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albecker   , 36

from Scarsdale

10 Things you Didn’t Know about Vaping


10 Things you Didn’t Know about Vaping

By Jeb of Thor’s Hearth

Initially, vaping it was all about tobacco smokers looking for a new and innovative way to stop smoking.

Now there are people joining the ranks of vapers simply because it’s relaxing and enjoyable. The cool hardware involved and plethora of flavors available these days makes even Willy Wonka seem narrow-minded.

With the rising popularity of vaping, however, there have been plenty of media reports from agenda-filled alarmists (think big tobacco) who have a nasty tendency to twist the truth about the health risks associated with vaping.

Yep, big tobacco companies have their panties in a bunch over the vaping industry. They want to prevent vapers from stealing more of their precious profits, even though vaping is clearly better for consumer health.

You can just hear big tobacco execs saying: Health? Not that again! If people suddenly valued their lungs, we’d lose everything we’ve lied and cheated our way to accomplish!

So, we’re here to set you straight about the negative press surrounding vaping, and have created this list of 10 things you probably didn’t know.

And we’ll admit up front: The jury is out on vaping. No one knows the full truth yet. It hasn’t been around long enough. Still, for your consideration is the following:

1.Vaping popularity is soaring

Did you know that there are now around nine million vaping enthusiasts in America alone? That’s right, according to the CDC, vapers make up 4% of the population. It’s most popular among 18 to 24 year olds, and slightly more men enjoy vaping than women.

2. Vaping was probably born before you

We may think of e-cigarettes as a relatively new invention, however, the first vape was actually invented in 1965 by Herbert Gilbert.

To put 1965 in perspective:

Women were not allowed to apply for their own credit cards.

Your smart phone is literally millions of times more powerful than all of the world’s  computers throughout the entire 1960’s combined.

All of this oppression and lack of technology inspired people to begin smoking tons of pot.

Anyway, Gilbert patented a device that he described as a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette. This device worked by heating a liquid and producing a vapor. While many businesses approached Gilbert with an interest in manufacturing the product, it never came to fruition. By the end of the 1960’s the first e-cig had disappeared from all public records. Do you smell a conspiracy or what?

3.Big differences among the types of vapes

If you mention electronic cigarettes, people generally imagine the electronic product that resembles an actual cigarette. They’re often sold at gas stations.

These non-imaginative, powerless little devices are typically made by big tobacco companies as an attempt to cut into the vaping market. They come in a limited variety of flavors that basically all suck. But these are still a healthier choice than big tobacco’s flagship product, cigarettes.

You won’t find big tobacco’s pathetic e-cigs in any respectable vape shop, though. Vape shops sell APVs (which are vape pens) and Vape Mods.

AVPs are driven by electronics. The user can change the power level, which will adjust the vapor release.

Vape Mods are on the more expensive side (you can still get a sweet setup for less than a hundred bucks, though) and are used with rebuildable atomizers. Vape Mods produce those huge vapor clouds that make your grand dad curse with envy.

While a user may be introduced to the idea of vaping through the cigarette look-a-like, he generally moves onto APVs when he realizes his vaping buddies are laughing their asses off behind his back.

Finally, if he moves on to the Vape Mod, he’ll never want to go back. You know the saying….

4. The ingredients are simple

Alert: In spite of the petulant alarmists, we do what ingredients are in vaping products! The base of an e-liquid is:

Vegetable Glycerin – One of the more benign substances on the planet, this is the main base of e-liquid. It produces the vapor, however it isn’t great at carrying flavor.

Propylene Glycol – Alarmists often cite Propylene Glycol (PG) as a health issue because it’s the main ingredient in antifreeze. This is not correct.

Diethylene Glycol isthe main antifreeze ingredient, and is actually only found in those mass market e-cigs, not in e-liquids. You hear that, big tobacco?

PG is a main ingredient, however, in albuterol. If this sounds familiar, it’s because asthma inhalers contain albuterol, making it perfectly safe for inhalation. PG is also effective at carrying flavor.

The final ingredient, of course, is pharmaceutical grade nicotine. Ah...the dopamine boost! We should note however that not every e-liquid contains nicotine.

Additionally,e-liquid manufacturers offer variety of nicotine strengths, from as little as 3 mg, right up to 36 mg. If you want to ween yourself off the nicotine teet, start high, then vape on down to lower levels of nicotine over time. You won’t even notice.

5. Vaping is safe, according to research

Health organizations are getting on board.

London’s Royal College of Physicians suggests vaping can reduce the many illnesses that come as a result of smoking. Here’s a quote from the good chaps over at the Royal College:

On the basis of available evidence, the RCP believes that e-cigarettes could lead to significant falls in the prevalence of smoking in the UK, prevent many deaths and episodes of serious illness, and help to reduce the social inequalities in health that tobacco smoking currently exacerbates.

The Royals have spoken. Suck it, big tobacco!

Meanwhile, Action on Smoking and Health points to vaping as a safe, non-health-threatening alternative to smoking

And there you have it. Impartial public health organizations have reviewed the available evidence and realized vaping is a legitimately safer alternative to smoking.

6. Second hand exposure myths, toxicity and pharmaceuticals

You may have heard that studies haven’t even been done about vaping. Still, studies show vaping less toxic than cigarettes, there carry no risk of second hand exposure, and vaping is more effective than pharmaceutical cessation products.

This information is often ripped out of context, marginalized or ignored.

7. No smoke involved, duh

Despite the popular belief among the intellectually challenged, vaping does not produce any smoke whatsoever. When you inhale from an e-cigarette, nothing burns. Vapor fills your mouth.

You simply hold the vapor briefly before exhaling. There is not even a need to inhale into your lungs, as nicotine will be absorbed through mucus membranes located in the nose and mouth.

8. The cost efficiency

Vaping is more cost effective than smoking. You may need to invest a little initially into your vaping device. However, once the device is yours, the e-liquid is far cheaper to purchase than cigarettes. Over time, vaping is cheaper than smoking, unless you f

9.The Popcorn Lung Lie

You may have seen the reports (read:lies) about vaping and popcorn lung, which is slang for a horrifying condition called bronchiolitis obliterans. If you vape, forget about popcorn lung.

This scare tactic came about when some genius pointed out that diacetyl caused popcorn lung in factory workers who breathed in high levels (it was a microwave popcorn plant).

While most e-liquids are free of diacetyl, the actual level of diacetyl found in specific e-liquids was insignificant. Those vapers who have diacetyl in their e-liquid are exposed to just 9 micrograms of it per day. To put this in context, the average cigarette smoker gets almost 7,000 micrograms.

10. FDA Regulated

Vaping is FDA regulated. Whether you make your purchase online or in a store, no one under the age of 18 can make the purchase. Any product that hit the market after 2007 needs to go through a safety review conducted by the FDA.

Vaping products have been under fire, but the truth is, the only risk they represent is to the profits of big tobacco. 

Phase out your tobacco smoking. If vaping helps you do that, great. If you want to vape for pure enjoyment, do it. There are so many worse things you could do. And be aware of the ever-increasing regulations on vaping many states are imposing.

Some states are vape-friendly. Others are bearing down on vapers like a hungry grizzly bear, licking his chops at the prospects of eating your freedom.


How to gain followers on Instagram


Instagram is among the most common social media platforms that are in use today. Individuals and entities such as organizations and businesses use this platform to push their different agendas. For your use to be effective, you need to have a good fanbase.

Having a strong fan base on Instagram is always a journey that has to be taken step by step and with a lot of patience. You do not have to be a celebrity to have a massive following. All you will need is to use your Instagram page in ways that will encourage more people to not only follow you but also interact with your posts and stories.

Here are some of the tips that can go a long way in ensuring that you quickly gain followers on Instagram.

Being Active

For you to gain Instagram following more efficiently, you will need to be an active user of the platform. Posting and updating your stories more frequently acts as an incentive for your followers and fans to interact with your page. However, you should ensure that these posts and stories are captivating to attract the attention of your followers.

Sensible Posts

When posting something on your Instagram page, you should ensure that it is about topics that are relevant to your fans and followers. Such posts will ensure that you gain followers rapidly. The fact that your fans' followers can see the posts that they like and comment on helps in this area

Engage your Fans and followers

Proper management of your Instagram account by having a smooth interaction with your followers will play an essential part in ensuring that you create a massive and active fanbase. To achieve this, you will need to regularly view, like and reply to their comments on your posts.

Advertise Your Page on Other Platforms

Other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can also help you gain followers faster. You can use these platforms to promote your Instagram page by encouraging your followers and friends to follow you n Instagram.

Follow Back

Once an Instagram user follows you, you should ensure that you follow them back. Being a follower of your fans encourages them to interact with your Instagram page by viewing your posts and stories. Having a significant number of fans engaging in your posts ensures that your chances of having a big Instagram following.

Right Username and Bio

Your Instagram username and bio should be ones that you can identify with. Doing so will encourage any Instagram user that know you either personally or through other forums to follow you. You can also much your username with that of other social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Doing so will surely encourage anyone that is your follower on those platforms to follow you one they come across that your name on Instagram.

Using Hashtags

If you want to draw the attention of your followers easily, hashtags come in handy. They help you focus on a topic of interest and ensure that your followers cannot help themselves from getting involved.

However, you should ensure that you use your hashtags correctly. They are supposed to be short and precis. Long meaningless hashtags do not attract viewers, and therefore they might push some of your followers away. You do not want this happen if your goal is to gain followers on Instagram.


If you follow these guidelines in the right manner, they can help in ensuring that you can reach your Instagram following goal faster. This will help increase your exposure to people from all walks of life. For a business, it can play a significant role in ensuring that many people are aware of the products and service that you offer.

5 Reasons to Drink Alkaline Water Everyday


Chances are that you have heard of alkaline water and all of the amazing benefits. People that use it on a daily basis are usually the ones raving about it everywhere they go and trying to convince everyone around them to try it too.

So the question is, is this just another fad, or is there something actually to this? Well, I’ve decided to answer that question for you. Here are 5 reasons why you should listen to these fanatics, and drink alkaline water everyday:

  • 1. Alkaline water balances the pH levels in your body - It’s 2018, so everybody knows that the old saying is true - you are what you eat. Your nutrition directly affects your body’s health, so much so that with the right diet you can fight diseases like cancer and diabetes. 

We all know this to be true, but did you know that your body’s pH level has everything to do with your health as well? While your body does naturally regulate your pH level, most people don’t know or realize that the foods they eat are either alkaline or acidic and contribute to either promoting health or promoting sickness.

On the pH scale of 0 to 14 (0 being acidic-7 neutral-14 alkaline), optimal health for your tissues and organs is somewhere around 7.35-7.45. However, a highly acidic diet will cause your body to stress from overworking to maintain a healthy pH level and can contribute to fatigue and sickness.

What is scary is that we intake these foods on a daily basis without realizing the added stress we’re putting on our bodies. Foods like wheat, coffee, cheese, butter, alcohol, bottled water, and even smoking make our pH level drop... and we are doing this every single day.

What drinking alkaline water does is that it neutralizes the acidic environment we create in our bodies. This not only prevents disease from forming in the body, but it actually can help fight existing diseases and speed up the recovery process.

  • 2. Alkaline water protects your body from free radicals - Free radicals are groups of unstable atoms that cause oxidation when they enter the body. This wreaks havoc on your body and a wide variety of health issues can arise, such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, premature aging, and inflammation. Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do to avoid free radicals. But we can fight them. 

Antioxidants are a great way to combat those free radicals because they neutralize atoms that are unstable. We can get antioxidants from eating foods like blueberries, or taking vitamin C supplements, which can help fight off disease caused by free radicals. However, drinking alkaline ionized water is an easier way to get those antioxidants because it does not need to be metabolized, making it far easier for your body to absorb.

  • 3. Alkaline water helps you lose weight - With the sky-high rates of obesity across the globe, it is becoming somewhat of an epidemic. Along with this epidemic is a trend of weight loss products, diets, pills, hypnosis for weight loss, and promises delivered by companies that are attempting to make profits from people suffering with this disease, instead of actually trying to help them be healthy (okay, not all companies - but you get my point). Luckily for these people struggling, research has been done on alkaline water proving that drinking it regularly, thus balancing your body’s pH level, has tremendous effects on fat loss. 

Drinking water is important for overall health, as our bodies are made up of over 70 percent water. But when we are not drinking alkaline ionized water, whatever extremes we take to lose weight will not completely help. We can do everything right from our diet, to our exercise regime - but, almost always end up experiencing a “plateau”. Basically, we lost some weight, but some strange phenomena will not let us lose those last few pounds our bodies seem to be clinging onto.

When this phenomena occurs, it is actually the acid stuck in your fat cells that will not release. Let me explain it like this: your body is always actively working to maintain pH levels in your blood. This is a survival instinct, because if your bloodstreams pH levels are off by as little as 2%, you can die.

Since fat is acidic and can only be eliminated by entering the bloodstream, your body will not release those acids in order to protect yourself from dying. Crazy, right?! Drinking ionized water helps with this. It brings your body’s pH to a healthy level ideal for releasing that stored fat.

  • 4. Alkaline water is great for your skin - Staying hydrated is important for overall health. When you are properly hydrated it can heal skin conditions caused by excessive drying and irritation and give you a youthful, glowy appearance. The best way to be truly hydrated is by drinking alkaline water. 

The water molecules in alkaline water are actually much smaller than in tap water or bottled water. This makes it much easier for the cells in your skin to absorb and you end up feeling much more hydrated overall. Hydrated skin can erase fine lines and wrinkles, help with elasticity, and fight acne.

  • 5. There are other uses besides drinking it - You have let me go on and on about the benefits of drinking alkaline water on a regular basis, and while I could continue to list more, there are actually other ways to incorporate alkaline water into your daily life. You can use it in a variety of ways when preparing food, for example. 

Fruits and vegetables need to be washed before eaten because they contain contaminants in their skin. Studies have shown that when those fruits and veggies are washed in alkaline water compared to tap water, the alkaline water was far more effective in removing dirt and other possible toxins completely.

Also, when preparing rice and noodles in alkaline water, you’ll find that they taste richer, more satisfying, and look more appetizing. Vegetables cooked in alkaline water do not suffer the discoloration and loss of flavor that happens when cooked in tap water. Other uses of alkaline water include face washing, household cleaning, coffee/tea, and stain removal. 

In my opinion, incorporating alkaline ionized water into your life is worth a try. It should not be used as a sole medical treatment for any health issue and of course, always consult with your healthcare provider. As with everything else in life, there are risks associated with it if not used properly, which you can find on this Healthline article. There are also companies out there that are selling alkaline water in bottles that are actually only pretending to be alkaline, so be careful when finding a good source.

You may think this is another health fad or craze, but there are many people out there who are benefiting from this every single day, including celebrities like Jillian Michaels, Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, and even President Trump and his staff. In the end, the choice is yours to make.

Five Reasons Why Veganism is the Answer to Being Healthy Hannah Bundrant


If you live in California, like me, then you’ve probably seen all of the super trendy, super expensive vegan restaurants and cafes that have appeared out of nowhere. Some people like to roll their eyes at this growing movement, but the truth is that the Instagramers and Snapchaters who post perfectly edited pictures of their salad are probably a lot healthier than you.

Sorry, that’s just the honest to God truth. I say this because, as we all know, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and whole grains are so good for you! Veganism means only eating foods that have the nutrients to make you a happy, healthy human being. Now, here are some of the benefits of veganism:

1. Less cholesterol, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes

Foods like red meat, cheese, eggs, and milk are commonly known to be dangerously high in cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease.

Unfortunately, the average American diet is abnormally rich in these foods. However, the vegan diet has little to no cholesterol. Similarly, cancer rates are higher in those who eat meat and dairy. This is because, according to the World Health Organization, processed meat is a carcinogen. For more specific information on this, you can research a study done at Loma Linda University, funded by the National Cancer Institute that reported that vegans have lower rates of cancer than both meat-eaters and vegetarians.

Additionally, vegan women, for example, had 34 percent lower rates of female-specific cancers such as breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer (HuffPost). Additionally, Healthline states that “vegan diets are devoid of smoked or processed meats and meats cooked at high temperatures, which are thought to promote certain types of cancers. Vegans also avoid dairy products, which some studies show may slightly increase the risk of prostate cancer”.

2. Healthier hair, skin, and nails

A lot can be said about someone’s health by their skin, hair, and nails. When these areas are a-okay, it’s usually a sign that their person is in good health. Luckily, the vegan diet is high in vitamins, fats, antioxidants, and nutrients that support great hair, skin, and nails. Some of these are Vitamins A, B, B12, C, E, and K, Biotin, and Omega 3 fatty acids. Some foods that are good for your hair, skin, and nails are almonds, avocados, carrots, sweet potatoes, and basically all leafy greens.

3. Easier to lose weight

If you’re currently struggling to lose a few pounds, then veganism could be your easiest path to being healthy and in shape. This is because vegans eat healthier alternatives than the artery-clogging meat and cheese meals that are supposed to help you lose weight. Simply put, the vegan diet has all the right foods you need to lose weight. Actually, some scientists say that when you make the switch to veganism, you should expect to lose weight.

4. Less general illness

Eating no meat means eating more fruits, berries, nuts, veggies, and other foods that are so good for you. Eating foods like these gives your body the nutrients it needs to build a working immune system. This makes it easy to fight off viruses and diseases.

Additionally, some animal meats, especially pig meat, have been known to contain bacteria and antibiotics that are dangerous for us to eat. Not eating meat eliminates the risk of eating things like antibiotics, which can lead to bacterial resistance in humans, E. coli, and even mad cow disease.

5. More energy, more happiness

Having such a clean and beneficial diet shows in many areas of your life, like getting better and more sleep, having a longer life, having less sickness and disease, and most importantly, having more energy! This can be a major help when someone is struggling to get off the couch and finally go to the gym.

As a vegan, I can say that making this change in my diet was one of the best choices I have ever made. Veganism is such a beautiful thing because, not only is it amazing for your body, but it also is beneficial for our environment, and for the animals we are protecting. The impact of a vegan diet shows in almost every area of one’s life and is one of the healthiest and most conscientious decisions one can make.

Why Happy People Live Longer


It seems intuitive that people with high subjective well-being would live longer as a result of having less stress, but until recently, there was not conclusive evidence that proved this. However, we are starting to finally grasp how impactful happiness can be on your body’s health. In fact, it's been found that general happiness in life can be a predictor of longevity, which is a groundbreaking finding that could have massive impacts on how we view mental health.

In the study, several types of evidence were reviewed and compared (such as life satisfaction, the presence of negative emotions, and optimism), then they were controlled for health and socioeconomic status. In this prospective longitudinal study, it was found that ranking higher in life happiness tended to have a causal relationship with longevity, except in subjects with cancer or terminal illness. Because of studies like these, we’ve also been able to speculate on the biological impact the happiness and joy have on the body.

We all know that feeling of elation and joy are caused by the brain’s release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, but how does this impact lifespan and health? Well, everything that happens after the release of neurotransmitters all contribute to the body’s physical response to happiness that benefits overall health. After the nervous system releases neurotransmitters, the autonomic system is also at work.

Lower heart rate decreased stress, and even fluctuation in metabolism and pupil sizes all occur in the body as a response to dopamine and serotonin, which, when in effect for long periods of time, can strengthen the immune system.

This occurrence can almost be compared to an upward spiral of mental health: the happier you are, the less stress you experience, which makes you healthier, which in turn makes you happier. This process can be even more effective when you exercise; the consequential regulation of hormones and release of serotonin both contribute to greater overall happiness- not to mention, exercise leads to higher self-confidence and physical health, which also improve general well being.

As easy as it sounds to enter this upward spiral, it can be just as easy to fall into the downward spiral of dissatisfaction and depression. Because your body relies on the presence of neurotransmitters to produce the physical responses to happiness, your body can suffer physically if you don't produce these neurotransmitters.

If you abstain from exercise or remain unhappy for an extended amount of time, your body reacts with stress as a result of the absence of serotonin and dopamine. Because your body is under stress, it becomes less effective at fighting off sickness, which contributes to a lifetime of worsening health.

Your metabolism also slows down to preserve energy, resulting in harder weight loss. However, this spiral can be corrected if you understand it's biological basis and can reverse the symptoms.

Because your body’s autonomic system reacts to the presence of neurotransmitters to lower stress, all you have to do to improve your health is engage in activities that produce dopamine and serotonin.

Small activities like going on a walk outdoors, petting animals, and even faking a smile can all produce these neurotransmitters, which may be enough to get you out of the downward spiral. Mental activities like using your inner experience to move from a stuck place to a more resourceful state of mind are equally valuable.

This new understanding of the biological basis for happiness creates a new frontier for how we view mental health. It only takes an understanding of your nervous system to create your own happiness and live a life of better health- your happiness is in your own hands!