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‘E-cigs’ research: It is not cancer we should be worried about

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By Lee Thomas

Lee.Thomas@Herald.email

THE RISK of e-cigarettes has been the subject of public debate around health since their development, but scientists this week have carried out research that show electronic cigarettes could be no better for our health than normal cigarettes.

The research study, which was published in the Journal of Oral Oncology, has claimed to show that during lab tests the vapour from the electronic vaporisers may cause damage to human cells.

The new research came after David Cameron and other UK public health officials supported the use of ‘e-cigarettes’ (vapourisers) to help people quit smoking.  Cameron told the House of Commons this month that he believed they were “a very legitimate” way of improving health, after a report from Public Health England stated vaping causes 95% less harm than smoking tobacco.

The Herald met with Professor Paul Lewis, who heads the Respiratory Diagnostics Group at the Medical School in Swansea University.  Professor Lewis, who has lived in Llanelli all of his life, told the Herald that he agrees that further research is required into the potential harmful effects of e-cigarettes.

He explained: “There’s few experts who doubt that smoking e-cigarettes is much less risky than smoking regular cigarettes. This is particularly the case for lung cancer. Most of the carcinogens, the chemicals that cause cancer, present in regular cigarette smoke are not found in the vapour of e-cigarettes.”

Whilst the vapour does not produce the chemicals that cause cancer, new studies like this recent one are appearing which suggest the negative effects that some vapourisers may cause, including damage that may lead to other very life threatening diseases.

Professor Lewis highlighted to the Herald that it is not just cancer we should be concerned with here.  He continued: “We are starting to see increasing concerns in the scientific community about the safety of e-cigarettes. The main concern is that we don’t know if smoking e-cigarettes causes other respiratory diseases, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In the UK alone, COPD kills over 25,000 people annually and the cost to the NHS to treat patients is now about £1 billion per year.”

With tobacco remaining one of the greatest public health hazards, it is clear that e-cigarettes have been very successful in helping smokers quit smoking normal cigarettes, and helping lower the risk of cancer especially in recent years.

Professor Lewis explained: “Although there are great benefits of smoking e-cigarettes to reduce the risk of cancer, we still need to know any association with these other life changing and very costly diseases.”

Around 240 new flavours of e-liquids and 10 new brands are introduced each month, and as we see a range of new ‘fun’ and ‘appealing’ flavours such as ‘bubble gum’ and ‘fruit punch’ hitting the market, we don’t know the extent of the damage the different chemicals in these new e-liquids will cause once they are vaporised.

With new products constantly being available to the public, the public must be weary that a lot of these products have not been tested and regulated indefinitely, and although the risk of cancer is lost when smoking e-cigarettes, the lungs may fall harm to other very serious diseases.

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Llanelli: Stop notice issued for school planning application

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A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for a new 480-spaced school in Llanelli has been issued a stop notice by the Welsh Government.
Carmarthenshire County Council is proposing to build a new £9.1m school on Llanerch Fields in Llanelli and were looking to determine the planning application in the coming weeks. Welsh Government will now decide whether to call in the application or not.
The new school would accommodate 420 primary and 60 nursery pupils, set over two floors with larger classrooms with integrated IT facilities, a multi-purpose hall and specialist provision for pupils with additional learning needs.
Over recent years there has been much debate in the area on the choice of site for the new school with campaigners arguing that they support a new school, but object against Llanerch fields being built upon. Last year an attempt to get the land designated as a village green was turned down.
In 2017, Ysgol Dewi Sant as the first Welsh medium primary school to be provided by a local authority celebrated its 70th birthday.
Councillor Rob James, local member for Lliedi, stated “From day one I have raised concerns that the Council’s site choice and planning process opened the Council up to the possibility of the Welsh Government calling in the planning application. It is clear that these concerns were not misplaced and there is now a really chance that it will be. 

“As a local Councillor, a school governor and a parent, I am passionate about the need for a new school for the pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant and it is important that local pupils get the benefits of a 21st century school.
“I will now be working with Council Officers to ensure that contingency plans are prepared in case the Welsh Government state that the planning application does not comply with national planning policy.
“I will also work with parents, pupils, residents and interested parties are able to engage with the Welsh Government during this process.”

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Third annual Burry Port Raft Race is eagerly awaited

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THE THIRD ANNUAL BURRY PORT RAFT RACE, organised by Burry Port couple, Craig and Isabel Goodman, will be held on Saturday (July 27).

The event which is held in Burry Port Harbour, raises much needed funds for both Burry Port RNLI and a children’s football academy and primary school the couple support in The Gambia.

The day launches at 12pm with stands, food stalls and children’s inflatable games and rides and these will be available until 5pm. You’ll also have a chance to meet the crews, who’ll be busy putting the final touches to their rafts.

Rafts launch at 3pm, followed by a presentation ceremony, including prizes for first raft over the line, first raft to sink and best dressed raft.

Craig said: ” A huge thank you goes to all our sponsors, including overall sponsor Dawsons, along with continued sponsorship from Celtic Couriers, Parker Plant Hire, Burns Pet Nutrition, Burry Port Co-Op, Llanelli Star, LBS Builders Merchants, Burry Port Marina, First Choice Flooring and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council.

For any further information about the event, please contact 07825 842981.

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Compensation offered after FSCS declares Llanelli firm in default

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CONSUMERS could get back money they have lost as a result of their dealings with a failed regulated firm in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. The firm is Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited formerly Assura Protect, Room 1, 7 Meadows Bridge, Parc Menter, Cross Hands, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA14 6RA.

The firm was declared in default in June 2019 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

FSCS is the UK’s statutory compensation scheme that protects customers of authorised financial services firms that carry out certain regulated activities. A declaration of default means FSCS is satisfied a firm is unable to pay claims for compensation made against it. This paves the way for customers of that firm to make a claim for compensation with FSCS.

Alex Kuczynski, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at FSCS, said: “FSCS steps in to protect consumers around the UK when authorised financial services firms go bust. This vital service, which is free to consumers, protects deposits, insurance, investments, home finance and debt management. We want anyone who believes they may be owed money as a result of their dealings with this firm to get in touch, as we may be able to help you.”

Since it began in 2001, FSCS has helped more than 4.5m people, paying out more than £26bn in compensation.

If you wish to make a claim with FSCS against Hayden Williams Independent Financial Services Limited, you may be able to do so using FSCS’s online claims service at https://claims.fscs.org.uk Or you can contact its Customer Services Team on 0800 678 1100 or 020 7741 4100

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