Tag Archives: smoking bans

Camel Brand Dissolvable Tobacco Products

Dissolvable Tobacco Products Especially Appealing to Kids

The consumer demand for cigarettes has been decreasing, and Big Tobacco companies are looking to fill these sales gaps with cigarette alternative products. This includes cigars, chew, snuff, and nicotine replacements.

As the dangers of second-hand smoke becomes more prevalent, most areas have in place smoking bans in public places.

Big Tobacco companies are seeking out new products to keep addicted smokers dependent on their habit. Wikipedia defines the newest nicotine delivery devices as dissolvable tobacco products.

Nicotine Alternatives

Dissolvable tobacco products carry a significant risk of nicotine addiction and even poisoning if consumed by kids or teens. Additionally, these products have similar cancer and heart disease risks as traditional tobacco products.

Flavored—to make them taste “less harsh”—as well as dissolvable, these products are made from “finely milled tobacco” and are ingested similar to breath mints.

FDA Concerns

Camel Brand Dissolvable Tobacco ProductsThe FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has expressed its concern with these products to Big Tobacco companies R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Star Scientific Inc. Because the packaging is brightly colored, appearing like a candy product, and small enough to be easily concealed, the CTP questions the appeal of these products to kids and teens.

The CTP has asked both companies to provide research and marketing documentation on the perception people aged 26 years and younger have towards these products, the age of new users, and information on product misuse.

Tasty Nicotine?

Star Scientific Inc. manufactures the dissolvable tobacco products Ariva and Stonewall. These products, similar in appearance to breath mints, come in wintergreen, coffee, and tobacco flavors. A Star Scientific spokesperson points out that these products provide adult users a tobacco alternative, but are not made to be attractive for non-users.

R.J. Reynolds Inc. produces Camel Orbs (tablets), Camel Strips, and Camel Sticks (toothpick style), all available in mint flavor. A spokesperson for the company stated that not only are their products strictly market to and designed for adults, but they carry the same warnings and age restrictions as other tobacco products.

Camel Orbs are currently being test marketed in Columbus, Ohio, Portland, Oregon, and Indianapolis, Ind.

To learn more: Dissolvable Tobacco Products

Reference: http://www.cigarettesflavours.com/smoking-campaign/fda-dissolvable-tobacco-appeals-to-kids/

Smoking Bans – Smokers Not Hire Ready

Employers are using smoking vs. non-smoking as one of the criteria to hire employees.

Whether a person smokes or not could be a deciding factor even before you have been E-Verified.

For smokers looking for gainful employment, their addiction makes the possibilities even harder than they may realize.

Fair Debate for Smokers and Non-Smokers

Smokers are willing and able to work in smoke-free environments and can put up with it in order to work.

Once that craving hits though, they will sneak outside on breaks to have a few puffs of nicotine until quitting time. The working smoker’s perception is they have the best of both worlds – a smoke-free environment on the inside of the workplace and a chance to smoke on the outside during working hours.

The non-smokers want to work in smoke-free environments. A smoking policy inside an employees place of employment will provide an environment free of second hand smoke … except:

What if the employee who smokes reeks of cigarettes

What if the second hand smoke finds its way through open windows, doors, and hallways from around the building.

What if smokers begin smoking in bathrooms, or stairwells?

Then an environment is not truly smoke free and for employees a non smoking is really non-existent.

The Win/Win/Lose

Hospitals and other smoke-free conscious employers are pulling out the stops for justifying their no smoking policies.

With the current healthcare reform policy, employers are justifying the testing of potential employees.  Nicotine tests similar to random drug testing are qualified and being administered.

If non-smokers are hired it is less likely the employee will be hospitalized for ailments related to lung cancer. Insurance cost savings is the rationale for these tests because they can save on costly medical expenses in the future.

Medical costs will be considerably less because symptoms related to asthma, bronchial infections, and allergies will not exist.  Families will be healthier and have less cause to visit the doctor or fill a prescription.  Insurance premiums will not have to cover as many catastrophic illnesses related to smoking and second hand smoke.

If a ban on hiring smokers is embraced by businesses in all 50 states, a long road of tough economic times will be facing those that smoke if they refuse to quit.  Smokers will feel defeated not because they lack the skills to perform their jobs but lack the skills to quit smoking to gain and keep their jobs.  Being a smoker will have a stigma that has obvious and detrimental consequences.

Quit While You Can

These bans are the sign of the times and smokers need to prepare to move with them.  If you are currently unemployed, be aware that your smoking addiction is a possible criterion as to whether you land the next job.

Still working and smoking? Higher insurance rates especially for smokers and other unnecessary risk takers are certain to be the norm. Cessation Programs may have some provisions that give you a timeline to quit before your insurance rates and premiums are dramatically increased.

An important part of your life may be your career.  Do not let smoking be the thing that ends it.

References:

  1. WHO POLICY ON NON-RECRUITMENT OF SMOKERS OR OTHER TOBACCO USERS
  2. Smokers Not Hired

The War Against Tobacco

One of the most dangerous diseases we should worry about is cancer.

However, many people do not believe they could suffer from a cancerous disease, hinging their argument on the fact that certainly, one thing or the other would definitely be responsible for a man’s death.

However, the truth is that several diseases, like cancer, are precipitated by men’s behaviour, their attitude to health issues, the type of food they eat and certain things or habit they are addicted to.

For instance, millions of people all over the world are heavy smokers and alcoholics, despite the billions of naira being spent on public advertisement to warn people of the inherent or potential danger of smoking tobacco? Are you also aware that despite the increasing prevalence of skin cancers among men, some still prefer to spend their last kobo on a stick of cigarette even if they lack enough cash to buy food that will nourish their body system. That is the kind of life an addicted smoker is used to.

According to medical submissions, several thousands of people today are heavy or “chain” smokers, not by choice, but because they have found no way of escape. Such people are caught in the grip of a habit developed during their teenage years when so many young people think or believe it is “smart” to smoke. Some others believe that one of the ways to display his “arrival” as a“big boy” as opposed to his other school mates is to be smoking.

According to Drs. Kayode Ajala, Seun Akinyemi, Dupe Ojo, Adebowale Elemide, and other medical experts who spoke with Saturday Tribune, smoking is not only hazardous to health, it can also be hazardous to your job prospects as well, as twice as many smokers are said to be out of work compared to non-smokers. Although a few people will accept this fact, documented report globally shows that cancer of the lung is becoming very widespread today and it is increasing more rapidly than any other type of cancer —thanks to the increasing use of tobacco.

According to the medical doctors, the primary cancer of the lung, also known as bronchogenic carcinoma often begins within the lung or one of the bronchial tubes. Though the global war against the use of tobacco or smoking of cigarette is yielding some positive results, especially in the areas of public education and enlightenment, nonetheless, many tobacco users, including women, are still falling into the trap of lung cancer and other associated diseases.

The major problem is that many of them are not usually aware of the potential dangers of smoking, but by the time they are aware of their deteriorating health or true condition of things, the disease from tobacco may have already progressed far beyond the earlier stages. This is what makes lung cancer dangerous and difficult to treat.

Medical reports also say that at present, one heavy cigarette smoker out of every ten will die of lung cancer. The Federal Government of Nigeria realised and appreciated this fact and initiated many programmes of national interest like “Say No To Tobacco Smoking”,” ban on smoking in public places”, “No smoking in government offices and parastatals” and many other programmes to discourage the use of tobacco, but all these have yielded little result as smoking in public places is still one of the most common things in the country.

Globally, every year, the country joins the rest of the world in marking the ‘World No Tobacco Day’ and it is usually a celebrated day in developing nations like Nigeria, but the big question is: “Why are we still having many tobacco or cigarette producing companies in the country, if actually we want to achieve a positive result in our battle against cigarette smoking?”It is also a thing of concern and high display of irony to see that those at the helms of affairs of this country, collaborating with the rest of the world, attending global meetings and seminars where the issue of war against tobacco smoking are being discussed and signatories to many international treaties on the battle against cigarette smoking, come back to the country, encouraging tobacco companies to flourish. Many of the government officials who are always the arrow heads of the ban on the use of tobacco or cigarette smoking in public places are often seen burning cigarette sticks in their various offices.

quit smoking posterAnother big question we need to ask is: why should we worry about smoking? For several reasons. For instance, every stick of cigarette smoked takes away 13 minutes from one’s lifespan. If tobacco causes 128,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States of America — a country regarded as the father of all nations, even in terms of medical facilities and modern equipment, what would the situation be like in Nigeria, a country regarded as the giant of Africa and the most populous black nation in the world which has been battling with malaria for years, yet without success.

For instance, Nigeria is said to record the highest number of morbidity and mortality of under-age (five) children in the world. The country is also number one in terms of maternal mortality in the world. Therefore, if we have been unable to fight mosquitoes that cause malaria for years without success, one wonders if we would be able to fight lung cancer and other health problems caused by the dangerous chemical in tobacco known as nicotine —one of the most potent substances known to man.

Nicotine which is present in tobacco is also a dangerous poison that triggers cancer and it is second only to cyanides in its destructive effect on the human body. Actually, there are eighteen different poisons in a cigarette. Some of these attack the delicate membranes of the windpipes. Others enter the blood stream and interfere with its normal circulation throughout the body. But the two most deadly poisons in cigarette are the tar, a carcinogenic or cancer-producing substance, and necotine.

Other bad news for cigarette smokers are that they are more susceptible (open) to cancer of the mouth, larynx, oesophagous, pancreas, bladder, kidneys and cervix than non-smokers.

Smokers are also liable to emphysems, which kill(s) by slow suffocation, ulcer of the duodenum and stomach. Smoking pulls calcium out of the skeleton, thus accelerating the bone thinning process known as osteoporosis.

Not only that, “Smoker’s cough” is one of the rewards of cigarette smoking. Inflammation of the throat is too common in all heavy smokers. Nicotine in cigarette/tobacco also constricts small arteries supplying blood to the heart, brain, lungs and other vital organs and important areas depriving them of vital oxygen. Nicotine produces a sense of relaxation and well-being —which is called smoking’s main appeal. This is a deceptive relaxation that allows the cells of the body to continue to enjoy nicotine destruction and that is why nicotine is often referred to as addictive drug.

Carbon monoxide which smoking generates interferes directly with the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen. This causes shortness of breath, lack of endurance, and acceleration of a therosderosis (narrowing and hardening of arteries) which may later trigger cardiovascular disease and later stroke.

Moreover, many smokers cannot actually state the reasons (why) they smoke; some give different excuses or reasons but the strange thing is that most of these people never wanted to smoke in the first place. They were only doing what they felt/thought everyone else was doing at that time. But the truth is that smoking is not a normal habit, a person has to learn to smoke, just like any vocational job.

Furthermore, there are pay offs to quitting cigarette smoking. The advantages/benefits are numerous. For example, there is a sense of victory, increased self-esteem, pleasant breath, better fasting food, increased endurance, improved health and energy, a feeling of well-being and freedom from an inconvenient, unpopular, costly habit.

If every second, a smoker will die from some diseases directly connected to cigarette smoking, and smokers will always lose an average of 8.3 years from their normal life expectancy, so why won’t smokers run away from the stick of death?

In the world today, the campaign against tobacco smoking has risen to a global height. The campaign which became intense about two decades ago has assumed a vigorous dimension in the West.

Over the years, this situation has made business sour for manufacturers of tobacco products, particularly cigarettes, which are most largely consumed in this part of the world.
Severe litigations in the West have made their operations there expensive and unpopular, thereby provoking a shift in production and marketing of the product to the developing countries, notably Africa. One Dr. Yach in a journal, Africa Recovery, United Nations, observed, “Whereas taxes amount to two-thirds or more of the retail price of a pack of cigarettes in high-income countries, by contrast they amount to no more of the retail price in poorer countries.” Of greater concern, he says, “is that between 1990 and 2000, cigarette prices in many African countries declined in real terms. In Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya and Nigeria, a pack of 20 cigarettes is no more than 25% cheaper than it was in 1990.”

While the West is known to have very stringent legislation against the production and consumption of tobacco products, the situation then was different in many third world countries, especially Africa where they firmly pitched their tent doing business with little or no constraint from government and regulatory bodies.

In the case of Nigeria, the body saddled with the responsibility of regulating the production, trade and consumption of the product, the Federal Ministry of Health, had until recent years only been toying with restrictions. Efforts at curbing the consumption of this product started some 15 years ago with the placement of warning for consumers, inscribed on the packages of the product and promoted on the radio and television stations nationwide.

Nevertheless, many Nigerians were quick to dismiss these warning notices which over time stiffened, notably from “The Federal Ministry of Health Warns that Tobacco Smoking is Dangerous to Health” to “The Federal Ministry of Health Warns that Tobacco Smokers Are Liable to Die Young,” as a child’s play due to the seemingly little impact on the consumers. Besides, the warnings, when graphically relayed on the product packages and billboards, were very thinly scripted that the words were usually missed out. This, many believed, was a calculated attempt by the manufacturers to sink the message or warning into obscurity.

This, however, at that time, did not dissuade the manufacturers from continuing to ply their trade and making a fortune from it. They even went ahead to devise various means of strengthening their foothold in the Nigerian market through aggressive and glamorous advertisements and by doling out huge sums of money for sponsorship of musical shows and fiestas and other entertainments in the country. The days of the tobacco brand, Benson and Hedges-sponsored annual musical shows with the glitterati, pomp and pageantry that characterized it and the thrills that diffused from the melodious advert jingles of Rothmans cigarettes adapted from Seal’s hit track are still very much impressed on the minds of many Nigerians.

Interestingly today, they are now a thing of the past. Therefore what dimension has this campaign taken in the country today?
Obviously, the story today in Nigeria is different. With sterner or more severe restrictions mounted against the advertisement of cigarettes and the sponsorship of programmes, events, and festivities, the product is fast getting out of public view, becoming unpopular and sinking into oblivion.

Sometime in January, 2008, the Nigerian government announced its intention to ban smoking in public places in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on the heels of a massive law suit filed against tobacco companies such as British American Tobacco and Philip Morris.

Government ministries in Abuja have also mapped out plan to issue new health regulations controlling tobacco products and prevent tobacco companies from entering the market in the future.

In a statement made at the launch of a new NGO-government collaboration, the Coalition Against Tobacco (COA), the minister for the FCT, Dr. Aliyu Moddibo Umar, said:

“By June, we are going to outlaw smoking in public buildings in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).” Hopefully, this will be the first step towards placing in the next couple of years, a total ban on smoking in the FCT.”

Coupled with this, former Health Minister, Professor Adenike Grange, and the Head of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Dora Akuniyili, promised stricter regulations and an eventual end to the sale of all tobacco products across the country.

COA is just one of several NGOs hoping to reduce the production and sales of cigarettes The definition of public places includes public offices, parks, lounges in the lift, an arena and many other places that bring people together. Abuja is being used as a launch pad for this campaign as Nigerians wait impatiently for the ban to take effect.

However, this decision has generated mixed reactions from residents of the city and other concerned Nigerians. While some greeted it as a step in the right direction, others have condemned it as a gross violation of the individual’s right or freedom, amounting to killing a fly with a sledge hammer.

Source: Seye Adeniyi and Lawrence Amaku, Nigerian Tribune

Smoking Ban “Saved 75,000 Lives” – People Register for Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Banning  smoking in bars and restaurants has saved the lives of more than 75,000 Kiwis, the Health Ministry says.

Since the introduction of the legislation in December 2004, there are now 150,000 fewer smokers – bringing the total smoking population down to less than 20 per cent.

Ministry national director of tobacco control Ashley Bloomfield said half of the smokers who had quit in the past three-and-a-half years would have died as a result of their smoking.

“Those smokers who die from a smoking-related illness lose of average 15 years of life compared to non-smokers,” said Dr Bloomfield.

But Hospitality Association chief executive Bruce Robertson is disputing that where there is smoke there is fire – saying most New Zealanders would look at the statistics and think: “Really?”

Mr Robertson, whose organisation represents the bar industry, said the 75,000 figure had “little credibility” and it was hard to establish such outcomes from “very small surveys”.

He said the industry had worked hard to make the new rules work.

Nicotine Replacement TherapyDr Bloomfield said cigarette consumption had halved in the past 18 years, to around 1000 cigarettes per adult each year, down from a high of around 2000 cigarettes in 1990.The Health Ministry’s focus was now on nicotine replacement therapy products. All medical practitioners now have prescribing rights, including GPs, midwives, dentists and optometrists.

The national budget for subsidising nicotine replacement therapy for the 2007-08 year was $4.5million, an increase from $2.5million the year before.

“Evidence has shown that using nicotine replacement therapy can double a smoker’s chance of quitting long term, regardless of the type of support they are receiving,” Dr Bloomfield said.

Smokers can register for Quit Cards which enable them to obtain an eight-week supply of nicotine patches and/or gum from their local pharmacy for a subsidised cost of between $10 and $20.

The programme will be expanded to include a nicotine lozenge later this year.

Quitline spokesman Robert Brewer said between 32-35,000 people register for nicotine replacement therapy every year.

When the ban on smoking in bars took effect in December 2004, calls to the Quitline doubled.

“December is usually our lightest month because of Christmas,” he said.

Source: By GREER McDONALD – The Dominion Post

Smoking Bans Help People Quit, Research Shows

Nationwide, smoking bans are on the rise in workplaces, restaurants and bars.

Research shows that bans decrease the overall number of cigarettes people smoke and in some cases, actually result in people quitting.

One reason bans help people quit is simple biology. Inhaling tobacco actually increases the number of receptors in the brain that crave nicotine.

“If you had a smoker compared to a nonsmoker and were able to do imaging study of the brain, the smoker would have billions more of the receptors in areas of the brain that have to do with pleasure and reward,” says Richard Hurt, an internist who heads the Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center.

So, removing the triggers that turn on those receptors is a good thing.

“If you’re in a place where smoking is allowed, your outside world is hooked to the receptors in your brain through your senses: your sight, smell, the smoke from someone else’s tobacco smoke or cigarette. That reminds the receptors about the pleasure of smoking to that individual, and that’s what produces the cravings and urges to smoke,” Hurt explains.

Hurt adds that bans help decrease the urge to smoke in another way: They de-normalize it. For example, where smoking is considered the “norm” – as it was in so many countries in Europe for so long – more people smoke. In places where smoking is no longer the “norm” – in California, for example – there are fewer smokers.

Smoking Ban SignResearch shows that nicotine replacement medications – like nicotine gum, patches or inhalers – double a smoker’s chances of quitting. So do counseling and therapy. Add a smoking ban, and Hurt says the chance of successful quitting is even better.

Click to learn more about > smoking bans.

Source: NPR

Unlocking the Secrets of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Exclusive: A major new report seen by the IoS has revealed that smoking holds the key to a mystery that has baffled doctors and brought heartache to thousands.

Nine out of 10 mothers whose babies suffered cot death smoked during pregnancy, according to a scientific study to be published this week.

The study, thought to be one of the most authoritative to date on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), says women who smoke during pregnancy are four times more likely than non-smokers to see their child fall victim to cot death.

The comprehensive report will make a strong case for the Government to increase the scope of anti-smoking legislation. It even suggests a possible move to try to ban pregnant women from getting tobacco altogether.

Baby in CribThe study, produced by Bristol University’s Institute of Child Life and Health, is based on analysis of the evidence of 21 international studies on smoking and cot death.

The report, co-authored by Peter Fleming, professor of infant health and developmental physiology, and Dr Peter Blair, senior research fellow, will be published this week in the medical journal Early Human Development.

The report urges the Government “to emphasise the adverse effects of tobacco smoke exposure to infants and among pregnant women”. It also warns that this year’s ban on smoking in public places must not result in an increased exposure of infants or pregnant woman at home – smoking in their presence should be seen as being “anti-social, potentially dangerous, and unacceptable”.

The study points out that many mothers and mothers-to-be have not heeded warnings about smoking and may need to have their access to tobacco restricted. “Given the power that tobacco addiction holds over its victims, there is grave concern as to whether it will be a successfully modifiable risk factor without fundamental changes in tobacco availability to vulnerable individuals,” it states.

Scientists are working to the theory that exposure to smoke during the pregnancy or just after birth has an effect on brain chemicals in the foetus or in infants, increasing the risk of SIDS.

The Government is considering whether it should change its advice on smoking. It recommends that pregnant women should not drink alcohol at all, but simply recommends that mothers and fathers “cut smoking in pregnancy”.

These findings will add weight to calls from doctors earlier this year for a ban on parents smoking indoors where children are present. Professor Robert West, of University College London, the Government’s most senior smoking adviser, said: “We can apply powerful social pressure on parents not to smoke in the house.”

Speaking about the new report, Dr Blair said: “If smoking is a cause of SIDS, and the evidence suggests it is, we think that if all parents stopped smoking tomorrow more than 60 per cent of SIDS deaths would be prevented.”

According to the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), at least 300 babies in the UK each year die suddenly and unexpectedly, mostly between the ages of one month and four months. SIDS is the biggest killer of babies over a month old, claiming more deaths than traffic accidents, leukaemia and meningitis put together.

The issue has prompted a number of high-profile criminal convictions against mothers such as Angela Cannings and Sally Clark. Mrs Cannings suffered the deaths of three babies who died in their cribs. Mrs Clark had two infants who were taken by SIDS. Both women were jailed but later had their convictions overturned and were released in 2003. Mrs Cannings, whose family smoked, was too upset by personal matters to comment yesterday on the findings of this latest study. Mrs Clark, a non-smoker, died last March.

Although scientists are still trying to understand precisely why babies die so young, medical research is providing effective steps that parents can take to reduce the risk of it happening.

Anti-smoking messages have provided some benefits: in the past 15 years, researchers found that the proportion of smokers among all pregnant mothers in the UK has fallen from 30 to 20 per cent.

Nevertheless, according to another study, in 1984 57 percent of babies who died from SIDS had mothers who smoked during pregnancy. This had increased to 86 per cent by 2003. It is thought that the huge rise in the proportion of SIDS mothers who smoke is at least to some degree a result of the Back to Sleep campaign which was launched in 1991, and which appears to have had a dramatic effect in reducing cot death.

The key message of this campaign was that parents should put their baby on its back to sleep. Since then, the number of SIDS deaths has fallen by three-quarters. The proportion of SIDS babies found lying face down has fallen from 89 per cent to 24 per cent.

The campaign has also changed the social profile of parents whose infants have died from SIDS. Before the Back to Sleep campaign, fewer than half were from lower socio-economic classes, considered to be “deprived”. Now, this proportion has risen to 74 per cent.

The researchers now believe that laying babies face down has been largely removed as the main reason for SIDS. The remaining primary dangers are exposure to tobacco smoke and other factors possibly linked to deprivation.

“The risk of unexpected infant death is greatly increased by both prenatal and postnatal exposure to tobacco smoke,” said Dr Blair. “We should aim to achieve a ‘smoke-free zone’ around pregnant women and infants.

“Reduction of prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke, by reducing smoking in pregnancy, and of postnatal exposure to tobacco, by not allowing smoking in the home, will substantially reduce the risk of SIDS.”

There are a number of theories to explain how smoking could affect the baby. Babies exposed to tobacco could have breathing problems. Lung development in the growing foetus could be hindered. Another theory is that levels of brain chemicals are affected by smoke exposure.

“Exposure to tobacco smoke, either prenatally or postnatally, will lead to a complex range of effects upon normal physiological and anatomical development in foetal and postnatal life, together with an increased incidence of acute viral infection that places infants at greatly increased risk of SIDS,” says the Bristol University study.

Deborah Arnott, the director of ASH, the anti-smoking charity, said that this report should provoke a strong government campaign to highlight the risks of women smoking while pregnant, and of parents smoking in the home.

“Because of other advice on avoiding cot death, smoking has become an increasingly important trigger and we are very concerned that there is a lack of understanding of how important it is,” she said.

A YouGov poll commissioned for ASH at the end of August showed only 17 per cent of respondents thought second-hand smoke had a big impact on cot-death risk, and 26 per cent that it had “some impact”. But Ms Arnott does not believe the public ban will necessarily increase smoking at home. She added: “About 85 per cent of smoke is invisible and people think it isn’t having an impact if they smoke in a room where the baby isn’t, but it moves around the house. Our advice is, if you have a baby and cannot give up, don’t smoke in the home or car and use nicotine gum or patches for cravings. Being realistic, banning smoking in the home isn’t something we can do.”

Catherine Parker-Littler, a midwife and founder of midwivesonline.com, said that her confidential service has received emails from smokers who lost infants to cot death. “In our ‘Ask a Midwife’ service, we have definitely had emails from a small number of parents who smoke about their experience in terms of a cot death,” she said. “Some are about feelings of guilt.”

A spokeswoman from the Department of Health said: “This is an interesting report which we will study carefully and consider whether we need to change our advice. At the moment, our advice on how best to reduce the chances of cot death is based on the best available scientific evidence. We advise parents to cut out smoking in pregnancy and not to share a bed with your baby if you are a smoker.”

Falsely accused: Bereaved – and then tried for murder

The court cases of Angela Cannings and Sally Clark became bywords for miscarriages of justice after both were wrongly convicted of murdering their children.

Ms Cannings, from Salisbury in Wiltshire, was jailed for life in April 2002 after she was found guilty of smothering her two sons, seven-week old Jason in 1991 and 18-week-old Matthew in 1999.

Ms Cannings, 43, maintained her babies died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and was eventually freed in 2003. Her marriage has since broken down and she has left the family home. During her appeal, Professor Robert Carpenter, a medical statistics expert, said the babies had been at a “substantially increased risk” of cot deaths because they may have been exposed to cigarette smoke.

“The Cannings family smoked and the children slept prone,” he told the Court of Appeal in 2003.

But the link between smoking and cot death is not a certainty, as the case of Sally Clark shows.

Mrs Clark, who died in March at the age of 42, was jailed for life in 1999 for murdering her two sons, eight-week old Harry and 11-week-old Christopher. Her conviction was finally overturned in 2003.

The Clarks were affluent non-smokers, factors that led Professor Sir Roy Meadow, a consultant pediatrician and expert witness in both trials, to wrongly conclude that the chances of two cot deaths in such a family was “one in 73 million”.

Mrs Clark was released after a second appeal found her children had died of natural causes. She never recovered from her ordeal.

Source: Roger Dobson, Senay Boztas, and Ian Griggs, The Independent