Science Lion Byte: Vaping Illness Outbreak Update – Jan. 31, 2020

***Science Lion Media will pause coverage on the vaping outbreak as the public health issue has plateaued and appears to be reaching a resolution. Thank you for heeding the advice of health professionals and communicators to protect yourselves and others from unnecessary harm***

Please refer to our previous publication for a comprehensive background of the vaping illness outbreak in the United States.

Here is a summary of the latest vaping-related lung illness information released by the CDC, as of January 21, 2019 at 1pm EST:

  • The CDC, as of December 4, 2019, has elected to only report hospitalized EVALI cases and related-deaths, regardless of hospitalization status. Non-hospitalized cases have been removed from previously reported case counts.                     
  • The number of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) cases has been reported to reach 2,711 nationwide. With California, Illinois, and Texas leading the nation in confirmed EVALI cases.
  • EVALI cases have now been reported in all 50 states of the United States, after Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services reported their first case of vaping-related lung injury on December 3, 2019. The District of Columbia (D.C.), Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands have reported cases, as well.
  • There have now been 60 confirmed deaths related to EVALI, with Texas reporting the youngest EVALI-related death of a 15 year-old.
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As of the most recent data collected from January 14, 2019, EVALI patient statistics are as follows:

  • Regarding hospitalization status, 95% of EVALI patients have been hospitalized; 5% have not.
  • 66% of patients are reported to be male.
  • The median age of patients is 24 years old, with an age range between 13 and 85 years old.
  • The median age of the deceased patients is 51 years old, with an age range between 15 and 75 years old.
  • Breakdown of patients by age group:
    15% of patients were under 18 years old
    37% were 18 to 24 years old
    24% were 25 to 34 years old
    24% were 35 years or older

 

 

The most complete information of patient product use, 3 months prior to symptom onset, reflects the following:

  • 82% reported using THC-containing products; 33% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.
  • 57% reported using nicotine-containing products; 14% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.
  • Younger EVALI patients (13-17 years of age) were significantly more likely to acquire THC-containing vape products only from informal sources (94%), versus 62% of older patients, 45 years of age and older.
  • Regarding nicotine-containing vape products, 42% of younger EVALI patients (13-17 years of age) acquired these products only from informal sources, versus 12% of older patients, 45 years of age and older.

Overall, 152 different THC-containing product brands were reported by EVALI patients, and of those products reported, *Dank Vapes was the most commonly reported product brand used by patients nationwide, although there are regional differences. This supports the premise that THC-containing products are heavily contributing to the EVALI outbreak, and that no one brand is solely responsible. Overall, these unregulated and off-branded products, in addition to their unconventional use, are suspected of undergirding the spread of this lung illness outbreak.

* Dank Vapes is a class of largely counterfeit THC-containing products of unknown origin.

 

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On January 2, 2020, the FDA implemented a partial ban on vaping in the US, focused on ceasing the manufacture of unauthorized flavors which may appeal to under-age individuals. Additionally, President Trump has signed into law an amendment which nationally raises the smoking age from 18 to 21 years old.

Looking beyond the United States, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has officially issued a ban on e-cigarettes, after the country reported its first confirmed EVALI case in a 16 year-old girl, on November 15, 2019.

The Philippines join roughly 30 other countries that have moved to issue a ban on e-cigarette products, including Brazil, India and Singapore. Indonesia is now strongly considering following suit of the Philippines by possibly issuing their own vaping ban to preempt the surfacing of EVALI cases in its country.

Canada is also experiencing an uptick in vaping cases with its 17th official EVALI case reported in the country, as of January 21, 2020.

 

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Science Lion Byte: Vaping Illness Outbreak Update – Jan. 9, 2020

Please refer to our previous publication for a comprehensive background of the vaping illness outbreak in the United States.

Here is a summary of the latest vaping-related lung illness data released by the CDC, as of January 9, 2019 at 1pm EST:

  • The CDC, as of December 4, 2019, has elected to only report hospitalized EVALI cases and related-deaths, regardless of hospitalization status. Non-hospitalized cases have been removed from previously reported case counts.                     
  • The number of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) cases has been reported to reach 2,602 nationwide. With California, Illinois, and Texas leading the nation in confirmed EVALI cases.
  • EVALI cases have now been reported in all 50 states of the United States, after Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services reported their first case of vaping-related lung injury on December 3, 2019. The District of Columbia (D.C.), Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands have reported cases, as well.
  • There have now been 57 confirmed deaths related to EVALI. Among states reporting the most EVALI-related deaths are Illinois (5), Indiana (5), and California (4), with Texas reporting the youngest EVALI-related death of a 15 year-old, today.
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As of the most recent data collected from December 3, 2019, EVALI patient statistics are as follows:

  • Regarding hospitalization status, 95% of EVALI patients have been hospitalized; 5% have not.
  • 67% of patients are reported to be male.
  • Breakdown of patients by age group:
    16% of patients were under 18 years old
    38% were 18 to 24 years old
    24% were 25 to 34 years old
    23% were 35 years or older

 

 

The most complete information of patient product use, 3 months prior to symptom onset, reflects the following:

  • 80% reported using THC-containing products; 35% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.
  • 54% reported using nicotine-containing products; 13% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.
  • 40% reported both THC- and nicotine-containing product use.
  • 5% reported no THC- or nicotine-containing product use.

Overall, 152 different THC-containing product brands were reported by EVALI patients, and of those products reported, *Dank Vapes was the most commonly reported product brand used by patients nationwide, although there are regional differences. This supports the premise that THC-containing products are heavily contributing to the EVALI outbreak, and that no one brand is solely responsible. Overall, these unregulated and off-branded products, in addition to their unconventional use, are suspected of undergirding the spread of this lung illness outbreak.

* Dank Vapes is a class of largely counterfeit THC-containing products of unknown origin.

 

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On January 2, 2020, the FDA implemented a partial ban on vaping in the US, focused on ceasing the manufacture of unauthorized flavors which may appeal to under-age individuals. Additionally, President Trump has signed into law an amendment which nationally raises the smoking age from 18 to 21 years old.

Looking beyond the United States, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has officially issued a ban on e-cigarettes, after the country reported its first confirmed EVALI case in a 16 year-old girl, on November 15, 2019.

The Philippines join roughly 30 other countries that have moved to issue a ban on e-cigarette products, including Brazil, India and Singapore. Indonesia is now strongly considering following suit of the Philippines by possibly issuing their own vaping ban to preempt the surfacing of EVALI cases in its country.

Canada is also experiencing an uptick in vaping cases with its 15th official EVALI case reported in the country, as of January 2, 2020.

Take care and stay tuned for the next Science Lion Byte!

 

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Science Lion Byte: Vaping Illness Outbreak Update – Dec. 13, 2019

Please refer to our previous publication for a comprehensive background of the vaping illness outbreak in the United States.

Here is a summary of the latest vaping-related lung illness data released by the CDC, as of December 12, 2019 at 1pm EST:

  • As of December 4, 2019, CDC will only report hospitalized EVALI cases and EVALI deaths regardless of hospitalization status.                     
  • The number of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) cases has been reported to reach 2,409 nationwide, rising from 2,291 last week. California, Illinois, and Texas lead the nation in confirmed EVALI cases.
  • EVALI cases have now been reported in all 50 states of the United States, after Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services reported their first case of vaping-related lung injury on December 3, 2019. The District of Columbia (D.C.), Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands have reported cases, as well.
  • There have now been 52 confirmed deaths related to EVALI, rising from 48 last week. States reporting the most EVALI-related deaths are Illinois (5), Indiana (5), and California (4).
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As of December 3, 2019, EVALI patient statistics are as follows:

  • Regarding hospitalization status, 95% of EVALI patients have been hospitalized; 5% have not.
  • 67% of patients are reported to be male.
  • Breakdown of patients by age group:
    16% of patients were under 18 years old
    38% were 18 to 24 years old
    24% were 25 to 34 years old
    23% were 35 years or older

 

 

The most complete information of patient product use, 3 months prior to symptom onset, reflects the following:

  • 82% reported using THC-containing products; 35% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.
  • 62% reported using nicotine-containing products; 13% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.
  • 48% reported both THC- and nicotine-containing product use.
  • 4% reported no THC- or nicotine-containing product use.

Overall, 152 different THC-containing product brands were reported by EVALI patients, and of those products reported, *Dank Vapes was the most commonly reported product brand used by patients nationwide, although there are regional differences. This supports the premise that THC-containing products are heavily contributing to the EVALI outbreak, and that no one brand is solely responsible.

* Dank Vapes is a class of largely counterfeit THC-containing products of unknown origin.

 

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Looking beyond the United States, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has officially issued a ban on e-cigarettes, after the country reported its first confirmed EVALI case in a 16 year-old girl, on November 15, 2019.

The Philippines join roughly 30 other countries that have moved to issue a ban on e-cigarette products, including Brazil, India and Singapore. Indonesia is now strongly considering following suit of the Philippines by possibly issuing their own vaping ban to preempt the surfacing of EVALI cases in its country. President Trump of the United States is still contemplating an executive order to ban e-cigarettes; in particular, flavored e-cigarette products. In the meantime, a vaping bill which is currently being mulled over in congress, would strengthen restrictions against tobacco sales to youths and ban e-cigarette flavorings; this bill will be voted on early next year.

Canada is also experiencing an uptick in vaping cases with its 14th official EVALI case reported in the country, as of December 10, 2019.

Take care and stay tuned for the next Science Lion Byte!

 

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Science Lion Byte: Vaping Illness Outbreak Update – Dec. 6, 2019

Please refer to our previous publication for a comprehensive background of the vaping illness outbreak in the United States.

Here is a summary of the latest vaping-related lung illness data released by the CDC, as of December 5, 2019 at 1pm EST:

  • As of December 4, 2019, CDC will only report hospitalized EVALI cases and EVALI deaths regardless of hospitalization status. As a result, the CDC removed 175 non-hospitalized cases from previously reported national cases.                                                                   
  • The number of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) cases has been reported to reach 2,291 nationwide, rising from 2,116 last week. California, Illinois, and Texas lead the nation in confirmed EVALI cases.
  • EVALI cases have now been reported in all 50 states of the United States, after Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services reported their first case of vaping-related lung injury on December 3, 2019. The District of Columbia (D.C.), Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands have reported cases, as well.
  • There have now been 48 confirmed deaths related to EVALI, rising from 47 last week. States reporting the most EVALI-related deaths are Illinois (5), California (4), and Indiana (4).
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As of the most recent data set, EVALI patient statistics are as follows:

  • Regarding hospitalization status, 95% of EVALI patients have been hospitalized; 5% have not.
  • 68% of patients are reported to be male.
  • Breakdown of patients by age group:
    15% of patients were under 18 years old
    38% were 18 to 24 years old
    24% were 25 to 34 years old
    23% were 35 years or older

 

 

The most complete information of patient product use, 3 months prior to symptom onset, reflects the following:

  • 83% reported using THC-containing products; 35% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.
  • 61% reported using nicotine-containing products; 13% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.
  • 48% reported both THC- and nicotine-containing product use.
  • 4% reported no THC- or nicotine-containing product use.

 

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Looking beyond the United States, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has officially issued a ban on e-cigarettes, after the country reported its first confirmed EVALI case in a 16 year-old girl, on November 15, 2019.

The Philippines join roughly 30 other countries that have moved to issue a ban on e-cigarette products, including Brazil, India and Singapore. Indonesia is now strongly considering following suit of the Philippines by possibly issuing their own vaping ban to preempt the surfacing of EVALI cases in its country. President Trump of the United States is still contemplating an executive order to ban e-cigarettes; in particular, flavored e-cigarette products.

Canada has also reported that they now have 13 official EVALI cases in its country with fears of more cases popping up in the future.

Take care and stay tuned for the next Science Lion Byte!

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to our platform to receive notifications of our latest intriguing science news and media! Also, follow and ‘like’ our Facebook group!

Science Lion Byte: Vaping Illness Outbreak Update – Nov. 21, 2019

Please refer to our previous publication for a comprehensive background of the vaping illness outbreak in the United States.

Here is a summary of the latest vaping-related lung illness data released by the CDC, as of November 21, 2019 at 1pm EST:

  • The number of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) cases has been reported to reach 2,290 nationwide, rising from 2,172 last week. California, Illinois, and Texas lead the nation in confirmed EVALI cases.
  • EVALI cases have now been reported in all of the United States, with the exception of Alaska. The District of Columbia (D.C.), Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands have reported cases, as well.
  • There have now been 47 confirmed deaths related to EVALI, rising from 42 last week. States reporting the most EVALI-related deaths are Illinois (5), California (4), and Indiana (4).
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As of the most recent data set, EVALI patient statistics are as follows:

  • Regarding hospitalization status, 95% of EVALI patients have been hospitalized; 5% have not.
  • 68% of patients are reported to be male.
  • Breakdown of patients by age group:
    15% of patients were under 18 years old
    38% were 18 to 24 years old
    24% were 25 to 34 years old
    23% were 35 years or older

The most complete information of patient product use, 3 months prior to symptom onset, reflects the following:

  • 83% reported using THC-containing products; 35% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.
  • 61% reported using nicotine-containing products; 13% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.
  • 48% reported both THC- and nicotine-containing product use.
  • 4% reported no THC- or nicotine-containing product use.

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Looking beyond the United States, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines plans to issue an official ban on e-cigarettes, after the country reported its first confirmed EVALI case in a 16 year-old girl, on November 15, 2019.

The Philippines would join roughly 30 other countries that have moved to issue a ban on e-cigarette products, including Brazil, India and Singapore. President Trump of the United States is still contemplating an executive order to ban e-cigarettes; in particular, flavored e-cigarette products.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the CDC will not report new numbers next week, but expect an update around December 5.

Take care and stay tuned for the next Science Lion Byte!

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Milk- An Udder Mistake?

We’re told to drink cow’s milk to build stronger bones, while being  bombarded with “Got milk?” commercials, posters, and sound-bytes supporting dairy in our diet. However, why milk is needed may not be entirely clear. Is milk really crucial to our bone health? Let’s talk about it.

A screenshot of a cell phone screen with text

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Some of us may remember the food pyramid, created in 1992 by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, displaying how many servings of each food group are needed to be healthy and strong. 

As it pertains to the dairy section, we were told that each day we should consume 2-3 servings of dairy products, all of which includes milk and foods derived from it. As of 2011, the USDA has opted to replace this reference with a food plate to provide an updated look to their food policy promotion.

Milk serves as an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D which are essential micronutrients that work together for the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, while also supporting a functional immune system to fight infection and disease.

According to the United States Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium is 1,000 mg/day with older, post-menopausal women recommended to take upwards of 1200mg/day; regarding vitamin D intake, the RDA ranges between 10 mcg and 20 mcg per day, depending on the age group.

(Currently, the FDA is implementing plans for updating nutrition labels pertaining to units of conversion by July 1, 2021, and as an example, vitamin D’s International units (IU) are being converted to micrograms (mcg). Until then, you can use this calculator for a variety of conversion purposes, to avoid confusion.)

USDA Food Plate, 2011

Of note, very few foods naturally contain substantial vitamin D, thus requiring supplementation of our food supply with this nutrient to reach our daily recommendations. For example, 1 cup of raw cow’s milk contains .03 mcg – .20 mcg (.3% – 2% daily value!) of vitamin D. As a result, since the 1930s milk in the U.S. has been supplemented with 2.5mcg of vitamin D per cup of milk (25% of daily recommendation). Calcium, on the other hand, is a naturally occurring in cow’s milk, providing 300mg or 30% of the daily recommendation. 

A person sitting on a table

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All things considered, it seems to make sense that we be encouraged by our food policy entities to obtain our nutritional requirements through the easiest, most supplemented routes possible. Yet, studies have shown there are still shortcomings in nutrient acquisition of calcium and vitamin D. Well, there seem to be underlying reasons behind the great disparities in United States’ dairy consumption between demographics, which we allude to next. 

The primary deterrent of almost all non-european ethnic groups consuming dairy is a condition termed lactose intolerance. This is due to a deficiency or absence of an enzyme called lactase, which allows for the digestion of products containing the sugar lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance can include abdominal discomfort, flatulence (gas), diarrhea, and nausea. Contrary to popular belief, lactose intolerance is not an exception to the rule. As a matter of fact, most adolescent and adult human beings are lactose intolerant to some degree, and after observing the table included in this article, you will realize the individuals most amenable to consuming dairy products over their lifetime are those of European descent. 

Research has been done to explore whether the discomfort of dairy intake for lactose intolerant individuals can be alleviated by consistent consumption. One study, for example, shows that through daily consumption of lactose-containing products over the course of three weeks, it appears that symptoms and measured lactose intolerance did not worsen over time; these results were consistent with previous studies. However, considering the reality that people of all ages consume dairy for years on end, a longer-term study may be necessary to see if this study’s findings hold true, or if other physiological responses arise.  

So, is it really necessary to force-feed dairy to people that naturally and biologically reject it? A growing number of specialists believe the answer is no, and the research to backup that rebuttal is starting to pile up. Be sure to check out our follow-up article which will dive deeper into the research behind propositions to overhaul current U.S. food recommendations, and why dairy as a universal, life-long source of calcium and vitamin D, may be a big mistake. 

A screenshot of a cell phone

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Lactose Intolerance Prevalence by Demographic
A picture containing person, ground, outdoor, boy

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In the meantime, as the debate continues over whether dairy should be as heavily promoted, here are some non-dairy alternatives to obtain your current daily requirements of vitamin D and calcium:     

Vitamin D

* Fish

* Orange juice with fortified vitamin D

* Mushroom

* Fortified almond milk

Calcium

* Leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens)

* Seeds (sesame, flax seeds)

* Broccoli

* Beans

If you found this article informative please hit the ‘like’ button below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our platform for the latest intriguing science news and media!

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Milk: An Udder Mistake?

We’re told to drink cow’s milk to build stronger bones, while being  bombarded with “Got milk?” commercials, posters, and sound-bytes supporting dairy in our diet. However, why milk is needed may not be entirely clear. Is milk really crucial to our bone health? Let’s talk about it.

A screenshot of a cell phone screen with text

Description automatically generated

Some of us may remember the food pyramid, created in 1992 by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, displaying how many servings of each food group are needed to be healthy and strong. 

As it pertains to the dairy section, we were told that each day we should consume 2-3 servings of dairy products, all of which includes milk and foods derived from it. As of 2011, the USDA has opted to replace this reference with a food plate to provide an updated look to their food policy promotion.

Milk serves as an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D which are essential micronutrients that work together for the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, while also supporting a functional immune system to fight infection and disease.

According to the United States Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium is 1,000 mg/day with older, post-menopausal women recommended to take upwards of 1200mg/day; regarding vitamin D intake, the RDA ranges between 10 mcg and 20 mcg per day, depending on the age group.

(Currently, the FDA is implementing plans for updating nutrition labels pertaining to units of conversion by July 1, 2021, and as an example, vitamin D’s International units (IU) are being converted to micrograms (mcg). Until then, you can use this calculator for a variety of conversion purposes, to avoid confusion.)

USDA Food Plate, 2011

Of note, very few foods naturally contain substantial vitamin D, thus requiring supplementation of our food supply with this nutrient to reach our daily recommendations. For example, 1 cup of raw cow’s milk contains .03 mcg – .20 mcg (.3% – 2% daily value!) of vitamin D. As a result, since the 1930s milk in the U.S. has been supplemented with 2.5mcg of vitamin D per cup of milk (25% of daily recommendation). Calcium, on the other hand, is a naturally occurring in cow’s milk, providing 300mg or 30% of the daily recommendation. 

A person sitting on a table

Description automatically generated

All things considered, it seems to make sense that we be encouraged by our food policy entities to obtain our nutritional requirements through the easiest, most supplemented routes possible. Yet, studies have shown there are still shortcomings in nutrient acquisition of calcium and vitamin D. Well, there seem to be underlying reasons behind the great disparities in United States’ dairy consumption between demographics, which we allude to next. 

The primary deterrent of almost all non-european ethnic groups consuming dairy is a condition termed lactose intolerance. This is due to a deficiency or absence of an enzyme called lactase, which allows for the digestion of products containing the sugar lactose. Symptoms of lactose intolerance can include abdominal discomfort, flatulence (gas), diarrhea, and nausea. Contrary to popular belief, lactose intolerance is not an exception to the rule. As a matter of fact, most adolescent and adult human beings are lactose intolerant to some degree, and after observing the table included in this article, you will realize the individuals most amenable to consuming dairy products over their lifetime are those of European descent. 

Research has been done to explore whether the discomfort of dairy intake for lactose intolerant individuals can be alleviated by consistent consumption. One study, for example, shows that through daily consumption of lactose-containing products over the course of three weeks, it appears that symptoms and measured lactose intolerance did not worsen over time; these results were consistent with previous studies. However, considering the reality that people of all ages consume dairy for years on end, a longer-term study may be necessary to see if this study’s findings hold true, or if other physiological responses arise.  

So, is it really necessary to force-feed dairy to people that naturally and biologically reject it? A growing number of specialists believe the answer is no, and the research to backup that rebuttal is starting to pile up. Be sure to check out our follow-up article which will dive deeper into the research behind propositions to overhaul current U.S. food recommendations, and why dairy as a universal, life-long source of calcium and vitamin D, may be a big mistake. 

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated
Lactose Intolerance Prevalence by Demographic
A picture containing person, ground, outdoor, boy

Description automatically generated

In the meantime, as the debate continues over whether dairy should be as heavily promoted, here are some non-dairy alternatives to obtain your current daily requirements of vitamin D and calcium:     

Vitamin D

* Fish

* Orange juice with fortified vitamin D

* Mushroom

* Fortified almond milk

Calcium

* Leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens)

* Seeds (sesame, flax seeds)

* Broccoli

 

* Beans

 

If you found this article informative please hit the ‘like’ button below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our platform for the latest intriguing science news and media!

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Smoking or Vaping- There’s No Escaping

Traditional smoking of cigarettes has become less appealing to the public over time, and there is still a significant segment of the population that partakes in this activity. Some willingly view this activity as an outlet for stress relief, while others have acknowledged their addiction and are open to quit with an implemented program. As the dangers of smoking have become more exposed over time, a variety of quitting mechanisms have arisen from gum, to skin patches, to other forms of pharmaceutical interventions. Unfortunately, with the use of these options, there has only been a 10% success rate in quitting smoking.

In 2003 the first commercially available E-cig was created by Hon Lik in China, and in 2006 the E-cig was introduced to the U.S. market. Today, the most influential player in the E-cig market is Juul, a startup which after launching in 2015 captured 70% of the E-cig market within 3 years. The intention was to provide a “healthy cigarette” and as opposed to attaching itself to the stigma of smoking, E-cig usage was popularly dubbed “vaping”. 

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Instead of burning the nicotine-containing substance or other alternative, that main ingredient is suspended in a complex liquid which is heated to an aerosol for inhalation. Much contention has arisen over the effect heating may have on the ingredients, and whether enough reproducible research has been conducted on the health impacts of vaping. Over the course of marketing the product, a perception developed that this product could be used as a bridge to lead smokers to a non-smoking lifestyle, if desired. Unfortunately, controversy has struck, as a mysterious lung disorder described as “vaping associated pulmonary illness” (VAPI) began impacting hundreds of vaping clients requiring them to be hospitalized, with over a dozen individuals dying from the symptoms, as of this post. Below is a list of states with some of the most VAPI-related cases, including some statistics from the current VAPI epidemic:

CALIFORNIA

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  • According to the CDC, as of September 24, 2019, there had been 805 confirmed and suspected vaping-related cases in the U.S. and U.S. territories. By October 22*, they saw that number jump to 1604 cases. Pertaining to deaths related to vaping, as of October 2, there had been 17 deaths reported. Now that number has doubled to 34, with 3 of those deaths occurring in California.
  • Regarding what is physiologically leading to this outcome, research has shone the spotlight on what appears to be an infiltration of certain immune cell types that typically don’t represent the quiescent lung environment, seemingly caused by vaping. 

ILLINOIS

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  • In addition to being one of the highest reporting states for lung illness related to vaping, Illinois has 3 vaping-related deaths reported to the CDC. To determine if these cases are legitimately related to vaping, teams including state investigators, clinicians, and public health officials are organized to align their findings with a validated case definition. If possible, interviews are also conducted with the patient to establish confirmation of the case.
  • Based on the cases investigated so far, all patients were reported to have been vaping leading up to their hospitalization status. Additionally, most patients used THC-containing products or a combination of nicotine-containing and THC-containing products; one subset of patients only used nicotine-containing vaping products. No consistent evidence of infection has been associated with these cases.
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MINNESOTA

  • Minnesota is among the top three reporting states, regarding the enumeration of vaping associated lung illness cases, including 3 VAPI-related deaths being reported from this state, as of this posting.
  • 65% of total patients were between the ages of 18 and 34. As of the latest statistics, roughly 70% of these VAPI cases involved male patients; 40% of patients were between 18 and 24 years old. Alarmingly, 14% of patients were under 18 years old, as this product is prohibited for sale to minors. This implies that further enforcement of this law is needed.

INDIANA

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  • Indiana, also among the top reporting states, has reported 3 VAPI-related deaths as of this posting.
  • Investigators are diligently working to uncover what may be the primary culprit in manifesting this mysterious lung illness, as this is still unknown. Contrary to some E-cigarettes being marketed to contain zero percent nicotine, they have been found to contain the substance. The aerosolized liquids used in these vaping vectors typically contain:
  • Nicotine
  • Ultrafine particles
  • Flavorings (such as diacetyl, which has been linked to serious lung disease)
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Cancer-causing chemicals
  • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead

Although many countries have long banned the import of E-cigarette products, more bans are now cascading down from the U.S. federal government and sweeping across the country. There is simply too much controversy around not only the marketing practices of E-cig manufacturers, but also the safety of the vape fillers themselves when heated and inhaled. A similar dark cloud of uncertainty hovers over the hookah community, too, as similar arguments have been made regarding the safety of the activity. It is best advised to avoid E-cig use until more substantiated reviews and studies are conducted, regarding the concerns therein. And of course, it is best to avoid the habit of smoking altogether.

*This content has been updated, as of October 25, 2019, to provide you with the most current coverage of the VAPI outbreak in the U.S.

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Smoking or Vaping, There’s No Escaping

Traditional smoking of cigarettes has become less appealing to the public over time, and there is still a significant segment of the population that partakes in this activity. Some willingly view this activity as an outlet for stress relief, while others have acknowledged their addiction and are open to quit with an implemented program. As the dangers of smoking have become more exposed over time, a variety of quitting mechanisms have arisen from gum, to skin patches, to other forms of pharmaceutical interventions. Unfortunately, with the use of these options, there has only been a 10% success rate in quitting smoking.

In 2003 the first commercially available E-cig was created by Hon Lik in China, and in 2006 the E-cig was introduced to the U.S. market. Today, the most influential player in the E-cig market is Juul, a startup which after launching in 2015 captured 70% of the E-cig market within 3 years. The intention was to provide a “healthy cigarette” and as opposed to attaching itself to the stigma of smoking, E-cig usage was popularly dubbed “vaping”. 

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Instead of burning the nicotine-containing substance or other alternative, that main ingredient is suspended in a complex liquid which is heated to an aerosol for inhalation. Much contention has arisen over the effect heating may have on the ingredients, and whether enough reproducible research has been conducted on the health impacts of vaping. Over the course of marketing the product, a perception developed that this product could be used as a bridge to lead smokers to a non-smoking lifestyle, if desired. Unfortunately, controversy has struck, as a mysterious lung disorder initially described as “vaping associated pulmonary illness” (VAPI), and now reclassified as “e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury” (EVALI) began impacting hundreds of vaping clients requiring them to be hospitalized, with over 3 dozen individuals dying from the symptoms, as of this post. Below is a list of states with some of the most EVALI-related cases, including some statistics from the current EVALI epidemic:

CALIFORNIA

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  • According to the CDC, as of September 24, 2019, there had been 805 confirmed and suspected vaping-related cases in the U.S. and U.S. territories. By November 5*, they saw that number jump to 2051 cases. Pertaining to deaths related to vaping, as of October 2, there had been 17 deaths reported. Now, that number has more than doubled to 39, with 3 of those deaths occurring in California.
  • Regarding what is physiologically leading to this outcome, research has shone the spotlight on what appears to be an infiltration of certain immune cell types that typically don’t represent the quiescent lung environment, seemingly caused by vaping. 

 

ILLINOIS

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  • In addition to having the highest number of reported cases amongst reporting states for lung illness related to vaping, Illinois has 3 vaping-related deaths reported to the CDC. To determine if these cases are legitimately related to vaping, teams including state investigators, clinicians, and public health officials are organized to align their findings with a validated case definition. If possible, interviews are also conducted with the patient to establish confirmation of the case.
  • Based on the cases investigated so far, all patients were reported to have been vaping leading up to their hospitalization status. Additionally, most patients used THC-containing products or a combination of nicotine-containing and THC-containing products; one subset of patients only used nicotine-containing vaping products. No consistent evidence of infection has been associated with these cases.
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MINNESOTA

  • Minnesota is among the top three reporting states, regarding the enumeration of vaping associated lung illness cases, including 3 EVALI-related deaths being reported from this state, as of this posting.
  • 65% of total patients were between the ages of 18 and 34. As of the latest statistics, roughly 70% of these EVALI cases involved male patients; 40% of patients were between 18 and 24 years old. Alarmingly, 14% of patients were under 18 years old, as this product is prohibited for sale to minors. This implies that further enforcement of this law is needed.

INDIANA

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  • Indiana, also among the top reporting states, has reported 3 EVALI-related deaths as of this posting.
  • Investigators are diligently working to uncover what may be the primary culprit in manifesting this mysterious lung illness, as this is still unknown. Contrary to some E-cigarettes being marketed to contain zero percent nicotine, they have been found to contain the substance. The aerosolized liquids used in these vaping vectors typically contain:
  • Nicotine
  • Ultrafine particles
  • Flavorings (such as diacetyl, which has been linked to serious lung disease)
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Cancer-causing chemicals
  • Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead

Although many countries have long banned the import of E-cigarette products, more bans are now cascading down from the U.S. federal government and sweeping across the country. There is simply too much controversy around not only the marketing practices of E-cig manufacturers, but also the safety of the vape fillers themselves when heated and inhaled. A similar dark cloud of uncertainty hovers over the hookah community, too, as similar arguments have been made regarding the safety of the activity. It is best advised to avoid E-cig use until more substantiated reviews and studies are conducted, regarding the concerns therein. And of course, it is best to avoid the habit of smoking altogether.

*This content has been updated, as of November 7, 2019, to provide you with the most current coverage of the EVALI outbreak in the U.S.

 

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