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Parents encouraged to tap into Jamaica Cancer Society programmes to prevent youth smoking

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Kingston, Jamaica, January 4, 2017 – The Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) is encouraging Jamaicans, particularly parents, guardians, teachers and counsellors to tap into its programmes that have been implemented to assist with the prevention and cessation of youth smoking.   In an interview with JIS News, Executive Director of the JCS, Yulit Gordon, highlighted two programmes that the organization has embarked on to deter young people from smoking.

The Fresh Start Smoking Cessation Programme is one that is offered by the JCS in association with the American Cancer Society to help smokers quit.   “This is a comprehensive four-session group based course that covers topics such as Nicotine Addiction, Managing Withdrawal Symptoms, Weight Control, Stress Management, Recognizing and Planning for Possible Obstacles to Quitting, Staying Tobacco Free and Enjoying Being a Non-smoker,” she explained.  In addition, she said that an Anti-Tobacco Youth Forum has been established to target Jamaican high school students, to educate them on the dangers of smoking.

The forum, which is held in February each year, seeks to educate the youth about the harmful effects of tobacco smoking which kills more than five million people each year.  A wide variety of presentations are made to the students and teachers who attend to increase their knowledge of the effects of tobacco smoking.

Past presenters include Pulmonologists, officials from the Caribbean Public Health Association (CARPHA), counselling psychologists and representatives from the Tobacco Control project.  Presenters have used material from the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Biology syllabus, in an effort to allow students to make the connection with what they have been taught in school, as well as to clarify any myths associated with tobacco-related illnesses.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Gordon outlined the dangers of smoking by young people, explaining that the short-term health consequences of smoking include respiratory and non-respiratory effects, addiction to nicotine, and the associated risk of other substance abuse.  “The long-term health consequences of youth smoking are manifested in the fact that most young people who smoke regularly continue to smoke throughout their adult years,” she said.

She added that tobacco can affect youth activities and athletic performance as it narrows blood vessels and puts a strain on the heart.  It also leads to a lack of oxygen and shortness of breath she said, while pointing out that it has been proven that athletes who smoke do not perform as well as those who do not.

The JCS is encouraging persons to get informed about the dangers of smoking and its effect on the health and well-being of their children and students.   “It is also important to make time to communicate with them on matters of peer pressure, stress relating to relationships and challenges in the home which go unresolved.  These are all matters which may lead a young person to start smoking. Unfortunately, many young persons are under the mistaken impression that cigarettes eliminate stress,” she warns.

The Executive Director encourages students to seek help from their parents and teachers to resolve any issues that they may be facing and not turn to smoking for answers.  Statistics provided by the JCS show that approximately 80,000 young people across the world become addicted to tobacco each day.  According to the Executive Director, public education is imperative, as an alarming 600,000 second-hand smokers die each year, inclusive of 165,000 children.

 

Photo credit: Jamaica Observer

 

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UK Prime Minister Liz Truss forced to break tax cut promise

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, October 6, 2022 – A month into her tenure as Liz Truss, UK Prime Minister is going back on one of her biggest campaign promises to cut taxes for certain British citizens.

The tax cut in question had been part of the PMs signature campaign to ease the economic burden in the UK and one that she and former Finance Minister and candidate for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had repeatedly clashed about. It would have seen the top earners, meaning anyone bringing in over £150 thousand a year, pay less money to the government.

Unfortunately the plan rocked Britain’s economy pushing the pound on par with the US dollar for the first time in years.

It is an economic blow, and at a time when families are already struggling with incredibly high energy bills and inflation. The money to find these tax cuts would have been borrowed an idea that her own party signaled it would vote against.  In addition to the economic impacts British citizens had also been strongly opposed to that facet of the economic plans.

In letting go of the tax cut, Truss said, “We get it and we have listened” the admission coming days after she defended it to the public.

Still there are parts of the larger package that will still go on which will afford tax cuts to lower income families and put a cap on energy costs.

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Bahamas News

Regressive recession looming, forces UN to issue Cease and Desist message to ‘big’ countries

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

October 6, 2022 – Central Banks in advanced nations must stop pushing up interest rates now or risk sending the globe into recession where developing nations suffer most according to the UN.

In the last several months, The U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and Bank of Canada have all spiked interest rates in an effort to control borrowing power, buying power and possibly push down inflation

A new report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development is warning them to cease and desist.

“The world is headed towards a global recession and prolonged stagnation unless we quickly change the current policy course of monetary and fiscal tightening in advanced economies.”  It said, mincing no words, the agency described the potential global recession as ‘policy induced’ by developed countries.   And this recession could be worse than the 2008 crisis.  This is especially true for developing countries like those in the Caribbean.

“While all regions will be affected, alarm bells are ringing most for developing countries, many of which are edging closer to debt default.” The agency said.

And if it happens the recession could set developing nations back years in the struggle to increase their standards of living.

“As climate stress intensifies, so do losses and damage inside vulnerable economies that lack the fiscal space to deal with disasters let alone invest in their own long-term development— The global slowdown will further expose developing countries to a cascade of debt, health, and climate crises.”

If the globe proceeds as is the world will lose 20 percent of its income by and push developing economies growth rate below 3 percent which the UN says  is ‘insufficient for sustainable development’

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Caribbean News

Inaugural FinTech Conference on now in Barbados

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, October 6, 2022 – Barbados is now hosting the first-ever global fintech conference in the Caribbean.

Over 300 delegates from across the globe and varying sectors within the industry will be attending the event. It began on Wednesday October 5, concluding October  7 and is being staged at the Hilton Barbados.

The Fintech Islands conference will feature renowned fintech leaders delivering key addresses and over 20 hours of curated content. The mandate of the event is to create a world-class event that will be a catalyst for the growth of the fintech ecosystem in the Caribbean.

One major highlight of the conference will be the welcome address by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, who will also host an exclusive VIP meet and greet.

Some of the major themes of the event that are relevant to the context of the Caribbean venue are Financial Inclusion, Climate Fintech, Cryptocurrencies and Decentralised Finance and Embedded and Open Finance.

The event will have a range of speakers from founders, CEOs and fintech leaders from North America, Latin America (LATAM), Europe and Africa.

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