Category Archives: Alcohol, Tobacco & Drugs

Going the Distance: Exercise professionals in the wider public health workforce

By Royal Society for Public Health (2018)

This report, written with ukactive, explores how fitness professionals can play an enhanced role in supporting the public’s health. It calls for GP drop-in and smoking cessation services inside gyms and leisure centres to help ease pressure on local health facilities and improve access to health improvement services.

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Alcohol and mental health: policy and practice in England

By Centre for Mental Health (2018)

This report highlights that people who have difficulties with alcohol and mental health are still not getting the help and support they need. It is based on a survey and seminar session held with professionals working in mental health and/or alcohol services across the country. It finds that co-morbidity is a barrier to treatment, and support for people with co-occurring alcohol and mental health problems is too often poor and fragmented.

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Stop smoking interventions and services

by NICE (2018)

NICE and Public Health England have published updated guidelines on the best ways to help people quit smoking. This guideline covers stop smoking interventions and services delivered in primary care and community settings. It aims to ensure that everyone who smokes is advised and encouraged to stop and given the support they need. It emphasises the importance of targeting vulnerable groups who are heavy smokers or have difficulty with smoking cessation.

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Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes

By National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine et al. (2018)

Millions of Americans use e-cigarettes. Despite their popularity, little is known about their health effects. Some suggest that e-cigarettes likely confer lower risk compared to combustible tobacco cigarettes, because they do not expose users to toxicants produced through combustion. Proponents of e-cigarette use also tout the potential benefits of e-cigarettes as devices that could help combustible tobacco cigarette smokers to quit and thereby reduce tobacco-related health risks. Others are concerned about the exposure to potentially toxic substances contained in e-cigarette emissions, especially in individuals who have never used tobacco products such as youth and young adults. Given their relatively recent introduction, there has been little time for a scientific body of evidence to develop on the health effects of e-cigarettes.

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A systematic review of economic evaluations of local authority commissioned preventative public health interventions in overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol and illicit drugs use and smoking cessation in the United Kingdom

White, P. et al. Journal of Public Health, 2018, doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdy026

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Abstract
Background
Since 2013, local authorities in England have been responsible for commissioning preventative public health interventions. The aim of this systematic review was to support commissioning by collating published data on economic evaluations and modelling of local authority commissioned public health preventative interventions in the UK.

Methods
Following the PRISMA protocol, we searched for economic evaluations of preventative intervention studies in four different areas: overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol and illicit drugs use and smoking cessation. The systematic review identified studies between January 1994 and February 2015, using five databases. We synthesized the studies to identify the key methods and examined results of the economic evaluations.

Results
The majority of the evaluations related to cost-effectiveness, rather than cost-benefit analyses or cost-utility analyses. These analyses found preventative interventions to be cost effective, though the context of the interventions differed between the studies.

Conclusions
Preventative public health interventions in general are cost-effective. There is a need for further studies to support justification of continued and/or increased funding for public health interventions. There is much variation between the types of economically evaluated preventative interventions in our review. Broader studies incorporating different contexts may help support funding for local authority-sponsored public health initiatives.

Tackling multiple unhealthy risk factors: emerging lessons from practice

By The King’s Fund (2018)

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  • Previous research by The King’s Fund has shown that unhealthy behaviours cluster in the population. Around seven in ten adults do not follow guidelines on tobacco use, alcohol consumption, healthy diet or physical activity, yet most behaviour change services address these behaviours separately, not reflecting the reality of people’s lives.
  • This report shares learning and insight from services that are using innovative ways to address the problem of multiple unhealthy risk factors in their populations. It draws on interviews and information from eight case studies in local authorities and the NHS and updates the evidence base on tackling multiple unhealthy risk factors.
  • Most services included in the report are local authority led and are integrated health and wellbeing services. These provide behavioural advice and support to people across a range of different behaviours, including smoking, weight management and physical activity.
  • The NHS is also addressing multiple unhealthy behaviours. We set out learning from two hospitals supporting individuals with multiple risk factors.
  • The evidence for these behaviour change services to draw on, in the context of multiple unhealthy risk factors, remains limited. These services are in a position to develop the evidence base on how best to address multiple unhealthy behaviours.
  • The report makes recommendations on how services can develop and share evidence, and for how the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England can support further innovation in such services.

Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products 2018

By Public Health England (2018)

In the government’s Tobacco Control Plan for England, Public Health England (PHE) was asked to update its 2015 evidence review on e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine delivery systems annually until the end of the current Parliament in 2022.

PHE commissioned a group of leading tobacco control researchers from the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS) to produce this report, which underwent international peer review.

Click here to view this evidence review