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FOI + tobacco = sleepless nights: We got an FOI request from Big Tobacco – here’s how it went

Istitute of Social Marketing logoProf Gerard Hastings, Emeritus Professor at the University of Stirling, writes in The Conversation:

“In a world where knowledge is power, information is the antidote to oppression. We citizens must know what those at the top are doing if we’re going to hold them to account. That’s why freedom of information (FOI) legislation is a vital element of any functioning democracy; it helps rebalance power.”

The full article can be seen here in The Conversation:

1 September 2015

Young people and e-cigarettes: what we know so far

Photo of woman smoking e-cigaretteProf Linda Bauld has blogged in The Conversation:

“Thanks to decades of action against tobacco, smoking rates among children and young people are in decline: far fewer teenagers are now taking up smoking than in the past.

“In England, for example, just 3% of 11 to 15-year-olds are regular smokers, with similar figures in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. This is welcome news, and will play a significant role in protecting the adults of the future from the 14 types of cancer linked to smoking, as well as other diseases such as heart disease and stroke.

“Over the same period…”

Check the full article here.

Just how useful are licensing laws for improving public health?

Dr Niamh Fitzgerald

Dr Niamh Fitzgerald

Despite legal changes in Scotland, councils are struggling to use public health as an argument against new pubs and off-licences.

We need to reconsider the role of licensing in the context of other ways to achieve the same ends, suggests Dr Niamh Fitzgerald in this London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine blog post.