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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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Public Services Board seeks views to improve local well-being

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CARMARTHENSHIRE’S Public Services Board (PSB) is seeking residents’ views to find out what matters to them and their local communities.

The PSB has developed its Well-being Objectives and draft actions to deliver them, based on feedback received on its Well-being Assessment. The results of a survey at that time gathered views and helped shape the PSB’s understanding of the economic, social, environmental, and cultural factors that impact the well-being of individuals and communities within Carmarthenshire.

Once again, residents are being asked to contribute to help public service partners develop Carmarthenshire’s Local Well-being Plan for 2023-28.

To help shape the future of well-being please visit: Current Consultations (gov.wales)

The survey closes on 25 January 2023.

Cllr Darren Price, Chair of the Carmarthenshire PSB and Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “To deliver what is important to our communities, we need to their feedback and input. This survey is an opportunity for our residents to tell us if we, as public services, are on the right track to help create a better future for our children’s generation, and the generations to follow, as we strive to reach this goal.” 

Andrew Cornish, Vice-Chair of the PSB andChief Executive Officer / Principal of Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion said: “Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our work so far. Our Well-being Assessment gives us a strong foundation on which to build our Well-being Plan and I would like to encourage everyone to take part in our involvement work for the preparation of the Plan.”

Carmarthenshire’s Public Services Board is a partnership of public and third sector organisations working together to improve well-being across the county and includes Carmarthenshire County Council, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Natural Resources Wales and other organisations.

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Llanelli prepares for Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade

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LATER TODAY (Sunday, November 13) the town will honour those who have fallen in service over the decades.

A number of roads will be closed on the day, including Murray Street, Church Street and Vauxhall Road from its junction with the mini roundabout.

These will be shut for the parade between 8.30am and noon, however, pedestrian access for those wishing to reach individual properties in those streets will be maintained where possible throughout the duration of the closure.

Traffic will be diverted to Robinson Street, Arthur Street, Columbia Row, Anne Street, Bigyn Road, Stepney Place, Water Street, Thomas Street and Gelli Onn.

At 10am, police, organisations and others not marching in the parade will take up their respective positions in front of the cenotaph in the town hall grounds, while the civic party will assemble inside Llanelli Town Hall.

At 10.15am the parade leaves Drill Hall for the town hall with the mayor Cllr Philip Warlow proceeding to the Boer War Memorial where he will lay a wreath.

When the parade arrives at the town hall, the civic party will proceed to the cenotaph where the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed Sara Edwards, will lay a wreath.

This will be followed by the chair of Carmarthenshire Council Cllr Rob Evans, laying a wreath on the Royal Welch War Memorial and then on the town’s cenotaph.

More wreaths will be laid by dignitaries and politicians and ex-servicemen and women A two-minute silence will then be observed at 11am.

Any service groups or individuals who wish to lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday can contact Paul Wickers via email at llanlva2009@aol.com.

While community organisations are to contact Llanelli Town Council at enquiries@llanellitowncouncil.gov.uk.

Contact should be made by Monday, October 31 at the very latest to confirm arrangements as no additional wreaths will be able to be accommodated on the day.

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Llanelli choir launches fundraising naked calendar

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MEMBERS of a Llanelli female choir have bared all to raise money for the town’s Ty Bryngwyn Hospice.  

Côr Curiad has created a cheeky fundraising calendar for 2023 – the second one they have done.

With around 50 members, photos were taken across Llanelli with strategically placed items to spare their blushes – all in the name of a good cause.

Llanelli photographer Graham Harries was behind the lens for the project.

The choir’s musical director Alex Esney, who is Miss December in the calendar said: “Local businesses sponsored the calendar and so many of the photos were taken at their premises.

“So for example we went to LTC Mobility Ltd and had scooters carefully positioned in front of us, it was a lot of fun.

“I also want to thank Ffwrnes Theatre for opening up especially for me to go and have my photo taken with the piano there.”

Alex said the aim is to raise as much as possible for the hospice, adding: “We did a calendar a few years ago but we now have more members so we thought it was time to do it all again.

“The ladies decided to ‘bare all’ to raise money for the hospice which provides such great care and support for families in their time of need, including two of our own.

“I think we pulled out all the stops this year, getting their clothes off at local businesses in and around Llanelli.”

One of the calendar photos (Images: Graham Harries Photography)
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