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FDA Restricts Sale of Flavored E-Cigs

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Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.,1 and health authorities warn that while traditional (combustible) cigarette use has declined,2 the number of teens using e-cigs, also known as vaping, has steadily risen in recent years.

Between 2011 and 2015, vaping among high school students rose by an astounding 900 percent.3 According to the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey,4 3.6 million teens are now vaping.5 A high schooler quoted in The New Yorker expresses a common view when he says that while smoking is “gross … Juuling is really what’s up.”6 FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gotttlieb commented on the findings, saying:7

“These data shock my conscience: From 2017 to 2018, there was a 78 percent increase in current e-cigarette use among high school students and a 48 percent increase among middle school students.

The total number of middle and high school students currently using e-cigarettes rose to 3.6 million — that’s 1.5 million more students using these products than the previous year.

Additionally, more than a quarter (27.7 percent) of high school current e-cigarette users are using the product regularly (on 20 or more days in the past month). More than two-thirds (67.8 percent) are using flavored e-cigarettes. Both these numbers have risen significantly since 2017.”

Unfortunately, the general perception is that e-cigs are safer than traditional cigarettes. Research does not bear this out, however. It’s really important to realize there are no safe tobacco products, be they smokeless or combustible.

Underage Vaping Prompts New Restrictions

In an undercover investigation conducted over the summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warnings and fines to more than 1,300 stores for the illegal sale of vaping products to minors.8

To rein in the use of e-cigs among children and teens, the agency recently announced it will restrict sale of sweet-flavored vaping products in convenience stores and gas stations.9,10 Stores selling child-friendly e-cig flavors must keep the products in an age-restricted section and must have age verification measures in place to prevent underage sale.

While e-cig makers insist they’re not targeting youth, their marketing tells a different story. The marketing of child-friendly flavors alone is evidence of this. As noted by Meghan Morean, a psychology professor at Oberlin College who has studied the appeal of flavors, “We’re not reinventing anything here, we’ve already lived this … It’s the exact reason that flavored cigarettes were banned.”11 Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar echoed this sentiment in a statement, saying:12

“Flavors are a major reason they use these products in the first place. Flavors increase the likelihood of kids progressing from experimentation to regular use, and a portion of them will go on to use combustible tobacco products, with the huge added dangers of tobacco-related disease.”

The policy will also cover flavored cigar products introduced between 2007 and 2016, and menthol cigarettes. If the manufacturer wants to continue selling these products, they must apply for FDA approval.

The FDA urges manufacturers to voluntarily remove their products from locations where children and teens can access them within the next 90 days, although it may take several months before the restrictions officially go into effect. The FDA is also proposing tighter rules on the use of cartoons and naming of products that might appeal to youth.

E-Cig Makers Announce Plans to Cut Back Marketing and Sales to Teens

Juul — which has cornered three-quarters of the e-cig market — has announced its plan to remove child-friendly fruit- and dessert-flavored nicotine pods from retail stores.

The company is also suspending its Facebook and Instagram promotion, and says it will prevent underage users from purchasing the products online by cross-checking the purchaser’s date of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number against public records.

While this is good news, it seems the company is only reacting to overwhelming pressure and bad press. As reported by The New York Times:13

“‘Our intent was never to have youth use Juul,’ said Kevin Burns, chief executive of Juul Labs in a statement emailed to reporters. ‘But intent is not enough. The numbers are what matter and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarettes is a problem.’

But critics and public health advocates said the company had no choice, especially after the FDA raided its headquarters last month seeking documents related to marketing and came under by some states investigating whether its tactics were directly aimed at minors.

Caroline Renzulli, a spokeswoman for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, called Juul’s announcement too little too late. ‘Juul’s social media marketing fueled its popularity with kids … Now that it has captured 75 percent of the e-cigarette market, Juul no longer needs to do social media marketing because its young customers are doing it for them.'”

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., the maker of Vuse vaping devices, has submitted a similar plan to the FDA, promising to suspend marketing through social media influencers; require age-verification for access to its online store; enforce penalties for retailers selling the products to youths; and to check for compliance through a mystery shopping program. The manufacturer of Blu e-cigs, Fontem Ventures, says it will raise the minimum age to buy e-pods online to 21.

How Juul Brought Smoking Back

Juul — represented as the “most genuine alternative to smoking cigarettes”14 — is now so popular, its use has become a verb; it’s not “smoking” anymore, it’s “Juuling.”

And, while the company claims its primary aim is to help smokers quit the habit, not to introduce smoking to a whole new generation, company statements seem to encourage a switch to vapor and not quitting completely when they say, “adult smokers interested in switching from cigarettes should be offered high-quality alternatives that satisfy them because satisfaction is a key component to supporting their switch to vapor.”

These goals resulted in the production of patented JuulSalts delivering a nicotine hit much more like smoking a cigarette than any other e-cigarette product.15 The breakthrough occurred when Juul began using benzoic acid to freebase nicotine salts for rapid nicotine delivery.

Since the 1960s, cigarette companies have freebased nicotine using ammonia, which can be very irritating to the chest and lungs. However freebased nicotine from JuulSalts is not as irritating and is readily absorbed into the lungs and brain.

As a result, Juul has one of the highest nicotine content of any e-cigarette sold in the U.S.16 JuulPod e-liquid cartridges can contain up to twice the amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, and they’re just as easy to inhale.17,18 For these reasons, Juul, more so than any other e-cig, poses a significant threat to youngsters.

E-Cigs Cause Nicotine Addiction Just Like Traditional Cigarettes

Vapers who’ve tried Juuls agree they have a much stronger nicotine hit than other e-cigs. One ex-smoker found that once he started on Juuls, the vaping habit became “remarkably difficult to kick.”19 Indeed, as noted by one addiction expert,20 “The modern cigarette does to nicotine what crack does to cocaine.”

Further facilitating use, the Juul’s built-in battery is charged via a magnetic USB adapter, takes an hour to charge and lasts for 200 puffs (one full day of regular use), and the fruity flavored pods contain 50 milligrams of nicotine while emitting such a mild fragrance, they’ve been mistaken for a light perfume. While research into the long-term health effects of vaping is still limited, we already know that:21

Nicotine is more addictive than alcohol and barbiturates.22

Nicotine affects cognitive development, decision making, emotional control and impulse regulation in children and teens.23

Brain changes from nicotine also increase sensitivity to other drugs.24

If addicted to nicotine at a younger age, young people are more susceptible to other addictions later on in life,25 including alcohol.26 According to the researchers, exposure altered the neurological circuitry in the brain’s reward pathway.

Administration of nicotine during adulthood did not produce the same alteration in function of the inhibitory midbrain circuitry as did exposure during adolescence. A PLOS One study27 also suggests there’s a two to seven times greater possibility that vaping teens will move on to combustible cigarettes.

When addicted at a younger age, it’s harder to quit nicotine, whether it’s vaped or a smoking product. One study28 shows that 85 percent of those who try to stop either smoking or vaping end up relapsing.

E-Cigs Are Just as Harmful as Cigarettes

Mounting research also shows e-cigs are just as hazardous to your health as traditional cigarettes. For example, studies have found:

The liquid used to flavor e-cigarettes may induce early signs of cardiovascular disease leading to heart attack, stroke and even death.29 The scientists found changes appeared almost immediately on the cellular level. One of the key factors in this study was the direct testing of the effect of just flavoring at levels likely to be reached inside the body.

According to lead author Jessica Fetterman, Ph.D., the measures evaluated during data collection were some of the first changes seen in the development of heart disease.30 At the highest level of exposure the chemicals triggered outright cell death. At a lower level, researchers noted impaired nitric oxide production and increased inflammation.

Vaping devices produce and emit significant levels of toxic lead, nickel, chromium and manganese31 — Nearly 50 percent of the vapor samples contained lead levels higher than limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).32 Concentrations of the other three metals either approached or exceeded safety limits set by the EPA.

The nicotine-containing aerosol produced by the devices contains fine particulate matter easily absorbed through inhalation by bystanders, including highly reactive free radicals.33 Secondhand vapor may contain at least 10 chemicals identified on California’s Proposition 65 list of reproductive toxins and carcinogens.34

And, despite the lower levels of nicotine pollution e-cigs produce, researchers found people exposed to e-cigarette air pollution have a similar level of cotinine — a measure of the amount of nicotine taken into the body — as those exposed to traditional secondhand cigarette smoke.35 The reason for this discrepancy remains unclear.

E-cig vapor also contains acetaldehyde36 and formaldehyde,37 both known carcinogens.38 At least one brand tested had 10 times more than found in traditional cigarettes. The FDA has also detected antifreeze chemicals in e-cigarettes — another known carcinogen.39

Vaping damages your lungs, increasing your risk for lung disease — The vapor from e-cigs boosts production of inflammatory chemicals and impairs the activity of macrophages, leading researchers to conclude it may damage vital immune system cells.40,41 Many of the effects were similar to those seen in people who regularly smoke and those with chronic lung disease.

How to Make Quitting Smoking Easier

I believe the “secret” to quitting smoking is to get healthy first, which will make quitting mentally and physically easier. Exercising is an important part of this plan, as research shows people who engage in regular strength training double their success rate at quitting smoking compared to those who don’t exercise.42

Healthy eating is another crucial factor to improving your health and strengthening your ability to quit. In short, if you want to quit, here are three basic tips to get started:

Read through my comprehensive free nutrition plan to get started eating right.

Develop a well-rounded exercise regimen. This is your ally to fighting disease and to quitting smoking. Ideally, incorporate strength training, high-intensity interval exercises, core-strengthening exercises, stretching and regular nonexercise movement like walking and cutting back on sitting.

Find a healthy emotional outlet. Many use exercise, meditation or relaxation techniques for this, and these are all great. I also recommend incorporating Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

This can help clear out emotional blockages from your system (some of which you might not even realize are there), thus restoring your mind and body’s balance and helping you break the addiction and avoid cravings.

Once you are regularly doing these three things, then you can begin to think about quitting smoking. At this point, many are ready to try quitting “cold turkey.” If you need a distraction, these six things to do instead of smoking may help. Finally, if you’re a parent, talk with your children about the risks of smoking, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes. The easiest pathway to not smoking is to avoid starting in the first place.

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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