FMCSA alert draws attention to smoking trends, health & wellness

According to HealthyTrucker.Com, the trucking industry is getting healthier. Many companies are now implementing driver wellness programs, offering drivers support and encouragement in their diet and exercise goals, and providing their drivers with access to healthier options. Trucking companies are not the only ones supporting health and wellness efforts. Truck stops are getting on the bandwagon, too. Choices that include everything from protein bars to more meals with vegetables and lean protein are now readily available.

Truck drivers are also making better lifestyle choices, like deciding not to smoke. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of smokers has been on a continual downward trend. In 2005, a total of 21 out of every 100 people smoked. In 2014, that number went from 21 to 17—substantially less than it was in 1965, when 42.4 percent of Americans smoked on a regular basis.

In attempts to divert from smoking, many turned to “electronic smoking devices” such as e-cigs, ecigars, e-pipes and other devices. According to a recent report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), battery powered portable electronic smoking devices have been available on the market since 2007. Since that time, their popularity has sky-rocketed as the number and selection of products expands. According to FMCSA, “The devices contain a liquid, an atomizer or heating element, and a battery. When the device is operated, the heating element vaporizes the liquid which is inhaled by the user in the same manner as traditional smoking methods.”

While popularity continues to rise, so do concerns. So much so that the FMCSA recently issued the following safety advisory:

“The use of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices has resulted in incidents including explosions, serious personal injuries, and fires. The explosions regularly involved the ejection of a burning battery case or other components from the device which subsequently ignited nearby flammable or combustible materials.”

According to the U.S. Fire Administration and various news reports, the number of incidents concerning electronic smoking devices could be as high as 1502. Incidents have occurred while the device was being charged, in use, and while carrying the device.

Click here to read the official safety advisory from the FMCSA: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/E%20Cigarette%20Safety%20Advisory-FINAL.pdf

According to StopCancerFund.Org, e-cigarettes heat a liquid instead of tobacco. Because of that, what is released is considered smokeless. There are not, however, any long-term studies to back up claims that the vapor from e-cigarettes is less harmful than conventional smoke.

When it comes to being safe, prevention and education are always a good defense. E-cigarette representatives have said that e-cigs will “generally” not explode in your face, unless you tinker with e-liquid, use batteries not specified for your model, or disregard the instructions. That old adage, it’s better to be safe than sorry, should be applied where applicable. There are a lot of online support options for drivers who wish to stop smoking altogether. Visit https://smokefree.gov/ to learn more.

About Millis Transfer
Millis Transfer, Getting It There Since 1936, has an impressive service record earning the company dozens of “Carrier of the Year” awards. Headquartered in Black River Falls, Wis., Millis is also a Certified Top Pay Carrier with some of the best equipment on the road. Maintenance facilities and drop yards are strategically located throughout the company’s operating area. Its sister company, Millis Training Institute, offers five school locations that provide students with quality training in order to earn their CDL-A license. For more information, please visit www.millistransfer.com, www.mtidriving.com or call 1-800-937-0880.


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