Little-known Facts About E-cigarettes

Despite our growing knowledge that smoking tobacco is bad for us more than 8 million Australians have tried smoking at least once in their life and 3.1 million are currently cigarette smokers. Smoking cigarettes is known to cause damage to every organ in your body, and smoking-related illnesses are responsible for 14,900 deaths in Australia [source: Better Health AU]. But nearly 70 percent of smokers report they want to quit, and a little more than 42 percent say they’ve tried to quit during the past year. In 2013 there was a 10 percent decrease in cigarette sales in the Australia and while that directly followed an increase in the cigarette tax, it’s not only price that’s changing the habits of Australian smokers. Electronic cigarettes (known also as e-cigarettes) have also contributed. Global sales of smokeless tobacco products, including smokeless inhalers, has grown to nearly $3 billion — and continues to grow. In an attempt to quit the tobacco habit as many as one-fifth of smokers have tried e-cigarettes [source: Ross].

Where did e-cigarettes come from?

E-cigarettes were first developed in China and were introduced to the Australian market in 2009. Many are similar enough in appearance to be mistaken for regular tobacco cigarettes. But one look inside and you’ll see the main difference: This is a tobacco-free product. E-cigs are actually vaporizers; instead of burning tobacco, the mechanism heats up a liquid. The liquid turns into vapor, which is then inhaled, or “vaped.” While some argue that vapor offers health advantages over traditional cigarette smoke, regulatory agencies and some health experts aren’t so sure that’s true. Before you consider taking up the e-cigarette habit, read on to get the facts.

How E-Cigarettes Work

They look like the real thing. The end glows as you inhale. As you exhale, you puff out a cloud of what looks like smoke. It’s vapor, similar to the fog you might see at rock shows, says M. Brad Drummond, MD. He’s an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

All e-cigarettes work basically the same way. Inside, there’s a battery, a heating element, and a cartridge that holds nicotine and other liquids and flavorings. Features and costs vary. Some are disposable. Others have a rechargeable battery and refillable cartridges. Using an e-cigarette is called “vaping.”

Are They Safe?

The nicotine inside the cartridges is addictive. When you stop using it, you can get withdrawal symptoms including feeling irritable, depressed, restless and anxious. It can be dangerous for people with heart problems. It may also harm your arteries over time.

So far, evidence suggests that e-cigarettes may be safer than regular cigarettes. The biggest danger from tobacco is the smoke, and e-cigarettes don’t burn. Tests show the levels of dangerous chemicals they give off are a fraction of what you’d get from a real cigarette. But what’s in them can vary.

“E-cigarettes may be less harmful than cigarettes,” Drummond says. “But we still don’t know enough about their long-term risks or the effects of secondhand exposure.”

Pro and Con

E-cigarettes have triggered a fierce debate among health experts who share the same goal — reducing the disease and death caused by tobacco. But they disagree about whether e-cigarettes make the problem better or worse.

Opponents say that because nicotine is addictive, e-cigarettes could be a “gateway drug,” leading nonsmokers and kids to use tobacco. They also worry that manufacturers — with huge advertising budgets and celebrity endorsements — could make smoking popular again. That would roll back decades of progress in getting people to quit or never start smoking.

Others look at possible benefits for smokers. “Obviously, it would be best if smokers could quit completely,” says Michael Siegel, MD, MPH, a professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health. “But if that’s not possible, I think they’d be a lot better off with e-cigarettes. They’re a safer alternative.”

Siegel compares replacing tobacco with e-cigarettes to heroin users switching to the painkiller methadone. The replacement may have its own risks, but it’s safer.

Some supporters believe that e-cigarettes could help people quit, just like nicotine gum. Research hasn’t shown that yet, though.

 

3 Reasons to Quit Smoking and Avoid Getting Cancer

Many of us are asking, how do we get cancer? There are a range of cancers and research being carried out around the world by scientists looking at causes and endeavoring to find cures. It is recognized that smoking is a major contributor to cancer, so that alone is a good reason to quit smoking.

Why Does Smoking Cause Cancer?

First we have to understand what is in a cigarette and the fact that people who do get cancer are normal human beings like everyone else. Anyone can get cancer, but smokers are definitely more prone to cancer. Smoking causes deadly diseases in the body including those related to skin, respiratory, throat, gastrointestinal and lungs. A cigarette contains more than four thousand harmful chemicals that include carcinogens or cancer-causing chemicals. These chemicals play a big role in contributing to cancer.

Imagine what a smoker does to their lungs, heart and other organs by smoking. Chemicals are added to a cigarette to make the smoker believe that it is good for them, in the sense that they think it calms them down or lifts them up. This is all an illusion performed by the chemicals. In actual fact there is no addiction there, the ‘need’ to smoke a cigarette is purely an immensely strong habit. Therefore it is not surprising that the most common disease that occurs when one smokes, is cancer.

Quit Smoking to Avoid Skin Cancer

There are many different types of cancer that are caused in different ways and effect different areas of the body. Skin cancer is an example. A recent medical research conducted in Europe says that smokers are 80% more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer than non smokers. The research report also reveals that the number of cigarettes that are smoked on a daily basis is directly related to the risk for skin cancer. Smoking damages skin as it reduces the amount of oxygen flowing into the blood stream. Toxic chemicals in cigarettes also damage skin cells that develop cancer. Another not so serious side effect, except for the self conscious, is really dry and ageing skin.

Lung Cancer – Can it be Avoided?

Lung cancer is another cancer that is largely caused by smoking. Studies and observations prove that the root cause of lung cancer is smoking. Smoking plays a fundamental role in harming the respiratory system of the human body. The carcinogens cause cell damage of all the key organs of the body, leaving them damaged. The risk of lung cancer increases with the length of time a smoker exposes their lungs to harmful oxidants. The number of cigarettes a person smokes per day also plays a big role, therefore the more a smoker smokes, the higher the risk of lung cancer.

Quit Smoking to Avoid Gastrointestinal Cancer

Gastrointestinal cancer is the last type that I will touch on. This cancer is also very common and is more prevalent in smokers than non smokers. Deadly chemicals in cigarettes produce ulcers in the intestinal walls; these further develop into gastrointestinal cancer.

Medical science proves that smoking weakens the immune system of a smoker’s body, leaving it more vulnerable to all cancers and other fatal diseases including emphysema.

The question of how we get cancer is complex, as there are so many types and causes of cancer. With increased research there is more being discovered every day.  So the question of the relationship between smoking and cancer is fairly indicative.

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Save Your Skin: The Facts About Skin Cancer

Quitting smoking is especially important because the bad habit exposes you to a variety of different cancers, skin cancer included. While most people associate smoking with lung cancer, the carcinogens in cigarettes can contribute to the development of skin cancer—the most common form of cancer in human beings.

Skin cancer can be deadly, particularly when it is not detected earlier enough.  It can therefore spread throughout the body until it essentially destroys all systems in its path. Aside from cigarette carcinogens, skin cancer can be caused by over-exposure to the sun, radiation, and ageing.

There are three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. All three pose a serious risk to your health, but melanoma is the most dangerous.

Skin cancer is relatively easy to detect because it appears as skin discolouration and/or abnormally coloured or shaped moles. Most skin cancer victims discover the condition on their own just by examining their skin. A diagnosis, however, can only be made by a doctor. But the problem is not that skin cancer is difficult to detect; the problem is that people simply forget that skin cancer is a deadly threat and thus do not get treatment for their cancerous growths until it is too late.

So is there a cure for skin cancer? A study conducted by researchers from Rush University Medical School in Chicago showed that a vaccine had been developed that was able to completely cure 16% of users infected with advanced melanoma.  For the rest of the group, the vaccine greatly improved the user’s chance of remission. Still, this number is relatively small. So banking on a cure is not the way to go when dealing with skin cancer. The best way to avoid skin cancer is by staying out of the sun, wearing sunscreen regularly and avoiding exposure to unnecessary carcinogens like cigarette smoke. Checking your skin regularly as well as slathering yourself in aloe vera and vitamin D cream also helps.

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What are Healthy pH Levels in the Body?

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When you hear the term pH level, you are probably transported back to some vague memory from high school science class but most people are not aware of how important it is for them to have a good understanding of how the pH levels in their physical bodies work. Failing to know how important the pH equilibrium in your body is can result in your having a highly acidic system, an issue that can lead to many different health conditions. Let’s take a close look at what pH levels are and how they affect your body so that you can stay feeling as fit and good as possible.

What Are pH Levels?

pH is the measure used in chemistry to determine the acidity in solutions in which the solvent is water (an aqueous solution). Thus, pH levels tell us how acidic an environment is and this is important because certain compounds flourish in acidity, and many of these are not the kinds that we want  flowing through our systems (i.e. yeast, certain bacteria).

pH in the Body

The acidity (or pH levels) in our bodies is determined by metabolic byproducts and our diets. The pH scale exists from 0 to 14 and when the body has a pH level that is lower than 7 it has become too acidic. High acidity in the body creates an environment in which the following health problems flourish:

  • Candida (yeast)
  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Weakening of skin, bones, nails, and hair
  • Cramps
  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Increased risk of the spread of cancerous cells

From the list above, you can see that you don’t want your body to be home to a high acidity environment. But how can you protect yourself against low pH levels and their corresponding ailments?

Maintaining pH Equilibrium

So how do we maintain a healthy pH balance in our bodies? There are several ways that we can protect our bodies from the ravages of low pH and the good news is that they are fairly simple and are within our control. First, it is important to drink a lot of water (the recommended 8 glasses a day) as water neutralizes acidity. Second, it is crucial that our eating habits do make room for food that lowers our acidity: processed grains, junk food, red meat, sugars, and soda. The third and maybe most important way that we can keep our pH balanced is by taking control of our emotions. Research shows that emotions such as anger, fear, jealousy, and hate all facilitate the creation of acidic-forming chemical reactions in the body by the hypothalamus while emotions such as happiness, love, and joy create alkaline-forming chemical reactions that neutralize acidity. Your mood and the way you think about things can literally affect your pH levels!

Understanding the importance of pH levels is vital to maintaining a healthy body and serves as yet another example of how we control the health and vitality of our physical bodies not only by what we eat but also by how we think. You are the creator of the environment of both your body and mind—so why not make the choice to live in love, health, and happiness.

Smoking Leads To A Shorter Life


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Smoking leads to a shorter life. Sounds like a dramatic news headline, but there is nothing dramatic or comical about it: smoking will kill you faster, plain and simple. One of the main reasons you should quit smoking if you have a tobacco habit is because quitting today will start to build your life expectancy back up. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which smoking affects your life expectancy so that you can make the decision to change your habits today.

We are all well aware that smoking leads to various serious health problems such as lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease. Smoking also weakens the immune systems and makes your body more prone to viral and bacterial infections. All of these factors combined contribute to a shorter life expectancy for smokers: experts estimate that a smokers’ life expectancy decreases by about 10 years in comparison with non-smokers. This number is chilling when you think about it-ten years less to enjoy your family, friends, hobbies, and anything else that you cherish about your life. The good news is, quitting smoking will put you back on the track to health and a longer life. The sooner you quit smoking, the sooner you begin to attenuate the harmful effects of tobacco so that you can rebuild your life expectancy. This is particularly true if you are a young smoker: according to a study published in the British Medical Journal, smokers who quit before the age of 30 eventually have the same life expectancy of non-smokers. This statistic provides an excellent incentive to quit smoking now, especially if you are young.

There will always be skeptics concerning the dramatic impact smoking has on your life expectancy because there will always be exceptions: there are people who have smoked a pack a day for 50 years and never develop one cancerous cell and there are people who are health nuts that die from some form of cancer when they are only 40. Don’t let the pro-smoking cynics fool you: the aforementioned anomalies are smoke screened (no pun intended) used to cloud out the fact that smoking is extremely and reliably hazardous to your health, and it will lead to health problems if you engage in it long-term.

If you want to avoid decreasing your life expectancy, then quit smoking. There are many factors in life that can lead to an early death, so why willingly engage in increasing your risks? Smoking is a habit and you have the power to quit. You may not have the power to control how long you live, but you do have the power to control your habits and avoid those that detract from your physical well-being.

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