Planning for a Family: 3 Things You Need to Know About E-Cigarettes if You are Expecting

Planning for a Family: 3 Things You Need to Know About E-Cigarettes if You are Expecting

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have been growing in popularity since they were introduced into the marketplace more than a decade ago. And as the product’s popularity continues to surge, there have been considerations raised about health concerns related to the product.

They Sort of Work Like Fog Machines

Ever been to a concert or stage show where fog machines got used? An e-cigarette works on a similar principle. Every electronic cigarette model, and there are many, have the same three components: a rechargeable lithium battery as a heating element, a vaporization chamber to create the vapor, and a cartridge filled with liquid nicotine that also acts as the mouthpiece for the user to inhale the smoke. It helps to think of the e-cigarette like a high-end cigarette holder used in old movies.

By using a heating element at the end of a tube, an e-cigarette boils a liquid containing propylene glycol, nicotine, and flavoring. The resulting chemical reaction converts the liquid into vapor the user inhales. The technology involved allows the user to smoke without dealing with some of the more unsavory aspects of tobacco smoking, including ash and that smoky smell that gets into everything, gets puffed on and smoked just like a regular cigarette, occasionally requiring the use of replacement coils.  

It Has a Better Public Reputation

Tobacco smoking got banned from public venues like stores and restaurants because of the dangers of secondhand smoke. And while e-cigarettes do make use of nicotine in the products, the public currently has a more relaxed view on public usage than with traditional tobacco smoking.  

Because the technology involved reduces the secondhand side effects, e-cigarette usage tends to be welcomed more at airports, restaurants, and other heavily populated indoor areas. However, a user should always check to make sure the house rules before firing up.

Family Considerations Still Rank High

As e-cigarette usage continues to grow, there have been some questions raised about possible health risks associated with the products, especially in regard to switching from regular cigarettes or for use by and around pregnant women.

The important thing to remember about e-cigarette usage is the nicotine content. Even though the technology may seem to make smoking healthier, the user will still be smoking a nicotine product when using an e-cigarette. The exact concentration and product levels can also vary depending on the products in question.

As such, the best course of action should be to treat e-cigarette usage like normal tobacco products. Children and pregnant women should avoid using the products. The Center for Disease Control acknowledges the difficulties of quitting smoking and the benefits of doing so, and the Food and Drug Administration has also not officially approved e-cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking.

Best Judgment

Regarding the use of e-cigarettes, the user has to trust their judgment and consider the health impacts to themselves and to any family members.


Is Divorce Really Different For The Military?

Is Divorce Really Different For The Military?

According to Defense Department info, divorce rates among the military are on a steady increase, from 2.6 percent in 2001 (when the U.S. forces began operations in Afghanistan) to 3.7 percent in 2011. There is no single reason for this increase, but for many military spouses, it can be difficult to lose the connection the unique culture that military members have on top of the normal stress and sadness of a divorce. However, a military divorce has both emotional and practical components. Understanding military divorces will do a lot to ensure a fair and balanced outcome. This entails not only knowing the differing laws as well and how they apply versus civilians, but an understanding of military divorce benefits and how they can help both you, your former spouse, and your children, if applicable.

What Are The Differences?

When it comes to being divorced in the military, the differences between this and civilian divorce aren’t necessarily in the letter of the law. Instead, the biggest issues you are likely to deal with are factors of the military lifestyle that impede and alter the typical divorce process. For example, if one of you are on active duty or has a permanent station overseas, this may extend the amount of time the process takes. Some states have relaxed the residency requirements for active duty service personnel who want to file for divorce in the state he or she is stationed, but this is no guarantee. As a rule of thumb, you will generally have one of three options when it comes to where to file for divorce.

  • State where the spouse filing resides.
  • State where the military member is stationed.
  • State where the military member claims legal residency.

At this point, state law will take over with regard to things like property distribution, custody, and child support.

Another area where things are different is when it comes to how benefits are handled. Our country provides great benefits to military and their families, but what happens when the family is changed? One of the first things you should do is understand the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act.  The aim of this is to provide a federal statute for the military, guiding them to accept state statutes on addressing issues, such as child support, spousal support, and military retirement pay/pension. Depending on the state, military retired pay may be able to be accepted as property as opposed to income, which requires a radically different legal approach during divorce.

In some cases, the military has provisions to help in this regard. For example, payment of the former spouse’s share of military retirement is paid directly by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) to the former spouse if there were at least 10 years of marriage that overlapped with 10 years of military service. If you have served for less than 10 years, a court may authorize you to pay a portion, but payment would come from the spouse as opposed to directly from the DFAS. Long-time military spouses are also entitled to other benefits like full medical, commissary and exchange privileges when:

  • The couple was married for 20 years or more.le service toward retirement pay.
  • There was at least a 20-year overlap of marriage and military service.

Seeking A Professional

While the military’s rules on the books are designed to help military spouses, there are tons of different scenarios where the laws on rules on the books don’t provide a clear answer to a certain scenario. For this reason, getting a proper divorce lawyer is not something that you want to try to skimp on. The military can help you get the ball rolling with legal assistance attorneys who are located on most bases. They can’t actually represent you, but their role is to provide you with some guidance as well as fulfilling certain tasks like:

  • Writing letters for you.
  • Reviewing and revising legal documents.
  • Negotiating on your behalf,
  • Answering questions, including those of your private lawyer, if you have one.

Both members and spouses of service members can seek out one of these military assistance lawyers from any branch, and while they are an asset, private attorneys will be often able to put together custom work for your life situation. Try to keep in mind when you are looking for a lawyer to find someone with knowledge both of the military benefits system as well as the state laws on the books where you choose to file. If possible, ask if they have done military divorces.

In a way, the ways that military divorce differs can be more frustrating than simply different laws, as you often have to do your own legwork to figure out what applies to you. However, by doing your due diligence and getting help when it fails, you can ensure you still get what you are entitled to.

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