A new study has found that pandemic-related anxiety, boredom, and irregular routines were cited as major drivers of increased nicotine and tobacco use during the initial Covid-19 lockdown. The findings of the study were published in the International Journal of Drug Policy. The research was led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The study highlighted the ways that public health interventions and policies can better support quit attempts and harm reduction, both during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Decreased use, while less common, was prevalent among "social" tobacco users, who cited fewer interpersonal interactions during the lockdown and a fear of sharing products. At the community level, retail access impacted cigarette and ENDS use differently. While cigarettes were universally accessible in essential businesses, such as convenience stores and gas stations, access to preferred ENDS products was more limited, since "vape shops" and other specialty ENDS retailers were typically deemed non-essential and required to close or limit hours. This drove some ENDS users to order their products online, which often resulted in long wait times due to shipping delays, or product backorder as a result of high demand. As a result, some dual users of cigarettes and ENDS increased their use of readily-available cigarettes.
Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah – the chief executive of Oxfam GB – describes the UK Government’s decision to reduce its aid budget as “really shocking”. Report by Jonesia. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
South Wales Police are dealing with a "serious" incident involving "a number of casualties" in Rhondda Cynon Taf. The incident happened in Baglan Street, Treorchy, at around noon and ambulance crews are also in attendance. A cordon has been erected around a takeaway restaurant called the Blue Sky on Baglan Street in the village of Ynyswen, with a small white tent outside the premises. Report by Jonesia. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says he is “very pleased that the NHS staff have been carved out of the pay freeze”. The government has proposed giving healthcare workers a pay rise of just 1%, whilst other public sector workers such as teachers and police will see their pay frozen this year. Report by Jonesia. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
The government is facing a furious backlash after calling for NHS staff in England to be restricted to a pay rise of just 1%.
Ministers defended the proposal at a time when the economy was under "huge pressure" as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
But health service unions said the proposed award as a "kick in the teeth" for staff who had given "absolutely everything" over the past year to keep the public safe.
The Royal College of Nursing, the UK’s largest nursing union, is to set up a £35 million industrial action fund in response to the government’s proposal. Report by Avagninag. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
Pope Francis has landed in Iraq, marking the first papal visit to the country in history.
Francis’ aim is to urge the country's Christians to help rebuild the country after years of war and persecution. Report by Chanda. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn