Vaping and e-cigarettes have seen a marked rise in popularity over the last several years. While initially marketed as a smoking alternative or quitting aid, vaping has expanded to other niches and products. As teens and others flock to use the products, concerned parents have questions.
The Latest Craze
Unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigs come in a variety of flavors and aromas to choose from that stand in stark contrast to the ashy and unpleasant smoke of a cigarette. As e-cigs have risen in popularity, however, their use among teens, both smokers and nonsmokers, has skyrocketed. As the effects and potential dangers are not well known, this has left parents in the lurch. Additionally, there are questions about marketing and whether teens and nonsmokers are being specifically targeted.
Nicotine, CBD and THC
“Vaping” is somewhat of a catch-all term, but not all vaping products or liquids are the same. Vaping liquids are made from nicotine, CBD or THC. Nicotine is the same substance found in cigarettes and comes from the tobacco plant. While generally considered better than traditional cigarettes, nicotine is an addictive and harmful chemical. Nicotine vaping is not a healthy activity for a nonsmoker. CBD is an oil produced by the hemp plant, and it does not contain nicotine. Vaping is an alternative to direct CBD oil consumption and is used for a variety of reasons. THC is derived from marijuana and represents an alternative to marijuana smoking and edibles. CBD does not produce the "high" associated with marijuana unless it also includes THC.
The Market is Booming
There are a number of CBD vape juices marketed towards people suffering from anxiety, pain, etc., that can seem appealing. The appeal comes from the fruity flavors and lack of side effects that come with consuming nicotine, marijuana or some prescription medications. Additionally, hemp-based CBD is not illegal on a federal level, unlike marijuana, and will generally not show up on drug tests. Some states have heavier regulations and may require doctor approval or prescription to use CBD products.
Use Among Teens
Vaping e-cigs and pens are easy to disguise and hide, and the vapor it produces can be flavored or odorless. This makes the behavior much more difficult to identify than traditional cigarettes or marijuana smoking and easier for teens to engage in at many places, such as schools. It is also a contention that companies are marketing their products specifically to a younger crowd, especially teens. While CBD may be a relatively benign use of vaping, the problem is that many teens are using nicotine- or THC-based liquids, which can be harmful.
The huge growth rate of potentially harmful e-cig use among teens has drawn the attention of the federal government. One issue that has specifically become a point of contention between e-cig and liquid makers, such as Juul; parents; and the government is whether young people are intended targets. In response, companies have launched new advertising to try and discourage teen vape use. It is likely that without a significant change in the number of teens who vape, federal regulators may impose strong restrictions and laws in the future.
Ultimately, the safety questions regarding vaping and e-cigs can be difficult to answer. While CBD vaping does have legitimate health uses, nicotine and marijuana vaping and the difficulty in discerning the difference can cause problems. Parents with medical questions can consult medical professionals for CBD vape alternatives while using online resources to discuss the problems presented by nicotine and marijuana use with their younger children. This may help reduce the use of potentially harmful products among teens.
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Life can be a series of challenges that sometimes feel overwhelming. When life throws you one curveball after another, it's important to be equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to set your mind on a healthy path. Here are three activities that you can do to recenter yourself and reduce the effects of stress.
Regular meditation can help you to lower your blood pressure, calm your mind and achieve a better feeling of general well-being. Meditation can also help to relieve stress, anxiety and a host of other issues. Meditation Oasis describe how as the stress and tension leave your muscles, the body receives the message that it's time to reset itself. Once you get into the habit of practicing meditation, it will help you to center your life and priorities. The deep, cleansing breaths associated with mindful meditation are grounding ways to start and finish every day.
Yoga and aromatherapy work hand in hand to recenter you and your life. In the morning, practicing sun salutations in a room infused with refreshing scents, like grapefruit and orange, will start your day off right. Aromatherapy works by activating sensors in your brain to produce the feel-good serotonin that naturally improves your mood and motivates you to be more productive. doTERRA suggests that aromatherapy yoga relaxes you, calms your mind and body, and prepares you for meditation. After a tough day, the relaxing poses and breathing exercises of yoga, combined with soothing scents, like lavender, will calm tense muscles and clear the mind. Aromatherapy yoga can also help to regulate sleep patterns, which contributes to a more positive outlook on life.
A daily brisk walk can be the best medicine that you can provide your body when you're looking to relieve stress. The endorphins that are delivered through exercise provide an immediate boost to your mood. The physical act of walking increases cardiovascular fitness, strengthens bones and improves endurance levels. Walking can also be a meditative experience if done properly. Be sure to practice deep and intentional breathing as you walk so that your emotional health also benefits from the exercise.
Taking the time to practice these three activities regularly will help you to be proactive about taking care of your mental and emotional well-being. The power of these activities is exponential when they all become part of your routine. By taking care of yourself, you can reset, recenter and regain control of your life
There is hope! Consider these tips for joining a program that includes personalized, one-on-one support to help you achieve sustainable weight loss and improve health and longevity.
Cutting Through ‘Wellness Confusion’ to Find Real Weight Loss
(Family Features) The secret is out – Americans are no longer in the dark about healthy eating.
A report commissioned by Jenny Craig revealed 92 percent of people believe they know the right foods to eat. However, despite increased awareness, more than half of Americans admit they make poor food choices daily.
One challenge in Americans’ struggle to lose weight is the growing use of the term “wellness,” with nearly half of Americans reporting they find the term confusing, according to the survey.
Another common obstacle is the time required to plan and prepare healthy meals. The survey found that nearly three in five people spend 7-14 hours or more each week planning and preparing meals, and 9 out of 10 believe having healthy, prepared meals would help them reach their weight-related goals.
Fortunately, for the two-thirds of Americans actively looking to lose weight, there are proven, science-based programs available that are convenient, easy to follow and avoid confusing buzzwords.
“Having a practical, science-based nutrition plan as well as ongoing support increases the chance of success for people on their weight loss journey," said Dr. Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, chair of the Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board. "Since many people have limited time, a program that provides premium, portion-controlled meals can also help reduce the stress and confusion around healthy eating.”
Dr. Peeke offers these simple tips when joining a program that includes personalized, one-on-one support to help you achieve sustainable weight loss and improve health and longevity.
Eat with the sun. Following a healthy meal plan is important, but some people don’t realize that when you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Nobel Prize-winning research from 2017 discovered that every cell in the body has a biological clock that follows a daily 24-hour cycle – a natural circadian rhythm of light and dark that matches the body’s natural awake and sleep patterns. Following your circadian rhythm and feeding your body when your metabolism is most active (12 hours during the day) and giving it a digestion break when it needs to rejuvenate (12 hours at night) is known as time-restricted feeding and can optimize metabolism and weight loss, according to two studies, one published in 2017 in “Cell Metabolism” and another published in 2016 in “Ageing Research Reviews.” This innovative approach and rejuvenation period can also deliver several potential health benefits, including improved immune function and reduction in belly fat, which may decrease obesity and the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a 2014 study published in “Cell Metabolism.”
Healthy, prepared meals are trending. When you’re already hungry and have limited time to spare, it can be easy to turn to something quick and, often, unhealthy. Having nutritious, portion-controlled food options on-hand can help you stay on track. Programs such as Jenny Craig offer nutritionally balanced menus that can be delivered right to your door with more than 100 dietitian- and chef-crafted entrees, desserts and snacks made with no artificial ingredients.
Find your support system. A 2018 study published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” discovered that individuals following structured weight loss programs with support were more likely to lose weight and keep it off than those who did not. Look for a program, like Jenny Craig, that offers personalized, one-on-one support from a trained weight loss consultant who provides weekly coaching, education and encouragement throughout your journey.
To learn more, visit JennyCraig.com .
The survey was conducted on behalf of Jenny Craig by Branded Research Inc. on Oct.19-25, 2018 among 601 adults in the U.S.SOURCE:
After more than a century of debate over the role of salt in human health, new medical evidence suggests that reducing salt in the U.S. diet may pose a greater risk of harm to the average person. Consider these four common myths about salt.
(BPT) - After more than a century of debate over the role of salt in human health, new medical evidence suggests that reducing salt in the U.S. diet may pose a greater risk of harm to the average person. Consider these four common myths about salt:
Myth 1: Salt consumption leads to hypertension
According to the Mayo Clinic, “For most adults, there's no identifiable cause of high blood pressure [hypertension].” Dr. Jan Staessen, head of the Research Unit on Hypertension at the University of Leuven in Belgium, has written that, “The evidence relating blood pressure to salt intake does not translate into an increased risk of incident hypertension in people consuming a usual salt diet.” Having a temporarily elevated blood pressure is not the same thing as having hypertension, as blood pressure varies normally throughout the day depending on a variety of factors.
Myth 2: Americans could massively reduce their salt consumption without any negative health consequences
Dr. Andrew Mente, of McMaster University in Canada, and his team conducted the largest ever epidemiologic study of the impact of sodium intake on blood pressure, cardiovascular disease risk and mortality. “We found that regardless of whether people have high blood pressure, low-sodium intake is related to more heart attacks, strokes and deaths compared to average intake,” he said.
Myth 3: The U.S. population would gain significant health benefits from major population-wide salt reduction
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a maximum daily limit of 2,300 mg of sodium per day and a maximum of 1,500 mg for people with certain conditions. Salt is 40 percent sodium. According to Dr. Michael H. Alderman of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “Sodium consumption around the globe has a mean of about 3,600 mg/day, and a range from 2,600–5,000 mg/day. This mid-range describes about 90 percent of the world’s population. ... Optimal survival is realized by those whose intake is between 2,800 and 5,000 mg/day. Specifically, there is no evidence of a superior health outcome at intakes less than 2,000 mg/day compared with those in the usual range.”
Myth 4: Americans eat more salt than ever
Military records from the early 1800s up to WWII show that the average soldier was consuming between 6,000 and 6,800 mg/day of sodium. We eat about half of that today, and that number has remained consistent since WWII. The advent of refrigeration meant that we could preserve food with less salt, but salt remains a critical ingredient for food safety and preservation.
Sodium chloride (salt) is a nutrient that the body cannot produce, and therefore it must be consumed. The average American eats about 3,400 mg per day of sodium, according to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, right in the middle of the healthy range.
One in four people die from heart disease each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and millions more have it or are at risk of developing the disease. Here are three tried-and-true ways you and your friends and family can help each other give your hearts a boost.
3 Ways to Make Your Heart Healthier
(Family Features) Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? One in four people die from it each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and millions more have it or are at risk of developing the disease. Smoking, being overweight or having diabetes, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure or a family history of heart disease all increase your chances of getting the disease.
The good news is that you can do something about it.
“It’s never too late – or too early – to lower your risk for heart disease,” said Josephine Boyington, Ph.D., a nurse, licensed nutritionist and program director in the Division of Cardiovascular Health at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
“Heart disease is a general term for a variety of conditions, such as clogged arteries, that make it difficult for your heart to pump blood properly,” she said. “Adopting small changes, like moving more and following a heart-healthy eating plan, can make a big difference. Research has shown that making healthy lifestyle changes that last can be a lot easier when you have friends or family doing it with you.”
To mark American Heart Month, the NHLBI – the nation’s leader in research on the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders – is encouraging that kind of group support. It is celebrating “Our Hearts,” a national effort to motivate Americans to join each other in adopting heart-healthy behaviors throughout the year and beyond.
Ready to start? Here are three tried-and-true ways you and your friends and family can help each other give your hearts a boost.
1. Adopt a healthy eating plan. Try NHLBI’s Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan. It’s free and, when compared to a typical American diet, has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and improve blood cholesterol levels. The DASH eating plan features fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, beans, nuts and lean meats, and it limits foods that are high in saturated fats, sugars and sodium. Have fun with menus by inviting friends to join you for a heart-healthy dinner party or start a lunch club at work and trade creative recipe ideas with your colleagues.
2. Move more and #MoveWithHeart. One of the major risk factors for heart disease is inactivity. Getting up and moving helps lower that risk – and you don’t need to put in hours at a time to see results. Breaking up your daily activity into small chunks, such as 10-minute increments three times a day for five days a week, can begin to make a difference. To stay motivated, find a walking buddy or make a standing date to walk with a friend or neighbor, dance at home with your kids or play a pickup soccer or basketball game with colleagues. The bottom line: just move.
3. Quit smoking. It can be hard to stop, but the benefits to your lungs and heart are huge. For inspiration and to keep you motivated, consider a support group. You can find resources and connect with a trained counselor by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting smokefree.gov.
For more information about heart health, and to discover what activities are going on in your community, visit nhlbi.nih.gov/ourhearts. Use #OurHearts on social media to share how you and your friends and family are keeping your hearts healthy.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Obesity, with corresponding ailments such as heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes, is a well-chronicled public health issue and has many communities looking for ways to positively impact their residents. With these modifiable tips, communities can work to improve the health and quality of life for residents.
5 Steps to Creating a Healthier Community
(Family Features) Obesity, with corresponding ailments such as heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes, is a well-chronicled public health issue and has many communities looking for ways to positively impact their residents.
What can prove to have an enduring impact on improving community health is a broad coalition of stakeholders coming together to create a culture of wellness. For example, the City of West Chicago, with its Healthy West Chicago initiative, is a case study in how to galvanize a community toward collective better health. With these modifiable tips from Mayor Ruben Pineda, other communities can work to improve the health and quality of life for residents.
Have a champion
Engage other community members
“The key to a sustainable, healthy future is to change the way the next generation thinks about nutrition and exercise,” Mayor Pineda said. “This makes the public school system critical to driving the behavioral changes that contribute to positive outcomes.”
Measure and adjust
Keep it fresh
For more information about how to implement a health and wellness program in your city, contact Mayor Pineda’s office at (630) 293-2200 extension 135, or visit healthywestchicago.com.
Photo of Mayor Pineda walking with students courtesy of Healthy West Chicago
City of West Chicago
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