Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

How caffeine affects children

caffeineMost of your parents wouldn't dream of giving you a cup of coffee, but they may readily give you soft drinks containing caffeine.  Though soft drinks may be tasty and sweet, it's a good idea to keep caffeine consumption to a minimum, especially if you are young.

Basic occupational health and safety procedures ignored by state government

worker-pranginThe Consumer’s Association of Penang (CAP) lauds the Penang state government for its ‘Cleaner, Greener Penang' initiative. The initiative although long overdue in view of Penang’s deteriorating environment, is a positive step forward to restore Penang’s lost charm.

However, as depicted in The Star (24 May), the state government seems to have sacrificed its basic human values in its endeavour to create a better environment for its citizens.

No more excuses: Ban Codeine now

altCAP has for more than 15 years now raised the issue of the dangers and harmful effects of codeine in medications and its easy availability over the counter. We trust the Ministry of Health understands this, and its pharmaceutical authorities are well aware of the situation locally.

So, why is it that they are not taking any action? This is despite the concerns raised by CAP as well as by consumers in letters to the newspapers over numerous media reports of seizures of codeine-based cough mixtures illegally brought into the country.

Gratitude is good for the body, mind and soul

gratitude-drawing-colourGratitude, or thankfulness, seems to be a lost art today.  

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others,” wrote Roman philosopher Cicero. “Nothing is more honourable than a grateful heart,” Roman senator Seneca was quoted as saying.

Most religions encourage gratitude. In Buddhism for example, gratitude is said to be a hallmark of humanity.

Massive anti-sodium campaign needed to fight hypertension epidemic

alt

Today is World Hypertension Day (WHD). It is a day designated by The World Hypertension League (WHL), which is made up of 85 national hypertension societies. Since 2006, the WHL has been dedicating May 17 of every year as WHD. It was initiated to increase awareness on hypertension which is the biggest single risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).


CVDs are the number one cause of death globally where 1.55 million deaths every year are attributed to hypertension. By 2030, 23.3 million people would die from CVDs mainly from heart disease and stroke. This is a disturbing 34% increase from 17.3 million in 2008.


Malaysia is not spared from this global epidemic. Every day an average of 110 people are dying of heart disease and related diseases of the circulation. It is now the principal cause of death in the country, accounting for 16.5% of all deaths in Ministry of Health Hospitals in 2008.


Every year there are 38,000 new cases of heart disease in Malaysia. Six new cases of stroke occur every hour and stroke has become Malaysia's number-three killer after heart disease and cancer. One in 3 or about 32.7% of Malaysians aged 18years and above are suffering from hypertension.


In Malaysia, the prevalence of high blood pressure has increased in the past decade. In 1996, it was indicated that 33% of adults aged 30 years and above had hypertension. Ten years later, the figure has increased to 43%.