Items filtered by date: Friday, 08 November 2019
Friday, 08 November 2019 17:34

E-Cigarettes bad for the heart: Scientists

A research finding published in the journal Cardiovascular Research on Thursday has warned that vaping devices and the chemicals they deliver may damage the cardiovascular system.

This is a warning to teenagers who are increasingly using the devices or e-cigarettes, despite a growing chorus of concern over injury and deaths related to them.

The study comes after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month declared an “outbreak of lung injuries” linked to vaping.

“E-cigarettes contain nicotine, particulate matter, metal and flavourings, not just harmless water vapour,” senior author Loren Wold of Ohio State University wrote in Thursday’s study.

“Air pollution studies show that fine particles enter the circulation and have direct effects on the heart — data for e-cigarettes are pointing in that direction.”

Nicotine, also found in tobacco, is known to increase blood pressure and the heart rate.

But other ingredients inhaled through the vaping may lead to inflammation, oxidative stress and unstable blood flow, Wold said.

Ultrafine particulate, for example, has been linked to thrombosis, coronary heart disease and hypertension, among other conditions.

E-cigarettes also contain formaldehyde, which has been classified as a cancer-causing agent and associated with heart damage in experiments with rats.

Moreover, almost nothing is known about the potential health hazards of flavouring agents that mimic the taste of mint, candy or fruits such as mango or cherry, the study noted.

“While most are deemed safe when ingested orally, little is known of their systemic effects following inhalation,” the researchers wrote.

To assess possible impacts on the heart and vascular system, Wold and colleagues undertook a systematic review of medical literature, which remains thin due to the newness of e-cigarette use.

– Teens ‘not getting the message’ –

Wold noted that most studies to date have focused on the acute effects of e-cigarette use rather than the risk of chronic use.

Also, little is known about the secondhand effects of vaping, as well as exposure to particles lodged in walls, drapes and clothing.

Thirty-seven deaths in 24 states have been linked to e-cigarette and vaping products as of October 29, according to the CDC. There were nearly 1,900 cases of associated lung injury nationwide.

In the majority of cases, persons affected also used the devices to consume products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, raising the possibility that unknown impurities were also present.

The CDC discourages non-smokers from starting to use e-cigarettes and suggests individuals trying to kick a tobacco habit use alternatives approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as patches and gums.

But the popularity of vaping has skyrocketed since the devices were introduced to the US and European markets just over a decade ago.

Vaping users increased from seven million worldwide in 2011 to 41 million in 2018, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The products are particularly appealing to young users — often by design, according to critics.

One in four high school students in the United States uses e-cigarettes, up more than 15 percent from two years ago, according to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Study.

Use by preteens doubled from 2018 to 2019, with 10 percent of middle school students admitted to vaping.

“Adults are beginning to get the message that the full health effects of vaping are unknown, and the risk is potentially very high,” said Wold.

“My fear is that has not been crystallised in adolescents.”

Published in Opinion & Analysis

The world’s richest people became a little less wealthy last year, according to a report by UBS and PwC, as geopolitical turmoil and volatile equity markets reduced the wealth of billionaires for the first time in a decade.

Billionaires’ wealth fell by 388 billion dollars globally to 8.539 trillion dollars, the UBS and PwC Billionaires Report found, with a particularly sharp decline in Greater China – the second-biggest home for billionaires after the United States – and the Asia-Pacific region more broadly.

Private banks including the world’s largest wealth manager UBS have felt the effects of U.S.-China trade tensions and global political uncertainties, as clients last year shied away from trading and taking on debt in favor of hoarding more cash.

“Billionaire wealth dipped in 2018 for the first time since 2008 because of geopolitics,” UBS’s head of ultra-high net worth clients, Josef Stadler, said in the report published on Friday.

The net worth of China’s richest dropped 12.8 per cent in dollar terms on the back of tumbling stock markets and a weaker local currency and as growth in the world’s second-largest economy slowed to its lowest level in nearly three decades in 2018, the report found, knocking dozens off the billionaires list.

In spite of the drop, China continues to produce a new billionaire every 2-2.5 days, Stadler said.

Worldwide, the number of billionaires fell everywhere except in the Americas, where tech entrepreneurs continued to buoy the ranks of the United States’ wealthiest.

“This report shows the resilience of the U.S. economy,” where there were 749 billionaires at the end of 2018, said John Matthews, head of private wealth management and ultra-high net worth business for UBS in the United States.

While a stock market recovery from a steep drop in late 2018 has helped wealth managers increase their assets, the world’s richest families remain concerned about global affairs from trade tensions and Brexit to populism and climate change and are continuing to keep more of their money in cash.

“It is likely that billionaire wealth will go up again this year,” said Simon Smiles, UBS’s chief investment officer for ultra-wealthy clients, adding it would likely be a more muted increase than the wider financial market rally might suggest.

Published in World

5

Mr Takuma Sakuragi, a former Japanese politician sentenced in life imprisonment for drug smuggling.

A court in southern China on Friday sentenced a 76-year-old Japanese politician to life in jail for attempting to smuggle drugs in a suitcase in 2013.

The intermediate court in the province of Guangzhou ruled that Takuma Sakuragi, a former assemblyman from Japan’s Aichi prefecture, tried to smuggle home 3.289 kg (7.25 lb) of methamphetamine, it said in a post on its official social media account.

Sakuragi was detained during a baggage check at Baiyun airport in Guangzhou.

In 2014, prosecutors in the case had sought the death penalty, a life sentence or a prison term of at least 15 years. The court had repeatedly delayed reading its verdict, citing the complexity of the case.

Published in World

Nigerian airline, Air Peace has acquired a B737- 800NG to boost its domestic and regional operations in line with its expansion plan.

Mr. Stanley Olisa, Corporate Communications Executive of the airline, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos. Olisa said the aircraft arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 8 p.m. on Thursday from Europe.

According to him, the new arrival is a 160 seater aircraft comprising 16 Business Class and 144 economy class seats.

“Air Peace, West, and Central Africa’s largest airline, last year became the first airline in sub-Saharan Africa to place a firm order for 10 B737 Max. The airline earlier this year made an order for 20 brand new 124 seater E195-E2 jets from Embraer, thereby making history as the launch customer of this new aircraft in entire Africa” he said.

He added that the airline has successfully started operations on the Sharjah-Dubai route on July 5, and it would soon begin services on international routes such as London, Houston, Johannesburg, Mumbai, and Guangzhou.

Olisa said the airline was grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for creating the enabling environment that made it possible for the airline to achieve this feat within a very short time of its existence.

“Our Chairman, Mr. Allen Onyema, is eternally grateful to President Buhari for making it possible for Air Peace to become what she is within the four years of the President’s regime. This is through the zero tax regime on imported commercial aircraft and aircraft spares introduced by his administration.”

Published in Travel & Tourism
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