Monday December 10, 2018

New Heated Tobacco To Be Regulated As A Other Tobacco Products

World Health Organization notes that illnesses related to regular tobacco products prematurely kill more than 7 million people every year.

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tobacco, WHO
This is a diagram of R.J. Reynolds' Eclipse cigarette, which featured a carbon tip that was lit, heating the tobacco instead of burning it. The product did not do well during market tests; it was rebranded as Revo but still failed to catch on with consumers. The product is no longer listed on the company's website. VOA
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Delegates from 148 parties to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are calling for new heated tobacco products on the market to be regulated in the same way cigarettes and other tobacco products are.

Heated tobacco products (HTPs) are not e-cigarettes. They are products that contain nicotine and other chemicals, which are inhaled by users, through the mouth. The tobacco industry markets these devices as being less harmful than regular cigarettes.

But the head of the convention secretariat, Vera da Costa e Silva, said there was no evidence that HTPs are less harmful than conventional tobacco products. She said they are tobacco products in the same way as cigarettes and should be subject to the same regulations imposed on standard tobacco products under the treaty.

tobacco
E-cigarettes is considered to be safer than tobacco cigarettes. Pixabay

“Governments should implement … a ban on advertisement, promotion and sponsorship” of heated tobacco products, da Costa said. “Parties to the treaty are legally bound to the provisions of the treaty and they should regulate heated tobacco accordingly.”

Da Costa told VOA the tobacco industry is marketing heated tobacco products as a harm-reduction strategy. She said many are sold with flavors, which appeal to young people. For now, she said, the products are mainly being marketed in developed countries.

tobacco
The worldwide prevalence of tobacco smoking has decreased from 27 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2016, so progress has been made. Pixabay

“But they are already being marketed very aggressively with high lobbying, and there are many, many concerns,” she said. “Lots of concerns raised by African countries, Latin American countries, Asian countries that do not feel they are prepared for this epidemic of heated tobacco products.”

Also Read: Usage of E-cigarettes In American Teens Have Reached ‘Epidemic Proportions’: FDA

Da Costa said evidence is accumulating that the nicotine inhaled from HTPs is unhealthy, causing dependence and disease. The long-term health impact from vaping is not yet clear. But the World Health Organization notes illnesses related to regular tobacco products prematurely kill more than 7 million people every year. (VOA)

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Road Traffic Accidents Cause 1.35 Mn Deaths Each Year: WHO

WHO noted that 48 middle- and high-income countries that have implemented strong road traffic laws and other safety measures have made progress in reducing road deaths.

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Traffic Crashes, Road Traffic
Two bikes were involved in an accident with a bus that crashed and turned on its roof near the town of Franschhoek, South Africa, March 7, 2015. VOA

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for urgent action to put a brake on road traffic crashes that kill 1.35 million people every year, mostly in poor developing countries.

In Geneva, the U.N. agency launched its global status report on road safety 2018.

The report found road traffic injuries to be the leading killer of children and young people aged five to 29 years, with a death occurring every 24 seconds. The report said more than half of those killed are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders and passengers.

Etienne Krug, head of the U.N. Agency’s Department on Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, called these deaths a huge inequality issue.

Traffic Signals, Road Traffic
Traffic and congestion on roads is frequent in all cities of India. Wikimedia

“Low-income countries have one percent of the vehicles in the world and 13 percent of all the deaths; while high-income countries have 40 percent of all the vehicles,” Krug said. “So, that is 40 times more, but only seven percent of the deaths.That is half of the deaths with 40 times more vehicles.”

The report said death rates are highest in Africa and lowest in Europe. Some of the key risk factors include speeding, drinking and driving, and failure to use seat belts, motorcycle helmets and child restraints.

Krug said putting the right measures in place will save lives. These include the right legislation and enforcement, creating special lanes for cyclists and improving the quality of vehicles.

Road accidents in India
Road accidents in India. Pixabay

“It is not acceptable that vehicles are being sold in developing countries that look the same as the vehicles that we see here in Switzerland or the U.S. or anywhere else, but that are not,” Krug told VOA. “Because to make them cheaper, they have been stripped of all of their safety features, such as air bags or electronic stability control, etc.”

WHO noted that 48 middle- and high-income countries that have implemented strong road traffic laws and other safety measures have made progress in reducing road deaths.

Also Read: HIV Epidemic Spreading Rapidly in Pakistan: WHO

However, it said no such progress has been made in low-income countries where safety measures are lacking. (VOA)