French Breathalyzer Kits Law

The new french breathalyzer law came into force on the 1st July 2012 but surveys suggest that up to 6 out of 10 british motorist travelling to France are completely unaware of the new regulations.

Fortunately for them there will be a period of grace until 1st November. After that time the french police will be able to enforce fines of 11 Euros to motorist found to be without an approved unused & in date breathalyzer kit in their car. The other reason for the period of grace is that demand for the single use breathalyzer kits has outstripped supply, with breathalyzer kits in UK selling out rapidly meaning many motorists are having problems getting them in time.

The french drink driving prosecution level is lower than the UK’s

Click here for more info on the french breathalyzer law

http://www.value-breathalysers.co.uk/acatalog/Breathalyzer-France.html

Click below for more info or to buy single use breathalyzer kits

http://www.value-breathalysers.co.uk/acatalog/SINGLE_USE_BREATHALYSERS.htm

Why do teenagers smoke?

Smoking: love it or hate it? It’s hard not to realise that it can do serious damage to your health, and is the single most cause of death in the US – and the death usually isn’t quick and painless, either! But this begs the question: why do so many teenagers continue to start smoking? They’re aware of the risks, and are told how difficult it is to quit…but they just don’t seem to listen.

According to the World Health Organisation, around 1.3 billion people smoke worldwide, and tobacco alone has been held responsible for around 6 million deaths per year. Out of all diseases, smoking itself has been found to cause the most death and disability, and kills up to half of its users. So why do people still do it?

As a 16 year old student, I am surrounded by all different types of teenagers. Although they are all very different people, I can imagine many of them have quite similar opinions and motives, which could suggest why they choose to take up smoking.

As many people who have struggled to quite smoking will probably tell you: nicotine is not to be underestimated. It is believed to bring feelings of pleasure, to suppress the appetite, and sometimes even relieve stress. It has been found to increase the levels of dopamine in parts of the brain – a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of pleasure and reward (according to scientists, dopamine has also been found to be released by the hypothalamus when one is in love). Now, at first this may seem like a good thing…but when you’re trying to quit, it’s likely to have quite the opposite effect. However, when experimenting with tobacco, teens don’t often consider how hard it’s going to be to quit. In fact, most don’t even seem to think they’ll get addicted in the first place!

A common misconception is that all teens start smoking in order to ‘look cool’, to ‘fit in’, or simply because of peer pressure. Whilst true in many cases, this is not always the reason.

Most teenagers originally start smoking out of curiosity. Many of them are still trying to find themselves and realise what they like and dislike, and smoking is one way in which they can do this. However, because of the dopamine received after they initially try smoking, most feel inclined to do it again. Before they know it, they’re craving more and more nicotine.

Many teenagers also decide to take up smoking as a way to ‘rebel’ against their parents, or to make themselves feel more mature and ‘grown up’. As they usually have more freedom from their parents around this age, they are no longer being watched or told what to do all the time. As smoking is somewhat taboo, doing it without their parents consent can make teens feel more in control, and more independent.

As the media continues to put an increased pressure on teens (especially females) to look a certain way and copy models on the front of magazines, many of them turn to smoking as a way to try and lose weight – it’s not surprising that a massive 30% more teenage girls are now smoking than 10 years ago!

Finally, some teens also try smoking in the hopes that it will help them to cope better with stress and make them feel a little more relaxed. Many teenagers feel as if no one understands them, and are very often confused about their own identity and are not sure which way they’d like to head in life. Add this to exam stress, family problems, relationship problems and fall-outs with friends, and it’s not surprising that they’re trying to find a way to cope with everything!

By looking at the big picture, it’s not really surprising that teens try smoking once or twice…but too many are getting stuck in the habit, and once the addiction sets in, it gets increasingly hard to break it. In fact, less than 1 in 10 of those who begin smoking under the age of 21 manage to quit!

Despite all the health warnings in the UK, around 1 in 5 teenagers still continue to smoke. Unless something is done about it soon, it doesn’t seem likely that things are going to get much better. However, around 6/10 teenagers stated that the smoking advertisements on the television have deterred them from the habit…so at least we’re on the right track to putting an end to teens smoking!

Health problems associated with drinking alcohol

Health problems associated with drinking alcohol

Alcohol is sold all over the UK. In fact, around 90% of adults claim to drink alcohol – it’s accountable for approximately 1 in 16 hospital admissions, whilst misuse of the substance is responsible for over 20,000 premature deaths every year. Binge drinking is more likely to cause harm, and when a person continually exceeds 3 drinks per day, this risk dramatically increases.

When people think about the risks of drinking alcohol, most immediately think of accidents caused by intoxication and the inability to think clearly (such as falls, drink driving, fights, or reckless promiscuity). However, this is only one of the things people should be worrying about. In many cases, the long term risks of consuming too much alcohol are much more serious:

Liver disease is very common amongst those who regularly consume larger volumes of alcohol than the liver can process, as it has the ability to damage, or even destroy the liver cells. The three main types of liver disease caused by an excessive amount of alcohol include:

– Fatty liver disease (earliest stage): Build up of extra fat in liver cells.

Symptoms: This often has no symptoms, especially when it is only a mild case. However, if symptoms are present, they usually include: tiredness, loss of appetite, or pain and discomfort around the right side of your body where the liver is. It can be officially diagnosed via ultrasound or a liver biopsy.

– Alcoholic hepatitis: Liver swells and becomes damaged.

Symptoms: Jaundice, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. If it is a very severe case, it has the possibility of leading onto more serious complications such as liver failure, and possibly even death in very severe cases.

– Cirrhosis of the liver (final stage): Scarring of the liver.

Symptoms: Jaundice, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.
Between 10% and 20% of heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis, and once the damage to the liver has been done, it cannot be reversed.

Alcohol can also have a negative effect on the cardiovascular system, and has been found to be associated with the following diseases:

– Congestive Heart Failure 
Regular consumption of large volumes of alcohol can lead to enlargement of the heart, making it unable to pump as effectively as it should. It is not curable, and may require a pacemaker or even a heart transplant.

– Cardiomyopathy (heart disease)

– Hypertension (high blood pressure)
It is estimated that the risk of hypertension for those drinking over 3 units of alcohol per day is up to 50% higher than for those who do not drink alcohol, and between 11% and 30% of all hypertension may be related to heavy alcohol consumption.

– Cardiac Arrhythmia (disturbances in heart rhythm)
Binge drinking over a long period of time can cause otherwise healthy people to experience an irregular rhythm of the heart, thus increasing the risk of a heart attack and possibly even sudden death.

– Cerebrovascular Haemorrhage (stroke)
This is the most common form of fatal stroke for those under the age of 65, and regular alcohol consumption can greatly increase the risk of this.

These are the main problems associated with alcohol in the UK. However, it doesn’t stop there! An excess of alcohol has also been found to have negative effects on other parts of the body including the:

– Gastrointestinal tract

– Nervous system

It can also cause a series of other health problems, such as:

– Anemia

– Cancer

However, if you think that alcohol consumption only causes physical health problems, you are sorely mistaken. Alcohol itself is a depressant, and is also responsible for a series of psychiatric problems, such as suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, as well as alcohol dependence syndrome.

It is also responsible for causing social problems, such as impaired performance at work and relationship problems, and even more serious things such as violent crimes and anti-social behaviour.

Of course a glass of red wine now and then won’t do much harm, but before you’re considering going out drinking for the fourth night in a row, just think about it…is it really worth it?

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Why do teenagers drink alcohol?

Recently, the news has been flooded with stories related to teenagers and alcohol. This leaves many people asking: why? Why do teenagers drink alcohol? Well, as a 16 year old teenager of today, I will do my best to explain.

In the UK, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy, or try to buy alcohol from a pub or a store (with the exception of 16-17 year olds accompanied by an adult who are permitted to buy beer or wine with a table meal). Young people caught drinking in public can have their alcohol taken away from them, and may even be fined or arrested. However, it is not illegal for teenagers to drink alcohol whilst in their own home or at a friend’s house. Although this is fine in moderation, many teenagers find themselves exceeding the recommended limits.

In fact, in the UK, more than eight out of ten fifteen year olds, and five out of ten eleven to twelve year olds already claim to have tried alcohol. But why?

Teenagers drink for a variety of different reasons which may be misunderstood by people outside their own peer group.

One of the things that attracts teenagers to alcohol is the idea that by drinking,  they are taking a risk which can provide them with a thrill, as they are underaged and so are not legally supposed to be drinking. As they are still young and inexperienced, in most cases they do not fully know what will happen when experimenting with alcohol, leading to curiosity. As teens are still developing, they often act impulsively to such curiosity, without considering the potential consequences of their actions.

Many teens also drink in order to try and relieve stress. Many times, teenagers may find themselves overcome with school work, relationship issues and other personal problems. By drinking, they may find that these problems temporarily disappear, which may cause them to turn to the substance more and more often as they try to relax and get away from reality.

As many adults often drink an alcohol around their families, their children may associate it with something which is for adults only. Therefore, by drinking it themselves, they may feel older and more mature, as they are at an age where they do not want to be viewed as a child anymore.

Lastly, and possibly one of the largest reasons for teenagers drinking is drinking in order to  fit in with their peers, as they crave acceptance. Many believe that drinking alcohol will make them seem more ‘cool’ in front of their friends, and will improve their social status. As they are with their friends, they don’t have to worry about their parents finding out, which gives them a sense of freedom. As they are still young, many teens will not have experienced this much freedom before, and so they may take advantage of it by doing things that they wouldn’t normally be allowed to do if their parents were there, such as drinking alcohol.

Many teenagers are also peer pressured into drinking alcohol by their friends, and they may be teased or mocked if they refuse. As a person’s self-esteem is often quite vulnerable during their teenage years, this can have quite a large impact on them as they struggle to fit in, and many give into peer pressure in order to be accepted by those around them.