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Westlake Legal Group > Nicole Saphier

Nicole Saphier: Our kids are in the midst of a vaping crisis – Are we doing enough?

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085606605001_6085607609001-vs Nicole Saphier: Our kids are in the midst of a vaping crisis – Are we doing enough? Nicole Saphier fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/respiratory-health/stop-smoking fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc b6275ad2-e1f7-53ff-8e09-e8eabaa99053 article

At least six deaths linked to vaping have been now reported.  As the number of vaping-related illnesses has continued to rise, with to at least 450 cases in 33 states, the Trump administration is making it clear they are going to get in front of this emerging crisis.

Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year (about 1 in 5 deaths).  Because of the known risk of disease associated with smoking tobacco, for decades as a medical community we have tried to lower the usage of such products.

Electronic cigarettes have gained popularity within the last several years to counter the tobacco cigarette prevalence. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are characteristically battery-operated devices that can be used to inhale an aerosol, typically containing nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals.

As more young adults are being hospitalized with acute lung damage following the use of e-cigarettes, the medical community is beginning to look closer at the additives in the inhalants and why so many “kids” are falling ill.

Often certain oils such as Vitamin E are added to the THC-containing and various flavored e-cigarettes as a preservative. The device is heated by a battery which causes the oils to turn into a vapor to be inhaled. However, once the chemicals are inhaled and settled in the lungs, it cools to body temperature which causes the chemicals to reform their original structure. This is what seems to be causing a chemical pneumonitis (inflammation of the lung) yet no one specific ingredient or contaminant has been identified in all cases.

As originally intended, many Americans have been able to transition from traditional tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes, which are considered less harmful. However, we must be reminded of the way the opioid epidemic began.

A product with good intentions and legitimate use was introduced to the market. Unfortunately, because of varying factors, prescription opioids were misused and led to far worse addictions such as heroin.

Analogous to the development of opioids for treating complex pain, the utility for vaping electronic cigarettes has become dichotomous.  Meaning, good intentions and valid use aside, we are also seeing an uptick in nicotine-addictions in our country.

Unfortunately, the goal for the development of e-cigarettes, like prescription opioids, was to treat an illness, in this case an addiction to tobacco cigarettes, yet they are being utilized by people without a smoking history.

Not only have young people been subject to alluring advertising, but e-cigarettes are readily accessible, offer various flavors, and the belief that they’re safer than cigarettes have helped make them appealing.

Although it’s essential to remove the negative effects of inhaling tobacco smoke from the American population, we must remember nicotine itself harbors health risks.

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Not only does nicotine pose a risk for heart disease but it can also impact the lungs, GI system, immune function and reproductive health. Because of the proven risks of nicotine to the body, it is necessary to thwart the growing crisis of nicotine addiction in youth and non-tobacco smoking adults.

As the mother of a teenager, I can tell you that e-cigarettes are quite popular among adolescents.  In fact, vaping is now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States with up to 25% of teens reporting using e-cigarettes.

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In addition to the unknown short and long-term health effects of such a new product, early evidence is showing that e-cigarette use may serve as a gateway device for preteens and teens. Often these kids then go on to use other tobacco products, including tobacco cigarettes.

In fact, a study concluded that high school students who used e-cigarettes in the last month were approximately 7 times more likely to use traditional cigarettes when asked 6 months later.

Vaping companies such as Juul have even been disparaged for appealing to young adults and children with flavors such as mango and crème with targeted advertising tactics.  However, rebuking profit-mongering corporations does little to solve a growing crisis, as we know.

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This week, following an Oval Office meeting with President Trump between Health and Human Services Secretary Azar, the Food and Drug Administration announced they are finalizing their guidance to eliminate all non-tobacco flavors of e-cigarettes from the market within 30 days to make e-cigarettes less tempting to the younger population.

Too much money is being spent and far too many Americans are still dying from tobacco cigarettes. Like prescription opioids, e-cigarettes may still have a role in helping us reduce this devastation.  However, we must be careful with usage and swiftly end this new generation of nicotine addiction that is wreaking havoc among our youth.  Eliminating the flavors is a step forward.  Will it be enough?

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085606605001_6085607609001-vs Nicole Saphier: Our kids are in the midst of a vaping crisis – Are we doing enough? Nicole Saphier fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/respiratory-health/stop-smoking fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc b6275ad2-e1f7-53ff-8e09-e8eabaa99053 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6085606605001_6085607609001-vs Nicole Saphier: Our kids are in the midst of a vaping crisis – Are we doing enough? Nicole Saphier fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/respiratory-health/stop-smoking fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc b6275ad2-e1f7-53ff-8e09-e8eabaa99053 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Drs. Saphier and Siegel: Outrageous treatment of San Francisco teacher with breast cancer intolerable

Westlake Legal Group drs-saphier-and-siegel-outrageous-treatment-of-san-francisco-teacher-with-breast-cancer-intolerable Drs. Saphier and Siegel: Outrageous treatment of San Francisco teacher with breast cancer intolerable Nicole Saphier Marc Siegel fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 111d10a5-5a6e-58f7-9dba-744a8e822290
Westlake Legal Group AP19059694883455 Drs. Saphier and Siegel: Outrageous treatment of San Francisco teacher with breast cancer intolerable Nicole Saphier Marc Siegel fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 111d10a5-5a6e-58f7-9dba-744a8e822290

We won’t fault you if you have trouble believing this troubling story. In San Francisco, a second-grade Glen Park Elementary school teacher with breast cancer will have to cover the cost of a substitute teacher while she’s on leave to receive treatment because of an inhumane 1976 change to the California education law.

Keep in mind that San Francisco is a very expensive city to live in, with affordable housing hard to come by, and teachers are not well paid. The average teacher’s salary is just over $80,000 per.

This particular teacher is reportedly quite popular, having taught at the school for 17 years. Luckily, a GoFundMe page has already raised $13,000 to help defray her expenses. The teacher wishes to remain anonymous to preserve her privacy.

SAN FRANCISCO TEACHER HAS TO PAY SUBSTITUTE’S SALARY WHILE BATTLING CANCER DUE TO LAW

But money is not enough to overcome the emotional trauma of not only a sudden breast cancer diagnosis in a young woman, but also the financial worry that California is afflicting her with. If the trauma of a cancer diagnosis and the associated costs aren’t enough, our prized educators in San Francisco are seeing an additional strain.

Each year in the United States, about 237,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,100 in men. The costs associated with breast cancer treatment and follow-up care can be a financial strain for some people and their families.

Many people struggle with the inability to afford treatment and end up making some difficult decisions, including cutting prescriptions, not going to their doctor, and not getting preventive services, all of which may reduce the cost of future care and loss of productivity.

All teachers in the San Francisco United School District receive 10 paid days of medical leave annually. If further time off is necessary, they can get take up to another 100 sick days. However, it will cost them.

Under a 1976 California law, the cost for the substitute teacher will be deducted from the teacher’s salary. The average daily cost of a substitute teacher in San Francisco is approximately $203 and in 2018, the average teacher salary in the same school district, excluding benefits, was about $82,000.

When a woman is faced with a breast cancer diagnosis, there are many steps in the treatment process depending on the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed. Often, the treatment course will require imaging, biopsies, consultations, surgeries, radiation and at times, chemotherapy.

The timeline of such treatment can be as little as a few weeks up to 6 to 8 months.

While California Gov. Gavin Newsom is busy clamoring for single-payer health insurance, there is no health insurance program that could possibly save this teacher and those like her from the costs associated with reimbursing the district for their substitute teaching.

Instead of showing concern for this troubling problem, Newsom, in his revised state budget released this week, proposed a record-$213.5 billion spending plan for the next fiscal year, which includes money to fund health care for undocumented immigrants, as well as $1.75 billion to help boost housing production statewide and $1 billion to fight homelessness.

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Here’s our message for the governor: What about your teachers and the children they are teaching? Would you want your own child’s teacher docked pay for being sick with breast cancer?

Governor, how can you ignore your state’s educators who are given the great responsibility of caring for your children during their formative years and allow them to be penalized for their cancer care while at the same time focusing your expanding budget on the care of undocumented immigrants and the homeless?

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY DR. NICOLE SAPHIER

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY DR. MARC SIEGEL 

Westlake Legal Group AP19059694883455 Drs. Saphier and Siegel: Outrageous treatment of San Francisco teacher with breast cancer intolerable Nicole Saphier Marc Siegel fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 111d10a5-5a6e-58f7-9dba-744a8e822290   Westlake Legal Group AP19059694883455 Drs. Saphier and Siegel: Outrageous treatment of San Francisco teacher with breast cancer intolerable Nicole Saphier Marc Siegel fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 111d10a5-5a6e-58f7-9dba-744a8e822290

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Dr. Nicole Saphier: What is kratom? And why is it being promoted as a ‘wellness’ product to our kids?

Westlake Legal Group dr-nicole-saphier-what-is-kratom-and-why-is-it-being-promoted-as-a-wellness-product-to-our-kids Dr. Nicole Saphier: What is kratom? And why is it being promoted as a ‘wellness’ product to our kids? Nicole Saphier fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc d7001581-1f2e-56a7-ae98-c8bac645276c article

My college-age son called me recently and asked me about “kratom,” saying that it was all over campus and even some of his friends were trying it. Thankfully, I got the phone call asking about what it was rather than him just hopping on the bandwagon of trying the latest trend. “What is it?” he asked. And for once, I had to admit, that although I had heard of it, I didn’t know much else about it.

This concerned me on many levels. How is there a “wellness” product being promoted and sold all over a college campus and I, a doctor and a parent, know very little about it?

CLARK GABLE’S GRANDSON, CLARK JAMES GABLE III, DIED OF ACCIDENTAL DRUG OVERDOSE, AUTOPSY SHOWS

And now, after doing my research, I feel compelled to spread the word about not only what this trendy new supplement is, but to warn everyone of the dangers associated with it.

Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as “kratom,” comes from a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia – primarily Malaysia and Thailand. Most commonly the leaves are brewed as a tea or even chewed directly. My son tells me that the tea form is most common, and a tea labeled “green tea and kratom” is quite popular and being sold in most stores around his campus.

However, kratom is not a safe, benign plant. In fact, emerging data is providing strong evidence that kratom and its compounds work on the same central (brain) nervous system receptors as opioids, and therefore have the potential for addiction and abuse.

It is because of this opioid association that people are using kratom for pain relief and the euphoric high. But patients are also, according to the FDA, using kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms.  Alarmingly this can lead to further dependence, withdrawal and abuse.

Manufacturers of these products should not be allowed to mislead consumers into believing kratom is a “safe” alternative to opioids or that it is an effective therapy for any disorder. 

Since kratom products are not regulated or required to be tested, there may be a risk of contamination by toxic substances or other drugs. The use of kratom is also associated with serious side effects such as seizures, liver damage and withdrawal symptoms.

Earlier this month, the FDA issued a warning about heavy metal contamination in 30 kratom products they tested. So not only are you introducing an opioid-like substance into your system, but you may also be slowly poisoning yourself with lead or another heavy metal that causes long-term damage.

There have even been reports of kratom being laced with other opioids like hydrocodone. Using kratom, especially in combination with opioids or other psychoactive drugs that affect the brain, has resulted in death.

But even when not mixed with other prescription or illicit drugs, kratom might result in death. There’s clear data on the increasing harms associated with kratom. Calls to U.S. poison control centers regarding kratom have increased 10-fold from 2010 to 2015, with hundreds of calls made each year.

And U.S. health officials are now saying overdose deaths involving the herbal supplement are more common than previously reported.

A government report released last week said kratom was involved in 91 overdose deaths in 27 states. Officials previously said they knew of 44 nationally. Although the majority who died had also taken heroin, fentanyl or other drugs, kratom was detected as the only substance in seven of those deaths.

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We are still in the midst of a monumental opioid epidemic. Manufacturers of these products should not be allowed to mislead consumers into believing kratom is a “safe” alternative to opioids or that it is an effective therapy for any disorder.

Bottom line, there are no FDA-approved uses for kratom, and we are seeing very concerning evidence about its safety. So in no way can I tell my son I think it’s OK for him or his friends to even experiment with this substance.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE FROM NICOLE SAPHIER, M.D.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-567571b366cb4110b8dd688f3f697f58 Dr. Nicole Saphier: What is kratom? And why is it being promoted as a ‘wellness’ product to our kids? Nicole Saphier fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc d7001581-1f2e-56a7-ae98-c8bac645276c article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-567571b366cb4110b8dd688f3f697f58 Dr. Nicole Saphier: What is kratom? And why is it being promoted as a ‘wellness’ product to our kids? Nicole Saphier fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc d7001581-1f2e-56a7-ae98-c8bac645276c article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com