Friday November 24, 2017

22 percent Indian TV programmes found depicting Tobacco are affecting Children

anti-tobacco messages are effective in countering the imagery of tobacco and prompting decision to quit

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A person smoking cigarette, Pixabay

New Delhi, Feb 10, 2017: Twenty-two per cent of the Indian television programmes have been found depicting tobacco and broadcasting them despite 71 per cent viewers being children and adolescents, a report revealed on Friday.

The report titled ‘Evaluation of Tobacco Free Film and Television Policy in India’ conducted by Vital Strategies and supported by World Health Organization (WHO) noted that the implementation of the rule under the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act was very low.

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The report added that anti-tobacco messages are effective in countering the imagery of tobacco and prompting decision to quit. It also called for better implementation of the act.

The film rule was legislated on October 2, 2012, and mandates that three forms of warning messages (anti-tobacco health spots, audio-visual disclaimers and static health warning messages) are broadcast when tobacco products, branding or use are shown in films and television programmes.

The study was conducted under the guidance of the Union Health Ministry. “An effective way of tobacco control would be to ingrain and indoctrinate the young minds, the children and the youths. If they could be weaned away from tobacco use, we believe that the battle is half won,” said Health Secretary C.K Mishra.

Present on the occasion, Nandita Murukutia, Country Director Vital Strategies, said: “The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars to mislead consumers by depicting tobacco use as glamorous or popular.”

According to Murukutia, when tobacco is depicted in films and TV Programmes, it’s doing the tobacco industry’s work for them. “Tobacco kills one million Indians every year and costs our economy $22.4 billion.

The objective of this study is to understand the importance of ‘film rule’ and the current gap in implementation,” said Murukutia. Murukutia urged the TV and film industry to recognise its responsibilities and work towards a tobacco-free culture. (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.

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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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Have you switched from Cigarettes to E-Cigarettes? Beware! Vapor smoke from E-cigarettes are just as harmful, says a new research

If you are still wondering, the only completely healthy alternative to cigarette smoking is to completely quit smoking.  

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

North Carolina, October 23, 2017 : Vaping and e-cigarettes comprise a considerably new trend in the market, having been around for only for a decade or so. While their use has not been widespread, with mostly the younger population choosing it, a majority of the people are not even aware about it. However, out of those who know, it is a common belief that e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to regular smoking.

Contrary to regular cigarettes that burn tobacco, e-cigarettes deliver nicotine to the smoker in the form of water vapor. Due to this diluted consumption, most people imagine vaping is healthier than smoking. But is that really true?

While it will not be wrong to say that e-cigarette vapor smoke does not contain the same composition and amount of carcinogenic compounds as regular cigarette smoke, a new research suggests that ‘vaping’ may have its own harmful effects.

According to researchers from the University of North Carolina, the use of e-cigarettes can lead to inflammatory lung disease, triggered by extremely harmful response in the lung to the vapor smoke.

The Study Findings 

For the study that has been published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine researchers examined the sputum samples of 44 non-smokers, e-cigarette users, and current cigarette smokers. Sputum is a combination of saliva and mucus, coughed from the respiratory tract which is often caused by some infection or disease.

  • Analysis found that the batch of e-cigarette smokers had a significant increase in neutrophil granulocyte- and neutrophil-extracellular-trap (NET)-related proteins, which are our immune system’s first line of defense against infection causing pathogens.
  • However, it was also revealed that while neutrophils are helpful in combating infectious pathogens, they are also known to contribute to lung diseases like COPD (a group of lung diseases that block the air flow, making it difficult to breathe) and cystic fibrosis (a life threatening disorder that gravely damages the lungs and the digestive system).
  • Additionally, the researchers also identified a similar positive trend in specific biomarkers of oxidative stress between e-cigarette users and regular cigarette smokers that have been understood as causative of lung diseases.
  • Furthermore, common increase in mucinn 5AC, which is associated with asthma and chronic bronchitis, was revealed in both, e-cigarette and cigarette users.

While smoking, in any way, is harmful, it is  important to note here that regular cigarette smoke and vapor smoke are two different compounds which can (and do) have different effects on the body. According to Dr. Mehmet Kesimer, senior author of the new study, “Comparing the harm of e-cigarettes with cigarettes is a little like comparing apples to oranges.”

ALSO READ Banning E-Cigarettes Deprives Indian Smokers of a Less Harmful Alternative: Experts

The senior researcher added that the research shows that e-cigarettes have a signature of harm in the lung, which is very similar to that of regular cigarettes, but also unique in its own way. A broader understanding of the harm done by vapor smoke can thus, have implications that challenge the popular belief that it is healthier alternative to consume vapor smoke from e-cigarettes than regular smoking.

It must be noted here that this study was carried out on a small and limited scale, with most e-cigarette smokers previously being cigarette smokers. This duplicity makes it difficult to clearly identify if the study results are strictly related to use of e-cigarettes and vapor smoke.

There have been numerous studies about the harm of e-cigarettes in relation to that of regular cigarettes. However, what makes the study extremely important is its analysis of the unique or novel ways that e-cigarettes could be causing harm to our bodies.

In increasing number of studies previously published have revealed how it is a healthier lifestyle choice to switch from regular cigarettes to e-cigarettes. But, new researches have begun to trace the long-term adverse effects of e-cigarettes, which are challenging this switch.

If you are still wondering, the only completely healthy alternative to cigarette smoking is to completely quit smoking.

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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