Monday March 25, 2019

Experts Argue Over The Cessation Of E-Cigarettes In India

E-cigarettes, are a proven stop smoking tool and, while uncertainties undoubtedly remain about their long-term health impact.

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

Backing a recent UK Parliamentary Committee report on e-cigarettes, Indian experts have contended that despite being 95 per cent less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, they are often being overlooked as a smoking cessation tool.

According to the recent House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report, e-cigarettes should not be treated in the same way as conventional cigarettes.

Regulations should be relaxed relating to e-cigarettes’ licensing, prescribing and advertising of their health benefits. Their level of taxation and use in public places must be reconsidered, it said.

“E-cigarettes and heat-not-burn devices are estimated to be 95 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively, less damaging than cigarettes. Therefore, the Committee recommended that e-cigarettes may not be equated with tobacco products in public places,” said R.N. Sharan, Professor at North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong, Meghalaya.

“Many countries, struggling to cope with the tobacco-related national health burden and loss of productivity, should take a cue from this report and re-look at their existing policies to leverage newer technologies to reduce the tobacco-related health burden,” he added

E-cigarettes
Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases, Pixabay

As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2016-17, India is home to 10 crore tobacco smokers and is the second-highest tobacco-user country (over 300 million) in the world.

Every fifth adult in India uses smokeless (chewing) tobacco and every 10th adult smokes tobacco, and the country also holds the record for having the second-lowest tobacco-quit rate, the survey has revealed.

Thus, the Committee’s report is particularly relevant to India, the experts noted.

However, some states in India, including Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra and Kerala, have prohibited sales of e-cigarettes, while tobacco cigarettes remain legal.

The bans are in the light of research findings by experts who concluded that they have cancer-causing properties, are highly addictive, and do not offer a safer alternative to tobacco-based smoking products.

This is a policy paradox because where countries like the UK have found reasons to adopt e-cigarette as a harm-reduction alternative, India insists upon banning them even without having much indigenous research and or debating the global evidence free from the prism of ideology, experts favouring e-cigarettes here have argued.

Many people may be vaping nicotine through e-cigarettes, smoking.

“Health professionals in India need wider options in their stash of existing approach and tools for tobacco cessation. Governments and policymakers need to consider this appropriately in the larger interest of public health,” Sharan stated.

Importantly, the UK Committee found that e-cigarettes are not a significant “gateway”, including for young non-smokers, to conventional smoking and do not pose a significant risk through second-hand inhalation.

Also Read: Smoking Habits May Harm Breastfeeding, Newborns At Risk

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)

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India to Launch Electronic Intelligence Satellite Soon

In January, the space agency launched a defence imaging satellite Microsat R for the DRDO

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TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is shown in this conceptual illustration obtained by Reuters on March 28, 2018. NASA sent TESS into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. VOA

India on April 1 will launch an electronic intelligence satellite Emisat for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) along with 28 third party satellites and also demonstrate its new technologies like three different orbits with a new variant of PSLV rocket, ISRO said on Saturday.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a new variant of its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket will first put the 436 kg Emisat into a 749 km orbit.

After that, the rocket will be brought down to put into orbit the 28 satellites at an altitude of 504 km.

This will be followed by bringing the rocket down further to 485 km when the fourth stage/engine will turn into a payload platform carrying three experimental payloads: (a) Automatic Identification System (AIS) from ISRO for Maritime satellite applications capturing messages transmitted from ships (b) Automatic Packet Repeating System (APRS) from AMSAT (Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation), India – to assist amateur radio operators in tracking and monitoring position data and (c) Advanced Retarding Potential Analyser for Ionospheric Studies (ARIS) from Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) – for the structural and compositional studies of ionosphere, the space agency said.

The whole flight sequence will take about 180 minutes from the rocket’s lift off slated at 9.30 a.m. on April 1.

The 28 international customer satellites (24 from US, 2 from Lithuania and one each from Spain and Switzerland)- will weigh about 220 kg.

OSIRIS-REx, NASA, Asteroid bennu
Satellite To Conduct Biological Experiments In Space, Plans Space Kidz India. VOA

“It is a special mission for us. We will be using a PSLV rocket with four strap-on motors. Further, for the first time we will be trying to orbit the rocket at three different altitudes,” ISRO Chairman K. Sivan had earlier told IANS.

The PSLV is a four-stage engine expendable rocket with alternating solid and liquid fuel.

In its normal configuration, the rocket will have six strap-on motors hugging the rocket’s first stage.

On January 24, the ISRO flew a PSLV with two strap-on motors while in March, it had four strap-on motors.

The Indian space agency also has two more PSLV variants, viz Core Alone (without any strap-on motors) and the larger PSLV-XL.

Also Read- UAE Launches ‘Lose to Win’ Programme to Help Overweight Employers to Shed Extra Kilos

The ISRO selects the kind of rocket to be used based on the weight of satellites it carries.

The ISRO will also be launching two more defence satellites sometime in July or August with its new rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

In January, the space agency launched a defence imaging satellite Microsat R for the DRDO. (IANS)