E-cigarettes haven’t been around too long, but they’ve been plagued by controversy ever since they came onto the scene about a decade ago.

The main difference between e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco-based smokes is the former does not contain tobacco. Instead, they work by heating a liquid cartridge, including nicotine and flavors. This process creates a vapor–hence the name, vaping.

Are you worried if vapor smoke poses a cancer threat? The latest research states vape smokers have little cancer risk. Read on to find out more.

E-Cigarettes Don’t Produce Actual Smoke

The fact that vaping is a smokeless pursuit makes the practice safer than traditional smoking. With vapor smoke, you avoid most of the chemicals you’d find in your average cigarette. There’s no tar or toxic gases, making it a safer way to get your nicotine fix.

That said, some flavors contain additives like propylene glycol and diacetyl. Which may cause lung problems like bronchitis or popcorn lung.

Is Vapor Smoke Really Safer?

According to the Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England, e-cigarette liquids, and the vapor they create are less toxic than cigarettes. These sources claim that vaping is roughly 95% safer than smoking.

Are There Still Risks Associated with Vaping?

Yes, while vaping may be safer than traditional smoking, there are a few risks associated with their use. Nicotine is not recommended for people with heart problems or diabetes. Though nicotine is not considered carcinogenic, it does have a stimulant effect. For this reason, people with cardiovascular issues should avoid smoking.

Some flavors may be safer than others. Vaping fluid consists of four key components: water, nicotine, propylene glycol and natural or artificial flavoring.

Not all vaping liquid contains nicotine, and sometimes vegetable glycerin is used in place of propylene glycol. That said, the bigger risks associated with vapor smoke are linked to certain flavors.

Among the safest vapor smoke flavors, are watermelon, blueberry, and banana. But, it’s important to do your research before ordering vape pens and cartridges.

Some natural flavorings contain a component known as diacetyl. Diacetyl was once used as a way to give microwave popcorn a rich, buttery taste. The substance is now banned in powder form, due to the fact it has been linked the aforementioned “popcorn lung.”

Vaping companies may legally use diacetyl. Vape juice is a liquid and popcorn lung is linked with the powder form of the flavoring agent. Still, we don’t fully understand the long-term risks.

Parting Thoughts–The Final Verdict on Vape Safety

In the end, studies show that e-cigarettes may be safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes. The New York Times states that vaping is a safer alternative for smokers. The Times says e-cigs may be a useful tool for people trying to quit smoking.

According to the CDC, E-cigarettes may pose a risk to some, and be a healthy choice for others. If you’re currently addicted to smoking, vaping may well be worth a try.

Learn more about the latest health news by checking out our blog.

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How NEOFECT Created a Smart Glove (Robotic Arm) That Uses Online Gaming for Rehabilitation

Wearable technology keeps evolving. And it is transforming the way we experience the world. Watches, eyeglasses, rings, bracelets and even smart home devices like the thermostat are changing how we consumer information, monitor our health and use home products. Smart technology has a significant role to play in how people will live in the future.

NEOFECT wants to change how to aid rehabilitation and the provision of clinicial real-time patient data. In an interview with  Scott Kim, Neofect’s co-founder and CEO of the US office, he spoke to us about how he started NEOFECT, the company’s success factors and challenges they have faced in their bid to change physical therapy using online gaming.

Brief summary about your startup

Established in 2010, NEOFECT is a mobile health startup with a vision to deliver an affordable and effective at-home system to aid neuro patients with central nervous system disorders such as a stroke.

Its first product, RAPAEL Smart Glove, combines a wearable device, virtual reality and gamification for rehab exercise, while its software analyzes the data from built-in sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level.

The device has been successfully employed by a number of major hospitals in South Korea since December of 2014, and approved for use in the US and Europe. NEOFECT has offices in S. Korea, San Francisco, and Poland.

Why and how it was started

The President of NEOFECT, Ho-Young Ban, experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by stroke patients and their families when his father and two uncles fell victims of stroke.

Although his uncles were fortunate to survive, they had to turn down the rehab therapy because of the costs involved. So, when his friend Young Choi came up with an idea of Rapael, Ban could not resist.

Soon after, their classmate from the University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program Scott Kim joined the team to launch the US operations.

Kim was born with spinal bifida and went through a surgery and a long rehabilitation process, so he immediately recognized the opportunity and became a co-founder and the CEO of the Neofect’s US office.

What has been the biggest success factors

Personal motivation of the founders combined with the latest, most advanced smart technologies have become the major engines behind the company’s success.

– Gamification, which motivates a patient throughout the rehab process. It helps to induce neuroplasticity for hand function of a patient with a brain damage.

Various rehab games are updated monthly and each game targets specific movements such as squeezing the orange for finger flexion/extension and pouring wine for forearm pronation/supination, for example.

– Artificial Intelligence: the software analyzes data from the glove’s sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level. The algorithm is designed to enhance learning multiple functions by offering an optimal task at a proper level of difficulty.

– Wearable Device: RAPAEL Smart Glove is a wearable bio-feedback training gadget. Lightweight and designed to fit different hand sizes, it uses the Bluetooth technology to collect the patient’s data.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company?

The biggest challenge was the product’s concept itself. Many people believed that Rapael could be a threat to the therapists. Fortunately, after we launched the program in several hospitals, we’ve been able to prove that our device is designed with the doctors’ and patient’s needs in mind and helps them make the rehabilitation process more efficient.

Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?

This sounds like a cliché, but the right team is easily the answer to me. With the right people, you can make necessary adjustments based on new information to make sure there is a product-market fit.

My previous job was to lead a team to make mobile apps – without any exception, all great apps loved by users were made by great teams.

Final words for those chasing the startup dream

Never underestimate the importance of execution. Many people waste their time just to validate what they think or others think, or even just to finish the conceptualization.

However, you should “fail fast” in order concentrate your efforts on building a product which has a market demand, and of course, to save time and money as well.

Plus, you should fail while you are small rather than big, if you’re meant to face it. The earlier you do the reality check, the faster you can reach your goal, although it might cost you a couple of failures at the beginning.

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