 

The site is stopsmokingclinic.co.uk

Demand for vape shops to stay open

Demand for vape shops to stay open

Last week, representations were made to Government by vaping trade associations for vape shops to be allowed to stay open, in the light the Government’s widespread closure of retail businesses.

During the last few weeks, Government health bodies have proposed that vape shops should be left open to prevent smokers switching back to cigarettes. See current guidelines (see attached)

There is concern for the effect of second hand smoke on family members especially during self isolation

Study: Not smoking 4 weeks before surgery cuts risks

Patients who stop smoking at least four weeks before an operation significantly reduce the risk of having post-surgical complications, according to a new study by The World Health Organisation (WHO) the University of Newcastle in Australia and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA).
The study said that minor or non-essential operations on regular smokers could be delayed to give them time to quit and thereby improve outcomes such as wound healing and heart function. The study found that every additional tobacco-free week beyond the four weeks improved health outcomes by 19% due to improved blood flow throughout the body to essential organs.
“The report provides evidence that there are advantages to postponing minor or non-emergency surgery to give patients the opportunity to quit smoking, resulting in a better health outcome,” Dr Vinayak Prasad, head of the No Tobacco unit at WHO, said in a statement. WHO said that all countries should build cessation programmes and educational campaigns into their health systems to spread awareness and help people to quit smoking.

References:

UN Health, Jan 20th 2020: Smokers who quit one month before surgery reap benefits
BBC, Jan 1st 2020: Smokers live in more pain

British vapers are safe

“We are quite clear that at this moment UK regulated e-cigarettes, and that’s an important point, are much less harmful than smoking tobacco and that is the message.”
 
Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvements at Public Health England Saturday 12th October 2019


British vapers are safe, claim health experts after deaths in US

Outbreak of respiratory disease in the US, where five people have died, is blamed on lax controls and illicit fluid

A man exhales after vaping at the Vape Jam Convention in London in April 2018. Photograph: Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock

Health experts have moved to reassure British vapers in the wake of a severe respiratory illness that has killed at least five people and hospitalised many more in the US.

More than 450 possible cases – all linked to vaping – among otherwise “healthy young people” are being investigated, US officials said on Friday.

They have reported that affected individuals have experienced respiratory symptoms including a cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Some also experienced vomiting and diarrhoea. Symptoms worsened over a period of days or weeks before admission to hospital.

The outbreak has led to fears that vapers in the UK could also be affected. However, Martin Dockrell, head of Tobacco Control at Public Health England, drew a distinction between vaping in the US and the UK. He said reports suggested that most cases in the US had been linked to people using illicit vaping fluid, bought on the streets or homemade, some containing cannabis products, like THC, or synthetic cannabinoids, like spice.

“Unlike the US, all e-cigarette products in the UK are tightly regulated for quality and safety by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and they operate the yellow card scheme, encouraging vapers to report any bad experiences,” he said.

Deborah Arnott, the chief executive of the health charity Action on Smoking and Health, said that to date no serious side-effects had been reported in the UK. “In Britain, you can check on the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) website whether the product you’re using has been notified and can be legally sold.”

This point was backed by Prof Linda Bauld, a public health expert at Edinburgh University. “It seems highly unlikely that widely available nicotine-containing vaping products, particularly of the type regulated in Europe, are causing these cases,” she said. “All the evidence to date suggests that illicit marijuana vaping products (THC oils) are the cause. In particular, a compound called tocopherol acetate may be the culprit.”

Paul Aveyard, a professor of behavioural medicine at the University of Oxford, said: “These cases are worrying and need investigating but advice from all official bodies in the UK is that it is always preferable to vape than to smoke. These reports should not change that advice.”

Obtaining medicines / E-Cigarettes/liquids/accessories online

In the UK, more than 2 million people buy medicines regularly over the internet from legitimate online sites. If you are considering obtaining medications online, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with regulations below.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) monitors medicines and medical devices sold or distributed in the UK. They have the power to prosecute those who manufacture and distribute counterfeit products illegally in the UK.

Confidentiality and data protection

The Online Stop Smoking Clinic has a legal obligation to comply with UK Data Protection legislation. We are not allowed to pass patient information to third parties that are not involved in the services provided through this website without the patient’s explicit permission. See our privacy policy here.