January 10 2016, Sunday


Physicians key players in tobacco control, including curbing secondhand smoke exposure
Dr K K Aggarwal and Dr S S Agarwal

Secondhand smoke is a well-recognized health hazard. Secondhand smoke is smoke that is exhaled by the person who smokes (mainstream smoke) or emitted from burning cigarettes, cigars or pipes (side stream smoke). Breathing in this smoke is called passive smoking.

Mainstream smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals, including chemical irritants and about 70 carcinogens. Side stream is dangerous because while it has a composition similar to mainstream smoke, the concentration of toxins and carcinogens is often higher.

Secondhand smoke increases the risk for respiratory infections, asthma, COPD, lung cancer and heart disease. The longer the duration of exposure, the greater the level of harmful substances in the body. Children, in particular are vulnerable to the effects of exposure to second hand smoke. Homes and vehicles are the main places of exposure for children. For adults it is their work place or social environments.

According to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease each year in the United States. The Cleveland Clinic website mentions the following effects of second hand smoke in relation to exposure time.

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USPSTF draft recommendations on statin use for primary prevention of heart disease in adults

NATHEALTH seeks exemption from GST for healthcare services


PLos Medicine Update - Treating MDR TB

Neurology Update - High dose vitamin D shows promise in multiple sclerosis

JAMA Surgery Update - Crohn’s disease and Strictureplasty

Obesity Science & Practice Update - Low vitamin D and bariatric surgery complication risk

BMJ Update - Cancer screening shown not to help

JAMA Internal Medicine Update - Many women being overtreated for osteoporosis

Current Gastroenterology Reports Update - Pediatric rectal exam

Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Update - Asthma severity worse in atopic asthmatic adolescents


eSPIRITUAL - Confession

eWELLNESS - Slowly add fiber to diet 

INSPIRATIONAL STORY - A Message by a Woman 


HUMOR - A doctor worked at a mental hospital.


Legal Quote - Dr. (Mrs.) Rupa Basu (Banerjee) vs The State of West Bengal & Ors on 17 February, 2010 W. P. 9740(W) of 2009

eMEDI QUIZ - What would be the MOST therapeutic nursing action when a client’s expressive aphasia is severe?

A. Anticipate the client wishes so she will not need to talk
B. Communicate by means of questions that can be answered by the client shaking the head
C. Keep us a steady flow rank to minimize silence
D. Encourage the client to speak at every possible opportunity. 

BIOETHICAL ISSUES IN MEDICAL PRACTICE - Parent’s dilemma in choosing sex of their intersex child


US cancer death rate declining

Gavi Alliance CEO meets Union Health Minister 

Promoting adverse drug reactions reporting- IMA


Dear Sir, emedinews is a very informative newspaper. Regards: Dr Fiyaz


Regulation of Vice – Sugar Tax a la Mexico? Correlation to Diminished Consumption

Delhi has followed Mexico City’s footsteps in curbing vehicle circulation to reduce pollution. With India being the diabetes capital of the world and the increasing number of lives being lost to preventable lifestyle diseases, the need of the hour is for India to also consider following Mexico’s sugar taxation policy.

As reported in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) a Mexican peso-per liter tax on sugary drinks implemented in January 2014 reduced consumption, specifically a 6% decline in purchase of these beverages within a year, with increased price by 10%. This grew to a 12% decline in the final month of the year, mostly amongst lower income strata. Chile, Barbados, and France have also implemented sugar beverage taxes with the UK now considering it, and Mexico has further imposed taxes on other sugar-laden junk foods.

Like India, prevalence of diabetes is amongst the highest in the world in Mexico, with around 70% of adults being overweight or obese. Clearly regulation of vices such as cigarettes through increased costs have led to intended benefits world over of lower consumption as well.

A new report in The Lancet has estimated that reducing sugar content in sugar sweetened drinks by 40% over 5 years could prevent half a million people from becoming overweight and a million people from becoming obese.

Sharing their thoughts, Dr. S.S Agarwal – National President and Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General IMA and President HCFI in a joint statement said, “With India being the diabetes capital of the world there is an immediate need to reduce the consumption of high trans-fat and sugar laden products. While like the West, the consumption of sweetened beverages has proliferated to the masses in our country; a compromised diet comprising of high trans fat food items including traditional sweets, ghee-friend delicacies – the consumption of which spikes during festival seasons further adds to the problem. The first and foremost step is to raise awareness about the increasing burden of lifestyle diseases in our country and the ways in which they can be prevented. In the long run it is important for the administration to consider following taxation laws similar to that in Mexico. Given the diversity of our country, it would be recommended to take Mexico’s policy on sweetened beverages as a benchmark and customize it to suit the Indian needs”.

In our country adulteration is also rampant and this must be considered. With supply chains not streamlined as abroad and fragmented agricultural distribution and production system, India should be careful of unintended consequences such as hoarding by traders.

While bold steps have been taken to cut pollution in the capital, alongside overall tax reform, the government must work on the overall regulation of vice, starting with curbing what is in its control to stem lifestyle disease such as diabetes, currently at epidemic proportions.