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Britain sets an example by kicking the butt; Is India ready for it?

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Agencies

A lot of Brits must be getting really worried, and the feeling is completely justified. The ban on cigarette packs on counter shelves which was there for just the big businesses, have been extended to small retailers too. The offenders can be fined as much as £5,000 and imprisonment up to 6 weeks to 2 years. Tobacco sales account for 30% of such establishments.

With this move, English have successfully removed tobacco from all sorts of advertising. The idea is simple, keep the cancer sticks out of sight and thus out of mind too.

‘Two-thirds of smokers start before the age of 18, so it is vital that everything is done to put tobacco out of sight to protect future generations,’ Hazel Cheeseman, policy director at Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) was quoted in an English newspaper.

But this is not all. UK has decided a firm crack down on the global killer. Later this year smoking will be banned in cars carrying children. This will be followed by sale of cigarettes in unbranded packs apart from the EU ban of Menthol tobacco and cigarette packs of 10. The last measure is taken to curb the growing percentage of young smokers, menthol being one of their favorites.

Even without the law, or maybe because of that the population of smokers in Britain is showing a downward trend. Smokers between 11 to 15 years of age plummeted from 9% to 3% between 2003 and 2013. Even veteran puffers are kicking the butt. Between 2007 and 2015 percentage of adult smokers decreased from 25% to 18%.

The fall of the ‘Power Wall’ as the cigarette pack displays are called in industry jargon has snatched the last inch of advertising space form tobacco companies. Film industry, one of the biggest and most efficient promoters of smoking is also showing the practice a cold shoulder. Disney has already announced a ban on the depiction of smoking in PG 13-rated films.

In the midst of all this, big tobacco companies are losing a lot of sleep as lucrative markets slip out of their grip. They can’t afford a global sway against tobacco with similar laws being followed everywhere. The markets in China and India are huge. The ongoing controversy, dubbed by media as Tobaccogate in India shows that the big fish of the tobacco world are not acquiescing to the dictates of governments.

But the world seems to have taken up arms against Tobacco. New Zealand has decided to become completely tobacco free by 2025. UN is also under a lot of pressure to launch a campaign against tobacco, similar in scale and reach to the AIDS/HIV campaign.

The way people respond to the new British laws and what the rest of the world learns form them will have a major role to play in making the world tobacco free.

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Affects of Prenatal Marijuana on Baby

If you smoke marijuana during your pregnancy, your baby could be at high risk of being born with a low birth weight as well as influencing behavior problems, researchers have warned. The findings, published in the journal Child Development, suggests that prenatal marijuana use can have consequences on infant's weight and can influence behavior problems, especially when combined with tobacco use.

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The infants' irritability and frustration is also linked to mothers who experienced higher levels of stress while pregnant.
marijuana, pixabay

If you smoke marijuana during your pregnancy, your baby could be at high risk of being born with a low birth weight as well as influencing behavior problems, researchers have warned.

The findings, published in the journal Child Development, suggests that prenatal marijuana use can have consequences on infant’s weight and can influence behavior problems, especially when combined with tobacco use.

The researchers found that infants who had been exposed to both tobacco and marijuana, especially into the third trimester, were smaller in length, weight and head size.

They were more likely to be born earlier, compared to babies who were not exposed to anything, the researcher said.

They were more likely to be born earlier, compared to babies who were not exposed to anything, the researcher said
smoke, pixabay

“We also found that lower birth weight and size predicted a baby’s behavior in later infancy,” said co-author Rina Das Eiden from the University at Buffalo in New York.

“Babies who were smaller were reported by their mothers to be more irritable, more easily frustrated and had greater difficulty calming themselves when frustrated. Thus, there was an indirect association between co-exposure to tobacco and marijuana and infant behavior via poor growth at delivery,” Eiden added.

For the study, the researchers recruited nearly 250 infants and their mothers. Of these, 173 of the infants had been exposed to tobacco or marijuana during their mothers’ pregnancies. None were exposed to significant amounts of alcohol.

Women who showed symptoms of anger, hostility and aggression reported more stress during pregnancy and were more likely to continue using tobacco and marijuana throughout pregnancy, the researcher said.

Therefore, due to the co-exposure, they were more likely to give birth to infants smaller in size and who were more irritable and easily frustrated, the researchers added.

They were more likely to be born earlier, compared to babies who were not exposed to anything, the researcher said
Representational image, Pixabay

The infants’ irritability and frustration are also linked to mothers who experienced higher levels of stress while pregnant.

“Our results suggest that interventions with women who smoke cigarettes or use marijuana while pregnant should also focus on reducing stress and helping them cope with negative emotions,” Eiden said.

Also Read: Tips to Initiate a New Beginning for Couples Facing Fertility Issue  

“This may help reduce prenatal substance exposure and subsequent behavior problems in infants,” Eiden noted. (IANS)

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