Saturday September 21, 2019

Researchers Probing if Tobacco’s Native Forms Less Harmful

“By working with the people who are disproportionately harmed by smoking, we can move on to co-design and testing of indigenous-centric solutions to reduce smoking harm.”

0
//
tobacco prodcuts, excise duty
Hookah smoking is addictive and can lead to the use of other tobacco products such as cigarettes. Pixabay

Can indigenous ways of smoking counteract the harm being done by mass-produced cigarettes? Researching the roots of native Fijian tobacco plant ‘suki’ said to originated in Tamil Nadu and smoked in a “roll-up”, a renowned scientist from New Zealand is finding about the similar Indian cheroot.

On her visit to India, scientist Marewa Glover is accompanied by Fijian elder Setariki, who recalls learning that indentured labourers from India took tobacco plants with them to the South Pacific island country.

Looked at now, the Fijian suki appears to be processed similarly to cheroots found in Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul district.

Their visit was to see how similar the production process is for cheroot and ‘suki’ and to explore how people are using the cheroot today.

government information
FILE – Dr. Garen Wintemute, an emergency room physician at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center, poses at the hospital in Sacramento, Calif., March 9, 2017. Wintemute, who has researched gun violence and firearms industry, worked with colleagues to download public records from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and other federal agencies after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. He and others feared the information might disappear from federal websites. VOA

“In India, mass-produced cigarettes made by tobacco companies have largely displaced cheroot use which is now viewed as an old and fading practice, as is the experience in Fiji,” Glover said in a statement.

“But as taxes on tobacco have been raised, native and Indian Fijians are turning back to growing, chewing and smoking suki,” the researcher, who is seeking to understand indigenous people’s use of tobacco in order to inform the reduction of disease associated with tobacco use, added.

Also Read- Microsoft Quietly Releases ‘Surface Book 2’ Model: Report

“The epidemic of tobacco-related diseases that cause about 7 million deaths around the world each year are mainly due to smoking the mass-produced cigarettes. Whilst smoking anything is damaging, prior to mass marketed cigarettes of tobacco companies, tobacco was harder to get and smoke and its use was often restricted using cultural rules,” she notes.

“By working with the people who are disproportionately harmed by smoking, we can move on to co-design and testing of indigenous-centric solutions to reduce smoking harm.” (IANS)

Next Story

New Study Reveals That Hookah Is More Toxic Than Other Forms of Smoking Tobacco

Smoking hookah may not be the best option to smoke tobacco, says a new study

0
hookah is dangerous to health
Due to the greater volume inhaled in every puff and the longer duration of a smoking session, hookah is more harmful than cigarettes. Pixabay

While the popularity of hookah (tobacco pipe) has increased in recent years, researchers say it may be more dangerous than other forms of smoking tobacco.

Using a custom-built testing device, the researchers analysed emissions during a typical hookah session and found that one draw from a pipe contained as many noxious substances as a cigarette.

Hookah mainstream smoke, which is directly inhaled, has many toxic and harmful chemicals, like nicotine that can lead to tobacco addiction, irritating carbonyl compounds, and benzine, a known carcinogen,” said study lead author Veronique Perraud from University of California.

“Due to the greater volume inhaled in every puff and the longer duration of a smoking session, the hookah often delivers a higher dose of those chemicals to the smoker,” Perraud said.

Hookah is dangerous
With hookah, large quantity of carbon monoxide enters the body. Pixabay

It also produced large quantity of carbon monoxide, mainly from the burning of charcoal to heat the tobacco or herbal mixture in its bowl. The study, published in journal Aerosol Science and Technology, also referred to several cases of carbon monoxide intoxication.

In addition to testing ordinary tobacco, the group also studied a nicotine-free herbal mixture, marketed as a healthier alternative, and discovered that it produced even higher levels of toxic gases.

The study is the first to characterise ultra-fine particles (with a diameter smaller than 100 nanometers) in the inhaled smoke.

hookah
The popularity of hookah among teenagers and adults have increased in the last few years. Pixabay

Also Read: Widespread Use of Charcoal for Cooking in African Cities can Cause Devastating Damage to Forests

The researchers measured the chemical composition of gases and solids emitted during a hookah session in real time. “Through our technique of testing emissions in the beginning, midpoint and end of a smoking session, we were able to show that a smoker is exposed to a higher quantity of ultra-fine particles during the first 10 minutes compared with the rest of the session,” she said.

According to the study, these miniscule particles can pose significant health risks by making their way deep into the pulmonary system and by readily crossing the blood-brain barrier. (IANS)