Desperate to shatter Juul’s recently-acquired, 70% dominance over the e-cigarette industry, competitors are increasing nicotine levels in their e-cigarette liquid pods. That does not bode well for the new generation of e-cigarette nicotine addicts and has generated what Stanford researchers have coined, “a nicotine arms race.”

Juul launched its e-cigarette officially in 2015 and has rapidly take over the market, due to a number of factors. Juul e-cigarettes present a subtle, USB-style design, with a patented “nicotine salts” delivery system that promises to deliver high levels of nicotine without a harsh inhaling experience. Equally effective is their clever advertising (See Stanford analysis of Juul advertising since inception).

Continue Reading E-cigarette Companies Raising Nicotine Levels to Compete with Juul

e-cigarette explosionA 24-year old man was tragically killed when an e-cigarette exploded, severing his carotid artery. The official cause of death was from a stroke caused by “penetrating trauma from exploding vaporizer pen.”

William Brown, known as “Eric” to family and friends, was running errands when the incident occurred. He was rushed to the hospital but died two days later from complications from the e-cigarette injury. It has not been reported which brand of e-cigarette Eric was using at the time of the incident.

It was only nine months ago that 38-year old Tallmadge D’Elia died of a projectile wound to the head from an exploding e-cigarette. The manufacturer of the e-cigarette he was using was contacted by an ABC affiliate station, WFTS who reported this response: “a representative from Smok-E Mountain tells us their devices do not explode, instead telling us it is likely an atomizer (the part a person inserts into their mouth) or a battery issue.”

Continue Reading E-Cigarette Explosion Kills Texas Man

Many residents in New Jersey have heard people from out of state remark how we pay more for auto insurance than they do. There is an element of truth to that perception. Some people get “sticker shock” when they buy a new car, only to find out that now their insurance rates have increased substantially. Others often face much higher auto insurance premiums when a teenager in their household gets his or her driver’s license.

Sometimes people respond to the increase in rates by decreasing the amounts of their coverage in an attempt to lower their premium. This is not a wise decision.

Continue Reading Science for the Lay Person: Dissecting Your Auto Insurance Policy

backyard fire pit ideasMany people have fire pits at their homes and use them while entertaining. Gathering around an open fire to talk or roast S’mores can be a lot of fun, but it is important that you know the rules and risks associated with backyard fire pits.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, at least 5,300 injuries related to fire pits and outdoor heaters were treated in emergency rooms in the United States in 2017. That figure is nearly triple the number of fire pit related injuries treated in 2008. Alcohol and drug use is a major contributing factor in open fire burns of adults, accounting for nearly 61% of adult burns.

Tragically, children suffer a high number of these injuries, with 25% of the victims under the age of five. Frequently, burn injuries occur the day after a backyard fire, when the fire is out, but the remaining coals are still hot.

Continue Reading Backyard Fire Pits: Burn Risks & Prevention Tips

According to the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH), over 3,000 patients may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C at the HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.

The DOH released a new statement with the HealthPlus Surgery Center requesting that any patients who received a procedure at the surgery center between January and September 2018 to get a blood test for hepatitis and HIV. According to the statement, there have been no reported incidences of infection or illness relating to the investigation to date.

Continue Reading Over 3,000 Patients Believed to be Exposed to HIV, Hepatitis at Surgery Center

At least 35 people have been infected with the adenovirus, the majority of them children, at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. The outbreak first began in late September, according to the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH), and since then 11 children have died.

On November 20, it was announced that a student at the University of Maryland died after contracting the adenovirus. The university learned of the first case on November 1, and since then have confirmed five more cases of the virus.

Continue Reading First Lawsuit Filed in Adenovirus Outbreak at Wanaque Facility, New Outbreak Announced at Maryland University

You may have heard this one before: 50 percent of all normal and asymptomatic adults have at least one herniated disc (sometimes referred to as a slipped disc.) However, unlike many other buzzy medical “factoids,” this one is more myth than truth. Continue Reading Do 50 Percent of People Have a Herniated Disc? Dispelling the Myth

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced plans to “restrict” sales locations for flavored e-cigarettes that appeal to youth. The restriction, which falls far short of a ban, will require sales to take place only in “age-restricted in-person locations and, if sold online, under heightened practices for age verification.”

The restriction does not apply to menthol, mint, or tobacco flavors because, ostensibly, these appeal in greater percentages to adults. Even so, Gottlieb cites that 20% of kids, roughly 720,000, choose menthol flavoring for e-cigarettes and 54% of minors who smoke combustible cigarettes choose menthol as well. A full ban against similar flavorings, i.e., those that appeal to youth and young adults, was issued for tobacco cigarettes in 2009.

Continue Reading FDA Announces Plan for Restricting Access to Flavored E-Cigarettes

Did you know JUUL implemented a vaping prevention program targeted for use in schools? JUUL is the rapid-rise vaping company that makes e-cigarettes that look like USB units, and vaping liquids with high concentrations of nicotine. It has suffered heavy criticism for its appeal to underage youth and is being investigated by the FDA for targeting underage users in its advertising.

The vaping prevention program, which was created at the start of JUUL’s commercial launch in 2015, has also faced criticism, most recently in an article in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Continue Reading JUUL Has An Anti-Vaping Program For Schools?

A new board chairwoman has been appointed and a state-ordered infectious disease specialist has been hired in response to a bacterial outbreak that occurred at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.

The outbreak occurred in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and as a result four infants contracted an infection caused by the Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria and one infant has died.

Continue Reading Newark Hospital Appointed a New Board Chair after Bacterial Outbreak