Young woman smoking a cigarette

Smokers three times more likely to die from stroke, five times more likely to develop gangrene

A DISTURBING new study has found cigarettes are causing 17 preventable deaths a day in Australia – or 6400 every year – from stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

The comprehensive study – touted as the most in-depth of its kind in the world – found smoking was more damaging than previously thought, impacting the entire cardiovascular system.

Led by Australian National University Professor Emily Banks, researchers followed more than 180,000 smokers and non-smokers for seven years, examining 36 different types of cardiovascular diseases.

The study found Australia’s 2.7 million smokers were twice as likely to suffer a stroke, heart attack or heart failure, and were three times as likely to die from these diseases compared to people who had never smoked.

It also found smokers were five times more likely to develop peripheral cardiovascular diseases such as gangrene.

Limiting the number of cigarettes smoked daily also doesn’t help much, with the research finding people who smoke an average five cigarettes a day were still twice as likely to be killed by cardiovascular disease.

Those who quit for good, however, and stop smoking by the age of 45 are said to avoid about 90 per cent of the cardiovascular risks.

Stroke Foundation Clinical Council Member Associate Professor Seana Gall said the study showed that at least 30 percent of strokes could be prevented if we could eliminate smoking altogether.

“Too many families continue to be devastated by stroke and heart disease when it could have been prevented,’’ Acting Professor Gall said.

“It doesn’t matter what age you are or how many cigarettes you smoke, they are all causing harm, but the good news is by quitting, individuals can reverse this damage and live a long healthy life.”

Smoking can lead to stroke in a number of ways.

It increases blood pressure, it contains thousands of toxic chemicals which get absorbed into the blood stream damaging blood vessels and causing arteries to narrow and harden and it makes the blood stickier, which can lead to blood clots.

Acting Professor Gall said Australia was tracking well in reducing smoking rates and stopping teens from taking up the habit in the first place, however more must be done.

“While smoking prevalence has fallen over time, around 2.7 million Australians currently smoke and we must continue to help people quit through government measures and anti-smoking campaigns,’’ she said.

“I recognise giving up smoking is hard, and you may not be able to do it the first or even the second attempt, but saying goodbye to cigarettes is worth it for yourself and those who love you.”

The new data was published in the international journal BMC Medicine on Thursday.

Talk to your doctor about quitting or call the national Quitline on 12 78 48 (13 QUIT).

Hands Fist

Ugly viral trend: “Punching” toys to encourage kids to eat

Anyone who has children knows how soul-crushing mealtimes can be.

It’s messy and exhausting and frustrating and as parents and caregivers we can be pushed to the ends of our tether when trying to get nourishing food into their tiny little tummies.

The struggle is real. I get it.

We’ve all been driven to do questionable things in this setting. I, for one, will admit to bribery on multiple occasions. Trade offs, if you will… “If you eat two more bites of your chicken you get a marshmallow!”

This, I’m aware, is not ideal.

But this new trend of “punching toys” to encourage your child to eat is taking things to the next degree. It’s just plain wrong on so many levels.

It goes like this:

Offer baby food. Baby refuses.

Pick up cuddly toy and offer it food. Cuddly toy also shakes their head “no.”

So the next step is… violently punch the toy in the head.

The implication to the child is clear: don’t eat the food and you’ll get punched in the head.

In one video, which has been viewed almost 17 million times, a toddler of about 15 months is shown watching as his beloved Mickey Mouse toy is punched in the head for not eating his food.

The child twigs on pretty quickly that he doesn’t want to endure the same fate, so when he’s offered food again, he eats it. The confusion and hurt on the little baby’s face is honestly heartbreaking!

Clinical counsellor and psychotherapist Julie Sweet confirms to 10Daily: “The impact of doing this to a child is possibly detrimental. This trend could be interpreted as fear-based and may be traumatising… Both fear and trauma are not conducive in creating a secure attachment between the primary care giver and child.”

In this particular video the child’s uncle, featured in the footage, says it was all in good fun and the little boy was never in any danger – which is probably true.

But the lesson that this child is subconsciously being taught is really quite frightening. The bottom line is, the caregiver is using the threat of violence as a tool of coercion. Even though the adult knows they would never follow through with that threat, the child doesn’t know this.

Marshmallows may be packed with unhealthy sugar, but I think I’ll stick with the sweet approach for now and leave this “trend” well alone.

Ex-NRL star Hayne moving for Bible school

TWO-time NRL player-of-the-year Jarryd Hayne has been permitted to attend a Christian missionary school in Perth until his trial on rape charges in late 2020.

The former Parramatta fullback, who was twice awarded the Dally M medal as the NRL’s best player, stood in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday as magistrate Robert Stone committed him for trial in the NSW District Court.

The 31-year-old has not yet formally pleaded but his lawyer has previously indicated he denies sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman in Newcastle in September 2018.

Hayne, who played eight games of American football in the NFL after quitting Parramatta in 2014, was earlier successful in getting his bail conditions varied to allow him to live in Perth and attend a Christian college.

The Perth arm of the evangelical community organisation Youth with a Mission runs a broad range of training courses which, it says, can lead directly to related ministry opportunities.

Two letters from YWAM Perth were presented to Mr Stone to assist Hayne’s application, which was opposed by prosecutor Hamish Fitzhardinge on the grounds varying bail could put the community at risk.

Hayne’s barrister, Richard Pontello, told the court that while participating in the course the former footballer would be staying a short walk away in a dormitory for adult males only.

“(The course providers) are aware of the nature of the charges and Mr Hayne’s background, having gone through the formal application process,” he said.

“He’s been assessed as suitable with full disclosure.”

Mr Stone said the risk to the community could be mitigated by continuing to require Hayne to report to police three times a week and by requiring the course provider to notify prosecutors if he failed to attend classes.

The court on Wednesday was told Hayne’s trial isn’t expected to start before September 2020.

Hayne is accused of twice raping the woman and recklessly inflicting actual bodily harm on the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final.

He’s expected to return to court on July 25 for arraignment.

© AAP 2019

Daffodil Day Volunteer

Volunteers needed for Daffodil Day appeal

Cancer Council Queensland is calling on locals to show their support for the Daffodil Day Appeal by selling fresh daffodils to raise funds for vital cancer research.

The Daffodil Day Appeal will take place throughout August, culminating in Daffodil Day on Friday, August 23.

This year, Daffodil Day celebrates 33 years of turning Australia yellow, and local volunteers are needed to help sell daffodils at various locations around the Gold Coast.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said preparations for Daffodil Day were well-underway, but more volunteers were needed.

“Cancer Council works across every aspect of cancer, but we rely on the generosity of community donations to help fund our work,” Ms McMillan said.

“We want to encourage everyone to get involved this Daffodil Day, with the knowledge that your involvement will give hope to everyone affected by cancer.”

This year, Cancer Council Queensland are looking for more than 480 volunteers across the greater Gold Coast and City of Logan areas to give a few hours of their time to help us sell fresh daffodils at over 50 sites.

“If you enjoy meeting people and love the idea of helping raise funds for a vital cause contributing to a cancer free future, then you’re exactly who we’re looking for,” Ms McMillan said.

This year, Cancer Council Queensland hopes to raise $1 million to support its vital work in cancer research through the Daffodil Day Appeal.

There are many ways to support the Daffodil Day Appeal; volunteer your time, get your school or workplace involved; donate online, or buy a daffodil pin or fresh daffodils on Friday, August 23.

For more information or to get involved, visit or call 1300 65 65 85.


Qld teachers likely to call off strike action after new pay deal struck

A strike by Queensland teachers later this month looks to have been averted with the Teachers Union agreeing in-principle to a new pay deal.

Teachers had been threatening to walk off the job in the first week of the third term if the current pay offer wasn’t increased.

The Queensland Teachers Union had been demanding a 4.5 per cent increase plus changes to the classification system for teachers.

Under the new deal, teachers have been offered a 2.5 per cent increase each year for the next three years, plus a one-off bonus of $1250.

Teachers who take on positions in rural or remote areas of the State will also be given a one-off bonus of $1000.

A number of conditions have also been improved including boosting the amount of non-contact time for primary and special school teachers.

The classification and progression process for Senior Teachers and Experienced Senior Teachers is also being simplified and enhanced while there will also be a new structure for principals and deputy principals.

Education Minister Grace Grace says it was a good outcome.

“It’s a very good deal that we’ve been able to strike with the QTU who will now obviously put the offer formally to their members to vote upon,” Ms Grace said.

“By the end of this agreement, our top teachers will be earning $110,500 per year. In addition, they can also apply to be recognised as Highly Accomplished Teacher or Lead Teacher, with salaries for these classifications rising to over $117,000 and $128,000 respectively from July 2021.

“On top of this, the new classification structure for school leaders will see Queensland state school executive principals among the highest paid public school principals in the country.”

Teachers will vote on the new agreement tomorrow.

QTU President Kevin Bates says they will be encouraging members to accept the deal and avert strike action.

“We’ve got scheduled talks this afternoon with the conference to describe to them the package, tomorrow they will make a decision about the strike,” Mr Bates said.

“So we’ll be able to make an announcement tomorrow evening about where to from here.

“We’re not making any judgements beforehand, we’re a democratic union.”