In Short

Published: Wednesday 30 June 2004

high-smoking zone: The number of smokers in Himachal Pradesh (HP) is alarmingly high. This despite the state having the second highest literacy rate in the country. Forty-five per cent of HP's population consists of smokers, according to Surender Kashyap, the head of the chest and tuberculosis department at Shimla's Indira Gandhi Medical College. He quotes a study carried out near Shimla, adding that as many as 60.5 per cent men and over 28 per cent women indulge in the habit.

nepal choking: The concentration of respirable suspended particulate matter (PM10), a measure of air pollution, is disturbingly high in Nepal's Kathmandu valley. This information was disseminated at a recent workshop organised by the Environment Protection and Social Welfare Association Nepal, a group formed by environment science students of Tri Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. Concern was voiced in the seminar about the high rate of emissions by diesel vehicles in the valley. It was alleged that the presence of a powerful lobby that backed such vehicles hindered the task of reducing pollution levels.

flak over flab: The UK government's record in tackling obesity is "woefully inadequate", notes a recent report prepared by a House of Commons Cross Party Committee of members of parliament. The report charges seven UK government departments with aggravating the problem. For example, the transport department gives priority to motorists at the expense of pedestrians and cyclists, it points out. The House of Commons' Health Committee has now called for legislation requiring food to be labelled red, amber or green, based on calories and nutrients.

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