Monday December 9, 2019

Quitting Smoking Reduces Risk of Bladder Cancer in Women: Study

Our study emphasizes the importance of primary prevention (by not beginning to smoke) and secondary prevention (through smoking cessation) in the prevention of bladder cancer among postmenopausal women

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Representational Image. Woman smoking. Image source: www.dailyjoint.com

Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of bladder cancer in older women, says a study, adding that the most significant reduction in risk occurred in the first 10 years after quitting.

The researchers used various statistical models to analyse the association between the years since quitting smoking and the risk of bladder cancer.

For the study, the researchers included data from 143,279 women, all of whom had supplied information on whether they had ever smoked cigarettes, how much they had smoked and whether they were current smokers.

The study found that 52.7 per cent of the women were categorised as “never smokers,” 40.2 per cent as former smokers, and 7.1 per cent as current smokers.

marijuana, cancer
Quitting smoking cuts bladder cancer risk in women. Pixabay

“Although bladder cancer is a fairly rare cancer type, representing an estimated 4.6 per cent of new cancer cases in 2019, it is the most common malignancy of the urinary system, with high recurrence rate and significant mortality,” said Yueyao Li, Ph.D candidate from the School of Public Health, Indiana University in Bloomington, US.

“Smoking is a well-established risk factor for bladder cancer, but findings on the relationship between duration of smoking cessation and the reduction in bladder cancer risk are inconsistent,” Li added.

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Published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, the study found that the steepest reduction in risk occurred in the first 10 years after quitting smoking, with a 25 per cent drop. The risk continued to decrease after 10 years of quitting.

“Our study emphasizes the importance of primary prevention (by not beginning to smoke) and secondary prevention (through smoking cessation) in the prevention of bladder cancer among postmenopausal women,” said Li. (IANS)

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No More Segregation on the Basis of Gender in Restaurants in Saudi Arabia

Saudi restaurants no longer need to segregate women and men

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Saudi Arabia
Restaurants and cafes in Saudi Arabia, including major Western chains like Starbucks, are currently segregated by “family” sections allocated for women. Lifetime Stock

Women in Saudi Arabia will no longer need to use separate entrances from men or sit behind partitions at restaurants in the latest measure announced by the government that upends a major hallmark of conservative restrictions that had been in place for decades.

The decision, which essentially erodes one of the most visible gender segregation restrictions in place, was quietly announced Sunday in a lengthy and technically worded statement by the Municipal and Rural Affairs Ministry.

While some restaurants and cafes in the coastal city of Jiddah and Riyadh’s upscale hotels had already been allowing unrelated men and women to sit freely, the move codifies what has been a sensitive issue in the past among traditional Saudis who view gender segregation as a religious requirement. Despite that, neighboring Muslim countries do not have similar rules.

Restaurants and cafes in Saudi Arabia, including major Western chains like Starbucks, are currently segregated by “family” sections allocated for women who are out on their own or who are accompanied by male relatives, and “singles” sections for just men. Many also have separate entrances for women and partitions or rooms for families where women are not visible to single men. In smaller restaurants or cafes with no space for segregation, women are not allowed in.

Reflecting the sensitive nature of this most recent move, the decision to end requirements of segregation in restaurants was announced in a statement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. The statement listed a number of newly-approved technical requirements for buildings, schools, stores and sports centers, among others.

Saudi Sex Segregation
A woman leaves a ladies only service area at a restaurant in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. VOA

The statement noted that the long list of published decisions was aimed at attracting investments and creating greater business opportunities.

Among the regulations announced was “removing a requirement by restaurants to have an entrance for single men and (another) for families.”

Couched between a new regulation about the length of a building’s facade and allowing kitchens on upper floors to operate was another critical announcement stating that restaurants no longer need to “specify private spaces”— an apparent reference to partitions.

Across Saudi Arabia, the norm has been that unrelated men and women are not permitted to mix in public. Government-run schools and most public universities remain segregated, as are most Saudi weddings.

In recent years, however, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pushed for sweeping social reforms, with women and men now able to attend concerts and movie theaters that were once banned. He also curtailed the powers of the country’s religious police, who had been enforcers of conservative social norms, like gender segregation in public.

Two years ago, women for the first time were allowed to attend sports events in stadiums in the so-called “family” sections. Young girls in recent years have also been allowed access to physical education and sports in school, a right that only boys had been afforded.

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In August, the kingdom lifted a controversial ban on travel by allowing all citizens — women and men alike — to apply for a passport and travel freely, ending a long-standing guardianship policy that had controlled women’s freedom of movement.

The new rules remove restrictions that had been in place, but do not state that restaurants or cafes have to end segregated entrances or seated areas. Many families in conservative swaths of the country, where women cover their hair and face in public, may prefer eating only at restaurants with segregated spaces. (VOA)