TOBACCO will kill nearly six million people this year, including 600,000 non-smokers, because governments are not doing enough to persuade people to quit or protect others from second-hand smoke, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Since there is often a lag of many years between when people start smoking and when it affects health, the epidemic of tobacco-related disease and death would have begun. And by 2030, the annual death toll could reach 8 million!The WHO urged more governments to sign up and implement its tobacco control treaty, warning that if current trends persist, tobacco could cause up to a billion deaths in the 21st Century, a dramatic rise from the 100 million deaths it caused in the previous century. So far, 172 countries and the European Union have signed up the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which came into force in 2005 and obliges them to take steps over time to cut smoking rates, limit exposure to second-hand smoke, and curb tobacco advertising and promotion.The WHO says smoking is one of the biggest contributors to a worldwide epidemic of non-communicable, or chronic, diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, cancer and emphysema, which accounts for 63 per cent of all deaths worldwide, nearly 80 per cent of which occur in poorer countries.
Getting help to stub it out THOUSANDS of smokers who are trying desperately, but unsuccessfully, to quit smoking, can now turn to a new website to help them kick the habit. Pfizer recently introduced the first socially-engaged smoking cessation website in Malaysia, www. hampscircle. com, aimed at helping those who want to quit smoking. Launched in conjunction with World No Tobacco Day last month, the website takes a fresh approach to smoking cessation. The content and applications on the website are designed to help, rather than scare, people to quit. Champscircle.
com is predominantly for those who have a strong desire to quit smoking but who face difficulties in controlling their tobacco consumption. There is a volume of evidence that suggests people try to quit smoking up to seven times, before they finally quit.After a person determines his or her smoker profile, he or she can then explore the website for other useful applications, such as the quitting calculator, quitting checklist and videos that will help them take the first step on a tough journey, and stay on course. Understanding why one smokes is the first step in the journey to quit. Champscircle. com helps smokers understand their unique smoker profile so that they can determine what will help them quit. Visitors are encouraged to share their experiences on the site.
Content on the site can also be shared on personal Twitter and Facebook accounts, broadening the reach to other people who are looking for help to quit smoking. Evaluating eye lasik surgeons HOW do patients know which hospital or specialist centre has the best track record for treating heart problems, breast cancer or other procedures such as eye lasik treatments? Most people make decisions based on personal recommendations or reputations rather than on independent audits or statistics.In reality, knowing the quality of doctors and surgeons in that hospital can determine the outcome of your treatment. Optimax Eye Specialist Centre (Optimax), the country’s only ISO certified Lasik Centre and the first eye specialist centre to conduct clinical performance by independent auditors, announced the results of an audit conducted by Healthcare Performance Measurement and Reporting System, approved by the Ministry of Health, on its lasik treatment.The results showed that its four surgeons evaluated achieved 99 per cent in functional visual acuity and 100 per cent safety record (zero harm rate). Their performance was measured based on data collected from 932 patients who have had 1,620 lasik surgical procedures. The surgeons were evaluated on the success rate of the surgery, its effectiveness, safety and accuracy of the surgery and services.