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E-cigarettes were less effective in stopping addiction than other substitutes

E-cigarettes were less effective in stopping addiction than other substitutes
Feb 8 2022 Share

A new study has found that nearly 60% of recent former smokers who were daily e-cigarette users resumed smoking by 2019. The study was published Monday in the journal BMJ which analysed the latest 2017 to 2019 data. The study followed tobacco use among Americans over time, with scientist John P. Pierce saying that this is the first time we found e-cigarettes to be less popular than FDA-approved pharmaceutical aids. 

E-cigarettes were also associated with less successful quitting during that time frame, with Pierce even saying that there’s no evidence that the use of e-cigarettes is an effective cessation aid. A three-month randomised trial in the UK published in 2019 found e-cigarettes, along with behavioural interventions, did help smokers quit tobacco cigarettes. In fact, in 2021, UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended smokers use e-cigarettes to help them quit. 

However, other studies in the US that study real-world environment smoking did not find that to be true. People analysed in this study who quit smoking tobacco cigarettes between 2013 and 2016 by switching to e-cigs were 8.5% more likely to resume smoking. It was also found that teens were increasingly using the vapes during the same period. By September 2018, then-FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb was calling teen use of e-cigarettes an epidemic. Prior works found e-cigarettes to function as a gateway drug for many teens, with youth ages 12 to 24 who used e-cigarettes were three times as likely to become daily cigarette smokers in the future. 

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Four charged for inciting a person to commit suicide in Valletta

Four charged for inciting a person to commit suicide in Valletta
Feb 8 2022 Share

Four persons have been charged for the alleged incitement of a person to commit suicide in Valletta last year. This was revealed by Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri in parliament on Monday, replying to a question put forward by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi. 

Footage emerged in November 2021 which showed an individual sitting on the edge of the Hastings Garden bastion in Malta’s capital city. Various onlookers could be seen and heard taunting the person and ridiculing the situation.

Comments which could be heard included ones such as; ‘Hurry up and do it so we can get back to work’ and ‘just get over with it.’ The footage quickly garnered social media attention, with many expressing their concern and dismay at the taunts. 

The Richmond Foundation also called on witnesses to pass on confidential information related to the incident, with police identifying the culprits days after the incident. The man himself was also stopped from the suicide attempt through police intervention. 

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Photo Source: Byron Camilleri FB

Facebook and Instagram may shut down in Europe over data transfer dispute

Facebook and Instagram may shut down in Europe over data transfer dispute
Feb 8 2022 Share

Parent company Meta stated that Facebook and Instagram may be shut down across Europe following European data regulations issues. The regulations prevent Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, from transferring, storing and processing Europeans’ data on US-based servers. 

In its annual report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the country’s financial authority, Meta warned last Thursday that if no new framework is adopted and the company could no longer use the current model of agreements it would probably have to ‘walk away from the continent.’The statement said that if Meta aren’t able too transfer data between and among countries and regions in which they operate, or are restricted from sharing data, it could impact their ability to provide services. 

This is because data transfer is crucial for business and advert targeting. Without doomsaying any rash actions, Meta has claimed that it could probably reach some sort of agreement this year to navigate the issue. Meta could previously use a data transfer framework called Privacy Shield as the legal basis to carry out transatlantic data transfers. However, in July 2020, the European Court of Justice annulled the treaty du to violations of data protection. 

With the European bloc’s highest legal authority arguing that the standard does not adequately protect European citizen’s privacy, US companies were thus restricted in sending European user data to the US and had to rely on standard contractual clauses. 

The European Commission said that securing a new arrangement for safe transatlantic dan flows is a priority for both them and the US. Negotiations have intensified in the past months, with Meta expressing no desire or plans to withdraw from Europe.‘But the simple reality is that Meta, and many other businesses, organisations and services, rely on data transfers between the EU and the US in order to operate global services’ said a Meta spokesperson. 

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Photo Source: The New York Times

7 caught driving under the influence of alcohol in just one night

7 caught driving under the influence of alcohol in just one night
Feb 8 2022 Share

The Malta Police Force revealed on their Facebook page that 7 persons were found to be driving under the influence of alcohol during a road check.

Conducted early on Sunday morning by Żejtun District officers, the police also found 6 persons driving without a valid driving license and also gave several contraventions for various traffic offences. 

As the officers conducted the checks, a vehicle was also signalled to stop but the driver did not abide immediately. He was later stopped, with the driver and one of the passengers found to be breaching court imposed bail conditions. The driver also did not have a valid driving license. 

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Photo Source: Malta Police Force FB

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