With 25% of adults smoking cigarettes, Scotland has the UK’s highest percentage of smokers according to Government statistics. With this in mind, the nation will participate in the 28th annual “No Smoking Day” on 14 March, Ash Wednesday.
This year the British Heart Foundation has merged with the “No Smoking Day” charity, to support anti-smoking events at thousands of venues across the UK.
According to The Director of Policy and Communications for the BHF, “by joining forces we can enhance the No Smoking Day campaign and extend its reach, helping more people to quit… for both organisations, the opportunities posed by this merger were too good to miss.”
Scientists have recently discovered why some people are apple shaped and others pear shaped.
The optimum body shape is pear as opposed to apple. (Photo accreditation: yahoo.net)
University of Edinburgh researchers have defined one particular protein that plays a crucial part in determining how fat is stored and distributed in the body. By obtaining a greater understanding of how this protein works, medicines can be developed to treat obesity.
A campaign to ban all cigarette vending machines from pubs and clubs has been accepted by the Scottish and UK governments, who are now taking the first steps towards amending tobacco laws.
While the UK Government‘s amended Health Bill will cover England, Northern Ireland and Wales, the cigarette machine ban is a devolved issue in Scotland, meaning that the Scottish Government‘s Tobacco and Primary Medical Services Bill will be debated in full parliament in November. The British Heart Foundation has been raising awareness of the heart problems to which smoking contributes, and has placed particular emphasis on the impact this could have to Scotland’s teenage smokers.
In Scotland, The British Heart Foundation’s campaign heightened when a survey showed that 13% of Scotland’s 13 year-old smokers and 10% of 15 year-olds obtained cigarettes from vending machines. The research also showed that the number of under-age smokers buying tobacco from the machines has risen since 2006. Peter Hollins, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, hailed the Scottish parliaments’ move to ban tobacco vending machines in their Tobacco Bill. He commented that “consigning vending machines to the scrapheap will cut off an easy supply of cigarettes to children”. Community Convener Christine Grahame MSP reiterated this, adding that “the majority of our (health) committee believe that cigarettes at the point of sale represent an advertisement and a ban on these displays would have a particularly positive effect in deterring teenagers.”
The ban came one step closer in September, when the Stage 1 report from the Health and Sports Committee was published. Further reports are expected to emerge in the next few months.