Nigerians consume 20 billion sticks of cigarette every year

Over 20 billion sticks of cigarettes are consumed annually in Nigeria, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has said.

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Mr Adewole also said 4.5 million adults currently use tobacco products, while about 82 per cent of people who visit bars and nightclubs are exposed to second-hand smoke.

The minister, who spoke during a press briefing organised to mark the 2018 World No-Tobacco day celebration in Abuja on Monday, said in 2015, the country’s projected accumulated loss to tobacco was put at $7.6 billion.

The “World No Tobacco Day” is celebrated annually on May 31. This year’s World No Tobacco Day theme is “Tobacco and Heart Disease.”

“Let me draw attention to the fact that tobacco use is responsible for huge economic losses emanating from both direct and indirect medical costs,” Mr Adewole said.

“It is estimated that Nigeria losses $800 million annually to stroke, heart disease and diabetes.

“In 2015, the projected accumulated loss to tobacco was put at $7.6 billion,” he said.

He said for every $1 gained from tobacco business, about $3 is expended on healthcare cost, noting that the tobacco industry makes huge profit without taking responsibility for the harm they do to public health.

Speaking on the trending shisha (flavoured tobacco) among young Nigerians, Mr Adewole said the country would not accept tobacco consumption in whatever disguise, as there is a need to protect the future of the country.

“A key outcome of this review was the ban on all characterising flavours including the addition of menthol into tobacco products.

“This decision is to protect our children from getting enticed by flavoured tobacco products. Let me stress that the ban on tobacco products with characterising flavour is still in place and the ban includes shisha because it has flavour.

“I therefore urge the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) and the law enforcement agencies to intensify arrest of defaulters,” he said.

In his speech at the event, the World Health Organisation (WHO) country representative, Wondi Alemu, said tobacco control is one of the most effective means to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which target, by 2030, premature deaths from non-communicable diseases.

He said the elimination of tobacco use will help to prevent millions of people dying from non-communicable diseases.

“On average, tobacco users lose 15years of life. In the African Region, about 146,000 adults, aged 30 years and above, die every year from tobacco related diseases,” he said.

To further discourage tobacco consumption and increase government revenue, Nigeria increased tax on tobacco products, as well as alcoholic beverages. The new tax regime commenced on Monday.

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Plakman is all you need to live a healthy life

With an increasing rate of heart diseases and rise in kidney problems, many scientist have been in search of that medicine that can be able to cure, protect and keep you healthy while going about your daily routines – hence the introduction of Plakman – The ultimate cure for that troublesome sickness.

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  • Diabetes
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  • Sleeping difficulty
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Seven ways to manage irritable bowel syndrome

IBS can cause severe discomfort and is often difficult to treat as patients have different triggers.

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Irritable bowel syndrome may be inherited. It is linked to oversensitive nerves in the gut, causing debilitating pains and cramps among other symptoms. But there are ways to manage it and reduce its impact on your life.

1. Consider medication

Speak to your doctor about what is recommended for your particular type of IBS. If you have IBS with constipation (IBS-C), then laxatives could help. These range from osmotic laxatives, which increase water inside the colon, to cathartic laxatives, which stimulate the colon walls, although the latter may not be effective long-term. If you have IBS with diarrhoea (IBS-D), then over-the-counter medications such as loperamide can help control your symptoms.

2. Try probiotics

Research has suggested that changes in gut flora may trigger IBS by increasing inflammation and altering digestive motility. For some people, probiotics – available in capsules, powders and yoghurts – can alleviate symptoms, balancing gut flora by inhibiting the growth of disease-causing bacteria, slowing down bowel movements and fighting inflammation.

3. Move to a high-fibre diet

If you have IBS-C or IBS-D, then increasing dietary fibre with fruit, vegetables, beans, whole-grain breads and cereals may relieve symptoms. High-fat meals can cause problems by inducing vigorous colon contractions more rapidly than usual, which can trigger cramping and diarrhoea. However, IBS has quite a wide spectrum and only one in six IBS patients experience improvements from this diet. Others find that it worsens symptoms, and may benefit from a different regime such as a ketogenic (low carb) diet, aimed at reducing inflammation.

4. Take exercise

Research has suggested that 30 minutes of exercise, such as walking at a moderate pace, five days a week can significantly help to ease common symptoms such as constipation and abdominal cramps. It is best to consult your doctor about what exercise regime may be suitable, but try to keep a routine so you exercise at the same time each day and avoid exercising within an hour of meals.

5. Reduce your stress levels

Stress is widely thought to trigger IBS, partly because of the neural connections between the brain and the gut, and any external stressors make the mind more aware of painful colon spasms. IBS may be an auto-immune disorder, and the immune system is heavily affected by stress. Try to make time in your day for relaxation sessions and, if you have a stressful life, consider taking up yoga or meditation, or practise breathing exercises.

6. Keep a food diary

IBS patients have different triggers, so keep a daily diary of all the foods and drinks that make your symptoms flare up. If you experience bloating, you may want to try eliminating gas-producing foods such as resistant starch (found in cold potatoes and bread), beans, cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, and carbonated drinks. Fructose, found in sweet vegetables and fruit, can also trigger diarrhoea, gas and bloating in IBS sufferers, and it is worth remembering that one in 10 IBS sufferers are lactose intolerant, so minimising dairy products can provide relief. Caffeine can make diarrhoea worse, so limit coffee and tea to three cups a day.

7. Try peppermint oil

Studies have shown that peppermint oil may be effective in reducing the severity of abdominal cramps and spasms, bloating and the intensity of bowel movement urgency and pain when passing stools, particularly in patients with IBS-D. Try purchasing enteric-coated peppermint oil, specially coated tablets that slowly release the oil in the small intestine.

‘Laughing, we feel the grip of the powerful on our lives relax’

Laughter is a short, very short, sigh of relief.

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Elena Ferrante: ‘Laughter is a short, very short, sigh of relief.’ Illustration: Andrea Ucini

laugh willingly, without restraint, and so hard that the muscles around my mouth ache. I also like to make people laugh, but I’m not too successful at it; in general what seems comic to me doesn’t make anyone else laugh.

I remember a design that was very amusing to me as a girl. You have to imagine the sign that prohibits honking: a trumpet in a circle, crossed out by a diagonal strip. Next to it is a convertible, and a slow-moving pedestrian who keeps the car from proceeding. The driver is leaning out over the windshield and playing the violin in the pedestrian’s ear. I laughed, and my girlfriends said: “Why do you find it so funny?”

Yes, why? It’s still not clear to me. I like the humour that derives from situations like this, and I get on well with anyone who can come up with this type of idea.

Maybe I laugh because the symbol of the trumpet is taken literally: honking the horn is prohibited, playing the violin evidently is not, and so it becomes the bow’s job to signal to the pedestrian that he’d better move. Maybe I laugh because it seems to me that resorting to the violin doesn’t simply get around the prohibition, but suggests replacing the extremely annoying horn with something more delicate. Maybe I laugh because bans have always made me anxious, and a polite violation, almost a non-violation, relaxes the tension.

Laughter for me can do only this: stretch what is tense to the point where it is unendurable. Otherwise it seems to me overrated. I’ve never believed that laughter is able to put an end to the injustices of the world. No power has ever yielded an inch thanks to a laugh. Ridicule, yes, annoys the powerful, but it doesn’t bury them. Yet for the moment we’re laughing, we feel their grip on our life relax a little. Laughter is a short, very short, sigh of relief.

That must be why the laughter that interests me most, in the context of a story, is incongruous laughter, the laughter that explodes in situations where laughing is inconceivable, in fact seems an enormity. There is a moment like this in Stanisław Lem’s His Master’s Voice: a nine-year-old child, confronted by the unendurable death agony of his mother, goes off into his room, makes faces in the mirror, and laughs. That laughter in the face of the unendurable is risky for literature, and it’s the laughter that interests me most.


 Translated by Ann Goldstein.

Chew it over: a guide to eating slowly

People who savour their food are apparently far less likely to be overweight or obese than fast eaters. So if you are the latter, how do you break the habit?

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Go slow: studies show that it takes up to 20 minutes for us to register that we’re full. Photo: Granger Wootz/Getty Images/Blend Images


Chew your deep-dish filled-crust pizza slowly. Slurp your thickshake with care. Do not pour cooking oil down your neck to act as a slide for your next Cinnabon.

Eat slowly. Get thin. This is the promise underlined by researchers at Japan’s Kyushu University, who pored over the data of 60,000 Japanese health insurance claimants. Slow eaters were 42% less likely to be overweight or obese than fast eaters. Even normal-speed eaters had a 29% lower risk of being overweight.

“It’s all to do with the signal to the brain,” explains performance nutritionist Elly Rees. “Studies show that it takes up to 20 minutes for us to register that we’re full. So people who overeat tend to eat too quickly.”

That 20-minute gap can be vast. If people eat more slowly they “find that they’re actually full,” Rees says.

While many of us might think that we have evolved to guzzle food as fast as we can, there are a range of ways to break the habit. Many nutritionists recommend putting down your utensils between bites. Others suggest drinking a glass of water before a meal – “a lot of hunger is mistaken thirst”, Rees suggests. Talking works, too. The best advice for most of us is simply not to eat in front of screens. Simply looking at our food helps the brain feel full.

Chewing is the point at which scientific advice and “not looking weird” clash. Many dietitians suggest that hard foods – meats and vegetables – should be chewed 20 to 30 times. Others have it pegged at the curiously precise 32.

Finally, while chewing hard, replacing your utensils, and mindfully venerating what’s on your fork go some of the way, it’s also a good idea to eat foods that are tricky to swallow.

2011 study suggested that pistachio eaters who ate unshelled nuts consumed 41% less than those who ate shelled ones, but felt just as full. Basically, eat anything with a shell or an exoskeleton, or anything that is still clawing at you as you gnaw it down.


 

Do you love french kissing? Here are things you don’t know about it

When was the last time you had a passionate kiss that just blew your mind away? In the heat of the moment, you were probably so much into the kiss that nothing else seemed to even matter.

 


That’s because when you share an incredible kiss with someone, there are certain feel-good hormones, such as dopamine, being released that will make you feel on top of the world and wanting to go back for more!

During that euphoric state, I doubt you are thinking of any of the potential communicable diseases that may be transmitted while kissing. It’s likely the last thing on your mind, but it is absolutely imperative to be aware of how kissing may potentially spur on various health problems. That kiss which is seemingly just a blissful moment of intimacy, may actually lead you towards the road of infection.

Researchers from the Netherlands in a 2014 study estimated that a French kiss lasting just ten seconds can facilitate the transfer of up to 80 million bacteria. Though most of those bacteria aren’t pathogenic, there are still certain microorganisms that may cause problems while kissing and shouldn’t be overlooked. So, as exhilarating as a kiss with the right person may be, you should always keep in mind some of the serious infections that may be potentially passed along when you kiss someone.

Cavities and Periodontal Disease
The next time you go for an intimate kiss with that special someone, you may want to consider how well they tend to their oral hygiene. If your partner does not take care of his or her oral health and has an abundance of cavities, the bacteria causing those dental caries can potentially be transferred to you during a kiss. Streptococcus mutans is an example of a known cavity causing bacteria which can be spread by deep kissing. Make sure you and your significant other always adhere to healthy oral hygiene practices to help avoid cavities and the development gum disease.

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV 1):
Herpes Simplex Virus 1 is the virus responsible for the unsightly blistering on the lips and around the mouth when one has an active oral herpes infection. These lesions are commonly called cold sores or fever blisters, and not everyone understands that cold sores and fever blisters are synonymous with oral herpes. So, if your significant other tries to convince you that the lesions on his or her lips are harmless “cold sores”, do realize those active lesions are a highly contagious HSV1 infection that may be transmitted to you when you kiss.

Many people who are infected with oral herpes aren’t even aware that they have the infection, and may unknowingly pass it on to a partner while kissing. Unfortunately, no cure exists for the condition, but there are antiviral medications available which can help alleviate symptoms. If you want to prevent the spread of infection, you should definitely abstain from kissing, or other sexual contact, if you or your partner have visible sores.

Meningitis
Meningitis is a serious disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. There were unfortunately over 1000 deaths in Nigeria during the most recent meningitis outbreak last year. A means by which the illness can be passed along to someone else is via exchange of saliva while kissing. Prevention is key when we talk about such disease outbreaks. You should therefore avoid kissing anyone who may potentially be infected with the illness. Remember, the classic symptoms of the condition include headache, stiffness of the neck, fever, and sensitivity to light. Seek immediate medical attention if you think you may be infected.

Infectious Mononucleosis
Mononucleosis is a viral infection typically affecting young adults and also referred to as “the kissing disease”. It is caused by EBV (Epstein-Barr Virus), which thrives in fluid such as saliva and may be spread easily from an infected person’s saliva when kissing. It’s a highly contagious condition and those infected may exhibit symptoms of generalized malaise, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fever. Symptoms are usually self-limiting and get better with time, but complications of a severe infection may include swelling and even rupture of the spleen.

So, before you pucker up again and go in for that kiss, make sure you and your partner are in good health. If you are ever in doubt about your health status or really feel ill and under the weather, you should get checked out by your doctor and refrain from kissing to avoid the potential spread of infection. Kissing can be a wonderful way to connect intimately with someone, but it should not be done at the expense of your health.

Why couples should never go running together

Fingers frozen solid, I stagger light-headed through the front door, ecstatic that I have managed to avoid a coughing fit on my latest training attempt. My skin is still emitting its post-run Martian-red glow when my husband eagerly chirps: “What was your time, what was your time?” Bursting with good intentions, he has taken a supportive interest in my running regime since I pledged to run 1,000km in a year. 

Why couples should never go running together

Oh yeah, they LOOK all happy and pleased to be running together. But inside there is seething. Photo: AskMen

Until the beginning of 2017 I had been a light runner, plodding about four miles a week at a leisurely pace. But inspired by friends on Facebook, I committed to the 12-month challenge and took part in my first half marathon in May, followed by a triathlon in September. My fitter, stronger other half, who runs two miles every weekday before 6am and lugs huge pieces of wood around at his cabinet-making workshop, has been eagerly tracking my training. So much so that earlier in the year we decided it would be a great idea to go for a run together one afternoon, while our boys were being entertained by grandparents.

The simple but golden rule, which we had somehow erased from our memories, was that we should never go running together. Ever. Through the haze of children, work and washing, we had forgotten about our two previous attempts, which had ended in disaster. Despite being together for 17 years, we are one of those annoying couples who never argue – but this was the exception.

And so history repeated itself. Halfway around our silent four-mile route, I blurted out: “You can talk to me, you know!” Taken aback, Mark explained that on our previous running attempt I had specifically asked him to stop talking as I was too out of breath to respond and had found it demoralising that he could run and speak and I could not. “Well, I am better at running now,” I retorted. “Can’t you tell?” So, Mark started chatting about how his legs were hurting because he wasn’t used to running at my (slow) pace and perhaps I should try to mix some sprinting and jogging to increase my lung capacity. To make things worse, at the final stretch, Mark hollered: “Come on, sprint – you can do it!” which I took as the highest form of condescension, and slowed to a shuffling trot in protest.

By the time we reached home I was fuming, accusing him of treating me like his training guinea pig, and of a complete inability to understand my level of fitness. “You just don’t get it,” I screamed. He laughed, bemused at why I was so angry at his “encouragement”. Subsequently, we agreed never to run together, although that doesn’t stop Mark from giving me tips – even though he has never run long distance before.

It all raises the question: why does running turn into a battleground for otherwise placid couples?

According to Prof Joan Duda, an expert in sport and exercise motivation at the University of Birmingham, an exercise buddy can promote sustained involvement in physical activity. But this relies on three factors: competence, autonomy and belonging. “When running, you want to set the stage so you are more likely to feel competent, and feel a sense of autonomy – like you have a voice, choice and input. And you need to have a sense of belonging with the person with whom you are exercising. It is best to feel you are being supported in a nonjudgmental way.

“When you have all of those conditions in place, running together should be a more positive experience and one that adds rather than distracts from your wellbeing. But if you don’t have these factors when running with your partner, things can go pear shaped.” As a competitive tennis player, Duda is all too aware of the tension between competing couples: “I have seen couples on the verge of divorce over playing tennis together. But it doesn’t need to be this way.”

The predicament, clearly, is not exclusive to running, or indeed tennis (the only sport I can take part in with my husband, as we are both equally hopeless at it). Even Davina McCall workouts are not safe – my brother-in-law gets infuriated when my sister advises him on how to lunge without injury. And the same outcomes seem inevitable on the ski slope. Science writer Emma Wilkinson says: “On my first day skiing with [my partner] Mark as my teacher, I ended up in a heap at the bottom of a run, streaming with tears and refusing to move.”

My friend Angie Simms says: “Never get snowboarding lessons from your partner. On top of a mountain, upside down in a pile of snow, crying and cursing is the only way that day will end.” The couple are blissfully happy running a photography business together on a remote island – but sport and snow are a no go.

Nor is it solely men “slowing down” for their partners – it can be the reverse. My colleague Richard Wilson, 44, told me he was delighted when his wife offered to help him train for the Great North Run, but within seconds he was asking her to slow down. “She kept powering off and we were having little bickering rows. I was being stroppy saying, ‘You’re not even doing the race this year.’ I was playing catchup all the time. She would run to the top of a hill before me and make jokes as I huffed and puffed up. But I had no breath to respond to her jibes.”

But the best story I have heard is of my husband’s friend – a personal trainer with a £50,000 purpose-built gym in his home. To his amazement, his wife announced the other day that she wanted to get fit again and was thinking of joining a gym. Exercise and marriage, clearly, don’t always mix well.

And yet as I reflect on the recent completion of my 2017 resolution, I feel that maybe, just maybe, I should have another go at running amicably with my partner. Perhaps that can be the 2018 challenge.


SOURCE: TheGuardian

The number of people eating ice-cream is falling, what could be the cause?

Name: Ice-cream.

Ingredients: Ice, cream.

You forgot sugar: Sugar.

Appearance: Glossy, dripping.

Mmmm … Do you like eating ice-cream?

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Ice-cream sales fell from 15.6 litres to 13bn in 2016. Photograph: Yuji Kotani/Getty Images

Show me someone who doesn’t like eating lots of ice-cream and I will show you someone who has forgotten to enjoy being alive. Who’s that?

It’s the same person. It’s an expression. Never mind. I see. Well, good, because I was about to say that I could show you many people who don’t like eating a lot of ice-cream.

Really? Yes. According to a new report from market research firm Mintel, global ice-cream sales fell from 15.6bn litres in 2015 to 13bn in 2016.

Crikey! That’s a drop of 2.6bn litres – 16.7% – in a single year, and in the context of a rising global population. Did you just do that maths in your head?

I had the idea to use a calculator in my head. That doesn’t count.

So, humanity is losing its taste for ice-cream? Surely the apocalypse is now at hand. Not yet, it isn’t. Those are just the volume figures. In fact, according to Mintel, “growth remains solid if not spectacular in the key global ice-cream markets”, while demand is rising rapidly in India and China.

I’m confused. In that case, how come we’re eating so much less of it? A mixture of reasons. People in the developed world are becoming more aware of their sugar consumption.

Mmm … awareness of my sugar consumption. There’s also been strong growth in luxury products such as gelato, innovative flavours such as saffron, and dairy-free versions made with almond milk, for example.

Good God! “Premium yoghurts are also becoming a more acceptable dessert,” says Alex Beckett, Mintel’s global food and drink analyst.

Not under my roof, they’re not. You old fogey. Look, it’s perfectly simple. People in the rich world are just eating more expensive, better-quality ice-cream, but less often or in smaller quantities. Ice-cream is …

Don’t say it. Ice-cream is being gentrified.

I told you not to say it! But it’s true. There’s now even kale ice-cream.

If that’s cool, I want to be a loser. Job done.

Do try: “Craft gin bombe alaska.”

Don’t try: “Pulled-pork gelato with chipotle-mayonnaise syrup.”

On Quora: Why red cabbage is the healthiest food on earth

By Ecky Thimble


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Based upon its effects on restoring the health of my son who became severely ill from an incompetent doctor administrating unnecessary antibiotics – this is the single healthiest food on Earth:

Red cabbage. Why?

It benefits every stage of the gasto-intestinal system as follows:

Eliminates gastritis 

Red eliminates gastritis the stomach and also reduces athritis (due to anti-inflammatory compounds – even a microscopic dose of red cabbage juice stops gastritis)

Eliminates dysbiosis of the small intestine (potent source of healthy lactobacteria, even more so in fermented form such as sauerkraut or kimchi)

Stimulates pancreatic enzyme production to assist digestion

Repairs damaged intestinal walls (due to high glutamine content)

Eliminates constipation of the large intestine (due to high fibre content)

Boosts the immune system (potent source of vitamine C)

Reduces osteoporosis, in conjunction with a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D (potent source of Vitamin K)

Reduces degenerative diseases like Alzheimers (potent source of anti-oxidants)

High source of vitamin A (for healthy eyes)

High dose of iron (to reduce anemia)

All other less effective – and let’s face it, less pretty – foods are essentially fighting for second place to the mighty red cabbage.

Incidentally, second place – based upon the same health recovery process is:

Red apple.

But that’s a story for another time.


Responses originally published on Quora. With credit to above mentioned contributors.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist/Quora