A dark and high contrast image of a young adult male has a cloud of nicotine vapor "smoke" pouring from his mouth.  Vape smoking, or "vaping" is growing in popularity, as well as falling under stricter state and governmental regulations.  Horizontal image with copy space.
E-cigarettes are being backed by health authorities in the UK but the jury is still out for doctors in the UAE. Getty

UAE doctors stand firm over e-cigarettes despite UK backing



Doctors in the UAE are refusing to support e-cigarette use to help smokers quit, despite UK health authorities backing the devices for the first time in the annual Stoptober campaign.

As a 100 per cent tax on cigarettes comes into force in the UAE from October, new draft guidance from the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says patients should be told that e-cigarettes can be an aid to stop smoking for those wanting to give up.

It remains illegal to sell e-cigarettes in the UAE, with no movement on that for the foreseeable future, but just 5 per cent of smokers manage to quit without medication or some other form of help.

UAE health authorities have demanded more conclusive research proving their safety and effectiveness as a less harmful alternative to conventional cigarettes before any policy change.

“We are still unsure of the safety of e-cigarettes, and it will take some time before we can support their use,” said Dr Hassan Razein, a specialist in respiratory medicine at Zulekha Hospital.

“Some producers claim nicotine levels in their e-cigarette devices are substantially less than in cigarettes. Because of the toxicity, we cannot support their use or recommend them to help smokers to quit.”

Zulekha Hospitals offers smokers looking to quit group therapy sessions, medicines and nicotine replacement gums or sprays.

Doctors there said smokers must be committed to follow a full cessation programme, and will struggle with will-power alone.

Long-term smokers managing to kick the habit can expect their health to recover reasonably quickly but they will still be susceptible to serious associated illnesses such as lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

“Once smokers stop, their body begins to recover almost immediately but long-term recovery can take up to two years after someone quits,” said Dr Razein, who also said a tobacco tax would do little to deter smokers in a wealthy country where prices will remain relatively low.

Read more: Regulations and updated advice on e-cigarettes is falling behind

“Price is not an issue for long-term smokers who are addicted but it may help those on lower incomes. It’s a sign the approach towards smoking is changing, which is positive.”

According to the fifth World Tobacco Atlas, an average of 27 people in the UAE die each week due to tobacco-related diseases.

The current rate of smoking is 24.3 per cent among males and 0.8 per cent among women.

Medwakh and shisha continue to be popular in the UAE, and also pose a significant risk.

A UK government campaign encouraging smokers to quit will feature e-cigarettes in promotional material for the first time, representing a sea change in the official approach towards the devices.

But doctors at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi were also unwilling to support the use of e-cigarettes as part of a smoking cessation programme.

“When it comes to smoking, there is no safer option other than quitting entirely,” said Iyaad Hasan, a certified tobacco treatment specialist.

“A lot of people pin their hopes on this kind of alternative to smoking because they take the place of a habit that’s embedded in people’s lives.

“Although research is still ongoing in relation to e-cigarettes, past research has demonstrated that the chemical content in them, although maybe lower than a traditional cigarette, is still harmful.

“The fact of the matter is these substances were never meant to be in the human body in the first place.”

Consisting of four main steps, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Smoking Cessation Programme follows smokers from their decision to quit through to life after smoking, creating a customised programme for each person.

University College London researchers found 20 per cent of attempts to quit were successful in the first six months of 2017, compared with an average of 16 per cent over the previous 10 years.

Of the one in 20 people over 16 who regularly use e-cigarettes in the UK, a quarter are either smokers or ex-smokers.

A ban on advertising, smoking indoors, standardised packaging and high taxation are said to be behind the growing numbers in the UK attempting to kick the habit.

“Some smokers are able to stop on their own, but very few,” said Dr Mohamed Maki Shalal, head of ER at Canadian Specialist Hospital in Dubai.

“Smoking is a strong habit, and an addiction that is hard to break.

“People think e-cigarettes are harmless but we know they are chemicals so there will be problems with them in future.”

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Top tips to avoid cyber fraud

Microsoft’s ‘hacker-in-chief’ David Weston, creator of the tech company’s Windows Red Team, advises simple steps to help people avoid falling victim to cyber fraud:

1. Always get the latest operating system on your smartphone or desktop, as it will have the latest innovations. An outdated OS can erode away all investments made in securing your device or system.

2. After installing the latest OS version, keep it patched; this means repairing system vulnerabilities which are discovered after the infrastructure components are released in the market. The vast majority of attacks are based on out of date components – there are missing patches.

3. Multi-factor authentication is required. Move away from passwords as fast as possible, particularly for anything financial. Cybercriminals are targeting money through compromising the users’ identity – his username and password. So, get on the next level of security using fingertips or facial recognition.

4. Move your personal as well as professional data to the cloud, which has advanced threat detection mechanisms and analytics to spot any attempt. Even if you are hit by some ransomware, the chances of restoring the stolen data are higher because everything is backed up.

5. Make the right hardware selection and always refresh it. We are in a time where a number of security improvement processes are reliant on new processors and chip sets that come with embedded security features. Buy a new personal computer with a trusted computing module that has fingerprint or biometric cameras as additional measures of protection.

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Abu Dhabi GP weekend schedule

Friday

First practice, 1pm 
Second practice, 5pm

Saturday

Final practice, 2pm
Qualifying, 5pm

Sunday

Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (55 laps), 5.10pm

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Washmen Profile

Date Started: May 2015

Founders: Rami Shaar and Jad Halaoui

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: Laundry

Employees: 170

Funding: about $8m

Funders: Addventure, B&Y Partners, Clara Ventures, Cedar Mundi Partners, Henkel Ventures

All The Light We Cannot See

Creator: Steven Knight

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, Aria Mia Loberti

Rating: 1/5 

'Laal Kaptaan'

Director: Navdeep Singh

Stars: Saif Ali Khan, Manav Vij, Deepak Dobriyal, Zoya Hussain

Rating: 2/5

Sinopharm vaccine explained

The Sinopharm vaccine was created using techniques that have been around for decades. 

“This is an inactivated vaccine. Simply what it means is that the virus is taken, cultured and inactivated," said Dr Nawal Al Kaabi, chair of the UAE's National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee.

"What is left is a skeleton of the virus so it looks like a virus, but it is not live."

This is then injected into the body.

"The body will recognise it and form antibodies but because it is inactive, we will need more than one dose. The body will not develop immunity with one dose," she said.

"You have to be exposed more than one time to what we call the antigen."

The vaccine should offer protection for at least months, but no one knows how long beyond that.

Dr Al Kaabi said early vaccine volunteers in China were given shots last spring and still have antibodies today.

“Since it is inactivated, it will not last forever," she said.

LA LIGA FIXTURES

Thursday (All UAE kick-off times)

Sevilla v Real Betis (midnight)

Friday

Granada v Real Betis (9.30pm)

Valencia v Levante (midnight)

Saturday

Espanyol v Alaves (4pm)

Celta Vigo v Villarreal (7pm)

Leganes v Real Valladolid (9.30pm)

Mallorca v Barcelona (midnight)

Sunday

Atletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid (4pm)

Real Madrid v Eibar (9.30pm)

Real Sociedad v Osasuna (midnight)

Financial considerations before buying a property

Buyers should try to pay as much in cash as possible for a property, limiting the mortgage value to as little as they can afford. This means they not only pay less in interest but their monthly costs are also reduced. Ideally, the monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 20 per cent of the purchaser’s total household income, says Carol Glynn, founder of Conscious Finance Coaching.

“If it’s a rental property, plan for the property to have periods when it does not have a tenant. Ensure you have enough cash set aside to pay the mortgage and other costs during these periods, ideally at least six months,” she says. 

Also, shop around for the best mortgage interest rate. Understand the terms and conditions, especially what happens after any introductory periods, Ms Glynn adds.

Using a good mortgage broker is worth the investment to obtain the best rate available for a buyer’s needs and circumstances. A good mortgage broker will help the buyer understand the terms and conditions of the mortgage and make the purchasing process efficient and easier. 

The specs

Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Power: 575bhp

Torque: 700Nm

Price: Dh554,000

On sale: now

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Results
  • Brock Lesnar retained the WWE Universal title against Roman Reigns
  • Braun Strowman and Nicolas won the Raw Tag Team titles against Sheamus and Cesaro
  • AJ Styles retained the WWE World Heavyweight title against Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Nia Jax won the Raw Women’s title against Alexa Bliss
  • Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon beat Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
  • The Undertaker beat John Cena
  • The Bludgeon Brothers won the SmackDown Tag Team titles against the Usos and New Day
  • Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle beat Triple H and Stephanie McMahon
  • Jinder Mahal won the United States title against Randy Orton, Rusev and Bobby Roode
  • Charlotte retained the SmackDown Women’s title against Asuka
  • Seth Rollins won the Intercontinental title against The Miz and Finn Balor
  • Naomi won the first WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal
  • Cedric Alexander won the vacant Cruiserweight title against Mustafa Ali
  • Matt Hardy won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal
COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: OneOrder
Started: March 2022
Founders: Tamer Amer and Karim Maurice
Based: Cairo
Number of staff: 82
Investment stage: Series A

SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPHONE 15 PRO MAX

Display: 6.7" Super Retina XDR OLED, 2796 x 1290, 460ppi, 120Hz, 2000 nits max, HDR, True Tone, P3, always-on

Processor: A17 Pro, 6-core CPU, 6-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: 8GB

Capacity: 256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: iOS 17

Main camera: Triple: 48MP main (f/1.78) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP 5x telephoto (f/2.8); 5x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 10x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 25x; Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 60fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting; Animoji, Memoji

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 30fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 4441mAh, up to 29h video, 25h streaming video, 95h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30min (with at least 20W adaptor); MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay), second-generation Ultra Wideband chip

Biometrics: Face ID

I/O: USB-C

Durability: IP68, water-resistant up to 6m up to 30min; dust/splash-resistant

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + eSIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Black titanium, blue titanium, natural titanium, white titanium

In the box: iPhone 15 Pro Max, USB-C-to-USB-C woven cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh5,099 / Dh5,949 / Dh6,799

How green is the expo nursery?

Some 400,000 shrubs and 13,000 trees in the on-site nursery

An additional 450,000 shrubs and 4,000 trees to be delivered in the months leading up to the expo

Ghaf, date palm, acacia arabica, acacia tortilis, vitex or sage, techoma and the salvadora are just some heat tolerant native plants in the nursery

Approximately 340 species of shrubs and trees selected for diverse landscape

The nursery team works exclusively with organic fertilisers and pesticides

All shrubs and trees supplied by Dubai Municipality

Most sourced from farms, nurseries across the country

Plants and trees are re-potted when they arrive at nursery to give them room to grow

Some mature trees are in open areas or planted within the expo site

Green waste is recycled as compost

Treated sewage effluent supplied by Dubai Municipality is used to meet the majority of the nursery’s irrigation needs

Construction workforce peaked at 40,000 workers

About 65,000 people have signed up to volunteer

Main themes of expo is  ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ and three subthemes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability.

Expo 2020 Dubai to open in October 2020 and run for six months

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Fixtures

Tuesday - 5.15pm: Team Lebanon v Alger Corsaires; 8.30pm: Abu Dhabi Storms v Pharaohs

Wednesday - 5.15pm: Pharaohs v Carthage Eagles; 8.30pm: Alger Corsaires v Abu Dhabi Storms

Thursday - 4.30pm: Team Lebanon v Pharaohs; 7.30pm: Abu Dhabi Storms v Carthage Eagles

Friday - 4.30pm: Pharaohs v Alger Corsaires; 7.30pm: Carthage Eagles v Team Lebanon

Saturday - 4.30pm: Carthage Eagles v Alger Corsaires; 7.30pm: Abu Dhabi Storms v Team Lebanon

Revival
Eminem
Interscope

Wonka

Director: Paul King

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant

Rating: 2/5


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