Thursday October 19, 2017

Government escalates fight against Tobacco in India

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A man smokes a cigarette along a road in Mumbai, India, January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

Tobacco usage is rampant in India. It is used in many formats: chew-able to smoking form. With a population over 1.2 billion, India has close to 300 million tobacco users. Indian governments have shown resolve to tackle this menace, particularly in last 13 years. Various legislations have been brought in at central level as well as state levels with mixed and varying results. Yet due to sheer size of population and rampant usage, India is facing no less than a sort of tobacco epidemic. Experts believe that deaths due to tobacco may reach 1.5 millions (15 lakh) per year by 2020. Now by taking on the issue of warning size on the packs, it seems government is taking the fight head on with tobacco companies who have strong lobbying capabilities and money to aid their efforts. – NewsGram

By Aditya Kalra

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s health ministry on Tuesday ordered government agencies to enforce a new rule for bigger health warnings on tobacco packets, stepping up a fight against the $10 billion cigarette industry that has shut down its factories in protest.

The government wants manufacturers to cover 85 percent of a cigarette pack’s surface in health warnings, up from 20 percent now.

But ITC Ltd, part-owned by British American Tobacco, and Godfrey Phillips, partner of U.S.-based Philip Morris International, have opposed the measure, saying a parliament panel had suggested the health warning to be half the cigarette pack’s size.

K.C. Samria, a joint secretary in the health ministry, on Monday sought support of several other ministries, including foreign affairs and revenue department, to ensure strict implementation of the new rules, letters seen by Reuters showed.

A man smokes a cigarette (tobacco) along a road in Mumbai, India, January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade
Tobacco: A man smokes a cigarette along a road in Mumbai, India, January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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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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E-cigarettes and other vaping devices do not contain tobacco and can in turn add years to a smoker's life. 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

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World Heart Day 2017: 6 Simple Tips to Keep your Heart Healthy | NewsGram

How strong are your ABCDEF’s? Let’s find out!

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September 29 is World Heart Day. Here is how you can care for your heart! Pixabay

New Delhi, September 29, 2017 : World Heart Day is here, and that gives us another reason to reiterate why you should be going an extra step to care for your heart. India accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s burden of heart diseases. This risk in Indians is almost double than their western counterparts and can be mainly attributed to genetics, diet and lifestyle.

An Increasing Trend of Heart Diseases

According to a WHO report released in mid-September, it was revealed that non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and cancer are an increasing cause of premature deaths all around the world, taking as many as 30 million lives annually. These diseases cause self-inflicted damage and trace their roots to individual lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption, drugs and unhealthy or unbalanced diet.

ALSO READ Even less physically fit people can help themselves to prevent risk of Heart related Diseases: Study

Common Causes of Cardiovascular Diseases

Heart diseases are primarily caused because of accumulation of fats, cholesterol and other substances within and on the walls of the arteries. This is known as atherosclerosis.

This build-up begins from a young age and ultimately results in blockage of the arteries, which disabled the heart from pumping necessary quantity of blood. This, in turns, results in various disorders of the heart and the blood vessels.

Symptoms of Cardiovascular Diseases

Typical symptoms when your heart’s health is fluctuating will include chest pain or angina, breathlessness, sweating, palpitations and gastric pain. Some people may even complain of bloating or abdomen fullness.

Your heart is the reason your body is doing everything it can. So why not do something special for your heart on this World Heart Day?

World Heart Day 2017

World Heart Day is celebrated on September 29 and focuses on a holistic approach to generate awareness about cardiovascular disease.

A truly global initiative, World Heart Day is aimed to unite people from all corners of the world in the fight against cardiovascular diseases and encourage healthy hearts and healthy lifestyles across the world.

Heart diseases are the biggest man-made killer in India and the world. So what should be done on this World Heart Day to address the problem? All you have to do is keep your ABCDEF in check.

But how strong are your ABCDEF’s? Let’s find out!

6 Simple Tips To Keep your Heart Healthy Forever:

  • ABC: “A1c, Blood Sugar & Cholesterol” :

ABC remains for A1C, Blood Sugar, and Cholesterol individually. A1C is a test to check for glycated hemoglobin; it is fundamental to hold ABC levels in line for a more beneficial heart. You must also make it a habit to monitor your blood sugar and cholesterol levels and endeavor to keep the levels inside the recommended confines.

  • D : Diet  “Eat Heart Healthy Diet” :

You must consume a heart healthy diet that includes supplement-rich foods: Nutrition is critical to general well-being. As indicated by several nourishment researchers, a diet healthy for the heart, comprising of nutritious foods, for example, 1.5 servings (43 grams) of almonds may decrease levels of heart harming inflammation and additionally bring down aggregate and LDL cholesterol. Consumption of fish or salmon is also good for the heart as they are a rich source of Omega-3.

E : Exercise “Maintain a Healthy Waistline” :

It is a well established fact that a healthy waistline directly corresponds to cardiovascular well-being. Accumulation of fat on the stomach is directly proportional to rising blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and soaring triglycerides level which are significant hazard factors for heart ailments. As previously revealed, consumption of 42 grams of almonds every day reduces belly fat and waist circumference- and increase in both of which are well-established coronary illness risk factors.

F : Fit Lifestyle “Fitness begins with an active lifestyle” :

As indicated by the American Heart Association, 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each week is prescribed for development in heart-health. Alternatively, you can also undertake 75 minutes of energetic or high-force exercise.

Physical activity is a boon for your heart; no amounts of healthy or controlled diet will prove beneficial unless complimented with a fit lifestyle.

Additionally, if your heart’s health is on your mind, then you must quit smoking.

Smoking harms the inner lining of the arteries and further deposits fat, thereby resulting in clogging. A cigarette may seem small, but its effect can be long lasting and ultimately result in death. These include a stroke, angina or a heart attack.

ALSO READ Worried About Your Heart’s Health? Make These 5 Spices a Part of Your Diet and See the Benefits Yourself!

These activities must not only be taken into account to celebrate World Health Day. Instead, aim to make them a part of every routine and witness how life changes for the better!

A little effort today will go a long way to keep you healthy and ready for all that life has to offer. On this World Heart Day, if you take a pledge to keep your ABCDEF’s under check, a healthy heart and a fit lifestyle are sure to follow!

 

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Beware! Tobacco, Poor Diet, and Mental Disorders are Leading Causes of Poor Health and you may be at Risk too!

According to a new study, deaths from noncommunicable, or chronic, diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes have caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide

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A heavyset man rests on a bench in Jackson, Miss. (VOA)

London, September 15, 2017 : Heart disease and tobacco ranked with conflict and violence among the world’s leading cause of poor health and the biggest killers in 2016, while poor diets and mental disorders caused people the greatest poor health, a large international study has found.

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, published in The Lancet medical journal, found that while life expectancy is increasing, so too are the years people live in poor health. The proportion of life spent being ill is higher in poor countries than in wealthy ones.

ALSO READ World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates suggest 300 Million people suffer from Depression

“Death is a powerful motivator, both for individuals and for countries, to address diseases that have been killing us at high rates. But we’ve been much less motivated to address issues leading to illnesses,” said Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, which led the study.

He said a “triad of troubles” — obesity, conflict and mental illness — is emerging as a “stubborn and persistent barrier to active and vigorous lifestyles.”

Diet critical

The IHME-led study, involving more than 2,500 researchers in about 130 countries, found that in 2016, poor diet was associated with nearly one in five deaths worldwide. Tobacco smoking killed 7.1 million people.

ALSO READ Ban on E-Cigarettes May Increase the Risk on the Public Health in India, Warn Experts

Diets low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish oils and high in salt were the most common risk factors, contributing to cases of obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol.

The study found that deaths from firearms, conflict and terrorism have increased globally, and that noncommunicable, or chronic, diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes caused 72 percent of all deaths worldwide.

Heart disease was the leading cause of premature death in most regions and killed 9.48 million people globally in 2016.

ALSO READ Eat According to Your Blood Type and See the Benefits Yourself!

Mental illness was found to take a heavy toll on individuals and societies, with 1.1 billion people living with psychological or psychiatric disorders and substance abuse problems in 2016.

Major depressive disorders ranked in the top 10 causes of ill health in all but four countries worldwide.

The GBD is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation global health charity and gives data estimates on 330 diseases, causes of death and injuries in 195 countries and territories. (VOA)