I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.
“I’m not afraid of death because I don’t believe in it. It’s just getting out of one car, and into another.”
As one of the nation’s leading organizations dedicated to improving public health, the American Heart Association (AHA) has a long history of supporting lifesaving research and advocating for positive lifestyle changes. Over the course of its nearly 100-year history, the group’s advocacy work has focused on several areas, including the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet and the dangers of tobacco. The AHA’s role in strengthening tobacco oversight led to the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which enhanced tobacco regulation and curbed the use of misleading tobacco advertisements.
With the rising popularity of vaping, the Association has redirected its focus in recent years to highlight the dangers that e-cigarettes and other vape products pose to public health, particularly the health of young people. As part of this work, the AHA recently launched the End the Lies Youth Vaping and Nicotine Research Initiative, a $20-million effort exploring nicotine’s effect on youth health.
The Association is also partnering with other groups to strengthen vaping laws and regulations in order to prevent underage users from obtaining nicotine products. Keep reading to get a closer look at vaping’s effect on one’s health and what the AHA is doing to prevent nicotine addiction.
Vaping and Your Health
While e-cigarettes have been marketed as a healthy alternative to traditional tobacco products, the effects of vaping on cardiovascular health are not well understood. The vapors inhaled through e-cigarettes and similar products indeed contain fewer chemicals than traditional tobacco; however, many toxins, metals, and contaminants are still present in e-cigarettes, and most vaping products still contain nicotine, which is a dangerous and highly addictive chemical.
Vape liquids also present a poisoning risk if they are ingested or absorbed through the skin, and recent cases of vaping-related lung diseases and death underscore the importance of bridging the knowledge gap between what is and is not known about vaping. That’s where the AHA’s End the Lies Initiative comes in.
As the name suggests, the End the Lies Youth Vaping and Nicotine Research Initiative is focused on advancing research into how vaping affects physical health. The initiative is aimed at several priority areas, including:
- Examining vaping’s effects on adolescent brain development and learning
- Exploring how vape product flavors and other enhancements influence addiction
- Discovering what effects nicotine and vape chemicals have on the cardiovascular system
- Establishing whether vape products are effective tools for smoking cessation
In addition, the End the Lies Initiative will direct funding toward research into youth nicotine addiction treatment. Funding will also be used to examine how legislative policies can reduce vaping among young people.
Advocating for Regulation and Oversight
Through a partnership with Kaiser Permanente and the Preventing Youth Nicotine Addiction Policy Fund, the AHA is advocating for stronger vaping laws and regulations on the local, state, and national levels. Policy efforts are focused on including e-cigarettes in smoke-free laws and restricting tobacco sales to those 21 years and older, a policy that is currently in place in 19 states and Washington, DC. Other policy priorities include raising tax rates on e-cigarettes and prohibiting vape-related marketed directed at young people.
Tackling False Industry Claims
In addition to ensuring that lawmakers do their part in the fight against nicotine addiction, the AHA is using its End the Lies Initiative to call out e-cigarette companies for their false claims and manipulative marketing tactics. These marketing tactics have contributed to a significant increase in vaping among youth. In fact, recent statistics show a steady increase in vaping among high school and middle school students since 2016. Today, it’s estimated that more than 5 million teens use vape products.
A key tool the AHA is using to tackle false industry claims is its website Quitlying.org. Launched in early 2020, the site features vaping facts versus lies, as well as other educational information. Teachers can turn to the site for a variety learning resources, including lesson plans, infographics, and fact sheets. Quitlying.org also provides links to vaping resources for parents, health professionals, and youth.
Engaging Community Members
Along with providing vaping education, Quitlying.org serves as a community engagement platform that encourages young people to raise awareness of the dangers associated with e-cigarettes. On the site, users can access memes and tips for spreading the word about vaping on social media. Users can also take action by signing a letter telling vaping companies to stop lying and encouraging members of US Congress to enact policies protecting youth.
Additionally, Quitlying.org keeps young people informed of in-person events held as part of the #QuitLying campaign. Throughout early 2020, young people across the country held activities in partnership with schools and other community organizations. Youth activists have also established school and community forums to engage their peers in the vaping conversation.
More information about the AHA’s efforts to curb nicotine use is available at www.heart.org.
Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.
Whether you have an overflowing closet or too many books, clutter around the home can become overwhelming. When it comes time to rid yourself of the things you no longer need or want, you have several options. You can host a yard sale, which can be a lot of work, or simply throw items in the trash, which is wasteful. A third—and better—option is to donate your items to Goodwill Industries. Here are nine reasons why donating to Goodwill is a good idea:
Donating is an easy way to declutter your home.
Clutter has a way of sneaking up on you. Slowly but surely, all of the casual purchases you make over the years can lead to stuffed cupboards, messy drawers, overflowing playrooms, and sagging clothes racks. Purge yourself of the clutter by donating to Goodwill. In addition to clothing, Goodwill accepts a range of items, such as toys, books, games, electronics, jewelry, and housewares.
Giving items a second life keeps them out of landfills.
Along with helping you maintain a cleaner home, donating to Goodwill keeps gently used items out of the nation’s landfills. While it may be tempting to simply toss your unwanted stuff in the trash, choosing to donate it instead reduces waste and lessens your overall impact on the environment. In 2018 alone, donations to local Goodwill organizations diverted over 4 billion pounds of usable goods from landfills and put them into the hands of new owners.
Goodwill donations fund job training programs.
In communities across the country, people looking to donate unwanted items have their choice of many different thrift stores. When you choose to donate to Goodwill, however, you can feel good knowing that revenue from your donations is being used to fund programs that help people build skills, find jobs, and advance their careers. Each year, millions of people worldwide benefit from Goodwill’s employment programs and services.
All donations are tax-deductible.
If you’re looking for a tax break, making a donation to Goodwill is a smart move. Those who choose to itemize deductions on their taxes may be able to deduct the value of their Goodwill donations from their overall tax obligation. To do this, however, it’s important to ask your donation attendant for a receipt when you drop the items off. Goodwill also offers a downloadable donation valuation guide to help you estimate the value of commonly donated items.
Goodwill is a great resource for low-cost items.
Although Goodwill strives to get the most revenue from donated items, the organization also works to provide shoppers with quality products at affordable prices. By donating to Goodwill, you’re helping to provide an excellent resource for low-income members of your community who are looking to save on clothing, dishes, electronics, and many other items.
You can set a good example by donating.
If you are a parent looking for ways to teach your children about the importance of giving, making a donation to Goodwill is a great way to do it. Set an example by donating your own items, but don’t forget to get your kids in on the action as well. When you ask your child to donate a few of their things to help others, they can experience the intrinsic value of giving. Not only that, but it also helps declutter their bedrooms and play areas, which is always a good thing.
Donating electronics helps with the growing problem of e-waste.
In today’s tech-driven world, it seems that there’s always a new electronic gadget hitting the market. While it may be necessary to upgrade to a new phone or tablet once in a while, it’s important that you properly dispose of the devices you are no longer using. Fortunately, with the support of corporate partners such as Dell Technologies, Goodwill makes it easy to recycle used electronics. Over the years, Dell and Goodwill have worked together to keep millions of pounds of e-waste out of local landfills.
It’s easy to donate to Goodwill.
One of the best things about donating to Goodwill is how easy it is. With a national network of more than 155 Goodwill organizations, it is very likely that you have at least one in your community or a nearby city. Donating is as simple as gathering and packing up your unwanted items and driving them to a donation center, where an attendant will help you with the rest of the process.
Giving back feels good.
Regardless of your initial reason for donating to Goodwill, you can feel good knowing that you have done something to help your community. Every donation, big or small, goes to support Goodwill’s mission to strengthen communities by helping people reach their full potential. You can learn more about the personal impact of your donation by visiting www.goodwill.org/my-story.
Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.