For the past year I’ve been infuriated by the marketing of e-cigarettes, especially Juuls to our kids.  For the life of me I can’t understand how, when this is a product containing nicotine, it can be advertised on the radio and blatantly promoted to kids.

The fact that the company states that is not their intention is completely bogus.  When you’re marketing flavors like mango and vanilla and is so inconspicuous that it can be done in the classroom don’t tell me you’re not promoting to kids.

Make no mistake, your ‘tween and teen might be telling you they don’t juul (yes it’s a verb) but the numbers don’t lie but your kids might certainly be.

E-cigarette use went up drastically in the last year. According to The 2018 Youth Tobacco Survey released by the CDC and the FDA reported that e-cigarette use among high schoolers by 78% and middle schoolers by 48%. Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, said that “flavors are a major reason they use these products in the first place.”  Over 2 million middle school, high school and college students are Juuling or vaping.

In September the FDA gave Juul and four other companies 60 days to construct plans for curtailing the “epidemic” of youth use; failure to do so, the agency said, could result in some or all flavored products being pulled from store shelves. What’s more, in October, the FDA seized more than 1,000 documents from JUUL Labs’ headquarters pertaining, in part, to the company’s sales and marketing practices.

As a result Juul Labs will halt sales of its mango, fruit, creme and cucumber flavored pods at more than 90,000 retail stores, and require additional age verification measures for online sales of the flavors, the company said. The company said it will also delete its Facebook and Instagram accounts and halt promotional posts on Twitter.

Under Juul’s plan, the sale of tobacco, mint and menthol flavored products would continue in retail stores. Juul said those products “mirror what is currently available for combustible cigarettes,” and it plans to increase a “secret shopper program” to ensure compliance with those retailers.

This plan from Juul is all “smoke and mirrors” (pun intended) as the company has also said that they would bring back the other flavors if retailers increase age-verification practices and limit product sales to prevent bulk purchases.

Seriously?! What teen-aged gas station attendant is really going to carefully verify another teens ID and turn him away?!

Teens are not recognizing the serious health dangers with Juuling because it’s so new.  The same kids who wouldn’t consider smoking a cigarette are Juuling.  There are no horrifying pictures yet of people with throat, lung and other cancers caused by Juuling.  And because it’s fruit flavored it seems to be benign.

Parents, here’s what you need to know about JUULs as per the American Academy of Pediatrics:

JUUL is highly addictive. The concentration of nicotine in JUUL is more than twice the amount found in other e-cigarettes. Nicotine is the chemical that causes addiction. These high amounts are a serious concern for youth, who are already more likely than adults to become addicted to nicotine. The chance of addiction is so high that the U.S. Surgeon General has warned that the use of nicotine by youth in any form is unsafe.

JUULing raises the risk of becoming a regular cigarette smoker. Research shows that young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to begin using traditional tobacco cigarettes.

JUUL use is common in schools and college campuses. Teachers report that students are using JUULs in classrooms, hallways, and school restrooms. They also share the devices with friends. This kind of social use encourages kids who don’t smoke to try JUULing. It also lets students who are too young to buy JUUL legally, or who could not otherwise afford them, use them through classmates.

 

Disclaimer  – I have a material and/or financial connection because I received a gift, sample of a product and/or compensation for consideration in preparing to write this content. All opinions stated within are my own.

When you’re thinking about baby proofing your home, the immediate rooms that come to mind are the kitchen and the bathroom. It can be overwhelming to think about all of the ways to babyproof a home and there’s one room that’s often overlooked – the laundry room.

I have to wonder why that is? We’ve all heard the stories of small children finding their way into the dryer or washing machine and the door locking behind them. So, it should stand to reason that the laundry room be at the top of our baby-proofing to-do list!

Always make sure that you use the automatic lock if your washer and dryer has one. If your model doesn’t have an automatic lock, you can easily install one on the outside of your machine.

In addition, proper storage and handling of liquid laundry packets is essential to prevent accidental exposure to young children. These packets contain premeasured doses of detergent to make it quick and easy to use the right amount of detergent, but they’re highly concentrated, so their proper storage is important. Fortunately, thanks to improved package design and labeling, while the use of liquid laundry packets has dramatically increased over the past three years, the rate of accidental exposure has declined.

But the numbers can be decreased even more. I’m excited to support the American Cleaning Institute’s (ACI) child-safety campaign, Packets UP! to help educate parents and caregivers. Check out the campaign website – it’s filled with videos, consumer information and activity sheets for kids that can be printed out. You can also order a cling to place on your cabinet to remind everyone in your home to store liquid laundry packets up and out of the way.

Here are some important safety tips you can implement in your home:

  • Always keep product containers securely closed before, during and after use

  • Laundry packets must be stored in their original container or pouch and kept out of sight and reach of children

  • Locking detergent packets up in a cabinet is an effective way to keep these products out of reach of young children, especially when little ones begin exploring closets and cabinets at an early age

  • Call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if there is an accident

For more information visit www.packetsup.com.

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

 

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I wish I knew when I was young that adults aren’t perfect.  I wish I had known that they often muddle their way through as best they can and try to figure it out.  I wish I could better explain this to my kids right now.

If you know me personally or follow my blog, you know that I work – a lot.  And I travel for business – a lot.  You’d also know that I have a rather “complicated” family life.  I have a son with intellectual disabilities, a husband with Primary Progressive MS who is confined to a power chair, two teen-aged daughters not yet old enough to drive and my mother who lives with us.

Sometimes my head feels like it’s about to explode trying to schedule drop-offs and pick-ups, figuring out and preparing dinners, remembering to sign school forms and the times for their activities, leaf blowing, shoveling, shopping, starting to search for colleges and plan for my son’s transition out of school and, oh yeah, work.

For the most part I get it done.  Our family is quite a well-oiled machine.  But every now and then we come off the rails.  Fortunately, it’s usually not all of us at the same time.  We all have our breaking points and crisis.  I kick myself when I feel like I’m short changing someone.

And yes, I do try to take care of myself as well.  I do yoga, I meditate, I have girlfriend time and I have couch potato time.

But even then, there are times where I feel like I’m just not enough and am at the point of a serious meltdown.  Isn’t that true for almost every mom?  How often do we think that we’re screwing up our kids or that we haven’t been there enough, or we took our eye off the ball and that’s why they’re flunking a class or Juuling or drinking or the millions of other things tweens and teens will do?

Tonight, was one of those nights where I felt I wasn’t enough.  I was out of town on business and there were too many things to figure out and coordinate.  My husband was upset, my daughter was upset and it really didn’t have anything to do with me, but I believe it’s all my fault.  Because I’m not enough – I’m not supermom.

Don’t we all deep down inside feel like we need to do it all?  Sure, we delegate stuff to our husbands but when they don’t do it exactly as we would we take it back, assuming that our way is the only way.  So here you go mamas – a hall pass.  From one merely adequate mom to my sisters.  We are as much as we can be.  We need to let our kids know that we’re not super moms.  We’re human beings who are flawed and merely trying to figure it out as we go.  Let’s face it, if you’ve got teens they probably already think you’re crazy/annoying/lame/embarrassing….all of the above.

Letting our kids know that we’re not perfect, that we are trying to do our best but we will screw up might actually help them be easier on themselves when they become parents.  If you can relate to what I’m saying leave me a comment and also feel free to join my Facebook group My Fifty Some-Odd Year-Old Life.  It’s a community of women of any age who sometimes need a boost or a laugh and are willing to let their flaws show.  Jump in – the water’s warm and we’ll catch you before you drown!

 

Shop medical alert systems at MobileHelp.com

My family is rather complicated and unique.  My son has Intellectual Disabilities, my husband has Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and is in a wheelchair full-time and my mom lives with us.  For all three of them there’s always the potential that an emergency will arise while they’re out in the community.  As their caregiver I always worry about the “what if’s” and if I’ll receive a call someday that something’s happened.  I use an app that allows me to track where they all are but it’s not going to tell me if my husband’s fallen transferring from the wheelchair or my mom has had a stroke or if my son has gotten into a dangerous situation.

I was so happy to just find a new product – MobileHelp Smart.  It’s a Smart Watch that’s a medical alert system, fitness tracker and health system all in one.  It looks like a regular watch which is great for my son since he’s only 20 and wouldn’t want something that doesn’t look cool, it’s “gadgety” enough for my hubby and it’s easy enough to use for my mom.

Powered by Samsung and available through AT & T, it has a built-in microphone and speaker to speak directly to Emergency Operators, activity tracking, vital sign sensors and health-focused applications that uses one of the nation’s largest 4G cellular networks and GPS location tracking to provide premier protection. If there’s an emergency, all the person needs to do is press the Help button and they’ll immediately be connected with an Operator that he or she can speak with to describe the emergency.  As soon as the alert is sent the watch will automatically answer the call from the Emergency Response Center in handsfree mode. If the person is unable to speak to the Operator, then emergency responders will immediately be contacted.  With military-grade durability, MobileHelp Smart resists water, dust and extreme temperatures. It features a Corning® Gorilla® Glass SR+ watch face to help protect against scratches and a battery that lasts up to 2 days on a single charge.

On top of this, it’s also a fitness tracker which I love. Samsung Health helps you manage your wellness and fitness activities, set fitness goals and check your progress. It monitors heart rate, steps taken, stairs climbed, and calories burned and stores records of recent activity, calorie, water and caffeine consumption.   It will even tell you the weather.

1 Month FREE Service On Annual Plans at MobileHelp.com, no code needed. My concern with products such as this is whether the company will be around in the next year or so to support the product.  Fortunately Mobile Health is a major player in the market and has been around for years. The MobileHealth Smart sells for $349.95 and the monthly monitoring costs $24.95.  If you sign up for an annual plan, you can get one free month of service.