Majority of kids with traces of second-hand smoking survey reveals

 - Local - Jan 10 SHARE ON:
Majority of kids with traces of second-hand smoking survey reveals

A study showed that the vast majority of children participating had traces of second-hand smoke in their bodies. This was despite nearly three-quarters of parents concerned reporting that the children were not exposed to smoking at home. 

Shedding a spotlight on the hidden impact of tobacco which potentially exists in the age cohort, the study took urine samples from 174 children aged 9 to 11 from five different public schools. 

Although 72.4% of parents reported that their children weren’t exposed to tobacco smoke at home, the urine samples revealed that a whopping 95.4% of the kids were exposed to nicotine. Another 98.3% were exposed to nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone (NNK), a known lung carcinogen derived from nicotine. 

Lead researcher Dr Noel Aquilina from the UOM’s Department of Chemistry revealed that since almost all children were exposed to tobacco smoke, the exposure does not occur only at home.

This means exposure occurs in transit, such as when walking or in cars, or during other social activities wherein adults smoke in the presence of children. He said that this study should show how there needs to be better monitoring of children’s exposure. 

Children tend to flush carcinogens from their body slower when compared to adults. In Malta, it is prohibited to smoke in private cars carrying kids under 16, but there are no restrictions on smoking at home, outdoors or in a kid’s presence. 

Aquilina also explained that many studies have looked into the impact of second-hand smoke on adults over the years. However, these often relied on parent’s questionnaire data.

This particular study was the fifth in the world that checked for the level of second-hand smoke exposure in kids by looking for smoking-derived carcinogens in their urine. 

While 23% of the children were exposed to very low levels of second-hand smoke, the majority 70.7% were exposed to significant levels. Three children (1.7%) could be classified as active smokers from their biomarker levels. A total of 16.4% kids reported that someone smoked at home. 



Malta among 10 worst countries to live in according to expats

 - International - Jan 10 SHARE ON:
Malta among 10 worst countries to live in according to expats

According to a survey published by an international expat community, foreign nationals living in Malta ranked the island among the top 10 worst countries to live in. 

Asking 12,420 participants, representing 174 nationalities living in 186 countries to rank countries they were living in, the Expat Insider survey for 2021 was published by global expat networking community InterNations. 

Four criteria were considered for the survey – quality of life, ease of settling in, personal finance and working abroad. On a list of 59 destinations, Malta ranked 50th. 

The island was outranked by Kuwait, Italy, South Africa, Russia, Egypt, Japan, Cyprus, Turkey and India as the worst countries for expats to live in respectively. 

Conversely, expats picked Taiwan as the best country to live in, followed by Mexico, Costa Rica, Malaysia and Portugal in the top spots. 

The survey delved into deeper details, with expats ranking Malta 20th for leisure options, 25th for health and well-being, 48th for personal happiness, 43rd for safety and security, 46th for digital life and 56th for quality of environment as well as quality of transport. 

Expats also ranked the island 35th when considering the ease of settling into the country, 31st in the experience of working in the country as a national, 35th again when considering cost of living and 51st in maintaining personal finance. 

Malta was also on a constant down-slide, featuring among the bottom 10 countries last year when it ranked 52nd out of 60. In 2020, Malta was also the only European country to rank among the top 10 worst places to live by expats. 



Juventus beat Roma in thrilling encounter

 - News - Jan 9 SHARE ON:

In what was an important match for both team’s Champions League aspirations, Juventus edged out Roma 4 goals to 3. The game was everything a neutral fan would dream of, whilst surely stressful for the Juventus and Roma fans. The match included  a penalty, a red card, a superb free kick and an insane come back from Juventus.


Roma were the better team in the beginning and that showed when in the 11th minute they scored, through a Tammy Abraham header. The start from Roma was unexpected but it seemed that new signing Ainsley Maintland-Niles and Mourinho’s decision to switch to a back 4 helped. Despite Roma’s perfect start, Paolo Dybala managed to equalize from a stunning finish only 7 minutes after Abraham’s opener.

The beginning of the  second half like the first saw Roma dominating and scoring early, as in the 48th minute Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored with the help of a Rugani deflection. The Roma team with their positive momentum would go on to extend their lead in the 53rd minute from an incredible Lorenzo Pellegrini free kick.

Juventus looked like they forgot how to score, until the 70th minute when summer signing Manuel Locatelli converted in a beautiful Alvaro Morata cross. The Bianconeri who now seemed like an entirely different team found the surprising equalizer in the 72nd minute when Swede Dejan Kuluveski managed to smash the ball in the net. Their 4th goal of the game would not take long to come as inverted left back Mattia De Sciglio managed to keep his calm and give Juventus the shock lead.

When everyone thought that the match had cooled down, Juventus defender  Matthijs de Ligt got a red card for  handling the ball in the penalty box and gave Roma a big chance to equalize. Captain and scorer of previous free kick Lorenzo Pellegrini stepped up but ultimately missed after a highly impressive save from Polish keeper Wojciech Szczęsny. The match ended in a dramatic Juventus win to keep their top 4 chances alive



How to unlock your happy hormones | by Ed’s Common Sense

 - Lifestyle - Jan 9 SHARE ON:
How to unlock your happy hormones | by Ed's Common Sense

Knowing what you seek to achieve is half the battle, and not everyone understands the complexity on making oneself happy. From savouring the little everyday wins to having solace in the company of a loved one. It is important to understand the meaning and the function of happy hormones and this week, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Dr. Edward Curmi is here to help us learn how to unlock them.

Dr. Edward Curmi is also the author of 2 self-help books titled Ed’s Common Sense.

Serotonin: The Happy Hormone

  • Listening to music
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Meditation
  • Keeping a journal

Dopamine: The Reward Chemical

  • Eating good food
  • Sleeping well
  • Finishing tasks
  • Celebrating wins

Oxytocin: The Love Chemical

  • Hugging a loved one
  • Kissing
  • Playing with your pet
  • Giving a compliment

Endorphin: Stress and Pain Reliever

  • Exercise
  • Laughing
  • Chocolate
  • Physical contact


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