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By cracking down on artificial nicotine products, India will miss the historical opportunity to reduce the burden of disease and deaths due to smoking and tobacco as these products are 95 per cent less risky than conventional cigarettes, health experts said.
“E-cigarettes represent a very historical opportunity when you consider the diversity in the mosaic of different patterns of use in different products that are used at such high rates in India,” Konstantinos E. Farsalinos, a research fellow at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, Greece told IANS.
India has 11.2 per cent of the world’s total smokers. Over 11 per cent of the 6.4 million deaths worldwide were caused by smoking in 2015 and 52.2 per cent of them took place in China, India, Russia, and the US, according to a recent study published in the journal The Lancet.
“E-cigarettes are not safe but are certainly 95 per cent less risky than smoking conventional cigarettes,” Alex Wodak, Emeritus Consultant, Alcohol and Drug Service, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney told IANS.
“The smoke from a conventional cigarette contains about 7,000 chemicals with mostly high concentrations but vapour from e-cigarettes contains only 150 chemicals which are mostly of low concentration,” Wodak added.
In August, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued an advisory to state governments to ban Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) which include e-cigarettes, vape, e-Sheesha, e-hookah, etc.
According to experts, banning these may deprive smokers of a substantially less harmful alternative which can be against public health and can result in adverse consequences.
One should never make decisions based only on potential risks but they should always measure benefits and see where the ratio lies, they added.
“Regulation is needed but it should be risk proportional,” Farsalinos said.
Earlier, in a statement, the Association of Vapers India (AVI) — an organisation that represents e-cigarettes — said the government has failed to offer an alternative to tobacco cigarettes known to cause many diseases, including cancer and lung disease.
“The government has so far relied on an emotional appeal to persuade tobacco users to kick the habit but never offered an alternative beyond gums and patches, which have a very low success rate,” said Samrat Chowdhery, Director, AVI.
In such a scenario, “an attempt to ban e-cigarettes is regressive given that the government’s stated policy is to provide wider choices to consumers for all products and services, and not restrict them,” he added.
Although e-cigarettes too contain nicotine like tobacco cigarettes, they do not produce tar and toxic chemicals that cause most tobacco-related deaths across the world, the experts argued.
Moreover, 55 countries worldwide, including the UK, New Zealand, Norway and Canada, among others, have legalised the sale of nicotine e-cigarettes and e-liquids as consumer goods.
E-cigarettes are a proven stop smoking tool and while uncertainties undoubtedly remain about their long-term health impact, failing to explore the use of e-cigarettes could lead to the continued use of conventional cigarettes which currently kill millions, the experts noted. (IANS)
Super model and actress Hailey Bieber said she is lucky to have a husband like Justin Bieber, refuting rumours of the ace singer not treating her properly. Hailey was speaking at singer Demi Lovato's podcast '4D With Demi Lovato', dailymail.co.uk reported.
Talking about her popstar husband and rumours around their marriage, Hailey said: "I think one of the biggest things is you have to know what the truth is behind everything. You know, there's so many narratives that float around about me, about him, about us together." She addressed the rumours point blank as she said: "There's one big fat narrative that goes around that's like, 'Justin is not nice to her, and that he mistreats her', and I'm just like, it's so far from the truth, and it's the complete and utter opposite."
Hailey went on to set the record straight about Justin, who she married in 2018. She said: "I really am lucky to say I'm with someone who is extremely respectful of me, who makes me feel special every single day. So when I see the opposite of that, I'm just like, 'Huh?' And everybody around who knows us personally would say the same thing." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Hailey Bieber, Justin Bieber, husband, respectful, truth, married
Among the Tamil epics written during the Sangam age, only a few survived to this day. Manimegalai is one such. It is written as a sequel to the Sillapadikaram, taking the story forward of Kovalan and Madhavi's daughter, Manimegalai. The Sillapadikaram is about the injustice of the Madurai kingdom in the execution of Kovalan, which turned Kannagi, his wife into a goddess seeking vengeance for her husband's death. Kovalan, before his death, has an affair with a court dancer, Madhavi, and his daughter, Manimegalai, is said to begin a different tradition among the Tamils.
The epic, written by Sattanar, introduces Buddhism to Dravidian culture, something that has been alien to them for years. Manimegalai is the protagonist, who flees constantly from the pursuit of Chola prince Udhayakumara, and tries to lead an ascetic life. Throughout the plot, Buddhist tenets are used to avoid the culmination of a love-story. Manimegalai is believed to be the anti-love story sequel to the Sillapadikaram.
A complete work of Tamil epic written by hand on leaves Image source: wikimedia commons
The Sillapadikaram was written by a Jain monk, Illango Adigal, and Sattanar, uses the sequel to question Jainism. It is almost a political battle between two new religions competing for a place in a predominantly Hindu society. Parts of Manimegalai even go to the extent of opening ridiculing Jain practices and beliefs.
Critics of Tamil literature have stated that while the Tamil epics have great poetic significance, they are inferior to other world epics when it comes to clearly portraying religious affiliations. In fact, they refer to the newer religions with an infant's perspective. Some scholars have found that Sillapadikaram has more ethical substance than its sequel, but in and of itself, despite being written by a Jain monk, reads like Hindu poetry (Subhramanya Aiyar, 1906).
Keywords: Manimegalai, Sillapadikaram, Tamil Epic, Sattanar, Ilango Adigal, Chola kingdom, Sangam Age, Buddhism
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. In its Ecoscope report, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: "With Covid-19 hurting India's 'Household' (HH) and 'Government' sectors adversely, the continuity of strong consumption growth is in question."
"On the contrary, with listed companies' financial positions improving and an uptick in household investments in the Real Estate sector (called physical savings), the narrative of investment-led recovery is gaining momentum." The report prescribed that various economic participants - households, governments, listed companies, and unlisted corporates -- to increase their fixed asset investments in the immediate future based on their financial position.
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. | Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash
At present, the listed and unlisted corporate sector accounts for only about half of total investments in India. The 'HH' sector including unincorporated enterprises accounts for 35-40 per cent in India's investments, while the remaining 12-13 per cent is contributed by centre and states governments. Besides, the report cited that demand environment is expected to remain subdued due to weak financial position of 'HH' and government sector.
"Despite household investments picking up strongly in 2HFY21, given that Indian households bore the maximum brunt of Covid-led losses in CY20 (and CY21), we believe household spending would remain subdued over the next few years." It further pointed out that unless 'HH', 'Unlisted Corporate', and government sectors can improve their financial positions -- leading to a demand uptick -- a strong revival in investments seems challenging. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, covid, pandemic, growth, household, government, investment