Wednesday November 22, 2017

Smoking may Shorten the Lifespan of HIV Patients more than the Virus itself

Smoking is especially dangerous for people living with HIV, putting them at high risk for heart disease, cancer, serious lung diseases, and other infections

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Smoking. Pixabay

November 3, 2016: Among people living with HIV who smoke cigarettes, smoking may shorten their lifespan more than HIV itself, warns a study by an Indian-origin researcher.

“A person with HIV who consistently takes HIV medicines but smokes is much more likely to die of a smoking-related disease than of HIV itself,” explained study author Krishna P. Reddy of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

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The study suggests that making smoking cessation a priority and finding effective ways to help people with HIV quit can significantly improve their lifespan.

“Now that HIV-specific medicines are so effective against the virus itself, we also need to add other interventions that could improve and extend the lives of people with HIV,” Reddy noted.

In their study, the researchers used a computer simulation of HIV disease and treatment to project the life expectancy of people living with HIV based on their smoking status.

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For men and women with HIV who adhere well to HIV medicines, the study, published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, found that smoking reduces life expectancy by about twice as much as HIV.

“It is well-known that smoking is bad for health, but we demonstrate in this study just how bad it is,” Reddy said.

Smoking is especially dangerous for people living with HIV, putting them at high risk for heart disease, cancer, serious lung diseases, and other infections.

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“We actually quantify the risk, and I think providing those numbers to patients can help put their own risks from smoking in perspective,” Reddy noted. (IANS)

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Goodbye Holy Smoke, Vatican City bans Sale of Cigarettes

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking.

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sale of cigarettes
The faithful gather in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. VOA

Vatican City, November 10, 2017 : Pope Francis has ordered a ban on the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican from next year because of health concerns, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“The motive is very simple: the Holy See cannot be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people,” spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement.

He cited World World Health Organization (WHO) statistics that smoking causes more than seven million deaths worldwide every year.

Cigarettes have been sold at a discounted price to Vatican employees and pensioners.

Vatican employees are allowed to buy five cartons of cigarettes a month. Many Italians ask their non-smoking friends who work in the Vatican to buy cigarettes for them because they cost much less than in Italy, where they are subject to heavy taxes.

Burke acknowledged that the sale of cigarettes has been a source of revenue for the Holy See, adding, “However, no profit can be legitimate if it is costing people their lives.”

The spokesman said the sale of large cigars would continue at least for the time being because the smoke is not inhaled.

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking. Bhutan, where smoking is deemed bad for one’s karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005. (VOA)

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Getting the best rolling papers – A small guide to having the best experience

Many rolling paper options these days are dangerous because they are infused with chemicals like chlorine. That’s of course not good at all for your body and you should try to avoid those kind of rolling papers as hard as you can.

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rolling papers
Choosing the right rolling papers can make a big difference in how your experience goes overall. (representative image) Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 7, 2017 : Smoking is something that requires you to do some shopping once in a while. Whether you’re new to smoking or have been on SmokeCartel for ages, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to buy rolling papers in order to, well, smoke. However, choosing the right rolling papers can make a big difference in how your experience goes overall. There used to be a time when it was cool not to pay any attention to what you’re using as rolling paper. However, those times are fortunately gone and now consumers such as yourself can make the right decision when it’s time to roll. Here are some tips on how to get the best rolling papers.

The importance of going for the natural choice

Many rolling paper options these days are dangerous because they are infused with chemicals like chlorine. That’s of course not good at all for your body and you should try to avoid those kind of rolling papers as hard as you can. Not only do they put you in harm’s way, but they also tend to change the taste of the herb you’re smoking. Not to mention that if you’re the kind of smoker that likes to keep their herb organic, it would be highly counterproductive to just toss that into the trash in favor of a chemical-filled rolling paper option.

Choosing the best brands

If you want to have the best smoking sessions, you need to invest in the best brands available, which treat rolling papers with care and attention. Here are the names that you want to embed into your smoker memory as soon as possible:

Elements

This company offers great rolling papers, in a cool package that features a small magnet as a mechanism for keeping the package shut when it’s not being used. The papers themselves are of great quality. The rice paper rolls are incredibly thin, and a pack can hold up to 100 leaves depending on the size option you go for.

RAW Organic

RAW Organic offers tan and really thin rolling papers. According to them anyway, the papers are organic and naturally grown. You can’t help but appreciate the craft that goes into making these, but also their effectiveness and resistance. RAW Organic papers are known to be run-resistant.’

Zen Effen

Zen Effen sells their papers in paper packaging. They are naturally grown, hemp gum papers, and represent one of the thinnest options that you have in terms of high quality rolling papers. At least, as far as hemp papers are concerned. Throughout their time on the market, Zen Effen have managed to provide a very high quality combination of great flavor, on-point burn time and resistance.

Skunk Brand

Don’t let the name fool you, as we’re not talking about some newcomers that want to amaze with the name alone. They have actually been around since 1994, when they helped popularized hemp papers. These papers are known for their slow burn are made out of pure hemp.

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Have you switched from Cigarettes to E-Cigarettes? Beware! Vapor smoke from E-cigarettes are just as harmful, says a new research

If you are still wondering, the only completely healthy alternative to cigarette smoking is to completely quit smoking.  

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Do you believe e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to smoking? Think again. Pixabay

North Carolina, October 23, 2017 : Vaping and e-cigarettes comprise a considerably new trend in the market, having been around for only for a decade or so. While their use has not been widespread, with mostly the younger population choosing it, a majority of the people are not even aware about it. However, out of those who know, it is a common belief that e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to regular smoking.

Contrary to regular cigarettes that burn tobacco, e-cigarettes deliver nicotine to the smoker in the form of water vapor. Due to this diluted consumption, most people imagine vaping is healthier than smoking. But is that really true?

While it will not be wrong to say that e-cigarette vapor smoke does not contain the same composition and amount of carcinogenic compounds as regular cigarette smoke, a new research suggests that ‘vaping’ may have its own harmful effects.

According to researchers from the University of North Carolina, the use of e-cigarettes can lead to inflammatory lung disease, triggered by extremely harmful response in the lung to the vapor smoke.

The Study Findings 

For the study that has been published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine researchers examined the sputum samples of 44 non-smokers, e-cigarette users, and current cigarette smokers. Sputum is a combination of saliva and mucus, coughed from the respiratory tract which is often caused by some infection or disease.

  • Analysis found that the batch of e-cigarette smokers had a significant increase in neutrophil granulocyte- and neutrophil-extracellular-trap (NET)-related proteins, which are our immune system’s first line of defense against infection causing pathogens.
  • However, it was also revealed that while neutrophils are helpful in combating infectious pathogens, they are also known to contribute to lung diseases like COPD (a group of lung diseases that block the air flow, making it difficult to breathe) and cystic fibrosis (a life threatening disorder that gravely damages the lungs and the digestive system).
  • Additionally, the researchers also identified a similar positive trend in specific biomarkers of oxidative stress between e-cigarette users and regular cigarette smokers that have been understood as causative of lung diseases.
  • Furthermore, common increase in mucinn 5AC, which is associated with asthma and chronic bronchitis, was revealed in both, e-cigarette and cigarette users.

While smoking, in any way, is harmful, it is  important to note here that regular cigarette smoke and vapor smoke are two different compounds which can (and do) have different effects on the body. According to Dr. Mehmet Kesimer, senior author of the new study, “Comparing the harm of e-cigarettes with cigarettes is a little like comparing apples to oranges.”

ALSO READ Banning E-Cigarettes Deprives Indian Smokers of a Less Harmful Alternative: Experts

The senior researcher added that the research shows that e-cigarettes have a signature of harm in the lung, which is very similar to that of regular cigarettes, but also unique in its own way. A broader understanding of the harm done by vapor smoke can thus, have implications that challenge the popular belief that it is healthier alternative to consume vapor smoke from e-cigarettes than regular smoking.

It must be noted here that this study was carried out on a small and limited scale, with most e-cigarette smokers previously being cigarette smokers. This duplicity makes it difficult to clearly identify if the study results are strictly related to use of e-cigarettes and vapor smoke.

There have been numerous studies about the harm of e-cigarettes in relation to that of regular cigarettes. However, what makes the study extremely important is its analysis of the unique or novel ways that e-cigarettes could be causing harm to our bodies.

In increasing number of studies previously published have revealed how it is a healthier lifestyle choice to switch from regular cigarettes to e-cigarettes. But, new researches have begun to trace the long-term adverse effects of e-cigarettes, which are challenging this switch.

If you are still wondering, the only completely healthy alternative to cigarette smoking is to completely quit smoking.