3 Truths about E-Cigarettes You Need to Know

 

The safety and viability of using electronic cigarettes is up for debate right now. This has made a lot of confusion with regard to how e-cigs or vapes work. Therefore, it is important to filter all the information about this product, and hopefully help you truly grasp what these devices can do for your health. Learn more about vapes with these 3 truths about e-cigs that you need to know.

Vaping is a good alternative

While the health concerns surrounding vaping, or the act of using e-cigarettes or vapes, are still up for debate, one thing is for sure – it helps smokers quit cigarettes and tobacco use. The bigger question is how it actually helps. To know this, you should first know how e-cigarettes work.

Technically termed as vaporizer, the vape is made as a device that electronically delivers vapor to a user through inhalation. It is made up of three main components, namely, a tank, an atomizer, and the battery.

The tank is where you put the e-juice or e-liquid. This is the part where the mouthpiece is also located, where you inhale the vapor out.

The atomizer is responsible for heating up the e-juice so that the vapor is produced. It is powered by the battery attached by electronic circuitry inside the vape. Right now, a variety of vaporizers exists in the market. Concentrate vaporizers allow you to use concentrates or e-juice to produce vapor, and dry herb vaporizers offer an excellent way to keep it traditional with a more authentic experience while still racking up the benefits of smokeless vapor.

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Now that you understand how vapes work, how it really helps smokers is the more important query. The big element that makes vapes stand out is the e-juice. E-juice, or e-liquid or vape juice, is the flavored liquid put into the vaporizer’s tank that gets heated and turns to vapor which is then inhaled by the user.

E-liquid comes in a wide variety of flavors to match every taste, from traditional tobacco to sweet desserts and custom blended flavors. The e-liquid can also contain nicotine, and most vape juices offer a wide range of nicotine levels to allow people switching from smoking to maintain, reduce, or totally eliminate their usual nicotine intake.

It is known that one of the initial steps for quitting tobacco use is reduction. The American Cancer Society notes this as one of the important phases in quitting smoking. Indeed, quitting tobacco use is a gradual process that takes time. This is where vapes make their biggest contributions.

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You are now aware that e-juice may or may not contain nicotine, which is the chemical found in tobacco that makes it addictive. Reducing intake of nicotine through e-cigarettes is a logical approach because the nicotine levels in vape juice can be modified according to the desired or prescribed level.

Vapor is less dangerous

As mentioned above, it is important for you to understand the fact that vapor is less harmful to your body compared to cigarette smoke in the long run. To back up this claim, it is important to discuss a few statistics that look at the big picture in the smoking versus vaping debate.

At the end of the day, one of the challenges with smoking is the ingestion of nicotine. As any smoker can tell you, nicotine is a remarkably addictive drug. Only about 7 percent of people who try to quit smoking on their own last at least one year.

Nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the U.S., and the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death. Cigarette smoking accounts for 90 percent of lung cancer cases in the U.S., and about 38,000 deaths per year can be attributed to secondhand smoke. Most cigarettes in the U.S. market today contain 10 milligrams (mg) or more of nicotine. The average smoker takes in 1 to 2 mg nicotine per cigarette when inhaling.

Take note of the numbers and how they compare to vapor. Remember that e-juice allows you to choose the nicotine levels you want. Choosing an e-liquid that matches your current nicotine level requirement is essential for your initial switch. Start at the amount that matches your current tobacco product, and then just reduce the level gradually over time, as it feels right for you.

With the right reasoning, you can say that vapor is indeed safer. If proper logic isn’t enough for public health officials to understand this, a study published in “Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology” has revealed what exactly is hiding in e-cig vapor compared to the contents of cigarette smoke.

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The researchers specifically looked for eogjt toxins in this study: carbon monoxide, carbonyls, phenolics, volatiles, metals, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, polyaromatic amines, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. It was no surprise that tobacco cigarette smoke was full of poisonous chemicals. However, researchers were shocked to see that the toxins in e-cigarette vapor were quite similar to the normal toxins found in regular room air. In fact, there was no major increase in toxins between normal air and e-cig vapor.

Instead of deadly toxins, the e-cig vapor only contained propylene glycol, water, and small traces of flavoring and nicotine additives. In order to register any degree of toxicity, the scientists had to use 99 puffs from an e-cig to get even the tiniest measurement of 0.18 milligrams of HPHC’s. To put that in perspective, a single puff of a Marlboro Gold cigarette measured 30.6 milligrams. In a puff-to-puff comparison, the cigarettes had 2000 times more toxins than the e-cigs.

Second-hand vapor is safer too

As second-hand smoke is an issue to cigarette smoking, public officials showed the same speculation and reluctance to secondhand vapor. However, as much as many cigarette companies and public health administrators would want to subject vapor to condemnation, many researchers have found out the exact opposite of their claim.

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Various researches have provided enlightenment regarding the potential effects of secondhand vapor. Although it would not be safe to have people as lab rats, there are many attempts to discover the long-term effects of vapor compared with what second-hand smoke does to your body. The overwhelming consensus is that the long-term effects of secondhand vapor are not only safer versus the latter, but some believe that it is even, and some claim effects are non-existent.

A January 2014 study, published in BMC Central has confirmed these beliefs when examining the idea of second-hand exposure in the workplace and beyond. In their findings, they share that there is no evidence of potential harm when exposed to e-cigarette users that would warrant attention. In fact, they predicted that secondhand exposures would be less than 1 percent of the threshold limit value that is placed on workplace air quality. While this study sees little harm in vapor, the researchers still advise that more research should be done on first-hand exposure. The researchers conclude by reaffirming the safety of second-hand vapor emission.

Later in 2014, another study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health looked at the phenolic and carbonyl compounds that are found in e-cigarette vapor. Both of these chemical compounds can cause health problems in users who are overexposed to them. However, they do not seem to be a concern for second-hand exposure, finding that, “exhaled e-cigarette aerosol does not increase bystander exposure for phenolics and carbonyls above the levels observed in exhaled breaths of air.”

5 Reasons Pets Are Good For Your Health

Pets can help you both physically and mentally more than you know. They can elevate your mood and make you healthier in terms of your mental well-being. Also, you may not notice it, but they can help you with your physical health, too. A walk in the park with your dog gives you a lot of exercise even without you realizing it. There are many other ways that pets can be good for your health.

Pets get you outside.

Walking your dog, for example, is not just about you letting your pet loose around the park. It’s also about you getting outside and experiencing all the healthy stuff that the outdoors can offer. Make sure that you take your dog for a walk regularly, or bring your cat outside, or bond with your pet in the outdoors. You never know how much healthier you can be when you engage outside with your pets.

Doing these outdoor activities like walking your dog, playing fetch, or tossing a Frisbee gives you a natural energy boost. It also allows you to let off steam and bring your heart rate to a healthier level. Additionally, doing so makes you more physically fit than you would otherwise be, strengthening your muscles and bones, and helping not only your body, but also your self-esteem.

Studies have shown that animal owners, both adults and children, generally have lower blood pressure, as well as lower cholesterol and triglycerides, which may be in part attributed to the more active lifestyle pets promote. Pet owners also have been noted to have better blood circulation, and a lower risk of experiencing major cardiac issues. Ultimately, when your body feels stronger, you are less susceptible to mental health issues.

In the same way, fresh air from the outside can help you by elevating your mood, while sunlight gives you an extra dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D exposure helps fight physical and mental conditions which includes depression, cancer, obesity, and heart attacks. Also, when you go outside with your pet, you are engaging with nature. Try taking a moment to listen to the trees rustling, feel the wind rushing past, and the sun upon your face. The sounds of nature can be incredibly calming.

Pets help lower blood pressure

Companion animals are also scientifically proven to improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and regulating the heart rate during stressful situations. Scientists measured in a study the changes in heart rate and blood pressure among people who had a dog or cat, compared to those who did not. Based on its results, when participants were under stress (performing a timed math task), people with a dog or cat have had lower resting heart rates and blood pressure measures at the beginning of the experiment than non-pet owners.

Of course, having a generally lower blood pressure is definitely good for one’s physical well-being.

In the same study, scientists also found out that people with a dog or cat were also less likely to have spikes in heart rates and blood pressure while performing math tasks, and their heart rates and blood pressure returned to normal more quickly. They also made fewer errors in their math when their pet was present in the room. All these findings indicated that having a dog or cat lowered the risk of heart disease while lowering stress, which, overall, led to the improvement of their performance.

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In a similar manner, children who have pets early on have shown to be healthy and less likely to develop mental illnesses. Children’s exposure to companion animals may also ease anxiety.

For example, one study measured blood pressure, heart rate, and behavioral distress in healthy children aged 3 to 6 at two different doctor visits for routine physicals. At one visit, a dog (unrelated to the child) was present in the room and at the other visit the dog was absent. When the dog was present, children had lower blood pressure measures, lower heart rates, and less behavioral distress.

Pets can help lessen allergies and asthma, and build immunity.

This one may sound counterintuitive, but children who grow up in homes with furry friends are actually less likely to develop common allergies.

Studies have shown that children who were exposed to two or more dogs or cats as babies were less than half as likely to develop allergies, including dust, grass, ragweed, and pet allergies, and were at a lower risk for asthma. Compared to babies born into cat-free homes, those who grew up with cats were roughly half as likely to be allergic to them as teenagers, the study found. Growing up around a dog reduced the risk of dog allergies.

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Furthermore, allergies can cause people to become lethargic, apathetic, and suffer from insomnia, which can make them more vulnerable to mental health issues, such as depression.

In terms of mental health, pets can surely lessen loneliness.

If you don’t like to be alone, pets can be great domestic companions. Often, pets are very intuitive and will seek you out when you’re feeling down. Sometimes, they go as far as to refuse to allow you to be alone. Just make sure you can fully care for and love a pet before you take a dog or cat home.

Knowing your pets is more than just creating custom pet tags for them. It’s also about having that intimate relationship where you can really connect with the emotions of your pet.

Scientific findings suggest that the social support a pet provides can make a person feel more relaxed and less stressed. Social support from friends and family can have similar benefits, but interpersonal relationships often cause stress as well, whereas pets may be less likely to cause such emotional strain.

The social support provided by a pet might also encourage more social interactions with people, reducing feelings of isolation or loneliness. For example, walking with a dog has been found to increase social interaction, especially with strangers, as compared to walking without a dog.

They can also help in being distracted from additional stress. Being present and engaged with your pet takes your thoughts off of the issues that are currently plaguing you. When you are fully in the moment, you are not worrying about the past or the future. It’s just you and your pet. Another way to keep yourself distracted and present with your furry friend is to take photos or videos of his or her cute antics.

Pets can also help give you a sense of purpose.

People suffering from certain mental illnesses may find lacking a sense of purpose to be a gateway to even bigger and more depressing mental problems. This is highly possible for people at a young age. However, having a pet and being responsible for its wellbeing could give a high sense of purpose for humans. This then helps build up the confidence that one needs when growing up.

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Having a pet to care for can also give you a feeling of purpose, which can be crucial when you are feeling really down and overwhelmed by negative thoughts. By caring for your pet, or another person or animal in need, you are focusing on something other than yourself and your life. Your good deeds, and your pet’s positive response, can give you a feeling of instant gratification.