Cigarettes online – Buying Cigarettes Online E Wed, 10 Aug 2022 18:15:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cigarettes online – Buying Cigarettes Online E 32 32 Here’s how the pandemic-fueled surge in gambling is reshaping our understanding of its effects on mental health Wed, 10 Aug 2022 16:55:00 +0000

Given the scale of the mental health crisis and the hundreds of millions of people who already play video games, gaming could be a game-changer for mental health.

Gambling isn’t where most people would think of improving their mental health, but there’s no better way to help people improve their lives than to meet them where they are. And where 3 billion people – more than a third of the world’s population – are on gaming platforms.

Last week a study of 40,000 players at Oxford University have refuted claims that gambling negatively affects players’ well-being. This is good news for the 226 million people who played video games in the United States alone in 2021. In 2020, the video game market surpassed movies and sports combined.

The game has long since passed the stereotype of the teenager in the basement. In reality, almost half of those who play video games are women and 29% are people of color. A die fastest growing the demographic is that of “gray players”. Between 2018 and 2021, the number of gamers 55-64 increased by a third.

A resurgence in popularity

Human beings have a fundamental desire to progress, to grow and evolve, to feel a sense of accomplishment, and then to move on to the next goal. Games are incredibly powerful in meeting this basic need.

When I founded Thrive in 2016, the direct link between well-being and performance was central to our mission. The science is clear: when we prioritize our well-being, we get better results: we are more productive, more empathetic and more creative.

The games give players a direction of progress using skill trees, trophies, achievement levels and higher leaderboards. By integrating wellness into the game, we can help people not only reduce stress, improve performance, and rack up in-game wins and achievements, but also progress and “upgrade” their wellness. be general in the real world. Studies show that gambling also has a wide interval of cognitive advantages.

What is clear is that the need for solutions is growing as fast as the gaming industry. The mental health crisis was already worsening years before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19 – and it only got worse during the pandemic. According to World Health Organizationin the first year of the pandemic, global rates of anxiety and depression jumped 25%.

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that in the summer of 2022, 32.8% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, nearly triple the rate of 11% in the year before the pandemic. And between 2020 and February 2022, Google searches for same-day mental health services increased by 1,300%. During this time, the game has grown in popularity, with the growth of the video game market 23% during the pandemic.

De-stigmatize mental health

Scientists and game developers are already working to help people with mental health issues.

For example, a 2021 study by researchers at the University of Limerick in Ireland found that video games are a useful tool for reducing the severity of depression and anxiety, and that games should be considered as a “potential alternative for the improvement various aspects of mental health around the world”. In 2020, the FDA approved for the first time a therapeutic video game, giving the green light for a racing game called Endeavor RX to be prescribed for children with ADHD.

This year, the public launch of DeepWell, a startup that creates games specifically for mental health. Their first game, aimed at treating mild and moderate depression, anxiety and hypertension, is due in 2023.

Another game that has broadened the conversation about mental health is Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. It was developed by British studio Ninja Theory, in partnership with Cambridge neuroscientist Paul Fletcher, with the aim of putting players inside the mind of someone with mental illness. The game immediately struck a chord: it was honored with five BAFTAs (the British equivalent of the Oscars) and a award of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

But it was the audience’s response that mattered most to the developers. “We’ve been successful no matter which vantage point you look at it, and that’s great,” said Dom Matthews, studio head of Ninja Theory. said. “But by far the most rewarding of these successes is meeting these people and reading people’s comments about the impact the game has had on them.”

The next step for the team is The Insight Project, a collaboration using biometric sensors to create games that will give people “insight” into their mental health and tools to manage it. “We want to create games that can change people’s lives” said Tameem Antoniades, Chief Creative Director of Ninja Theory. “If you can see what’s going on in your mind, you can remove yourself from the symptoms and see it in a new light.”

Like Tim Schafer, the creator of Psychonautsanother game lauded for its representation of those with mental health issues, said: “I think the game is a proxy for dealing with issues in your own life – it’s a way to very weak challenge to feel emotions and anxieties and move through them in a safe way and build the ability to do so in the real world.

Addiction can of course be a problem. According to World Health Organization about three percent of gamers meet his definition of having a “gaming disorder”. Bullying and harassment are also issues that the gaming community continues to face.

A need for connection

For Sarah Bond, vice president of experience and game creator ecosystem at Xbox, the key to realizing the full power of gaming is empathy. “In today’s world, the need for mutual understanding is both harder to achieve but also more important than ever,” she said. said during a conference at this year’s SXSW.

Bond calls play an “empathy amplifier” that we are biologically wired for. Games give us the chance to collaborate, connect with others, and connect in ways we otherwise couldn’t.

“By playing, we can actually nurture and care for ourselves, but we can also develop a deep empathy and understanding for humanity as a whole,” Bond says. “And it’s this combination of those two things that can really help us build a better world.” In a recent Microsoft survey of gamers with disabilities, 84% said the game had improved their mental health in the past year.

For many people of all ages, gaming has provided an essential social outlet during pandemic isolation. A study by researchers at North Carolina State University found, as Professor Nick Taylor Put the“The game didn’t eliminate social interaction, it complemented it.”

In fact, a investigation by Pubnub revealed that 36% of respondents had formed a long-term friendship while gaming. This is all the more important since the pandemic has accelerated another crisis, that of loneliness. US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called it an “epidemic”. A study in December 2021, commissioned by Cigna, revealed that more than half of American adults (58%) are lonely.

“We should think of loneliness the way we think of hunger and thirst — as a natural signal our bodies give us when we’re missing something we need to survive,” says Murthy. Loneliness is not only associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide, but as study by researchers at Brigham Young University, it carries a mortality risk equal to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

There is also a growing trend of gambling among older people and this encourages social bonds between generations. Nearly a quarter of parents and grandparents of a investigation by the Global Web Index said they consider gaming with loved ones to be “family time.” If you, like me and millions of others, have made Wordle a part of your daily social interactions – not just playing, but sharing, comparing and competing with your friends and family – you know the power of games to create privileged moments of connection.

A study by Tyler Prochnow of Texas A&M University examined in-game mental health communication. He found that players who lack real-world support “may feel more comfortable being themselves with these people online, as there is no risk of returning to their close social support networks in ‘real life'”. He admitted that was the case. It’s not a substitute for in-person support, but as he said, “our goal is to provide more in-person meet and greets for the community where players can come together. and expand that social support network beyond the online system alone.”

The game is already great at building community, connection, and collaboration. And when it comes to improving mental health and fostering empathy, we’re only just beginning to understand the untapped potential of this casual activity.

Arianna Huffington is the founder and CEO of Thrive.

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Motorcycle taxis, illicit tobacco and electric cooperatives Mon, 08 Aug 2022 10:36:02 +0000

There were four economic developments in the past week that I would like to comment on.

The first is high inflation driven by transport, alcoholic beverages and tobacco (ABT) and financial services.

Last Friday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported the inflation rate for July 2022 at 6.4%, another four-year high from 6.9% in October 2018. Transport and ABT are among the major generators of inflation (Table 1).

Based on transport inflation of 18.1% in July, the sub-component inflation rates are:

1.) Operation of personal transportation equipment, 48.1%;

2.) Passenger transportation services, 7.2%;

3.) Purchase of vehicles, 1.3%;

4.) Freight transportation services, 0.3%.

As the figures above show, the cost of operating personal transport such as cars was very high, 48% in July due to rising gasoline and diesel prices.

Last week there was this report in Business world: “Grab PHL says acquisition of MOVE IT is within the rules” (August 8). It’s good news.

There are currently three motorcycle taxi companies (MCTs) in the Philippines: Angkas, Joyride and Move It. The latter is the smallest with just a few hundred drivers, while the first two have at least 15,000 drivers, the cap per player imposed by the Department of Transportation’s (DoTr) Technical Working Group which includes the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB). Grab PHL’s acquisition of Move It will have many benefits for the public.

First, commuters will have more options, more convenience with three large MCT drives to choose from. Long lines of people queuing for a ride will be shortened.

Second, thousands of new drivers will be on board – not hired because this is not an employer-employee agreement. More drivers means more MCTs to serve the public.

Third, there will be more competition as the virtual duopoly of Angkas and Joyride will be broken. Thus, there will be more competition in technology/applications, better services, more competitive fares, more convenience and safety for passengers.

Fourth, traffic will ease as more people leave their cars or motorbikes at home and take public transport. MCTs will help provide the “first mile” between home and the station/bus station, and the “last mile” between the station/bus station and the destination. And go back to go home.

Fifth, the overall inflation rate will be tempered when inflation in transport, especially in the operation of personal transport, is reduced. And people will have more savings.

To further increase competition and passenger comfort, Secretary of Transportation Jaime J. Bautista and LTFRB Chairman Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil should consider removing two caps – removing the maximum number of MCT players from just three and removing the maximum 15,000 drivers per player. At a maximum of 45,000 legal drivers, it is very likely that the number of “unregistered”habal habal“drivers may be twice or more than that number nationwide. Since they already exist, they should be integrated via legal MCT companies, for better regulatory transparency and better passenger safety.

If both caps are removed, it is estimated that at least one million daily trips can be served by MCTs. Secretary Bautista comes from the airline industry where there is no cap on flights per destination per day or per month, so he can appreciate the need to remove caps on the number of players and vehicles in transportation earthly.

More restrictions mean less choice and more suffering for the public. More competition means more choice and less suffering for commuters. Greater and faster mobility of people and goods means more economic growth, more businesses and job creation, and lower inflation.

Last week, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman reiterated that she would submit the 2023 budget to Congress on August 22.

Eight years ago, the current Secretary of Finance, Benjamin Diokno, wrote a column titled “Illicit Cigarette Trade on the Rise” (Manila Speaks, 9 October 2014; reprinted in one of his four books, on the other side of the mirror, published in 2020). He cited Oxford Economics estimates of tax losses from illicit cigarettes: 2.62 billion pesos in 2012 and 15.60 billion pesos in 2013. The estimated number of illicit cigarettes was 6.4 billion sticks in 2012 and 19.1 billion sticks in 2013, an increase of nearly 200% in just one year.

Last April, I attended a webinar hosted by the National Tobacco Administration on illicit tobacco and Congressman Jericho “Koko” Nograles was one of the speakers. He shared EuromonitorEstimates of illicit tobacco as a percentage of total supply: Nationwide 13%, Zambales 11.5%, Nueva Ecija 22%, Bataan 32%, Palawan 25%, Sultan Kudarat 36%, Zamboanga de Sibugay 51%, Misamis Occidental 57% , some areas of Mindanao up to 60%.

Mr. Nograles’ estimate of lost illicit tobacco revenue nationwide is P26 billion/year. In March 2021, Congressman Joey Salceda released his estimate of illicit tobacco-related tax losses at 30 billion pesos/year. These are huge sums that benefit smugglers and criminal gangs in cahoots with some corrupt government officials, both national and local.

To verify the numbers of the two legislators, I made my own estimate, starting from the Euromonitor estimated 13% of the share of illicit cigarettes in the total supply, which means that 87% is legal tobacco. The numbers I got range from 24 to 49 billion pesos in 2021 alone (Table 2).

The high contribution of ABT to inflation (Table 1) is mainly due to the constant increase in tobacco tax: 50P/pack in 2020, 55P in 2021, 60P in 2022 and an annual increase of 5% from 2023. It is reasonable to assume that illicit tobacco will only increase, not decrease. With cheap contraband tobacco, there will be more smokers, not fewer. And there will be more money for criminal gangs and their corrupt government partners, not less.

Last week, Senator Raffy Tulfo, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, lambasted a number of electric cooperatives (ECs) across the country for frequent power outages in their franchise area. I have also seen these reports in Business world: “ERC orders 3 electricity cooperatives to reimburse nearly 294 million pesos” (31 May), “Government imposes sanctions on two electricity cooperatives” (9 June) and, “Tulfo threatens to summon officials of inefficient electric cooperatives before the Senate Committee” (August 3).

Report number one concerns Central Negros EC (Ceneco), Pangasinan I EC (Panelco I) and La Union EC (Lueco) who overcharged their customers.

Report number two concerns Maguindanao EC (Magelco) and Lanao del Sur EC (Lasureco) which owe 16.7 billion pesos to the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), a Crown corporation under the Ministry of Finance. Magelco owes 3.8 billion pesos, Lasureco owes 12.9 billion pesos and they have not expressed their intention to pay. Thus, the taxpayers shouldered their unpaid debt – very wasteful and corrupt.

Report number three concerns frequent brownouts in CE areas in provinces such as Palawan, Bataan and Davao. Later, Oriental Mindoro EC was also investigated.

Five years ago, I wrote in this column, “Unstable electricity supply due to problematic electricity cooperatives” (Business worldFebruary 8, 2017), about Abra Electric Cooperative (ABRECO) and Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO) owed large sums to the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

ALECO, in particular, owed WESM 1 billion pesos around 2010, it also owed PSALM about 2 billion pesos. In 2014, SMC Global purchased ALECO and renamed it Albay Power and Energy Corp. (APEC), and assumed its debt of 4 billion pesos. Two years later, the debt soared to 5.6 billion pesos. So far, ALECO or APEC still owe some gencos hundreds of millions of pesos.

Many CIs are notorious for their inefficiency, frequent outages and/or high electricity tariffs which penalize their customers. See some of these CEs and compare their rates with Meralco and the National Capital Region (Table 3).

I’m sure Energy Secretary Raphael “Popo” Lotilla is doing something to solve the twin problems of the blackout economy and the tax burden of unpaid debt to PSALM and gencos by many CEs.

Finally, when Philex Mining Corp. last week, Finance Secretary Ben Diokno, as the keynote speaker, reiterated his support for the mining sector, particularly Philex’s new gold mining project in Surigao. Metal prices can only go up, not down, as global demand for gold, copper, silver, nickel, etc. keeps increasing. The currently high excise tax on mining production means higher revenues for the government while allowing companies to export more and create more jobs. Good policy, Secretary Diokno.

Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr. is the president of Minimal Government Thinkers.


‘Illegal e-cigarettes’ seized in St Helens Fri, 05 Aug 2022 15:21:04 +0000 A LARGE quantity of illegal electronic cigarettes was seized.

On Wednesday July 27, officers from the St Helens Borough Council Trading Standards seized a large quantity of illegal disposable e-cigarettes from a vape shop in St Helens town centre.

After a day of action in February to tackle illicit tobacco sales in the town centre, during which vapes were also seized, the council said residents feared a specialist vape shop in the same street sells vapes that contain too much nicotine liquid.

Consumer watchdogs found the store was offering disposable vapes for sale online with far more than the permitted 2ml of e-liquid and there were also complaints that they were selling vapes to children. under 18 years old.

READ > Burglar stabbed to death after seeing him break into his home

While the illegal vapes were removed from sale on the website following advice, the store continued to sell oversized disposable vapes containing the same amount of nicotine as around 15 packs of cigarettes from the store’s compound. .

Officers discovered that while the illegal vapes were not on display in the store, a large quantity of them were hidden in the back of the store and sold to customers who requested them.

E-cigarettes are limited to 2ml of liquid and no more than 20mg of nicotine per ml. They must also be authorized by the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for sale in the UK market. Trading Standards has seized over 1,100 oversized, overpowered, or unauthorized vapes for sale.

Cllor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Borough Council Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: “The sale of non-compliant e-cigarettes is a concern, particularly as Trading Standards receives numerous complaints alleging the sale of these products to minors.

“Vapes are cheap and come in flavors and designs that often appeal to young people. Our officers have provided written advice to all stores in the borough most likely to sell these products and will continue to take enforcement action where illegal products continue to be sold.

If you think a shop is selling illegal vapes you can report it via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or email

Ben Affleck, 49, cuts a youthful figure as he steps out showing off his buff arms while smoking Tue, 02 Aug 2022 21:55:55 +0000

The JLo effect! Ben Affleck, 49, cuts a youthful figure as he steps out showing off his buff arms while puffing on a cigarette

Two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Ben Affleck cut a youthful figure as he arrived on the Los Angeles set of his untitled film Nike while puffing on a Marlboro Menthol cigarette and holding a can of Dr. Pepper.

The happy newlywed – who turns the big 5-0 on August 15 – showed off his bulging biceps while dressed in a gray T-shirt emblazoned with his hometown of Boston, MA.

Ben produces, writes, directs and stars as Nike co-founder Phil Knight in the Amazon Studios sports marketing drama about the origin of the Nike Air Jordan sneakers.

At the bar ! Two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Ben Affleck cut a youthful figure as he arrived on the Los Angeles set of his untitled film Nike while puffing on a Marlboro Menthol cigarette and holding a can of Dr. Pepper

Affleck’s second wife – two-time Grammy nominee Jennifer Lopez – is still in Italy after headlining the LUISAVIAROMA x UNICEF gala in Capri last Saturday.

The 53-year-old Bronx-born Deep Water star and pop diva flee July 17 at Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, and they are now planning a wedding celebration at her 87-acre property in Georgia.

Last Friday, Page 6 reported that the couple known collectively as “Bennifer” have hired event planner Colin Cowie, who regularly manages parties with budgets between $25,000 and $25 million.

Ben and Jen – who previously dated between 2002 and 2004 – started texting again in February 2021, two months before ending her engagement to Minnesota Timberwolves co-owner Alex Rodriguez.

Represent!  The happy newlywed – who turns the big 5-0 on August 15 – showed off his bulging biceps while wearing a gray T-shirt emblazoned with his hometown of Boston, MA

Represent! The happy newlywed – who turns the big 5-0 on August 15 – showed off his bulging biceps while wearing a gray T-shirt emblazoned with his hometown of Boston, MA

No fuss: He wore a gray Boston, Massachusetts t-shirt with weather jeans and black suede shoes while carrying a black backpack

No fuss: He wore a gray Boston, Massachusetts t-shirt with weather jeans and black suede shoes while carrying a black backpack

Long-distance love: Ben's second wife - two-time Grammy nominee Jennifer Lopez - is still in Italy after headlining the LUISAVIAROMA x UNICEF gala in Capri last Saturday

Long-distance love: Ben’s second wife – two-time Grammy nominee Jennifer Lopez – is still in Italy after headlining the LUISAVIAROMA x UNICEF gala in Capri last Saturday

They are now planning a wedding celebration at his 87-acre property in Georgia

It's official!  Affleck and the 53-year-old Bronx-born pop diva eloped on July 17 at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas

It’s official! Affleck and the 53-year-old Bronx-born pop diva eloped on July 17 at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, and they are now planning a wedding celebration at her 87-acre property in Georgia

More soon!  Last Friday, Page Six reported that the couple known collectively as Colin Cowie, event planners hired by

More soon! Last Friday, Page Six reported that the couple known collectively as “Bennifer-hired” event planner Colin Cowie regularly run bashes with budgets between $25,000 and $25 million (pictured Feb. 8 ).

Affleck has three children – daughter Violet, 16; daughter Seraphina, 13; and son Samuel, 10 – from his first marriage in a decade to four-time Emmy nominee Jennifer Garner, which ended in 2018.

And Lopez mothered 14-year-old fraternal twins – daughter Emme and son Maximilian – from her third marriage to three-time Grammy winner Marc Anthony, which ended in 2011 after seven years.

The Tender Bar actor recently taken back his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman on the set of Burbank Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which won’t hit US/UK theaters until March 2023.

But first, audiences can see Ben’s cameo as an auditioning actor in Kevin Smith’s Clerks III, which hits more than 700 US theaters September 13-15 at 7 p.m.

“I’m not even supposed to be here today!” The Deep Water star made a guest appearance as an auditioning actor in Kevin Smith’s Clerks III, which hits more than 700 US theaters September 13-15 at 7 p.m.


The Fort Smith VFW post is smoke-free and will host the opening on Monday Sun, 31 Jul 2022 12:05:21 +0000

FORT SMITH — A local chapter of a national organization for veterans will celebrate a new, healthier life this week.

The Jim Taylor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8845 will host a reopening event at 1 p.m. Monday. This follows its members’ vote to ban smoking in the building on July 9. Part of that decision involved closing the station Saturday and today for a deep clean.

Leroy Farmer, commanding officer of the post, said the post’s leadership believes that caring for the well-being of its veterans is more important than addressing unhealthy habits that can also negatively affect others, such as smoking and second-hand smoke.

Farmer said the smoking ban will also make the post a more family-friendly environment. He noted that the post, which has a bar, could not allow entry to anyone under the age of 21 due to its smoking status under state law. This meant that veterans with children or teenagers could not enjoy the benefits of the position with their families.

“What we wanted to do is become non-smoking so that when we have catering, like we cook a meal or have a party, you can actually invite children and minors to be in the establishment and enjoy the family aspect of the VFW,” said Farmer.

Farmer hopes the opening of the post as a non-smoking venue on Monday will increase the number of activities there, especially those that are family oriented.

Holly Kwiecinsky, a Navy veteran and member of the post with two daughters, called the post’s switch to non-smokers a “wonderful step into the future.”

“Honestly, it will be a lot nicer to come here for events and not have to leave and smell the smoke,” Kwiecinsky said.

Farmer also believes that the absence of smoking will help encourage more veterans, as well as younger ones, to join the post, as older members, such as those who served in the Vietnam War, continue to to get old. As of Wednesday, the post had already gained seven new members since July 1 for a total of 178 registered, which Farmer attributed in part to its new no-smoking policy.

Phillip Hodges, the post’s junior vice commander, noted that the younger generation of veterans is not as prone to smoking as older generations.

Jeffrey Byrd, VFW commander for Arkansas, said Friday that a few of the organization’s other posts in the state moved to ban smoking ahead of the Fort Smith post. That includes two in the past two years, one at Searcy and another at Jonesboro.

However, Byrd declined to say whether he thought more of the 76 VFW positions in Arkansas would do the same. He said such decisions are up to post members, rather than the national or national level of the organization.

Many veterans smoked or used tobacco products during their military service, where the practice has a long history, according to a news release from the Fort Smith post. Farmer, whose 13-year tenure in the military included time in Iraq and elsewhere, said Vietnam War food rations included five cigarettes.

Hodges, who spent 12 years in the Arkansas National Guard, said one of his responsibilities while serving in Iraq was to help clear transport routes for explosives so they could be walked in. completely safe. He recalled how people who had never smoked before started doing it to manage adrenaline and other work-related stressors over other remedies such as drugs, something that they had learned from those who already smoked.

Farmer said this weekend’s cleanup will include cleaning all decorations on the station’s walls, which will be repainted, to ensure the facility doesn’t smell of cigarette smoke when it opens. Monday’s celebration will feature appearances from political dignitaries, including Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin.

The post discussed the issue of smoking for two to three months before deciding to quit it, according to Farmer.

Frank Hurst (right) and Stephen Wright with visiting Jim Taylor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8845 Wednesday, July 27, 2022, at Fort Smith Post. The post recently voted to ban smoking on its premises and, after undergoing a thorough cleaning, will hold a grand reopening celebration on Monday. Visit for today’s photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)
Photo Ash Moss (from left), Richard Schafer, Leroy Farmer, Phillip Hodges, Stephen Wright and Holly Kwiecinsky with the Jim Taylor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8845 prepare to unload furniture donated for a veteran Wednesday, July 27, 2022, at the Post at Fort Smith. The post recently voted to ban smoking on its premises and, after undergoing a thorough cleaning, will hold a grand reopening celebration on Monday. Visit for today’s photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)

Statewide Membership

Veterans of Foreign Wars numbers approximately 10,000 members in Arkansas.

Source: Jeffrey Byrd, State Commander for Veterans of Foreign Wars

Why pharmacies lock their products behind plastic cases Sat, 30 Jul 2022 09:02:00 +0000

New York
CNN Business

These days, it feels like many stores are fortresses.

Most products on the drugstore shelf are behind the lock and key, even everyday items such as deodorant, toothpaste, candies, dish detergent, soap, and aluminum foil . Manufacturers who provide enclosures and locking devices to chains have seen their business boom.

Walgreens and Rite Aid said the problem of organized retail crime — criminal rings that steal products from stores and often resell them in online marketplaces — is causing them to lock down more products and close some stores.

Locking their shelves is a last resort for stores, but it has never been so widely practiced. It’s also become a growing irritation for shoppers and a source of frustration for some employees who have to walk around the store with the keys close at hand.

“It’s extremely disheartening for clients,” said Paco Underhill, founder and CEO of behavioral research and consulting firm Envirosell. “It’s also a brutal experience for the trader.”

The reason stores resort to locking up these products is simple: to prevent shoplifting. But these decisions are much more nuanced and burdensome for stores than you might think. Businesses have to walk a fine line between protecting their inventory and creating stores that customers don’t dread visiting.

Until the beginning of the 20th century, the confinement of products was the norm. When customers visited a store, clerks provided them with the items they wanted from behind a counter.

This changed when early self-service stores like Piggly Wiggly in the early 20th century discovered that they could sell more merchandise and lower costs by spreading merchandise across an open sales area.

Although having fewer workers in the store has boosted chain profits in recent decades, it has left stores in some cases without as many visible staff to deter shoplifting, experts say. in crime prevention.

Shoppers have become too accustomed to calling a store employee to open a locked product.

Shoplifting has been around for centuries, but it “came of age in America in 1965,” writes author Rachel Shteir in “The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting.” The FBI in 1965 reported that it had jumped 93% in the previous five years and “was the fastest growing form of theft in the nation”.

Three years later, officials across the country said there had been a further increase in shoplifting among young teens. The trend became part of the counterculture, as illustrated by Abbie Hoffman in 1971’s “Steal This Book.”

In response, an anti-shoplifting industry and corporate “loss prevention” (LP) and “asset protection” (AP) teams have sprung up. Technologies have also emerged such as CCTV cameras, electronic article surveillance and anti-theft tags.

Stores are looking to protect “the vital few products” that are most profitable for them to sell, said Adrian Beck, who studies retail losses at the University of Leicester. And they are willing to accept a higher theft on the low-margin “insignificant number”, he added.

Shoplifters target smaller items with higher price tags, often referred to as “highlights,” which are usually what retailers lock up most often. A criminologist has created an apt acronym, CRAVED, to predict which items are most at risk: “concealable, removable, available, valuable, enjoyable, and disposable.”

The dreaded lock and key.

Items most often stolen from US stores include cigarettes, health and beauty products, over-the-counter drugs, contraceptives, alcoholic beverages, teeth whitening strips and other products.

Pharmacies have a higher proportion of items that are “flagships,” so they have more products under lock and key than other retail formats, Beck said.

There is not much you can do to stop shoplifting. Companies prohibit retail staff from physically trying to arrest a shoplifter for their own security and must find other ways to protect the goods.

These include measures such as security tags on items that trigger alarms when someone walks out without paying. But this is of less value than before, as alarms are now part of the general cacophony of shop noise and are often ignored.

Stores also use strategies such as shelves that allow a customer to pick up only one item at a time. This helps prevent shoppers from emptying an entire shelf of products.

Locking a product is the last step a retailer will take before removing it completely, and stores say they are resorting to this measure more frequently as theft continues to rise.

There is no national database on shoplifting, which is often underreported, and stores and prosecutors rarely press charges.

Over-the-counter medications like eye drops are a prime target for shoplifters.

Retailers say organized crime has only made their theft problems worse. Criminal gangs often seek to steal products from stores that can easily and quickly be resold on online marketplaces such as Amazon and through other illicit marketplaces.

“Today more products are on lockdown because the problem has gotten so bad,” said Lisa LaBruno, senior executive vice president of retail operations at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “Criminal actors can steal large volumes of products and sell them anonymously.”

Retailers supported a bipartisan bill it would require online marketplaces to verify state-issued IDs for millions of high-volume third-party sellers. President Joe Biden supports such a measure and this week too called Congress impose liability on online marketplaces that sell stolen goods on their platforms.

Amazon said it does not allow third-party sellers to list stolen goods and is working closely with law enforcement, retailers and other partners to arrest bad actors.

“We routinely ask for invoices, purchase orders or other proof of supply when we have concerns about how a seller was able to obtain particular products,” a spokesperson said.

Unfortunately, many of these time-consuming anti-theft measures end up irritating customers and reducing sales. CEO of an anti-theft company says Forbes this locked up stuff can lead to a 15% to 25% reduction in sales.

Today’s buyers are more impatient. Some will go out and buy the product from Amazon instead of hanging out for a worker.

“You’re trying to be as smooth for the customer while avoiding loss,” said Mark Stinde, former vice president of asset protection for Kroger and other large retailers. “You get a lot of pushback from the operations and merchandising teams for locking things down.”

Stores are working on new ways to lock products while reducing customer frustration, such as a new type of box that any employee can open with a smartphone. Other cases require shoppers to enter their phone number to open or scan a QR code.

“Consumers understand why you have to enclose a fur coat or jewelry. But they say ‘why do we lock up deodorants?’ said Jack Trlica, co-founder of trade publication LP Magazine.

Trlica expects companies to develop new technologies that protect products but do not require reporting an employee to unlock a shelf.

“There is going to be an evolution of security products,” he said.

Change the law to protect children from e-cigarette advertising on social media Thu, 28 Jul 2022 01:12:10 +0000

Researchers from the University of Western Australia and Curtin University will study ways to change state laws to protect young people from social media e-cigarette ads, including influencers.

Dr. Marilyn Bromberg, UWA School of Law, will lead the study in collaboration with Associate Professor Meredith Blake, UWA School of Law, and Associate Professor Katharina Wolf and Associate Professor Delia Hendrie from Curtin University.

Recipient of a Healthway Research Grant for the project, the team will use the $65,000 funding to examine ways to change legislative and regulatory frameworks to reduce children’s exposure to vaping advertisements.

“The main aim of the project is to protect children in Western Australia from vaping which can seriously affect their health,” said Dr Bromberg.

“While over 35 million people worldwide use e-cigarettes, it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes containing nicotine in Australia without permission and in WA the sale of e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine is also illegal. illegal. However, e-cigarette marketing occurs largely online and on social media.

“Research has shown that when young people see advertisements for e-cigarettes it increases the likelihood that they will try vaping, so it is important to have appropriate e-cigarette legislation and regulatory frameworks to control how of which these are announced.”

The project team will review current legislation and compare it to laws in relevant areas internationally before making practical recommendations on changes to legislation, regulatory frameworks and policies.

“Our partners are very experienced in advocating with all levels of government on e-cigarettes,” Dr. Bromberg said.

“We plan to communicate the results of our research to key stakeholders at national, national and international levels and to share the results with other relevant decision-makers to build support for reform.

“We hope the benefits will be that fewer children in WA will see advertisements for e-cigarettes on social media and therefore less vape and experience possible negative health effects.”

As part of the project, Associate Professor Hendrie will be responsible for assessing the impact of the proposed changes to show the expected savings to the Western Australian Government if the results are implemented.

Smoke-free policy made public Tue, 26 Jul 2022 07:34:00 +0000

The Council’s proposed tobacco policy changes were presented to the public and the community was encouraged to speak out about smoking in our shared spaces.

Recommended policy changes include:

  • Extending the smoking ban in the Tamworth CBD to include the part of Peel Street between Bourke Street and Darling Street.
  • Establishment of a smoke-free zone in Kootingal along Gate Street.
  • Setting up a smoke-free zone in Nundle along Jenkins Street.

Tamworth Area Council Compliance Officer Ross Briggs said supporting the overall health of our communities is a key part of the Council’s Blueprint 100 strategy, making the area more livable.

“The policy aims to make our shared spaces clean, inviting and family-friendly. It is important to consider the impact of second-hand smoke, especially in places where children may be exposed. Everyone is encouraged to help monitor these regulations, but penalties of up to $110 may occur under certain circumstances.

Councilor Helen Tickle helped pass the original policy in Tamworth, Manila and Barraba in 2015.

“The council has seen a significant decrease in the use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes in these areas, and it’s great to see these smoke-free zones embraced by these communities,” she said.

“People understand that these changes are not just about the smoking community, but about the health and comfort of the whole community. The policy review is another step forward in making our common areas safe and healthy for all,”

At a recent Council meeting on June 28, the decision was taken to include Gate Street, Kootingal and Jenkins Street, Nundle despite the results of a community survey in these areas revealing that over 60% of residents did not want not that their main streets are included.

“It was felt that further consultation with the wider community would be beneficial as most of the concerns raised in the survey centered on a perceived impact on hotel guests in Nundle and Kootingal. The community is assured that both areas would not be affected by the adoption of this policy, as they are off-street locations run by the hotels,” Briggs explained.

The proposed policy changes will be on public display through Monday, August 22, with all community members invited to speak in person, via email or through the MyTRC online community.

Comments received will be compiled with those collected earlier this year from the communities of Nundle and Kootingal. All comments will be made available to the Board for consideration.

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author or authors.View Full here.

Hemp, The New Patch? – Hemp cigarettes help people quit smoking, according to a medical study Sun, 24 Jul 2022 17:09:33 +0000

This article was originally published on and appears here with permission.

Although the risks of cigarettes are so well known, it’s surprising how many people still smoke those bad sticks.

According to the CDC, nearly 13 out of every 100 adults in the United States are current cigarette smokers, which amounts to some 30.8 million adults. Smoking-related diseases are all preventable, especially lung cancer. Smoking kills 8 million people every year, so why aren’t more people quitting?

Well, to be frank, quitting smoking is by no means easy. It contains nicotine, an extremely addictive substance that makes throwing cigarettes away much easier said than done. In fact, many people compare having difficulty quitting smoking to a heroin or cocaine addiction. On top of that, when you quit, the withdrawal symptoms are hellish at best: from headaches to mood swings, irritability, high blood pressure, trouble sleeping, and extreme cravings. smoking, everything about cigarettes is so hard to quit. .

But are CBD hemp cigarettes the answer?

What are hemp cigarettes?

Hemp cigarettes are like your regular cigarette, except they don’t contain nicotine or tobacco. Instead, it’s made with CBD-rich strains or industrial hemp. Hemp made from the cannabis sativa plant with less than 0.3% THC is legal in the United States, making them easy to get and won’t get you high.

CBD or hemp cigarettes are great for quitting smoking because they give you a nicotine-free alternative that will make you feel like you’re smoking a regular cigarette. It also helps fight the oral fixation that accompanies smoking. But more than just oral fixation, numerous studies have documented the success of CBD in treating nicotine addictions in cigarette smokers.

Many find smoking hemp cigarettes to be a fantastic quit tool – perhaps the best there is. In a 2015 study, 24 cigarette smokers were asked to take inhaled CBD whenever they felt the urge to smoke while one group received a placebo. This lasted for a week, after which researchers found that people who used CBD ended up using about 40% fewer tobacco cigarettes. Considering the low success rate of other quitting tools, this was great news after only a week. Meanwhile, those who received a placebo had no difference in the amount of cigarettes smoked. For this reason, the study authors suggest that CBD is a good candidate for the treatment of nicotine addiction and merits further investigation.

Then in 2020, a study of 700 people found that 42% of subjects successfully abstained from smoking when using CBD. Additionally, they found that both long-term and short-term CBD use was effective in quitting, especially for people between the ages of 25 and 35. “CBD appears to be 1.2 times more effective on young adults than their older counterparts. While around 47% of participants, aged 25-35, quit smoking easily after using CBD for a month,” writes Dr. Ivan Green.

CBD reduces cigarette cues and addictive behaviors

One of the most difficult aspects of quitting smoking is cigarette cues, that is, things you find around you that stimulate the initiation of cigarette smoking. It may be the urge to smoke a cigarette whenever you normally would, such as first thing in the morning, after a meal, or when you see someone smoking.

In a study 2018, consuming CBD orally may be effective in helping cigarette smokers experience fewer triggers because it neutralizes the cue response. The study involved 30 tobacco smokers, who were then told they should not smoke for 12 hours. They were then given an 800mg dose of CBD oil, while others were given a placebo. After 12 hours, the researchers found that cigarette cues were reduced in those taking the CBD oils. They also had reduced systolic blood pressure.

CBD is also well known for its relaxing properties, which are effective in treating the anxiety that accompanies quitting smoking. As it can help calm you down, taking a puff is healthier than ever and you can use as many as you need to quit smoking.

Quit Smoking Today with CBD Hemp Cigarettes

If you’re willing to give it a try, you might be surprised at how powerful hemp CBD cigarettes are for quitting smoking.

This solution may not be what everyone wants or needs, but if oral fixation and addictive cues are what you’re struggling with to quit smoking, this might help. Hemp cigarettes not only give you an authentic cigarette experience, they are also professionally already rolled for you. They are a natural source of CBD and all of its therapeutic properties, without being harmful or addictive.

There are dozens of different hemp cigarettes on the market. Most of them will probably be made with industrial hemp, but don’t expect the delicious, wet smell that marijuana is known for. Before buying a pack, look for a certificate of analysis (COA) from the manufacturer so you know exactly what goes into each cigarette. Read reviews online, do your ingredient research based on the COA report, and buy from reputable brands. There are different potencies and purities, as well as an array of flavors and brands that you might enjoy.

In addition to being able to quit smoking, hemp cigarettes can also improve your overall mood, sleep, concentration, and suppress your cravings.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t try hemp cigarettes today to kick this bad habit once and for all.

Chief carrying the weight of ‘The Bear’ Fri, 22 Jul 2022 06:37:15 +0000

I have a good friend in Arizona who was a chef. He spent his whole life in kitchens, first with his mom, and in his early teens immersed in the hustle and bustle of the variety of restaurants. When I met him, in the early 90s, he spent his time oscillating between Tucson, where we worked at the same gourmet coffee shop, and Bisbee, where he had grown up, working his own catering business next door.

On slow nights, when the scorching heat of the daytime blast furnace had settled into a comforting, breezy heat, we sat on plastic chairs in the parking lot just outside the cafe, which was located in the heart of ‘a downtown that didn’t have’ It wasn’t fully understood yet, and it was smoking, and we were busting our faces and talking about food. Eventually he let me cook with him for a bit, and the owner, a fabulously equipped blue blood from Virginia Horse Farms, felt confident enough in my abilities to place me in the kitchen for light cooking duties, making scones, assembling wild rice salad, etc.

From there, my chef friend and I worked together in several other kitchens. I mostly served at the tables, but once in a while, when things got bad and they needed another helping hand on the prep line, I’d be called to the back and throw an apron, authorized to be part of the kitchen staff for the night.

We were all half mad, of course, the waiters cluttered with tables and customer requests (“I need more sour cream!”, “Does this soup contain nitrates?”), washing them The crockery and the waiters lost in the clack of steam from the back flow and the kitchen staff try to hold it together as orders pile in from all angles and sides. It was like trying to build a sandcastle with perfect turrets in the middle of a hurricane, from opening up to when the last plates died down, and everyone could finally breathe again, when we quickly released alcohol in our sweaty mouths to fill the now empty void where all that stress had been.

The chefs at these restaurants are always at the center of the storm, battling the howling winds and whipping sands. Sometimes I watched my friend out of the corner of my eye as the orders piled up and the energy in the kitchen became compressed and dense like the atmosphere just outside a black hole. It was like watching an egg in a microwave, anticipating those crucial seconds before everything exploded.


It’s that particular feeling I got at the start of FX’s surprisingly popular summer show, “The Bear” (all episodes are now available on Hulu). The way Carmy (Jeremy Allen White, evoking a young Dustin Hoffman), the young chef who returned to Chicago to take over his family’s failing sandwich shop, The Original Beef of Chicagoland, after running famous kitchens at renowned fine-dining restaurants New York restaurants, keeps his head constantly in the air, anticipating everything and staying hyper-focused on work, even as the kitchen and its ill-mannered staff seem to be falling apart around him.

In the eight-episode arc of this first season, we don’t see Carmy really losing it until the penultimate episode — by far the most stressful half hour of any show you could watch this year — when a new online ordering system goes haywire, allowing hundreds of orders to go through at once, his sous chef quits on the spot, his pastry chef drops a sheet of donuts on the counter and heads for the door, and his “cousin” inadvertently gets stabbed in the upper buttock with a chef’s knife.

Prior to this eruption, however, the remarkable thing about Carmy is her eerie composure, ruling the kitchen with a kind of otherworldly, undisturbed stillness. Not detachment – he’s too involved in everything going on at once to have that option – but a sort of transfixion. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect to see from a superstar QB, leading his team to a late-game winning score. Leading the way, but somehow not quite the way.


It’s a practiced ability to absorb dangerously high levels of stress radiation, and somehow not get burned in the process. We only get one real look at Carmy’s life in “the best restaurant in the world” in New York, as the sneering, overbearing chef (expertly played by Joel McHale), bends over his shoulder and spits withered takes on everything from Carmy’s abilities to her small size (“You barely reach that…table,” he reckons. “You’re terrible at this…you’re talentless. You should be dead.”). The fact that Carmy has experienced so much contempt and hostility, but valiantly tries not to treat his own staff with the same disdain (at first he insists that everyone in the kitchen, from cooks to dishwashers, refer to each other as “leader”, as a sign of respect) is one of his most endearing qualities.

That, and his apparent humility, after being grappled with this failing restaurant by his late older brother, Mikey (Jon Bernthal), the former owner, after shooting himself in the head on a bridge in the city of Chicago one night. But Carmy is not the only beneficiary of this raw offer. His sister, Sugar (Abby Elliott), who is not directly involved in the operation, is still responsible for agreeing to co-sign a massive loan for their Uncle Jimmy’s (Oliver Platt) place, which Mikey had hoped improve the situation. rusty ship. Then there’s Richie (a gorgeous Ebon Moss-Bachrach), Mikey’s former best friend, a scruffy asshole who ran the place with him, suddenly feeling left out as Carmy brings in a new sub very talented and opinionated. chef, Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) to help revamp the venue.


The dynamics of personal relationships play an important role in the series’ narrative, but series creator Christopher Storer never loses sight of the galvanizing force in the middle of everyone’s life. In one scene, the camera is lovingly seated over a frying pan, where Carmy is making demi-glace, frying garlic and shallots in olive oil, adding capers and white wine to reduce, then stock, deglaze the pan, before adding a splash of lemon and parsley, cooking it like a savory sauce for a breaded, already plated schnitzel. I don’t eat meat, but even I was able to appreciate the fullness of this process, the way flavors can bounce back and clash against each other to create a bigger fulfilling whole.

As a metaphor, it also works well with the essence of a supporting cast, each a distinct and separate ingredient that adds to the richness of the dish. The show treats Carmy as the focal point, but barely, which is a necessary decision given his inscrutability. Sydney is a young, CIA-trained (meaning the Culinary Institute of America, not the government agency) sous-chef, fresh out of a devastating financial turnaround who runs her own restaurant business from the garage. of his parents. Early on, trying to land a spot on the staff, she hands in a meticulous and thorough business appraisal of the shop, which Carmy at first dismisses, but eventually reads carefully. She’s a strong and resourceful leader in her own right, haunted by the mistakes that led her business to failure, and ready to commit to a cause she can fully support.

That’s something else the show does exceptionally well, and certainly better than most shows that focus on a working kitchen. There is an almost cult aspect to working in the kitchen, an acceptance of outrageous stress and behavior that we could not imagine in the usual outside world. Reading a book like Anthony Bourdain’s infamous “Kitchen Confidential,” with his gang of mad chefs, screaming into the ears of their beleaguered sous, popping pills, booze, and cigarettes at all hours, and doing faced with the relentless and overwhelming anxiety of producing at the very height of their powers night after night, it’s hard to understand why anyone would submit to it.


Like the military, I guess, there’s camaraderie in the chaos, camaraderie deep in the burrow of grills and stoves, ablaze with activity. As the show progresses, we see more and more staff members, once unwilling to adapt, suddenly owning their stations, especially after Carmy and Sydney began employing a hierarchy of French brigade, in which each person has their own distinct identity. responsibilities, meeting the pennies in the process. We watch Marcus (Lionel Boyce), the friendly pastry chef who began his culinary career at a McDonald’s, come to fully embrace the creative freedom and challenge of carefully crafted desserts; and Tina (Liza Colon-Zayas), an older Hispanic woman most opposed to any change in their chaotic old system, begins to take new pride in what she does, smiling to herself after a compliment from Sydney. , after being chastised for her technique for weeks, learning the untold joy of professional ascent.

It’s those times when the show seems to go so well in the kitchen, but also outside of it. Carmy and Sydney barely have lives outside of these patched walls – what we see of his flat is bland to the point of being oblivious (and in another specific detail, once home he’s content to eat dinner in a PB&J, some Doritos and a Coke). Neither of them can sleep: he wakes up one night hovering over his stove, after setting fire to a heap of frozen foods that he put on high heat; she keeps getting out of bed and scribbling a note to herself about a possible combination of recipes she could use in the future. Quite often, the two don’t bother going back to bed, but instead put their clothes back on and head back to the kitchen in the middle of the night, preparing for the onslaught of the day ahead. Crazy as they are, for people like Carmy and Sydney, the kitchen is the only place they feel they have any control.

I haven’t told my friend about this show yet, but I guess lying in his retirement he would really enjoy it. As with like-minded shows such as “Barry” and “Better Call Saul,” viewers have to accept the entertainment value of feeling thoroughly stressed. Watching Carmy, Sydney, Richie and the rest of the staff bustle as the world around them goes up in flames can be a harrowing experience, but, like the exquisite peace you feel at the end of a busy cooking shift – I’ve never felt more entitled to a drink in my life – there’s something seductive and addictive about the process.