EVALI, which stands for electronic cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury, is the official name for the lung condition impacting vapers according to a guidance published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The guidance document is intended to help doctors evaluate someone that may have EVALI and provide details on how to manage their condition.
As of mid-October, officials identified 1,299 probable and confirmed cases of EVALI across 49 states. The CDC also reported that 573 patients from these cases had used vaping products containing nicotine and/or THC products within 90 days of forming symptoms. The stats have also been further broken down to the age of patients. At least 80 percent of EVALI patients are under the age of 35. Of these patients, 15 percent are minors and 21 percent are 18 to 20 years old.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has estimated that one in every five adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness. Athletes, both amateurs and professionals, aren’t excluded. In fact, athletes are more susceptible to facing major challenges—they’re required to have a strong identity, have a grueling schedule, and many sports environments are toxic including bullying, abuse, and intimidation.
Professional baseball player Danny Duffy is a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals and a 2015 World Series Champion. Duffy is also clinically diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Duffy has suffered from panic attacks since he was a teenager and dealing with the pressure, bullying, and intensity of being a pro-athlete only intensified some of his condition. His most recent panic attack happened this summer, right before a game. With the Royals organization supporting him, he now follows a plan based on therapy and coping activities, which has helped. He says, “I want people to know that I was lost, too. I want them to know that there’s a healthy way out. Sometimes you just gotta search hard enough and grind through it.”
The September issue of Entrepreneur magazine features 16 young people who have turned skills and interests into successful businesses. Some wanted to solve problems in their communities, while others were interested in monetizing hobbies or earning money for college. The businesses cover a wide range of products including cookies, robotics kits, landscaping, silly socks, and more.
Sanil Chawla discovered how hard it was to start a business under the age of 18, so he developed software to automate the process for teens to get started. Hack+ was started in 2017 as a nonprofit that provides free fiscal sponsorship to student-founded charitable organizations. His software and team have helped over 900 students launch their organizations. Chawla says, “If we can manage all the legal and financial stuff for these young founders to focus on their mission, their goals, it will open the door to so much impact.”
For the upcoming school year 1,200 districts have partnered with the student “safety solutions” company Gaggle to provide safety management for students online. Gaggle is a program that can alert the school when a student is struggling with self-harm, cyberbullying, substance abuse, unhealthy relationships, and other credible threats. Gaggle reports show that during the last school year its program helped school districts save 722 students from carrying out an act of suicide.
The company’s vision is to create products that will help schools create safe learning environments. Today, Gaggle’s safety management programs use a mathematical logarithm to identify high risk phrases and words when students are logged into their district’s server and are using the school’s communication and collaboration tools. Even the name “Gaggle” is a part of this vision. Company founder Jeff Patterson said, “Our goal was to give teachers an easy way to watch over their gaggle of students.”
Ruben Martinez, an 11-year-old boy from El Paso, Texas, has started the “El Paso Challenge” to help his community heal after a recent mass shooting. He and his mother started the social media campaign to encourage people to spread kindness and honor the people killed in their city.
The challenge began by asking those that live in El Paso to do 20 good deeds, one for each person who died in the shooting. Martinez shared a list of ideas to get people started, including mowing someone’s lawn, taking flowers to the hospital, paying for someone’s lunch or dinner, and even just telling someone how great they are. Now, the challenge has gone viral on social media as #elpasoCHALLENGE. People all over the world are participating and sharing the challenge to spread kindness.
Eight cases of teens hospitalized with seriously damaged lungs were reported by the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in July. While the possible causes of these illnesses are being investigated, a news release stated that all the patients reported vaping in the weeks and months prior to being hospitalized. The officials have found the number of patients with similar damage and the link to vaping for such a short time concerning.
The eight patients were admitted for symptoms including shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, cough, and weight loss. Some of the teens wound up in the intensive care unit and needed significant therapy to help them breathe. While the teens showed improvement, the long-term effects are not known. Experts suspect the teens’ use of e-cigarettes could be the link to the lung damage. It is believed that prolonged or continued exposure to vaping chemicals can cause serious health problems.
A new study from the University of Montreal researched how different forms of screen time affected mental health in teens over several years. About 4,000 teens were tested on how different activities affected their well-being. Screen time was split into four categories—television, social media, video games, and other computer activities. Researchers found that teens with increased screen time on television and social media showed increases in depression, while those playing more video games and using their computer for other functions did not.
Elroy Boers, one of the study’s authors and researcher at the University of Montreal’s Department of Psychiatry, stated, “With our study we really showed that increased social media and television use within a given year predicted more severe symptoms of depression within that same year. We attribute these findings to the fact that social media and television, unlike video gaming and functional computer use, contain idealized depictions of fellow peers that have ‘better lives’, such as depictions of exciting life events and perfect bodies.”
Justin Verlander is the star pitcher for the Houston Astros Major League Baseball team in Texas. His teammate Alex Bregman was struggling to hit his typical homeruns and seemed fatigued. Verlander advised Bregman to start getting more sleep. Bregman recalled feeling like increasing from six hours of sleep to Verlander’s recommended ten hours was way too much, but he was willing to try. Soon he was less fatigued and his power hitting came back, allowing him to hit 30 homeruns for the season. Verlander’s sleep advice worked.
Verlander credits some of his own success over the years to his sleep habits. He gets nearly 50 percent more sleep than the average American’s 6.8 hours a night. He aims for ten hours every night. To help him stay asleep that long, he uses block out blinds and always puts his smartphone on silent or airplane mode to avoid distractions. Quality sleep can provide a healthy foundation for professional athletes, but they aren’t the only ones that can benefit from healthy sleeping habits. Not only can a good night’s sleep have a restorative effect on your body, but it can help your ability to make decisions and improve your overall well-being.