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health

Electronic Cigarette – Any good? Do Electric Cigarettes Help Quit Smoking?

This is my first hand review of Electric Cigarettes – If you or someone you know is trying to quit smoking, then read on:

Right, so first of all you need to make your mind up to quit. Unless you have the motivation to quit, it’ll be hard – whether it’s fear of lung cancer (chances of which increase massively after the age of 34), fear of having an unhealthy baby, fear of bad skin, low stamina, fear of any other form of cancer (mouth, throat) or even fear of low sexual appetite or whether it’s a sudden awakening where you just want to be healthier, or you want to quit for a loved one – anything! To quit smoking you need motivation and once you have that, there are many things that can help you quit. Electric cigarettes are one of them.

Today I will review E-Lites – the electronic cigarette I have been using for some time now.

Once you decide to quit, it is natural for you to have nicotine cravings. Nicotine is the substance, found in tobacco that gets you addicted to cigarettes, whereas TAR is the substance produced when tobacco is burnt that gives you cancer. In order to deal with that nicotine craving, you may want to give your body nicotine in ways other than smoking real cigarettes and reduce its quantity gradually to completely lose nicotine addiction. Following are some popular nicotine replacement products:

  1. Nicotine patches – These are good, and I’ve tried these, but they give me a constant lump in my throat and when I do see my colleagues taking a cigarette break, I cannot resist. So for me – Nicotine patches fail.
  2. Nicotine chewing gum – Better, much better than nicotine patches. reason why nictone gum is better than nicotine patches is – you chew it when you feel the craving. Once you’ve chewed it, you know that you’ve taken some action to substitute for smoking. With a patch, you do nothing, it’s glued to your body and you’re constantly thinking of smoking (or at least that’s how I feel). So go ahead and buy some nicotine gum and see if that works for you. When your colleagues go for a cigarette break, you take your gum and go out for that break that your body is so used to. Nicotine gum – pass!
  3. Nicotine lozenges – same as nicotine chewing gum, except you don’t chew it, you suck it like a toffee.
  4. Nicotine inhalers (nose inhalers and mouth inhalers) – A very quick way of getting nicotine into your body using your lungs, in stead of mouth lining, which is used in case of gum and lozenges and your skin which is used in case of nicotine patches. Pass – you take action, take your attention off whatever you’re doing, take out your inhaler, inhale and you feel you’ve done what’s required to give your body nicotine.
  5. Non nicotine based quitting techniques like acupuncture, yoga etc – I can’t comment on these as I haven’t tried them, but I have a friend who found great success with acupuncture.
  6. Nicotine Mouth Sprays (you may have heard about Nicorette – for every cigarette, there’s a Nicorette) – I have used Nicorette and I can tell you it is one of the worst tasting nicotine replacement products. A big FAIL, I’m afraid. Many of my friends couldn’t use it after the first spray and if you have a slight cut in your tongue, (as I did once) God help you bear the pain.
  7. Electronic Cigarettes – Electric cigarettes are battery operated gadgets that have something called an atomiser and a nicotine carrying gel. The atomiser breaks the gel into very fine smoke-like gaseous particles that can be inhaled and look like smoke. This is probably not the most accurate definition if you’re looking to get in to the science bit – please Google it. The atomiser and battery remain, but the nicotine gel runs out and needs replacing once in a while. I have only tried E-Lites and I have to say – E-cigarettes are the easiest and most innovative solution to quit smoking. Here’s why:
    1. It takes time to smoke – When you smoke an E-cigarette, it takes you 2-3 minutes until you start feeling you’ve had enough. Most of us smoke cigarettes socially – smoking gives us a break, an opportunity to get away from work, talk with colleagues, just an overall better feeling. All forms of nicotine replacement change that. With electric cigarettes however, you can still go out for that little break without giving yourself cancer.
    2. It gives you that “back of the throat” push like real cigarettes do –  I did try one non-electronic tobacco-less cigarette once and the main reason why I couldn’t stick to it was – it didn’t give me the smoke punch that a real cigarette does. E-Lites are miraculous because these guys have been able to generate smoke thick enough to give that back of the throat push.
    3. It is cheaper – Don’t know by how much etc. Please go to E-Lites website to see their packages, but this is way cheaper than buying a 20 pack for 7.50 pound sterling.
    4. It feels like a real cigarette – You hold it like a real cigarette, it gives out smoke like a real cigarette. It is about 5 times heavier though (because of the in-built battery).
    5. These usually come in various flavours – Although E Lites only do normal cigarette and menthol flavours, other E-cigarette companies do various other flavours like apple, grape, clove, menthol, coffee, cherry, blueberry etc.
    6. Leaves you with no excuse to continue smoking – People who continue to smoke, to me are just losers. This is as close as you can get to real smoking without getting cancer – what else do you want!! Excuses like “It’s not the same” are just loser talk. Of course it’s not the same, it’s an electronic representation to help YOU live longer! lol!

Electric Cigarettes – PASS!

As I said, first find the motivation to quit and then go ahead and buy yourself an electronic cigarette (don’t buy the disposable ones, buy the rechargeable ones) and quit smoking. Please! Do yourself and your family this favour – live! Quitting smoking has never been this easy. Good luck!

Categories
health World

Free Medical Advice for your Medical Questions. Great start, what’s next?

I have been following the “Free Advice”, “Free help”, “Free this”, “Free that” news pretty actively on the Internet. When everyone in the world was crazy for domain names, a company came out of nowhere offering free “.com” domain names (it ultimately went bust, but that’s beside the point 😉 ). When information was expensive and you had to subscribe to encyclopedias like Encarta or Britannica, Wikipedia came and made it all free. Then it was the paid news era – Online news subscription! Who would’ve thought, those same Newspapers will be competing with each other to provide more and more for free online! Thank you Google.

Talking of services that are still “paid for” on the Internet – there’s web hosting, all physical products that need to be delivered to you, leisure stuff like hotel stays, airlines, holidays etc and that’s probably about it (leaving the teeny weeny video, audio downloads, tickets, services etc.)

There’s one industry that has evolved at a fairly slow pace online – Medicine, Medical advice and stuff related to doctors and hospitals. Some time ago, Google came up with Google health, which at one point, was believed, had a bright future and was destined to take medical services to levels similar to other fields, but that wasn’t to happen.

While searching for a solution to my friend’s insomnia related problem, I came through to this new web site – Free Medical Helpline – Started by a few Doctors from India. They emphasize on giving medical guidance, and not prescriptions.

A new Free in Medical field
A new “Free” in Medical Advice

I have posted a question on this site about my friend’s medical issues. On going through some questions posted by others, I can see how the team was enthusiastic at first and has gradually come down to miniature answers. Probably the site can evolve into a wider encyclopedic source as and when questions come in. I will keep at eye out for my answer and update this post once I get an answer to my question.

Time will tell if this “Free Medical Advice Service” will pass the test of time and join Newspapers and Social Media!

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Credit Crunch Finance health inspiration Internet Money News reviews US Elections us presidential elections

Barack Obama 30 minute TV ad worth $2 million. A Winner!

3 networks air Obama’s 30 minute commercial simultaneously before World Series baseball.

Barack Obama presidential election campaign short of 2 million dollars.

$2,000,000 well spent? You decide!

Barack Obama 30 minute advertisement
Barack Obama 30 minute advertisement

The infomercial started with soft music, pictures of farms, people waving the US flag and Barack Obama’s voice in the background talking about tough times the US economy has faced in recent times. “Despite the crisis, I still see optimism in American people”: Obama. Seemed like beginning of a classic patriotic movie.

We’ve seen over the last 8 years how decisions by an American president can have a profound effect on history and on American lives. I’ve traveled lengths of this country over the last 20 months. Michelle and I have met so many Americans who are looking for real and lasting change. These are American stories.. I’d like to introduce some of these people tonight.

This followed a case study on Rebecca Johnston – A woman dedicated to her family, with 4 children and a husband who couldn’t afford an operation, only to give their kids better education and cope with rising costs. How they manage within the limited resource, how they try to make ends meet, pay bills.. All this wasn’t a problem at one time, Rebecca Johnston recalls.. when mortgage rates were lower and perhaps also inflation. 

We measure the strength of our economy, not by the number of billionaires we have, or the profits of the fortune 500. Whether someone with a good idea can start a new business.. whether a waitress who sustains a living on tips can take a day off without the risk of losing her job. An economy the honours the dignity of work. 8 years of failed policy resulted in the worst state of ecomony since the great depression.

 Here’s what I’ll do as president (Part 1 – Economy plan):

  • Cut taxes for every family making less than $200,000.
  • Give businesses tax credit for every new employee they hire in the US over the next 2 years.
  • Eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. (Major impact on outsourcing)
  • Help home owners to pay their mortgages by freezing foreclosures for 90 days.
  • Provide low-cost loans to small businesses to hire more workers and keep their doors open.

Case Study 2: This again follows a clip where a gentleman who should’ve received 1500 dollars, ended up being paid just $379 per month when the company closed down. “Americans who are willing to work should be able to find a job that pays them enough to make a living, and retire respectfully with a decent pension” Barack Obama said.

Ohio governor Red Strickland, Kathleen Sebelius (Kansas governor), Deval Patrick (Massachussets governor) supported Barack’s tax cut, anti outsourcing policies.

Case Study 3: Larry Store and his wife Onida from Sardinia, Ohio, a couple with 6 children who owned their own house, looked forward to retirement, but Onida’s growing medical costs forced them to get a loan against their house. Larry, 72, despite retirement, had to start working again.

Here’s what I’ll do as president (part 2 – Energy Plan):

  • Invest 15 Billion dollars a year on energy efficiency, renewable sources of energy.
  • Create 5 million clean energy jobs in the next decade.
  • Create fuel efficient cars in America.
  • Give tax credit to buy fuel efficient cars.
  • Expand production of gas, coal and oil in the US to reduce dependence on Middle East.

Eric Schmidt (CEO – Google), Tim Kaine (Governor of Virginia) started off by endorsing Obama’s ideas as teh best for America.

Case Study 4: Juliana Sanchez is a widow with 2 children and a mortgage who has dedicated her life to giving good education to her children. With a day that starts very early, Juliana works 2 jobs and undergoes teacher training. All, just to provide good education to her 2 kids.

Every parent in America wants the same thing – Good education for their child. Responsibility for our children’s success doesn’t start in Washington, it starts in our homes. No education policy can replace a parent who’s involved in his child’s education from day 1, who makes sure children reach on time, helps with the child’s homework and attends the parent-teacher conferences. No government program can turn off the TV set, put away the video games or read to your children.

To show he personally understood and has faced similar hardships, there was a clip where Barack Obama said “I had met my father only once when I was 10. My mother used work fulltime, she used to wake me up 4:30am and we used to go through my lessons”. 

Here’s what I’ll do as president (part 3 – Education & Healthcare):

  • Tax credit to cover tuition at public colleges and universities in exchange for serving their community or country.
  • Improve Information technology for use in healthcare.
  • Provide coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions.
  • Lower healthcare costs for families at just $2500 a year.

Talking of healthcare, he talked about how his mother died of cancer so suddenly and how big a shock that was. Add to that video clips showed Obama with his two daughters and how he read all Harry Potters with them.

Dick Burbin (Senator Illinois), Claire McCaskill (senator Missouri), Joe Biden (senator Delaware) talked about Obama’s leadership skills.

Barack Obama then moved on to talking about Joe Biden. He has the best foreign policy experience, father lost his job, we share the sense of where the country needs to go. (Things we’ve heard before.)

Case Study 5: Mark and Melinda, who were both sacked from their jobs due to the economic crisis are struggling to make ends meet..

“I learnt from a very early age from my grand parents how important it is to defend liberty. ” Obama

Here’s what I’ll do as president (part 4 – Military and Defence):

  • Rebuild military to meet 21st century challenges.
  • Implement tough direct diplomacy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, curb Russian aggression.
  • Focus on finishing the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afganistan.

John Adams, retired Brig. Gen. US Army supported Barack Obama’s presidency saying he has the capability to be tough and sensitive to the constitution and people at the same time.

Watch the entire 30 minutes of infomercial here :

(Cannot download on this site online. This can be downloaded only using Realplayer and going to Youtube at youtube.com)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4
 

 Overall

In the 30 minute informercial, almost all case studies revolved around education, mortgages, retirement pension, and the war. As much as I liked and enjoyed those 30 minutes, I’ll have to say that the commercial could have covered much more. Rather than tax rebates to people for cars, small businesses, recruitment in the US, clean energy, I think what we need is tax free “private” education, which is expensive and the root cause of every modern middle class person’s financial struggle.

Overall, a very well planned and executed 30 minute infomercial that will have a big impact on his campiagn. Without naming Mccain, Palin or any opposition (to the contrary, there was a statement where Obama was quoted saying “We’re not republicans or democrats, we’re Americans”), Barack Obama has thrown a winner just days before the D day!

Categories
health Internet News sports

Winslow, 5 others at Browns suffered Staph Infection. What is Staph infection?

Winslow is angry! And so he should be!

I’ve been reading about Winslow ranting about the facilities at Browns, and he’s damn right..

In an ESPN article by one of my fav writers James Walker, Browns pro bowl tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. has revealed that he has been hospitalized because of staph infection (pronounced “Staff”) for the last 2 two weeks.  No one in the Browns team knew about this as the management decided to keep it a secret. Winslow was quoted saying:

“Nobody knew that I had staph on the team because the Browns didn’t want it to get out,” Winslow said. “But it’s my teammates’ right to know what’s going on at the facility to protect them. Their safety is at risk, too, and I didn’t agree with the Cleveland Browns, because they are protecting the organization and not the players.”

Winslow says that this is the 6th case of staph infection at Browns in the last 2 years! Well, either it’s the sport or it is the facilities at Browns. Now since I had never heard of Staph disease (sorry, infection) befoew and considering that this is the 6th case, I wouldn’t play for Browns if I were one of the healthier team members.. 😉

Here’s the original article at ESPN

Whats Staph infection? (Biological term: Staphylococcus)

Staph (again, pronounced “staff”) infection is caused by staphylococcus aureus bacteria. staphylococcus comes from a greek word meaning grapes… and thats what the bacteria look like when seen from a microscope.

How does staph infection happen?

The bacterium (staphylococcus) is so common that 25% people almost always carry the bacterium in their mouth, nose, genitals etc. Problem arises if it enters your blood stream through a cut.

What happens if you have Staph infection?

Generally Staph infections produce pus in the body.  Some examples of Staph infection are:

Folliculitis – Often when you clothes rub against skin, hair follicles get filled with white puss (sounds disgusting)

Boils – On the face, chest, neck or anywhere else, when you have puss filled rounded, heightened skin (c’mon you know what a boil is)

Styes -Have you seen anyone with a swollen upper of lower lid of the eye? I’ve seen some people – again happens because of the hair follicles of eye lashes getting infected.

Impetigo – When kids get red scabby skin or blisters around their mouths or noses?

Abscesses – Pus or normal swelling on the skin or anywhere else in the body.

Food poisoning – Mostly even food poisoning is caused by the staph infection or staphylococcus bacterium.

Other life threatening health problems – In worst cases, it can also cause pneumonia, endocarditis (heart infection), bacteremia (blood infection), toxic shock syndrome and others!! Jesus Christ!

There’s much more info available if you search for staph infection on Google.