Most People Who Try One Cigarette Become Daily Smokers, Study Says 0

At least two-thirds of those who try cigarettes go on to become daily smokers, even if only temporarily, research suggests.

Data from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand found 60.3% of people had tried smoking and an estimated 68.9% of those progressed to a daily habit.

The study’s authors said the research showed the “remarkable hold” cigarettes could establish after one experience.

They said it confirmed the importance of stopping cigarette experimentation.

‘RIGHT TRACK’

The meta-analysis, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, was based on 215,000 respondents to eight surveys between 2000 and 2016 contained in the Global Health Data Exchange.

Lead researcher Prof Peter Hajek, from Queen Mary University of London, said it was the first time the link between trying a first cigarette and becoming a regular smoker had been documented in such a large set of data.

“We’ve found that the conversion rate from first-time smoker to daily smoker is surprisingly high, which helps confirm the importance of preventing cigarette experimentation in the first place,” he said.

“The UK is seeing a dramatic reduction in smoking at the moment and this tallies with recent findings that only 19% of 11- to 15-year-olds have ever tried a cigarette, so the good news is that we are on the right track.”

SMOKING RATES ‘ALL-TIME LOW’

In 2016, 15.5% of adults from the UK smoked – about 7.6 million people – according to the Office for National Statistics, down from 19.9% in 2010.

In the same period, 19.3% of 18- to 24-year-olds were smokers, compared with 25.8% in 2010.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the charity Action on Smoking and Health, called for the greater government regulation of tobacco sales.

“The government is refusing to introduce licensing for tobacco retailers, even though there is strong support for this both from the public and retailers,” she said.

However, the study’s authors said there were limitations to the research.

One was that the surveys had yielded different results for the proportions who had progressed to becoming daily smokers – from 52% in one in the US to 82% in one in the UK – which meant the 68.9% figure was an estimate, as a weighted average of the figures.

The authors also said there were questions about the accuracy of people’s recall of their smoking history.

Public health minister Steve Brine said: “Britain is a world leader in tobacco control, and thanks to our tough action smoking rates in England are at an all-time low.

“We recently launched a new tobacco control plan to map the path to a smoke-free generation and are working to educate people about the risks and support them to quit for good.”

Source: BBC

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Girls Iron Folic Acid Tablets Supplementation (GIFT) programme kick starts Eastern Region 0

The Girls Iron Folic Acid Tablets Supplementation (GIFT) targeted at reducing high anaemia prevalence in the young has been launched in Koforidua.

Under the implementation about 54,000 girls between the ages of 10-19 in schools and out of school in the Eastern Region, would receive a folic acid tablet supplementation routinely to be administered under supervision to reduce anaemia.

At an orientation meeting with stakeholders prior to the launching, Dr Mrs Alberta Britwum-Nyarko, the Eastern Regional Director of Health Services, said statistics show that two out of every five women in the country have anaemia or low blood levels resulting in fatigues, headaches and even death in pregnant women.

She said in young adolescents the immediate effect of “this anaemia or low blood level condition results in poor memory and not doing well in school, whiles the long-term effect results in complications in pregnancies such as premature or stillbirths and even death during delivery”.

Dr Britwum-Nyarko said in order to reduce the high prevalence of anaemia among women and girls, the Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES) has initiated the GIFT programme to help prevent the dire consequences of anaemia in the society.

Mr Bismarck Sarkodie, the regional Nutrition Officer of the GHS, said research shows that it is important for every woman to prepare her nutritious status very well before pregnancy and this can be done by eating food that contains all the minerals, especially iron.

He said the GIFT programme is, therefore, an intervention to prepare adolescent girls adequately as far as their nutritional status was concerned.

Again, he said some girls lose a lot of blood during menstruation and this also means the loss of a lot of iron which needs to be replaced and appealed to all stakeholders to use every opportunity to educate the public especially mothers to embrace the programme.

Later, Ms Golda Asante, Director of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) on behalf of the Eastern Regional Minister, launched the programme at the Presbyterian Cluster of Schools where folic acid tablets were administered to the school children.

 

 

Source: GNA

Special Education Is What Children with Congenital Heart Defects Needs- NGO 0

A project meant to provide exceptional services for kids with inborn Heart Defects (CHDs) before and after surgery has been launched with an appeal on educational establishments to pay special attention to the wants of such children.

Dubbed “Restore a Child’s Heart Project”, the project additionally seeks to advocate for quality and affordable health care for school going kids with such disabilities.
It is being funded by the Centre of Hope global Missions, United Kingdom in collaboration with Dominion Leaders Foundation (DLF), Ghana as the implementers.
The aim is to forestall CHDs, manage its effects and save the lives of Ghanaian and Jamaican kids with such disabilities globally.
Dr Martha Anang, Chief executive officer (CEO) of DLF and executive director of the project, said it’s incumbent on the education sector to plot ideas to make the classroom lively for such kids because research has proven that children with all types of CHD have poorer academic outcomes compared to their peers.

Even those who have early surgery for CHD are known to have impaired development which eventually turns out to have negative effects on their performances and achievements, Dr Anang said.

She said every child has a unique potential but this could not be fully developed if the child did not have good health.

Dr Anan said it was for this reason that the project is being introduced to help eliminate all forms of illnesses that affect school children and hinder their academic performances.

Reverend Dr Nordine Campbell, Chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of the Centre of Hope for global Missions, said that research conducted in 2016, reported that CHDs represent the second major reason behind cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality among young Africans.
However, she said its management was limited in Africa because of the inadequate socio-economic environments coupled with insufficient technical platforms and human resource to handle the incapacity.

Dr Campbell said the project would specifically identify school children with all types of CHDs and provide them with exceptional services needed to help improve their health conditions for better academic performance.

She said a Heart Restore Centre will eventually be built in the Central Region of Ghana to rehabilitate children with CHDs.

Dr Campbell expressed worry about the absence of reliable data on CHDs which made it difficult to estimate the global burden of these conditions on the African continent.

An estimated one million children and about 1.4 million adults are living with CHDs in the United States (US) alone while the British Heart Foundation, Health Promotion Research Group in 2013, reported that one in every 180 babies in the UK are born with a CHD.

“If developed countries like the US and UK have such high prevalence levels of CHDs then one can imagine the situation in Africa”, she lamented and called on other philanthropic   organisations and individuals to help save humanity, particularly, the poor little children in Africa where access to medical assistance in this direction might be non-existent.

Dr Ernest Asiedu, Head of Quality Management Unit at the Ministry of Health, who chaired the program, pledged the Ministry’s support for the project.

An Electrocardiogram (ECG) was done for about 140 children by doctors from the Doctors In Service (DIS) Clinic in Cape Coast to check their heart condition.

Dr Anang was inducted as a Health and Education Ambassador for the project worldwide by the Centre of Hope for Global missions while Dr Campbell was also made an ambassador by International Independence Interdenominational Christian Churches and Ministries (IFIICCM), a US-based organisation.

 

Source: GNA

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