Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?

The whole reason that e-cigarettes were invented was to provide a less harmful alternative to smoking – one which – unlike traditional NRT’s (Patches, gum etc) – actually feels like smoking, and gives you a genuinely satisfying nicotine hit. Something that is still actually pleasurable, but without the known problems associated with smoking. So naturally, ever since their conception there has been a great deal of debate over just how safe they really are. With well over a decade since the first generation of the humble e-cig hit the market we’ve seen a lot of good and a lot of bad research into vaping, vapor and the devices used to create it. In the following sections we’d like to try and sift the fact from fiction and provide you with a brief overview of the evidence that will answer is vaping safer than smoking. 1. The Basic Premise Since the 1950’s it has been increasingly well documented that it is the combustion of tobacco and the resultant smoke and tar inhaled, that cause the diseases associated with smoking. These include, lung cancer, COPD, cardiovascular disease, bronchitis, emphysema, and so on. One of the founding fathers of tobacco cessation, Professor Michael Russell, wrote: “People smoke for nicotine, but they die from the tar” There are over 5000 chemicals contained in cigarette smoke (source), over 70 of which are known carcinogens. Some...

What You Need To Do About Blood and Organ Donation

Blood and deceased-donor organ donation improves and saves the lives of thousands, if not millions, across the world each year, but there’s still many misconceptions about the process. Lack of education, fear and cultural factors greatly impede the amount of people signing up as organ donors or attending blood drives, and this shortage has a huge and long lasting effect on the health of those who need it, despite mounting efforts to encourage Americans to sign up for donation.   As a (current or future) medical professional, you are likely know more than most about the process of donating blood, or how organs are donated and transplanted upon a patient’s death—as well as how imperative donations of all types are to global health.   However, for the a cross-section of general public, the concept isn’t as simple.  Some of the most common concerns for potential donors include eligibility issues; including whether race, sexuality/sexual identity or age affects eligibility, to whether their religion will allow blood or organ donation in any form. Fortunately, Work the World have created a new infographic to mark National Donor Day (February 14th) that covers some of the most common myths and facts that potential donors need to know. For example, not many people know that you can become a donor even in your old age, as tissue and corneas are able to be donated...

Top Ten Anxiety Fighting Foods

The foods you eat play an important role in how effectively your nervous system operates and consequently how relaxed or stress you feel throughout the day. High sugar and refined grain foods negatively affect your blood sugar levels and can generally be considered stress promoting. Conversely, natural foods like vegetables, nuts and healthy protein sources are much slower digesting and usually provide a calmer and significantly more stable energy. Even eating a healthier diet though, there a certain anti-anxiety foods that are particularly good at reducing stress levels and relaxing your body and mind. Ahead are ten of the best and what makes them so good for relieving anxiety and tension. 10 Foods That Naturally Reduce Stress 1. Raw Pumpkin Seeds Raw and importantly unsalted pumpkin seeds are an amazing source of anti-anxiety nutrients. They are particularly effective if you replace sugary or salt laden junk food snacks with a small handful of pumpkin seeds (perhaps mixed with the two nuts coming up ahead). Pumpkin seeds are rich source of magnesium, a mineral vital for maintaining a healthy nervous system, regulating energy production and relaxing your body’s muscles. Many people are at least mildly deficient in magnesium as it is often processed out of packaged foods and soil levels are low in most Western countries. Magnesium deficiency may well contribute to anxiety and is known to stimulate food cravings...

Three Ways To Stay Healthy For The Year, Even During Exam Week

I begin MCAT preparation in a few short days and have been told overwhelmingly the importance of mental, physical, and social health as this intense period of study begins (along with classes, work, and leadership involvement starting back as well). In an effort to be healthier, I’ve refocused my efforts and considered exactly how I hope to implement a lifestyle of balance throughout this season! While some of these are specific to me, I think they are universal enough to be shared. These are some ways I hope to stay healthy in the new year! Eat a healthy breakfast Breakfast has always been important to me! I have never been one to skip breakfast, but sometimes I do find myself running out the door and grabbing a granola bar and banana along with my prized and cherished morning coffee! However, I find it better for my energy throughout the day and overall start to the day whenever I have a healthy, filling breakfast in the mornings. Some examples include whole grain oatmeal with bananas, Greek or French-style yogurt with granola, avocado toast or toast with a low-sugar spread such as almond butter or jam, or cereal with nut milk and fresh fruit. These are some of my favorites that are filling, full of nutrients and most importantly, delicious to eat! I’ve always been a morning person, so waking up a few...

Tracking the Flu, One Thermometer At A Time

Since 2014 Kinsa has been promoting and developing their smart thermometers – a thermometer that links to your smartphone, allowing patients, parents or other healthcare professionals to record and track their temperature data over time. With this year’s record-breaking flu season, Kinsa’s smart thermometer has achieved critical mass, with Kinsa reporting up to 25,000 readings per day. With all this real-time data, Kinsa is claiming to be able to track flu season faster and more accurately than public health authorities, such as the CDC. Once your child has registered a temperature, Kinsa’s smartphone app gives helpful tips about how to treat and manage fever. But who else now knows that your child is sick? A happy side effect of having 500,000 smart thermometers in American households is a glut of data about who has a fever and where. Kinsa has a very savvy marketing team, and the company is monetizing not only their devices, but also their data. For example, Kinsa has created a school program, called “FLUency,” to market the devices to schools and parents. The FLUency program includes a school-specific app for parents to share symptoms, such as if their children are exhibiting coughing, sore throat, earache, etc. Kinsa has also developed “Kinsa Insights,” a reportal that sells access to Kinsa’s anonymized data, with the promise that Insights clients are getting the data directly from sick households, before...

How Modern Athletes Utilize Psychological Training For Performance

The great Yogi Berra once said, “Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.” He might have gotten his math mixed up, but he made a valid point, and it applies to not only America’s favorite pastime, but to all sports. Classic one-liners aside, competing in sports is about mental toughness as much as it is physical prowess. Eastern European nations recognized early on the importance of the mental aspect of sports, and incorporated sports psychology into the training regimens of their Olympic athletes. Now, virtually all-professional teams and modern athletes utilize psychological training in every major sport around the world by either employing sports psychologists or partnering with them. Most psychologists believe that having a great skill set does not necessarily ensure success in sports. Elite level athletes need to be mentally strong. Psychologist Richard Koestner claims that at an elite level (e.g., professional leagues, world championships, and the Olympics), mental skills are “responsible for between 50% and 90% of the variance in performance during important events or competitions.” In other words, when two elite athletes face off, the winner will most likely be the one with the better mental acumen.  Mental training has become a crucial part of sports, notably individual sports like figure skating, diving, and golf, which are “at the high end of the mental skills continuum.” The goal of mental training, therefore, is to prevent the mind...

What Does Hepatitis C Treatment Look Like In The Future?

You’ve probably heard about Hepatitis C treatment options. There are regularly commercials advertising medications that inform treat the issue. Perhaps you have an acquaintance that has been afflicted by the virus. Or maybe you’re concerned that you’ve somehow contracted the virus. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misunderstanding about Hepatitis C, how it varies from other strains of Hepatitis, and how it can be treated. These misunderstandings often lead to fear, frustration, and confusion. If that’s you, have no fear. The issue really isn’t that complicated. Once you know the facts, you’ll be equipped to discuss and even be treated for it if necessary. Consider this your primer on Hepatitis C. We’re going to break down the what, why, and how of the virus so that you can make appropriate and informed decisions. What is Hepatitis C? As the disease progresses and becomes chronic, it starts to wreak havoc on the liver. Over time, it may lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, cancer, blood infections and hemoglobin diseases, autoimmune weakness, and all manner of horrible complications in the gastrointestinal tract. The spread of infection of Hepatitis C is mostly through blood-to-blood contact. Unlike other strains of Hepatitis, there are few cases of it being propagated through unsafe sex. In most case, the HCV is spread through intravenous drug use, poor sterilized medical equipment, from mother to child during pregnancy, or open...

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