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Indian researchers: E-cigarettes can help smokers to quit the habit

"Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDs) as a Substitute to Conventional Cigarette: An Evidence-based Audit"

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October 4, 2016: E-cigarettes can help people quit smoking by providing them a significantly safer option, says a paper by Indian researchers who undertook an evidence-based audit of published scientific literature on the issue.

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The paper, titled “Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDs) as a Substitute to Conventional Cigarette: An Evidence-based Audit”, has been co-authored by Sambuddha Das, Yashmin Choudhury, S. Thangminlal Vaiphei and R.N. Sharan of the Department of Biochemistry, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU).

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), some one billion people smoke, resulting in about six… Click To Tweet

More than one million Indians reportedly die annually because of smoking, making it the fourth leading cause of death due to non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the country.

The authors sought to identify better and safer forms of nicotine delivery to help people quit, especially those unable to do so. They found ENDs — also commonly known as “e-cigarettes” — demonstrate minimum health and safety concerns compared to the high risks associated with smoking and can be key to helping people kick the habit.

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“Our systematic meta-analysis of published literature compares the health and safety aspects of vaping using ENDS with smoking conventional cigarettes. We find that ENDS have minimum health and safety concerns compared to the high risks associated with conventional cigarettes,” said Sharan, a professor at NEHU.

“Although some gaps remain to be filled by further research, our study conclusively establishes that ENDS offer smokers a far safer alternative way to consume nicotine, which itself is relatively harmless,” he added.

The paper also demonstrates that in countries such as the UK, US, France, and Malaysia, where e-cigarette is relatively freely available, the number of cigarette smokers has declined.

Enabling access to such less harmful products in India would likely support public health objectives and reduce the burden of smoking-related health issues.

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“Using a multi-criteria risk analysis approach with conservative criteria weighting, we find that ENDS are an effective option to quit conventional cigarette smoking,” Sharan noted.

“Regulators and public health agencies should take note of these positive attributes of ENDS and explore policies that would enable access to these products.” (IANS)

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Banning E-Cigarettes Deprives Indian Smokers of a Less Harmful Alternative: Experts

The government is allowing the sales of lethal nicotine-containing products while banning a substantially less harmful alternative

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Ban on e-cigarettes, Pixabay

Sep 02, 2017: Banning e-cigarettes may deprive Indian smokers of a substantially less harmful alternative, which can be against public health and can result in adverse consequences, experts have warned.

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

According to media reports, the Union Health Ministry has recently ruled out acceptability of e-cigarettes 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.

However, health experts argued that such decision creates a paradox. The government is allowing the sales of lethal nicotine-containing products — tobacco cigarettes — while banning a substantially less harmful alternative.

“In my opinion, banning e-cigarettes is against public health. I think it’s going to have an impending adverse consequence, because the ban will deprive Indian smokers of a substantially less harmful alternative,” Konstantinos E. Farsalinos a research fellow at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, Greece, told IANS in an interview.

Also Read: E-Cigarettes loaded with nicotine-based liquid may be as Harmful as Smoking, Says Research

“Banning is a hasty decision and can be counter-productive, because we are not aware of the extent of e-cigarette use or its harm in India,” added R.N. Sharan, Professor at North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong, Meghalaya.

An e-cigarette is a battery-operated device that uses a liquid “e-liquid” that may contain nicotine, as well as varying compositions of flavourings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other ingredients.

In tobacco cigarette, there is combustion, a burning of an organic material, which generates temperature up to 900 degree Celsius, and thus produces all the harmful material.

Whereas, in e-cigarettes there is neither combustion nor tobacco. There is only the burning of the liquid, made up of ingredients approved for food and contains minimal burning, which is 100-1000 times lower compared to tobacco cigarette.

A study published in the journal The Lancet showed that India has 11·2 per cent of the world’s total smokers. Over 11 per cent of 6.4 million deaths worldwide was caused by smoking in 2015 and 52.2 per cent of them took place in China, India, Russia, and the US, the report said.

Further, the experts contented that banning e-cigarettes is contrary to worldwide trends.

Various studies conducted in the US, UK and other countries in the European Union, have shown that e-cigarettes have resulted in a significant decline in smoking rates.

Several countries like Switzerland, Belgium, New Zealand, Canada and the US, which were formerly advocating for bans, are now moving towards lifting the bans on e-cigarettes, Farsalinos said.

“Earlier in July, the US FDA cancelled the intended regulation saying that e-cigarettes may probably help a substantial proportion of smokers to quit smoking and switch to less harmful alternative,” Farsalinos said.

“The UK’s Royal College of Physicians recently advised the UK Government to promote the use of e-cigarettes (along with conventional nicotine replacement methods) as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking,” Farsalinos stated.

A survey of over 27,000 participants all over Europe, published in Eurobarometer in 2016, showed that more than one-third of e-cigarette users polled reported smoking cessation and reduction.

“With India being devoid of good monitoring systems and rich data of research, it should take cue from these countries. Ignoring the evidence from other countries, while the country doesn’t have much of its own, and deciding on bans, can be a bad idea,” Farsalinos said.

Importantly, e-cigarettes appear to be effective when used by smokers as an aid to quitting smoking.

The hazard to health arising from long-term vapour inhalation from the e-cigarettes is unlikely to exceed five per cent of the harm from smoking tobacco, the experts said.

“While, its not absolutely safe, it is 95 per cent less harmful than tobacco cigarette,” Farsalinos said, adding: “We don’t recommend it to a non-smoker. We always say it’s a product for smokers, and should be used as a smoking substitute.”

However, it is best to quit smoking without use of any alternative.

Farsalinos said that although marketing for e-cigarettes is essential, it needs to be done with strict regulation.

There is also an urgent need to create a competitive environment between a less harmful product and tobacco cigarette, which includes accessibility and price, the experts said. (IANS)

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

A prohibitive environment may harm more than allowing smokers, who wish to stop tobacco use, an alternative based on nicotine replacement via e-cigarettes

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E-cigarettes is considered to be safer than tobacco cigarettes. Pixabay
  • The primary cause of cancer is the constituents of the smoke in combustible tobacco, and other constituents in chewing tobacco
  • E-cigarettes are hand held electronic devices for creating a feeling of smoking tobacco
  • Banning of e-cigarettes could turn out to be disastrous for India which houses the second largest smoking population in the world

August 27, 2017: An outright ban on e-cigarettes without collecting any research data may put public health in India at greater risk, experts have warned.

While tobacco-associated cancer is easily preventable by cessation of tobacco usage, a prohibitive environment may do more harm than allowing smokers, who wish to cease tobacco use, an alternative option based on nicotine replacement via e-cigarettes, the experts said.

Also ReadE-cigarettes which have become popular among Adults, are not to be used by Children: US Health Official

 

The primary cause of cancer is not nicotine but the constituents of the smoke in combustible tobacco, and other constituents in chewing tobacco said M. Siddiqi, Chairman of Kolkata-based non-profit Cancer Foundation of India and R.N. Sharan, Professor of Biochemistry, North-Eastern Hill University in Shillong, Meghalaya.

 

E-cigarettes, also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), considered to be safer than tobacco cigarettes, are hand held electronic devices that try to create a feeling of smoking tobacco.

They work by heating a liquid to generate an aerosol, commonly called a “vapor”, that the user inhales.

Banning of e-cigarettes/ENDS could be disastrous for India which houses the second largest smoking population in the world, Siddiqi and Sharan said in an appeal to Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda.

Modern technology which delivers safe nicotine in an acceptable form should be looked at as an alternative nicotine replacement option, they added. (IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393