Friday April 19, 2019

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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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

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.

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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.

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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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WHO Calls for Better Vaccination Coverage Against Increasing Number of Measles Cases

The United Nations agency, citing preliminary data, said that more than 112,000 cases of the preventable but highly contagious disease have been reported across the globe

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Steve Sierzega receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., March 27, 2019. VOA

The number of measles cases worldwide nearly quadrupled in the first three months of the year compared to last year, the World Health Organization reported Monday.

The United Nations agency, citing preliminary data, said that more than 112,000 cases of the preventable but highly contagious disease have been reported across the globe in the January-to-March period. WHO called for better vaccination coverage against measles, which can kill or leave a child disabled for life.

Over recent months, WHO said spikes in the disease have occurred “in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States … as well as Israel, Thailand, and Tunisia, as the disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people.”

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Public health authorities worry about outbreaks in communities where vaccination rates are low, fueled by a growing movement of people who view the MMR vaccine, mumps and rubella as dangerous. VOA

“While this data is provisional and not yet complete, it indicates a clear trend,” WHO said. “Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases.”

The agency said the reported number of cases often lags behind the number of actual cases, meaning that the number of documented cases likely does not reflect the actual severity of the measles outbreaks.

For three weeks in a row, U.S. health authorities have added dozens of new reports of measles to its yearly total, now at 555, the biggest figure in five years. Twenty of the 50 U.S. states have now reported measles cases.

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FILE – 15-month-old August Goepferd received mumps and rubella booster shot at a clinic at Children’s Minnesota in Minneapolis. VOA

ALSO READ: New York Takes Drastic Steps to Prevent Spread of Measles Outbreak

More than half of the U.S. total — 285 cases — have been reported in New York City. Officials in the country’s largest city last week ordered mandatory measles vaccinations to halt the outbreak that has been concentrated among ultra-Orthodox Jews in the city’s Brooklyn borough.

City health department officials blamed anti-vaccine propagandists for distributing misinformation in the community. (VOA)