Smoking and diabetes take top spot for Health Watch

The UK press substantially increased its coverage of smoking and diabetes in the last two months, according to this month’s Health Watch.

The bi-monthly chart shows that mentions of both were significantly up in May and June, compared with the previous two months.

Although smoking as a health topic only rose one place in the top ten – overtaking pain to reach eighth slot – the volume of mentions in papers and magazines ­almost doubled from 580 to 981.

Many of these mentions will have related to the impending ban on smoking in public places in England.

However, it is worth noting that our survey ended the day before the ban came into force on 1 July – so the blizzard of smoking pieces in the early part of this month has not impacted on the figures.

Rather, the figures can be seen to reflect a steady build-up of coverage over the last two months.

Non-ban stories included one about the danger of lighting up near babies and the draft approval given by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for Champix, the prescription-only pill to help people stop smoking.

Meanwhile, diabetes has overtaken sexual and rep­roductive health to move from sixth to fifth place in the survey.

The sheer range of articles suggests that there is no main story responsible for the move.

Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are mentioned in pieces as diverse as the benefits to children of infusions of umbilical cord blood; research that found the disease knocking seven years off sufferers’ lives; the importance of high fibre foods; and a new DNA study.



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