Wednesday December 13, 2017

Youth icons of Kerala call for tobacco-free educational institutions in the state

Educational institutions, which are the grooming grounds for creating responsible citizens, have to be kept tobacco-free, says Jayachandran

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Use of Tobacco. Wikimedia Commons

Thiruvananthapuram, August 24, 2016: Popular youth icons of Kerala have appealed to the state government and society to work towards making educational institutions here tobacco-free.

Popular music composer, singer and musician M. Jayachandran, state-award winning actor Parvathy Thiruvothu and Chairman of Kochi-based Startup Village Sanjay Vijayakumar have come together to fight the tobacco menace among youth.

Jayachandran said youngsters start off with cigarettes and tobacco and soon get lured by drugs. He said, “Educational institutions, which are the grooming grounds for creating responsible citizens, have to be kept tobacco-free.”

M. Jayachandran. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
M. Jayachandran. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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Vijayakumar said, “Kerala spends Rs 1,514 crore a year for cure and care of tobacco-induced cancers and other diseases. Educating youngsters about the ill-effects of tobacco use is important and campuses should be kept tobacco-free.”

Parvathy said that any form of substance abuse comes with a lot of humiliation. She said, “I wish the youth of this generation would explore life and experience the high of an addiction-free life.”

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The Indian tobacco control law COTPA — Cigarettes or Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 — prohibits smoking in educational institutions and all forms of direct and indirect advertisements, promotion and sponsorships, besides prohibiting the sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions. (IANS)

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Limit Alcohol Intake to cut Risk of Cancer, Say Experts

Drinking alcohol whether, in light, moderate or heavy quantity is linked with increasing the risk of cancer of various types, including those of the breast, colon, esophagus and head and neck

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Drinking behavior can alter risk of developing cancer. Pixabay

New Delhi, November 10, 2017 : Regular consumption of alcohol may significantly increase your risk of developing several cancers, experts have warned.

Drinking alcohol whether, in light, moderate or heavy quantity is linked with increasing the risk of cancer of various types, including those of the breast, colon, esophagus and head and neck, experts from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) said in a statement. Moreover, not only does excessive alcohol consumption cause cancer, it also can delay or negatively impact cancer treatment, the experts noted.

“Even moderate alcohol use can cause cancer. Therefore, limiting alcohol intake is a means to prevent cancer,” said lead author Noelle K. LoConte, Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin in the US.

“Just like people wear sunscreen to limit their risk of cancer of the skin, limiting alcohol intake is one more thing people can do to reduce their overall risk of developing cancer.”

Further, while many studies have considered some type of alcohol to be beneficial, experts noted that alcohol in all forms raises the risk of cancer.

“People typically don’t associate drinking beer, wine, and hard liquor with increasing their risk of developing cancer in their lifetimes,” said Bruce Johnson, President at the ASCO.

“However, the link between increased alcohol consumption and cancer has been firmly established and gives the medical community guidance on how to help their patients reduce their risk of cancer,” said Johnson in a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Besides raising awareness on the link between alcohol and cancer, the experts also recommended some measures – such as regulating alcohol outlet density, increasing alcohol taxes and prices, maintaining limits on days and hours of sale, enhancing enforcement of laws prohibiting sales to minors and restricting youth exposure to advertising of alcoholic beverages – to reduce excessive alcohol consumption.  (IANS)

 

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Texas Mass Shooting: ‘It isn’t a guns situation, but a mental problem’, Says Trump

An eyewitness to the shootings, who is a Vietnam War vet, told VOA's Mehtap Colak Yilmaz that he had not seen anything like the church massacre "since Vietnam."

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, not pictured, at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg(VOA)

White House, November 6, 2017 : A man opened fire with an assault weapon at a church near San Antonio, Texas, Sunday morning, killing 26 worshippers and wounding at least 20.

The victims range from five to 72 years old.

The gunman is also dead and there is no clue so far as to his motive.

Federal investigators from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms have joined local law enforcement officers in tiny Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 50 kilometers from San Antonio.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump said the mass shooting “isn’t a guns situation” but is instead “a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event.” He said the shooter was “a very deranged individual.” The president is monitoring the situation from Japan, the first stop on his five-nation Asian trip.

Earlier, Trump called the shootings “an act of evil” and appealed for prayers. He ordered U.S. flags on federal buildings to be flown at half-staff through Thursday.

“We cannot put into words, the pain and grief we all feel and we cannot begin to imagine the suffering of those who lost the ones they so dearly loved. Our hearts are broken,” the president said.

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott says this is worst mass shooting in Texas history. He said there are “many pieces of a complex puzzle” to put together.

Texas
Members of the Wilson County Sheriff’s office stand inside a taped off area near the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Nov. 5, 2017. VOA

What is known, according to Texas public safety official Freeman Martin, is that the gunman, later identified as Devin P. Kelley, was described as a young white male dressed in black and wearing a bullet-proof vest. He first opened fire with an assault rifle outside the First Baptist Church and continued shooting after going inside.

Freeman said a local resident with his own rifle confronted the shooter, causing the gunman to drop his weapon and flee in his car. The citizen pursued the gunman, joined shortly by police. Freeman said the suspect crashed the car just over the county line and was found dead in the vehicle from a gunshot wound. It is unclear if he killed himself or was shot by the citizen.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt says police found multiple weapons in the suspect’s car.

U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told VOA late Sunday that records show Kelley was discharged from the Air Force about three years ago: “Records checks confirm Devin P. Kelley was previously a USAF member, who served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman AFB, NM, from 2010 until his discharge in 2014. Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 for two counts of Article 128 UCMJ ((EDS: Uniform code of Military Justice)) — assault on his spouse and assault on their child. Kelley received a Bad Conduct Discharge, confinement for twelve months and a reduction to the grade of E-1.”

ALSO READ 26 people killed as a Shooter opens fire in a Church in Texas

Two of the victims were killed outside the church. The rest were shot inside.

An eyewitness to the shootings, who is a Vietnam War vet, told VOA’s Mehtap Colak Yilmaz that he had not seen anything like the church massacre “since Vietnam.”

Marie Ann Montgomery, the church’s Sunday school director, told VOA’s Yilmaz that people in the congregation knew Kelley and some of the suspect’s family members were among the victims. Montgomery stopped short, however, of saying the suspect deliberately targeted his family.

While none of the victims have been publicly identified, First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy told U.S. news networks that his 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Renee Pomeroy, is among the deceased.

Pomeroy was in Oklahoma at the time of the shooting. He told ABC News he was on his way back to Sutherland Springs.

Sutherland Springs, Texas on the map. VOA

​He said all of the people killed Sunday were close friends. Pomeroy also said he wants the world to know his daughter “was one very beautiful special child.”

Sheriff Tackitt says the church posts its weekly services on YouTube and that the massacre was likely caught on camera. The FBI says it believes only one gunman was involved.

Sunday’s Texas shooting comes just weeks after October’s mass killing in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music show there, killing 58 and wounding about 500. Paddock shot from his 32nd floor hotel room and killed himself as police moved in. Investigators in the Las Vegas shooting are still working to confirm a motive. (VOA)

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Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking? New Research Suggests Why You Should Switch

While the best approach for a healthy life is to entirely quit smoking, but the most critical thought is that smoker stop smoking tobacco in the first place

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Do you believe e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to smoking? Think again. Pixabay

Washington, October 6, 2017 : In present day societies, smoking is considered ‘cool’. Unfortunately, in this race to look trendy, the practice has become one of the biggest man-made killers. Today, tobacco consumption is among the world’s leading causes of preventable death and takes as many as six million lives every year.

While quitting smoking is difficult, a new research suggests e-cigarettes are far safer than smoking and can add multiple years to anyone who switches.

According to a new cancer research team, if all smokers switch to e-cigarettes and similar vaping devices exclusively, they could live for 86.7 million years in total.

The study has been carried out by Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The Research 

According to David Levy, the lead author of the study and a professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi, the study has been carried out to encourage “replacing cigarette smoking with vaping to yield substantial life year gains,”

The study is the first ever theoretical piece to trace the health outcomes of people who are choosing to quit smoking and shift to different vaping devices.

The study relied upon multiple factors like,

  • When a subject began smoking
  • when they quit smoking
  • when they switched from smoking a cigarette to vaping

Studying the responses, the researchers anticipated both a hopeful result and a negative result.

Pessimistic Result : 1.6 million would add a 20.8 million years to their lives.

Optimistic Result : 6.6 million cigarette smokers would include 86.7 million years from switching.

These results suggest that even in the grimmest outcome, vapors live more instead of those who inhale deadly measures of toxicants with cigarette smoke.

A switch from smoking to vaping will not only add years to an individuals’ life, but will also have multiple benefits on general health. According to Professor Levy, “There would be tremendous health benefits including reduced disease disability to smokers, reduced pain and suffering, and reduced exposure to secondhand smoke”

Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices do not contain tobacco. Instead, they contain a nicotine-filled liquid which is heated to produce vapor, which in turn is inhaled. This satisfies the cravings known to be associated with cigarette addiction.

While it will be wrong to say that these devices are completely harmless, it can be said that these devices to not cause life-threatening diseases like cancer- which tobacco does.

In this way, e-cigarettes are far safer than smoking.

While the best approach for a healthy life is to entirely quit smoking, but the most critical thought is that smoker stop smoking tobacco in the first place.

The study has been published in a global journal that studies and analyses the effect of tobacco abuse called Tobacco Control.

– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala