We lava Madame Pele!

I want to say there are a LOT of very hard to pronounce Hawaiian names in our blog…but stick with it it’s a real good one!

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We are going to start with a basic lesson exactly who Tutu Pele as I have always called her is and her place in Hawaiian mythology.  In the Hawaiian religion, Pele is the goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes and is the creator of the Hawaiian Islands.   Often referred to as "Madame Pele" or "Tūtū Pele" as a sign of respect, she is a well-known deity within Hawaiian mythology, and is notable for her contemporary presence and cultural influence as an enduring figure from ancient Hawaii.  Epithets of the goddess include Pele-honua-mea ("Pele of the sacred land") and Ka wahine ʻai honua ("The earth-eating woman").

 

In different stories talking about the goddess Pele, she was born from the female spirit named Haumea. This spirit is important when talking about Hawaii's gods due to how she is a descendant from Papa, or Sky Father, who is a supreme being. Due to Pele being born, she has become a notable deity known to the Hawaiian culture. She is also known as "She who shapes the sacred land", known to be said in ancient Hawaiian chants.

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 Kilauea is a currently active volcano that is located on the island of Hawaiʻi and is still being extensively studied. Many Hawaiians believe Kilauea to be inhabited by a "family of fire gods", one of the sisters being Pele, who is believed to govern Kilauea and is responsible for controlling its lava flows.

There are several traditional legends associated with Pele in Hawaiian mythology. In addition to being recognized as the goddess of volcanoes, Pele is also known for her power, passion, jealousy, and capriciousness. She has numerous siblings, including Kane Milohai, Kamohoalii, Namaka and numerous sisters named Hiiaka, the most famous being Hiʻiakaikapoliopele (Hiʻiaka in the bosom of Pele). They are usually considered to be the offspring of Haumea. Pele's siblings include deities of various types of wind, rain, fire, ocean wave forms, and cloud forms. Her home is believed to be the fire pit called Halemaumau crater, at the summit caldera of Kilauea, one of the Earth's most active volcanoes; but her domain encompasses all volcanic activity on the Big Island.

Pele shares features similar to other malignant deities inhabiting volcanoes, as in the case of the devil Guayota, of Guanche Mythology in Canary Islands(Spain), living on the volcano Teide and was considered by the aboriginal Guanches as responsible for the eruptions of the volcano.

Legend told that Pele herself, journeyed on her canoe from the island of Tahiti to Hawaii. When going through with her journeys, it was said that she tried to create her fires on different islands, but her sister, Namaka, was chasing her wanting to put an end to her. In the end, the two sisters fought each other and Pele in the end was killed. With this happening, her body was destroyed but her spirit lives in the Halemaumau crater on Kilauea. They say, "Her body is the lava and steam that comes from the volcano. She can also change form, appearing as a white dog, old woman, or beautiful young woman".

Pele is often said to be seen walking the Halemaumau crater road looking for rides into town.

Here is a story told many times and by many different people….. Hi, my name is marissa and this happened on the Big island of Hawai'i. My parents and I were looking for our hotel late at night and were getting frustrated. Then, we saw this old lady sticking her thumb out on the side of the road. She looked innocent with her long, gray hair and wrinkled face so we picked her up. We asked her where she was going and she said "Kona", which is a city on the island. Now you have to imagine this: We were in Hilo which is about 100 miles from the Kona coast. I secretly knew that my parents were hesitating about taking her to her destination because it was so far and it was about 9:00 at night. Kona can be pretty dangerous at night. So I looked at her and she was just gazing out the window, although the way to Kona was pitch black because the city doesn't have much streetlights. She asked my parents for a cigarette and they didn't smoke so they offered to drive her to get some. She said "mahalo" and patiently waited. About 5 minutes later when I checked on the old woman, SHE WAS GONE! She couldn't have got out of the car so fast! We had a van with locked doors and she simply dissapeared! I asked my mom and dad if they had let her get out and they said they didn't. What do you think? I think it was Pele* in her old woman form.

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In addition to her role as goddess of fire and her strong association with volcanoes, Pele is also regarded as the "goddess of the hula".  She is a significant figure in the history of hula because of her sister Hiʻiaka who is believed to be the first person to dance hula.  As a result of Pele's significance in hula, there have been many hula dances and chants that are dedicated to her and her family. The hula being dedicated to Pele is often performed in a way that represents her intense personality and the movement of volcanoes.

 

 

 

This is one legend of Hawaii’s origins that are used to explain actual physical island caharacteristics. In the story Pele,  the daughter of Kanehoalani and Haumea in the mystical land of Kuaihelani, a floating free land like Fata Morgana.  Kuaihelani was in the region of Kahiki (Kukulu o Kahiki). She stays close to her mother's fireplace with the fire-keeper Lono-makua. Her older sister Na-maka-o-Kahai, a sea goddess, fears that Pele's ambition would smother the home-land and drives Pele away. Kamohoali'i drives Pele south in a canoe called Honua-i-a-kea with her younger sister Hiiaka and with her brothers Kamohoaliʻi, Kanemilohai, Kaneapua, and arrives at the islets above Hawaii. There Kane-milo-hai is left on Mokupapapa, just a reef, to build it up in fitness for human residence. On Nihoa, 800 feet above the ocean she leaves Kane-apua after her visit to Lehua and crowning a wreath of kau-no'a. Pele feels sorry for her younger brother and picks him up again. Pele used the divining rod, Pa‘oa to pick a new home. A group of chants tells of a pursuit by Namakaokaha'i and Pele is torn apart. Her bones, KaiwioPele form a hill on Kahikinui, while her spirit escaped to the island of Hawaiʻi.

 

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Pele is considered to be a rival of the Hawaiian goddess of snow, Poliahu. Their opposition to each other make up legend and lore explaining land formations and why Mauna Kea is sometimes capped with snow.

 

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The  legend tells that Poliʻahu had come from Mauna Kea with her friends to attend sled races down the grassy hills south of Hamakua. Pele came disguised as a beautiful stranger and was greeted by Poliʻahu. However, Pele became jealously enraged at the goddess of Mauna Kea. She opened the subterranean caverns of Mauna Kea and threw fire from them towards Poliʻahu, with the snow goddess fleeing towards the summit. Poliʻahu was finally able to grab her now-burning snow mantle and throw it over the mountain. Earthquakes shook the island as the snow mantle unfolded until it reached the fire fountains, chilling and hardening the lava. The rivers of lava were driven back to Mauna Loa and Kīlauea. Later battles also led to the defeat of Pele and confirmed the supremacy of the snow goddesses in the northern portion of the island and of Pele in the southern portion.

 

Belief in Pele continued after the old religion was officially abolished in 1819. In the summer of 1823 English missionary William Ellis toured the island to determine locations for mission stations. After a long journey to the volcano Kilauea  with little food, Ellis eagerly ate the wild berries he found growing there. The berries of the ʻōhelo plant were considered sacred to Pele. Traditionally prayers and offerings to Pele were always made before eating the berries. The volcano crater was an active lava lake, which the natives feared was a sign that Pele was not pleased with the violation.  Although wood carvings and thatched temples were easily destroyed, the volcano was a natural monument to the goddess.

 

There’s a lot of mana (spiritual power) at Kilauea and it’s clear people can feel Pele’s presence when they visit. Occasionally, visitors who make the pilgrimage to Pele’s domain even claim to have seen her unmistakable likeness. Take a look at this amazing photo.

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In the spewing magma, the form of a woman appears to take shape between the newly formed land and sea.

Oahu photographer Matt Forney took a last-minute trek in November 2016 to Kamokuna, where lava is currently flowing into the ocean. Calling it an impromptu trip to visit a friend who was moving away, Forney felt a weird sensation as soon as he stepped off the plane like he was supposed to be on the Big Island. “I could feel the atoms in my body bouncing around faster,” he recalls, like, “I was supposed to be exactly where I was in that moment.”

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The tiny strands of volcanic glass found around Hawaii Island’s active craters are often referred to as “Pele’s hair.”

The “hair” is created when molten lava spatter is stretched into very thin filaments by wind.

Mauna Iki Trail, in particular, is known for its abundance of Pele’s hair. In the Kau Desert, there are piles and piles of these beautiful and ethereal creations.

 

 

 

Even when not literally seen, Pele’s power and presence is undeniable everywhere on Hawaii Island. Kilauea, Hawaii’s most active volcano, is a constant reminder that the Islands are living and breathing entities.

 

Here’s another retelling of Tutu Pele’s mystical powers….imagine yourself sitting on the lanai with a young Hawaiian girl as she recounts this to you.

 

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“My hula sisters and I went on a hula retreat a few years ago up at Kilaueaon the Big Island where, of course, Pele lives. We were walking around the Volcano park one night when something started following us; we could hear footsteps. So my friend was like, "Hey, you guys hear that?" My other friend said, "It's probably a weasel or something," so we just kept on walking. Then we heard barking and we were all scared and didn't know what to do. We walked a little faster, and then it started to get warm. Very, very warm. As we got closer to one of the look outs, we could hear chanting and all of us were freakin' out like crazy.

My friend and I were the ones who were most afraid and we decided to stay in one place, but we could sense something right behind us. We all looked behind us and we didn't see anything, but it was really warm, and the chants kept on getting louder and louder.

Then we heard the footsteps again.

I felt something by my feet and when we ran under the light we saw that it was white dog. When we looked out into the dark, we could see another white thing coming right at us and the chant was getting louder and louder. We ran back to our cabin as the chants kept on getting louder. When we finally got inside our cabin we looked out and the dog was right there at our door step. Our kumu said "It's madame Pele" & when i looked out of my window, that white ghost person thing was still there.

I decided to go to sleep, but I couldn't so I went back outside. I noticed that dog was still there and since I'm such an idiot, I decided to go play with it. It was very cold that night so I had to put on a jacket, pants, socks and shoes. I called the dog by me and as I looked at the dog and played with its ears, I noticed it was very hot, like hot water kine. Then the lady came up to me and asked if that was my dog (this was around 6 a.m. and the sun started to rise). I looked at her and I said "No, sorry." I looked down to play with the dog again and then looked up to ask that lady a question, but she was gone.

I kept on playing with the dog and I started to hear chanting again. I looked out where the woods were and I saw that old lady again, and as I looked at her, I looked into her eyes and they were red. I mean, RED, RED, RED! Then she called the dog and it went running to her, and I looked away for a second and turned back and they were both gone. My kumu told me, "You just witnessed something that no one has really ever witnessed." I asked him, "What is that?" and he said, "You saw Pele."

So, I get back into my bed and noticed there was a rock on it. It was a medium sized rock and it was real, real, HOT! I looked out the window and saw the dog go running and vanish. I never saw that dog ever again, neither did I see that lady.

But that rock followed me.

I put it outside, but it would always find its way back inside. When I left to Oahu, it found it's way next to my bed there. My Kumu told me to keep that rock with me no matter what. If that rock keeps on coming back to me then that means its my rock and it's a rock that only I can have an no one else can.

To this very day, I still have that rock.”

Thats what Hawaiian locals call a chicken skin story because it raises goosebumps on your skin when its told to you!

Even the residents of Leilani Gardens, who were evacuated after lava fountains erupted from several fissures there, have placed offerings of flowers and ti leaves, used to make Leis, on the oozing lava flows, showing how much they respect Madame Pele and accept her taking back the land they live on for herself.  They are allowed back into the neighborhood to check on their homes for a period each day. For some, it’s also a chance to watch the pyrotechnic eruptions.  “This is my second experience of an amazing display of Pele’s power,” says Hannique Ruder, 65, “It’s devastating and beautiful at the same time. We’re all in fear of her power, and yet you have to see the creative force at work here as well.”  Glenn Canon, 61, a retired respiratory therapist, and his wife were also among those evacuated from Leilani Gardens. He’s now planning to move to a rental home in Hilo, far from the volcano.  “We don’t want to leave. We settled in for our retirement and planned to stay right there. It looks like Madame Pele has other plans for us. This is her land and when she wants it back, she’ll take it from us.”

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If you’re visiting the Big Isle keep your eyes open for the old woman with flowing gray hair looking for a ride into town. If you see her, respectfully offer her a ride so as not to offend Tutu Pele and have a wonderful “chicken skin” story of your own!

Remember VentMask Air filters are made for travel in your hotel room as well as in your home and can help reduce ash and particles that  trigger allergy and asthma symptoms while you enjoy the beautiful Hawaiian Islands!

 

I Lava Hawaii!

Do your summer travel plans take you to Hawaii this year? Many tourist travel to the Big Isle to see Kilauea erupting on the Big Island of Hawaii. Usually the Volcano National Park is a huge draw to tourist and locals alike and affords a safe venue for viewing and exploring the volcano. Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983 and till just recently the opportunity to view an active volcano was a unique opportunity in the park. However on May 3rd,  2018 Madame Pele the Hawaiian goddess of fire showed the world her fury when Kilauea erupted violently launching molten lava 100 ft. into the air.  A plume of volcanic ash has been launched 30,000 feet into the air, making this eruption visible from outer space!

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After a second explosive eruption at Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, active fissures in surrounding neighborhoods have been spewing lava into the air. Lava, ash, and fumes are reported to be continuing to fill the areas surrounding Kilauea.  As many as 22 fissures have opened up in the latest volcanic activity, causing scientists to fear further eruptions. Steve Brantley, of the USGS, said the large cracks, which have torn roads apart in some places or created gaps of 1 yard or wider, are an indication that magma is continuing to enter the rift zone.  "The rift zone is being forced apart," he said. "I think clearly it points to the potential for additional eruptive activity" in lower Puna.   The developments underscore the scope of the disaster in the area, which has upended lives, destroyed homes and shows no signs of stopping.

All of these fissures are still active and spitting lava, as the eruptions continue to push toxic gases up to the surface.  In a statement, the Civil Defense said:

Due to the continued volcanic activity the following policies are in effect:

·       Do continue to be on the alert for volcanic fumes of SO2.

·       Volcanic gas such as SO2, is especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.

·       People in areas downwind of rifts may intermittently experience higher levels of fumes. People with breathing problems should avoid being outdoors and leave the area if deemed necessary.

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Air quality levels continue to be a problem in Puna, after a second large eruption sent a giant ash cloud spiraling more than 6 miles into the air.  Toxic gases have escaped the Kilauea summit, spreading on strong trade winds throughout the northeast of Big Island.   State Sen. Josh Green, an ER doctor whose district includes Kona and Ka'u, said those with respiratory problems should limit their exposure to ash. Extended exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide, meanwhile, could increase the risk of bronchitis or upper respiratory infections.

Steam-driven blasts in Kilauea's crater could send a 20,000-foot ash plumes out of the crater while hurling 10-12 ton boulders up to half a mile.

An explosive eruption could also scatter pebble-sized rocks over 12 miles, the USGS has said.

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This type of eruption has the potential to carpet the Big Island in much thicker ash than current dustings and possibly spread the powder and volcanic smog across the Hawaiian islands and farther afield if it enters the stratosphere.

"This morning dense ballistic blocks up to 60 cm (2 feet) across were found in the parking lot a few hundred yards (meters) from Halemaumau (Kilauea's crater)," the USGS said in a statement.

"These reflect the most energetic explosions yet observed and could reflect the onset of steam-driven explosive activity.

 

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Experts have warned the eruption could be the start of the biggest explosion on the island since 1924 because many of the precursors are similar.

Matt Gutman, the Senior National Correspondent of ABC News reported that ash from the volcano was “mixing with rain clouds producing acid rain”.

He said: “Roads were impassible and cracked open from thermal vents.

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“The plants haven’t been burnt, it is some of the fumes that have killed them over the past 10 days of continuous exposure to this hazardous gas.

“It is important to note that 2000 people have been ordered to flee their homes and 40 structures have been destroyed but no one has actually been hurt by this volcanic activity.

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What does this mean to anyone traveling to Hawaii? In actuality most of the neighbor islands are little affected by this huge eruption, except got the Vog, the term for the haze created by the volcanic ash being spread across the island chain.  If you’re planning a visit to any of the islands soon here  some tips for lessening the respiratory effects of volcanic ash.

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·  Vog reduces the bodies’ natural abilities to expel toxins.  Don't overload your system. 
Reduce your work toxic exposure including cleaning supplies, paint fumes, smoke.  Consult your doctor, or for more severe symptoms, a toxicologist or an industrial hygienist. Take extra precautions if you should wear a proper fitting mask or respirator on the job. Change filters often. Reduce the exposure to other pollution sources such as burning rubbish, cigarette smoke, and cane burning and avoid over exertion during periods of exposure to Vog. 

·  To prevent a cough or sore throat, use a Neti pot or saline nasal wash to keep breathing passages open and flushed of vog areosol particles that can irritate mucus lining. To prevent dry and itchy or red eyes, use saline eye drops and flush your eyes often.  If you wear contact lens, be sure and keep them clean and wet, or choose to use glasses for now. Take a break from staring at computer screens and rest your eyes more frequently. Splash water on your face. If you drive, wear sunglasses to protect from glare. 

·  As Vog seems to worsen during the day, it is best to do yard work or exercise earlier in the day. If practical, avoid high VOG areas during times of thick VOG.

·  Take time off from training for a marathon, roofing a house at noon,  hauling rocks with a bad heart, or playing too hard at recess if you are prone to asthma. Practice meditation and relaxing.  Dust off that club membership to work-out in an air conditioned gym, or take the kids to swim in the ocean where the air quality is better. 

·  Go find sanctuary in Air Conditioning. A stroll in the mall or cool cafe or grocery store can be a vog respite. Use your car AC.  Close the house windows, and run an air purifier or air conditioner. Place a wet towel or cheese cloth over a fan. Indoor plants (especially spider plants) have been touted to help clean the air. Don't forget to clean your air filters, including your computer fan, keep your work area cool and dust free. 

·  Consult your doctor about your state of health, and consult an industrial hygienist about respirators. VentMask Air filters can be applied in your hotel or rental unit.

·  Stop smoking, even if it’s just for a week. Have your doctor keep records of both your lung function and approximate VOG levels. Take the tests after breathing "clean" air one week or more), then get retested if/when breathing becomes more difficult during high VOG episodes.

 

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Kilauea has posed a large and potential disastrous situation for many residents of the Big Island, however your vacation travel plans will most likely not be interrupted very much from this fiery display. Go and enjoy the wonderful beaches and majestic mountain ranges of the islands just be sure to be ready if the Vog starts to trigger your allergy or asthma symptoms and take proper actions.

 

 

 

The fight against rising advertising.

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Our last blogs on vaping had such an impact that we decided to do one last up date to clarify how the vape industry is targeting our youth as an audience, and why.

 

 

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The last of the last four blogs about vaping I think best affirmed view points that showed equally pro and con the effects of this new activity.

 

The fact that vaping has less health concerns to the users makes it a wonderful tool in stopping the use of tobacco products. In that end many professionals are optimistically looking to vaping as a healthier option to adults who have a tobacco addiction, and for that we can see a progressive reasoning to encourage the positive change for smokers.

 

What I cannot wrap my head around is the fact that this industry has to greedily focus much of its advertising toward groups of kids who currently do not use any kind of inhalable products in their daily lives.

 

Lets once again just break down what e-juice or e-liquid is…. E-liquid is man-made juice used to cause the vaporizer to produce vapor. Most e-juices are made of Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG), Distilled Water, added flavoring, and Nicotine. PG is an organic compound that causes the vape smoke to appear. We use it in smoke machines for effects. VG is also a base compound for e-liquids and is made up of vegetable oils. Using only Proplylen Glycol would cause the throat to hurt. Vegetable Glycerin is thicker than Proplylen Glycol and helps the vaporizer have a smoother inhale. Distilled water also helps as an active ingredient to smooth the harshness of the vaporizer. Lastly, most juices have added flavoring made of artificial and or organic food flavorings.

 

Here’s what I believe is one of the least known facts, at least by those unfamiliar with e-cigs and vaping, about this activity.   You can purchase e-juices with different strengths of nicotine, and most but not all juices contain nicotine like cigarettes. Nicotine being the physically addictive ingredient.  Many people do this to help quit their addiction to nicotine completely by using less and less as they progress over the course of time. Now what makes this a concern is most kids don’t care or don’t check wether the liquid they use has nicotine or not, which is why I think a little more regulation and research into these products is needed.

 

Ok …so I don’t want to get too deep into that, but it a good fact to know as you keep reading, because now you know that its up to the user what they put into their vape pen or mod.

 

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E-cigarette makers are pouring tens of millions of dollars into advertising their wares — and teenagers are getting the message loud and clear, federal health officials reported Tuesday.

As advertising skyrockets, so do the number of teens seeing it. They’re vaping by the millions now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. The CDC says that trend threatens to derail decades of progress in helping prevent kids from taking up smoking.

“The same advertising tactics the tobacco industry used years ago to get kids addicted to nicotine are now being used to entice a new generation of young people to use e-cigarettes,” said CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden.

 “What’s happening is widespread marketing of e-cigarettes that kids are seeing,” Frieden told reporters in a telephone briefing.

 “Kids should not be using e-cigarettes and yet 2/3 of kids in this country are seeing e-cigarette ads.”

CDC researchers used a 2014 survey of 22,000 children and teens to find that 68.9 percent of middle and high school students — more than 18 million kids — see e-cigarette ads. More than half see them advertised in stores, 40 percent online and 36 percent on TV or in movies.

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“During 2011 to 2014, current e-cigarette use among high school students soared from 1.5 percent to 13.4 percent, and among middle school students from 0.6 percent to 3.9 percent,” the CDC said in a statement. "At the same time, spending on e-cigarette ads rose from $6.4 million to $115 million.”

Advocates said the industry must be stopped from advertising to children.

“The irresponsible and indiscriminate marketing by the e-cigarette industry, coupled with a complete lack of government oversight, is putting the health of our nation’s kids at risk,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

“It shouldn’t be a surprise that youth use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed when kids are being inundated with marketing for these products.”

Frieden said the tactics are effective, and include online “viral” marketing that cannot even be measured.

“E-cigarette ads use many of the same themes — independence, rebellion, and sex — used to sell cigarettes and other conventional tobacco products,” the CDC report said.

Public health experts have been clamoring for FDA to extend its authority as e-cigarettes have exploded in popularity. Former FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg called the industry the “wild, wild West.”

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The American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network and the American Lung Association both urged the White House to speed authority for FDA to regulate e-cigarettes.

"Once the FDA has authority, the American Lung Association urges it to act swiftly to crack down and end marketing practices aimed at youth," the group said in a statement.

"It is also incumbent on states to enact and enforce laws to stop retailers from selling these products to children."

CDC says studies have shown that tobacco ads work. “Tobacco product advertising can entice youth to start using tobacco,” the report says.

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And limits on that advertising, as well as taxes, restrictions on retail sales, ads promoting tobacco abstinence and other measures have been shown to work.

But states are not using money they were awarded from tobacco companies to fight tobacco use, the CDC said.

“However, in 2015, states appropriated only 1.9 percent ($490.4 million) of combined revenues of $25.6 billion from settlement payments and tobacco taxes for all states on comprehensive tobacco control programs, representing less than 15 percent of the CDC-recommended level of funding ($3.3 billion) for all states combined,” it said.

“Only two states (Alaska and North Dakota) currently fund tobacco control programs at CDC-recommended levels.” *1

 

 

So if this advertising is not enough the vape industry has come up with a neat little way for our kids to hide the vaporizer needed to use these products.   “Teenagers embrace JUUL saying it is discreet enough to light up during class” is the headline that caugh my eye. Here is the entirety of that article….

 

“Mil Schooley, an 18-year-old student in Denver says most of her friends have a JUUL — an e-cigarette that can vanish into a closed fist. When asked roughly how many, she stumbles a bit. "I wanna say like 50 or 60 percent? I don't know. Maybe it's just the people I know. All my friends in college have one," she says. "It just blew up over the summer."

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Schooley doesn't have one herself — at least at the moment. Hers broke due to an unfortunate mishap involving her JUUL and soda water. But the trend to own a vape pen is real, with students bragging on Twitter about using them in class, and researchers saying they're seeing a big spike in use among teens and young adults.

"We're seeing it across college campuses and high schools. I have a friend who teaches high school, and they contacted me last week because they are having a major problem with e-cigs," says Meghan Morean, a substance addiction researcher at Oberlin College.

Devices like these might be introducing a new generation of teenagers to nicotine addiction and leading some vapers to take up smoking tobacco cigarettes, a study out in Pediatrics on Monday suggests. That would buck a national trend of teens drifting away from certain risky behaviors like drugs, alcohol and unprotected sex.

The Pediatrics study asked 808 students in three Connecticut high schools each year between 2013 and 2015 if they used e-cigarettes or tobacco cigarettes in the last month. The first year, 8.9 percent of students used a vape pen and 4.8 percent of students smoked cigarettes in the last month. "[People] who used e-cigarettes were 7 times more likely to smoke cigarettes by the second survey, and almost 4 times more likely by the third survey," says Krysten Bold, an associate research scientist at Yale School of Medicine and lead author on the study. The third year of the study, 14.5 students had used a vape pen in the previous month, and 8.5 student smoked cigarettes. (JUUL didn't enter the market until 2015.)

 

 

The long term effects of vaping e-liquids — a solution of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavors and nicotine or hash oils – are still not known, says Morean, who is an author on the study. But researchers are skeptical that the vapor is harmless. "You're still breathing in like hot chemicals into your body," she says.

Researchers say the most worrying aspect is nicotine, which is damaging to brain development, and is addictive. E-cigarettes can deliver a very high concentration of the drug, and experts worry that the popularity of vape pens is putting a new generation at risk of nicotine dependence.

"This excellent and important work demonstrates that electronic cigarettes are a path of nicotine addiction for youth," says Dr. Harold Farber, a pediatrician at Texas Children's Hospital and chair of the Tobacco Action Committee for the American Thoracic Society, who was not involved with the study. "It's a short jump from there to combustible cigarettes [which] delivers a better hit."

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One reason JUUL and vape pens are so popular among teens currently might be that they can be used indoors without attracting unwanted attention or creating a stench, Morean says. On Twitter, teens post about their usage in school. The most brazen of them fire up their e-cigarettes while their teachers' backs are turned.

"y'all this kid came into my 7th period to get a juul and we all started laughing when he left so the teacher was really confused and we go "that's drug paraphernalia" and he RAN OUT THE DOOR AFTER THE KID," @hyphyybriannaa tweeted.

"Never knew inanimate objects could play hide n seek till I bought a #juul," @jakeraccioppi writes.

Vapers also have a nigh-infinite range of flavors to sample with amusing names like "I Love Blue Raspberry Candy" or unappetizing but intriguing ones like "Beard Vape." Those flavors might be another reason why vaping has struck such a mania among teenagers. "This is really appealing to adolescents," Morean says.

 

The Food and Drug Administration has banned most flavored cigarettes and tobacco products for this reason, but the agency hasn't banned flavored vapes.

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The FDA does have the authority to regulate e-cigarette products as of 2016, says Matthew Myers, the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "However, the FDA delayed key provisions for an additional four years. That means highly flavored e-cigarettes will go unregulated essentially for years to come," he says. The postponed regulations would require all e-cigarette products, including flavors, to have FDA approval before going on the market.

The potential for e-cigarettes to help get adult smokers off tobacco is one reason why the FDA has been slow to act on e-cigarettes, says Dr. Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, a psychiatrist at Yale University and the senior author on the Pediatrics study. "I think the FDA wants more evidence and more data. I certainly don't blame them, you want to make the right decision," she says. "The FDA is starting to implement some prevention policies [for youth vaping]." But for now, she says, there is a public health gap where teens are concerned.

 

The JUUL device, with its sleek design that resembles a flash drive, is a special hit with teens. "It's definitely more discreet," Schooley says. "JUULs are so simple [too]. I think that's why they do so well, because they're so simple and easy." The JUUL also has multiple flavors available – mint, tobacco, mango, crème brulee and fruit.

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JUUL has also managed to capture a more mainstream audience than vape pens.

"People who JUUL can be normal people, but people who vape are like a certain crowd," Schooley says. Using the device isn't called vaping, a verb reserved for more complex or modified contraptions, but JUULing. The words give the device a less ominous atmosphere than e-cigarette or vaping. "I know it's an e-cigarette, but I don't like to call it that because you can JUUL and not be addicted to nicotine," Schooley says. "I don't smoke cigarettes, and I don't think I ever will."

A spokesperson for JUUL Labs, the manufacturer for the JUUL device, said that the company wants to "eliminate cigarettes by offering existing adult smokers with a better alternative to combustible cigarettes. No minor should be in possession of a JUUL." Both the design and the flavors offered were intended to make the device more inviting to adult cigarette smokers, not children, the spokesperson said in a statement in an email response. "We are committed to introducing new flavors carefully and responsibly."

While college student Schooley doesn't have strong concerns about nicotine addiction, JUUL cartridges have a high concentration of nicotine. A single pod, which Schooley says would last her a week, has roughly the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes. Schooley says she didn't realize this.

"I am feeling a little more apprehensive about it," she says. "That makes me sad. I think I'm going to consult people before I decide to buy another JUUL. But it's hard because even if I didn't buy one, I'm still gonna be surrounded by JUULs." *2

 

Is there not enough of a market in the 1.1 billion smokers who could be convinced this is a viable alternative to smoking?   Why do these companies need to target young people who have not started using any kind of smoking or vaping device? 

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In the end its up to us to keep our kids minds from being influenced by these advertising moguls and without some regulation to their advertising  and retailing techniques it will become an up hill battle we as parents are going to have to fight.

 

 

Wishing you the best health- Guy R. VentMask Team Member

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*1(https://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/e-cigarette-ads-target-millions-kids-cdc-says-n490601)

*2(https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/12/04/568273801/teenagers-embrace-juul-saying-its-discreet-enough-to-vape-in-class)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another side to the story...

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I hope you got a chance to read the last three blogs on vaping. My last blog got an interesting conversation going on FaceBook.  It went like this…..oh and by the way we contacted Jacob and got his permission to use his name in this blog.

 

VENTMASK posted a GIF “Mind Blown” on FaceBook….

 

The VentMask: Ok it may not blow your mind...but it is good information!😁-TheVentMaskTeam

 

JacobH: There's no such thing as "vape smoke". Let that blow your mind for awhile.

 

Guy Rawson Your right! One question often asked by smokers and non-smokers alike is, “what is the difference between vaporising and smoking?” Although they look similar, they‘re quite different things.
Before looking at how they are different, it‘s good to look first at how they are each produced. Smoke is created through an open flame; through burning or combustion. When a herb such as cannabis or tobacco is smoked, it is quite literally being destroyed by the high temperature of the fire.
Vaporising, on the other hand, is not such a brutal process. As opposed to burning, vaporizing doesn‘t involve an open flame, which greatly reduces the temperature the herb is exposed to. When cannabis is vaporised, it is heated up exactly to the point where the cannabinoids change their state from solid resin to gaseous particles. 
In the case of an E-Cigarette, only the carrier liquid (PG or VG) is vaporised, which then carries with it the nicotine, flavours and other ingredients.

 

JacobH: yeah, I agree. Take a gander at the article, full of "facts" to make you lol.

 

Guy Rawson But too bad they’re both no good for ya.

 

JacobH:  Too bad smokers have an alternative to completely killing themselves. Also Guy, check out the real studies showing vaping is 95% safer than smoking. Vaping also provides an opportunity to ween from nicotine, oral fixations, and eventually complete sobriety of smoking/vaping. You know, unlike cigarettes. Vaping easily saved my life from many ailments brought on from tobacco addiction. Needless to say, too bad almost nothing is good for you these days.

 

Guy Rawson: that’s awesome! Yet if kids don’t vape it’s much healthier not to start. Glad that you are in better health and wish you a long happy life!

 

JacobH: Agreed on the kids.

 

So this got me to thinking….I had written this blog from the perspective of a non-smoker/vaper with the intent of showing one thing, vaping is dangerous to your health. Now what was stated in the blog was indeed fact, big advertising IS targeting  youth as a huge audience for this product. There IS medical proof that vaping is harmful to your health and the common sense portion of inhaling a chemical vapor into your lungs is going to be unhealthy for you, even though there hasn’t been enough long term clinical studies because vaping hasn’t been around that long.  Children have and do get into the vape liquid if it hasn’t been put out of reach and left about and get sick from ingesting it. All those facts that can be researched, BUT WAIT KEEP READING BECAUSE JACOB SHED SOME LIGHT ON A DIFFERENT FACET OF VAPING THAT I WRONGFULLY IGNORED!! (I hope my wife isn’t reading this blog today… I’ll never hear the end of me admitting I was wrong on some point)

 

What I did not write about was the facts that were brought out by the comments from this reader. There are always other opinions and I believe this has merit to be included in this blog series. Lets explore the other side of the vaping coin.

 

This from an online article[1] :


Search for the term ‘vaping’ online and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is an activity fraught with risks. The top stories relate to health problems, explosions and that vaping leads to smoking in teenagers. For the average smoker seeking information on vaping, a quick internet search offers little reassurance. Might as well continue smoking, the headlines imply, if these products are so dangerous.

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But the reality is that they are not. In the past year, more than any other, the evidence that using an e-cigarette is far safer than smoking has continued to accumulate. 2017 saw the publication of the first longer term “study” of vaping, comparing toxicant exposure between people who’d stopped smoking and used the products for an average of 16 months, compared with those who continued to smoke. Funded by Cancer Research UK, the study found large reductions in carcinogens and other toxic compounds in vapers compared with smokers, but only if the user had stopped smoking completely. A further recent study compared toxicants in vapour and smoke that can cause cancer, and estimated excess cancer risk over a lifetime from smoking cigarettes or vaping. Most of the available data on e-cigarettes in this study suggested a cancer risk from vaping around 1% of that from smoking.

E-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking because they don’t contain tobacco. Inhaling burnt tobacco - but also chewing it - is hugely damaging to human health. Remove the tobacco and the combustion and it is hardly surprising that risk is reduced. That doesn’t mean e-cigarettes are harmless. But it does mean that we can be relatively confident that switching from smoking to vaping will have health benefits.

These new studies and others have influenced policy, at least in the UK. In England, a broad consensus endorsed by many health organizations has existed since 2016 encouraging smokers to try vaping. This year additional organizations, like the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association issued new reports also pointing to e-cigarettes as a positive choice for smokers trying to quit. And for the first time, Public Health England included e-cigarettes in its advertising for ‘Stoptober’ an annual stop smoking campaign. In Scotland, a large number of organizations led by Health Scotland issued a statement making clear that vaping is definitely safer than smoking that was also supported by Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer.

Overseas, many countries still ban e-cigarettes and using them can result in fines or even imprisonment for vapers or vendors. Yet gradually this is changing. 2017 saw a complete reversal of New Zealand’s position on these devices and their new policies look very similar to those in place in the UK. Canada is also legalizing e-cigarettes, although details of the regulatory framework are still being ironed out. These countries are following the research evidence and in time others may follow.

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A primary reason for caution in many countries is the fear that vaping will lead to smoking, particularly in young people. This year we did see research suggesting that some teenagers experimenting with vaping go on to smoke when followed up a year later, and this included studies from the UK. There seems little doubt that there are groups of young people susceptible to both. Yet these studies can’t prove that it was the act of trying an e-cigarette that lead to subsequent smoking - many other factors could explain this, including the simple fact that tobacco is still widely available. 2017 saw the publication of the world’s largest study to date of young people and vaping, including over 60,000 teenagers. It found that while experimentation with these products was occurring, regular use by teens who had never smoked remains very low, at less than 1%. Meanwhile in the UK and many other countries like the USA, youth smoking rates continue to decline at an encouraging pace. If vaping was causing smoking, these trends would reverse.

So, what is the average smoker to make of the continued controversy, and seemingly insatiable press interest around e-cigarettes? Who should they believe? Good sources of information do exist but they are not prominent enough. We need clear public information, from reputable sources, to shout above the noise and deliver the facts. And these are the facts. If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you is to stop smoking. If you choose to vape to stop smoking, that’s great, and no one should criticize you for that choice. I think we may well see a public information campaign along those lines in the near future. And from my perspective, it can’t come soon enough.

Linda Bauld is Professor of Health Policy at the University of Stirling and Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies. She also holds a Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention at Cancer Research UK, and is the current President of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Europe. Her research is funded by government and charitable sources and she has never conducted research or consultancy for tobacco or e-cigarette companies.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/science/sifting-the-evidence/2017/dec/29/e-cigarettes-vaping-safer-than-smoking

Take note of that last paragraph….specifically…. “Her research is funded by government and charitable sources and she has never conducted research or consultancy for tobacco or e-cigarette companies.” To me that is a clear indication of accurate and truthful information, no big money company paying her.

The best evidence to date shows that using e-cigarettes is very dramatically less dangerous than cigarette smoking. Death from all causes within the ages of 25 to 79 is three times higher for smokers than never smokers. Compared to smoking, long-term health effects of e-cigarettes have been judged as likely “much less, if at all, harmful to users or bystanders.”

The 2014 Surgeon-General Report concluded that “The burden of death and disease from tobacco use in the United States is overwhelmingly caused by cigarettes and other burned tobacco products; rapid elimination of their use will dramatically reduce this burden.”

Recent reports suggest that vapers should be cautioned about how they use high-voltage devices because they can produce high levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde. But that, however, is not one of the common ways people use e-cigarettes. High voltage devices and long puffs can produce a bad taste that is avoided.

Burned cigarettes contain many carcinogens: the FDA lists 79 “harmful or potentially harmful” carcinogens in tobacco products and tobacco smoke.

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Keep in mind that reports of a product being “not safe” in some way does not necessarily mean that it cannot overall be much safer than another product.

As is evidenced by our conversation with Jacob, the use of a vape mod has enabled him to ween his addiction to tabacco and lead a healthier life, and this was a facet of vaping I excluded. (Please lord don’t let my wife read this…tho I know she will.)

So I extend a heartfelt “Thank You!” to Jacob for giving me his point of view, and expanding my point of view.

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Last words…if you smoke or chew tobacco products, quit by whatever means it takes. If you don’t smoke or vape don’t start.  Make informed decisions based on what will help you lead a healthier, longer and satisfying life style.

Thanks again Jacob!

-TheVentMaskTeam member Guy R.

 

 

A review and what do do to keep your child vape free.

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Lets review what we know about the vaping industry. The tobacco industry has been forced to fess up about the dangers of smoking by slapping grisly warnings on cigarette packs, but it hasn’t yet been cornered into giving such disclaimers on e-cigarettes and other vaping products. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), our kids are now more likely to use e-cig or vape mods than any other form of tobacco.  In 2016, more than 2,000,000 middle and high school students used e-cigarettes each month.

We’ve already discussed in the last two blogs that there’s a perception that e-cigarettes are harmless. And while vaping is less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes, these products don’t come without risks. E-cigarettes are fairly new and we’re still learning about their long-term effects, but some of science is clear, and some of it is emerging over time. 

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We know Nicotine has proven damaging effects. It’s addictive, toxic to developing fetuses and can harm brain development in children and young adults up to the age of 20, and it is found in many vape liquids. The substance that e-cigarette users breathe in and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances like nicotine, but also chemicals and heavy metals. Because these products aren’t regulated, it’s impossible to know what’s in the e-cigarette or vape liquid your kids may be using.

 

A recent study by UNC School of Medicine published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, found that not only do e-cigarettes trigger the same immune responses that normal cigarettes do; they spur unique immune responses, too. It comes down to how our bodies process foreign substances.

Dr, Pushan Jani, a pulmonologist at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and UTHealth, explains that when our lungs sense something not quite right is going on, our immune system rushes in to attack.

“Common sense would tell you [that vaping] leads to inflammation within the lung,” says Dr. Cedric Rutland,  a pulmonary and critical care physician and assistant clinical professor at University of California at Riverside School of Medicine. This reaction can happen “even if you’re smoking just pure water vapor with no nicotine,” says Jani.

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The lure for youth to use e-cigs and vape is the flavoring. “The flavoring industry is huge and these are chemicals that are known to have reasonable safety when eaten and exposed to the GI tract, but the lungs are very different,” says Dr. Robert Jackler, chair of otolaryngology and a professor of otorhinolaryngology at Stanford. “We know in certain industrial settings where people are producing them, they’re quite dangerous to breathe in.”

But unknown health risks aren’t the only reason Dr. Jackler takes issue with the flavoring of e-cigarettes, he’s also troubled because he understands that part of the tobacco industry’s purpose in advertising fun flavors is to draw in young people.

E-cigarette usage has been increasing among teens over the past five years, and flavoring is a huge appeal, with a 2016 study finding that some adolescents perceive the fruit flavored e-cigarettes to be less harmful than those that are tobacco-flavored. “The tobacco industry wants people to start young and knows that what really attracts them are sweet and fruity flavors,” says Jackler. “If all that were available was bitter tobacco that could be revolting.”

The American Lung Association (ALA) has been keeping a close eye on the teenage attraction to vaping and is campaigning for the same federal regulations for e-cigarettes that exist for other tobacco products. “We're trying hard to encourage the FDA to promulgate regulations of vaping,” says Norman Edelman senior scientific advisor at the ALA. “Right now it’s all local jurisdiction.”

If you or your partner smokes e-cigarettes at home with young kids, know that e-cigarettes pose some of the same risks as regular tobacco cigarettes, including:

·       Secondhand exposure: There’s not much research yet looking specifically at how secondhand nicotine exposure from e-cigarettes affects kids — no researcher would willingly put a child in harm’s way in the name of science. That said, there is plenty of data showing that secondhand exposure to nicotine and regular cigarettes can harm a child’s health: Kids exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to be sick more often with ear infections, colds, bronchitis, pneumonia asthma and breathing problems.

·       Accidental ingestion: Another danger that parents may overlook is accidental exposure from improper e-cigarette storage. In 2011, poison control centers across the country received 271 exposure calls attributed to liquid nicotine and e-cigarettes. By the end of November 2015, the number had jumped to 2,890.

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Children exposed to e-cigarettes were 5.2 times more likely to be admitted to the hospital and 2.6 times more likely to have a severe health outcome than kids exposed to regular cigarettes.

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While it may be impossible to protect your kids from all exposure to e-cigarettes, there are a number of steps you can take right now to protect your kids’ health:

Get the help you need to quit

If you smoke or vape, one of the best steps that you and your partner can take is to quit for good. Hoping that e-cigarettes could help? No studies have proven that they can help smokers stop using nicotine. In fact, some research has shown that e-cigarettes make smokers significantly less likely to quit.

There’s no doubt that for many people, kicking a nicotine habit can be incredibly hard — but it is possible. Remember: Smoking and vaping not only expose your child to secondhand smoke, they increase the odds your child will smoke himself later in life.

The good news is you’re not alone. In addition to getting help from your practitioner, family and friends, a number of other resources can support your efforts:  

·       A “quit plan”: Create one that includes your reasons for quitting, smoking triggers to avoid and strategies to deal with cravings (check out the National Cancer Institute’s Smokefree.gov for more info)

·       1-800-QUIT-NOW hotline: Get free counseling, advice to create a quit plan and information on local cessation resources

·       The Smokefree Women website: Offers judgement-free information and resources to help mothers quit all nicotine products, including e-cigarettes

·       Support groups: Nicotine Anonymous, online support groups and local smoking cessation programs can help

·       One-on-one or group counseling: Studies have found that moms who get counseling are 80 percent more likely to quit and less likely to start smoking again later

You can also talk to your doctor about other aids to help you quit, including:

·       Nicotine replacement therapy: Over-the-counter gums, patches and lozenges, as well as prescription nasal sprays and inhalers 

·       Prescription medications: The nicotine-free medications Zyban and Chantix (just keep in mind these aren’t safe to use if you’re pregnant)

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Adopt a smoke-free home and car policy

Make smoking off-limits in your home and vehicle — that means no smoking in the house or car by anyone, even when kids aren’t present.

Keep smoking gear stored safely

If you or someone else in your home vapes, always keep the e-cigarettes and liquids locked up and out of reach of children, and be sure to follow the label’s disposal instructions.

Look for “no smoking” signs

Skip restaurants and other facilities that allow smoking or have smoking sections. Even if you and your children in the “non-smoking” section, secondhand smoke is still in the air.

Stick with smoke-free childcare

Choose a babysitter or nanny who doesn’t smoke — and if that’s not possible, make sure your childcare provider doesn’t smoke in the house, car or around your child.

Tell your kids to stay away from smoke

If your child is old enough, tell her to avoid being around someone who is smoking whenever possible.

 

If you live in an apartment or condo that shares a HVAC heating or cooling system VentMask filters are a economical way to keep the air in your unit clean and breathable. We want you to have healthy and happy homes and are honored to be able to help you provide a clean indoor air environment for your family. Don’t start vaping or quit if you do, the evidence shows you will lead a healthier and longer life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are your kids a target?

E-cigarettes and other vaping products are on track to out-sell cigarettes by the end of 2023. And more and more young people are trying e-cigarettes. So what do you need to know about them? Are they less harmful than using cigarettes or other burned tobacco products? Are the retailers of these products marketing to our kids?!

Vape mods and e-cigs do not burn tobacco products. Most often, they contain nicotine solutions that are heated to make a vapor (hence the terms vape or vaping), and they’re usually battery powered. Some look like cigarettes and others can resemble flashlights. The big cigarette companies did not make the earliest e-cigs, but the cigarette companies have gotten into the new lucrative business. E-cigarette and vaping products are available in specialty stores and convenience stores around the US with varying restrictions on purchase by youth under 18.

E-cigarettes don’t necessarily contain nicotine. Some popular products contain little or no nicotine and levels can vary from brand to brand. And nicotine isn’t always the reason someone might try e-cigarettes!

What is the big draw to these new vaping devices? A 2014 national high school survey finds more monthly “vapers”  than monthly smokers: 17% of US 12th-grade students report using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days compared to 14% for tobacco cigarettes. We also know that patterns of infrequent, non-daily use of various tobacco and nicotine products may be increasing among young people. But trying e-cigarettes does not automatically lead to daily use.

Young people might also be influenced to try e-cigarettes because of how they are priced and promoted. They can be cheaper than traditional cigarettes and may be perceived as safer. Other features, like flavors can also support use in all age groups.

As e-cigarettes become more popular and more visible young people will start trying and using these products. And because products keep changing, they will often try different kinds of e-cigarettes.

Youth is a time when individuals experiment with and get into trouble with psychoactive substances, including nicotine-containing e-cigarettes. In 2014, 44.4% of 12th-graders had ever used marijuana/hashish, and 35.1% had used in the past year; 41.4% reported being drunk in the past year. Users of one type of psychoactive substance are more likely to use others, like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, THC or prescription drugs.

The 2016 Surgeon General report stated that, “E-cigarettes are marketed by promoting flavors and using a wide variety of media channels and approaches that have been used in the past for marketing conventional tobacco products to youth and young adults.

Researchers had identified more than 7,700 unique e-cigarette flavors available online, with an average of more than 240 new flavors being added per month. Among more than 400 available brands, 84 percent offered fruit flavors and 80 percent offered candy and dessert flavors. Research shows that flavored products may play a role in initiation and uptake of tobacco products. Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) survey found that 81 percent of youth aged 12-17 who had ever used e-cigarettes had used a flavored e-cigarette the first time they tried the product, and that 85.3 percent of current youth e-cigarette users had used a flavored e-cigarette in the past month. Moreover, 81.5 percent of current youth e-cigarette users said they used e-cigarettes “because they come in flavors I like.” The Surgeon General concluded that, “Themes in e-cigarette marketing, including sexual content and customer satisfaction, are parallel to themes and techniques that have been found to be appealing to youth and young adults in conventional cigarette advertising and promotion. So just like big tobacco these new companies are targeting our youth, and because there’s not enough research to present solid evidence of the effects of vaping there’s less regulation to safeguard kids who are targeted.

 

Unlike cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies, e-cigarette companies are not currently required to report their marketing and promotional expenditures to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), so the exact amount spent to advertise and promote these products is uncertain. However, e-cigarette marketing expenditures are estimated to have increased dramatically in recent years, from $12 million in 2011 to $125 million in 2014.  24 Other studies have also documented this significant increase in spending.25 These figures likely underestimate the true extent of e-cigarette advertising, as the available marketing data is not comprehensive (e.g., social media and sponsored events—strategies widely used by numerous e-cigarette companies—are not included).

 

So what measures can you take against vaping? If you are faced with committed teenage smokers, perhaps the best you can do is foster switching to e-cigarettes. Of course, do explore their interest in getting help with quitting smoking. For less-involved users of e-cigarettes who do not smoke regular cigarettes, encourage that regular use be avoided and that nicotine use be limited as much as possible.

Telling a teenager that vaping is just as bad for you as smoking or that e-cigs are worse than tobacco cigarettes could push them toward cigarettes and is not justified. Why? Because your child will find reports that there are benefits of vaping over smoking if they go searching for it.  It seems it’s a conundrum when is comes to vaping….yeah it may help you stop smoking but it runs other health risks.

If you have teenagers who already both smoke and vape, encourage that they work to avoid cigarettes and vaping completely.

 Sex sells!

Sex sells!

I think that a good example is one great way to reduce the risk of your child picking up the vape habit.  It wasn’t that long ago that people thought smoking tobacco was safe even beneficial.  Here are a few classic ads that made smoking out to be good for you.

 

 REALLY!? CURES ASTHMA...C'MON!

REALLY!? CURES ASTHMA...C'MON!

It seems to be simple logic that if you heat a chemical substance and inhale the byproduct (smoke or vapor) it will be bad for you’re your health.  The big money tobacco companies and other companies that produce or retail vape products want you to believe it’s a healthy choice. It may not be as unhealthy as tobacco, but that has yet to be determined.

 We dont even know what to say about this.

We dont even know what to say about this.

 UHHMMM...Doctor recommended?

UHHMMM...Doctor recommended?

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The VentMaskTeam thinks that refraining from using vape products is the healthiest choice you can make. If you have people vaping in or around your home or hotel use VentMask filters to remove more of the active particulate in the “vapor” from the air.

Till next time....we wish you the best of health-TheVentMaskTeam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superman has a cape...but would he vape?

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You see them all over, kids at the mall to business people hanging around outside business buildings to hipsters in coffee houses, people inhaling vapor thru units that can be very complicated looking to simple pen like apparatuses. Just what is a vape mod…as the kids call them these days? An electronic cigarette or e-cigarette is a handheld electronic device that tries to create the feeling of tobacco smoking. It works by heating a liquid to generate an aerosol, commonly called a "vapor", that the user inhales.

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Just a few short years ago, e-cigarette shops didn’t even exist, and now they fill the strip malls of towns all over America even here in Utah, with names like Draper Vapor, VIP Vapors, The Vapor Pit or others playing on “vape,” the name given to the practice of inhaling the nicotine-laced fog.

Where you find smokers, you’ll find demand for e-cigarettes or “vaping” products, and Utah is not an exception. E-cigarettes first emerged online in the mid-2000s, and the business has since grown to become $6 billion industry worldwide, eclipsing the total sales for all nicotine replacement therapy products. Today, it’s estimated that the industry is growing at an estimated rate of 42% per year, in part due to spending by big tobacco companies as they buff up their versions of e-cigs.

There are now hundreds of different devices and thousands of different flavors for those devices. But the hazy, lazy days at the vape shop may be numbered. This may, the FDA ruled that e-cigarettes products would be subject to the same regulation applied to cigarettes. In addition to prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18, this means that manufacturers and retailers of vapor “juices” will have to register ingredients with the FDA, a process that could be onerous and expensive for small operators. After August 8, vapor retailers will have three years to comply with the rules by registering and labeling their product ingredients.

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The reason for the confusion among health researchers and retailers is that an e-cigarette is not just one single device or chemical, making it hard to track and regulate. E-cigarettes can work in a couple of different ways. The most common are pen-shaped rechargeable devices that have a refillable tank that holds a nicotine-laced liquid flavor compound. The liquid is then vaporized but not burned by a heating element to produce an aerosol that delivers nicotine to the user.

Many people assume that e-cigarettes are less toxic than standard cigarettes, but there is little data to back that up.

But if someone is trying to switch to e-cigarettes from cigarettes, are they ultimately doing themselves a favor? “The short answer, is no,” says Dr. Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

Glantz analyzed a number of different studies that examined the use of e-cigarettes in quitting smoking. He found that use of e-cigarettes in fact lowered a person’s chance of successfully quitting cigarettes by 28%. This aligns with another recent study that found the most successful way to quit smoking is to go cold turkey instead of slowly weaning off cigarettes.

“The evidence is quite consistent that, for most people, they make it harder to quit,” Glantz says. “That doesn’t mean that some people don’t use some to quit. They do, but that’s a small fraction.”

Not everyone has come to the same conclusion, though. Muhannad Malas, a researcher at the University of Toronto, says that the lack of long-term randomized placebo-controlled studies has been problematic. In lieu of those, reviews of observational studies, like Glantz’s, are the next best thing. Malas’s own review of more 60 studies comparing e-cigs with smoking cessation aids found that they may be helpful for some smokers in quitting or reducing their cigarette smoking but, “the evidence was definitely inconclusive.”

The more scientists learn about e-cigarettes and their impact on human health, the more complicated the picture becomes. For one, no one knows exactly how toxic these products are because the use varies from person to person. And, contrary to what marketing materials may say, e-cigarettes produce a lot more than just “harmless” water vapor.

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We all know a cigarette is dried tobacco rolled in paper with a filter which may be made from cellulose acetate fibre, paper or activated charcoal Macroporous phenol-formaldehyde resins and asbestos. Sounds like pretty healthy stuff to draw your breath thru doesn’t it! NOT.

Now E-cigarette juice contains a mix of propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and flavoring agents approved by the FDA as “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) for consumption. When this mix is heated, a group of compounds known as carbonyls are produced. This includes compounds such formaldehyde and acrolein. While cigarettes generally produce a thousand times more carbonyls because of the combustion process, e-cigarettes produce a varying amount depending on the ratio of glycol to glycerin in the vaping fluid and how much of it is heated.

No matter who manufactures or sells e-cigarettes, the end result is the same. “You’re inhaling hot aerosol ultra-fine particles, aldehyde and nicotine,” Glantz says, “and that’s not so good.” So again sounds like not  good stuff to be inhaling into your lungs.

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So while vaping is considered to be somewhat healthier than smoking regular cigarettes because you’re not coating your lungs in carcinogenic tar—it’s still not a “healthy” practice by any means. As the Surgeon General explains, the aerosol you breathe in when you use an e-cigarette contains harmful chemicals and ultrafine particles you can inhale deep into your lungs. Diacetyle, benzene, nickel, tin, and lead are just some of the things found in e-cigarette vapors. And scientists are still trying to determine the health effects of other potentially harmful chemicals in e-cigarette fluid, as well as how they react when turned into aerosol via intense heat. Plus, e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is still highly addictive no matter how you intake it.

Now, if you want to use an e-cigarette, that’s completely up to you. It’s your health and you can use or abuse it however you like. What’s problematic is e-cigarette and vape users don’t seem to realize those vapors are still breathable after they’re exhaled. Much like secondhand smoke, secondhand vapors are a concern for everyone around a user, even if it the vapor is less visible than traditional cigarette smoke. A recent report conducted by the CDC suggests one-third of adults who use e-cigarettes don’t think secondhand vapors are harmful, and another 40% said exposure only caused “little” or “some” harm to children. But make no mistake, just because it’s not a real cigarette, there’s still real danger.

In addition to the harmful chemicals already mentioned, the risks for kids exposed to these secondhand aerosol vapors include accidental nicotine addiction, mood disorders, and a lowering of impulse control. Nicotine can also affect brain development in young people by changing the way the synapses in their brains are formed. Dr. Brian King, the deputy director for research translation at the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, says lack of regulation, the “newness” of the products, and the way the industry promotes e-cigarettes as “healthier alternatives” contributes to the confusion. But don’t fall for it; e-cigarettes and vapes aren’t that different than regular old cigarettes, so take precautions when you use them.

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 I am sure that “vaping” is just as harmful to my health either directly or indirectly via second hand vapor and choose to “Just say NO!”. How do you protect yourself from vape especially if you live in an apartment or have shared HVAC? VentMask air filters protect you room by room removing those types of particulate found in vape vapor.

Coming next week in our second installment about vaping. Can I have an allergic reaction to the vapor or to the “vape juice” used for vaping?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still relevent ...in 2018

From November 2016... Odor! Odor! Odor in the court! I just shared a 3 hour bus ride to Whistler BC with some very friendly yet interestingly odored folks and decided to re-post this from a couple years ago as it STILL seems to be relevant to 2018! LOL.....

Ok well not really in the court...but in this instance on a airplane.

We were traveling from Copenhagen, Denmark to JFK recently and had the unique opportunity to find ourselves seated smack dab in the center of a group of European visitors headed to the United States.  I am very open to new cultural experiences, that’s why we were traveling in the first place, but I am amiss as to why some people are so avidly against the use of deodorant.  To say that the odors that were impressed upon our oral nasal factories was intense is an understatement. If you have ever had the chance to be around what my wife calls “the granola” crowd you will notice a pungent body odor just under the scent of patchouli oil. (An oil worn as perfume by hippies in lieu of showering or bathing in any way.) 

Is this a personal effort to avoid the health dangers of wearing deodorant? Is it an effort to keep people away and lead a solitary lifestyle? I am sure that each individual will have different reasons for not using a little right guard, from health to cultural reasons, but there are indeed people who may suffer from allergies to deodorant.  

This rather inopportune allergy usually comes rooted alongside a corresponding sensitivity to perfumes or other ingredients in the deodorant or antiperspirant itself. Those who play host to sensitivity towards the substances typically suffer from itchy redness and peeling skin, with hives, pustules, painful pimples, and broken, oozing lesions in more severe instances. All of these issues may be treated in the same manner as other allergies. Obviously, a physical resistance to deodorant poses a threat to basic personal hygiene, as the victim cannot be expected to continue using a product that causes discomfort and damage. However, it is never a good idea to traipse about moistly reeking of the inside of a sneaker, either. Some prescription deodorants may prove valuable, though more serious cases ought to consider viable alternatives such as talcum or baby powder. It is advisable for those finding themselves in the latter situation to carry a small bottle or bag of the stuff to re-apply throughout the day as necessary. There are also "all natural" deodorants you can find by searching on line.

Wishing you the best health and for us all to smell like roses…TheVentMaskTeam.

Such a TURKEY!...bird allergies that is.

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Ahhh yes! Thanksgiving dinner will soon be on your table. A beautiful roasted turkey with all the trimmings and pumpkin pie ala mode for desert.  A nap on the couch and then round two! Stuffing and turkey with gravy all over and another helping of pie and ice cream to top it all off, then sitting around with your family watching football or a few good movies.

Yes… it sounds like a wonderful way to spend a day. But where do you keep that tom if you’re allergic to bird feathers? WHAT you don’t keep a live turkey in your home for Thanksgiving? Ok not very many of us urbanites do, but I am sure there are some rural-lites that still have a designated bird for their Thanksgiving meal, like say poultry farmers.

Even if you buy your turkey from your local grocery or butcher shop there is a small chance of being allergic to our fine feathered friends.

Bird allergy is a normal reaction of your body's immune system to the feather dander, or more popularly known as feather dust, and droppings or fecal matter coming out of birds.

 

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People who work closely with birds like farm workers and zookeepers and those who take care of birds as pets like bird fanciers are the most at risk to develop bird allergy.  If you look into it medical statistics identify that the number of people allergic to birds are far lower compared to those allergic to other animals like dogs and cats.

 

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Bird allergies work just like pollen or other allergies. When bird dander or dust from bird droppings enter the air and you breathe them in your body fights back against the allergens causing allergy symptoms.  If you have bird allergies the symptoms are sometimes similar to those for hay fever or allergic rhinitis.  Symptoms for bird allergies can be divided into two groups.

1. Average:Those symptoms that are considered less severe, including watery eyes, sneezing, postnatal drips, sore throat, stuffy nose, coughing, hives itchy eyes and allergic shiners or the presence of black circles in the area below the eyes.

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2.  Severe:The serious form of bird allergies symptoms include prolonged coughing, extended periods of breathing difficulty, occasional fever and chills, weight loss and dry cough which can persist for extended periods. Triggers that cause severe bird allergy can reduce your lung's capacity,  and may potentially pose a detriment not just to your health but also to your life. Sever allergies are caused by regular or constant exposure to allergy causing birds. So if you are a bird keeper or just around avian pets and have experienced such symptoms over a long period of time but cant figure out what is causing your symptoms, allergies may be the culprit.

What to do if you think you have bird allergies. First and foremost see your allergist to confirm your suspicions.  Physicians often prescribe antihistamines, decongestants and corticosteroids to relieve the symptoms associated with bird allergy. Antihistamines block symptoms to allergic reactions, not just to birds, but also to all forms of allergies. Allergy shots, of course may block the onset of bird allergy, but I hate shots!

Avoiding exposure to allergens, in this case the birds and their feathers, will absolutely reduce or even end allergy symptoms, and is probably the most effective measure to use. However, hygiene also an effective defense against any form of diseases and will also be effective in fighting attacks of bird allergy. Wash your hands!

If you have birds in your home the ultimate solutions would be to find them a new home, but our pets are like family and if that’s not an option good air filtration in your home is.  HEPA quality main filtration for your HVAC system and VentMask vent register filters make a good combo to stop allergens in your air and trapped in your air ducts.

 

See ya soon… we must go pardon a turkey! Happy Thanksgiving all!!!

 

WAIT!....speaking of turkey pardoning why not have some fun and learn a little about this tradition.

It is often stated that Presidents Lincoln's clemency to a turkey recorded in an 1865 report by White House reporter Noah Brooks was the origin for the pardoning ceremony. Reports of turkeys as gifts to American presidents can be traced to the 1870s, when Rhode Island poultry dealer Horace Vose began sending well fed birds to the White House. 

By 1914, the opportunity to give a turkey to a President was open to everyone, and poultry gifts were frequently touched with patriotism, partisanship, and glee. In 1921, an American Legion post furnished bunting for the crate of a gobbler en route from Mississippi to Washington, while a Harding Girls Club in Chicago outfitted a turkey as a flying ace, complete with goggles. First Lady Grace Coolidge accepted a turkey from a Vermont Girl Scout in 1925. The turkey gifts had become established as a national symbol of good cheer.

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In November 1947, announcements of the government encouraging "poultryless Thursdays" grabbed national headlines. Outrage from homemakers, restaurant owners, and the poultry industry was palpable in Washington. This came to a head when the poultry industry pointed out that the upcoming Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, the three big turkey holidays, happened to fall on Thursday.. The effort was deflated in time for Thanksgiving, but not before poultry growers had sent crates of live chickens— "Hens for Harry"— to the White House in protest. The turkey they presented to President Truman that December promoted the poultry industry and established an annual news niche that endures today.

 

While 1947 was the beginning of the official turkey presentation from the poultry industry, the turkey pardon remained a sporadic tradition.

 

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In December 1948, Truman accepted two turkeys and remarked that they would "come in handy" for Christmas dinner. There was clearly no plan for these birds to receive a presidential pardon. The Washington Post used both "pardon" and "reprieve" in a 1963 article in which President Kennedy said of the turkey, "Let's keep him going." During the latter years of the Nixon presidency, Patricia Nixon accepted the turkeys on behalf of the President and in 1973 sent the bird to the Oxon Hill Children’s Farm. The 1978 turkey, presented to Rosalynn Carter, met a similar fate when it was sent to Evans Farm Inn to live in a mini zoo. 

 

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After 1981 the practice of sending the presentation turkey to a farm became the norm under Ronald Reagan. The turkey ceremony also became a source of satire and humor for reporters. The formalities of pardoning a turkey gelled by 1989, when George H. W. Bush, with animal rights activists picketing nearby, quipped, "But let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey, that he will not end up on anyone's dinner table, not this guy -- he's granted a Presidential pardon as of right now -- and allow him to live out his days on a children's farm not far from here.”

 

Thanks for joining us for our Turkey day blog we hope you enjoyed it! So lets enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and remember the things we have to be thankful for… health, family, our freedoms and FOOD!

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THEVENTMASKTEAM!

 

 

My allergies made me do it!

 MY ALLERGIES MADE ME DO IT!

MY ALLERGIES MADE ME DO IT!

MY ALLERGIES MADE ME DO IT! Crimes committed because of your allergies…sounds pretty far fetched doesn’t it?  I thought so too, so I did some poking around and the following may surprise you!

This is and article from allergy-book.blogspot.com……

“Crime and violence are increasing, especially among young people. Yes despite the best intentions of rehabilitation workers, counseling and attempts at reform are often futile. Some people seem destined to say in trouble with the law all their lives.

A few doctors and scientists now take the view that much crime, particularly violent crime, is caused by some biological malfunction of the criminal’s brain – sometimes triggered by food allergies and chemical exposure. Not that sociological factors do not play a role.

But biological factors such as allergy have been ignored too long, say the researchers. In a speech to the California Commission on the Prevention of Crime and Violence, Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., said that because traditional approach to rehabilitation of criminals haven’t been very successful, it's time to examine the influence and correction of other factors, specially:

  • Food allergies,

  • Food additives,

  • Excess sugar intake,

  • Pesticides and herbicides inadvertently added to food and water,

  • Fumes from industrial and other environmental sources and

  • Alcohol use.

Interestingly enough, many of those same factors have been found to be responsible for allergy induced hyperactivity, learning problems and aggression, which are often directly related to criminal behavior. Dr. Rimland described the brain as a ”soggy computer” – a compact information and control center that’s 85 percent water by weight.

 You distract her....I'll get the goods!

You distract her....I'll get the goods!

Doctors already know that if an individual takes in too much of a toxic metal like lead, or too little of an essential nutrient like thiamine, something will go wrong. By the same token, if the person eats a food or breathes a substance which is basically harmless but to which he or she happens to be allergic – wheat, POLLEN, aspirin or whatever – the brain will act up.

The result can be distortions of judgment and control that can easily lead to antisocial and criminal behavior. ”It's well known that allergies may cause such symptoms as hay fever, asthma and hives,” says Dr. Rimland.

”Since it is so widely recognized that the nasal membranes, the lungs and the skin can be affected by a food or other substances to which some individuals are intolerant, (it's not surprising that) the brain, the most intricate and biochemically complicated organ in body, could also be effected by allergies.”

”Individuals who have cerebral (brain) allergies to wheat, beef, milk, corn and other common foods are likely to experience chronic problems such as headaches, feelings in violence or, surprisingly, specific compulsions such as to steal or commit arson,” says Dr. Rimbaland.

”Individuals who are allergic to or who cannot tolerate substances (which they eat or encounter less frequently) such as oysters, walnuts or formaldehyde, may experience unexpected and uncontrolled episodes of aberrant behavior with intervening periods of trouble free behavior. ”The ’brain allergy’ concept has important implication for correcting criminal behavior through diet,” says Dr. Rimland.

As it happens, many of the dietary changes designed to improve criminal behavior have involved the elimination of nonnutritive items such as sugar and foods additives. Alexander Schauss, a noted criminologist, reports the following sequence of events as a military prison in Seattle. On November 1, 1978, white flour was replaced with whole wheat.

On February 3, 1979, sugar was eliminated – including all pastries, cakes, ice cream, soft drinks and Kool-Aid. Records subsequently showed that after the menu changes, discipline problems among the inmates were down 12 percent from the same period a year before (Diet, Crime and Delinquency, Parker House, 1980).

But removing any incriminated allergens can correct criminal behavior. Doris J. Rapp, M.D., an allergist in Buffalo, New York, tells of one uncooperative young man who had a history of stealing. During the nine months that Dr. Rapp treated his allergies, the stealing stopped.

When therapy was discontinued (at his mother’s request), stealing resumed. Three other patients in Dr. Rapp’s care had a recurrence of stealing when allergy treatment was discontinued (Journal of Learning Disabilities, November, 1979). ”One wonders how many children and adults have been drugged and placed in institutions because of violent behavior related to adverse food reactions,” says Schauss.

Because 90 percent of delinquents have reading difficulties and other learning problems, we suggest that parents of troublesome children also read the entry on Learning Disorders. The entries on Aggression and Hyperactivity may also be helpful.

·       https://allergy-book.blogspot.com/2007/11/allergic-reaction-criminal-behavior.html

 

Ok that was mostly directed at food allergies, so I did a little more exploring and found this in the LA Times.

“A 46-year-old college professor who complained of life-threatening allergies was arrested Tuesday after being forcibly removed from a SouthWest Airlines flight that was bound for Los Angeles and carried dogs in the cabin.

The incident, which was captured in jumpy cellphone video, occurred at Baltimore airport, after a passenger asked that two dogs be removed from the aircraft, according to a witness. Instead, the flight crew asked the woman to leave, and she refused.

Anila Daulatzai of Baltimore was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, disturbing the peace, obstructing and hindering a police officer and resisting arrest, said Lt. Kevin Ayd of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.

 This isn't really Ms. Daulatzai...it's just some pic we got off Google! ;-)

This isn't really Ms. Daulatzai...it's just some pic we got off Google! ;-)

Daulatzai was transported to the Anne Arundel County District Court, where she was released on her own recognizance, Ayd said. She had been removed from the plane at the request of its captain.”

Now Ms. Daulatzai allergies didn’t cause her to commit any violent acts, but nowadays disturbing flight crew and disrupting behavior on a flight can get you into serious trouble. But how about serious crimes, crimes of passion, greed, you know A&E channel kinda stuff?

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Looking a little deeper I found this from a book called, Advances in Hypersensitivity Research and Treatment: 2011 Edition.

 

“ In 2003-2005, the Chicago Initiative to Raise Asthma Health Equity conducted an asthma screening survey of children in grades K to 8 attending Chicago public schools and Catholic schools. Crime data was obtained from the Chicago Police Department. In addition to simple regression analysis, multi level logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate the effect of criminal activity on neighborhood asthma variances. Of the surveys returned, 45,371 (93%) were geocoded into 247 neighborhoods. Neighborhoods were divided into quartile groups by mean asthma prevalence (9%, 12%, 17% and 22%). Criminal activity (annual incidence per 100,00 people) was significantly higher (p<.001) in neighborhoods with a high asthma prevalence, especially drug abuse violations, which increased more than six fold (461 vs. 2921) and violent crimes, which increased more than three fold (448 vs. 1566). After adjusting for community race/ethnicity, only violent crime continued to be significantly associated with the neighborhood asthma prevalence (odds ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.55, p<.05). When considered along side the sociodemographic and individual characteristics, violence continued to contribute significantly (p<.05), explaining 15% of neighborhood variations in childhood asthma. Evidence suggests an association between violent crime and childhood asthma prevalence in Chicago, wrote R.S. Gupta and colleagues, School of Medicine.

 

The researchers concluded: “ A deeper understanding of the mechanisms that underlie these association may lend insight to potential interventions to address urban asthma”.

 

If you don’t believe me you can read this for yourself here… https://books.google.com/books?id=pWCFdq8Dr0IC&pg=PA65&lpg=PA65&dq=violent+criminal+activity+linked+to+allergies&source=bl&ots=VuNG-BJ3GW&sig=M5WIrYgYLdxUVASG1suvx30EpWE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj26N7Kq4nXAhVI74MKHeQxD9EQ6AEINzAD#v=onepage&q=violent%20criminal%20activity%20linked%20to%20allergies&f=false

 

So links to bad behavior have been made to asthma.  Would you sensibly say that since asthma and allergies have common symptoms that allergies could also play a role in criminal behavior?

 

It’s an interesting concept and since I have teenage boys at home I will continue to use good filters to lessen all the asthma and allergy inducing contaminates and VentMask filters to trap everything in our ducts that builds up over time.

Maybe it’ll keep them both on the straight and narrow…I use every tool at my disposal! LOL! I'm hoping maybe it'll straighten out the dog too!

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