More Kickstarter news this week. Can you believe it? Last week I joked about a renaissance but now I’m pretty sure it’s actually happening.
That, plus Overwatch gets a server browser, South Park delays a second time, a bevy of launch trailers and announcement trailers and trailer trailers, and Project Cars 2 talks about supporting 12K resolutions. Mmmm, that’s a lot of pixels.
This is gaming news for February 6 through 10.
Another chance for me to talk about Stasis? Excellent. If you don’t know, Stasis is the best horror game you (probably) didn’t play in 2015. An isometric horror game in the vein of the classic Sanitarium, Stasis is some excellent derelict space ship sci-fi.
And now the developers are working on a follow-up, titled Beautiful Desolation. Like PC Gamer, I apparently missed word on this in January, but there’s a Kickstarter campaign and everything. I’m not a huge fan of the name, but I am a huge fan of the art on display so far, and fervently hope it reaches its funding goal.
Let’s keep on the crowdfunding theme for a second and talk about inXile. The studio released details on both the upcomingTorment: Tides of Numenera and the slightly-less-upcoming Bard’s Tale IV this week, with a look at Torment’s story and Bard’s Tale’s combat. Here’s Torment:
And Bard’s Tale:
Finish the fight
Halo Wars 2 launches next week, at least for Ultimate Edition buyers. Will it be good? No idea, but it sure does have some beautiful cinematics.
Live to serve
It’s not the sexiest update, but Overwatch is getting a server browser to complement its bevy of matchmaking systems. Want to play a custom game with friends? You can finally—nine months after release—do so.
I’d sort-of forgotten that Slightly Mad Studios has been working on Project Cars 2. Hard to forget, given the stink people made when the sequel was originally announced, coming as it did mere months after the release of the original. But regardless, I’d forgotten.
There’s video now though—gorgeous video. Also, support for 12K resolutions (12K!) and more. Time to upgrade your graphics card, sim racers.
Speaking of racing games…well, actually no. The big news this week is that Playground Games, developer of the beloved Forza Horizon series, is working on a new game—and it’s not a racing game. According to GamesIndustry.biz , Playground is opening a second studio and branching out into a new genre, in addition to (presumably) the 2018 Forza Horizon game.
If this mythical second project ends up even half as good as Forza Horizon, we’re in for a treat.
South Park: Still Not Whole
Bad news, South Park fans: Latest game The Fractured But Whole has been delayed yet again, this time to a rather ambiguous “sometime this year.” That’s the second delay for the superhero-themed sequel, which was originally supposed to arrive in December and then was pushed to early 2017. Now? Well, we’ll see.
Cue the Miyamoto quote about a bad game being bad forever, and et cetera.
Ubisoft’s doing just okay with-or-without South Park though, I imagine. Case in point: Rainbow Six Siege is still humming along, still 2015’s best shooter, and just about to start its second season of DLC characters and maps. You’ll get four minutes of that below, with a look at the new “Velvet Shell” operators and Coastline map.
Oh, and Ubisoft also brought back the Rainbow Six Siege Starter Edition. For $15 you get the game and access to four operators, with a whole lot of grinding if you want to unlock the rest—or you try it, enjoy it, and buy the full game (maybe when it goes on sale?) to continue as normal. Your call.
Okay, more Ubisoft news. Ghost Recon: Wildlands is set to release in March. Ubisoft’s continued its tradition of “Silly Live-Action Trailers” for this one—except this time they’ve made a whole live-action movie. There’s a teaser below. Go microwave some popcorn. I’ll wait.
Apple is about to reveal its financial results for 4Q 2016 and they may contain a surprise – the company sold more iPhone 7 Plus units than any of the previous Plus-sized handsets. The company decided to equip the 7 Plus with more cameras, better battery life and more RAM than iPhone 7 and the result is said to be 24 million devices sold, compared with 15.5M iPhone 6s Plus phones in 4Q 2015. That’s 55% increase solely based on improving the hardware, compared with the flagship device from the same series.
Overall demand for the iPhone 7 has struggled throughout the October-December quarter which is first in Apple’s fiscal year. According to analysts from Cowen & Co, the data Apple is going to release tomorrow will reveal that people are unwilling to upgrade as often as expected. Part of the reason might be rumors about an 10-year Anniversary phone that kept a lot of consumers back when deciding to get the new iPhone.
The financial results show us also that this is the first time users in China preferred the Plus-sized iPhone to the regular one. 52% of the Apple fans decided to go with a iPhone 7 Plus compared with 40% who bought the predecessor iPhone 6s Plus.
I hope you like videos, because we have about a million of them this week. Launch trailers, announcement vids, Planet Coaster rides, the works.
This week: A Dirt 4 teaser, Bossa’s new skateboarding turf war, Square Enix teaming up with Marvel, Ni No Kuni II on PC, the Pillars of Eternity documentary, the end of Star Wars recreated as a roller coaster, and so much more.
This is your gaming news for the busiest week of January, a.k.a. January 23 to 27.
Tony Hawk: American Paintland
Bossa’s Worlds Adrift isn’t even released yet, but apparently the studio’s been working on two games simultaneously. This week the Surgeon Simulator dev announced Decksplash, some sort of skateboarding game that involves painting an arena with sweet tricks. Literally.
I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. There’s video though:
The long tail
There are two releases I’m excited about this week. The surprising part? Both are related to games that launched way back in ye olde 2015. Some of 2015’s best games, actually. First up, Crypt of the Necrodancer, which released its Amplified DLC prequel into Early Access.
And then there’s Cayne, a free (FREE!) prequel chapter to isometric horror game Stasis. I haven’t gotten a chance to play Cayne yet and don’t know how good it is, but Stasis itself was brilliant. Highly recommended.
Another new announcement: Dirt 4, which is set to release a mere four months from now on June 6. Presumably 2015’s Dirt Rally will live on as the sim-oriented half of the series and Dirt 4 will be more arcade-y—a bit of a Forza and Forza Horizon dynamic. We’ll see! For now, there’s just a short teaser.
When’s the last time there was a good Marvel game? Maybe one of the Lego titles? Point being: Marvel may have taken over Netflix and movie theaters, but its video games have been either bad or nonexistent since the PS2 era.
That might change, though. This week Square announced a partnership with Marvel, with both Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal apparently working on an Avengers game. Let’s hope it’s as interesting and innovative as Spider-Man 2 was at the time.
A trailer for every star in the galaxy
BioWare’s certainly making up for the fact we had no Mass Effect news for months and months and months. This week? Two trailers, one cinematic (below) and another focusing on the crew.
When’s the last time Quake was the focus of QuakeCon? Been a while, eh?
But with Bethesda announcing Quake Champions at E3 2016, it’s safe to say it’ll take center stage at this year’s QuakeCon. If that piques your interest, Bethesda announced it’ll return to Dallas from August 24 to 27. And hey, it’s free so…
Pray for release
The star of QuakeCon 2016 will probably not make another appearance this year though, considering it releases on May 5. That’s Prey of course, which nabbed an official release date.
Ni No Kuni on PC
The original Ni No Kuni and its painterly art style may be forever stuck on the PS3, but its sequel is making moves. Bandai Namco announced this week that Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom will be coming to the PC day-and-date with the PS4.
Lamentations of the players
Conan Exiles hits Early Access next week, and if you’re curious what to expect then here’s a trailer featuring a crucifixion, a burly man, and a sabertooth with a scorpion tail.
This post is reaching its trailer capacity, but I somehow missed a Thimbleweed Park trailer last week so I’m going to rectify that now because, well, the game looks great. This one centers on Ransome, the swear-filled clown.
Pillars of Eternity II launched a Fig campaign just yesterday and it’s already blown past its $1.1 million goal. Excellent. If you’re curious what goes into game development though, you might be interested in watching The Road to Eternity, the documentary that chronicled development of the first Pillars of Eternity (originally for backers only). Set aside an hour and a half this weekend and watch.
That’s no moon, it’s a roller coaster
Planet Coaster’s been out for a bit and we’re starting to see some really impressive projects—like “Death Star Strike,” a Star Wars-themed coaster replete with a Millenium Falcon, X-Wings, TIE Fighters, and the trench run from A New Hope. Created by Chuck Maurice and Co., the coaster apparently took over 100 hours of work and all I can say is “Wow.” (Via Rock Paper Shotgun)
Giving autonomy to IIMs is a “milestone” Javadekar said adding that while government will continue to provide funds for the development of these institutes but “sans government controls”
In picture, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar (File Photo)
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On the lines of the IIM Bill, more Central institutions could be given autonomy and freed from government’s “micro-management”, said Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar.
He also expressed hope that the proposed legislation would come in the upcoming Budget Session of Parliament and would be passed soon.
A day after the cabinet gave its nod to IIM Bill, 2017 which empowers these institutes to give degrees, Javadekar in an interaction with reporters said that it gives autonomy also in establishing a system of accountability in terms of CAG audits and presenting reports to the Parliament.
Giving autonomy to IIMs is a “milestone” Javadekar said adding that while government will continue to provide funds for development of these institutes but “sans government controls”.
Views of HRD minister Prakash Javadekar:
“It is not necessary that an IIM Director should sit at the table of a ministry Joint Secretary,” Javadekar said. Javadekar had mentioned that he may not be the chairperson for IIM Bill, but someone from among Directors could be.
The IIM Bill has a provision for setting up a coordination forum, the chairperson of which would be an eminent person, chosen by the members, it is learnt.
The HRD minister said that the IIM Bill was an indication that other institutes, which excel in their field, could get more autonomy. He said it was being considered that best institutions are given maximum autonomy, those which are average get some autonomy and some regulation while a different system is there for those which are not performing too well.
Asked if the ministry planned to take the IIM Bill to the Parliament in the upcoming Budget session, Javadekar said that the government would introduce the Bill. “If the House decides they can straight away discuss, or if comes to a Standing Committee, I am still sure it will be passed soon,” he said.
He said that the mentality that government would taking care of the money, control and everything else would not work in education. “India lacks in innovation, and it comes with young minds working free and where there is no fear of failure,” the HRD minister said.
As he emphasised on the importance of giving more autonomy, Javadekar said that Modi government is a very democratic one where decisions are taken on the basis of consultations. “In this government, no letter comes from somewhere,” he said in what appeared a dig at political rivals.
Speaking about the IIM Bill, Javadekar said that there will be periodic reviews of the functioning of these institutes. Responding to question whether the IIMs would be able to set up campuses abroad, Javadekar said that would be subject to the existing norms.
On a question about reservations, he said the law of the land would apply. He also refuted questions that there were differences between the HRD ministry and PMO on the provisions of the Bill.
Asked about when the HRD ministry would announce a new panel to work on the New Education Policy, Javadekar told the reporters that they may have to wait a bit in this regard
Mmm…Nougat. What better way to start a new year than with a fresh flavor for your favorite Android phone?
Google’s latest major Android release may have officially launched last fall, but if you’re like most folks, you’ll probably be getting your first taste of Nougat—also known as Android 7—in 2017. If you want timely Android updates, Google’s own Nexus and Pixel phones are the only way to go—all other devices depend on third-party manufacturers to prepare and provide rollouts. And as we see time and time again, that tends to result in slow and uncertain progress.
Once you’ve got the software, though, there’s plenty to be learned about Google’s most recent mobile efforts. Here are some practical tips to help you get the most out of Android’s newest features—both the marquee additions and the less obvious little touches.
(Note that these tips are written specifically as they apply to Google’s core Android 7.0 and 7.1 software. Many device manufacturers modify the operating system to put their own spin on the features and interface, which could result in some elements looking different or even being absent altogether on certain devices.)
1. Nougat makes it easier than ever to move between apps: Just double-tap your device’s Overview key (the typically square-shaped icon next to Home) to snap between your two most recently used processes. Think of it like Alt-Tab for Android.
2. Speaking of the Overview key, it gains a new function in Nougat: The native-to-Android ability to split your screen in half and view two apps on-screen at the same time. While you have an app actively open, press and hold the Overview key—or alternatively, tap it once to view your most recently used apps, and then press and hold any app and drag it to the top of the screen to initiate the split-screen view. When you’re ready to go back to a regular single-app view, press and hold the Overview key to exit.
3. Want to copy text from one app to another while using Nougat’s split-screen mode? Select the text you want, then press and hold your finger on the screen for a second and drag it to the other window. As long as the apps you’re using allow it, the text will automatically paste over.
4. Little-known fact: You can use Nougat’s split-screen mode to view two different Chrome tabs side by side. Open a new tab in Chrome, press and hold the Overview key and then tap Chrome’s three-dot menu icon (in the upper-right corner of the screen). Look for the option labeled “Move to other window.”
5. One more Overview-related tip: You probably already know you can remove any recently used app from the list by swiping it to the left or right. As of Nougat, Android also has a native command for clearing all of the apps away at once (something many third-party manufacturers have implemented in their versions of Android for some time now). Scroll all the way up to the top of the Overview list to find it.
6. If your device has Android 7.1, try pressing and holding an icon on your home screen. That’ll cause compatible apps to pop up shortcuts to commonly used functions—like calling a favorite contact in the Phone app or opening a new tab in Chrome. (If you have Android 7.1 and aren’t having any luck, try installing and using the Google Now Launcher.)
7. Need to jump between sections in your system settings? Nougat has a new quick-navigation menu for that very purpose. Swipe inward from the left of the screen or look for the three-line “hamburger” icon in the upper-left corner to find it.
8. If you ever find yourself in the Apps section of your system settings, take note: As of Nougat, you can quickly scroll through the list of installed apps by moving your finger downward on the very rightmost edge of the screen. That’ll cause a letter-driven fast-scroll interface to appear.
9. The Quick Settings panel on Nougat has some subtle but significant new features. First: When you swipe down once from the top of your screen, you’ll now see a series of quick-access icons for things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and airplane mode. Tapping any of the icons in that area will toggle the associated function on or off.
10. When you swipe down twice from the top of the screen—or swipe down once with two fingers—you’ll see an expanded list of larger tiles. Tapping an icon in that area will open more detailed controls for the associated function (if such controls are available).
11. In either section of the Quick Settings panel, you can long-press any icon to go directly to the associated area of your full system settings.
12. Nougat’s Quick Settings tiles are fully customizable. Swipe down from the top of your screen twice, then tap the edit command—which may be either the word “Edit” in the lower-right corner or a pencil icon in the upper-right corner—to rearrange the icons and add or remove functions from the list.
13. When editing your Quick Settings, pay careful attention to which icons you place in the first six positions. The icons in those spots will appear as the quick-access toggles in the smaller (single-swipe-down) view.
14. If your phone is managed by a workplace, look for a tile in your Quick Settings called “Work Mode.” Tapping it will switch between a work profile—with work-related apps and settings—and a personal profile that has your own personal apps and none of the company stuff.
15. You can add even more tiles into your Quick Settings by way of third-party apps. Weather Quick Settings Tile, for example, will put the latest local conditions into your panel, while Ringer Modes will give you a simple one-touch toggle for changing your phone’s sound profile. (Want even more options? I assembled a detailed list of Android’s best Quick Settings add-ons.)
16. Android 7.1 supports a new native night mode, but it’s available only on select devices with compatible hardware. If your device has it, you’ll see a tile called Night Light in your Quick Settings area. Tapping that tile will tint your screen to make it easier on the eyes in dim lighting.
17. Save yourself a tap and tell your device to activate Night Light on its own when needed. Just navigate to the Display section of your system settings and tap the item labeled “Night Light,” then tap “Turn on automatically” and select either “Sunset to sunrise” or “Custom schedule.” (As you’d expect, this setting will show up only on devices where Night Light is supported.)
18. Notifications in Nougat are bundled by app—so if you have, say, three new email alerts from Gmail, they’ll all appear within a single card in your notification panel. You can tap any such card to fan it out into individual mini-cards with more detailed info, and you can tap on any of those mini-cards to expand it and gain access to action-performing buttons (like commands for archiving or replying right then and there).
19. Feel like an app is pinging your phone a little too frequently? Press and hold one of its notifications (or slide the notification slightly to either side and tap the gear icon that appears). That’ll give you controls for silencing all future notifications from the app or even blocking them entirely.
20. Android’s Do Not Disturb mode scores a handy new trick in Nougat: The ability to keep your phone quiet at night and then automatically turn your sound back to normal when your alarm goes off in the morning. To set it up, go into the Sound section of your system settings and tap “Do not disturb” followed by “Automatic rules.” Use the on-screen command to add a new rule, then select “Time rule” and name it whatever you’d like. Set up the days and times for whenever you want your phone to stay silent, then be sure to set the “Do not disturb” setting to either “Alarms only” or “Priority only” and activate the “Alarm can override end time” option.
21. Stop squinting! For the farsighted folks among us, Nougat introduces a long overdue option to increase the size of everything on your screen. Look for the “Display size” line in the Display section of your system settings.
The LG V20 has a 3,200 mAh battery that can easily get you through the day without any trouble. But if you are more extreme and power user probably even this wouldn’t be enough. And instead of buying a secondary battery, why don’t you actually consider the ZeroLemon option.
The case company released on Amazon their case at just $60. It comes with a 10,000mAh battery that goes in the same slot where the usual one goes. The removable back metal panel of V20 is substituted by the rubber bumper case that goes around the whole device plus, of course, the enormous battery.
There’s a cutout on the back for the fingerprint sensor/power button and the dual-camera module.
It looks bulky but doesn’t act like it. The whole package weights 230g but when you combine it with the V20 (without the original battery and back panel) it goes to just 330g.
Now this is a setup that can literally go a long way.
Bee, wasp stings more dangerous than snake, spider bites ( Juliet Kind/Getty Images)
An Australian research has discovered that venom from bees and wasps, rather than those from jellyfish, spiders or snakes, poses bigger public health threat, a study has revealed.
The Australia-first national analysis of 13 years’ data on bites and stings from venomous creatures, undertaken by the University of Melbourne, revealed that bees and wasps were responsible for a third of hospitalisations for venomous stings and bites, Xinhua news agency reported.
Spider bites were the second most prevalent cause of hospitalization in the 13-year period, accounting for 30 per cent of all admissions, while snake bites were third at 15 per cent.
Overall, 42,000 people were admitted to hospital for venomous bites or stings in the 13-year period and 64 people were killed, 34 of which were due to an allergic reaction to an insect bite that caused anaphylactic shock.
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Ronelle Welton, a public health expert at the Australian Venom Unit at the University of Melbourne, said she was surprised that there were so many deaths and hospitalisations in the populated coastal areas of Australia.
“More than half of deaths happened at home, and almost two-thirds (64 percent) occurred, not in the isolated areas we might expect, but rather, in major cities and inner-regional areas where healthcare is readily accessible,” Welton said in a news release on Tuesday.
Welton said she believes the reason insect bites were so deadly was that people could be complacent in seeking medical attention and anaphylaxis can kill quickly.
Three quarters of those who died as a result of snake bites made it to hospital compared to just 44 per cent of those who were killed by insect bites.
Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.
In 2009, Microsoft enflamed the minds of consumers with Courier, a foldable phone/tablet concept that was eventually cancelled. Years later, a sort-of new patent implies Microsoft hasn’t (or hadn’t) totally given up on the idea.
According to the new patent, which was approved on Tuesday, Microsoft envisions a mobile device with a continuous viewing area that extends across the foldable region—similar in spirit to the dual-screen Courier concept.
It’s an exciting idea, but there’s one major caveat: This is a patent from 2014 that the U.S. Patent Office finally approved, not one that Microsoft applied for more recently. As such, it shows that Microsoft was eyeing ambitious, foldable mobile devices at a time when the landscape for mobile computing was much more favorable for Microsoft than it is today. (Remember how Microsoft intended to lure Android phone makers with Windows Phone derivatives like the HTC One M8?) Today, Microsoft’s mobile market share sits at well under 1 percent, while Android and iOS continue to dominate the mobile landscape.
Nevertheless, Microsoft’s patent is intriguing, to say the least. It reasons that phablets represent a poor compromise, straddling a phone’s “pocketability” and the large, easy-to-read display of a tablet. Microsoft’s patent suggests that a display could be stretched across a hinge, so you’d have the option of a folded, phone-sized device that could be unfolded to reveal a large, thin screen.
Microsoft has filed what might be called a “broad” patent, suggesting that this arrangement could be configured as both a desktop and mobile display, with connections to both an external display as well as an unexplained peripheral device.
Still, the patent doesn’t get into some of the nitty-gritty technical details. One question that comes to mind: What to do with the portion of the tablet-sized display that’s folded away from view? Displays consume power, and no current display can be partially powered off, just darkened. Unless Microsoft’s developed a way to turn off a portion of the display that’s not in use, the phone will still be consuming the power of a tablet.
Why this matters: Like the El Dorado myth of the city of gold, Microsoft fans haven’t given up on the idea that a Surface Phone exists somewhere in the bowels of the company’s research labs. Microsoft’s patent checks some of the important boxes: It would be a category-defining product in the same vein as the original Surface, and is in line with the current thinking that a Surface Phone won’t necessarily be a phone. Right now, this patent approval suggests that there’s still a flicker of life in Microsoft’s mobile aspirations, and perhaps the Surface Phone. But the cynical viewpoint is that this represents the aspirations of a time gone by, rather than a promise of things to come.
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Were finally starting to wind down the year. Watch Dogs 2 hits PC in a week and a half, Dead Rising 4 shortly thereafter, and…thats pretty much it for 2016. Soon itll be time for Game of the Year discussions and then the steady drumbeat of Spring 2017.
But for now, the news rolls on. This weekend its a bunch of free games (including a few days of Overwatch), plus Remedy teases a fresh trailer, Rainbow Six gets another year of add-ons, and Total War goes for broke. This is gaming news for November 14 through 18.
Giving thanks early
If youre one of the dozen or so people whove yet to play Overwatch, set aside some time this weekendBlizzards hero-based shooter is free from today through November 21 at 4 p.m. Pacific. Download Battle.net and create an account if you havent already. Youll see Overwatch in the sidebar. All your progress from the trial carries over to the full game, if you decide to buy in once your free access runs out.
Shoot-y games not your style? You can also hop into Elder Scrolls Online for free, also through November 21. Its been a while since I played, but Ive heard its a bit better than it was at launch. Its no Morrowind, butwell, its free this weekend.
Okay, neither of those sounds good? Well I hope you like winter sports because Ubisofts open-world ski/snowboard/wingsuit(?)/whatever game Steep is in open beta this weekendif you can bear with Uplay.
Wake me up
Over the summer, Remedy 1) Teased two new games and 2) Said that neither of them is Alan Wake 2. So keep that in mind before you get your hopes up.
That being said, Remedys teasing a trailer for a new game. All weve got is this 20-second video of Sam Lake saying hes Sam Lake. Good enough for me.
Long haul truckin
American Truck Simulator captured the time-honored American tradition of roaring down an open road in a big rig, but it certainly didnt capture how damn big the US of A actually is. Good news, then: SCS Software went back in and redid the entire map, making it quite a bit larger in the process. The old map was 1:35 scale, the new (beta) map is 1:20. Time to load up on 7/11 taquitos.
Now if only we could somehow combine American Truck Simulator with Google Earth VR for maximum realism.
Total War: Warhammer is the strategy game that just keeps on giving this year, with yet another suite of DLC prepped to launch on December 6. This time its Realm of the Wood Elves with uh…Wood Elves, believe it or not. New campaign, new units, new leadersbut unfortunately the same ridiculous $19 price as the last DLC, from which the games Steam rating has still not recovered. Anyway, heres a trailer:
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The Total War news doesnt stop there though. Another historical Total War is on the horizon, and according to an interview with Eurogamer the series is going to an era we [meaning Creative Assembly] havent tackled yet. Considering the breadth of Empire and Medieval, best bets on something modern or something real old.
And the strange development saga of Total War: Arena continues. According to PC Gamer, publishing rights for the free-to-play multiplayer title are being handed over from Sega to Wargamings latest subdivision, Wargaming Allianceand theres still no release date in sight. Bizarre.
Press 0 for Operator
Rainbow Six Siege is coming up on its one-year anniversary, but the end isnt imminent yet. According to Ubisoft the game will receive at least another year of stuffmeaning four maps and eight new characters, if its anything like 2016. Not bad.
Smoking hookah at home pollutes indoor air more than cigarettes
People smoking hookah in their homes generate carbon monoxide, a toxic gas, and tiny pollution particles known as PM 2.5 at levels at least double those produced by cigarettes, according to a recent study in Dubai.
Even in the rooms adjacent to where people smoked hookah, air pollution levels were much higher than in rooms where cigarettes were actively smoked, researchers report in the journal Tobacco Control. “There are widespread misconceptions that hookah is a safer alternative to cigarettes,” said lead author Dr. Michael Weitzman, a professor at New York University School of Medicine.
“Smoking hookahs (water pipes) at home can be terribly dangerous for the smoker, but perhaps more importantly, for children and other people living in the home,” Weitzman told Reuters Health by email. During one hookah-smoking session, a smoker can inhale the equivalent of the smoke from 150 cigarettes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hookahs are among alternative tobacco products like chewing tobacco whose use has been on the rise in the U.S., especially among young people, the study authors note. Among high school students, 14 percent of girls and 15 percent of boys said they had used a hookah in 2014, as did one quarter of young adults in 2015.
To determine the effect smoking has on indoor environments, the study team collected air samples from 33 homes in Dubai: 11 where only hookah smokingoccurred, 12 with only cigarette smoking and 10 with no smoking at all.
The study team sampled the air quality in the rooms where people smoked and in an adjacent room during about one hour of hookah or cigarette smoking, and compared the readings to nonsmoking homes.
The researchers used air filters to measure levels of carbon monoxide, black carbon and pollution particles 2.5 microns or smaller (PM 2.5), which can penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream.
During sampling sessions, there were between one and four active hookah smokers, with an average of 1.7, and one to five active cigarette smokers, with an average of 2.3. In rooms where hookahs were being smoked, carbon monoxide levels averaged 11 parts per million and the PM 2.5 level was 489 micrograms per cubic meter of air. In the adjacent room, carbon monoxide levels averaged 5.8 ppm and PM 2.5 pollution was 211 micrograms/m3.
In rooms with cigarette smoking, carbon monoxide averaged 2.3 ppm and PM 2.5 averaged 201 micrograms. Levels in the adjacent room were about half. In nonsmoking homes, carbon monoxide levels averaged 1.5 ppm while PM 2.5 levels averaged 93 micrograms. Black carbon levels during active smoking were 5.4 micrograms/m3 with active hookah smoking, 4.2 with active cigarette smoking and 2.1 in nonsmoking homes.
There is no regulatory standard for black carbon levels, the authors write, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says being exposed to more than 9 ppm of carbon monoxide over an eight-hour period is unsafe and the World Health Organization limits PM 2.5 exposure in outdoor air to 35 micrograms/m3 over 24 hours