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The Maravi PostOpportunity International launches crop diversification pilot program in Malawi

By Patience Abeck

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-While Malawian farmers have long leaned on tobacco crops as their primary source of income, a comprehensive plan is needed to prepare them for an era of significantly reduced demand for tobacco.

In partnership with Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI), the organisation which aims to diversify tobacco-dependent economies, a new pilot program is underway in the Mchinji and Lilongwe districts to provide technology-enhanced finance and training extensions for tobacco farmers.

The program addresses capital and resource barriers, access and training for alternative value chains, development of business plans, and gender challenges for women smallholder farmers.

To stimulate supply and demand for farmers working with alternative crops, the initiative will offer access to capital for farmers to expand their businesses, along with the technology and training required to increase production and profits. Click here to learn more…

05 April, 2019.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is prn_cision_logo_desktop.pngAs Worldwide Smoking Rates Fall, Africa’s Shoot Up — With Deadly Consequences

Public health experts visit Malawi and Kenya, arguing that Africans must have access to lower-risk alternatives to smoking

LONDONMarch 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Smoking tobacco results in the world’s deadliest preventable diseases, ending the lives of half of all smokers prematurely. By the end of the century, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one billion people will have died from a smoking-related disease.

Globally, smoking rates are decreasing, but in many lower and middle income countries, African nations among them, rates are increasing. WHO data show a steep rise in smoking in many African countries, with many 5-year projected increases at 5% and more. Read more… 

28 March, 2019.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.pngMalawi launches Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction Report

Written by  Doreen Sonani

Malawi government has committed itself to promoting the implementation of policies, regulations and programs aimed at reducing health risks associated with tobacco smoking. Chief of Health Service in the Ministry of Health Dr. Charles Mwansambo made the remarks at the launch of the Global State of Tobacco Harm reduction – Africa Launch in the capital Lilongwe. Read more
15 March, 2019.

How long until we know if e cigarettes are safe?

Absolute safety does not exist, it is always relative to some reference, to an exposure dose or to a delivery path. No substance or product or medication is 100% safe independently of all these factors: […] Whenever you hear the phrase “…there is no safe level of exposure to …X”, you can be certain that it is scare mongering about X, not toxicological science. Rather than asking “is it safe?”, the right question should be “is it safer than X?”, where X is an appropriate standard. Your question should be “when will we know if e-cigarettes are “safer than ..X?”.

20 February, 2019

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Nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as nicotine patches and gum in helping smokers to quit, a study suggests. A year after quitting tobacco, however, most vapers were still using e-cigarettes, while fewer than one in 10 smokers who quit with the help of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) were still using it.

7 February, 2019

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It’s estimated that every year around 207,000 children aged 11-15 start smoking. Children who live with parents or siblings who smoke are three times more likely to smoke themselves and with 14.9% of adults classified as smokers, it is a problem that will persist. […] Anyone with even a passing interest in health knows the risks, which makes it even more shocking to see that 15 percent of the population (an estimated 7.4 million people) are smokers. It’s a habit that costs the NHS £2.5 billion a year in England alone, […]


The counterfactualThink before you sign: a new letter attacking the Foundation for a Smokefree World

A draft activist letter to the WHO Executive Board is circulating widely on email networks – so widely that it has even been sent to me. It is a response to an open letter from the Foundation for a Smokefree World to the WHO Executive Board, which is having its annual meeting 24 January – 1 February, 2019.

I won’t be signing the activist letter, but I would like to suggest that others who are inclined to sign think carefully before they put their name and reputation behind this one. I recommend asking seven questions before signing. Click here to read more…

27 January, 2019

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Re-post from the nicotine science and policy

“There is a difference between trying a substance and using it often enough and heavily enough that it causes health, social and life problems,” explains Dr. Sheila Vakharia*, policy manager for the Office of Academic Engagement at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Although we should keep an eye on use rates, it is more important to think about how frequently and often people are using any substance.”

17 January, 2019

The Cost of Smoking: Quit and You Could Buy a New Car Every Year

Re-post from the nicotine science and policy

Smoking kills people, but the habit gets their wallets first. While research has long proven a nicotine addiction causes harm to one’s health, new analysis proves it causes serious damage to financial health too. Smokers in Connecticut, the state that ranks highest in terms of the financial cost of cigarette smoking, are spending nearly $56,000 annually on their habit, according to new analysis published Wednesday by personal finance website WalletHub. Over their lifetimes, smokers in Connecticut are spending more than $2.8 million.

10 January, 2019.

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Re-post from the nicotine science and policy

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to stop smoking. Quite rightly so, considering smoking is the biggest leading, preventable cause of death, worldwide. In fact, tobacco is the only legally-available product that kills up to one in every two users, when used as intended. There are a number of ways to stop smoking. But the most common include going “cold turkey”, the use of medication – usually offered by doctors and stop smoking services – or the switch to e-cigarettes.

07 January, 2019