DR. WALLACE: I'm 19 and have been vaping for almost two years, and in fact, I love it! I realize that I'm addicted to nicotine, but it doesn't bother me because I enjoy inhaling tobacco smoke into my lungs. I do worry about the vaping illnesses we all hear about, but I only buy my cartridges from authorized stores and big companies. I would never try to save money on vaping by buying used cartridges from local, unofficial sellers. I think many people who get sick from vaping do so because they are using bootleg cartridges to save money. They literally don't know who packed it and what is really in the cartridge. I vape after eating, with coffee, when I'm upset, when I'm angry, when I'm happy and when I'm sad. But I do not allow my secondhand smoke to reach others. I always vape a respectable distance away from others, and I vape outdoors whenever possible. I do vape in my apartment but never when nonsmokers are present.
I choose to vape because I want to vape. It's nobody's business but mine, and I'm not hurting anyone but myself and perhaps my wallet, considering how much money I spend on it. That's why I enjoy living in a free society. I'm one of the few vapers who agrees that vaping should be banned in establishments that serve food.
Now that you have heard my story, don't you agree that I should be allowed to do as I please as long as I am not hurting others? Keep kids from ever starting if you would like a smoke-free world. — Vaping up a Storm, Corvallis, Oregon
VAPING UP A STORM: I do agree that it is your right to do as you please as long as you break no laws and are considerate of others around you.
I found a part of your letter quite interesting and informative for all of our readers, young and old. You mentioned that you only buy your vape cartridges from authorized stores and websites, not from local "unofficial" dealers who offer discounted prices but who may have dangerous substances inside their cartridges.
I stick by my standard advice to teens and to all people, which is to avoid all types of smoking and vaping due to health considerations. However, for those who do elect to vape, I find your advice about where to buy vape cartridges to be quite good: Only purchase from large, reputable companies. Many of these firms have public ownership, and their stock trades on the various stock exchanges. These companies will absolutely be very careful to monitor the type and quantity of ingredients that are present inside their cartridges. They have much to lose if they are sloppy with their quality control or try to cut any corners. In this marketplace, let the buyer beware.
WE STRUGGLE TO STAY AFLOAT
DR. WALLACE: We are a family of four children, a father and a mother (me). A while back, you had a column about saving money by buying soap. Is it possible that you can give me the details? We are always struggling to stay afloat financially. I truly feel a penny saved is a penny earned. That's very true in our household. We don't often have a family member get sick, but when we do, it sets us back financially, big-time.
I appreciate the fact that you encourage teens to wash their hands often to avoid the spread of germs. Is it true that the easiest way to avoid infection (including colds) is hand-washing? — Frugal Mom, via email
FRUGAL MOM: A very kind medical doctor sent me the following information on preventing infection by using a few cents' worth of soap. Soap does wonders when used regularly as a preventative measure.
I hope this will help you save money and have a healthier family.
A little soap and water can often prevent what takes loads of time and money to cure. Always wash:
— Before you handle or eat food.
— After you visit the bathroom.
— After handling uncooked food (all types of meat).
— After handling money.
— After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing into your hand.
— After playing with any pet.
— After handling garbage.
Americans spend billions of dollars annually to fight infections once they incur, many of which could have been prevented by a few cents' worth of soap!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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