Electronic Cigarettes vs The Government

The popular electronic cigarette has sparked quite a large split of opinion as to whether or not they are safe, good or bad for one’s health, better for people than a normal cigarette and asks the question ‘are they good for the environment?’ But why are there so many different opinions and is it a government concern or simply an individual concern?

Electronic Cigarettes vs The Government

With the sales of electronic cigarettes climbing and the industry currently being worth£340 million. In the UK alone, there are an estimated 1.3 million e- cigarette users. So what’s the take on booming industry from the government?

Within this article, we outline the different takes and ideas on E-Cigs from different governments around the world:

Austria, New Zealand and the UK

Some governments are regulating electronic cigarettes under the umbrella term of a ‘medical device’. This has come as a slight surprise considering that there have been very few recognised clinical trials that have tried and tested the effects of electronic cigarettes on the human body. This regulation has however, helped to prevent the selling and purchase of e-cigarettes to underage people. It has also led to an increase in quality of the device and has promoted more research into the effects of e-cigarettes thus either finding out any bad health effects that they have or it may boost their recognition of being harmless in the public eye.

A big issue and fear of government intervention is the problem of competition, innovation and consumer choice. Also, those large tobacco companies who pay millions/billions in taxes for the government every year are at risk of losing their sales which makes government intervention a strategy, laid out by the big corporate tobacco companies.


Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Ireland

These countries are the few which allow the sales of electronic cigarettes with absolutely zilch restrictions. These governments are allowing the e-cigarette market to regulate itself. This is evident in a lot of shops which clearly state that the devices are for over 18s only and emphasising the amount of nicotine in the devices and the harmful effects of nicotine.

The current tax produced from the sales of e-cigarettes in some cases can be seen to make the unhealthy side effects irrelevant due to the money generated. However, another reason for the self regulating decision on e-cigarettes could also be that through solid evidence, E-Cigarettes have been seen to help people get off normal, much unhealthier, tobacco cigarettes. This weaning off tobacco process will create a healthier nation (and therefore, a more productive one) .

Another possible reason for the neglect of government regulation could be due to the fact that e-cigarettes are still a relatively new product which was only introduced in 2002 which means that some governments are still catching up with the continuously growing and changing e-cigarette industry .


Brazil, Australia and Singapore

These countries will absolutely not change their minds on their pre-existing anti-smoking laws and policies. Australia wholly views nicotine in any form as a poison, Brazil believes that there is little evidence to show that e-cigarettes are safe (they need to do more research) and the Singapore government just generally don’t like anything that even resembles a cigarette.

A strong argument against such policies is that it stops consumers having the freedom to choose what they want as well as suffocating the free market.
The industry as it currently stands is still quite a confusing one with people unsure of how to get hold of e-cigarettes, what the best ones for individuals are and what the choices are. We would recommend taking a look at Grey Haze who are one of leaders in the e-cigarettes industry in the UK who sell a huge variety of kits, accessories and e-liquids.

Car Maintenance Tips For the Summer

Keeping your car in the best condition, even in the height of summer can take some effort and these tips are here to help you deal with just that.

So, take a look at these great tips on how to keep your auto in top notch and ensure your driving is comfortable throughout the summer.

Car Maintenance Tips For the Summer


Summer is frequently when local authorities feel it is a good time to do essential road maintenance.  Newly surfaced roads will tend to have loose debris on them, including tar and stones, which can damage your motor’s bodywork.

So you should plan on driving within the speed limits that are recommended when you are driving through a road work zone.  Also, do not drive too close to the vehicle ahead of you because it may toss up debris.


No matter how careful you are to keep the engine coolant at the correct level and have an engine cooling fan that is fully functional, the heat can sometimes still be too much for your car, especially if you happen to get stuck in a traffic jam while on holiday.  The best way to deal with this type of situation is to turn the heater to full blast so that your air conditioning is activated to resolve the problem.


During the winter batteries undergo a lot of stress, so it is quite possible that the unit might be carrying existing damage as a result.  Usually this type of problem will be indicated by your car having a hard time starting.

Have a battery test done to ensure that your battery is in complete working order.  Many garages will do this test for free.  It is an easy way to avoid having a breakdown at an inopportune time.


A dirty windscreen can make glare from the sun worse.  This increases the chances of motorists getting involved in accidents due to poor visibility.  Cheapfleet.co.uk suggest that therefore you should ensure that your car is fully loaded with windscreen wash so that it can be used while driving.

However, the vision problems will only be exacerbated and the benefits of the windscreen wash will be negated if your wiper blades are worn out.  So be sure to have the wipers replaced as needed.

Air filter

The purpose of the air filter is to keep debris and dirt from getting into the car.  It has a tendency to get clogged up, especially during the summer.

Replace the air filter in your car each year to keep good air flow flowing into the engine.  You should have this done as part of your annual service each year.


Are you planning to drive your car this summer to a holiday destination?   If so, then you need to ensure that your brakes are in good working order.  Have a local garage check the brake fluid level, discs and brake pads before setting off on your outing to give you maximum peace of mind and to prevent any problems while you are away from home.

Oil Levels

Oil is basically your engine’s blood supply.  Be sure to check the oil levels on your car to ensure that they are between the minimum and maximum on the dipstick to avoid having irreparable damage done.  Ideally you should check this once per week.

Tag : Car Maintenance Tips , auto maintenance tips , vehicle maintenance tips , car maintenance checklist

Start Up Tips For Launching A Courier Business

For couriers that are based in the UK, there is plenty of business that is available.  However, many entrepreneurs are not sure whether they should take the plunge and get a courier business or company set up.  Whether you have worked for a courier company in the past and would like to start your own business or have no prior delivery industry experience, we have compiled our best tips that will help you get started in the right direction when starting your new courier delivery business.

Start Up Tips For Launching A Courier Business

1.Obtain Your Delivery Vehicle

Decide whether you want to lease or purchase your delivery vehicle.  It is necessary to have a practical vehicle that provides you with good fuel economy and that is safe and reliable.  If you decide to purchase, make sure that a competent mechanic checks the vehicle first and don’t forget to incorporate depreciation of the vehicle into your business plan.

2.Set Up Office Space

If you are setting up a home office, get in touch with your local zoning office to ensure that you can operate a business from your home legally.  If you will be renting office space, consider cost and location.

3.Buy The Equipment And Materials That You Need For Running Your Courier Service

Equipment and materials include things like bookkeeping, invoicing and tracking software for tracking pick-ups and deliveries, a GPS, office supplies like notebooks, pencils, pen and envelopes, two-way radios if you will have employees and cell phones.  You might also want to buy ledgers for tracking miles driven and gas usage along with gas cards to give to your employees.

4.Start Hiring Employees

If you would like to manage your office and have others do the deliveries and pick-ups, then start hiring employees.  Before hiring anyone to work for you, be sure to conduct credit and criminal background checks on the person first.  Be sure that all of your employees have reliable transportation if they will be driving their own vehicles, along with clean driving records.  You could also hire somebody to manage the office while you do the deliveries instead.  No matter which way you choose to do it, be sure that anyone you take on as an employee has the proper qualifications before hiring them.

5.Decide On Your Delivery Options

You need to decide whether or not you will be offering various delivery options, like overnight or one-hour delivery services.  Other decisions you need to make include the size and type of materials you will deliver and whether or not you will offer specialist delivery services like oversize items or confidential materials.

6.Develop Your Pricing Structure For Delivered Items

As an example, you might charge more for heavier packages than you do for letter deliveries.   If you will be offering one-hour or same-day delivery, be sure to consider the effort and time it takes to provide these types of services.

7.Estimate What Your Ongoing Costs Are Going To Be

When determining what prices you will charge for your services, it is important to take into account what all of your expenses are and to be sure they are all covered so that you still make a profit.  Knowing what your ongoing costs are will enable you to set the right rates to charge for your services.  When creating your pricing structure, be sure to consider the cost of vehicle maintenance and price of diesel or petrol.  For all new businesses, cash flow can be a problem.  So be sure to estimate the earnings for your first year in your business plan.  Determine how many assignments will need to be made in order to cover all of your expenses and still earn a profit.

8.Make Sure You Have The Proper Insurance

Having unexpected occurrences or accidents happen can cause serious problems for any new business.  Make sure you have the right insurance and coverage for a courier business.  Your office contents in addition to your employees and vehicles need to all be insured.

Tag : Courier Business , business courier , how to start a courier business .

5 Miniature Cows Breeds for Your Small Farm

Miniature cows are the perfect animal for smaller farms and acreages .

They are much safer and easier to handle than standard sized cattle, and they are ideal as organic or grass-fed beef.

Butchering one animal provides the right amount of meat for a small family and has more choice-cuts. One miniature cattle will feed a family of four for six months. Families who prefer cows milk to goats milk and wish to consume organic, hormone-free milk , mini-milk cows are perfect for them.

Minis range in size at three years of age from 36″ in height to a maximum of 48″. This is 1/2 to 1/3 the size of normal cattle.

Below are photos and brief descriptions of five breeds of mini-cattle.

1.Belted Galloway

Belted Galloway cows


 Miniature Belted Galloway

photo : leiperscreekvalleyfarm.com

The Galloway cattle originiated in Scotland as an extremely hardy breed with a great temperament. Galloway are the oldest polled breed of cattle in the world and come in several colors with a white belt, black hair being the most common. Their unique double layer of hair gives them more climate flexibility. Galloway are non-selective grazers and can be run with sheep. Cows are good milk producers and good mothers .

Further information visit : Mini-Beltie.org.



Dexter miniature cows

Dexter Mini Cow
Photo : wikipedia

The Dexter breed originated in Ireland. They are about half the size of a traditional Hereford. Mature cows weigh 610–700 pounds (275–320 kg) and mature bulls weigh 1,000 pounds (450 kg). They may be of several solid colors, black hair being the most common, with horns. They make excellent milk cows, producing 2 to 2.5 gallons (7.6 to 9.5 liters) per day, but they are also excellent meat producers. The third common use of them is as oxen.


Many of the miniature cow breeds have been made by crossing Dexters with other breeds over these past two decades.

Further information visit :  www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/cattle/dexter/index.htm




Zebu cow
Miniature Zebu
Miniature Zebu Cow with Calf

Miniature Zebu Cow with Calf

Zebu originated as naturally small primitive cattle and may date back as far as 6,000 B.C. in South Asia. Zebu are a tropical breed which is slow to hardy , mature , and disease resistant. If raised in cold climates, zebu require a barn. Mature cows should weigh 305 to 500 pounds, and bulls, 405 to 600 pounds. They come in a variety of colors.


Further information you can visit : http://www.imza.name/




Jersey cow

Jersey Miniature Cattle
Photo : flickr 

Jersey mini-cows can produce 2 to 3 gallons of milk per day. Jersey miniature cattle needs to be milked twice a day. One needs to know very low to reach their udders.They have high butterfat content in their milk, a genial disposition, and  Jerseys are adaptable to hot climates.


Further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_cattle .




Panda cow

Miniature Panda Cow
photo : wikipedia

The “Miniature Panda” is very rare, and has a white face and  a white belt  and black ovals around the eyes, giving it like as panda . A panda calf can bring as much as $30,000. It may result from a cross between an Irish Dexter and a Belted Galloway.


Further information: http://www.minicattle.com/index.cfm?select=panda

Source : 10 Miniature Cattle Breeds for Your Small Farm

Tag : Miniature Cows , Miniature cattle , belted galloway cow , dexter cows , jersey cow , zebu cattle , panda cow

Increasing Sales With Tabletop Displays

Tabletop displays showcasing popular menu items have long been a way to capture a current customer’s attention and encourage them to order more. It’s a subtle form of advertising that politely suggests a piece of pie might help to top off the perfect meal. In most cases, customers don’t see the tabletop holders as intrusive and instead find them helpful in quietly suggesting menu items that they might want to try. This holds a few distinct advantages.

Tabletop Displays

Tabletop displays are non-intrusive

You don’t have to shout your menu from the rooftops or interrupt a customer’s meal. All you have to do is use an already useful tabletop holder to accent the menu items that customers might actually be interested in. Sweets go good in this area because after a meal a good tip on what might satisfy a sweet tooth isn’t just non-intrusive. It’s helpful.

Pictures speak louder than words

Pictures of food are the best case for buying a food product. There doesn’t need to be a lengthy explanation to explain how delicious a picture of food looks. Professional companies know how to craft holders that will capture the finest items on your menu and bring them to life for customers. These pictures inspire customers to dive deeper into a menu and order more, increasing sales each time customers venture into the establishment.

Menu holders have long been a way for advertisers to entertain and occupy customers who have already decided to give the food at a restaurant a try. They are inexpensive to make and can be placed all around a restaurant, ensuring that each customer has the opportunity to explore new menu items. They’re an effective, affordable way to advertise new menu items or showcase more popular menu items that customers frequently order. When carefully analyzed, these tiny displays that also serve a useful purpose on a tabletop are always something for new chains or existing chains to consider as they try to come up with ways to retain and capture the imagination of new and old customers.

Hernando among nation’s least affordable rental markets

ORLANDO — Hernando County joins two other rental markets in Florida which are among the least affordable in the nation.

A new report released by the research firm RealtryTrac last week said that Miami-Dade, Broward and Hernando counties are among the least affordable markets when it comes to rent as a share of income.

The report looked at the share of a household’s median income it would take to rent a three-bedroom property.

In Miami-Dade County, it was 45 percent; in Broward County, it was 43 percent; and it was 42 percent in Hernando County, which is north of Tampa.

The least affordable market was Bronx County in New York, where rent made up 69 percent of a person’s median income.
Source : TBO

Good American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc

A Good American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc provides a wide spectrum of services to mortgage investors , mortgage lenders and homeowners  . They provide their customers with fast , accurate  and innovative solutions? and  conserve a culture in which their customers and associates are treated with dignity , courtesy and respect.

Their highly trained mortgage experts are committed to providing personalized service to mortgage lenders and individual borrowers alike. They carefully manage investor loan portfolios , detailed reporting to loan investors and  providing attentive service .

Good American Home Mortgage Servicing

AHMSI is the 13th largest mortgage servicer in the country. Since their formation in April 2008, they have modified over 195,000 mortgage loans, including over 32,000 under the U.S. government?s Making Home Affordable Program. AHMSI?s more than 3,000 associates work each day with the mission of helping families preserve their dream of home ownership.

AHMSI is based in Coppell, Texas, with offices in Addison, Texas, Florida, Jacksonville , Mount Laurel, New Jersey and Pune, India. AHMSI is active in the Mortgage Bankers Association and the HOPE NOW Alliance.

At American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc, they understand the importance of your home in your life and are committed to providing you with the assistance and information you need to help you provide for and preserve the dream of homeownership. As no two customers are alike, they will work with you to develop solutions for your unique needs. Sign in below to access and manage your account. Enjoy the convenience of easy-to-use online web services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Explore the site to learn more about homeownership and products and services designed to help enhance your homeownership experience. Please let them know how they can assist you? contact information can be found on the Contact Us page .

If you are in an area that has been affected by a natural disaster and have property damage, please contact their Property Loss Department at (866)343-4346 for assistance. AHMSI is heading Homeward Our name will change to Homeward Residential in late May as they expand our lending and servicing capabilities. Homeownership is a significant part of the American dream and Homeward is the ideal identity to signal our commitment to the aspirations of our customers. View press release. Look for website and billing statement changes in late May and June.

Business Briefcase, June 5

Ribbon cuttings

Friday, 4 p.m., Agua Bar & Lounge, 1365 Kass Circle, Spring Hill, Daniel von Jeref, (352) 340-5901.

Tuesday, noon, CrownPointe Senior Living Community, 11291 County Line Road, Spring Hill, Sandy Croson, (352) 799-1422.

June 12, noon, ProbuildUS Inc., Chamber office, 15588 Aviation Loop Drive, Brooksville, Bobby Eaton, (352) 835-7995.

June 13, 1 p.m., Zifero’s Pizza & Dinner, 34508 Cortez Blvd., Ridge Manor, Allen Zifero, (352) 608-4888.

June 13, 1 p.m., PM Imagine Soulutions Gro, at Zifero’s Pizza & Dinner, 34508 Cortez Blvd., Ridge Manor, Johanna Turley, (813) 440-2741.

June 18, noon, For Each 1 Reach 1 Mentoring, Chamber office, 15588 Aviation Loop Drive, Brooksville, Lynette Macke, (352) 556-2768.

Chamber events

A SBDC business seminar presented by Mark Narus will take place 2-5 p.m., June 19 at the chamber office. The seminar will focus on developing a SEO strategy based on methods of the Amazon best-selling book, “The Small Business Owners Handbook to SEO in Just 15 Steps,” by Stephen Woessner. Each attendee will receive a copy of the handbook. The cost is $60 per person, and registration is required. For more information, call (352) 796-0697.

Networking at Noon June 14, Brooksville Country Club, 23446 Links Drive, Brooksville. Cost is $13 for members if prepaid, otherwise $15 at door and for nonmembers. For more information, call Christie Muise at (352) 796-8236.

After Hours Mixer, 5:30 p.m., June 20, Tracers Information Specialists, 15470 Flight Path Drive, Brooksville. For more information, call Deborah Burge at (877) 723-2689.

Monthly Membership meeting will be held at 7:15 a.m. June 26 at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane in Brooksville. Sponsored by Brooksville and Spring Hill Regional Hospitals. The cost is $15 prepay, $20 at the door. Reservations required, please call (352) 796-0697 or register online at hernandochamber.com.

The first Leadercast summer workshop will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 28 at the chamber office, 15588 Aviation Loop Drive, Brooksville. The series of free workshops is designed to expand on the Chick-fil-A Leadercast experience. The workshops will focus on making leadership simple, bringing order to the chaos, focus in a world of distraction, boundaries for leaders, among many others. Classes are limited to 45 people. For more information, call (352) 796-0697.

A SBDC workshop titled “Financing your Business” will take place 12:30-1:30 p.m. July 24 at the chamber office, 15588 Aviation Loop Drive, Brooksville. The workshop will help you zero in on the right funding choices for your business and avoid money scams. It also will focus on how to plan your financing request to banks, the six Cs of credit and how credit scores affect your business and busting the myths about small-business grants. The cost is $10 per person and registration is required. For more information, call (352) 796-0697.

SBDC at the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida has partnered with the Chamber of Commerce to provide free consultations to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Hernando County at the Chamber office, 15588 Aviation Loop Drive, Brooksville. For more information about the SBDC at USF, visit www .sbdctampabay.com or call Jerry Karp at (352) 796-0697.

Business Briefcase is published every Wednesday. News releases must be received by the Wednesday before the desired publication date. Items of interest include employee promotions; company openings, closings, expansions and relocations; business celebrations; classes; lectures; and special events. Send news to Hernando Today, 15299 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville FL 34613; email to mterry@hernandotoday.com; or fax to (352) 544-5246.


Quality Health Plans HMO to close doors Thursday

Quality Health Plans, once touted as the No. 1 Medicare Advantage health maintenance organization in Pasco and Hernando counties, will cease operations Thursday, according to the Florida Department of Financial Services.

Second Judicial District Judge Terry Lewis ordered Quality Health Plans into receivership on Nov. 15.

“The Florida Department of Financial Services is the court appointed Receiver of Quality. Without further court action, Quality has been ordered liquidated effective Dec. 1, 2011,” the order states.

Officials say the state sought receivership of the company solely based on QHP’s finances, with no findings of fraud or misconduct.

QHP is headquartered in Tampa and had an office in Holiday at one time. The Medicare HMO is physician-owned, according to its website. The company is run by president Haider A. Khan, M.D.; his son Nazeer H. Khan, M.D., who is CEO; and daughter Sabiha H. Khan, the COO, according to HealthNews Florida.

The firm reported around 17,000 total clients in 32 Florida counties and four counties in New York. The court order estimates the firm represents 10,000 clients in Florida. In the Tampa Bay area, the HMO offered coverage in Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk and Sarasota counties.

The Florida Department of Financial Services said Quality members’ health care coverage continues uninterrupted during the period and providers will honor the insurance. However, Quality’s health care contracts will terminate on Thursday.

Officials said clients will be moved to another coverage plan, have the option to change plans or return to traditional Medicare after Thursday.

Financial Services says clients are not liable to any provider for any services covered by the HMO up until Thursday under Section 641.3154, Florida Statutes.

Additionally, health care providers and their representatives are prohibited from attempting to collect payment from the HMO subscribers for services.

“If you are contacted by a health care provider for such payment, you should inform the provider of this law.

“You may also want to contact Quality regarding the problem,” the Financial Services website says.

All clients served by QHP will be notified by mail by Financial Services or the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. More information as it becomes available is to be posted on the Financial Services website at  www.myfloridacfo.com/receiver.

According to the QHP website, the company began partnering with Medicare patients on Jan. 1, 2003.

A year later, HealthMetrix Research ranked QHP the number one HMO in Hernando and Pasco counties.

QHP’s troubles started last year. The company was suspended from the federal Medicare program in May 2010 and fined nearly $600,000 following a rash of enrollee complaints about billing glitches, improper denials and delays of medication, and failure to provide an adequate appeals and grievance process, court documents say.

The http://myfloridafo.com/receiver website offers answers to frequently asked questions.

For more information from the company, call (813) 574-1640;the mailing address is 4010 Gunn Highway, Suite 220, Tampa 33618-8744.

Call customer services toll-free at (866) 747-2700; providers may call (727) 945-8400, ext. 8515.

Emergency Restoration & Contracting, Inc.

Emergency Restoration & Contracting is locally owned and operated by Greg Rose. The company was started in June, 2000 with the origination of Advanced Autoglass which led into working with the area insurance companies and finding a need for restoration to homes and businesses. And Emergency Restoration & Contracting was developed to provide services focusing on insurance needs but also providing individual services for remodeling and additional needs such as carpet replacement,etc.

One of our services we are most proud of is our packout/packback. If your content needs to be removed from the premises we will pack it, inventory it, clean it, store it, and return it when the structural repairs are complete. This alleviates a great deal of strain on the homeowner and allows us to provide a service that will help expedite the home repair process.

Phone: (502) 968-0926
Fax: (502) 962-9439
5900 Poplar Level Road, Louisville, KY 40228