H. TUF Blog

Green, renewable and new technologies that are changing the world for the better.

Green Web Hosting

by HowardT -

Energy efficient web serverA large number of the world’s population relies on the Internet to communicate, read current news, as well as buy/sell goods and services. However, the server systems that host much of the World Wide Web’s information consume a lot of energy. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), data centers and servers consume about 1.3% of the world’s electricity. As the number of people with access to the inter net increases, the number of web hosting servers will also increase, which translates to a larger carbon footprint for each website and visitor. This is where green web hosting comes in handy. Below is some more information on this topic.

Overview of Green Web Hosting

A green web host is a business that provides hosting services while saving as much energy as possible. Most eco friendly web hosts generate energy from renewable resources such as solar and wind. In addition, such a host will strive to install and use energy efficient web servers. One way of increasing energy efficiency is by using server virtualization technology. A study published in the New York Times found that traditional servers tend to have energy inefficiencies because they have a low “utilization rate”. In simple terms, this means that such servers have a relatively low fraction of computing resources engaged in useful work. The beauty of using virtual servers is they reduce energy consumption and hardware maintenance costs. Research carried out at the University of Santa Cruz using 54 virtual servers managed to reduce energy use by a staggering 20 kW and electricity costs by $22,000 per year.

Green web hosting also involves safe disposal of obsolete equipment such as servers, server racks, and related computer equipment. Remember manufacturers of computing equipment and devices use toxic substances that could pollute the environment. For example, computer and server internals often contain mercury, lead, bromine, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), zinc carbon, nickel, silver oxide, and barium compounds. A report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that exposure to lead can cause renal disease, anemia, and neurological disorders. Moreover, the EPA has labeled phthalates (found in PVC) as carcinogens. With this in mind, it is clear that green web hosting involves more than using renewable energy to power web servers.

Choosing A Green Web Host

Choosing an eco friendly web host is not easy. To start with, verifying a web host’s claims of running a green enterprise is almost impossible. Your web host’s physical location could be thousands of kilometers away from where you live making it hard to visit. Secondly, choosing one host from a pool of hundreds or thousands of web hosts can be daunting. Nevertheless, you can still sift through available hosts and come out with one who suits your energy efficiency needs. Factors to consider include:

Green Certification

Choose a host who has acquired certification to show that web-hosting servers run on green energy. Make sure the certificate comes from a well-known and reputable organization such as the EPA and EcoLogo.

Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Purchase

A web hosting company may be unable to run its servers on 100% green energy. This could be due to factors such as inability to access renewable energy or availability of cheaper energy sources. In such a case, a web host could opt to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset non renewable energy use. Make sure your web host has the certification (REC) to prove that your website will be as green as possible.

Energy Star Certification

Just like household appliances, web servers also come with Energy Star ratings. Find out whether your host has installed Energy Star certified servers. The EPA’s Energy Star program uses a Server Efficiency Rating Tool (SERT) to determine the amount of energy consumed while a server is busy (active load power consumption). Besides focusing on web hosting equipment alone, Energy Star has a certification program for data and web hosting centers. This program focuses on the entire building or facility that houses a web host’s equipment. The aim is to ensure that companies that provide web-hosting services comply with the EPA’s power usage effectiveness (PUE) benchmark. Every shred of evidence you can get to show that the host you are eyeing has acquired Energy Star certification is important. If you a host does not have any form of certification, take your business elsewhere.

Company Policy

A green web hosting company that is serious about energy efficiency will have the same policy in a written document. Go through your host’s policy carefully to find out whether there is evidence of promoting green energy use. According to the EPA, FatCow Web Hosting is one company that is committed to minimizing their carbon footprint through the use of renewable energy certificates.

All in all, green web hosting can make a huge difference when it comes to reducing your website’s carbon footprint. Shop around and choose a host who has Energy Star certification, green certification from a body like the EPA, or purchases REC’s.

Why Tesla Motors is a Green Technology Success

by HowardT -

The award-winning Tesla Motors Model S. Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors.

Established in 2004, Tesla Motors, a California-based automobile company, has continued to gain admirable worldwide fame by producing state-of-the-art electric cars and electric vehicle powertrain components. The products are not only affordable, but also very friendly to the environment, explaining why Tesla Motors is a green technology success.

Tesla Roadster, Tesla’s first electric sports car to use lithium-ion battery cells, was the first electric car to win the Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally (MCAER) and the Federation International de L’Automobile-Sanctioned Championship in the year 2010. It has also allowed Tesla to be named a recipient of the Global Green USA Product/Industrial Design Award in the year 2006. Roadster’s revolutionary powertrain is capable of propelling it from 0 to 60 mph (0 t0 97 km/h) in just about 3.5 shift-less seconds while its lightweight aluminum chassis allows for tight and responsive handling.

Before taking any Roadster to the market, a team of highly-experienced and dedicated technicians have to conduct a thorough inspection to ensure that it is in a perfect condition. The inspection covers all safety, appearance and drive-related components such as battery and drive inverter, firmware updates, interior detailing, brakes and paint detailing.

Early this year, Tesla Motors managed to win numerous awards such as the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year, 2013 World Green Car of the Year Award and the Consumer Report’s Top-Scoring Car for its new Tesla Model S. With its nearly 50/50 weight distribution, rigid body structure and extraordinarily low center of gravity, Tesla Model S has the ability to offer the performance, agility and responsiveness expected from the world’s best sports cars while providing a thrilling drive experience.

Unlike the internal combustion engine composed of numerous moving pieces that pump, groan, belch and spark, Tesla Model S possesses only one moving piece: the rotor. This allows the car to have instantaneous acceleration, like flipping a switch. The car hits 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and travels up to about 60 miles per hour without a single drop of gasoline, a clear indication that it takes electric performance and energy conservation to the next level.

How Tesla Electric Cars Work

All electric cars from Tesla use automotive-grade lithium-ion batteries cells for optimum thermal management, safety and energy density. Tesla batteries are similar to those of laptops and smartphones, only that they are bigger, heavier and more powerful. They are charged using a special type of charger known as the Tesla Supercharger. The charging process isn’t much different from the way you usually charge your portable electronic devices.

Once you buy an electric car from Tesla, you are provided with your own supercharging station called High Power Wall Charger or Tesla Home Charging Station. You can also use Tesla’s Mobile Connector to charge your car anywhere you can access electricity. In addition, Tesla is in the process of installing numerous supercharging stations on highways and streets across the United States and Canada. These stations are meant to allow you to charge you electric car after every 1 or 2 hours.

To top it all, Tesla motors is constantly producing cars that not only conform to all US safety, durability and environmental standards, but also pass the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS). Tesla owners are increasingly relying exclusively on solar for their cars’ energy needs, allowing them to lead an emission-free lifestyle.

Is Hyperloop the Next Big Thing in Green Technology?

by HowardT -

Iluustrated Hyperloop concept.
Is it possible to cut the travel time between Los Angeles and San Francisco to just 35 minutes? Elon Musk thinks so. In fact, he released a white paper on the “Hyperloop” which aims to do exactly that. Musk is no stranger to transportation having built an electric car company, Tesla Motors, and a space transportation service, SpaceX. When he speaks, the industry listens, especially since his budget estimate is less than one tenth of the proposed California high-speed rail project, beats it soundly in terms of speed, and runs using the power of the sun. Is Hyperloop the next big thing in green technology?

The Hyperloop Concept

The Hyperloop is unlike anything that has ever been implemented before on such a large scale. At first it seems nothing more than a fancy train but the technologies employed are vastly different. Instead of a platform with rails, it consists of an elevated tube which operates on a partial vacuum to minimize drag. Pods or capsules are propelled through this tube at speeds of up to 760 mph.

They are able to achieve this velocity because of minimal friction. Instead of wheels, the pods pump a steady stream of air downwards. This allows them to float and glide across. At the nose of these capsules is a powerful fan that sucks in air from the front then channels it to the rear and to the air skis below. Rising just a few millimeters from the bottom is enough to sustain the movement.

Linear induction motors control their acceleration throughout the journey. Although they reach such fantastic speeds, the passengers should remain comfortable. The stress is lower than that experienced during the takeoff of a typical commercial airplane. Musk and his team also points out that the system is designed to be immune to the sonic boom.

As a leader of the green movement, Elon Musk paid particular attention to the power sources. Concept drawings of the Hyperloop show the tube covered with solar panels. The white paper claims that the power generated by these panels is more than enough to operate the system at full capacity. They can store excess energy in electric car batteries for use during nighttime and in cloudy weather. Another way to store energy is through compressed air which can then run the fans, the feasibility of which has already been demonstrated by other companies.

Profitability

Musk calculated the cost of the project at approximately $6 billion. This may sound like a lot of money until one considers that the California high-speed rail project is projected to cost $68 billion. The Hyperloop is able to keep expenses low by following the existing highways. This reduces the need for land rights and associated expenses. Using an elevated platform also allows it to leave a very small footprint so that it doesn’t disrupt vehicle traffic. According to his estimates, the state can break even in 20 years by charging $20 for a one-way ticket with the system serving 7.4 million passengers per year.

Public Reactions

The news about Hyperloop generated a lot of buzz on the Internet. It got varied responses from multiple sectors and industry insiders. Critics say that the $6 billion estimate will rapidly inflate like all other large-scale projects. Some laud Musk’s efforts but doubt whether his ideas will ever come to fruition given the political realities in the state of California. Others think that it’s a great concept that should be implemented at once given its technical merits.

Many are willing to give it a chance and reserve their judgment until they can see more from the man. Indeed, Elon Musk announced his intention to build a “proof of concept” in the near future to demonstrate the project’s viability. Whether or not the Hyperloop gets made, it has already succeeded in expanding the minds of people by showing them the extent of what’s possible.

Ensuring Future Retirement Stability through Gold and Silver Investments

by HowardT -

Photo of precious metals.
Many today believe that having gold and silver IRAs can protect against the next market crash. The recent global recessions has scarred the hopes and expectations of many people, especially in well-developed countries where everything is expected to go right. Because of this, many again turns into finding good and stable investments for their future financial security and many see it in silver and gold.

There are many reasons why having precious metals in an IRA can help and this is topic of this small write-up. These are the reasons how including gold / silver in an individual retirement account can help secure one’s financial stability in the event of a market crash in the future.

Brief overview of the IRA (Individual Retirement Account)

The IRA is a type of savings plan which one could use upon retirement. It is a good way to secure one’s finances in the future, especially in old age. The main advantage of having an IRA is that one can have tax deductions for the money put into savings. It is a nice way to increase one’s savings for the future and at the same time, reduce one’s taxes at the present.

How do Gold and Silver secure an IRA?

Both are Resilient

The basic principle why gold / silver can drastically improve one’s retirement investment is because of its resiliency. Currency in most countries uses money which is only made valuable because of the government which produces the currency. The type of money gets its value through government decree, this is called fiat money. Its value retains as long as the government that produced it still exists or remains in stability.

Unlike “fiat” money, which is what most currency in the world is, Gold, silver and other precious metals have its own value. This means that it is unaffected by the rise and fall of governments or the strength and stability of the economy. Both metals remains valuable any time and can be relied on as a means of currency everywhere.

Adding gold or silver in an individual retirement account virtually safeguards one’s future retirement. As these metals are not affected by economic fluctuations, one can see how it can protect against future market crashes.

Both tend to increase in value during economic crisis

Another unique property of these two precious metals are that it increases in value during economic downturns. One can observe that since 2000, the value of these metals increased exponentially. From about $200 an ounce, in just 10 years, the value of gold skyrocketed to $1,600 an ounce and it still increases during the worldwide recession. This clearly shows how investing in such metals and adding it to one’s IRA can definitely improve one’s security during a crisis.

How to put Gold / Silver into one’s IRA?

Basically, the United States restricted IRA investments to government issued currency, bonds, mutual funds and such. Precious metals such as gold / silver are not allowed as an investment in an IRA. However, one can bypass this restriction by using minted gold and silver coins but under certain regulations.

  • Each gold / silver coin must be legal tender of a government, particularly of the United States.
  • Each gold or silver coin must have a purity of 99.5% in order to be allowed as an investment in an IRA.
  • At the moment, only the American Gold Eagle, Kangaroo Nuggets, Austrian philharmonics coins, Perth Mint Lunar series and the Canadian gold maple leaf are accepted gold coins in an IRA.
  • Accepted silver coins include the American Silver Eagle, Mexican Silver Libertad, Australian Kookaburra, Austrian philharmonic coins and the Canadian Silver maple leaf.

One must also get in touch with an IRA expert and get some helpful advice on how to further make use of precious metals in one’s IRA. With the use of these gold and silver coins, one can really safeguard an individual retirement account considerably.

In conclusion

One can easily see how silver and gold, still remains an important, valuable commodity even in our modern times. As this type of currency are not heavily affected by government situation and its value, increasing over time, investing in both metals is somewhat, the wisest action any person can take.

Safeguarding one’s security in the future is extremely important, especially in our modern times, where financial fluctuations are rampant. One must find ways to secure his or her future by doing precautionary steps such as having an IRA. Including precious metals can increase one’s security considerably, which is why many today conclude that having a gold or silver IRA can really protect against the next market crash.

Are Red Light Cameras Really Just a Revenue Producing Venture?

by HowardT -

Automated traffic law enforcement image.
Red light cameras have grabbed their fair share of headlines recently. Many critics are questioning their effectiveness given the results of new studies. Some decry the invasion of their privacy. Others have been very vocal about what they perceive is another attempt to squeeze money out of motorists. They argue that these devices are being installed to increase revenues instead of reducing accidents. This is a common sentiment among drivers who feel that they are already burdened with large insurance premiums and other fees. To understand the hostility towards these devices, we must look a little deeper into their history and evaluate the controversy from there.

The Source of the Controversy
The project started with noble intentions. Some years ago, the number of fatalities due to car accidents was on the rise. Officials were compelled to act and find solutions that would reverse the trend. A lot of things were suggested but they each came their own issues. For instance, redesigning intersections to taper the sharp corners might be effective but it would cost a lot of money to implement. Another is increasing the transition time for the yellow light. This virtually costs nothing and many have done it with moderate success. However, one has to consider the cascading effect on other intersections should the times be varied. Things can get tricky on some roads.

One suggestion was to go high tech and bring in red light cameras. The idea was that the devices would be able to monitor the vicinity around intersections at all times of the day, every day. They might have a substantial initial cost but they would reduce the need to post actual police officers on guard. This is a very attractive proposition given the lack of manpower at various departments. Instead of having people watch an intersection all day, they can be deployed on more urgent matters to boost productivity. So the first cameras were put up and tested. They proved to be incredibly effective, catching so many violators and triggering the decline of right angle collisions.

Yet the devices may have been a victim of their own success. Some of the people involved with the project realized that the cameras make money and may have become too aggressive in their pursuit of motorists. Revenue sharing also became a contentious issue between the police force and the local governments. Officers often prefer to spend it on equipment upgrade while city hall wants to funnel it into community development. However, the funds may dry up soon as people are becoming wiser about avoiding violations. In this sense, the project has accomplished its original goal of changing driver behavior and lowering accident fatalities.

What Motorists Can Do to Avoid a Ticket
People may have different opinions about the merits of cameras, but everyone can agree that being caught is not a pleasant experience. No one wants the hassle of having to pay for a ticket and dealing with all of the other things that go with a violation. Those who wish to avoid this should drive very carefully, especially when approaching major intersections. These are where the cameras are usually installed. Some may be visible while others are discreet or partially obstructed from view. Always assume that they are present and drive accordingly.

There are apps for GPS, mobile phones and tablets which track the installation and locations of the cameras. Consult these software programs to know their exact positions within a city. These apps are particularly useful when going out of town. People are typically aware of where these devices are located within their city but are not so familiar with the setup when they venture out. This is why violations by holidaymakers are common. Being acquainted with their placement in advance would reduce the likelihood of being caught. Just remember that even if a red light is not present at an intersection, a police officer could be stationed nearby. Obey traffic laws at all times, not just to avoid fines but also to ensure personal safety.

Red light cameras make money because they have to. After all, their maintenance cost is not a trivial matter. It is up to the administrators of the project to ensure that this economic necessity is balanced with the public’s welfare. These devices are put in place to promote responsible driving. The primary focus should always be clear.

Taking Online Surveys: a Win-Win Situation?

by HowardT -

What you think makes a difference. Photo credit: www.4paidsurveys.com.

Photo credit: www.4paidsurveys.com

When businesses are seeking opinions on tastes and preferences of their clients, they usually contract the services of a third party in order to gauge the buying patterns and consumer attitudes towards their products. This is where paid for surveys come into play. Paid for surveys is usually done by marketing research or branding firms with in-house market research tools. These firms often represent the product developers who need the necessary information to make sound business decisions concerning marketing needs, trends and how to introduce new products. The marketing research or branding firms then contract pre-qualified participants in order to use them for conducting the surveys. The information and the results obtained are then analyzed for use by the product developer. In the process, the survey participants are compensated monetarily or gift vouchers.

Types of paid for surveys
Before participating in any survey, you need to understand the type of survey you are signing up for. Here are the three main types of paid for surveys in the market.

i. Focus group surveys.
These survey types come with the most financial reward to participants. As a participant, you can earn from $30- $250 per completed survey. While participating in these types of surveys, you will respond to questions along with other participants. However, the only limitation with these types of surveys is that they are never available online.

ii. Mystery shopping surveys
You can also make a substantial amount of money participating in these types of surveys. You can make $8-$25 per hour that you spend taking surveys. These surveys offer plenty of opportunities for participants residing in large cities.

iii. Paid online surveys
These are the most common types of surveys. However, they pay the least amount of money, especially if you are not working with the right companies. You can earn $2-$5 per completed survey. Most people prefer these surveys because they are simple, fun and require remarkably short time to complete.

Avoiding online paid for survey frauds
Hundreds of websites pop up daily claiming to offer online paid for survey jobs. However, some of these sites are scams, out to defraud you of your time and efforts. This is why you need to do adequate research in order to find genuine survey firms. In addition, you need to protect your identify from sites that have bad intentions. The best way to do this is by reading and understanding the terms and conditions of the survey company before signing up. Genuine survey firms do not reveal identity, responses or private information of the participants.

Always beware of companies that offer products to participants before taking surveys. Such companies are notorious for taking advantage of participants.

There are a number of online tools that you can use to check the credibility and authenticity of the paid survey site. One such tool is online forums. From these forums, you can find stories of real life experiences that other participants have had with survey companies in question. You will also find information on how to find genuine and well-paying survey companies. You can also visit websites like Yes-Its-Free.com for information and ratings of various survey sites.

Genuine paid for survey companies do not charge any sign-up fee. Therefore, avoid companies that are asking for fees before registering to take surveys. However, you should not mistake this with sites that provide lists or directories of survey firms.

Finding success with online paid for surveys
These days, most folks make a living from taking online surveys from home. You too can. However, there are certain things that you must do in order for the survey company to consider you for a survey, and it all begins with the kind of profile you submit when signing up with the company. In order to participate in a survey, the company must be sure that you match a particular profile required for the survey. Therefore, you have to ensure that your profile is accurately updated in order to increase your chances of participating in various available surveys.

Always be truthful and accurate when completing the surveys that are assigned to you. Much of your success with paid for surveys will depend closely on how keen you are with instructions. Survey companies have highly limited tolerance for incomplete or grossly inaccurate feedback. If this happens, you may lose your chance of participating in future surveys.

There are hundreds of online paid for surveys that you can participate in. If you take your time to research and sign up with the right company, chances are you will find plenty of surveys to complete. However, you have to be wary of frauds while keeping in mind that honesty and diligence are the keys to success in this business.

Why Celebrities are Using E-Cigarettes to Quit Smoking

by HowardT -

Katherine Heigl used an e cig to quit smoking.
It is estimated that at least one-fifth of the world’s population are compulsive smokers, despite the growing evidence of the disastrous effects of tobacco smoking on health. In recent decades, a number of products have become available that claim to wean people off the habit, electronic cigarettes being one of the latest. At first, they were regarded as a gimmick, but more recently, it has become clear many celebrities are using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, and this has helped the trend to be taken more seriously.

To non-smokers it often seems totally baffling that so many people persist with the practice, even though they know that it could make them seriously ill, or even kill them. In most cases, of course, the reason is that tobacco is so totally addictive that many people are unable to quit even if they want to. The search has been on for a painless solution that can satisfy the craving at the same time as aiding smoking cessation.

Many of the commonly used solutions, such as patches or inhalers, aim to deal simply with the craving for nicotine. These have worked for some people, but many more have found them ineffective — the reason being that often the craving is not just for nicotine, but for oral satisfaction. The theory is that this stems from the days of breast feeding, which is the reason why babies’ pacifiers are so effective. People actually need something in their mouths.

Electronic cigarettes are devices that imitate the entire process of smoking, by producing a vapor, which provides the same sensation as smoking a cigarette, and sometimes the same flavor as well. This is likely to be one of the reasons why e-smoking is proving such an attractive option to so many people. In addition to this, however, one of the reasons why smoking became so popular in the early days of the 20th century, before its harmful effects were fully appreciated, was its association with sophistication and glamour, and with being a man or woman of the world, and this has never quite gone away. An e-cigarette can help to perpetuate this illusion, in a way that other solutions cannot.

All this may help to explain why an increasing number of people in the public eye seem to be turning to electronic smoking, and moving it from being the latest quirky fad into a serious trend. Celebrities who persist with ordinary smoking habits often come under serious criticism, particularly from the health lobby, who urge them to remember their position as role models, and to be more responsible in the example they set. This may be one of the factors that have led so many A-list stars not only to make the switch, but to ensure they do so under the media spotlight.

One high-profile example of this is Katherine Heigl, star of Grey’s Anatomy, who made headlines by smoking an e-cigarette on the David Letterman late night talk show. She had previously been on record as stating publicly that she was desperate to give up smoking, and had been photographed smoking electronic cigarettes while out and about on several occasions. Since her TV appearance, she has reported that she has succeeded in quitting, and has credited e-cigarettes with helping her to do this. Another very well-known e-smoker, Charlie Sheen, was given an e-cigarette starter kit after the extent of his chain smoking became clear — not that his public breakdown was totally attributable to the habit, but it certainly did not help. Since receiving the starter kit, he has not only been seen e-smoking on a regular basis, but has launched his own electronic cigarette company.

One major issue for smokers is the effect of their habit on young children, and the fact that they smoked around their kids was one major reason why Britney Spears and her ex-husband Kevin Federline attracted media criticism. Following the criticism, both of them have been widely reported as switching to the electronic version in an effort to quit. Now Britney has publicly testified that it was electronic cigarettes that enabled her to take control of her life, and finally to win her battle against the habit.

Tobacco smoking does of course have pernicious effects not only on general health, but on appearance as well. Skin, teeth and hair all deteriorate if the habit persists for any length of time. This provides a further incentive to quit for those stars, such as the supermodel Kate Moss, whose entire career depends on maintaining their appearance. Kate has been photographed with an e-cigarette on several occasions, and has admitted that she had failed to give up by any other means.

A number of e-cigarette companies have helped the trend by publicly handing out starter kits to celebrities. The idea started at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, at which kits were included in gift bags for all celebrity guests, and those who took up the offer included Mel Gibson and Uma Thurman. Leonardo DiCaprio, who was known to be trying to quit, has frequently been spotted with an e-cigarette, having switched when they were handed out to stars at the British Film Awards.

Although there is still a lot of research to be done on the health benefits, or otherwise, of electronic smoking, there seems to be very little doubt that it is a lot less harmful than ordinary tobacco use. Additional advantages over other stop-smoking products are that e-smokers can still retain the sensations, and the supposedly sophisticated mannerisms, of traditional cigarette use, including the hand movements, the inhaling, and the atomized vapor, that all provide the illusion of actual smoking. These are at least some of the reasons why celebrities are using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, and from all the reports in the media, many are succeeding.

Canada: E-cigarettes: Bad; Tobacco Cigarettes: OK

by HowardT -

Approves of tobacco.
Not all smokers are interested in tobacco cessation. However, the vast majority of smokers are willing to try smoking alternatives if the result is as effective at satisfying their craving. Smokers, on the whole, agree that the aroma of tobacco smoke is unpleasant. Moreover, smokers are not keen on the litter that discarding spent butts results in. Furthermore, the vast majority of smokers are happy to support environmentally conscious alternatives. All of these benefits are found in electronic cigarettes. The fact that Canada outlaws e-cigarettes while tobacco cigarettes remain legal should be disputed.

Nevertheless, the government of Canada has focused the majority of its energy on anti-smoking campaigns, and has allocated little to none of its resources on smoking alternatives. Canadians would be hard pressed to find advocates for smoking. The truth about tobacco is well known and extensively researched. Smoking is considered the most addictive substance abuse an individual can undertake, with research showing that tobacco is harder to quit than heroin or cocaine.

Add to the difficulty of quitting smoking, the reality that tobacco is a governmentally backed substance, and Canadians have a dilemma. How can the government support major tobacco sales but withhold the energy to provide safer alternatives a chance to market within the provinces?

Since March 27, 2009, Health Canada has maintained a stance that electronic cigarettes are potentially addictive and dangerous, and with this stance disallowed the sale of these smoking alternatives in their country. Health Canada knows smoking tobacco is addictive. They know smoking tobacco is dangerous. Why the discrepancy?

Within the regulation standard posted by Health Canada, it is shown that e-cigarettes contain a battery-operated delivery system. The system vaporizes a liquid chemical that contains various levels of nicotine and delivers it with controlled hits. These systems also contain propylene glycol among other chemicals. Nicotine is addictive and toxic. Inhaling propylene glycol is an irritant. Although electronic smoking alternatives are marketed as a safe alternative to tobacco products, electronic smoking devices pose the risk of nicotine poisoning and addiction. They may be marketed as a smoking cessation alternative, but no research shows this to be an effective alternative method.

Health Canada’s revelation about electronic cigarettes falls directly into a pun and logical fallacy. They are putting up a smoke screen to avoid urgent facts. Smokers should come armed with a host of questions. If both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes contain nicotine, is one more dangerous than the other? If both nicotine delivery systems dose a controlled amount of nicotine per hit, the answer is no.

Do cigarettes claim to be non-habit-forming? No. Do electronic cigarettes claim to be non-habit-forming? No. Neither system claims to be non-habit-forming. Is one nicotine delivery system safer? Yes.

Research from Europe has shown two realities. On September 27th, 2012 London’s epidemiology department from the Department of Public Health showed new depths to the dangers of tobacco smoke. The world over has known that tobacco kills. Cancer, Emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and a variety of heart related diseases are all linked, directly correlated, and factually result from the causation of smoking. The most recent research from London underscores the age-old knowledge about the dangers of smoking. Of 200,000 research participants with coronary heart disease, thirty-six percent contracted their ailment from smoking. Only twelve percent of the group had heart trouble from lack of exercise, and less than four percent were troubled by stress. The remaining percent of cases were not able to be determined, but with a total of fifty-two percent of cases reported, smoking was the reported cause of heart problems in roughly eight-tenths of heart cases in the study.

No study to date has run as long, to test the effects of e-cigarettes. However, interesting data relating to the discrepancies between tobacco and nicotine delivery alternatives is derived from an examination of the secondary chemicals found in tobacco versus electronic cigarettes. Cigarette tobacco contains four thousand chemicals. Of these, forty-three are known carcinogens that cause cancer. Nicotine, formaldehyde, cyanide, DDT, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and tar are only a few of the toxins in cigarette smoke.

Compared to tobacco, with its four thousand chemicals, leading electronic cigarette retailers utilize between one hundred and two hundred chemicals. The United States FDA has issued a warning stating that some of the chemicals in e-cigarettes are cancer causing, and the Food and Drug regulation in Canada has outlawed the sale of electronic cigarettes for not passing their rigorous testing strictures.

The unfortunate truth is that even if e-cigarettes are dangerous, they are much safer than traditional tobacco, and it is likely that the government of Canada will not promote a healthier alternative to tobacco. With so much research to back the safer alternative, why Canada outlaws e-cigarettes while tobacco cigarettes remain legal is a mystery.

Canadians who want to enjoy a safer alternative to tobacco smoke should consider the government’s stance on the issue. Only the citizens of Canada can right the wrong of outlawing this smoking alternative. Each person should consider, given the choice, would they rather participate in the legal addiction of a habit that is known to kill more than five million people worldwide each year, or one that has not been linked to any known deaths worldwide? It is true, e-cigarettes are newer to the market than the millennial-old tobacco, but with clear research, people know factually, from scientific evidence, that smoking electronic cigarettes is safer than their deadly alternative.