WHO: Tobacco kills 8 million each year; e-cigarettes, not a proven alternative

Robie de Guzman   •   May 30, 2019   •   3008

FILE PHOTO – A cigarette burns in an ashtray at a pub in Prague, Czech Republic, May 8, 2017. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Tobacco kills eight million people each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday (May 29), ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Friday (May 31).

The WHO said 40 percent of tobacco victims die from lung diseases and about one million from second-hand smoke.

More than 60,000 children under 5 years old die of lower respiratory infections caused by second-hand smoke, WHO director for non-communicable diseases, Vinayak Prasad, said in a briefing.

“Out of these 8 million, we have about 3.3 million — about 40% — of these deaths, due to lung diseases. What are these lung diseases: cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and even tuberculosis,” said WHO Department for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases Director, Dr. Vinayak Prasad.

Globally, there are around 1.1 billion smokers.

Anti-tobacco campaigns and measures are bearing fruit, but mostly in high-income countries, Prasad said, while the smoking population remained constant or even increased in low-income countries, where the tobacco industry is now focusing sales efforts.

Prasad issued a caveat on e-cigarettes, saying there is no evidence proving they are a safer alternative to cigarettes, warning that it normalizes smoking and hooks young people.

“There is a perception that these are safe products and it is actually hitting the market and the group which is most vulnerable — children, teenage children…So it is a problem we are seeing in a number of countries now,” he said.

The WHO recommends that e-cigarettes be subjected to the same guidelines as for tobacco products, meaning non-smokers should be protected from second-hand smoke, pregnant women should be prohibited from using them, and advertising content must be regulated.

“These products (e-cigarettes) are not smokeless, these products are tobacco products, so there are two big things: one is these are tobacco products, and our recommendations as WHO (World Health Organization) is ‘please regulate them as tobacco products’. The claims that these are less harmful… We don’t know,” he said.

“There is no evidence to demonstrate that and therefore we follow the precautionary principle: take precautions, treat them as tobacco products, and regulate them, the way you regulate for other products,” he added.

Earlier this week, more than 100 public health and anti-tobacco organizations called on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to take swift action to curb advertising of tobacco products on their platforms.

This is after a Reuters report documented how cigarette maker Philip Morris International has used young personalities on Instagram to sell a new “heated tobacco” product called IQOS. (REUTERS)

READ: Rules on use of e-cigarettes, vapes out next week – DOH

PhilHealth, GSIS in ‘must-win’ situation at UNTV Cup

UNTV News   •   October 12, 2019

The injury-stricken PhilHealth Plus is expected to lean on to Jonathan Aldave and Kenneth Emata against the Ombudsman Graft Busters

The winless teams, PhilHealth Plus and GSIS Furies must defeat their opponents this coming Sunday as they are on the verge of early elimination being on the bottom two in their respective groups.

In the first game of the triple-header, GSIS Furies would have to breach the tough defense of Malacanang-PSC Kamao head-on.

It’s going to be a big task for the Rene Banzali and Roger Yap-led team to even demoralize their opponent because Coach Raffy Gonzales’ Kamao team has the perfect winning momentum; on the other hand they will come from two-straight sorry loses.

The battle between the President’s men and the government-worker insurers is slated at 2 pm at Pasig City Sports Center.

In the other game, PhilHealth Plus must triumph against the Ombudsman Graft Busters led by its big man tandem of Bernzon Franco and Samuel Ignacio and the reinforcement playing coach of Edsel del Rosario.

The Health Insurers and “Tanod Bayan” face off is scheduled at 3:30 in the afternoon.

And in the main card of UNTV Cup Sunday games, Judiciary Magis and NHA Builders are eager to get the win that will decide their ranking in Group B with both having a 1-1 record.

Judiciary comes from a victorious game against GSIS last September 29.

Coach Joey Yabut said, “Sabi ko sa mga players, kailangan nating manalo kasi kapag nadalawang sunod tayo, mahirap na tayo bumawi kasi tatlong malalakas pa yung kalaban natin.”

NHA Builders Coach Benett Palad says, “Kailangan naming manalo doon para pumasok kami sa taas … yung team ko kasi ngayon nagkakaroon na ng camaraderie at teamwork so mas gumaganda yung takbuhan. Konting konti na lang ang i-aadjust ko na mali nila.” — Bernard Dadis

Aside from NHA, the Magis is slated to face DENR and PNP.

While the NHA Builders are determined to bounce back from a disheartening loss from Malacanang-PSC Kamao two-weeks ago.

WHO calls for “40 seconds of action” on World Mental Health Day

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 8, 2019

Every 40-seconds someone loses their life to suicide.

READ: Are suicidal thoughts contagious?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on the public to allot “40 seconds of action” for World Mental Health Day on October 10.

The WHO said they aim to increase awareness on the significance of suicide as a global public health problem and what else can be done to prevent suicide.

The organization has provided steps and ways on how everyone can participate in the 40 seconds of action.

Some of the ideas provided by the WHO include:

  • If you are struggling, take 40 seconds to kickstart a conversation with someone you trust about how you are feeling.
  • If you work in media, highlight the 40-second statistic in interviews, articles, and blog posts.
  • If you are an employer or manager, take 40 seconds to formulate a positive message of support to your employees about resources available to them in the workplace or local community in times of mental distress.

“Everyone can take part in whichever way makes the most sense. Your activity may be private, for example, initiating a conversation with someone you are worried about or sharing a message of hope with someone who is struggling; or it may be public, for example posting a video message for local or national authorities about action you would like them to take on this issue,” the WHO said.—AAC

More wish granting with Wish 107.5

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 1, 2019

Nanay Teresita

Nanay Teresita showed off her favorite dance moves on the newly renovated floor of their home in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

It was well-polished and better compared to their old floor.

Nanay Teresita, along with nine others, lives in one of the elderly homes of the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE). COSE is one of the beneficiaries of top radio station Wish FM that received P100,000 cash grant.

The floor of COSE’s elderly home gets a makeover

Because of the cash grant, COSE was able to further provide a comfortable home for these lolas.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Dios na mayroong may mga mabuting puso na nagdo-donate dito, (I am thankful to God for the kindhearted people who donated this)” Lola Conchita Salas said.

COSE is a non-governmental organization that aims to keep older people involved in the community.—AAC (with reports from Ninya Armillo)

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