Wednesday 27 July 2011

BHF blog update: goodbye

Hi blog readers,

I thought it would be good to update you all on our future plans for blogging as we haven't updated our blog for awhile.

We have been using Blogger for many years and we have had some great posts - most notably our London to Brighton Bike Ride updates from 2010 and our live chats with BHF experts.

However, as we began to think about what blogging meant to us and how we can give you the best content we can we realised that Blogger wasn't the best place for us to make the most impact with our content. We have reviewed all the content on our website and you may have noticed more 'blog' like content already, which has meant that we have blogged less here.

We have now decided to close this blog and after October we will be launching our own blogging area on our website that will make it a lot easier for you to find our content and in future even submit a blog for us.

In the meantime a big thank you to all the subscribers, readers and those of you who have commented on our blog. We hope that you will follow us on our new blog
after October.

If you can't wait until then you can interact with us online in lots of ways already:

On our Facebook page
Twitter account
Our online community
Our YouTube channel

Thanks and best wishes,

Roberto Kusabbi
Community & Social Media
British Heart Foundation

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Today's tobacco plan is a victory for public health

Today is No Smoking Day and the Coalition Government has announced details of its new Tobacco Control Plan. We're really pleased to see the plan includes a range of measures which will help protect people from the dangers of smoking.

Today's announcement includes:

  • Implementing important legislation that will stop tobacco being displayed in large shops in England from April next year, and all other shops from April 2015.
  • A consultation on plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes across the UK by the end of the year. Under the proposal, cigarette packaging would be plain-coloured and show simply the product name, brand and health warnings.

We’re pleased to see the Government will defend the ban on cigarette vending machines due in October because we’ve been fighting hard to make sure this ban goes ahead.

Our Director of Policy and Communication, Betty McBride, said:

“The Coalition Government has been under enormous pressure from a tobacco industry hell-bent on derailing important legislation banning tobacco displays in shops. Today is a victory for health campaigners and show of strength from Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

“Though we’re slightly disappointed the display ban is being delayed, it will help prevent the industry from marketing their products to children and will go a long way to helping young people avoid a lifetime of addiction and health problems. The introduction of plain packaging would complement the ban and signal the end of slick, colourful designs used as ‘silent salesmen’.

“Before today’s announcement, tobacco bosses have been keeping busy scaremongering retailers with claims that the display ban will see them facing an insurmountable financial burden. The evidence from the ban in Ireland disproves those claims and the changes the Government has made to the legislation, including giving shopkeepers more time to comply, should provide further reassurance.”

We're interested in today's announcement because we know that smoking increases your risk of heart disease and despite one in five premature deaths from heart and circulatory disease being linked to smoking, 21 per cent of adults in Great Britain still smoke cigarettes. In fact, two thirds took up the habit before they were 18 years old.

We've been campaigning for a tobacco display ban to prevent tobacco companies from marketing their products to children. We've also been calling for plain packaging, so thanks to everyone who's helped campaign hard to make this happen.

Thursday 24 February 2011

The "live" chat is now closed

Thank you to all of you who have asked us questions about our Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.

The live chat is now closed. Sorry to all of those questions that we couldn't answer, we will start to answer these individually in the coming week.

Thanks again for all your support.

My teenager will need another aortic valve replacement in few years time. Could stem cells work on repairing valves

Thanks for your question.

Many scientists hope that stem cell research will have benefits for heart valve problems.

However, at the current state of play it’s more likely that they’ll be used to grow more durable replacement valves in the lab, rather than using stem cells to repair our own damaged or abnormal valves.

So, surgical valve replacement is likely to be here for some time.

Is the woman in your advert a real person who has heart failure?

Hello, thanks for your question.

The woman in our advertising is an actress, but the story she’s depicting is very real. It’s based on a lady called Joanne Ward. You can read her real story on our website.

Joanne helped us develop the adverts and we’re incredibly grateful to her for giving her time and sharing her story to help us launch the Appeal.

Joanne is a Facebook fan of the BHF, so if she reads this she might even post to say hello!

Thanks for your question

Bruce asks us whether we will be holding any clinical trials in Scotland

Hi Bruce, thanks for your question.

There are centres in Scotland – including Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh - that are very active in heart failure research.

If you have heart failure yourself, your cardiologist is best placed to advise you about any trials that you might be eligible for now or in the future.

Hope that helps, best wishes and thanks for taking part in our live chat.

Darren asks us whether our Mending Broken Hearts Appeal research will help those with dilated cardiomyopathy

Hi Darren, thanks for your question.

At this stage it’s not clear if regenerative medicine research funded by the Appeal will have direct benefits for people with dilated cardiomyopathy. But it’s really too early to know for sure.

However, we’re well aware of the importance of the condition. The Appeal is funding research over and above our current research spend, so please be assured that we will continue to fund a great deal of research into the genetic and molecular causes of dilated cardiomyopathy in the hope that new treatments will emerge.

Thanks again and best wishes for the future