Smoking

Pasifika still struggling with smoking and nutrition - health advisor

Last week the organisation announced it had recruited the former Director of the Pacific Community, Colin Tukuitonga, to help their commitment to health equity for Pasifika.

Dr Tukuitonga has worked with the foundation in the past, helping design their Pacific Heartbeat programme.

Now that he has returned he has some big challenges to confront, beginning with high rates of smoking.

"It's declined in Pākehā folk and even in Māori but we still have pretty high rates of smoking," Dr Tukuitonga said.

Are smokers and tobacco users at a huger risk of COVID-19 infection?

Smokers may also already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase risk of serious illness.

Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings.

Tobacco use jumps 80% in top-grossing movies

However, there was an 80% increase in incidents of tobacco use in those movies from 2015 to 2016.

The numbers are prompting concern from public health researchers and advocates over the effects these scenes have on young people's behavior.

"We've known for a while that the more you see smoking on screen, the more likely you are to see youth smoking cigarettes in real life," said Michael Tynan, lead author of the report and a public health analyst at the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "There's a causal relationship between the two."

Smoking 'harms livers of unborn babies'

Scientists found that the cocktail of chemicals in cigarettes is particularly harmful to developing liver cells.

They developed a method of studying the effects of maternal smoking on liver tissue using embryonic stem cells.

The team, led by the University of Edinburgh, also discovered the cigarette chemicals affect male and female foetuses differently.

During their research they used pluripotent stem cells - cells which have the ability to transform into other cell types - to build foetal liver tissue.

Young Russians born this decade face complete smoking ban

It's part of a tough anti-tobacco strategy the country's politicians are trying to make a reality.

The ban on the sale of tobacco to this generation and younger would continue even after they reach adulthood.

It's only being considered at the moment but it could mean smoking eventually becomes illegal for all Russians.

Russian news site Izvestia says it has seen a policy document titled "concept for the state policy to counter tobacco consumption in the years 2017-2022 and beyond".

Maori, Pacific women smokers less physically dependent on tobacco

Smokers completed three questionnaires - one at the "baseline" entry to the study and the others after two of the Government's annual 10 per cent tobacco tax rises.

The quit-smoking rate, at 14 per cent, was the same for the Maori/Pacific and NZ European/other ethnic groupings.

Participants were analysed only in those two ethnic groupings, because there were few Maori and Pacific men and women in the study.

Smoking 'causes hundreds of DNA changes'

Having sequenced thousands of tumour genomes, they found a 20-a-day smoker would rack up an average of 150 mutations in every lung cell each year.

The changes are permanent, and persist even if someone gives up smoking.

Researchers say analysing tumour DNA may help explain the underlying causes of other cancers.

Pamela Pugh, 69, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013. She started smoking aged 17 and quit in her early 50s.

But she said: "Even though I gave up many years ago, the effects of smoking caught up with me.

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Tonga's new Quitline inundated with calls from smokers wanting to quit

The Quitline launched 31 May, 2016 provides free advice and support to smokers from Ministry of Health staff trained by Quit Victoria in Australia.

Quitline counsellor Tupou Tuilautla said "we have provided counselling to about 18 smokers every day since opening the lines on Wednesday morning. It's great to see so many people calling to get help to quit smoking for themselves and their families.  Even if people have tried to quit before and been unsuccessful, we can really help them to quit for good". 

Report warns of high smoking rates among young Pacific males

A report by the PC has found that in some Pacific nations as many as 52 per cent of boys aged between 13 and 15 are smoking.

Nations with high teenage smoking rates include Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa and Kiribati.