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  • Vaping and E-Cigarettes: Fact vs. Myth

    Posted 30 November 2015 by Megan Dean
    vaping and e-cig

    Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and electronic hookah (e-hookahs) allow users to inhale a vapor that may contain nicotine, as well as other flavorings and chemicals. While some of these products resemble tobacco-based cigarettes and pipes, others may look like ink pens or USB memory sticks. The term “vaping” is used to describe the act of using these products. The manufacturers of e-cigarettes market their wares as:

    • A safer alternative to using tobacco products
    • A way to “smoke” without becoming addicted to nicotine
    • A legal way to “smoke” in areas where smoking is not permitted
    • A safe, effective smoking cessation tool
    • For adult use only

    But are these claims fact or myth? Let’s take a closer look...

    MYTH: E-cigarettes are a safer alternative to using tobacco products.

    FACT:  E-cigarettes are unregulated tobacco products.

    Currently, e-cigarettes are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – so there are no safety reviews, labeling requirements or guidelines for what chemicals can be used in an e-cigarette. Studies have found toxic chemicals (such as an ingredient used in antifreeze and formaldehyde) in e-cigarettes. In addition, the aerosol (vapor) emitted by e-cigarettes and exhaled by users contains cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens) such as formaldehyde. There is no evidence that shows these products are safe for either short- or long-term use.

    MYTH: Vaping is a way to “smoke” without becoming addicted as e-cigarettes don’t contain nicotine.

    FACT: Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, including many that are marked as being “nicotine-free.” A 2014 study showed a wide range of varying nicotine levels in e-cigarettes and also discrepancies between labeled and actual nicotine levels in these products. The potential for addiction to nicotine rises with the amount of nicotine ingested.

    MYTH: Vaping is a legal way to “smoke” in areas where smoking is not permitted.

    FACT:  Some states restrict e-cigarette use in smoke-free venues such as workplaces, restaurants, bars and gambling facilities. Other state laws that do not explicitly address e-cigarettes might be interpreted as prohibiting their use in existing smoke-free venues.

    Most local and state smoke-free laws were enacted before e-cigarettes were on the market. While these laws may not specifically mention e-cigarettes, it should not be assumed that their use is permitted, especially in smoke-free venues such as workplaces, restaurants, bars and gambling facilities. Some states and municipalities have laws currently in effect that regulate where the use of e-cigarettes is prohibited. In addition, discussions are underway at both the federal and state level to regulate the use of e-cigarettes. Review a list of states and municipalities with laws regulating the use of e-cigarettes as of October 2, 2015.


    MYTH: Vaping is a safe, effective smoking cessation tool.

    FACT: The FDA has not found any e-cigarette to be a safe, effective tool to help smokers quit.

    The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has not approved any e-cigarette as a safe or effective method to help smokers quit smoking. The U.S. Public Health Service has found that the therapies approved by the FDA (i.e., nicotine-containing gum, lozenges, skin patches, nasal spray and oral inhaled products) when used in combination with individual, group or phone cessation counseling is still the most effective way to help smokers kick their habit.

    MYTH: E-cigarettes are not being marketed to children.

    FACT: E-cigarette use among middle school and high school students has tripled.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), e-cigarette use among middle school and high school students tripled in one year, rising from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014 among high school students, and from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014 among middle school students. Teens are now more likely to use e-cigarettes than to smoke traditional cigarettes. [1] Aggressive marketing tactics such as using cartoon characters and candy-like flavors to appeal to teens have resulted in a dramatic increase in kids using e-cigarettes.

    Visit the American Lung Association’s website for more information about e-cigarettes, vaping and health.

    Trying to quit smoking? Find out more about Summa’s program.

    Megan Dean, M ed, AT, CHES, CTTS

    Health Educator

    Summa Health System

    Employee Development

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  • Healthy Eating for Thanksgiving: Five Tips for Making Better Choices

    Posted 24 November 2015 by Laura Ilg
    thanksgiving dinner

    With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you might be thinking about that delicious slice of pumpkin pie to indulge in. But, when the day arrives, sometimes we find ourselves eating way more than just that slice of pie we promised ourselves. Try a few of these tips to help you make better choices and enjoy the day without feeling guilty. Make a healthier version of your favorite dish. Try using skim milk instead of heavy cream in your eggnog recipe or mashed cauliflower instead of ma...

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  • What is Baby-Friendly?

    Posted 19 November 2015 by Summa Flourish

    In an effort to support a healthy beginning for all mothers and babies, Summa Akron City Hospital pursued and earned recognition as a Baby-Friendly® Designated birth facility.  Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Learn more about Baby-Friendly is the video below:  (Can't see the video a...

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  • Progesterone: Preventing Preterm Births

    Posted 17 November 2015 by Karen Frantz and Jennifer Doyle

    World Prematurity Day is November 17. Globally, 15 million babies are born preterm.  Premature birth affects about 12 percent of U.S. babies each year; that means one out of every eight babies is born too soon. Early delivery is the number one cause of newborn death in Ohio. Healthy pregnancies last about 40 weeks. Babies born before 37 weeks can have problems with breathing, feeding and staying warm. You are more likely to deliver your baby early if you: Had a preterm birth before ...

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  • 10 Simple Ways to Healthy Aging

    Posted 12 November 2015 by Summa Flourish

    Healthy aging is becoming a popular topic for baby boomers, and there's no quick fix. Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle can slow aging at the cellular level. Here are 10 ways to feel younger and live life to the fullest. 1.       Don’t Smoke Quitting at age 30 could increase your lifespan by an entire decade. Kicking the habit at age 40, 50 or 60 can add 9, 6 or 3 years to your life, respectively.   2.       Have a Sup...

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  • November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month!

    Posted 10 November 2015 by Maryjo L. Cleveland, M.D.

    Have you noticed that a loved one might be developing a memory loss? Is your dad forgetting to pay the bills? Is your mom getting lost driving? Is your spouse repetitive? These are all potential early signs of a cognitive problem. What should you do if you notice these things? The answer is, get an evaluation! See your primary care physician, a geriatrician or a neurologist, someone that will take this seriously.  I have been asked this question: “If Alzheimer’s disease is not ...

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  • The Therapeutic Benefit of Adult Coloring Books

    Posted 5 November 2015 by Michele McCarroll

    You may recall on February 19, 2015, I wrote about being 10% Happier; whereby focusing on meditation and being mindful to become a happier person. I’m still trying meditation and mindfulness when I can in elevators, heavy-stopped traffic, waiting in line at the grocery store, etc. Honestly, my meditation and mindfulness is still a work in progress but I do feel the positive effects!  Recently, my quest to be more enlightened, happier, and less stressed has come in the form of adult c...

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  • WHY Are You Overweight?

    Posted 3 November 2015 by Jim Sommers

    Today’s Flourish post comes from guest blogger, Jim Sommers. Mr. Sommers is a weight loss surgery patient of Summa’s Bariatric Care Center. When is enough, enough? Well for me it was when the bathroom scale read ERROR. Knowing that the scale had a capacity of 400 pounds and embarrassingly, it was apparent I was over the limit of the scale (my actual weight was 435 pounds), enough had finally become enough for me. I was approaching my 48th birthday and standing on the scale that day ...

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  • The Lowdown on Depression

    Posted 29 October 2015 by Summa Flourish

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  • 5 Things You Should Know About Physical Therapy

    Posted 27 October 2015 by Christopher T. Headrick, PT, DPT

    1. Physical therapists hold advanced doctoral degrees. Many years ago, one could practice physical therapy with a bachelor’s degree.  Over the last few decades, the scope of practice and knowledge has grown tremendously, requiring all physical therapy graduate programs to offer a three-year Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Physical therapists must pass a national board exam in order to obtain their license to practice. Many states, including Ohio, allow direct access to p...

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