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News digest – new smoking regulations, booze warnings, belly fat and… chug some coffee?

by Justine Alford | Analysis

27 May 2017

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  • Over £2,000 a year. That’s the hefty sum average smokers in the UK will spend on cigarettes due to new taxes and regulations. These widely reported figures came as plain, standardised cigarette packaging was fully enforced across the UK – our press release explains why this move is crucial to reducing smoking rates.
  • More on the subject: a new US study has linked rising rates of a type of lung cancer to smoking ‘light’ cigarettes, which may cause people to breathe in greater levels of harmful chemicals. This adds to the evidence that there’s no safe way to use tobacco. Read our website for help on quitting.
  • Alarming headlines linking half a glass of wine a day to an increased risk of breast cancer were widespread. But as we explained to the media and in our blog post, the link between alcohol and breast cancer is already well established. While you don’t need to go teetotal, cutting down on alcohol lowers the risk.

Number of the week


The pounds that the average UK smoker will spend each year on the habit, thanks to new regulations.

  • A new study has further highlighted that however you measure it, being overweight or obese increases the risk of cancer, as explained in our press release and covered by the Daily Mail. Check out our website for tips on keeping a healthy weight.
  • The potential to use platelets, a component of blood, to diagnose cancer was overhyped by the Guardian. Our news report explains why the link is not so clear cut.
  • Research to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference suggests that the HPV vaccine can lower rates of oral infection with the virus it targets – the human papillomavirus. The vaccine has already been shown to reduce the risk of cancers, such as cervical cancer, that are related to certain types of the virus, and it’s hoped that the vaccine might also reduce rates of oral cancer.
  • Time to get moving Britons. New research from our Walk All Over Cancer campaign showed that more than half of UK adults struggle to walk a mile a day. The Daily Mail picked up this story, covering the health benefits of getting more active and encouraging people to take part in the campaign.
  • A newly-developed blood test could help diagnose pancreatic cancer, Science News reports. But researchers still need to confirm its accuracy and work out if it could help pick up the disease earlier, when treatment is more likely to be successful.

And finally

  • Beating cancer isn’t as simple as drinking coffee every day, like the Express has claimed. They and others reported on a study which found that drinking an extra two cups of coffee a day is linked with a lower risk of developing liver cancer. While various studies have suggested that the popular beverage could have a range of health benefits, it’s hard to tell whether the effect is down to the drink itself or another factor. So don’t rely on Starbucks to stave off the disease – here are some other ways to reduce your risk of cancer.