Physical Abuse During Childhood May Lead To Heavy Cigarette Use: Study

The researchers used their responses about smoking between the ages of 12 and 18 to identify three patterns of cigarette use

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Cigarettes
Adolescent cigarette smoking is a really serious social problem and public health concern. Pixabay

Researchers have found that children who have been abused, mistreated or neglected at home are more likely to start smoking cigarette and other substances.

The study, published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, showed that physical abuse of children in high-risk homes, especially when they’re toddlers or teens, dramatically increases the odds that their adolescent experimentation with cigarettes will lead to a heavy smoking habit.

For the findings, the study examined data on children who were at high risk for abuse and neglect — either because they had been referred to a child protective service or lived in conditions associated with the likelihood of maltreatment or both. “I wanted to look at different types of maltreatment and whether they have an impact on cigarette smoking,” said study lead author Susan Yoon, Assistant Professor at Ohio State University in the US.

“Adolescent cigarette smoking is a really serious social problem and public health concern. Brain development is not complete until late adolescence or during young adulthood, and cigarette smoking is associated with damage in brain development,” Yoon said.

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“We also know that those who start smoking cigarettes during adolescence are more likely to continue smoking into adulthood,” Yoon added. For the results, the research team used data on 903 adolescents, who were assessed at age 12, 16 and 18.

A breakdown of different types of abuse and neglect experienced by the sample population during three different time periods (early childhood, school age and adolescence) confirmed how vulnerable these kids were.

The researchers used their responses about smoking between the ages of 12 and 18 to identify three patterns of cigarette use: stable low/no use (61 per cent of respondents), gradually increasing use (30 per cent) and sharply increasing cigarette use (nine per cent).

“It was almost shocking how the pattern of cigarette use over time went up so drastically in the sharply increasing use class,” Yoon said.

Smoking
Researchers have found that children who have been abused, mistreated or neglected at home are more likely to start smoking cigarettes and other substances. Pixabay

“They were pretty similar to the others at age 12 — almost 80 percent didn’t smoke. At age 16, we saw that almost 60 per cent had used cigarettes more than 20 days in the past year and by 18, every single kid in this group reported heavy use of cigarettes,” Yoon added.

A statistical analysis showed that adolescents who experienced early childhood physical abuse were 2.3 times more likely to be in the sharply increasing cigarette use group compared with the stable no/low group. Physical abuse during adolescence had an even stronger effect — this type of mistreatment at that point in life was linked to 3.7 times higher odds for sharply increased cigarette use. Adolescents who had been neglected during early childhood were 1.89 times more likely to be in the gradually increasing cigarette use group than in the stable no/low use group.

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About 40 per cent of these smokers had reported using cigarettes at age 16, and by age 18, more than 80 per cent were smokers, and about 40 per cent had smoked on more than 20 days in the previous year, the study said. (IANS)

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Oil Pulling: An Ayurvedic Treatment to Boost Immunity

Oil pulling is an ancient treatment dateing back to more than 3,000 years

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Oil pulling
Oil pulling can boost your Immunity. Pixabay

Oil pulling is regarded as an ancient Ayurveda treatment that dates back to more than 3,000 years.

Considered as a detoxification therapy, it is done by taking a spoonful of cold pressed virgin oil (preferably coconut oil) and swishing it in your mouth for about 5 minutes, similar to using a mouthwash. The purpose of oil pulling is to swish the oil around in your mouth, between the teeth to get rid of bacteria in the mouth, spit it out and immediately rinse with some warm water.

Nutritionist Sheryl Salis shares how oil pulling that can help improve your immunity, uses of virgin coconut oil and the method of oil pulling:

Oil pulling is an alternative health practice gaining traction in recent times not only for oral health but also as an immunity boosting measure. As the mouth is a home to millions of microbes including bacteria, the oil pulling process helps get rid of these bacteria through swishing oil in the mouth and in-between the teeth. Swishing the oil for a prolonged period cleanses the mouth and decreases the bacterial load. Not only does this promote oral hygiene, this technique aids in overall health and well-being.

hand-sanitize
Other than basic precautions like sanitizing and washing hands, immunty is the key factor to protect yourself from COVID-19 pandemic. Pixabay

With the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, it is recommended to build and maintain a strong immune system to help combat the risk of being infected. While external precautionary measures like sanitizing and washing hands are essential, maintaining basic hygiene measures and eating healthy to build one’s immunity is of utmost importance.

Using virgin coconut oil to build immunity

Cold pressed virgin coconut oil is a superfood recommended for its myriad health benefits; it is a rich source of naturally occurring Lauric acid and contains Vitamin E which helps to improve body’s immunity. The medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) that contain lauric acid and caprylic acid strengthens the immune system and has anti-viral properties. Therefore, Adding 2 spoons of virgin coconut oil to the diet every day can help improve the immunity and maintain a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

In most Indian household’s, virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices and is slowly making its way in the mainstream wellness community for oil pulling. Known for its immune boosting properties, virgin coconut oil can be introduced as an effective technique into your heath regime.

Oil Pulling
Virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices. Pixabay

How to do it?

eStart by swishing it in your mouth on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning

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eTake about 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in the mouth and swish it for about 3-5 minutes.

eDiscard the oil by spitting it out. Do not swallow the oil as you will ingest the toxins with it as well

eRinse the mouth with warm water and brush your teeth as usual

eRepeat the process 3-4 times a week. (IANS)

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Turn to Yoga For Quitting Tobacco

An effective cure to tobacco addiction is the practice of yoga and meditation

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Practice yoga and meditation to get rid of tobacco. Pixabay

There are more than 8 million people who die from tobacco-related causes each year. Of these, over 7 million die as a result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke. Smoking is decidedly bad for your health and harms nearly every organ of the body.

Smoking causes damage to blood vessels making them thicken and grow narrower. This increases heart rate and your blood pressure. Smoking also causes many other cancers and health problems. Women who smoke during pregnancy face a greater risk of certain pregnancy problems.

An effective cure to addiction is the practice of yoga and meditation. Yoga offers tools to down-regulate the stress response system and activate the relaxation response. This increases our capacity to observe our experiences with a greater sense of level-headedness and self-control. Yoga practices such as asanas, and meditation also rewire the brain creating new neural pathways. These are effective for new behaviour-forming habits, breaking old patterns to replace them with healthier ones. In this way yoga can help in de-addiction, and also regain the body’s health by boosting your immune system, building strength for both body and mind, and flushing out toxins.

One of the main reasons that people find it a challenge to give up smoking is because of nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant drug and a highly addictive substance that is found in tobacco. Nicotine addiction makes it much harder for people to quit smoking. But it is important to remind oneself of the dangers of smoking and stay committed to quitting the habit. Yoga asanas release feel-good hormones in your body and lead you to make positive lifestyle changes. Yoga also builds mindfulness, and this awareness can be useful to keep yourself in check every time you reach for a cigarette.

Practice the following asanas upto three times or more a week, repeat for up to three sets holding each pose for 15-30 seconds.

Ustrasana

Kneel on the yoga mat and place your hands on the hips.

Simultaneously, arch your back and slide your palms over your feet till the arms are straight.

Do not strain or flex your neck but keep it in a neutral position.

Stay in this posture for a couple of breaths.

Breathe out and slowly come back to the initial pose. Withdraw your hands and bring them back to your hips as you straighten up.

yoga
Yoga asanas release feel-good hormones in your body and lead you to make positive lifestyle changes. Pixabay

 

Vajrasana – Thunderbolt pose

Formation of the Posture

Begin by standing straight with your arms by the sides of your body

Lean forward and slowly drop your knees on your mat

Place your pelvis on your heels and point your toes outward

Here, your thighs should press your calf muscles

Keep your heels slightly apart from each other

Place your palms on your knees facing upward

Straighten your back and look forward

Hold this asana for a while

Breathing Methodology

Softly inhale and exhale

Word of Advice

A person suffering from knee joint pain, Arthritis or any knee injury should avoid this asana

 

Paschimottanasana – Seated forward bend

Formation of the Posture

Begin with Dandasana

Ensure that your knees are slightly bent while your legs are stretched out forward

Extend your arms upward and keep your spine erect

Exhale and empty your stomach of air

With the exhale, bend forward at the hip and place your upper body on your lower body

Lower your arms and grip your big toes with your fingers

Try to touch your knees with your nose

Hold the posture for 10-30 seconds, repeat up to 3 times

Breathing Methodology

Exhale as you fold forward

Tobacco
Yoga builds mindfulness, and this awareness can be useful to keep yourself in check every time you reach for a cigarette. Pixabay

Padahastasana

Formation of the posture

Begin by standing in Samasthithi

Exhale and gently bend your upper body, dropping your head and keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed

Bring the trunk closer to the legs. Try to touch the knees with the forehead. This may require a lot of flexibility. If you are starting out your practice, go only as far as it is comfortable.

When you are folding forward, attempt to move your torso from the hip joints, instead of the waist.

Place palms on either side of feet

Try to keep the legs and knees straight throughout the practice. If you are a beginner, you may have to bend your knees slightly to accomplish this.

With practice, slowly straighten your knees and try to touch your chest to your thighs

Hold this asana for a while

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Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward dog pose

Formation of the posture

Lift the hips up, straighten the knees and elbows, and form an inverted �V’ shape

Now keep the hands shoulders width apart. Fingers point ahead

Put pressure on your palms and open your shoulder blades

Try to push your heels to the floor

Keep your eye focused on your big toes

Hold eight to ten breaths

Breathing Methodology

Exhale as you enter into this posture(IANS)

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Covid-19 to Cause Lasting Physical and Mental Health Consequences Worldwide

Researchers warn that the pandemic is likely to cause profound health issues globally

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covid-19 consequences
Covid-19 pandemic is likely to cause major physical and mental health consequences on people all over the world. WIkimedia Commons

The coronavirus pandemic’s life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for several people, warn researchers.

For the findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research team studied low-income women from New Orleans in the US, who were surveyed the year prior to, and at intervals after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

The women reported a range of traumatic experiences during Katrina, many of which are similar to those now occurring during the pandemic, including bereavement, lack of access to medical care and scarcity of medications.

Hurricane Katrina consequences
Hurricane Katrina which struck in 2005 had major consequences and a range of traumatic experiences as reported by the survivors, many of which are similar to those now occurring during the pandemic. Wikimedia Commons

The research showed that at one, four and 12 years after the hurricane, the exposures most strongly associated with post-traumatic stress, psychological distress, general health and physical health symptoms were those most common to the current pandemic.

The pandemic continues to cause widespread death and sickness, as well as job loss and severe economic hardship for many.

“This pandemic is likely to have profound short- and long-term consequences for physical and mental health,” said study researcher Sarah Lowe, Assistant Professor at Yale University in the US.

“These impacts are likely to be even larger than what we have seen in previous disasters like Hurricane Katrina, given the distinctive qualities of the pandemic as a disaster,” Lowe added.

The study did not include other exposures that are taking place during the pandemic, such as financial losses and unemployment, which are also likely to have additional and significant impacts on public health.

The results suggest that, in addition to promoting actions to reduce COVID-19 transmission and addressing longstanding health disparities contributing to COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, public health measures should also prevent and mitigate exposures that will have indirect effects on mental and physical health.

consequences like unemployment
Many other consequences like unemployment are also likely take place will have additional and significant impacts on public health. Pixabay

This includes preventing lapses in medical care and medication access. Additionally, another key exposure in the study was fear for one’s own safety and the safety of others.

As such, public health messaging should provide tips for managing anxiety and fear, in addition to promoting efforts to increase safety from COVID-19 transmission.

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“Supplemental health services should be provided to those who are bereaved or are experiencing clinically significant fear and anxiety-related the pandemic,” Lowe said.

“This study represents a step toward disentangling the health consequences of disasters, while also recognising more longstanding factors that contribute to health disparities,” she wrote.

Recently, another study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, revealed that people taken ill by coronavirus infections may experience psychiatric problems while hospitalised and potentially after they recover. (IANS)