Archive for May, 2011


Tobacco packaging warning messages are health warning messages that appear on the packaging of cigarettes and other tobacco products. They have been implemented in an effort to enhance the public’s awareness of the harmful effects of smoking. In general, warnings used in different countries try to emphasize the same messages. Warnings for some countries are listed below. Such warnings have been commonplace in tobacco advertising for many years.

With each warning is an accompanying graphic, and detailed information on the back of the packet. In addition, cigar and loose tobacco packets show other, slightly altered warnings. These warnings target the misconception that alternative, non-cigarette tobacco products are less harmful.

“The pictorial warnings are in the process of notification and can be notified any day. There will be two types of warnings — for cigarettes and for smokeless tobacco,” Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference to highlight two years of achievements of the Health and Family Welfare Ministry, he said the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), India, carried out in 2009-2010 found out that 35 per cent of adults use tobacco in some form or the other.

“Among them, 26 per cent adults use smokeless tobacco and nine per cent are smokers. Smokeless tobacco is responsible for 80 per cent of mouth cancer while 20 per cent of mouth cancers are occurring due to smoking,” he said.

Based on the results which show that smokeless tobacco products like gutka are more widely used and are causing more mouth cancers, the government is bringing a “new policy”, Mr. Azad said, adding that “harsher” pictorial warnings will be brought in for chewing tobacco.

There are two existing pictorial warnings like scorpion and damaged lungs for cigarette, while a new and stricter one — a cancer-affected mouth — was to be depicted from December one last year. Such warnings are to be rotated every year. Many well known cigarettes are Davidoff cigarettes, Lucky Strike cigarettes and Viceroy cigarettes.

Tobacco companies have requested the Ministry to increase the number of years for implementing particular programmes from the existing one year to two to three years at least. Otherwise, they cannot sell the existing cigarette stock with the retailers, and this would cause huge loss to them.

While shifting the focus on ‘smokeless tobacco’, the Centre on Monday said that it would now work on improving the pictorial warnings to curb the use of tobacco. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which focused the most of the anti-tobacco campaign on the issue of smoking, for the first time, admitted that pictorial warnings were not so effective.

Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Keshav Desiraju said that people did not understand the message of caution. “We have had feedback that people don’t understand pictorial warnings on tobacco. If there is a picture of lungs X-ray, some people are not able to understand. In some cases, picture is not clear. Again scorpion is a sign of poison, but some are not able to understand,” he said.


It takes some effort to care for your mouth. Apart from dental and oral hygiene, you are required to visit the dentist occasionally. This may be for a simple check-up, or for cleaning, filling cavities, root canals, extractions and many other things. All this can end up costing quite a fortune. But it is also essential for your well-being. So the wise thing to do in a situation as such is to get insurance. This helps take care of the dental costs. However, finding the right kind of insurance, with a reasonable rate can be a task in itself.

The first step on the road to the best insurance plan for you is to assess your needs. What procedures do you think you would need to avail of on a more regular basis? Would you just need some basic check ups from time to time? Or are you in the need of some advanced dental care? This will help you choose which bracket of dental insurance is right for you. In the sea of a thousand choices, this will help it down.

If you need some advanced or middle level procedures, then it is advised to take a wholesome dental insurance plan which covers all dental procedures that may be done on you. This takes away any worry you may have about sudden emergencies that may need complicated solutions. Of course, there is also a higher premium that needs to be paid for this sort of insurance, as compared to more basic insurance.

Another sort of insurance is the indemnity dental insurance. It covers the basic dental care practices such as check ups and cleaning fully, and most of the restorative procedures such as root canals and fillings. The premium is not too high, and you are set for all your routine dental activities.

Yet another type of insurance is the direct reimbursement plan. This plan is usually set up by an employer, and it is a popular one in the masses. This means that if you, as an employee are subject to any dental procedures, then your employer will pay you back a portion or all of those expenses, when the right medical receipts are shown. The terms of the insurance varies from place to place.

While choosing the right insurance for you, it is essential that you do a good bit of research. Once you have a clear idea of the benefits you want, you can go further and look at all the plans that are available, and the premium rates associated with each. Also, you must be sure that it is reliable.


People whose exposure to repeated negative messages in the media, specifically via radio, television and newspaper were more likely to suffer heightened levels of anxiety and stress. Reducing exposure to negative media stories can significantly reduce anxiety and could be a key element in anxiety management.

Essentially the continuing message that the world is a dangerous place, can prompt the stress response (formerly known as the fight, flight or freeze response); the individual reaches and often remains at a heightened state of awareness. If they remain there the effects can be both physically and psychologically harmful.
It is important to remember that anxiety and fear have important roles to play in protecting us; they are often learned responses emanating from real or perceived dangers from past experiences, however if those experiences do not directly relate to our own experiences, we can find ourselves perceiving danger where none really exists.

Constant repetition in media stories can work in a similar, but negative way to repetition of suggestions used in hypnosis; a lot of people “drift off”, or enter natural hypnosis whilst watching TV or listening to the radio and the negative messages about the dangers in the world can bypass the conscious or logical thought processes.

Research carried out in 2008 found that reducing the individual’s exposure to negative news stories was a significant factor in anxiety management. Other factors included taking regular exercise and the utilization of relaxation techniques.

The study consisted of asking a group of around 30 volunteers to rate their levels of anxiety, stress and general well-being and to assess their exposure to media stories on a daily basis.

Once the base levels were known, half of the group were asked to reduce their media exposure as much as possible for one week, and the others were asked to continue as before. At the end of the study period, both groups were asked to rate their anxiety, stress and levels of well-being.

The results indicated that those who had reduced their exposure to the media felt relief from anxiety and stress and a greater sense of personal well-being, in spite of some reporting significant events which in normal circumstances may have been likely to increase stress and anxiety levels (ie car accidents, illness etc).

In general, participants of the study who engaged in physical activity and/or relaxation techniques such as meditation or self-hypnosis reported lower base levels of anxiety and stress, but also reported further improvements when their exposure to media stories was reduced.

Further research across a wider population would obviously prove helpful, however when considering anxiety management, taking control of the messages you receive from the worlds media would appear to be a significant factor.


A new study shows that your vitamin D level may affect what dosage your doctor will prescribe for certain medications. This study, published in Drug Metabolism & Disposition, was the first of its kind to show that the body’s vitamin D level can affect the liver’s ability to break down and metabolize medication. This may give physicians and researchers insight into a puzzling question: Why do patients with otherwise similar medical histories respond differently to the same dosage of medicines?

The study was conducted at the Karolinska Institute, a medical university in Sweden. Researchers evaluated data on 70,000 patients who were taking immune-suppressant drugs, including tacrolimus and sirolimus, to prevent transplant rejection.

These patients had their blood monitored regularly, so it was easy for researchers to compare blood samples drawn in the winter (January – March) with those taken in late summer (July – September). The comparison showed that blood concentrations levels of tacrolimus and sirolimus were lower in the summer months and higher in the winter months. This means that these patients required more of the medicine in the summer to achieve the same amount of protection they could receive in the winter from a lower dosage.

Sweden has long winter nights and long summer days, so one’s exposure to sunlight-and its ability to produce vitamin D-is significantly different in winter and summer. Sunlight and vitamin D activate a liver enzyme called CYP3A4, which aids in the breaking down of certain medicines, including tacrolimus and sirolimus.

Researchers also took blood samples from patients taking cyclosporine, a drug used for the same purpose. No significant difference was seen in blood concentration levels between winter or summer, probably because the enzyme CYP3A4 is not required for metabolizing cyclosporine.

Although more research is necessary, this study suggests that the enzyme CYP3A4 may provide an important piece of information to doctors prescribing medications. Given that vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin, and vitamin D levels increase with sun exposure, it’s likely that researchers will discover additional medications that can be lowered in the summer while still conferring the needed benefits.

This may call for closer monitoring of certain drug blood levels depending on the season. In the case of these immunosuppressant transplant drugs correct dosage is critical to prevent organ transplants from being rejected. As more and more people realize the benefits of taking Vitamin D this also will require doctors to monitor blood levels of drugs.

Although more research is required, it seems that Vitamin D dosages of patients will probably affect the metabolism of some drugs. Prospective studies need to be done to prove a causal relationship.


A neurological developmental disorder, autism affects communication as well as social interaction by repetitive and restrictive behaviors. Usually the signs will all be shown before the child’s third birthday. The causes of it are abstract and somewhat related to genetic factors but also a number of other things like heavy metals, vaccines, and certain pesticides which are known to interfere with the development of the brain.

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The aspects and features of autism can be seen at an early age, as it affects social development early on. For example, babies who have autism are less social at a young age and do not smile or look at people as often as most babies. They respond less when called and usually do not react to social stimuli. For example, they will not make much eye contact and they won’t use gestures to express what they are thinking, like pointing or clapping, the way other babies might. When they become a bit older, they also display a lower degree of social understanding, do not really take turns with others, and fail to communicate without words by using gestures and body language. These kids often are more lonely and have a really hard time forming friendships with other people.

Another indicator is problems with communication. Many autism patients have problem developing natural speech and sometimes babies with it might have delayed speech production and talk in the form of babbling or gesturing unusually. As the kids get older, they do not often share their own thoughts and experiences but echo what they hear and repeat things that others say. They may have a hard time with playing pretend and with writing.

And finally repetitive behavior is another major sign of autism. For example, stereotypy is a movement like hand flapping or head rolling or body rocking that is done over and over again, and another form is compulsive behavior, which is when a child arranges things in the same order, or in a straight line, or makes patterns with toys or stacks cans. Also, this is related to a need for sameness, so that none of these things are changed and no furniture is moved from its usual place. The child might engage in some ritualistic behavior, as well, such as wanting the same menu and same close so that things stay the same and in a sort of structured order. And self injury is another tendency, such as movements that can hurt the child, like picking the skin, biting the hand, or banging the head.

Treating this is really a personally tailored method of improving the quality of the child’s life, by really catering to the child’s needs. Families as well as schools are the ones that are most responsible for the child’s treatment by helping create an environment that helps the child. Some approaches include applied behavior analysis as well as language and speech therapy, some social skills therapy, and some occupational therapy to help them secure careers and jobs. In the future, ensuring that the future is bright and brilliant.


A perfect smile was once merely a dream for most people. There were some individuals who never achieved a breath-taking smile and just had to face the world with their yellow or dark-colored, chipped or uneven teeth. Cheer up! With modern cosmetic dentistry the impossible is now possible.

Dental veneer is a type of cosmetic alteration that employs thin, semi-transparent coverings made from porcelain and are permanently bonded to your teeth. Veneering is an amazing procedure that improves your teeth’s appearance. What are the 8 benefits of having veneers?

1. Effortless and trouble-free application. The procedure involves only bonding the custom-designed material to your teeth with little or no need for an anesthesia – it is definitely painless. You can have more than one tooth covered at a time, so it’s fast with almost instant results that are amazing and worthwhile.

2. Stress-free. This procedure is non-invasive and so the stress of having to anticipate the experience of pain is removed.

3. Lasting color. While some dental cosmetic application fades over time, dental veneers will not discolor with the passing of time because of their resistance to stains.

4. Very resistant to fractures. Even if porcelain is intrinsically brittle, it becomes resilient once glued to the tooth.

5. Less expensive. Crowns, traditional braces and resin fillings used to dominate the cosmetic dentistry market. Now that veneers are available, you can have more choices for the same purpose. Veneers are much cheaper and less time-consuming than crowns.

6. Rough edges of the tooth are removed before finally sticking the dental veneer to your tooth. Veneers are also smooth and the most naturally appearing concealment for a wide variety of dental flaws.

7. Veneers are a sound and reliable substitute to other orthodontic procedures. Traditional braces may not be so appealing anymore. Dental treatment that would normally necessitate braces can now be substituted by veneers.

8. Veneers offer self-esteem and self-image enrichment. Smiling becomes easy and natural and you feel good all the time you are in a crowd.

Anyone who wants to change the way their teeth look should consider the benefits of having veneers. Veneers can serve the purpose you’ve had them, and that is to own that perfectly natural and beautiful smile. Veneers can last for years especially when given regular proper care and dental hygiene. Your dentist will always be glad to discuss the procedures involved in the application of dental veneers and all the cosmetic dental options suited to you.


One major health condition that many people are at risk to right now is heart ailments. Heart diseases could be congenital or could be brought about by external conditions of bad diets. Our heart is an important part of the body. It is an organ that moves involuntarily and it allows the transportation of blood across the body. The heart is a vital organ and without it, we could not survive. A lot of things in our modern lifestyle affect our heart and overall health.

It is necessary for anyone to know the heart attack causes in order to be more aware of what you should and should not do. Let us first analyze the mechanism that leads to the attack and how big this issue could get. First, blood clots form at the blood vessels, blocking the passage of blood, usually at the coronary artery. The coronary artery is the one that feeds blood to the heart muscles. If the heart does not get the needed nourishment, it could get damaged and it could result to drastic complications. The heart attack is also known as myocardial infarction was known as an abrupt and fatal condition in the past. Nowadays, better understanding of such a condition has given more light to the condition.

So what are the actual heart attack causes?

Your diet

What you eat can determine your safety and protection from heart ailments like myocardial infarction. Foods that contain very high fat content and high LDL content can increase the risks of heart ailments. People should try putting some more control with their diets by minimizing too much fat, by knowing your cholesterol levels, and by eating foods that are high in fiber, and full of the necessary nutrients and vitamins. You have to be aware that even the fit person can have heart attack due to high cholesterol levels. It is important to put much attention to what you put into your body.

Physical activity

Lack of exercise or a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risks of heart attack. If you are full of fats across the body, it exerts more pressure across the body and the blood vessels, causing more pressure to the body. Obesity can also prove to be a big issue since it could also lead to issues like hypertension and other heart conditions. It is important to exercise your body. Be sure to do some physical activities. Simple physical activities can really help.

Stress management

It is important nowadays to stay cool and calm. If you are stressed, you can risk yourself of a heart attack. Sudden changes in your emotions can increase your heart processes and if you have other existing health risks, it can aggravate your heart and lead to a heart attack.


Everyone is aware of the risks and costs of continuing to smoke. But we still are not able to quit smoking or get rid of the habit. There are several reasons for this, but they come down to these: an addiction to nicotine, and a weak will and lack of determination. If your determination is strong enough, you will overcome the need for nicotine, and move beyond smoking. It may seem like you are playing mind games with yourself, but remember that the mind controls the body.

What kind of mind games? Take this example: you have decided to quit smoking, but your resolve isn’t very strong. You have decided to go to your friend’s place, where you usually smoke a few while relaxing. The thought of sitting there and not smoking is torture just to imagine. You feel miserable and weak before you even arrive. And you are already beaten; you will light up before the evening is out, and you’ll kick yourself for being weak. It is simply your mind that has let you down.

Try setting yourself up like this – it only takes a little diversion to aid your determination. Just begin with these positive thoughts: you quitting smoking is a remarkable achievement, and your friends will be happy for you and supportive. You will be breathing fresh air and enjoying life, and your friends may even be a little envious!

If you find that you just can’t resist the temptation to smoke while you are there, then don’t go! Invite your friends over to your house that no longer smells of smoking. Or find something new that will occupy your mind.

Make a few new rules for yourself. Perhaps a non-smoking period of two hours after you wake up in the morning and the last two hours before bed. If you need to, start with one hour and work up to two and more. Another rule could be no smoking in the car. If you go on long trips, you could stop in every second (or third) town or after 100 miles. You are using your brain as a tool to control your smoking instead of letting the cigarettes control you.

This may be a good reason to spend more time with your family. Take the kids for a long drive. The quality time spent with your family should trump all the stress of hanging out with people whose habits can kill you.


If you are a teenager who has Type 2 diabetes, you are not alone. More and more people in your age group are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and most of them struggle with their diabetes treatment. Learning to live with diabetes can be somewhat challenging. But what about handling your diabetes while you attend school? It can be especially difficult unless you have a plan in place.

The first greatest challenge has to do with the actual food. School is grueling enough, but when you throw in studying, and traveling to and from school, it consumes time very quickly. That’s when convenience overpowers logic. When this occurs, food choices go down in quality.

The key here is proper planning: there are tasks you must do to take care of yourself that other kids who don’t have diabetes don’t have to worry about. It’s important to take care of your diabetes in school, as well as anywhere else you happen to be. It starts with a good, wholesome breakfast with just the right amounts of protein and fiber to get the sugar burning process started off right. This is not a time for quick junk food or sugar-laced breakfast foods. These two choices are not only going to cause a crash later on in the morning, but it will happen at an inopportune time, in a location when it is either difficult or impossible to adequately address.

If you know a particular day is going to be overly hectic, it is better to plan in advance for it. You might have to do a few extra meals in advance, but if they end up not being used they can still be refrigerated for later.

Planning also includes having adequate snacks on hand. Even something simple and quick will fend off the advances Type 2 diabetes can provoke and stave them off until they can be effectively managed at lunch. Make sure the snacks can be taken anywhere – in case your schedule changes.

The right lunch is equally as important as the right breakfast, since it will be responsible for getting you through the second half of the day. Breakfast starts your metabolism off for the first half so remember that when you make those early selections.

Lunchtime means that your body has been in operation for quite a while, so maintaining that level of energy without tapping into vital reserves is necessary. Another snack may be necessary, as long as it is eaten when needed and in moderation. Junk food should not be included in this category.

Regardless of how diligent you are, it is important your teachers are aware of your condition in case something happens. You should also familiarize yourself with the school’s medical services and where they are located. Most of the time schools are supportive and helpful. Obviously, not everyone in the school needs to know you have Type 2 diabetes, but at the very least the school nurse should know. How much and what to tell others depends a lot on whether you take medication or insulin, and how prone you are to low blood sugar levels. Letting your close friends in on your condition, and making sure they are aware of how to respond is highly recommended.


The diabetes diet is essential for taking and keeping diabetes under control. It revolves around eating a healthy well balanced diet that can keep the desired equilibrium of an individual’s blood sugar levels as well as help him manage his weight. Through keeping blood glucose within allowed limits the complications of the illness will be avoided and the diabetic may eventually live healthy even without the consumption of medicinal drugs and other treatment. Losing unwanted weight is also a very effective technique to control the disease because the less unneeded body fat the more effectively the body will be able to make use of the available insulin. Given below are some useful planning guidelines for a diabetes diet.

1. Calorie distribution in your diabetes diet should be composed of 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates, at most 30% from fat, and 12 to 20 percent from protein.

2. Meals should be consumed more often in smaller quantities instead of the regular three meals in large quantities. This will help better distribute nutrients to the body and help avoid sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.

3. Adjustments to the diet directed at weight loss should be applied little by little. Sudden changes in the diet can lead to perilous outcomes. Getting the opinion of a doctor or dietitian when making changes is also advised.

4. Simple carbohydrates should be replaced by complex carbohydrates in order to control blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart attacks that has already been amplified by the diabetes. Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down and absorb while simple carbohydrates are readily absorbable by the body. Unsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats should always replace saturated fats whenever possible.

5. Fiber rich foods aid in digestion and in lowering blood sugar levels. Fiber however should be consumed in larger quantities before these benefits can be realized. Fiber should be integrated into a diabetes diet very carefully. Common fiber rich foods are fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, and whole-grain breads and cereals.

6. A diabetes diet should always aim for three specific goals which are stabilizing blood sugar levels, maintaining a desired body weight, and reducing the risks of heart attacks through reduced cholesterol intake.

7. Creating a meal plan for diabetes can be very complex and difficult for the average person. Seeking the aid of a dietitian can be of great help. A dietitian is a nutritional expert that can help you create dishes and meal plans that will provide you with your recommended dietary allowance.