Health and Fitness

Electronic Cigarettes Have An Image Problem

Electronic cigarettes are cheaper, more socially acceptable and – most importantly – less harmful than traditional cigarettes. In fact, Public Health England (PHE) claim they are at least 95 percent less harmful than their tobacco-burning counterparts. So why are they suffering from an image problem?

Electronic Cigarettes
Image by Pexels

Global electronic cigarette sales have witnessed astonishing growth in recent years, jumping from $1.5bn in 2013 to $10bn in 2017. But statistics now suggest that their popularity is starting to plateau. In the US, growth is down from triple figures to double digits. In the UK, fewer people are using electronic cigarettes as a quitting tool in 2017 than a year previously, dropping from 69 percent to 62 percent.

According to PHE, electronic cigarette use has plateaued at approximately 6% of the adult population.

It is now estimated that the number of smokers using electronic cigarettes to quit has plummeted from a one-time high of 800,000 to as low as 100,000. Quite what is behind this trend is hard to pin down, but continued scepticism over electronic cigarettes – despite their apparent advantages – appears to be at the nub of the issue. At least half of smokers believe that electronic cigarettes are just as harmful to their health as normal cigarettes.

According to PHE, much of that revolves around the role of nicotine, particularly its misunderstood impact on health and fears of addiction. Even more worryingly for countries which are encouraging their use as part of a harm reduction strategy, the number of people who believe they are more harmful than normal cigarettes is growing.

That helps explain why more than a third of smokers have never tried electronic variants.

What has not helped is a small yet steady trickle of negative media coverage, often hanging around the lack of long-term research into the impact of electronic cigarettes. There is also continued resistance to electronic cigarettes from a number of influential countries across the globe such as the US and Australia.

This leaves countries like the UK in a quandary. From just 2015 to 2016, the national smoking rate dropped from 17.2 percent to 15.8 – a significant fall that many experts are attributing to the rise in popularity of electronic cigarettes.

Yet with a growing lack of awareness regarding the benefits of switching, there is a fear that a vital tool in the quest to cut smoking numbers may be lost. What does not help is that, with the Tobacco Products Directive banning sales of nicotine containing e-liquids above 20mg/ml, many smokers are also put off for fear of not receiving enough of a nicotine hit from electronic cigarettes.

Something which could change that is the arrival of heat-not-burn technology, which works by heating tobacco to far lower temperatures than that of traditional cigarettes. Recent findings from both the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in the UK and Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment suggest that heat-not-burn is less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

Whether that will be enough to lure smokers onto heat-not-burn remains to be seen, but there is a hope that offering smokers a half-way house option between cigarettes and vaping could provide the answer. Heat-not-burn is yet to be approved in both the UK and US though, so as things stand, PHE needs to work harder to spread the word on electronic cigarettes.


Need To Know: Quick Facts About The Gender Pay Gap

New laws introduced by the UK Government require all companies with 250 or more employees to publish gender pay figures by April 2018. According to recently surfaced reports in the Financial Times and Guardian, only an estimated 3000 of the 9000 companies have reported their data so far.

Of those who have published their figures are among the largest national and international organisations operating in the country. EasyJet, who have one of the widest gaps in gender pay, have revealed that they pay women around 50 per cent less than men, citing that this is down to the fact that there are so few female pilots. This is something which they are addressing through programmes encouraging more women into the profession. Shell, Virgin Money, Co-Operative Bank and the Bank of England are other major organisations also reporting pay gap percentages in double figures.

As with EasyJet, it’s often cited than women generally tend to have different and lesser paid jobs than men, hence the pay gap. However, figures from the Office for National Statistics highlight that there are differences in salaries when men and women are both engaged in similar jobs. Jobs with the biggest pay gaps are within trade, followed by chief executives and senior officials. Interestingly, these jobs are also roles where men have the highest full-time employment share. On average, there is nearly a £24,000 difference in pay between a full-time male chief executive and a woman in a similar role.

It may sound all doom and gloom but the UK are by no means the worst offenders. We currently rank 20th out of 144 countries around the world for our efforts in closing the gap. Here’s an overview of gender pay gaps at home and abroad, detailed in this infographic by guarantor loan provider UK Credit.

The Gender Pay


Business Finance

Microfinance – A Solution to Business Startup Financial Troubles?

Many of us may have potentially lucrative ideas, but very few of these are realized due to one main problem: lack of money. No matter how determined we may be or how solid our respective visions are, the chances of establishing a business model or a company will always remain slim without the necessary money to fund it. This was especially true in rural locations and developing nations where communities and individuals may not necessarily have had access to banking systems.

Solution to Business Startup

This is no longer the case, however. Microfinancing brings shape and tangibility to what would otherwise have been no more than mere creative thoughts. But what makes this a much more feasible and viable approach compared to more conventional means?

Dream Big, Spend Small:

Traditional banks aren’t as widespread as some may have been led to believe. In fact, they may as well be non-existent to underdeveloped nations. Availability is only the start of the issue, however. Sharone Perlstein, a financial expert, notes on his own personal website that the conditions imposed by banks are usually so high that only a select few can actually meet them as the financial risks may be too much for them to shoulder.

But things are changing. More and more groups and organizations have started seeing the potential that investing in small business in the aforementioned nations can yield. With technology perpetually evolving, the possibilities of economic growth for communities in dire need of it have become a reality, paying dividends and yielding the desired results that some may have thought impossible.

Check The Numbers:

While microfinance may be young, the concept isn’t entirely new. In fact, Sharone’s website also sheds some light on the numbers involved in these microloans. Not only has there been a considerable amount of resources invested in this endeavor, but the loan repayment rate of around 98% is a staggering show of success. Some may look at the available loans as small, but this helps reduce poverty and aids in economic development at a national level.

The Problem:

No venture is without its fair share of challenges and obstacles, and with this in mind, microfinance still has hurdles that it needs to overcome. For starters, the successful results aren’t exactly universal and there are still quite a few borrowers who have been unable to repay their respective loans. The main problem lies with inexperience and the lack of understanding regarding running business loans and other financial elements.

Fortunately, like any problem, there’s always a solution. Many groups have initiated a fix, from offering relevant information to programs that deal with education and mentorship. These admirable resolutions will undoubtedly go a long way to rectifying the issues at hand and establishing microfinance as a permanent solution to financial business troubles.

Featured Image by Pixabay

Web Design

The Best Content Dense Online Magazine Website Layouts

If you have a goal to start a blog that’s going to be content dense, you have to put a lot of thought into the layout. The challenge with content dense sites is that it’s hard to make sure that all of your latest content and popular gets read. Instead of trying to solve this challenge on your own, take a look at these online website publications to study their magazine style layouts.



The Economist has a great layout that uses multiple layouts throughout the site. It starts with standard featured posts and transitions into a menu layout to help users browse through to the top stories in their current issue. Each section uses a good amount of white space to help draw the eye from one section to the next and delivers an excellent browsing experience.

The Wall Street Journal:

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal uses a layout that looks exactly like a print newsletter. It also uses a classic times new roman font which works well with the theme of the web design. The layout also displays different forms of content which works to ensure that all of their content gets enough visibility.

Boston Review:

Boston Review

The Boston Review uses a very simple and minimalist layout. It only highlights one featured post on the very top. The rest of the content is laid out in a three-column layout for around half of the page. You’re only given a different layout near the footer of the site where less popular content is shown to the users that are interested.

Reader’s Digest:

Reader's Digest

Instead of using a standard magazine style layout, Reader’s Digest uses the classic blog format for their site. The only thing that makes it different from a blog is that the side bar column has links to top stories, trending topics and different categories interspersed as you scroll down deeper into the site.

Relevant Magazine:

Relevant Magazine

Relevant Magazine succeeds with a professional looking layout that makes it seem like you’re reading through a stylish magazine. The layout uses a two-column layout but has graphical cues and labels that separate different sections. This allows the reader to scan through the website and understand what section they’re currently on.

NY Mag:

NY Mag

NY Mag is one of the most content dense layouts you’ll come across. It seems like the designers tried to use a horizontal version of the card based layout. However, if you look closer into the layout, you see a clear grid design. There isn’t a dominant pattern to the layout and it seems the idea is to get the user to click on the headline and images that draw the most attention and interest.

Vanity Fair:

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair uses an interesting three-column layout that resembles the cover of a glossy celebrity magazine. They have a very clean grid layout that makes it easy to distinguish the different content blocks. There are also many graphical cues like arrows, wavy lines and slash marks to indicate where one content ends and where another begins.

The New Yorker:

The New Yorker

The New Yorker has a very content dense layout like other news and culture publications. However, they different in that they focus on selling the headline and the preview rather than using the layout and images to draw clicks. This results in a presentation that’s very laid back and focused on letting the reader’s interest drive clicks.



Wired is a popular tech magazine that uses a card-based design in their layout. Instead of letting the card based design get out of hand, they use a grid to keep it clean and use contained content boxes for each different section. This allows readers to keep track of what they’re looking at while the layout engages them.

New Scientist:

New Scientist

This magazine uses a very image preview driven presentation for their layout. It uses a three-column setup with a sidebar that takes up a third of the horizontal space. This creates a look that feels like you’re browsing a thumbnail preview on the content section and a magazine table of contents on the sidebar. The really impressive part of this site is that it has an excellent responsive design that uses a drop down hamburger menu for the navigation.



Esquire uses a standard blog layout but mixes it up by integrating slideshow style links throughout the page. This allows the magazine to feature full width blog preview posts while still providing navigation to different articles throughout the browsing experience. This works well because they use a sticky top navigation menu that the user can always refer to.

UGS Mag:


This funky online publication uses a three-column card based design accompanied by a side bar. This unorganized layout works with the look and feel that the magazine is going for. The side bar stands out from the rest of the design due to the different background colors used for each widget. They also have set up infinite scrolling to remove pagination for a fluid experience.

Mental Floss:

Mental Floss

Mental Floss starts out with a large hero image for their featured post. This helps create the look of a magazine cover. This transitions into two-column layout – one left hand sidebar and one content section. The content section uses a varied layout that is unpredictable but very engaging. For organization, visual cues and labeling is used to categorize the content.



Forbes Magazine starts out with a large featured story. Then, the website layout uses a varied thumbnail style that reminds you of photo collages. The thing that makes it works is the fact that they build a visual hierarchy to make sure you pay attention to the important stories. Important stories are bigger in size and are trailed by less important stories which have smaller image thumbnails.

If you’re looking to start a blog that’s content dense, these examples should give you some great ideas on how to set up your layout. While you want these examples to influence you, you should have some trepidation about copying them blindly. You need to find a layout that works for your audience, so it’s more about testing different layouts than just picking a look.

Travel and Tours

Go For Scenic Road Trips Across Europe

A road trip in and around Europe is always refreshing. The picturesque beauty of lofty mountains, lush green plains, historical landmarks, flower lined routes, and forests is mesmerizing to look at. Road trips with your loved ones are always refreshing. The beautiful landscapes en route are nothing less than a picture. So if you are looking forward for an enjoyable road trip stops with your loved ones, then road trips across Europe are the perfect option for you.

Scenic Road Trips
Image by pixabay

Getting Your car Ready for the Road Trip:

The very first thing that you need to do before a road trip is to check whether your car is perfectly alright. Do not forget to go for car servicing if you have not gone for a long time period. It is really difficult to manage car breakdown situations in the middle of the road trip. Especially if you are going through a deserted road, forest or coastal area, car breakdown can cause troubles. So it is better to check whether your car is ready for road trips beforehand. If you are not too sure about the condition of the automotive parts, you should go for experts. Kwik Fit are experts in repairing automotive parts which include brake, tyres, exhausts, MOT testing, car servicing, and others. So go for the experts to check whether your car is fit for the next road trip.

Some of the best road trips that you can take across Europe are as follows-

Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Austria:

National Park

Ideal for late spring and summer road trips, Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse is a High Alpine Road, which passes through the Hohe Tauern National Park. The road goes through an ever changing landscape of meadows, pine clad hills, rocky cliff faces, lakes, and glaciers. The stunning beauty of this place is breath-taking beautiful that one would love to go for on road trip. Do not forget the Alpine Nature Show museum that highlights the natural ecosystem of this area.

Ring of Kerry, Ireland:

Ring of Kerry, Ireland

The Irish country side is ideal for road trips for any time of the year. The route that basically circles through the Iveragh Peninsula is the perfect combination of medieval villages, lakes, mountains, and beaches. The chiseled coastline offers the perfect dramatic yet scenic views while the cozy pubs are the perfect place to wait during inclement weather. Do not forget to visit Ross Castle and Rossbeigh Beach while you are visiting this place.

Route One, Iceland:

Route One, Iceland

This circles the entire country of Iceland which starts and ends in Reykjavik. Give yourself some time as you shop and explore the entire country of Iceland, the beautiful landscape and dramatic fjords like Eyjafjordur. From witnessing Viking remains to volcanically active areas, mud pools, geysers, ice caps, rocky outcrops and lush greens- you can experience everything here.

Trollstigen National Tourist Route, Norway:

Trollstigen National Tourist Route, Norway

If you are looking for a breathtaking view of mountains and waterfalls, this is the right place for you to go for a road trip. Also known as Troll route, this mountain road can be considered as one of the national tourist routes of Norway. You can also experience the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site Geirangerfjord in this road trip. From historic fjord farms to waterfalls, you can experience unique yet mesmerizing views in this place.

So if you are planning a road trip in the next weekend, try visiting the places mentioned above. Do not forget to check the condition of your car before you set for a trip with your loved ones.


Are They Compatible? How to Match Your Jeep Replacement Parts with the Rest of Your Car

Replacement parts are not all created equally, and the last thing you want is to equip your Jeep with a part that doesn’t look good or worse, creates performance or mechanical problems. A quick search online, and you can easily become overwhelmed with the choices and unsure of how to ensure the part you purchase fits. Whether you need a windshield part, Jeep JK replacement seats or some other part, these tips can help ensure your replacement parts match the rest of your vehicle.

Jeep Replacement Parts
Image by pexels

Shop with the OEM Part Number

Having the OEM part number can make a drastic difference in whether replacement pieces you get work with your Jeep. For example, the holes on one brake rotor may line up with an older model Wrangler, but not your newer edition. Having the OEM part number allows you to search for the specific original manufacturer’s part or a comparable aftermarket piece.

Check the Reviews and Discussion Forums

Particularly when it comes to aftermarket parts, like a Jeep soft top for sale, one of the best ways to ensure it fits and works is to read the reviews and discussion boards. When Jeepers have had good luck or difficulties with a specific part, they often share their experiences, which may steer you towards good products or warn you about less quality options.

Steer Clear of Off-Brand and No-Name Suppliers

You can save yourself some headaches when matching replacement parts to the rest of your car by using some common sense. While off-brand or no-name suppliers may offer products that seem the same as other, more costly options, it is important to keep in mind that you often get what you pay for. Not only might these essentially-counterfeit parts be ill-fitting, they may cause significant failures or damage to your vehicle.

Offering a vast selection of Jeep Cherokee aftermarket parts and competitive prices, the experts at can help you get back on the road faster than you can kick up rocks and take off. Browse the online catalog to find what you’re looking for or talk to their experts to find out more about the parts you need.