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E-cigarettes, A Healthy Choice or A Big Tobacco Token? – Video / Audio Blog

E-Cigarettes Bring Smokers Back Inside, For Now

by: NPR Staff

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.

But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.

Smokers who used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit the old-fashioned kind of cigarettes did about as well at stopping smoking as the people who tried the patch.

After six months, 7.3 percent of e-smokers had dropped cigarettes, compared to 5.8 percent of people wearing the patch.

Either way, quitting is hard. The number of people who quit was low overall — just 38 of the 584 smokers given the e-cig or the patch. That wasn’t enough people to say for sure that one approach was better than the other.

smoking an e-ciagarette, smoking, digital smoking, npr, new york times“What we couldn’t show is that [e-cigarettes are] definitely superior to nicotine patches,” says , an associate professor at the University of Auckland who led the research. He and his colleagues figured that the e-cigarettes would be much more successful, based on consumer surveys showing that people were less than pleased with the patch.

Still, Bullen says, the low quit rates are what you might expect when people are trying to quit without much counseling or support. That and the batteries kept failing in the early model e-cigarettes. “We had to keep sending out batteries,” Bullen told Shots.

All that said, some e-cigarette users were able to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoked, even if they didn’t quit.

The results were presented at the European Respiratory Society meeting in Barcelona and in The Lancet.

The researchers recruited 584 smokers in Auckland, New Zealand, who wanted to stop smoking. Half were given e-cigarettes and the other half got coupons for nicotine patches, which are typically prescribed as a stop-smoking aid. Another 73 smokers were given e-cigs without nicotine, as a control.

Those people also made progress in quitting smoking, with 4 percent off tobacco after six months. “I think that speaks to the behavioral replacement,” Bullen says. “They’re oral. They’re tactile. There’s a ritualistic thing where you prepare the product and put it in your mouth and draw on it.”

temp5The number of children and teenagers using e-cigarettes more than doubled in a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week. Numbers like that have in the United States worried that e-cigarettes will serve as a gateway to smoking cigarettes, which are much more toxic than e-cigarettes.

There’s not yet evidence that that’s happening, Bullen says. “I don’t think that’s an inevitable pathway.” Efforts to regulate e-cigarettes could harm current smokers, he says. “For some people I think e-cigarettes will be part of the solution. But they’re not going to be a magic bullet.”

The E-Cigarette Industry, Waiting to Exhale

By MATT RICHTEL
Published: October 26, 2013

Geoff Vuleta was in the crowd at a Rolling Stones concert last year when Keith Richards lit up a cigarette on stage, the arena’s no-smoking policy be damned. Feeling inspired, Mr. Vuleta, a longtime smoker, reached into his pocket and pulled one out himself. People seated nearby shot him scolding glances as he inhaled. So he withdrew the cigarette from his mouth and pressed the glowing end to his cheek.

e-cigarettes, brands, types, styles

A line up of common E-Cigarettes

His was an electronic cigarette, a look-alike that delivers nicotine without combusting tobacco and produces a vapor, not smoke. Mr. Vuleta, 51, who has a sardonic humor, clearly relished recounting this story. He is the chief marketing officer for NJOY, an electronic cigarette company based in Scottsdale, Ariz., and it is his job to reframe how everyone, nonsmokers included, view the habit of inhaling from a thin stick and blowing out a visible cloud.

Mr. Vuleta, who told his tale in the office of Craig Weiss, the NJOY chief executive, calls this a process of “renormalizing,” so that smokers can come back in from the cold. He means that literally — allowing people now exiled to the sidewalks back into buildings with e-cigarettes. But he also means it metaphorically. Early in the last century, smoking was an accepted alternative for men to chewing tobacco; for women, it was daring and transgressive. Then, in midcentury, it became the norm. As the dangers of tobacco — and the scandalous behavior of tobacco companies in concealing those dangers — became impossible to ignore, smoking took on a new identity: societal evil.

Mr. Vuleta and Mr. Weiss want to make “vaping,” as e-cigarette smoking is known in the industry, acceptable. Keith Richards might still be smoking tobacco, but in Mr. Vuleta’s vision, that grizzled guitarist’s gesture could inspire the audience, en masse, to pull out e-cigarettes. “The moment Keith Richards does it,” he said, “everyone else does, too.”

Mr. Vuleta’s words are more exuberant than the official company line, which is that NJOY doesn’t want everyone to smoke e-cigarettes but only to convert the 40 million Americans who now smoke tobacco. The customers NJOY attracts, and how it attracts them, are at the center of a new public health debate, not to mention a rush to control the e-cigarette business.

At stake is a vaping market that has grown in a few short years to around $1.7 billion in sales in the United States. That is tiny when compared to the nation’s $90 billion cigarette market. But one particularly bullish Wall Street analyst projects that consumption of e-cigarettes will outstrip regular ones in the next decade.

Common, E Cigarette schematic, how it works, electronic cigarette

Common E Cigarette schematic

NJOY was one of the first companies to sell e-cigarettes; now there are 200 in the United States, most of them small. Just last year, however, Big Tobacco got into the game when Lorillard acquired Blu, an e-cigarette brand, and demonstrated its economic power. Within months, relying on Lorillard’s decades-old distribution channels, Blu displaced NJOY as the market leader.

Mr. Weiss still sees NJOY as having an advantage — in building e-cigarettes that look, feel and perform like the real thing. It’s a different strategy than that of competing products that look like long silver tubes or sleek, blinking fountain pens.

“We’re trying to do something very challenging: change a habit that is not only entrenched but one people are willing to take to their grave,” said Mr. Weiss, who is not a smoker but has tried both regular and e-cigarettes. “To accomplish that, we have to narrow as much as possible the bridge to familiarity. We have to make it easy for smokers to cross it.”

To some, though not all, in public health, that vision sounds ill-conceived, if not threatening. Among their concerns is that making smoking-like behavior O.K. again will undo decades of work demonizing smoking itself. Far from leading to more smoking cessation, they argue, e-cigarettes will ultimately revive it, and abet new cases of emphysema, heart disease and lung cancer.

“The very thing that could make them effective is also their greatest danger,” said Dr. Tim McAfee, director of Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

bevis and butthead, ecigarette, vapor, stoned, smoking, cartoon

Click to Enlarge

To achieve his ends, Mr. Weiss is building a company of strange bedfellows. He has hired former top tobacco industry executives, but also attracted a former surgeon general, Dr. Richard H. Carmona, who has join

ed the board. NJOY recently hired away a prominent professor of chemistry and genomics from Princeton to be the company’s chief scientist. The company has attracted investment from Sean Parker, the former Facebook president, and Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder. There has also been a celebrity endorsement from the

singer Bruno Mars.

Mr. Weiss sees his company as doing something epic. Not long after he was named its president in June 2010, he asked his psychologist if he might record his regular sessions. It was an unusual request, but he thinks that recording his thoughts might ultimately help him write a book or movie script about how he and the company made the cigarette obsolete.

“We’re at this incredible inflection point in history,” he said, adding that the company has a chance to “make the single most beneficial impact on society in this century.” ——>Continue Reading<——

Compiled By:
Josh Martin
Sources:
NPR.org
New York Times

Melissa Block

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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in audio blog, news, technology, Video Blog

 

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DonorsChoose.org – Video Blog

How does it work?

DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.

When a project reaches its funding goal, we ship the materials to the school. You’ll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you’ll also receive hand-written thank-yous from the students.

Is there a minimum donation?

You can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions.

What happens if a project doesn’t reach its goal?

If a partially funded project expires, donors get their donations returned as account credits, which they can use to:

Choose a new project to support; Have us choose a new project for them, Send the teacher they supported a DonorsChoose.org gift card.

How do you ensure integrity?

We vet every classroom project request, purchase the materials and ship them directly to the school, provide photos of the project taking place, and supply a cost report showing how every dollar was spent.

What kinds of schools do you serve?

K-12 public and charter schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

How did DonorsChoose.org start?

Charles Best, a new social studies teacher in the Bronx, often talked with his colleagues about materials and experiences they wanted their students to have, but which they had no funding to support. He created DonorsChoose.org in 2000 so that individuals could connect directly with classrooms in need. Check out our fun timeline.

Are gifts tax-deductible?

As a 501(c)3 charity, donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of US law. Our federal tax ID # is 13-4129457.

How long does a project appear on your site?

Projects can remain on our site for up to 5 months, but teachers can set earlier deadlines if they choose.

What percent of projects are successfully funded?

70%. For more stats, see our impact page.

Does it cost money for teachers to post projects?

No, our website is completely free for teachers to use.

Can I donate the materials themselves rather than make a cash donation?

We’re not set up to handle in-kind donations, but these great organizations are.

What’s your mission?

DonorsChoose.org engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity. We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.

Source: DonorsChoose.org

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Parenting, Video Blog

 

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How Regenerative Braking System Saves You Gas – Video Blog

Batteries aren’t the only technology mankind has invented to store electricity, and Mazda has perfected a solution to the energy storage needs of electrified vehicles with a new system it’s calling i-ELOOP.

The i-ELOOP system will be featured in the first production passenger vehicle with recaptured energy from regenerative braking stored in a capacitor. The rest of the bits and pieces behind the tech include a variable voltage alternator and a DC/DC converter that sends energy otherwise lost to heat in the brakes at up to 25 volts to the Electric Double Layer Capacitor, where it’s stored for later use.

There’s no electric motor in the i-ELOOP drivetrain, so the capacitor releases its energy to recharge the car’s battery and to help power electric components like the heating and air conditioning systems. All in, Mazda promises fuel savings of up to 10 percent over cars not equipped with regenerative braking. Read all about it in the press release below:

Source: Mazda USA Press Release

Mazda ‘i-ELOOP’ World’s First Capacitor-Based Regenerative Braking System for Passenger Vehicles

Hiroshima, Japan 25 November 2011. Mazda Motor Corporation has developed the world’s first passenger vehicle regenerative braking system that uses a capacitor. The groundbreaking system, which Mazda calls ‘i-ELOOP’, will begin to appear in Mazda’s vehicles in 2012. In real-world driving conditions with frequent acceleration and braking, ‘i- ELOOP’ improves fuel economy by approximately 10 percent.

Mazda’s regenerative braking system is unique because it uses a capacitor, which is an electrical component that temporarily stores large volumes of electricity. Compared to batteries, capacitors can be charged and discharged rapidly and are resistant to deterioration through prolonged use. ‘i-ELOOP’ efficiently converts the vehicle’s kinetic energy into electricity as it decelerates, and uses the electricity to power the climate control, audio system and numerous other electrical components.

Regenerative braking systems are growing in popularity as a fuel saving technology. They use an electric motor or alternator to generate electricity as the vehicle decelerates, thereby recovering a portion of the vehicle’s kinetic energy. Regenerative braking systems in hybrid vehicles generally use a large electric motor and dedicated battery.

Mazda examined automobile accelerating and decelerating mechanisms, and developed a highly efficient regenerative braking system that rapidly recovers a large amount of electricity every time the vehicle decelerates. Unlike hybrids, Mazda’s system also avoids the need for a dedicated electric motor and battery.

‘i-ELOOP’ features a new 12-25V variable voltage alternator, a low-resistance electric double layer capacitor and a DC/DC converter. ‘i-ELOOP’ starts to recover kinetic energy the moment the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal and the vehicle begins to decelerate. The variable voltage alternator generates electricity at up to 25V for maximum efficiency before sending it to the Electric Double Layer Capacitor (EDLC) for storage. The capacitor, which has been specially developed for use in a vehicle, can be fully charged in seconds. The DC/DC converter steps down the electricity from 25V to 12V before it is distributed directly to the vehicle’s electrical components. The system also charges the vehicle battery as necessary. ‘i-ELOOP’ operates whenever the vehicle decelerates, reducing the need for the engine to burn extra fuel to generate electricity. As a result, in “stop-and-go” driving conditions, fuel economy improves by approximately 10 percent.

The name ‘i-ELOOP’ is an adaptation of “Intelligent Energy Loop” and represents Mazda’s intention to efficiently cycle energy in an intelligent way.

‘i-ELOOP’ also works in conjunction with Mazda’s unique ‘i-stop’ idling stop technology to extend the period that the engine can be shut off.

Mazda is working to maximize the efficiency of internal combustion engine vehicles with its groundbreaking SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY. By combining this with i-stop, i-ELOOP and other electric devices that enhance fuel economy by eliminating unnecessary fuel consumption, Mazda is striving to deliver vehicles with excellent environmental performance as well as a Zoom-Zoom ride to all its customers.

At the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda will debut the i-ELOOP system in the TAKERI concept car, a next generation mid-sized sedan that features SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and KODO – Soul of Motion design theme..
By: Josh Martin

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Automotive, technology, Uncategorized, Video Blog

 

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How Do They Make Ceramic Breaks? – Video Blog

Most of us take our break pads for granted and don’t think of them until we hear them squeak. It actually takes a lot of science and engineering to safely stop your vehicle.


Video Produced By: The Science Channel

There’s a lot more to effectively using your car’s braking system then simply stomping on the pedal when a squirrel darts out in front of you. The braking systems of cars, trucks and motorcycles are made up of a number of parts that translate the driver’s actions into physical force that stops the car. One of those brake parts is your vehicle’s brake pads.
Brake pads are a key brake part because they are the component that contacts and applies pressure and friction to a vehicle’s brake rotors — those flat, shiny discs that you can sometimes see just behind the wheels of some vehicles. The pressure and friction applied to the brake rotor is what slows and stops the wheel. Once the wheels stop turning, the vehicle stops moving, too. Though the role of brake pads as braking parts is pretty simple, the brake pads themselves are anything but.
B­ecause of how fast a vehicle’s wheels rotate and how much a typical car or truck weighs, brake pads undergo extreme stress every time you slow down or come to a stop. Think about it: Would you want to grab and hold on to a heavy metal disc that was spinning really fast? Imagine slowly squeezing that disc until the vehicle rolls to a halt — it’s a thankless job, but brake pads do it repeatedly for thousands and thousands of miles without complaint.
Source: How Stuff Works
Compiled By: Josh Martin

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Automotive, technology, Video Blog

 

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