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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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Cllr Kevin Madge elected as new county council Chairman

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THE new chair of Carmarthenshire County Council said he will work tirelessly during his term of office.

Cllr Kevin Madge, member for Garnant, takes the chain of office whilst celebrating 40 years as a councillor.

Taking the chair, Cllr Madge paid tribute to outgoing chairman Cllr Mansel Charles, member for Llanegwad, saying he had fulfilled his duties with passion.

Cllr Madge will chair the council for the next 12 months, with Cllr Ieuan Davies, member for Llanybydder, as his vice chair, and his wife Catrin as his consort.

“I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead, I will do my best for everyone. I will work tirelessly,” he said.

Cllr Madge has chosen the Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks and emergency food provision for people in crisis, as his Chairman’s Charity of the Year.

The Chair is the first citizen of Carmarthenshire County Council, and is elected at the Annual General Meeting.

Duties include chairing full meetings of the council, representing the council at formal and ceremonial occasions, welcoming visitors to the county, and attending and supporting events organised by local people and organisations.

Cllr Madge has been a county councillor since 1996, and a member of Cwmaman Town Council since 1979.

He also serves as chairman of the Royal British Legion Garnant branch, Garnant Family Centre and Cwmaman Meals on Wheels, and is a member of Amman Valley League of Friends.

He represents the county council on the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, and the Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm Community Fund, and is on the governing body of Ysgol Y Bedol.

A former pupil of Amman Valley School, Cllr Madge has worked in the Amman Valley throughout his life, most recently as agent and researcher to Dr Alan Williams MP until 2001.

A keen football supporter, he has served as chair and president of Cwmaman Football Club and spent 25 years as a Welsh League and Neath and District football referee.

He is married with two children and three grandchildren.

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‘UK Government should work with the Welsh Labour Government on Tata’

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LOCAL Assembly Member Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said ““This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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MP and AM call for Trostre certainty after merger fails

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LOCAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said “This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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