December 18, 2019

Safeguarding our future leaders

first_imgThe Red Frog Crew is well-known for assisting party-goers by walking young people home, cooking pancakes and offering emotional support to youngsters. In addition to the orientation week parties, Red Frogs volunteers head out on a weekly basis for student nights when most young people are partying at clubs nearby, providing a safe walk home and any other assistance needed. (Images: Red Frogs SA) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jess Basson   Red Frogs PR Manager +27 83 299 1338 RELATED ARTICLES • SA drivers urged to drink responsibly • SA gets tough on substance abuse • Cinderellas shine at matric dance • Madiba: role model for SA’s youthTiisetso Tlelima Wild university parties can be fun and exciting, but for young impressionable first year students drinking and partying too hard can have devastating consequences and may lead to life-altering behaviours.A non-profit organisation called Red Frogs ensures a safe partying environment for young people by offering them practical, consistent support.Red Frogs is aimed at people between the ages 15 and 25, and was born out of the recognition that the culture of young people is dominated by partying and excessive consumption of alcohol and other substances which may land them in dangerous situations.The aim of the organisation is to provide a positive peer presence in alcohol-fuelled environments where young people gather such as matric dance after-parties and university bashes. Its mission is to educate young people on safe partying behaviours and promote and provide non-alcoholic and diversionary activities that engage young people in these environments.The initiative was started in 1997 by Andy Gourley after seeing the amount of fatal accidents that occurred as a result of binge drinking and the use of illicit drugs during Australia’s schoolies week where thousands of Aussie school-leavers celebrate the end of school.Gourley realised the need for a designated sober person at the massive drinking parties and recruited his friends to help. Initially, all they did was to walk drunken students home, but today the programme includes handing out free pancakes, cleaning up their hotel rooms and giving them free bottles of water.The programme has become renowned for the support it provides not only to school leavers, but also to university students, party and festival goers, event managers, sporting groups and musicians in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada and South Africa.The Red Frogs crew areeasilyindentified by their black t-shirt with the organisation’s logo that they wear when they are on campuses or at events.The organisation depends on financial donations from churches, businesses and individuals to run the programme. Red Frogs has also collaborated with community-orientated organisations that provide resources such as bottled water, pancake mix, vehicles and other resources.“Right from big business to a single mom who cooks a meal for our volunteers – the whole community can get involved in Red Frogs,” said Basson.People who want to get involved in Red Frogs activities should visit the organisation’s website www.redfrogs.co.za where all the volunteer opportunities are listed.Red Frogs SA launchedIn South Africa, a similar informal programme was started by a group of young people in 2005 where volunteers helped out matric students in the small holiday town of Ballito in Kwazulu-Natal. When they heard about Red Frogs in Australia, they decided to collaborate and in 2008 Red Frogs South Africa was launched in the town.“We’ve learnt so much from the Australians’ experience and we have contextualised it to be relevant to our local setup,” said Red Frogs South Africa PR manager Jesse Basson.“The programme is important because most of these young people are on the brink of making life-changing decisions. They are going to study, work and travel, and start their lives as adults. Choices made in alcohol-fuelled environments can leave lasting consequences and we genuinely believe that if we can safeguard this generation during a season of their lives where they are vulnerable, we can safeguard our country’s future leaders.”Many matriculants go on holiday without their parents for the first time and can find themselves in stressful situations with no one to turn to. Red Frogs is able to get medical assistance to those who need it, liaise with the police and security and look out for matriculants with their interests at heart.By providing these services the volunteers earn young people’s trust and respect, making it easier for them to reach out to the Red Frogs when they find themselves in trouble or when they are facing a challenging time, added Basson.Some of the obstacles the Red Frogs team has come across in their work include trying to curb the use of drugs and violent breakouts, and having to deal with medical crises. At most parties and festivals, these challenges can be addressed through collaborating with the community, police, security companies and emergency service providers.“The best solution we have found is, for example in Umhlanga, where the Urban Improvement Project which provides extremely efficient, centralised management of all the factors involved, does an amazing job of handling the matric holiday dynamics in the town,” explained Basson.University presenceRed Frogs’ presence on university campuses is an extension of the relationships it has built with matric students during their end of year holiday. During university orientation weeks the Red Frogs set up tents on campus to connect with first year students.Arriving at university can be intimidating and a daunting experience for new students which makes the Red Frogs a familiar and trustworthy presence for many of the young people who met the crew during their school leaving parties.In addition to the orientation week parties, Red Frogs volunteers head out on a weekly basis for student nights when most young people are partying at clubs nearby, providing a safe walk home and any other assistance needed.“Whether it’s at a university party or a music festival, our Hydration Stations or Chill-Out Zones are always a huge hit,” explained Basson. “They are a great place for young people to take a break from the loud music and hectic partying scene. Our volunteers hand out free water and pancakes, and we offer a quiet place to sit and catch your breath.”Red Frogs is currently present at the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and the University of Kwazulu-Natal’s Westville campus, and will be starting on a small level at the University of the Witwatersrand this year.The organisation also plans to increase its visibility at music festivals across the country this year. After a successful run at the Oppikoppi music festival in 2012, Red Frogs will be returning to the festival again in 2013 and will set up tents at Splashy Fen, Rocking the Daisies and Fun in the Sun music festivals as well.“Our role at festivals is to help the festival organisers by being the eyes and ears out in the crowd, linking festival goers with the services provided by the organisers.”last_img read more

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December 18, 2019

Growth is key message for South Africa at Davos

first_img16 January 2015South Africa’s Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene and Deputy Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams met the country’s top chief executives and other business leaders on Thursday to discuss the key messages South Africa will be taking to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 annual meeting in Davos next week.The briefing aimed to share the “key themes” about South Africa’s economy and investment environment that the local delegation would be taking to Davos, and to get feedback from business, the Treasury said in a statement on Thursday.International forumThe 2015 WEF annual meeting will be held from 21 to 24 January in the Swiss town of Davos. The World Economic Forum is an international forum dedicated to improving living standards for all by promoting public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship.This year’s gathering will be held under the theme “The New Global Context”, reflecting on the political, economic, social and technological era the global economy has entered after the worst global financial crisis since 1930.Important issues on the meeting’s agenda include delivering sustainable and inclusive growth, lower global growth and looming geopolitical risks, improving global governance through public-private cooperation, and exploring social and political transformations in all regions.Key messagesNene said South Africa had developed three key messages based on its National Development Plan, a long-term vision of the country and a tool to addressing its social and economic deficit. These are:South Africa remains a competitive business and investment destination of choice.South Africa supports growth in Africa through regional integration and direct investment.South Africa continues to advocate for the developmental agenda of the South in its international engagements.The South African delegation to WEF Davos will be made up of government, business, civil society representatives, and will be led by President Jacob Zuma.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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December 18, 2019

Barn cats and drugs are hard to keep out, especially after you let them in

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On the colder days during the winter months, we have a group of barn cats that crowd up near the front door of our house, hoping to sneak in to enjoy the warmer temperatures at the next opportunity. In the barn they have proven repeatedly to be valuable assets. In the house and under foot, however, they are irksome beasts.Despite the fact that they have access to a cozy barn with a well-stocked haymow perfect for snuggling in on a cold winter afternoon, one too many trips into the house as kittens courtesy of our children has provided ample experience and know-how concerning the logistics of infiltrating the front door. The worst two feline culprits are Sister (named by our daughter as a hopeful hint suggesting a possible family expansion a few years back) and Auto-steer (named by our son based upon his love for all things farm). These two female tiger cats prowl the front step and wait for any entrance or exit from the house by a person not paying complete attention to the task of keeping the cats out. Sometimes they can even make it in without anyone noticing.When we do finally corral the rogue barn cat and put it back outside, the other cat is often waiting, ready to run in. It is amazing how much daily manpower at our home is dedicated to the often not-so-simple task of extricating Auto-steer and Sister the barn cats.I thought about those cats last week as I listened to discussions at the Ohio Farm Bureau Ag Day at the Capital. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine started off the program on a snowy February morning talking about the devastation around Ohio’s rural areas from heroin use.DeWine said that 90% of the crime in every Ohio county is somehow related to the growing drug epidemic in the state. Tremendous resources are being used currently in the state to combat this huge problem without even making a dent. Many more resources will be needed to address this problem moving forward.The ball, though, is rolling as awareness about the heroin problems in rural and small-town Ohio is increasing. Government officials like DeWine, and organizations like the Ohio Farm Bureau (and many others) are looking for solutions to help rural Ohio address this extremely serious drug problem.Yet, simultaneously, proponents of the legalization of marijuana in Ohio are just getting started after a defeat at the ballot last fall, hoping to follow on the heels of successful legalization efforts in other states.“The people who want to make a lot of money from marijuana are going to keep bringing this back. Last summer I went to Colorado where they have legalized recreational marijuana. What I found out there, we don’t want in Ohio. It changed the culture. When you say it is legal for a 21-year-old, a 14-year-old now thinks it’s OK. The age of when people start using marijuana has gone down and the use of marijuana for underage users has gone up dramatically. We don’t need that in Ohio,” DeWine said. “This marijuana today is much more potent than anything we saw in the 1960s and 1970s. And, medical science has advanced and we known more about how the brain develops. Young people who regularly smoke marijuana while their brain is developing are risking a significant and irreversible 5 to 10 point loss in IQ, which is just stunning.”Some proponents, however, point to the already widespread use of marijuana and suggest that legalizing it and taxing it could allow for many positives in society.“When marijuana is commercialized, it is being driven by promotion and profits. And you have to promote it to people who are underage or dependent upon it for it to make money commercially. When that happens it ends up being a cost to society,” said Marcie Seidel, executive director of the Drug Free Action Alliance, who spoke at OFBF‘s event last week. “In Colorado they had estimated $107 million in tax revenue with legalization, but they only made $63 million. And now they are seeing more costs than they anticipated. Colorado teachers are saying that marijuana is the now the No. 1 problem in schools. They refer to students as being ‘dazed and confused.’ We have found with things like alcohol, for every dollar of taxes we take in we spend more than that in terms of addressing the societal problems that result. The tax benefits are a myth.”Other costs to the legalization of marijuana include funding for addiction and education for prevention. As it is, there is already a significant shortage of treatment centers around the state of Ohio. In addition, there are a myriad of potential costs resulting for businesses (how do employers handle marijuana use by employees?), legal impairment standards and regulations, and the need for increased medical research to better understand the potential issues, Seidel said.There are also significant concerns about the issue returning to the ballot as a constitutional amendment.“Ballot initiatives are expensive and even one word cannot be changed without a public process,” Seidel said. “Legislation is never done right the first time. It always needs to be tweaked. If it wins at the ballot, it can live forever and you can be stuck with a mess.”So, just as awareness and concern about Ohio’s heroin problem is really starting to ramp up, we can expect to see more debate about the legalization of marijuana. It is an interesting time we live in and these two issues will no doubt find their way into your home community in the future. There are many people with many opinions on these two important drug issues facing Ohio. But if you ask me, it seems an awful lot like we are trying to figure out how to get one barn cat out of the house, and we really need to be on guard because there is another one waiting right outside the door to get in.last_img read more

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November 27, 2019

Explosive KOs highlight prelims of ONE Jakarta card

first_imgPhoto from ONE ChampionshipONE Championship kicked off what promises to be its biggest year yet with the Eternal Glory card on Saturday night here.The preliminary bouts didn’t disappoint with explosive and early finishes.ADVERTISEMENT Chemistry still an issue as NLEX struggles in first game with new faces MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LATEST STORIES South Korea’s Won Il Kwon pulled off an opening-round stoppage of Alex Engelen, who was floored by a crisp straight before getting pummeled with more punches that prompted the referee to stop the fight.The quickest knockout of the night so far belonged to China’s Niu Kang Kang.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsNiu Kang knocked Indonesian bet Sunoto out cold with a crushing head kick just 31 seconds into their catchweight bout.Niu stunned the hometown crowd as Sunoto had to stretchered off. TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening So far, only one bout has gone the distance with Koji Ando of Japan edging Rasul Yakhyaev of Japan by split decision in a lightweight contest.In the curtain raiser, Indonesian fighters Oscar Yaqut stopped Andreas Satyawan in the second round of their featherweight bout.Yaqut (4-0) got into a full mount and clobbered the debuting Satyawan, who resorted to tapping out at the 2:36 mark.In another all-Indonesian affair, Aziz Calim submits stablemate Adi Paryanto with a rear-naked choke in the opening round of their strawweight bout.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion View comments Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

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September 30, 2019

San Francisco Giants Complete Sweep Win World Series Over

On a cool, damp night in Detroit, the San Francisco Giants — who came back from seemingly insurmountable deficits in their two playoff series — completed a sweep of the Tigers in 10 innings to capture the World Series for the second time in three years.Their 4-3 Game 4 win capped a dramatic post-season for San Francisco, which trailed the Cincinnati Reds 0-2 in the divisional series and the St. Louis Cardinals 1-3 in the NLCS.Marco Scutaro, who has been outstanding, delivered one more key hit this October, a go-ahead single with two outs in the 10th inning that proved to be the winning run.“Detroit probably didn’t know what it was in for,” Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. “Our guys had a date with destiny.”The Giants combined the most important elements of championship baseball. After three straight wins that looked relatively easy, they sealed this victory when Sergio Romo got Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to look at strike three for the final out.A wild on-field celebration ensued, and was carried into the clubhouse.“Tonight was a battle,” Giants star Buster Posey said. “And I think tonight was a fitting way for us to end it because those guys played hard. They didn’t stop, and it’s an unbelievable feeling.”Posey, the only player who was in the starting lineup when San Francisco beat Texas in the 2010 clincher, and the underdog Giants celebrated in the center of the diamond at Comerica Park.They built toward this party all month, winning six elimination games this postseason. In the clubhouse, they hoisted the trophy, passed it around and shouted the name of each player who held it.Benched during the 2010 Series, Pablo Sandoval, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda, went 8 for 16, including a three-homer performance in Game 1.“You learn,” Sandoval said. “You learn from everything that happened in your career. . . We’re working hard to enjoy this moment right now.”Cabrera delivered the first big hit for Detroit, interrupting San Francisco’s run of dominant pitching with a two-run homer that blew over the right-field wall in the third.Posey put the Giants ahead 3-2 with a two-run homer in the sixth and Delmon Young hit a tying home run in the bottom half.It then became a matchup of bullpens, and the Giants prevailed.Ryan Theriot led off the 10th with a single against Phil Coke, moved up on Brandon Crawford’s sacrifice and scored on a shallow single by Scutaro, the MVP of the NL championship series. Center fielder Austin Jackson  made a throw home, to no avail.“That’s what it makes so much special, the way we did it,” Scutaro said. “We’re always against the wall and my team, it just came through first series, second series and now we sweep the Tigers.” read more

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September 14, 2019

When Selecting a DigitalMagazine Provider Think Ahead

first_imgChoosing a digital-magazine supplier starts with the publisher having a clear understanding of current needs and long-term goals. Is the purpose simply to get a digital edition up and running online to displace the cost of print? Is it important to expand the advertising opportunities and grow the audience with rich media experiences? Or is it important to be flexible and “future-proof”—prepared to deliver enriched digital content on emerging output channels?The digital magazine industry has matured in the last couple of years, and the number of suppliers has grown. Hundreds of solutions are on the market today, ranging from posting a simple PDF online or a page-flipping brochure-type of publication at the low end to top-of-the-line products with all the rich media bells and whistles and flexible formats available from full-service suppliers. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a publisher simply converting print content into a PDF or page-flipping digital brochure. It’s not a particularly exciting product, metrics can’t be tracked and reported to advertisers, and the content probably won’t be available to search engines. For a publisher with a small budget and few expectations, though, it can be a start. But it is what it is, which is not much.A publisher that plans to begin with a very simple solution, though, should think ahead. Publisher needs, and particularly the opportunities available, could be quite different in just six months or a year. So it generally makes sense for the publisher to select a vendor—a partner—that can meet or exceed current expectations and grow as the next steps in digital magazine publishing occur or are invented—especially considering the reasonable cost of service. Prices for converting a print magazine to a digital edition range from zero for free services (Warning—you get what you pay for!) or a few dollars per page for a simple conversion to an average of $1,000 to $1,500 per issue for a full-service partnership with a high-end supplier. The difference per unit between the endpoints of the range is minimal in terms of cost but significant in terms of service.Below are three basic areas of need and/or interest to consider as you go therough the due diligence of selecting a digital-magazine partner:1. Full-service or self-service. A full-service partner provides the digital magazine, along with rich media options, tracking and reporting services, marketing services, and consultation on circulation- and revenue-enhancement strategies. A self-service solution might work if the publisher has staff with the time, talent, and expertise to produce a digital magazine in-house.2. Digital rights management. Should the digital magazine be open to the world or locked down in one way or another? The answer to that question will influence whether a simple solution might work or whether it requires the expertise of a supplier who understands the wide variety of DRM capabilities that are available.  3. Rich media enhancements. Enhancing a digital magazine with rich media to appeal to advertisers requires energy and expertise; examining those needs will help determine which type of supplier is best.BACK TO MAIN PAGElast_img read more

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September 14, 2019

Could Time Name Twitter Person of the Year

first_imgAfter a more than hour-long debate, six panelists were split between two candidates they thought should be named Time magazine’s 2009 Person of the Year. Neither, for the record, were actually human beings.Three panelists voted for Twitter. Three voted for the economy.“Twitter affects a lot of people, but not as many as the economy,” said former New York City mayor and debate panelist Rudy Giuliani. “From the wealthy to the poor who are out of jobs, the economy affects us all.” Other panelists included Barbara Walters; cardiac surgeon and newly-named television show host Dr. Mehmet Oz; O the Oprah Magazine editor-at-large Gayle King; restaurant founder and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio; and Luke Ravensthal, the 29-year-old mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A number of highly deserving, and living people also were talked about Thursday night on the eighth floor of Manhattan’s Time/Life Building. Here’s a quick look at who made the conversation:Nancy Pelosi, in relation to Obama’s proposed healthcare bill (suggested by Walters); “patient zero,” the first person who contracted the H1N1 virus (Dr. Oz); U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke (Colocchio); recently-named associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor (King); General David Patraeus and Chesley “Sully” Sulenberger, the US Airways pilot who successfully carried out an emergency landing of an airplane in New York’s Hudson River in January (Giuliani). Giuliani, of course, also couldn’t help but nominate longtime New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. OK, the Yanks won the World Series, but he hardly qualifies as the most significant global influencer of the year.But between Twitter and the economy, which has the better shot at unseating president Barack Obama as Time’s Person of the Year (he was named last December)? Both arguably are relevant and have had significant global influence this year.But is there a clear winner? I don’t think so. And how much stock does Time actually put into these annual debates?But if not for the social implication, I for one enjoyed another of Barbara Walters’ suggestions for the business aspect: despised Ponzie schemer-turned-jailbird Bernie Madoff. “If you want to sell some magazines, you name someone like Madoff,” Walters said. “People would pick up those issues and say, ‘How dare you?’”last_img read more

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September 10, 2019

Juul vaporizer What is it why are teens addicted and is it

first_img 12 Photos Comments Meet the smart vapes: App-enabled vaporizers seek to cash in on cannabis Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: In a statement, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, “…the nicotine in these products can rewire an adolescent’s brain, leading to years of addiction.”But, he continues: “Make no mistake. We see the possibility for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products like e-cigarettes and other novel forms of nicotine-delivery to provide a potentially less harmful alternative for currently addicted individual adult smokers … But we’ve got to step in to protect our kids.”How did the company get its start? Juul Labs spun off from Pax Labs in 2015. Founders Adam Bowen and James Monsees co-founded the company when, as former smokers, they decided they wanted a better alternative to cigarettes than anything that was already on the market. Their idea of “better” manifested as Juul’s high nicotine content and slim design that puts off very little vapor compared to other vapes. Since its debut, Juul has grown to dominate more than 50 percent of the market share.In December 2018, Altria — one of the largest companies in the world that produces tobacco products — bought a 35% stake of Juul for $12.8 billion dollars. Altria owns Phillip Morris, which owns the brands Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Parliament and other cigarette brands.Juul copycats zonk-cotton-candy-400x400Candy and dessert-flavored e-juice is enticing to kids who might be otherwise turned off by vaping or smoking. Zonk E Liquid Juul’s staggering success prompted many e-cigarette brands to follow suit with high nicotine content and new designs. The FDA isn’t happy with these copycat brands, and neither is Juul, who filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission for patent infringement. Everyone should be concerned about copycat Juuls, especially those that openly market to children using enticing flavors like Blue Slushie Lemonade and strawberry whipped cream. The attributes of these vapes — attractive, compact and free of odor — make them popular with young people because they can easily hide them from authority figures, like teachers and parents. Juul’s popularity and the influx of similar products raises concern that this new “pod mod” class of e-cigarette products is not just a trend and will influence the decisions and habits of adolescents for their entire lives.Staying true to its stance on nicotine use among minors, Juul announced that they are going after companies who do market to children and teens, but the FDA warns that this is an ongoing battle.  Watch genetically modified T-cells kill cancer cells Get your vitamins by vaping 1:40 Juul pods currently come in eight flavors; cucumber, creme, mint, mango, menthol, fruit, Virginia tobacco and classic tobacco. It’s worth noting that the FDA’s Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act banned flavored cigarettes in 2009, so it’s possible that this might come into play for vapes one day, too. How much nicotine does a Juul deliver?juul-pods-and-chargerThe Juul charger and pods look like USB drives. Natalie Weinstein / CNET Juul measures nicotine content by weight, which is different from most brands, which usually measure by volume. Juul originally only sold pods with 5 percent nicotine by weight, but started offering 3 percent pods in August 2018.According to an older version of Juul’s FAQ page, one 5 percent pod contains roughly the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes, or about 200 puffs. However, this information is no longer available on Juul’s website, and there’s no precise information about 3 percent pods, either. However, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine says that the 5 percent pods contain a concentration of 59 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of liquid. In contrast, most vapes pre-Juul frenzy contained roughly one to three percent nicotine by volume. A study in the journal Tobacco Control notes that the new average seems to be rising to that 5 percent mark. Juul’s creators increased the nicotine because they felt other vapes on the market couldn’t compare to the sensations delivered by regular cigarettes. juul-website-faq-april-2018Enlarge ImageAn older version of Juul’s FAQ page disclosed precise information about the nicotine content in Juul pods. However, this information is no longer on the site. truthinitiative.org Is it addictive? Is it more addictive than cigarettes?Nicotine is a known addictive substance, and Juul is no exception. There are no studies that prove whether or not Juul is more addictive than regular cigarettes, I certainly know people who seem as addicted to their Juul as they are to their iPhones, and I’ve watched friends throw fits when their pod runs dry. Nicotine is a harmful drug, regardless of delivery method. It’s linked to various changes in the body and brain, and public health officials worry that most people, especially youth, aren’t aware of the potential consequences.What are the risks of vaping?Many people consider vaping a safer alternative to smoking because it eliminates tobacco, which is a known carcinogen. But cigarettes contain many chemicals beyond tobacco, and e-cigarettes contain some of the same. Studies have detected acetamide (a compound used in industrial solvents), formaldehyde and benzene (another known carcinogen) in various e-cigarettes brands. Not all e-cigarette liquids contain all of these toxic compounds, and even in those that do contain them, the concentration isn’t always high enough to present concern. No studies to detect these chemicals have been conducted specifically on Juul e-liquid. The real issue arises when companies don’t disclose what’s in their products. Juul openly states its e-liquid ingredients, all of which appear to be safe in reasonable doses — except the nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that causes cravings and bonafide withdrawal symptoms when those cravings are ignored. Whether or not vaping is a “gateway” to cigarette smoking is irrelevant because vaping itself is an addictive habit. Nicotine isn’t just addictive, but it’s also toxic. It stimulates your adrenal glands, spiking adrenaline production and leading to a series of bodily reactions: Users experience a release of glucose and an increase in heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure. The drug seems to act as both a stimulant and a depressant at the same time, as it’s linked to increased alertness but also increased relaxation. Use of nicotine is also associated with a number of side effects on organs and organ systems, including:Increased risk of blood clotsAtherosclerosisPeptic ulcersChanges in heart rhythm Lung spasms Nicotine can also alter or harm the development of the brain in children and teens. “The prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for decision-making, logic, personality expression, and many other traits integral to one’s personality, is not fully mature until around the age of 25,” Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, Chief Medical Officer of American Addiction Centers, told CNET. “Introducing nicotine to the brain 10 years prior to that, without speaking of the massive amount of nicotine contained in each cartridge, will undoubtedly alter that developing brain.”Looking beyond nicotine, using e-cigarettes — Juul or otherwise — comes with many health risks, including the possibility for seizures, heart attacks, lung damage and birth defects.Dentists have also been noticing that their patients who vape are experiencing more cavities, tooth damage and dental issues. Especially when it comes to the enamel on your teeth, once damage is done it cannot be reversed.Lastly, e-cigarettes work by heating a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales. While the amount of aerosol in a single puff isn’t likely to harm anyone, it’s worth noting that inhaling aerosols is associated with impaired judgment and functioning. Can vaping cause heart disease?The Stanford School of Medicine released a study in May 2019 that suggested the e-liquids in Juuls and other vapes could increase a person’s risk of heart disease. When inhaled, the e-liquid affects a certain kind of cells, called endothelial cells, that line the inside of blood vessels. Researchers found that endothelial cells exposed to e-liquid or to blood collected from people who smoked e-cigarettes exhibited DNA damage and cellular death. Damage occurred even in the absence of nicotine, which means other compounds in the e-liquids are harmful. Interestingly, the severity of the damage varied by flavor, with cinnamon and menthol found as the most harmful. The endothelial cells the researchers tested were grown from stem cells, but the implications still mean a lot for human endothelial cells. “This study clearly shows that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes,” said Joseph Wu, director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, in a press release. “… We saw significant damage. The cells were less viable in culture, and they began to exhibit multiple symptoms of dysfunction.”Why is Juul so popular, especially among teens?juul-starter-kitJuul’s starter kit contains the Juul device, a USB charger and four Juul pods for $50. juul.com Although Juul demands age verification upon navigating to its website and holds a firm stance against minors’ use of Juuls, these vapes are still wildly popular with teens. Depending on the state, no one under 18 or 21 is supposed to be able to purchase e-cigarettes, or any tobacco products. But according to a report from the CDC, e-cigarette use is rising among middle school and high school students, and more than 3.5 million of them used e-cigarettes in 2018.Advertising is part of the problem. According to the CDC, more than 18 million high school and middle school students combined were exposed to e-cigarette ads in 2014. And Stanford researchers point out that Juul’s marketing hasn’t been congruent with its adults-only stance. One can guess it’s so popular for a few reasons:It’s relatively inexpensive: You can buy Juul’s “starter kit,” which includes the e-cigarette, USB charger and four pods for $50. After that, packs of four pods cost $21.It’s discreet: People may be more inclined to use Juul because its compact design is easy to hide from parents, teachers and other authority figures.It doesn’t smell like a cigarette: Cigarette smoke permeates the air in a relatively large radius. Juuls, on the other hand, don’t give off the smell of tobacco or smoke.It comes in many flavors: Juul’s sweet flavor options make it a more palatable option than regular cigarettes and many other e-cigarette options. One CDC survey notes that 31 percent of survey respondents (all students in grades six to 12) chose e-cigarettes because of  “flavors such as mint, candy, fruit, or chocolate.” The explosive popularity of Juul and others like it among kids is particularly troubling because they often do not see it as harmful. A report showed that 63% of people aged 14 to 25 aren’t even aware that vaporizers like Juul contain nicotine at all.What’s the FDA’s stance on Juul?Well, the FDA doesn’t love Juul. In April 2018, the FDA demanded that Juul submit marketing and research documents, and explain what Juul knows about the use of its products among teens. A month later, as part of the FDA’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, the agency also requested information from several other e-cigarette manufacturers. And in October 2018, FDA visited Juul’s San Francisco headquarters to gather information on the company’s sales and marketing tactics.Despite the fact that selling tobacco products to minors is illegal, the FDA has so far uncovered 40 violations for illegal sales of Juul products to young people. Warning letters were issued for those violations. The company also shut down its Facebook and Instagram accounts in November 2018 to avoid promoting its product to teens and non-smokers — two groups that Juul specifically says it does not want to become customers. Now playing: Watch this: Eva Hambach / AFP/Getty Images Vaping has become one of the biggest public health issues of our time, and at the center of it is San Francisco-based e-cigarette company Juul. While there are many vaporizers on the market, Juul has gained popularity (especially among teenagers) for its sleek design and easy-to-use pods. Even after the company was forced to shutter its social media presence while the FDA investigated concerns that Juul was promoting underage use of tobacco products, Juul continues to prove popular with rising sales and affectionate nicknames, such as the “iPhone of vaporizers.”But what exactly is Juul, and is it safe to use one? Here are all the details you need to know about Juul. Read more: How to quit Juuling, according to addiction expertsWhat is it?Juul is like many other e-cigarettes, but with a couple caveats that set it apart. First, this vape is sleek and hardly noticeable: It’s USB-drive design can be enclosed in the palm of a hand, and it doesn’t produce a massive plume of vapor like some other e-cigarettes. Second, the nicotine content in its cartridges or “pods” set a new precedent for the e-cigarette market. E-cigarettes work by converting liquid nicotine into a vapor that the user inhales. They’re battery operated and intend to provide a similar stimulus to that of smoking regular cigarettes. Vaping Increases Among TeensJuul is small and discreet Portland Press Herald/Getty Developed by two former smokers, Juul’s mission is to “improve the lives of one billion adult smokers by eliminating cigarettes.” One way the company encourages the switch from cigarettes to Juul is with their Juul calculator, where people can estimate how much money they’d save if they used a Juul instead.How does Juul compare to other e-cigarettes?Juul’s high nicotine content used to be an anomaly in the e-cigarette market, but now researchers note it seems to be the rule. After Juul’s surge in popularity, other e-cigarette manufacturers began bumping up the nicotine content in their products.Juul uses a closed system, which means users can’t refill the pods themselves, a helpful factor for quality control.  Some e-cigarettes, such as the Suorin Drop, use open systems that allow users to refill the vape themselves with bottles of e-liquid or e-juice.Juul’s small size, compact design and minimal plume make it more discreet than many other brands. With no buttons or switches — just disposable, snap-on cartridges — Juul is simple, and its built-in temperature regulation prevents you from experiencing a “dry hit.” Dry hits occur when vape cartridges get too low on liquid or when they overheat, and produce a burnt taste and throat irritation. The Juul vaping system in Washington, DC.The Juul e-cigarette uses closed cartridges of “juice.” The Washington Post/Getty What is in the liquid that the Juul turns to vapor?The Juul comprises two parts. There’s the e-cigarette itself, which contains the battery, temperature regulator and sensors that read the charge level. The pod contains Juul’s patented e-liquid formula. A mixture of nicotine salts, glycerol, propylene glycol, benzoic acid and flavorings.Glycerol serves as a humectant, which means it adds moisture to the solution. Glycerol is classified as “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA, so it’s approved for consumption. Propylene glycol is a synthetic compound commonly used in polyester production, but it’s also approved as an additive for food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Benzoic acid occurs naturally in many plants, but its synthetic form is also widely used as a food additive and preservative. It’s “generally recognized as safe” for those uses, but can be an environmental and health hazard in large quantities.Flavorings is an ambiguous term, but most often refers to various natural and synthetic ingredients that companies use to flavor their products. For example, Juul doesn’t specify what’s in it’s mint-flavored pod, but it probably contains peppermint extract or oil. The nicotine salts in Juul pods are a type of nicotine that supposedly feels more like a cigarette when inhaled, as opposed to other vapes that use freebase nicotine. Freebase nicotine, which can cause coughing and leave a film in people’s throats, is harsher and commonly used in cigars. 21 4:37 Tags Wellnesslast_img read more

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September 5, 2019

Samsungs 108MP quadcamera phone will borrow Galaxy Note 10s cuttingedge feature

first_img 5g network speed test: How fast is fast enough? Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series was launched recently to ease fans’ excitement and anticipation. The latest Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ made a powerful impact in the industry with their debut, but that’s not the only thing to look forward to when it comes to Samsung. There’s one more flagship-worthy smartphone in the offing that offers a strong appeal, even share a spotlight with the Galaxy Note 10.Samsung Galaxy A series will soon add a new member to its premium family, the Galaxy A91. The company has already shared quite a few details about the Galaxy A91, making it one of the most discussed topics among gadget enthusiasts. Yes, it is the same smartphone that is going to feature a 108MP quad camera setup.But that’s not why Galaxy A91 is worth getting hyped up over. Samsung Hungary’s website has revealed another major feature about the upcoming smartphone, which makes it nothing short of a flagship. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 comes with 45W fast charging supportSamsungAccording to the listing, Samsung Galaxy A91 will support 45W fast charging – a feature currently exclusive to Galaxy Note 10+ and its 5G variant. The information comes from the listing for Samsung’s 45W Super-Fast Charging adapter, where the list of compatible models confirms support for “Galaxy Note 10+, Note 10+ 5G, A91 and higher.”Interestingly, the listing also mentions 25W fast charging support for a series of other phones in the company’s lineup, including Galaxy Note 10, Note 10 5G, S10 5G, A90 5G, A80, A70, Book S and later. If you look closely, the Galaxy A90 5G has also been listed under compatible models, which means the rumours about 5G variant of A90 are true. It could also be an affordable 5G smartphone from Samsung for those who cannot afford Galaxy S10 5G or Note 10+ 5G. Samsung Galaxy A80SamsungGoing back to the Galaxy A91, the smartphone is going to light up eyes when launched. The phone’s camera is going to be a huge selling point for the company. Samsung Galaxy A91 will feature a quad-camera setup consisting of a 108MP primary sensor, a 16MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and a ToF sensor.While the official launch of the Galaxy A91 hasn’t been confirmed yet, we can expect to learn more sooner than later. Stay tuned for updates. Closelast_img read more

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September 3, 2019

Bangladesh needs free fair inclusive polls US ambassador

first_imgMarcia Bernicat. Prothom Alo File PhotoUS ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat on Monday said a free, fair and inclusive election is important for a democracy, especially for the one which is on track to become a middle-income country.”Together, we can contribute to a peaceful and prosperous Bangladesh,” UNB quoted her as saying.The US ambassador said political parties must accept their rivals as legitimate participations in the political process and as potential leaders of the next government, even when they disagree on issues or policies.”It’s essential that Bangladeshis urge nonviolence by all actors at every stage of the democratic process, before, during, and after the elections,” Bernicat said.She said violence serves only those who wish to undermine the democratic processes and the interest of Bangladesh and its citizens.Democracy International brought together 400 Awami League and BNP leaders to inaugurate `Shantite Bijoy’ Campaign’, a national campaign ahead of the next national election, seeking peace centering the polls.The campaign was launched at the Celebrity Hall of Bangabandhu International Convention Centre (BICC) with a slogan ‘Bangladesh will win if peace wins.’This campaign engages and raises awareness among registered political parties of Bangladesh and candidates in the upcoming national elections in favour of peaceful elections and tolerant politics.The prime minister’s Political affairs adviser HT Imam, senior BNP leader Moyeen Khan, US ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat and British high commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake along with senior political leaders attended the event.The programme began with singing the national anthem. A documentary was also screened on the occasion.Speakers expressed the hope for peaceful and participatory polls.last_img
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