Study Finds College-age Millennials Hopeful for the Future, Worry about Student Loans and Overspending

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BetterMoneyHabits.com Offers Free Financial Education Resources Can Help

CHARLOTTE – A recent Bank of America/USA TODAY Better Money Habits Millennial Report found that even though a large majority (80 percent) of college-age millennials (ages 18-25) surveyed across the country believe they will be “better off” or “the same” as their parents, and two-thirds say they have good financial habits, large numbers still worry about the cost of student loans/college education (33 percent) and spending beyond their means (36 percent).

Overspending, Student Loan Worries

College-age millennials have a lot on their minds when it comes to studying and choosing career paths that will set the stage for their financial and professional futures, but they’re also carrying concerns about their ability to spend only within their means and increasing worries around student loan debt and saving for the future. In fact, 61 percent of 18-25 year olds say it’s very difficult for people their age to live within their means. Additionally, 49 percent say student loan debt is having “a lot” or “some” impact on their ability to spend or save right now.

Information and tips on personal budgeting, paying down student loans and navigating other financial issues are available at BetterMoneyHabits.com, a free and objective financial education resource.

In Careers, Passion over Paycheck

Despite the fact that today’s college-age millennials have come of age in the aftermath of the financial crisis, they are incredibly hopeful for the future, with optimistic, passion-driven views. Though a large majority (75 percent) of millennials ages 18-25 said that when deciding what to study in school, income was “very” or “somewhat” important, the report results indicate that less than half (38 percent) actually believe that salary is more important than doing what you love. When asked about the annual salary that college-age millennials believed they need to feel successful, a similar number reported needing less than $40,000 a year (21 percent) as reported needing more than $100,000 a year to feel the successful (25 percent).

Get free guidance on saving and planning for the future at BetterMoneyHabits.com, including how to create a safety net for life’s unexpected events, saving for a large purchase and how to make your money grow through compound interest.

Finding Solutions: Better Money Habits

No matter where you are in your college life – as a freshman just starting school and looking to make a budget or as a senior approaching graduation and starting to pay off student loans – setting goals can help. For those who want a resource to help better understand personal finance topics, Bank of America and education innovator Khan Academy have partnered to develop BetterMoneyHabits.com, a free, objective education resource that offers content and tools for anyone, anywhere. The site is designed with the key needs of the user in mind and includes content that specifically addresses topics most important to millennials.

About the Bank of America/USA TODAY Better Money Habits Millennial Report
The Bank of America/USA TODAY Better Money Habits Millennial Report was conducted online among 1,001 adults during the period of October 9 – October 20, 2014 by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communication, using GfK’s KnowledgePanel®, a statistically representative sample source used to yield results that are projectable to the American population. To qualify, millennials had to be 18 to 34 years old, of which 477 respondents were in the college-age, 18-25 years old age group. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

About Better Money Habits
Bank of America has made a substantial commitment to address the need for better financial literacy by partnering with Khan Academy – a nonprofit with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Together, they’ve developed BetterMoneyHabits.com, a free, objective online financial resource that pairs Khan Academy’s expertise in online learning with the financial expertise of Bank of America. The customizable experience breaks down concepts and provides practical, actionable steps to strengthen the connection between financial knowledge and behavior.

Media Contact
Tara Burke
tara.a.burke@bankofamerica.com

RetailMeNot Helps Students Save Money on Spring Break Travel

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Coupon destination provides tips for booking cheap spring vacations 

Austin, TX, February 25, 2015 — Many college students dream of taking a spring break that would rival the party scenes in “Spring Breakers.” But when they look at their bank account they realize the only vacation they’ll be having is a staycation on the sofa watching reruns of MTV live broadcasts from Daytona. To help every student book a vacation they deserve, leading digital offers destination RetailMeNot (www.retailmenot.com) put together a list of the top ways students can save money on spring break travel.

VISIT TRAVEL SITES THAT SPECIALIZE IN STUDENT VACATIONS TO RESEARCH AFFORDABLE DESTINATIONS

StudentUniverse provides deals on activities for college students, including discounts on tours, rail passes and events like winery tours and snorkeling. The site even has a travel blog with tips and advice written by fellow students and a free mobile app that keeps track of your itinerary.

StudentCity lets users search by the type of trip and even offers StudentCity packages where they will coordinate your group’s flights, hotel reservations, parties (including VIP access to clubs) and activities.

Kayak has a feature called “Explore” that allows users to enter their departure city and preferred travel dates, and the site returns a map with the prices of round-trip flights to major cities around the world. This is a great starting place for the student who will go anywhere as long as it fits within his or her budget.

CONSIDER BOOKING A VACATION RENTAL HOME VERSUS A HOTEL

Instead of booking a hotel for your group and packing everyone into close quarters with rollaway beds, consider using a website like HomeAway.com to search for houses and other residential properties to stay in.

“For students on a budget, renting a whole house and splitting the costs is the most affordable option for spring break,” says HomeAway.com Senior Vice President Jon Gray. “On average, vacation home rentals are half the cost of a standard hotel room, which enables your group to not only save money but to stay together, relax and create the ultimate spring break memories.”

Map

ROAD TRIP

In most of the country, gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in years. According to a survey conducted by Ipsos* on behalf of HomeAway.com, 25 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 are planning to take a road trip over spring break due to low gas prices.

If you don’t have the budget for airfare, find a friend with a reliable car and plan a road trip to a nearby destination. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, use an app like Hotel Tonight to find same-day hotel deals in whichever city you end up.

UTILIZE MONEY-SAVING APPS AND WEBSITES

To save on everything from travel and hotel arrangements to spring clothing and luggage for your vacation, visit coupon destination RetailMeNot.com or download the free RetailMeNot Coupons app to access thousands of online and in-store offers for all the stores you love. The app uses geofencing technology to show you nearby offers, and if you login as a member you’ll receive exclusive access to restaurant deals—just show the offer from your phone at checkout!

Before you book, check RetailMeNot for travel discounts for sites like ExpediaHotels.comHotwire and others. For more information on how college students can save money, visit the college section of The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.

*This survey of more than 1,000 Americans was fielded by Ipsos on January 23 through 25, 2015.


About RetailMeNot.com 

RetailMeNot.com is a leading digital offers destination that helps consumers save money. Since November 2006, our users have shared hundreds of thousands of offers from retailers. These offers are voted on by users, ensuring that quality deals rise to the top and those that are expired drop down the list. RetailMeNot.com is operated by RetailMeNot, Inc., the world’s largest marketplace for digital offers. Consumers can save more at their favorite stores by downloading the RetailMeNot app at http://www.retailmenot.com/blog/rmn-whats-new.html.

We’re out to save the world (some money).™ Consumers can follow RetailMeNot on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ by visiting http://www.retailmenot.com/corp/websites.

 

Media Contact:
Kristen Nelson
RetailMeNot, Inc.
+1 832 398 5792 mobile
knelson@rmn.com

Visit Virtual Study Abroad Fair on February 25 to explore study abroad options and win prizes

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Do you want to succeed in the global economy? If so, you should study abroad and gain language and cultural skills that will be crucial to your career. Find out how: visit the Virtual Study Abroad Fair this Wednesday, February 25th, from 12 noon until 8:00 pm EST. Register at www.collegeweeklive.com/studyabroad

It is free for students, and you can win valuable study abroad prizes! The fair, hosted by the Institute of International Education, CollegeWeekLive, and the U.S. Department of State, is a unique opportunity for students and parents to learn more about the benefits of study abroad, program options, potential host countries and funding opportunities for those experiences abroad.

Visit the Virtual Study Abroad Fair to:

• Watch live video presentations about topics such as choosing a program, learning how to finance studying abroad, applying for scholarships, preparing for study abroad, and the value of study abroad for careers and job prospects.
• Attend sessions focused on study abroad opportunities in specific countries or regions.
• Hear from educational organizations about study abroad programs, internships abroad, and service learning opportunities.
• Chat live with study abroad representatives from colleges and universities and study abroad programs around the world.

Students who visit at least 5 virtual booths will be eligible to win one of the following prizes (you must be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for prizes):

• Two (2) – $1,000 IIE Travel Prizes for study abroad (U.S students must be enrolled in an approved study abroad program by their institution to receive funds)
• Two (2) – $500 STA Travel vouchers
• Four (4) – $50 Amazon vouchers

This Virtual Study Abroad Fair is part of IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of students who study abroad by the end of the decade. Learn more by visiting www.iie.org/generationstudyabroad. Join the conversation at #generationstudyabroad. Follow @IIEGlobal on Twitter and Facebook.

In its first year, nearly 500 partners from academia, and the public and private sectors from the U.S. and abroad joined IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative. These partners have pledged specific, actionable goals and tangible financial commitments that will contribute significantly to reach our ambitious goal.

Media Contact:
Sharon Witherell
Institute of International Education
212-984-5380
switherell@iie.org

Note to editors: 
We welcome reporters and editors to register and join the Virtual Study Abroad Fair to explore and write about the information and the experience. (Note, you can still write about the fair after February 25 — students can register online after the fair is over to visit the virtual study abroad booths for 90 days, but the live presentations and live chats will not be available after the event). Please contact switherell@iie.org if you would like to interview someone at IIE about the Virtual Study Abroad Fair or about IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative.

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Students kill three birds with one stone

Students kill three birds with one stone by honing their creative-writing skills and practicing gratitude as a learned behavior in cash-prize competition

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 23, 2015 – Students are honing their creative-writing skills while expressing gratitude to friends, family members, and loved ones in a cash-prize competition on Favorfloat.com, a financial social network headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn

“If a student writes a gratitude message, then he/she is required to vote both for his/her message and for ten other messages written by other students that he/she believe are the most creative. Any member of the general public may log in with his or her email address to select and vote for a gratitude message that they believe is creative. At the end of each quarter, the 100 gratitude messages with the highest votes will automatically be selected for a final round of voting. The 20 messages that receive the most votes will be sent to 21 judges, who will each cast one vote to select the grand winner, who will receive first prize. Second- and third-place prizes will also be awarded, as well as prizes for all finalists,” said Ricky Wunderlich, Contest IT Director.

“I’m 19 and a college student, so the thought of thanking my parents for everything they have done for me—paying for my tuition and all kinds of stuff—has never occurred to me,” said competition contestant Barry Emmanuel, student at North Central Seminary in Minneapolis. “I just thought they are my parents—that’s what they are supposed to do. I felt they were obligated to take care of my needs until I graduated, got a job, and was able to take care of my own needs. But Favorfloat.com changed my mind,” Emmanuel added with a smile. “My parents don’t owe me a thing, and I wrote a gratitude message thanking them for everything they have done for me for the whole world to see. Honestly, I didn’t do it for the prize money. I just felt bad about how selfish I had been, but I hope my gratitude message wins something,” said Barry Emmanuel with two thumbs up.

Philip Jegede, Chairman of Favorfloat Corporation explains, “Like John Amodeo wrote,” ‘No doubt, our parents worked tirelessly to get us to say “thank you” when someone offered a gift or did us a favor. Most likely, they succeeded in getting us to mouth these words. But while we internalized proper etiquette, did we understand the purpose behind uttering thanks? To what extent did we develop an inner sense of feeling and conveying genuine gratitude? Gratitude is a corrective to our sense of entitlement. One aspect of narcissism is the belief that we deserve to get without having to give. We feel that we’re entitled to fulfill our needs without being troubled by perceiving another’s world and responding to others’ needs. Our attention is fully absorbed within a limited and narrow sense of self. The capacity to experience gratitude means that we’re extending attention beyond ourselves to perceive what someone has given us o r done for us. During a moment of gratitude, our eyes open to the existence of the other. Simultaneously, we register how their eyes opened to recognize our existence as separate from their own. They did something positive for us or with us. During that moment, they saw us, appreciated us, cared about us — and perhaps even loved us. Rather than take these precious gifts for granted, gratitude signals an appreciation for their generously extending attention beyond themselves and into our world.’

“Favorfloat is promoting gratitude as a learned behavior, since ungrateful attitudes contribute to narcissistic behavior among youth—a destructive behavior that they carry into adulthood,” said Jegede. Jegede cites a 2004 article from The Journal of Youth and Adolescence Research suggesting that narcissistic features contribute to aggression in adults. “The study examined the association of these features with aggression and internalized symptoms in 233 students to reveal that narcissistic exploitativeness could predict proactive aggression and that narcissistic exhibitionism could predict internalizing symptoms. The study also found that narcissism and self-esteem interacted to predict both aggression and internalized symptoms.”

“The integrity of judge selection and the award will be monitored by an independent certified public accounting firm,” said Jegede. The chairman added that students interested in using Favorfloat to hone their creative-writing skills, express gratitude to those they care about, and/or just take part in a positive environment of gratefulness while standing to win thousands of dollars should visit www.favorfloat.com click on the “Play Gratitude Prize” tab and submit their messages of gratitude to whomever they consider worthy of receiving them.

CONTACT:
Ricky Wunderlich
Favorfloat Corporation
4111 Central Avenue NE North Building
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55421
Tel: 763-788-0221

Sodexo Expands Ongoing Commitment to More Humane Supply Chain through its Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy

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Sodexo announces new commitment to eliminate veal crates from its supply chain and a phased-in approach to sourcing all egg products exclusively from cage-free hens

GAITHERSBURG, Md., February 19, 2015.  Sodexo takes additional steps within its animal welfare policy in U.S. operations today, outlining a phased approach to sourcing poultry, beef and veal from suppliers and fostering improved animal well-being through its supply chain. In a move lauded by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Sodexo specifically announced that it will eliminate the use of veal crates from its supply chain by 2017 and extend its previous commitments to source all of its shell eggs from cage-free systems by now moving to source all of its liquid eggs solely from cage-free hens by the end of 2020.

“By committing to source all egg products exclusively from cage-free hens, Sodexo has built on an already strong set of animal welfare policies, with this latest pledge affecting the removal of 750,000 hens annually from extreme confinement in battery cage systems,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO, the Humane Society of the United States. “We appreciate the company’s prior commitments to source shell eggs from cage-free operations and its pork from producers who do not use gestation crates. But today’s announcement is surely one of the biggest decisions in the food sector from an animal welfare perspective.”

Every year, more than 60 billion animals are raised worldwide for food. The intensity and level of magnitude involved with animal production tends to create pressure for efficiencies, but unfortunately they are too often associated with significant and widespread animal welfare concerns. Appropriate animal husbandry practices from transportation, to housing, feeding and veterinary care play a key role in reducing those concerns.

Sodexo’s Global Animal Welfare Policy provides general guidelines and standards, which are often exceeded in U.S. operations. “With an annual spend of nearly $900 million on animal proteins in the U.S., Sodexo has established sustainable purchasing practices with suppliers that drive humane treatment of animals throughout our supply chain,” said Deborah Hecker, vice president, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Sodexo. “We see animal welfare, including these new measures for cage-free eggs and crate-free veal, as a key component of a sustainable supply chain alongside food safety, food security, nutrition and science-based environmental practices.”

Sodexo currently sources about 20 million pounds of liquid eggs annually, from 750,000 egg-laying hens. It will now move to sourcing liquid eggs only from cage-free hens with a phased-in approach that will be complete by the end of 2020. The company’s 2012 commitment to eliminate gestation crates from the pork supply chain by 2022 remains intact.

In a series of next steps to protect and promote improved treatment of farm animals, Sodexo also is committed to working with suppliers to ensure the use of pain relief protocols, particularly as it relates to de-horning, castration and tail-docking procedures, which the company is working to eliminate.

Sodexo first reinforced its commitment to conducting business in a responsible and sustainable manner in 2009 by launching the Better Tomorrow Plan—its global roadmap to sustainability. That plan specifically called on the company to work with its suppliers to improve animal welfare in all the countries where it operates by 2015. In line with its ongoing progress, Sodexo continues to require passing scores on annual third-party animal welfare audits from its fully integrated suppliers.

For a company with operations in 80 countries at more than 32,700 sites, addressing animal welfare is a tremendous undertaking, largely due to the complexities of a global supply chain and differences in agriculture practices around the world. Despite the challenges, building valued partnerships with affected suppliers, leading authorities and credible organizations like HSUS is instrumental in achieving progress and educating stakeholders about the issue.

While the work is not yet complete, Sodexo is proud of the advances it continues to make and the recognition it has achieved. This month, for example, Sodexo was ranked for the eighth consecutive year as the best-performing company for economic, social and environmental performance in the benchmark RobecoSAM Sustainability Yearbook 2015, earning it Industry Leader and Gold Class recognition. The industry award specifically calls out a concern for animal welfare and ethical sourcing as driving factors for global supply chains.

Visit SodexoUSA.com to learn more about our commitment to animal welfare and for regular updates on our performance.

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About Sodexo in North America 
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Life Services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $25 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at SodexoInsights.com. Visit Sodexo on Facebook and follow on Twitter @SodexoUSA.

Media Contact
Sam Wells
Sodexo, Inc.
301 987 4893
samuel.wells@sodexo.com

Josh Balk
The Humane Society of the U.S.
301-721-6419
jbalk@humanesociety.org

Looking for More out of Spring Break? Enter the CengageBrain Alternative Spring Break Contest and Win $2,500 Towards Student Service Projects

Only a Few Days Left to Enter: Deadline is February 16, 2015

Boston, MA, February 12, 2015 – Rather than the traditional trips associated with college spring break, many students are choosing to participate in service projects to help improve the community and make an impact in the lives of others. CengageBrain, part of Cengage Learning and a premier destination for purchasing digital learning solutions, e-books, and textbooks, is currently accepting service project ideas from college students wishing to enter the second annual Alternative Spring Break Contest. The winning group of students will receive $2,500 to be used towards the expenses for their service project, and the opportunity to share their experience on the CengageBrain Blog and Facebook page.

To enter, students must visit the CengageBrain Facebook page and submit service project details in 250 words or less, including the location of the service project and the name of the organization through which they will be working with in the project description. The entry deadline is Saturday, February 16, 2015.

CengageBrain is encouraging students to further develop their leadership skills though the work of service. By being active in the community, students can truly be the change they wish to see in the world. Last year’s winning group from the University of Oregon paired with a local middle school to explore the wild and scenic area of Oregon’s Rogue River. Students noted of their trip:

• “Throughout the week we were able to assist in stewardship of the Rogue River, while building skills in the areas of conservation and back-country leadership, and all the while working with middle school aged youth.”

• “We spent two nights at the Indian Mary campground and worked on the Umpqua Joe trail. We sawed through trees and removed them from where they were blocking the trials, cleared brush and worked to remove poison oak that was lining the trail. This allowed us to get our hands dirty and we could really see the difference we made!”

• “Winning the CengageBrain Alternative Spring Break contest allowed us to purchase new tents for our trip, which we have donated back to the Holden Leadership Center for future use. Without these tents we would have not been able to survive in the rain, and our trip would have been cut short!”

Following this submission period, the top two projects will be narrowed down by CengageBrain, with the final winning project being chosen through public voting. All higher ed and graduate students are encouraged to apply. Please visit the CengageBrain Blog for complete service project requirement details and further information on submitting an entry.

About Cengage Learning and CengageBrain.com
Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, technology, and services company for the higher education and K-12, professional and library markets worldwide. The company provides superior content, personalized services and course-driven digital solutions that accelerate student engagement and transform the learning experience. CengageBrain is the premier destination for purchasing and renting digital learning solutions, eBooks, eChapters, study tools and textbooks, offering students convenience, savings, and the broadest choice of formats available. For more information, visit www.cengage.com or www.cengagebrain.com.

Media Contact
Lauren Medina
Cengage Learning
(203) 965-8609
lauren.medina@cengage.com

Raise Your Game: How to Get Better Grades This Semester

It comes as no surprise that most students want better grades. However, many students mistakenly assume that they will need to log excessive hours at the library or cut out weekend activities to achieve better results in the classroom. Luckily it can take only a few small adjustments for students to see some major improvements to their GPA.   With midterms on the horizon, there is still time to make some changes that will perk up those grades.

    • Get Organized: Being organized is one of the most undervalued study habits students can implement to achieve better grades. With the fast paced lives of student’s today, keeping assignments, coursework and deadlines straight can feel nearly impossible. To support students with this, edtech leaders are continually improving tools to help students get organized and stay that way. For example, to ensure today’s digital solutions best support the student learnflow – or how they live and learn – Cengage Learning, a global education company, is conducting extensive student-focused research. By integrating student feedback, today’s digital tools are able to better assist with time management in traditional ways such as tracking assignments, due dates and upcoming projects to help be better prepared, but also by packaging study materials for delivery in digestible segments and convenient formats in order to maximize downtime for learning.
    • Time, Time, Time: For college students, time management can be one of the most challenging skills to master.  On any given day students may be juggling coursework, extra curricular activities, job commitments, and spending time with friends and family. With all of these different demands and priorities, it can be difficult for students to manage time and get the most out of their day. Maintaining a detailed calendar, tracking time and creating a schedule at the beginning of each week are all helpful tools to help students manage time and maximize efficiency.
    • Activate Learning: 80% of college students say that implementing digital technologies in their learning has increased their academic performance[1]. Yet, despite these overwhelmingly positive statistics, some studies show that as many as 40% of students are not taking advantage of digital offerings that are available to them. This means that in many cases, students are neglecting the digital components that come with the course materials that they purchase and missing out on the valuable benefits these digital solutions provide. With today’s online learning tools designed to optimize a student’s learnflow, they offer valuable opportunities to maximize productivity and understanding.  When students take advantage of the technology tools available to them, such as MindTap, Cengage Learning’s personalized e-learning platform, classroom engagement increases, information retention improves, and – grades go UP!
    • Breathe Deeply, Sleep Soundly:  Improved study habits aren’t the only ways to get better grades, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also critical to keeping the mind and body at peak performance. Students today are pulled in so many directions that staying healthy often slides to the bottom of the list. However, regular exercise, a healthy diet and a consistent sleeping schedule are essential to optimal brain performance. As a result, students who practice healthy habits report higher levels of energy, improved information retention and overall better focus.
    • Get Engaged: It’s no secret that students who are more actively engaged in their course materials tend to be the ones who get the most out of class. Interestingly, according to research from Cengage Learning 77% of students attribute higher levels of engagement to courses that use digital learning tools[1]. Often this is because technology-enabled learning tools foster collaboration between students, instructors and classmates – allowing for improved student workflow, greater customization, and more visibility into individual progress.

Changing your behavior or habits doesn’t happen overnight. However, if you try to incorporate a few of these small changes to your study routine you can begin to see positive results in your performance.   It’s never too late to make a few changes that could improve your grades.

Good luck!


[1] http://assets.cengage.com/pdf/mi_digital_transition.pdf

[2] http://assets.cengage.com/pdf/mi_digital_transition.pdf

 

Media Contact:
Lindsay Stanley Senior
Director, Public & Media Relations
Cengage Learning
(203) 965-8634
lindsay.stanley@cengage.com

Potential health risks of hookah smoking are being overlooked by users

Key Messages
• Hookah smoking is on the rise, while health effects are not fully understood.
• Hookah smoking can produce carcinogens and other chemicals associated with ill health at levels similar to or higher than cigarette smoking.
• Toxicologists, who study the adverse effects of chemicals, are concerned about public perception that hookah smoking is a safer alternative to other forms of tobacco use.

Reston, Va.; February 2, 2015 — Studies have shown that hookah smoking is on the rise among adolescents and young adults, which is a cause of concern for members of the Society of Toxicology (SOT).

“Researchers are finding that people perceive hookah smoking as a safer and healthier means of tobacco use. However, toxicological research is finding elements in hookah smoke that are well-established to cause adverse health effects,” says Norbert E. Kaminski, PhD, SOT President 2014–2015.

Studies show that hookah use is associated with potentially dangerous chemicals and health effects:

• Chemicals produced during one hookah smoking session of 45 to 60 minutes can equal those produced by smoking 10 or more cigarettes.
• Hookah use generates carcinogens, such as benzene, and has been linked to lung cancer and loss of lung function.
• Similar peak plasma nicotine levels, greater blood carbon monoxide levels, and much greater inhaled smoke volume were observed from exposure to hookah smoke compared to cigarette smoke.

“Developing comprehensive assessments of any substance’s health risks can take years of research,” says Dr. Kaminski, “but in the meantime, individuals using hookah water pipes need to be aware of the potential dangers that are already present.”

In its new issue statement on hookah smoking, the Society identifies many factors that could impact the health of hookah users, including the inhaled smoke and vapors; secondhand smoke and vapors; and emissions generated from the smoldering charcoal that is used in water pipes.

The complete issue statement is available on the SOT website: http://toxicology.org/gp/is.asp.

Experts are available for interviews upon request, as are infographics regarding hookah smoking.

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About SOT
Founded in 1961, the Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization of more than 7,800 scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing the great variety of individuals who practice toxicology in the US and abroad. SOT is committed to creating a safer and healthier world by advancing the science of toxicology. The Society promotes the acquisition and utilization of knowledge in toxicology, aids in the protection of public health, and has a strong commitment to education in toxicology and to the recruitment of students and new members into the profession. For more information about SOT and toxicology, visit the Society online at www.toxicology.org, follow us on Twitter @SOToxicology, and like us on Facebook.

Media Contact:
Michelle Werts
Society of Toxicology
703.438.3115 ext. 1640
michelle@toxicology.org

WHOLE YOU CHALLENGES THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY AND PUBLIC TO HELP FIND SOLUTIONS FOR THOSE WITH ORAL AND VISION LIMITATIONS

As part of the Whole You Living Lab open innovation platform, the company announces its advisory group and vision to improve the health of the world together, one innovation at a time

SAN JOSE, Calif. (January 29, 2015) – Whole You, Inc., a Mitsui Chemicals’ company dedicated to providing innovative solutions that allow those with sensory and physical mobility challenges to live life to the fullest, has teamed up with crowd-sourcing company InnoCentive to challenge people from around the world to create innovative solutions for those with oral and vision challenges. In the oral space, Whole You is looking for solutions to incentivize compliance encouraging regular use of oral appliance to motivate patients to effectively manage obstructive sleep apnea. Additionally, the company has launched a vision challenge asking for ideas about other services vision care providers can offer to optimize a person’s health and well-being. One solver from each category that recommends the best idea in each category will be awarded $15,000.

Whole You is simultaneously announcing its advisory group, which consist of professionals with expertise in sensory and physical mobility areas. The advisory group will provide input and guidance to the development of the company’s sensory and physical mobility innovation efforts, while judging Whole You challenge submissions, accordingly. Current members include:

• Rupa Balachandran PhD., CCC-A Program Director Audiology, Associate Professor Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Pacific
• Dr. Ting-Ling Chang, DDS, Clinical Professor and Section Chair of Prosthodontics at the Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, UCLA School of Dentistry
• David Green, Social Entrepreneur, MacArthur Fellow and Ashoka Fellow
• Dr. Moshe Lewis, MD, MPH, Chief, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehab, California Pacific Medical Center, St. Luke’s Campus
• Dr. Katayoun Omrani, DDS Orofacial Pain specialist, Los Angeles Pain Clinic; Dentist at the Headache, Orofacial Pain and Sleep Apnea Program at the Cedars-Sinai Pain Center
• Dr. Frank Spors, MS, PhD, Assistant Professor at the College of Optometry at Western University of Health Sciences

“We have identified many sensory and physical mobility challenges that individuals face and believe that an open innovation approach is essential to creating truly ground-breaking products that we know the market needs,” said Hiromi Inagaki, chief innovation officer, Whole You. “The partnerships with our advisory group and InnoCentive demonstrate our commitment to tapping in to great minds that are aligned with our vision – to deliver innovative solutions to for those with sensory and physical mobility challenges.”

All Whole You partnerships and collaborations, including the open innovation challenges and continually expanding advisory group, will all be a part of Whole You’s Living Lab, a unique, interdisciplinary innovation network where a broad range of experts – in collaboration with people living with sensory and physical mobility challenges and needs – come together to develop solutions that will optimize health, well-being and experience to unlock human potential.

“One of my main goals is to provide my patients with the best solutions available so they can live life to the fullest, and Whole You is now on the frontline of this innovation,” said Dr. Ting-Ling Chang, DDS, Clinical Professor and Section Chair of Prosthodontics at the Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, UCLA School of Dentistry. “I am pleased to be a part of the company’s platform that encourages ongoing discussion that will drive enhancements in the dental industry. I look forward to seeing what solutions will come from the InnoCentive challenge.”

To provide a solution to one of the InnoCentive challenges, please visit: www.innocentive.com/pavilion/wholeyou.

About Whole You
By combining open innovation with wide range of partners, material innovation, and deep understanding of market needs, Whole You Inc., a Mitsui Chemicals company, is committed to offering solutions that allow those with sensory and physical mobility challenges to live life to the fullest. Through Mitsui Chemicals’ acquisitions of Dentca and PixelOptics and Panasonic Healthcare’s technology, Whole You and its partners will push the boundaries of technology to greatly improve how life is experienced by millions of Americans.

Whole You is headquartered in San Jose, CA. For more information, please visit www.whole-you.com.

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Contact:
Christina Witz
H+K Strategies
Christina.Witz@hkstrategies.com
310-633-9424

10 Reasons Why Cancun is the Spring Break Mecca of the World

10 Reasons Why Cancun is the Spring Break Mecca of the World

As your designated driver and local destination expert, we have seen it all. Amstar is your official airport shuttle during Spring Break 2015 at the top beach destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean and it’s our pleasure to give our top 10 reasons why Cancun is the Mecca of the Spring Break world. 

Cancun’s white sand beaches and the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea make this city on the sea a favorite international beach destination for many a traveler. But there’s so much more. Cancun has also become notorious for not only having a great Spring Break party scene, but for having the Spring Break party scene par excellence. And while tourism in Cancun has become much more diverse over the last several years, one thing is certain: Cancun is like the Floyd Mayweather of Spring Break destinations: it remains undefeated.

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Here’s why.

#10 Mariachi sombreros

Fulfill your secret desire of wanting to dress up like a mariachi and travel to the paradise that is the Mexican Caribbean for some tropical sombrero shopping. Yes, that’s right, you’ll find great prices on an array of mariachi sombreros that not only make great souvenirs to take back home with you. Plus, they’re so big they provide lots of shade, which in turn means you won’t go home with that raccoon look that would make you a social media sensation.

#9 Added skin tone

That is of course as long as you make sure to wear sunscreen to avoid that baked gringo look of falling asleep on the beach without sunscreen (or a mariachi sombrero). Yes, friends, make sure to apply heavy doses of sunscreen so that you avoid those painful sunburns that ruin the rest of your trip But don’t let that scare you, because just by spending some healthy time on the beach, which we’re sure of course you will, you’ll still go home with a nice tan that will be the envy of all the unlucky peeps that stayed home in the cold while you partied away on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

#8 Right next door

Cancun is like your lovely neighbor with the great swimming pool. Close by, an awesome backyard, cold beer and good looking friends hanging out together under the sun. Yes, Cancun is all that and much, much more. And with direct flights from many U.S. destinations and most large airlines flying in and out of this tropical paradise, it’s never been easier for you and your friends to make that venture down Mexico way. You’ll also have a friendly face to greet you when you arrive.

#7 Accommodations for all

From all-inclusive accommodations to shared rooms in high-end or low-end hostels, not to mention AirBnB, Cancun has got the overnight solutions for all budgets. And with a great public transportation solution that basically runs all hours of the day, you’re free to choose a room with an ocean view or one that’s in the heart of downtown Cancun. Either way, you’ll never be more than 20 to 30 minutes away from the next beach party. And that’s all that really matters.

#6 Real Mexican food  

You see, as delicious and mouth-watering as Tex-Mex food can be, it isn’t now nor ever really was authentic Mexican cuisine. So even if you can find that and many other ‘Merican staples such as McDonalds, Burger King and Starbucks galore (although not quite on every corner), make sure you dive into the deliciousness of the real deal. For instance, try the Yucatan specialty of Cochinita Pibil, or the pride of the Mexican Caribbean, Tikin Chic, which not only sounds cool but is a very tasty charcoaled fish covered in achiote sauce and onions. Or a michelada, which is not only a great beer-drink-mixture for that hangover you just can’t shake, you can also get it with shrimp skewers.

#5 Tequila

Cue the music, because this one’s easy. While there’s no doubt that you should test your tolerance by drinking you some tequila, you should know that it will be an experience unlike those painful affairs you had back home. Know why? Because what you drink back home may bear the name tequila, but it likely isn’t. And it’s painful. In fact, real tequila must be 100% blue agave (a plant not a cactus) and is best imbibed using your best tough guy impression: straight no chasers. Your body will thank you the next day when you realize that your tequila trauma was due to a drink that was nothing more than a cheap imitation of the 100% blue agave nectar known in Mexico as a drink from the gods.

#4 Inception Music Festival. ‘Nough said.

If you haven’t been to or heard of the Inception Music Festival, then in all likelihood you fell into a comma after taking a hard fall while running with the bulls in Pamplona haven’t woken up in the last two years, during which time over 60,000 spring breakers have gathered their youthful energy for some of the best damn partying this side of the Rio Grande. Top international DJ’s, great music, beautiful beaches and more party people from all over the world dancing to the beat than most people ever see in a lifetime. Organizers of this party on the beach (and at Cancun’s premier nightclubs) call it, “The wildest week of your life.”

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#3 Mayan ruins and pyramid- climbing

Nothing says Mexican Caribbean more than the must-see Mayan ruins that are spread out all over the Mexican Caribbean. And with so many great sites to visit, you really can pick your poison based on what sounds best for your group. Want to visit a Seven New Wonder of the World? Then Chichen Itza is calling. Want to see a walled-city built to overlook the Caribbean Sea? Tulum is in your future. Want to ride bikes in the middle of the jungle and climb the highest pyramid in the entire Mexican Caribbean? Coba is your shot of tequila. Prefer to get off the beaten path and visit a less-crowded but equally impressive monument to the mighty Maya empire? Ahoy, Ek Balam!

#2 Land and sea adventures galore

If archeological sites are nothing more to you than simply pieces of crumbling stones covered in faded and barely visible paint, then you just might want to consider other activities to complement your party-filled agenda. And this is part of what makes Cancun such a great place to visit. there’s always something for everyone! Want to take a catamaran cruise to the beautiful island of Isla Mujeres, with some snorkeling at a coral reef mixed in for good measure? What about some deep sea fishing or a mixture of land and sea adventures at one great aquatic park? And be it soaring through the canopy on zip lines, getting your fill on an ATV-ride through the jungle or diving down into the depths of underground rivers, it’s all good. Plus, there’s more to do than you’ll ever find time for.

#1 Too blue to be true

Last but definitely not least. In fact, we saved what is perhaps the best for last: Cancun’s white sand beaches. If you’ve never been to Cancun or the Riviera Maya, you’ll have a hard time believing that those incredible azure hues of the Caribbean are the real deal. But, yes, it’s true. No Photoshop is needed to make these beautiful beaches look any more amazing and awe-inspiring than they already are. Moreoever, with over 16 miles of white sand paradise to choose from, you can always take some time away from the party scene to kick it back and soak up some rays in front of the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.

And remember, always drink responsibly and follow all safety regulations, especially when you’re at the beach. Have fun, live the moment to the fullest, and always remember that Amstar dmc is your local expert for tips and advice about the best things to do and see while in Cancun. We’re online and in destination 365 days a year and are always more than happy to help.