Monday September 23, 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.

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

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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Walking, A Key Tool Identify The Specific Type of Dementia

Researchers have found that walking may be a key clinical tool in helping doctors accurately identify the specific type of dementia

health, dementia, walking, Alzheimer
The suffering that comes as a consequence of this disease is enormous. Pixabay

Researchers have found that walking may be a key clinical tool in helping doctors accurately identify the specific type of dementia a patient has.

Published in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, the research have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease or Lewy body dementia have unique walking patterns that signal subtle differences between the two conditions.

The study also shows that people with Lewy body dementia change their walking steps more – varying step time and length – and are asymmetric when they move, in comparison to those with Alzheimer’s disease.

“The results from this study are exciting as they suggest that walking could be a useful tool to add to the diagnostic toolbox for dementia,” said study lead author Riona McArdle from the Newcastle University in the UK.

“It is a key development as a more accurate diagnosis means that we know that people are getting the right treatment, care and management for the dementia they have,” she added.

For the study, researchers analysed the walk of 110 people, including 29 older adults whose cognition was intact, 36 with Alzheimer’s disease and 45 with Lewy body dementia.

health, dementia, walking, Alzheimer
Dementia is a rapidly growing public health problem throughout the world. VOA

Participants moved along a walkway – a mat with thousands of sensors inside – which captured their footsteps as they walked across it at their normal speed and this revealed their walking patterns.

People with Lewy body dementia had a unique walking pattern in that they changed how long it took to take a step or the length of their steps more frequently than someone with Alzheimer’s disease, whose walking patterns rarely changed.

ALSO READ: Here’s How Kids Learn Hacking Through Their Behaviour

When a person has Lewy body dementia, their steps are more irregular and this is associated with increased falls risk.

Their walking is more asymmetric in step time and stride length, meaning their left and right footsteps look different to each other.

The study found that analysing both step length variability and step time asymmetry could accurately identify 60 per cent of all dementia subtypes – which has never been shown before. (IANS)