“Vegetarians are probably breathing a sigh of relief today as headlines are warning us that processed and cured meats cause cancer. But the way this message has been framed in the media is extremely misleading.
Comparing meat to tobacco, as most news organisations who’ve chosen to report this have done, makes it seem like a bacon sandwich might be just as harmful as a cigarette. This is absolutely not the case”
Read the full article: Meat and tobacco: the difference between risk and strength of evidence | Science | The Guardian.
Nicola Lindson-Hawley – Managing Editor for the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, University of Oxford
Earlier this month (11th – 12th June) I attended the UK Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Conference (UKNSCC) 2015 in Manchester to promote the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Review Group (TAG). The Cochrane TAG team support authors to identify relevant clinical trial evidence to answer research questions regarding the efficacy of smoking prevention and cessation interventions, and synthesise this into a literature review, and meta-analysis if possible. So far the group have over 70 reviews, which can be found here: http://goo.gl/TBW2zn. Many of the attendees at UKNSCC are smoking cessation service providers and counselors who are one of the key audiences for these reviews, so that they can use the findings to support their clinical practice and ensure that they are using the most efficacious evidence based methods. Conference attendees visiting the Cochrane stand were able to take away two page summaries of five of our reviews on pharmacological treatments, combination behavioral and pharmacological support, the prevention of weight gain after stopping smoking, reduction versus abrupt quitting and electronic cigarettes.
Whilst at the conference I also attended lots of interesting sessions and there were plenaries by UKCTAS members Robert West, Linda Bauld and Andy McEwan. There was (perhaps non-surprisingly) a large emphasis on electronic cigarettes at the conference and it was great to get the perspective of an avid vaper- Lorien Jollye- in the session ‘What we’ve learnt from service users who vape’. Another highlight was hearing Deborah Arnott of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) discussing their very recently published report, ‘Smoking Still Kills’. The aim of the report is to keep tobacco issues high on the public health agenda. Deborah reported that on the day the report was published (10/06/2015) shares in tobacco companies fell. Now, that’s impact! One of the key proposals made is that tobacco companies should be made to pay a levy on all their profits to contribute to the cost of the harm caused by their industry. Click here for more information.
UKNSCC provided a great opportunity to get the findings of our reviews out there to the people who matter most- those actually implementing the interventions we investigate- whilst also giving me the time to get up to date with what is going on in the practical world of smoking cessation support.
If you’d like a copy of any of the summaries we created for UKNSCC 2015 please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and for more information about Cochrane TAG and our reviews keep up to date on Twitter @CochraneTAG.