VSAAC April 2013 Newsletter

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ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES are battery powered units which deliver vaporized nicotine without tobacco, tar or other chemicals in regular cigarettes. The battery heats a cartridge of liquid nicotine solution creating a mist that the user puffs. We must remember, however, that nicotine itself has health risks of its own and is extremely addictive. E-cigarettes emit no smoke but they deliver an experience like smoking. There are now many different manufacturers of e-cigarettes and they are beginning to advertise on television. The Journal of Public Health Policy has stated that e-cigarettes show promise in the fight against tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. But their review is based on meager scientific evidence. Critics claim that too little scientific evidence is available regarding the benefits or dangers of smoking this device. Critics are also concerned that they may be attractive to minors and may initiate the smoking of tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes can be purchased on-line with just a credit card. As of today, e-cigarettes are not regulated. Different manufacturers may add different amounts of nicotine along with some of the other ingredients necessary for the device to function properly. Cartridges come in many flavors and can also be purchased with no nicotine added. There are many pros and cons associated with this type of smoking but it is sure that anyone who chooses to smoke e-cigarettes, smokes at their own risk. (consumerreports.org)

Volume 8 Issue 4

April 2013

According to the US Dept. of Transportation, 25,500 people died in car crashes in 2012 a 7% rise over the same time period in 2011. In 2010, about 25% of those who died in car crashes tested positive for drugs marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines. eMaxHealth.com Good News! In 1982, 73.7% of college freshmen reported drinking beer in the year prior. That percentage dropped to 33.4% in 2012. Users of synthetic marijuana, in six states, have been admitted to emergency rooms with acute kidney injury. Some required hemodialysis, a treatment for kidney failure. Alcopops, legally referred to as flavored malt beverages in most states, appeal to youth through cheap price (cheaper than energy drinks), image (advertizing directly to youth, alcohol content (energy drinks have none) and taste (sweet and bubbly).

The National Education Association estimates that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fears of being attacked or intimidated by other students. Bullying is a public health issue in the US today – physical, emotional, and mental bullying through direct contact or through technology. According to StopBullying.gov, bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-age children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Eric Dawson, the president and co-founder of the Boston-based Peace First, says that “peacemaking is a set of skills that nurtures human development. It’s working together to solve a problem.” Peace First is an approach to “taking the anger out of the heart of those that bully so they bully no more.” Dawson believes in the power of positive language. Saying “we need to move away from harsh language that focuses on kids on what not to do and instead ignite their moral imagination—call on them to be problem solvers.” He also says “we can’t expect our kids to listen to us when we tell them to be peaceful and share if they see us aggressively cut in front of others on the road or in the checkout line.” Adults need to be role models. Peace First’s partner schools experience an average reduction of 60% in incidences of violence and 50% fewer weapons brought to school, plus a 70 to 80% increase in observed student peacemaking.

One small study published in Alcoholism: Clinical &Experimental Research indicates that vodka drinks made with diet soda will get the consumer intoxicated faster than vodka drinks mixed with regular soda. The sugar in the soda of the mixed drink actually slows down the effects of alcohol. It has to do with digestion. Digestion slows everything down, delaying the release of alcohol into the system and spreading it out over a longer period of time. The diet soda mixture passes quickly through the stomach, putting alcohol into the bloodstream faster. Trying to save calories by using diet drinks is much more harmful to the brain and to the liver because a person will end up with a higher blood alcohol level. Drivers may also believe they are safe to drive when they are not. (CNN.com) Marijuana use has returned to a level not seen since the 1990’s according to a Monitoring the Future study. One reason: the amount of risk perceived by youth to be associated with marijuana use has decreased. Bottom line– teens do not think smoking marijuana is harmful. The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that “the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state, and the legalization of medical marijuana in 18 states will lead to further decreases in youth perception of risk from harm.” Marijuana use among teens will increase, as will general marijuana use. SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT Scientists say we may not know for decades how discarded medications will affect wildlife. But some recent studies in Sweden and the US indicated that drugs can do more than poison or change the physical characteristics of fish. Hundreds of kinds of pharmaceutical drugs constantly pass through wastewater plants. Scientists know for certain that some of them are having a negative impact on fish behavior in rivers and streams. A change in behavior in one species can alter the balance of their environment which in turn can alter other eco-systems and eventually cause some disorder that may affect humans.

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