San Francisco bans ecigarettes

first_imgThe San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ vote to approve a ban on selling e-cigarettes was unanimous.  Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images San Francisco has banned the sale of e-cigarettes like Juul, with the board of supervisors voting unanimously to approve the ordinance Tuesday. It’s the first city to implement such a ban. E-cigarettes are battery-operated, converting flavored liquid nicotine into a vapor inhaled by the user. Juul, headquartered in San Francisco, has been making headlines after its popularity among teenagers forced it to shutter its social media presence late last year while the FDA investigated concerns it was promoting underage use of tobacco products. “We spent the ’90s battling Big Tobacco. And now we see its new form through e-cigarettes,” supervisor Shamann Walton said Tuesday, according to the San Francisco Examiner. “I am not going to put profits of Big Tobacco over the health of our children and our young people.” Read more: How to quit Juuling, according to addiction experts Tags Share your voice In response to Juul’s PR push to absolve itself for creating the youth e-cig epidemic (teen e-cig use spiked 78% last year), we’ve launched an ad campaign that tells the truth:Juul enticed kids with sweet flavors like mango and mint, then hooked them with a strong nicotine hit. pic.twitter.com/bQDreyn06f— Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (@TobaccoFreeKids) June 25, 2019 Juul controversy “Juul enticed kids with sweet flavors like mango, creme and mint, then hooked them with a strong nicotine hit,” the poster says. “Last year, teen e-cigarette use spiked 78%. It’s an epidemic.” Kwong said Juul has already taken “aggressive actions” to prevent underage purchasing of its products, like online age verification and its halting of sales of non-tobacco and non-menthol flavored pods across the nation last year. He also pointed to Juul shutting down its Facebook and Instagram accounts. The ordinance was also opposed by corner store owners, according to the Examiner, with the Small Business Commission arguing it’d cost $70 million in sales for the 738 businesses that sell vapes in San Francisco. Read more: Vaping might ruin your smile, permanentlyThe board of supervisors didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but CNET sister site CBS News said the ordinance now awaits Mayor London Breed’s signature and will take effect six months after that. Offending retailers could be fined $1,000. “San Francisco has never been afraid to lead,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. “Youth vaping is an epidemic. If the federal government is not going to act to protect our kids, San Francisco will.”  San Francisco in May was also the first city to ban its police officers from using facial recognition technology, citing a breach of citizens’ civil liberties. Culture Gadgets Politics Legalcenter_img The ordinance was introduced in March. It prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes that require, but have not received, FDA approval for marketing. The ban will create a “black market” for vapes, Ted Kwong, a Juul Labs spokesperson, told CNET in an emailed statement. Regulation rather than prohibition would be more effective, he said. “This full prohibition will drive former adult smokers who successfully switched to vapor products back to deadly cigarettes,” Kwong said. “In San Francisco, we are supporting efforts going forward to enact new strict regulation and enforcement.” Regulations could include mandatory electronic ID scanning to verify age, restricting bulk purchasing to prevent third-party reselling of vapes, city permits for online vape retailers and marketing restrictions, Juul suggested.The ordinance’s passage follows the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids earlier Tuesday tweeting a poster accusing Juul of “luring” children to use its products by offering flavors like mango and mint. Juul vaporizer: What is it, why are teens addicted and is it safe? How to quit Juuling, according to addiction experts Juul is shutting down on social media, halting retail orders for flavored pods Juul is giving users tools to help them quit its e-cigs 12 Photos 3 Meet the smart vapes: App-enabled vaporizers seek to cash in on cannabis Commentslast_img read more

Pakistan seeks UN intervention over Kashmir tension with India

first_imgPakistani foreign affairs minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi speaks during a press conference in Multan on 19 February 2019, following the ongoing tensions between Pakistan and India. Pakistan is ready to help India investigate the deadliest blast in Kashmir in decades, but will retaliate if Delhi attacks, prime minister Imran Khan said on 19 February as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals soared. — Photo: AFPPakistan’s foreign minister appealed to the UN secretary general on Tuesday to help ease tension with India that has escalated sharply following a suicide bomb attack in the Indian part of disputed Kashmir, that India blamed on Pakistan.Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, facing an election by May, has warned Pakistan to expect a “strong response” to the bombing claimed by a Pakistan-linked militant group, raising fears of conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors.“It is with a sense of urgency that I draw your attention to the deteriorating security situation in our region resulting from the threat of use of force against Pakistan by India,” foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote to UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.“It is imperative to take steps for de-escalation. The United Nations must step in to defuse tensions,” he wrote, blaming India for deliberately ratcheting up its hostile rhetoric for domestic political reasons.The Pakistani appeal follows days of rising tension between the old rivals after a suicide bomber blew himself up near an Indian police convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Thursday, killing at least 40 paramilitary police.Jaish-e Mohammad, a militant group said to be based in Pakistan which wants the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to be part of Pakistan, claimed responsibility but the Pakistani government has denied any involvement.“Attributing it to Pakistan even before investigations is absurd,” Qureshi said.“India must be asked to conduct an open and credible investigation on Pulwama incident,” he said.Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, a former princely state on the border between India and Pakistan, has been in dispute since the partition of India in 1947.Control is split between the two countries but each claims the region in full.The neighbours have fought three wars since 1947, two of them over Kashmir. They have fought countless skirmishes along their de facto border, which the United Nations monitors, in the Himalayan region.Pakistan ‘ready to talk’An AFP report from Islamabad says: Pakistan is ready to help India investigate the deadliest blast in Kashmir in decades, but will retaliate if Delhi attacks, prime minister Imran Khan said Tuesday as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals soared.Khan used a nationally televised address to demand Delhi share proof of Islamabad’s alleged involvement in last week’s suicide blast, which killed 41 people in Indian-held Kashmir and unleashed a fresh diplomatic crisis over the disputed Himalayan region.The attack, which has triggered nationwide anger in India, was claimed by Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed.Indian officials have said those behind the blast will pay a “heavy price”. The Indian military also said Tuesday the bombing had been “masterminded” by Pakistan, and specifically its powerful Inter-Services Intelligence branch.If India attacks, “Pakistan won’t just think to retaliate. Pakistan will retaliate,” said Khan in the address.Islamabad has denied involvement. “If you have some actionable intelligence about involvement of Pakistanis, give it to us, I guarantee you that we will take action,” Khan said Tuesday, adding that Pakistan was “ready to talk” about terrorism with India.It was “easy to start a war”, he said, adding that he hopes “better sense will prevail”.Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947. Both countries claim the Himalayan territory in full and have fought two wars in connection to the dispute.India has long accused Pakistan of harbouring militants that launch attacks on its soil, including banned groups such as JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks which left scores dead.Islamabad has repeatedly vowed to crack down on the groups if Delhi provides evidence of involvement.Khan said on Tuesday that if any militant group was using Pakistani soil to launch attacks, “its enmity is with us. This is against our interest”.Pakistan was also accused by Iran last week of sheltering the perpetrators of an attack which killed 27 Revolutionary Guards, while Kabul and Washington have long claimed that Islamabad offers safe haven to the Afghan Taliban.- ‘Defuse tensions’ -With anger building in India, prime minister Narendra Modi faces increased pressure to act as his Hindu nationalist government is expected to call a national election within weeks.Indian forces have staged operations since Thursday’s attack while anti-Pakistan and anti-Kashmir sentiment has spread across the country, fuelled by social media including widely shared false news reports.On Tuesday the Indian army said three JeM militants were killed in a gun battle a day earlier.Two of them were Pakistanis, including the group’s “chief operations commander in Kashmir”, lieutenant general Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon told a press conference in Srinagar.The Indian government has already withdrawn trade privileges for Pakistan, ended police protection for four Kashmiri separatist leaders, and halted some cross-border services.Earlier Tuesday, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi pleaded with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres to intervene in the escalating row.”The United Nations must step in to defuse tensions,” wrote Qureshi in a message shared with journalists.On Monday Saudi Arabia vowed to “de-escalate” the situation during a high-profile state visit by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to Islamabad. He is also due in India this week.Kashmir is one of the world’s most militarised zones, with some 500,000 Indian troops deployed to fight a rebellion that broke out in 1989.Scores of armed groups are now involved.Tens of thousands of people, mainly civilians, have died in the conflict. Violence has spiked since 2016 with almost 600 killed last year, the highest toll in a decade.Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan warned that any action by Delhi against Islamabad could disrupt peace talks with the Taliban.Pakistan is “playing a very important role” in the months-long push led by the US for talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, said Zahid Nasrullah. A fresh round of negotiations is set to begin next week.last_img read more

New polymer able to store energy at higher temperatures

first_img New paper describes first-ever synthesis of hyperbranched polymers More information: Flexible high-temperature dielectric materials from polymer nanocomposites, Nature 523, 576–579 (30 July 2015) DOI: 10.1038/nature14647AbstractDielectric materials, which store energy electrostatically, are ubiquitous in advanced electronics and electric power systems. Compared to their ceramic counterparts, polymer dielectrics have higher breakdown strengths and greater reliability, are scalable, lightweight and can be shaped into intricate configurations, and are therefore an ideal choice for many power electronics, power conditioning, and pulsed power applications. However, polymer dielectrics are limited to relatively low working temperatures, and thus fail to meet the rising demand for electricity under the extreme conditions present in applications such as hybrid and electric vehicles, aerospace power electronics, and underground oil and gas exploration. Here we describe crosslinked polymer nanocomposites that contain boron nitride nanosheets, the dielectric properties of which are stable over a broad temperature and frequency range. The nanocomposites have outstanding high-voltage capacitive energy storage capabilities at record temperatures (a Weibull breakdown strength of 403 megavolts per metre and a discharged energy density of 1.8 joules per cubic centimetre at 250 degrees Celsius). Their electrical conduction is several orders of magnitude lower than that of existing polymers and their high operating temperatures are attributed to greatly improved thermal conductivity, owing to the presence of the boron nitride nanosheets, which improve heat dissipation compared to pristine polymers (which are inherently susceptible to thermal runaway). Moreover, the polymer nanocomposites are lightweight, photopatternable and mechanically flexible, and have been demonstrated to preserve excellent dielectric and capacitive performance after intensive bending cycles. These findings enable broader applications of organic materials in high-temperature electronics and energy storage devices. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers at the Pennsylvania State University has created a new polymer that is able to store energy at higher temperatures than conventional polymers without breaking down. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes how they created the polymer and why they believe it could be useful in many products. Harry Ploehn with the University of South Carolina offers a brief history of polymers created for use in electronics, in a News & Views piece in the same journal issue, and describes the work done by the team on this new effort—he also offers an opinion on the prospects for the newly development polymer. © 2015 Phys.org Journal information: Nature Flexible polymer nanocomposite thin films for high-temperature high-voltage capacitive energy storage. Credit: Q. Li Explore further Bending tests of polymer nanocomposites. Credit: Q. Li One drawback of the new polymer is that because it requires an extra step, its production costs would be higher than for conventional dielectric polymer capacitors, and there are also still questions about how easy it would be to prevent defects and whether it will stand up to long term wear and tear. If it proves to be resilient and a way can be found to drive down costs, it is likely, Ploehn believes, that the new polymer will have a bright future in applications ranging from hybrid cars to aerospace systems. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. As Ploehn notes, dielectric capacitors are used in wide variety of applications that require holding onto a charge and then offering a short burst of power when needed. In many applications dielectrics are made of polymers (because they are light, relatively easy to make and because defects can be easily controlled), but there are still some areas where they cannot be used because they cannot function correctly under temperature extremes—that prevents their use inside car engines, for example. In this new effort, the researchers have taken a new approach to creating a polymer that allows for use in extremely hot applications.The new polymer was created by the team by adding nanometer-scale sheets of boron nitride to a conventional polymer, which testing showed increased its energy density by 400 percent (which means capacitors made using it could be smaller and thus lighter). And testing also showed the newly improved polymer was able to remain stable at temperatures as high as 300°C, and was able to withstand rigorous bending. Citation: New polymer able to store energy at higher temperatures (2015, July 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-polymer-energy-higher-temperatures.htmllast_img read more