Thursday December 12, 2019

UK Study: E-Cigarettes help Smokers Quit as Much as Stop-Smoking Aids

This study involved almost 19,000 people in England who had tried to quit smoking in the preceding 12 months, collected over a 12-year period from 2006 to 2018

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FILE - A sales associate demonstrates the use of an electronic cigarette and the smoke-like vapor that comes from it, in Aurora, Colorado, March 2, 2011. VOA

People using e-cigarettes to quit smoking are about 95% more likely to report success than those trying to quit without help from any stop-smoking aids according to the results of a large study in England.

The research, funded by the charity Cancer Research UK and published in the journal Addiction on Thursday, analyzed success rates of several common stop-smoking methods – including e-cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches and gum, and Pfizer’s varenicline, sold as Champix in the UK.

It also adjusted for a wide range of factors that might influence success rates for quitting – such as age, social level, degree of cigarette addiction, previous attempts to quit, and whether quitting was gradual or abrupt.

Latest World Health Organization data show that smoking and other tobacco use kills more than 7 million people a year globally. Of the 1.1 billion people worldwide who smoke, around 80 percent live in poor or middle-income countries.

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A woman smokes an electronic cigarette in London, Aug. 19, 2015. VOA

E-cigarettes have no tobacco, but contain nicotine-laced liquids that the user inhales in a vapor. Many big tobacco companies, including British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands and Japan Tobacco, sell e-cigarettes.

This study involved almost 19,000 people in England who had tried to quit smoking in the preceding 12 months, collected over a 12-year period from 2006 to 2018. Successful quitters were defined as those who said they were still not smoking.

As well as the 95% increased success rate for e-cigarettes, the study found that people prescribed Champix were around 82% more likely to have succeeded in stopping smoking than those who tried to quit without any aids.

“Our study adds to growing evidence that use of e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit,” said Sarah Jackson, a professor at University College London who co-led the study.

Using e-cigarettes, or ‘vaping,’ is considered by many experts to be an effective way for smokers to give up tobacco, but some in the scientific community are skeptical of their public health benefits, fearing they might normalize the idea of smoking and lead young people into the habit.

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E-cigarettes have no tobacco, but contain nicotine-laced liquids that the user inhales in a vapor. Pixabay

Smokers who were prescribed NRT by a medical professional were 34% more likely to quit successfully, the study found. But those buying NRT from shops were no more likely to succeed that those trying to quit without any help at all.

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Experts said the results were robust and important. Peter Hajek, director of the tobacco dependence research unit at Britain’s Queen Mary University of London, said the study yielded two key findings about e-cigarettes:

“They help smokers quit at least as much as stop-smoking medications, and they are used by many more smokers. This means they generate many more quitters and do this at no cost to the NHS (National Health Service),” he said in an emailed comment. (VOA)

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Smoking and Stress Lead to Greying of Hair: Experts

Stress, smoking cause early greying of hair

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Too much of stress can increase ageing. Pixabay

With your first grey strand comes ageing, but it could also be a sign of too much stress, say experts.

“Premature greying can be a sign of excessive stress as it is one of the significant causes; under pressure, one constricts the blood vessels hampering the healthy flow of nutrients to the scalp resulting in hair fall and greying.

“Stress also reduces oxygen supply to the scalp as breathing, and is also one of the major causes of aging and premature greying, dull, and scanty hair,” Rajni Ohri, Founder, Ohria Ayurveda said.

Although ageing is natural, and should be accepted with grace, one cannot control the process of ageing and worrying about it will only further stress.

Mohit Narang, Skincare expert, AVON says that greying of hair can also happen due to smoking. “People who smoke regularly have higher chances of premature greying, as can a lack of nutrition. A diet deficient in vitamins and minerals can lead to early greying.”

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Along with stress, smoking can also cause greying of hair strands. Lifetime Stock

How to tackle the menace of premature greying of hair?

Ayurvedic hair oils are beneficial for slowing greying. If used regularly they delay greying even in old age. Ingredients that assist keeping the hair pigment intact are amla, onion seeds, bhringraj, henna, sesame, curry leaves.

Dried amla can be used to fight premature greying. Cut them into pieces and dry them in the sun; once dry, roast it in the pan and then mix with coconut oil. Apply the mixture on your hair overnight.

Apart from repairing natural hair color, onion juice also helps treat hair loss and thinning. For best results, mix onion juice with lemon juice. Apply the mixture evenly on the scalp and hair. Leave it on for 15- 25 minutes and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Make this your routine for at least two weeks.

Curry leaves darken your hair by restoring the natural melanin pigment so that hair becomes dark again. The leaves also help in preventing and treating as curry leaves are rich in Vitamin B and minerals like iodine, zinc and iron.

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Consume a nutritional diet rich in Vitamins B12, B9, Iron, Folic acid. Include amla, beetroot, green leafy vegetables and nuts like soaked almonds, anjeer, walnuts, and soaked sesame seeds.

Practice yoga for healthy blood flow to the scalp. Practice ‘Pranayam’ to keep the mind calm and relaxed.

Quit smoking, or at least reduce the instances of smoking. (IANS)