Friday February 23, 2018

Selfie goes awry: Seven people drown while clicking Selfie on the banks of Ganga in Kanpur

India has a record of having the highest number of selfie deaths, accounting for 40 percent of selfie deaths in a year

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Banks of River Ganga. Image source: sputniknews.com
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  • 7 youths got drowned in Ganga river in Kanpur while taking selfies
  • Government of India marked Kumbh Mela under no selfie zone
  • In 2016, number of deaths increased due to increase of selfie craze within people

While taking selfies, Seven youths were swept away by the Ganga river in Kanpur on June 23. When one of the youths fell into the river while taking a selfie, his friends jumped in the river to save him resulting in all seven youths being swept away by the current.

There is a rise in number of selfie deaths from the year 2014. The same year, a fifteen year old boy was killed when he was taking a selfie on a railway track. 14 deaths were reported that year in total. In 2016, number of deaths increased due to increase of selfie craze within people. In fact, India has a record of having the highest number of selfie deaths, accounting for 40 percent of selfie deaths in a year.

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Nashik Kumbh mela (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Nashik Kumbh mela. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Recently, seven youths were drowned in Ganga river in Kanpur while taking selfies. Sachin Gupta (21), Bholu Tiwari (20), Rohit (20), Shivam (19), Maqsood (31), Bhola (16) and Satyam (24) went for bathing in the river when they were swept away by the water.

Shivam was trying to take selfie when he lost his balance. Maqsood tried to save him but failed eventually. All friends jumped after one another and drowned in the river. The divers started finding them. After two hours of searching, all bodies were recovered and sent to the hospital where they all declared dead.

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Two similar incidents were reported. When three girls drowned in the Arabian sea while taking selfies on rocks near Bandra fort and a local youth who dived to save them was also swept away by the water. In 2015 a similar incident happened when seven youths were drowned in Mangrul Lake near Kuhi. All were trying to pose for selfie while standing in a boat and the boat tipped over.

However, measures are taken by the government to stop these selfie deaths. Recently, Government of India marked Kumbh Mela under no selfie zone. Apart from that, around 16 locations in Mumbai have been declared as ‘no selfie zones’ and strict actions are being taken against the offenders.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    This selfie fever has to stop. People should understand what matters in life and not a perfect picture

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Cigars, Pipes Tied To Same Risks As Cigarettes

Traditionally, doctors have asked just whether people smoked cigarettes, but they should instead be questioning patients more broadly about tobacco use

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E-cigarettes
E-cigarettes is considered to be safer than tobacco cigarettes. Pixabay
  • Cigarettes are not the only tobacco products which can cause death
  • Other tobacco products like cigars and pipes are just harmful
  • All these tobacco products can cause cancer

Cigarettes are not the only type of tobacco products that can lead to premature death or fatalities from smoking-related cancers, a U.S. study confirms.

While people who exclusively smoke cigarettes have twice the risk of premature death from all causes compared to people who avoid tobacco altogether, exclusive cigar smokers have a 20 percent higher risk of early death, researchers report in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Cigarettes are not the only harmful tobacco products available in the market. Pixabay
Cigarettes are not the only harmful tobacco products available in the market. Pixabay

When it comes to fatalities from specific cancers that have been tied to tobacco use, cigarette smokers have four times the risk of people who never used tobacco, but cigar smokers are 61 percent more likely to die of these cancers and pipe users have 58 percent higher odds.

“We knew exclusive users of cigars and pipes were at greater risk of disease than people who do not use tobacco,” said lead study author Carol Christensen of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products. “However, this study provides information that reflects today’s patterns of tobacco use.”

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

These data “underscore the importance of complete quitting,” Christensen said by email.

For the study, researchers examined nationally representative survey data, collected starting in 1985, from 357,420 participants who were followed through 2011.

Overall, 203,071 people, or about 57 percent, never used tobacco at all. Another 57,251 participants were current daily cigarette smokers, while 9,414 said they had a less frequent habit and 77,773 were former cigarette smokers.

In addition, 531 people were current daily cigar smokers, while 608 individuals used cigars less frequently and 2,398 had quit.

For pipes, 1,099 participants had a current daily habit, while 78 people used pipes less often and 5,237 had quit.

Pipes, hookahs and all other tobacco products are just as harmful as a cigarette. post-gazette.com
Pipes, hookahs and all other tobacco products are just as harmful as a cigarette. post-gazette.com

During the study period, 51,150 people died of all causes.

With a daily cigarette, cigar or pipe habit, people had an elevated risk of death from tobacco-related cancers including malignancies of the bladder, oesophagus, larynx, lung, mouth and throat, and pancreas.

Nondaily users

Even with a nondaily cigarette habit, people were more than six times more likely to die of lung cancer than individuals who never used tobacco. They also had more than seven times the risk of dying from a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more than four times the odds of death from oral cancers, and 43 percent higher odds of death from a circulatory system disorder.

Current cigar smokers had more than three times the odds of dying of lung cancer, and for current pipe smokers, the risk was 51 percent higher, compared with never-smokers.

The results were limited, however, by the relatively small numbers of cigar and pipe smokers in the sample, the authors noted.

Cigarettes, hookah, pipes, cigars all are equally harmful.
Cigarettes, hookah, pipes, cigars all are equally harmful.

Another limitation was that survey questions about tobacco use changed over time and didn’t determine how often nondaily smokers might have used cigarettes, cigars or pipes.

Even so, the results suggest that doctors may need to broaden how they discuss smoking with patients to make sure people understand they’re at risk even when they don’t have a daily habit, said Dr. Michael Ong of the University of California-Los Angeles and VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.

Also Read:  Beware! Vapor smoke from E-cigarettes are just as harmful, says a new research

“Patients often do not associate the occasional use of cigar or pipes with health risks, but this study shows that current, particularly daily, cigar use is associated with increased overall risk of death,” Ong, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

Doctors also need to broaden their message about smoking and cigarettes to include other tobacco products that are becoming more popular, said Judith Prochaska, a researcher at Stanford University in California who wasn’t involved in the study.

e-cigarettes
Smoking e-cigarettes are not a healthier alternative to smoking. cigarettes Pixabay

Traditionally, doctors have asked just whether people smoked cigarettes, but they should instead be questioning patients more broadly about tobacco use, Prochaska said by email.

“The tobacco landscape has been changing dramatically,” Prochaska added. “While cigarettes remain the primary tobacco product used, cigars, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookah, and even pipe tobacco have seen gains in use, while cigarette use in the U.S. has been declining.” VOA