Category: Cancer Research UK
Cancer Research UK has funded a new study that has found that vapers who use low nicotine e-cigarettes tend to use their devices far more intensely than those users who vape using high nicotine e-cigarettes. This means the group using low nicotine e-cigarettes is potentially at greater risk of increased exposures to toxins in the vapour. The basic finding of the research is that smokers who decide to switch to vaping would probably be better of starting with higher rather than lower nicotine levels.
The researchers studied 20 e-cigarette users and found users of low nicotine e-liquid tended to take deeper inhalations and tended to do so more often in comparison to users of high nicotine liquid. They also tended to increase the power of their vaping devices. Despite trying to compensate for the low nicotine, vapers were unable to feel the effects of nicotine in the same way as the high nicotine group did, but in their attempt to do so increased their exposure to toxins such as formaldehyde.
Vaping much less harmful than smoking
Whilst toxins are present in vapour, they tend to be fewer and at lower levels when compared to tobacco smoke. The evidence suggests that both high and low nicotine e-cigarettes are much less harmful in comparison to tobacco. Users of low nicotine vapour also found they had a stronger urge to vape and felt withdrawal more acutely and were less satisfied after vaping.
Low nicotine costs more financially and health wise
Dr Lynne Dawkins of London South Bank University who headed up the study says that some people making the switch from tobacco to vaping may believe that beginning with low nicotine is good, however they should be aware that doing so is likely to result in the use of more e-liquid. Not only does that end up costing more financially but will also possibly have negative health consequences as well. Dr Dawkins does acknowledge however that to conclusively determine whether higher nicotine e-liquids are preferable, research on a larger scale is necessary.
Try different strategies to give up smoking
A Cancer Research UK spokesperson echoed the comments made by Dr Dawkins and says that whilst there are harmful chemicals in e-cigarette vapour, tobacco smoke is much worse. The best thing a smoker can do is simply stop smoking and if they need to, transition to e-cigarettes instead, that is one way to achieve that goal. A low nicotine approach is perhaps not the most appropriate strategy for everyone trying to give up nor is it necessarily the safest.
Oxfam says that approximately 7,200 tonnes of clothing is saved from being sent to landfills every year as a result of its Wastesaver processing plant. The aid agency is one of the few organisations that runs its own textile sorting facility. Clothing donations that end up being unsold at the charity’s retail outlets are sent on for processing at the facility in West Yorkshire in a bid to minimise what is sent to landfill and maximise income.
Oxfam encourages individuals to donate goods to Oxfam Shop’s so that unwanted possessions are managed in the most sustainable manner. Items that are later sent on to Oxfam’s Wastesaver plant never end up in a landfill. Some of the items are sent to other shops in the network or appear as products on Oxfam’s website, whilst others end up as inventory at Oxfam’s pop-up shops at festivals. The vast majority of items are either resold overseas or to re-processors who use the clothing to create upholstery stuffing or new cleaning cloths.
Making use of everything
A small fraction of items which are not fit for reusing or recycling are sent for incineration at green energy plant that produces electricity that powers the locality in West Yorkshire. The clothing that Oxfam sends to the plant produces enough energy to power as many as 400 homes a year. An Oxfam spokesperson says when clearing out or refreshing wardrobes, it is important that people don’t just throw their old items away and instead donate them to the local Oxfam shop. Oxfam works hard to make the most of every item that is donated so that the good work Oxfam does around the world remains funded.
The money is used to do good
In 2017 a study was undertaken which suggests that the average woman in the UK wears just five complete outfits on a loop. The study also polled 1,000 men and more than half said they didn’t wear at least a third of the clothes that they own. The money raised by Oxfam from the sale of pre-owned goods pays for Oxfam’s work saving lives everywhere from Yemen to the DRC and Syria. Last year the whole network of 630 Oxfam shops plus the online shop was able to raise £22 million which was used to fund Oxfam’s work fighting poverty and suffering all over the world.
Category: Guide Dogs For The Blind
Dogalogue is running a fantastic sale store wide this month. You can purchase items and receive a whopping 10 per cent discount. All you need to do is make a purchase this November and enter code D18G001 at check out and this deal could be yours. There are loads of items to choose from ranging from gorgeous gifts and essential extras. If you want to make sure your get your 10% discount remember to make a purchase before the end of the month.
How to get this deal
- Shop at the Dogalogue store and make a purchase on or before November 30th 2018.
- Enter coupon code D18G001.
- Receive a 10% Discount on your entire purchase.
Category: Help For Heroes
Help for Heroes has established a new support programme for veterans and armed forces personnel in Wales. The programme will be administered from the Help for Heroes Community Recovery Office in Treforest and will serve women and men from all over Wales that have been wounded, injured or sick as a result of having served in the military. The programme is split into three parts that seeks to inspire, enable and support people making the transition from military service to civilian life.
Providing direction and clarity
The programme runs for 12 days and has already been successfully running at other Help for Heroes regional bases for a number of years now. One former member of the Royal Artillery who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and was medically discharged as a result of injuries sustained during service following a 22-year career has taken part in a trial of the Pathfinder Experience at Help for Heroes Treforest office. He says he was lost in terms of career direction and needed more clarity.
Identifying future opportunities
Help for Heroes turned out to be the best people to talk too because they have subject matter experts. The people running the course predominantly have military backgrounds and can empathise with the situation and guide people on their way forward. Louis Nethercott who heads up the national career recovery team for Help for Heroes says the course is about helping people learn more about themselves in terms of strengths, weaknesses etc as well as assisting in identifying opportunities for the future. By the time individuals complete the programme, they should have the tools necessary to translate their strengths and skills sets into civilian life.
Providing support for anyone who needs it
The roll out of the programme in Wales means that people who live locally will benefit, they will not have to commute and face unnecessary stress to participate. The office is located in a quiet neighbourhood and there are plenty of amenities nearby. A local Help for Heroes spokesperson says the organisation is delighted to be able to offer the Pathfinder Experience programme to veterans living in Wales. The response to the trial version earlier in the year was phenomenal and the charity is keen to continue encouraging those that already engage and wants to hear from anyone who needs its support.
Michael Clarke, the RSPB chief executive is warning that there are less than 12 months with which to rescue the UK’s degraded environment and save the country’s endangered birds and animals. Mr Clarke says that the parliamentary bills that are scheduled to be published over the course of the year will need to force crucial changes to the way farms and fisheries are run in the country if the flora and fauna of the nation are to be rescued. He adds that the country is on the brink and if the UK fails to decisively act now, the nation will pay the price in the years that follow.
There are three bills set to be introduced that will govern agriculture fisheries and the environment which will serve as replacements for existing EU regulations. So far, the government has not disclosed the contents of these bills however conservationists are worried that there is a real risk that the new legislation will not provide the necessary powers to restore the UK’s crisis-hit environment. According to Mr Clarke, since 1980, 420 million individual birds have disappeared as a result of modern agricultural practices. Whilst that is a staggering number, the decline in insect life over the same time frame has been even more catastrophic.
Common Agricultural Policy
The main reason behind the declines is proliferation and intensification of agriculture and changes in land use. The Common Agricultural Policy of the EU has been perhaps the most destructive. The CAP emphasises the importance of agricultural output above all else and if what Mr Clarke says is correct this has resulted in the destruction of homes and food sources of an immeasurable number of birds, animals and insects.
Once in a generation opportunity
Brexit presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to correct the damage. Currently about £3 billion a year is spent on agriculture in the UK as a result of the CAP. The money is used to boost output at great cost to the surrounding countryside. The new legislation needs to ensure that some money is provided for the maintenance of the environment and if it fails to do so, the consequences will be appalling, wiping out dozens of critically endangered bird species in the country. Mr Clarke says the UK is one of the world’s most depleted countries when it comes to biodiversity ranking 29th worst out of 218.
The last chance to make things right
Mr Clarke concludes by saying the new legislation could well be the last opportunity to end the degradation and correct the course of the country. The UK needs to establish strong targets for improving the quality of water, air and soil in the country. The bills should ensure there is a watchdog that enforces the standards and protects UK wildlife and fisheries. It is by no means clear whether the legislation will do all of that but Mr Clarke warns that if it doesn’t, there will be trouble.
Category: Cancer Research UK
Summer may well be over but there is still plenty to take away from what may well have been the warmest hot season in recent memory. Cancer Research UK has partnered with NIVEA SUN to release data which paints a picture of the sun care habits of British parents. The data indicates that many parents fail to provide the necessary skin protection from the sun. More than half of all parents said they had been sunburnt in the UK over the last year and many parents are confused about what safety precautions to take in particular from UV and SPF which have the potential to cause problems for the long-term health of children.
Not protecting skin from the sun
The survey polled 1,110 parents and questioned them about their behaviour in the sun and found that almost two thirds of respondents admitted they were more likely to protect their skin from the sun when they went abroad rather than when they were in the UK. Cancer Research UK and NIVEA sun warn that the sun can be just as strong in the UK as it is abroad so it is important to protect skin not just whilst on holiday but whilst people are at home as well. Data also suggests that people don’t have to be lying in the sun in order to get sunburnt. The most common place to get burnt is in the garden, followed by the beach and then doing outdoor DIY and that could cause lasting long-term skin damage.
Parents need to set a good example
According to the data just 28 per cent of parents strongly agree that they set a good example to follow for their children when it comes to protection from the sun. Children typically imitate their parents, so Cancer Research UK and its partner are advising parents to protect both their own and their children’s skin when they go outside in strong sun. Many parents are confused when it comes to safety in the sun with 10 per cent of those polled saying they were not sure or did not know there is a specific period when people need to be more careful in the sun. People need to be extra careful between 11am and 3pm according to Cancer Research UK and its partner.
Keep track of the UV Index
Many parents know nothing about the UV Index. UV rays can travel through clouds and this means it is possible to get sunburnt even when the weather is overcast. The UV Index lets people know how strong the sun is at ground level. When it exceeds 3 or more, this means the sun is particularly strong and some people could end up being sunburnt. The higher the number the greater the risk. For people wishing to check the UV index, simply visit www.metoffice.gov.uk/uv .
Parents do protect their children
On a brighter note, the data also shows that UK parents do indeed protect their children’s skin when they go outdoors. 85 per cent of those polled said they protected their children’s skin at the beach and comparable percentages also did so when children were in the garden or going for picnics. A Cancer Research UK spokesperson said whilst it is important to get some sun in order to develop and maintain healthy bones, it is important for people not to over do it and risk skin damage caused by sunburn.
Female Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh are facing health issues, do not get access to aid and suffer from a greater risk of abuse as a result of dangerous and unsuitable facilities in large swathes of the refugee camps according to Oxfam. The global aid agency is urging at least an additional 15 per cent of new funding to be set aside for programmes that will better support girls and women. At present there is no separate budget for meeting the needs of females despite the $500 million commitment made by the World Bank towards the emergency response.
World’s largest refugee camp
700,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh over the last year and aid to them is being delivered by the government and agencies. However, the sheer speed at which the world’s largest refugee camp has emerged at has made it virtually impossible for authorities to keep pace with their support. According to Oxfam and its partners, more than a third of women polled said they felt unsafe and did not feel comfortable when going to the toilet, collect water or to use the shower. Many toilet and bathing facilities lack roofs and lockable doors.
Females don’t feel safe
Half the women polled and seventy five percent of female adolescents said they did not have the necessary tools to manage their periods. This not only means sanitary pads or the like but also female only places to wash sanitary cloths to avoid embarrassment. In response many women forgo food and water in order to minimise their use of toilets and this causes abdominal pain and infection. Many end up using unhygienic sanitary cloths and relieve themselves by their tents increasing the risk of the spread of disease. Women also have to deal with the risk of being sexually abused or harassed.
The speed of the unfolding crisis is difficult to keep up with
An Oxfam spokesperson says the sheer speed at which this refugee crisis has unfolded has meant that most if not all of the emergency facilities were installed in a rush without thinking about the needs of women. As a result, females are now paying the price because they do not feel secure and are suffering from health issues. This has to be rectified immediately with substantial amounts of money needing to be devoted to protecting female Rohingya refugees by improving toilets and bathing facilities so they offer privacy an assistance to the vulnerable.
Delivering a more suitable humanitarian response
Oxfam is working with local partners and refugees to deliver a more suitable humanitarian response that supports females. This includes the installation of solar powered lighting along pathways, the distribution of portable solar lamps and establishing women’ groups to discuss women’s issues such as safety. New toilet facilities are being designed in consultation with female refugees that include features such as lockable doors and shelves so that clothing can be kept clean, as well as screens which provide privacy. Oxfam says the government of Bangladesh should be commended for its response and allowing a persecuted minority to seek refuge in Cox’s Bazar. The aid agency says it along with the government and other humanitarian aid agencies are calling on Myanmar to stop the discrimination that is the root cause of this crisis.
Following his service to the country, Jim experienced spinal injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and as a result is encouraging other veterans to seek support from Help for Heroes. Jim says that people tend to alienate themselves and become isolated, locking themselves indoors. The most difficult thing for people in that situation to do is take their first step outside. He adds that everybody has their own unique journey and uses different techniques to deal with physical and mental stress. The one thing he does advise is that veterans should seek support because there are staff willing to help.
Physical activity makes a huge difference
Jim suffers from a back injury and as a result the only exercise he can do is swimming. He began swimming at Help for Heroes sessions and was eventually selected to participate in the US Airforce trials at the start of the year. At that event he took home 4 gold medals which he says is not the point of the exercise. Instead simply taking part in a physical activity has improved his wellbeing dramatically. Jim says before he started he was a mess both physically and mentally but with the help of the Sports Recovery Team of Help for Heroes he is in a much better place.
Small steps become big steps
Jim urges anyone who feels they may benefit from Sports Recovery to seek out what’s available and begin their journey towards recovery. He says even if the only thing people do is put their swimming costume on and take a ten-minute dip, the simple act of feeling water on their bodies will have a huge impact because they stepped out of their comfort zone. Small steps tend to turn into large steps. Jim concludes that any form of exercise is going to improve mental health. Sports Recovery ensures there are like minded people around who have served and the staff are excellent, delivering the support and camaraderie that ends after leaving the military.
Last year approximately thirty teenagers aged between 15 to 19 per hour were infected by HIV according to a report by aid agency Unicef. It should come as no surprise that the vast majority or two thirds were girls. A Unicef spokesperson says that it is not just a health crisis but it is also a crisis of agency. The spokesperson adds that in most countries females across all age groups lack access to information or services. In most cases they simply lack the ability to even say no to unsafe sex.
Teenage girls at the centre of HIV crisis
The most vulnerable and marginalised people are at greatest risk of contracting HIV and this means teenage girls are at the centre of the crisis. The report was presented at a recently concluded AIDS conference which took place in Amsterdam. The report highlights the fact that teenagers are bearing the brunt of the HIV epidemic and the inability to deliver assistance to them has meant the progress that has been made over the last two decades has taken a step backwards.
Girls need to feel secure economically
It is important for girls and women to feel economically secure so that they do not need to become sex workers. They also need access to information which tells them how HIV is transmitted and how to stay protected. Females of all ages must have access to any service of medicines that are required in order for them to stay healthy. Most of all girls should be made to feel empowered and the only way to do that is through education.
There has been progress
Whilst it is disappointing that so many adolescent females are contracting HIV, we should not lose sight of the amount of progress that has been made. A number of initiatives have had significant success preventing mother-to-child transmission of the disease the report says. The number of infections of children aged between 0 to 4 has fallen by a third since 2010. 80 per cent of pregnant women who have HIV now have access to treatment which keeps them healthy and reduces the risk of passing on the disease to their babies.
The fight needs to continue
In Southern Africa which has long been the epicentre of the AIDS epidemic, Botswana and South Africa have managed to deliver treatment to 90 per cent of women infected by HIV. Mother-to-child transmission rates now stand at just 5 per cent and in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia nearly 100 per cent of pregnant women know their HIV status. Women are the worst affected by the disease and efforts to contain it should be focused on them, but the fight is far from over.
Category: Cancer Research UK
There are now a greater number of ten to eleven-year olds in England than has ever been previously recorded according to the most recent data by Public Health England. According to the research, four out of every hundred students in Year 6 are considered to be severely obese. Just twelve years ago that number was three in every hundred. A nutritionist with Public Health England says the rise is alarming and dealing with it will take time.
Worried by the trend
Researchers are worried by the increase in severe obesity and greater health inequalities and point to both these trends when they say bold measures are necessary if the threat to children’s health is to be tackled. Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert Professor Linda Bauld is urging the government to regulate the advertising of junk food and says it should be banned before 9 pm. Dr Bauld says it is well known that advertising aimed at children is a big part of why childhood obesity is growing.
Banning junk food advertising
According to research from Cancer Research UK, young people are more than twice as likely to be obese if they can recall viewing an advert for junk food every day compared to young people who had no memory of one over a month. The National Child Measurement Programme maintains records of the height and weight of more than a million children between the ages of four to eleven every year.
According to analysis of the data recorded, the number of children considered severely obese has dramatically risen since 2006. Another observation is that there were differences in the health of children across the country. Children living in the most deprived areas were more likely to be obese.
Obesity is the second most preventable cause of cancer
According to Dr Bauld, it is worrying that the number of children beginning secondary education who are severely obese is at record high and that inequalities in health are widening instead of shrinking. Children who live in the most deprived communities are 40 per cent more likely to recall viewing a junk food advert on a daily basis. There is a strong link with obese children and the likelihood that obesity will persist into adulthood. Adult obesity is the second most preventable cause of cancer after smoking.