Tornado Takes Out the Vapor Hut

May 21, 2013 by · 3 Comments 

Pictures were just posted to Facebook of the electronic cigarette retail store, Vapor Hut. They took quite a beating by the tornado that devastated much of Moore, Oklahoma, but they’re happy to say that no one was injured. The Vapor Hut company is family owned and operated, having an online store along with 4 brick and mortar locations. These are pictures of the store after the storm yesterday and you can see Michael, the manager of this location, on the right.

moore store

 

Where would you even begin, in a clean up like this…

vapor hut

 

 

 

I’m glad to hear that everyone from the store is safe, but I will also be thinking of all the lives that were taken by this deadly storm.

 

 

 

Terrorists Profiting From Cigarette Taxes

May 20, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

According to the New York Post, terrorists are profiting from the cigarette taxes in New York. Another reason to switch to electronic cigarettes if you ask me!taxes

According to the Post, if you smoke you could be funding these terrorists:

“How? Officials last week said they nabbed 16 members of a smuggling ring with ties to jihadis like the blind sheik behind the ’90s terror plots in the city; a top Hamas official, and Rashid Baz, who shot a Jewish student on the Brooklyn Bridge.

The gang got $55 million from cigarette sales. And NYPD boss Ray Kelly says some profits might have gone to terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.”

With the tax prices set so high on tobacco in NY, it’s said that about 3 out of 5 cigarettes smoked are brought in from other states. They are then sold at a higher price, making quite a profit for the smuggler. Mayor Bloomberg believed raising taxes on cigarettes would discourage people from smoking, but smoking rates aren’t dropping as expected.

Let’s lower the smoking rate ourselves! Whether electronic cigarettes are supported or not, the number of smokers switching to ecigs is steadily climbing. Keep up the good work!

 

 

FDA Admits Health Community May Agree Some Products are Less Risky

May 16, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

The Washington Post released an article today about some of the discussion included at the Tobacco Merchants Association annual meeting in Williamsburg, VA.

Mitch Zeller, who took over as director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products in March, states the public health community is grappling with the idea that some new tobacco products may pose less of a health risk, electronic cigarettes included.FDA

At the TMA conference, Zeller says, “Our job is to regulate the manufacture, sale and marketing of the tobacco products within our jurisdiction. And we try to do it efficiently, effectively and fairly.” There are two ideas behind regulating tobacco products: some believe that there isn’t a safe product and the public needs to be pushed to quit altogether and those that believe lower-risk alternatives need to be available.

According to the article:

“One such product that many have claimed has potential to reduce health risks are electronic cigarettes, battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge, creating vapor that users inhale.

E-cigarettes are gaining much of the attention as the industry pushes to diversify beyond the traditional cigarette business, which has become tougher in the face of tax hikes, smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma. Some e-cigarettes are made to look like a real cigarette with a tiny light on the tip that glows.”

The electronic cigarette community is growing at a rapid pace. Since 2006, thousands of users have turned into millions and e-cig sales could double this year to $1 billion.

The FDA does intend to regulate electronic cigarettes in the not so distant future and the public health officials state that there haven’t been enough studies about the effectiveness of the product to help people quit smoking.

Hopefully we can get the studies needed before this regulation begins. What do you think is going to happen over the next couple years?

 

 

Anything That Resembles Smoking is Evil

May 13, 2013 by · 3 Comments 

A new article just released by Michael Siegel calls out the stupidity of some medical professionals. He makes a good point… If a tobacco company tried to say that cigarettes are as benign as electronic cigarettes, they would be sued right then, but when a doctor tells you that switching may be just as harmful, what can you do?smoking1

Siegel is calling out an article by the San Francisco Chronicle that talks about these very issues. A Stanford pulmonologist goes on to say…

“There are a lot of public health questions surrounding the use of e-cigarettes, but one thing is not in question – they are becoming a popular alternative to tobacco cigarettes. … But nicotine, whether from a cigarette or an e-cigarette, is “a known addictive agent that is not helpful in any way,” said Dr. Daya Upadhyay, former assistant professor of pulmonary critical care at Stanford. So she says she encourages her patients to quit smoking entirely rather than switch to e-cigarettes. She added that e-cigarettes still contain toxic chemicals. “We can’t say yet whether it’s less harmful than tobacco,” she said.

Siegel goes on to point out the stupidity behind this statement by using a comparison. What if a doctor were to say that you shouldn’t quit smoking using a nicotine inhaler because it might contain just as many chemicals as smoking. You would think that sounds ridiculous! He points out that they may very well be charged with malpractice after such a statement.

The San Francisco Chronicle article goes on to say…

“Companies do not market the product as a smoking cessation tool because that would put it in a category of products, like nicotine gum or patches, that the Food and Drug Administration regulates. But a British study out last month showed that 75 percent of the 1,400 e-cigarette users who responded to a survey said they’ve entirely replaced tobacco cigarettes with e-cigarettes.”

Siegels response is this,

“What is there not to like about that? Huge numbers of smokers are completely switching from tobacco to electronic cigarettes. In other words, thanks to e-cigarettes, they are successfully quitting smoking.

“You would think that physicians and public health practitioners would be jumping for joy. But unfortunately, the health of smokers is not the paramount concern of all of our health professionals. Instead, the ideology of opposing anything that “looks” like smoking has overtaken in prominence the concern over the best interests of the health of smokers.

“The rest of the story is that the health of smokers is being sacrificed to the blind adherence to an ideology: anything that looks like smoking is evil.”

I love that Siegel always calls them out exactly as it should be!

 

 

Hotwire Magazine, May 2013

May 3, 2013 by · 9 Comments 

The new issue of Hotwire Magazine is out and filled with great information and some beautiful advertising. Vaping magazines are becoming very popular right now. As much as I love having a paper copy, web available copies are definitely easier to get ahold of and more convenient for most people.

I highly suggest taking a peek at it!

If you can’t read it all at once, bookmark it for later…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York City Health Committee Holds Hearing On E-Cig Ordinances

May 2, 2013 by · 21 Comments 

There is a hearing on three proposed city ordinances in New York City today.  Two of the proposed ordinances threaten electronic cigarettes users within the city.  If the ordinances pass, electronic cigarettes within the city will be categorized as tobacco products, sale and display of them in retail shops will be illegal, and all flavors except mint, menthol and wintergreen will be banned from sale except at tobacco bars (of which there are few because tobacco bars are now banned except for those grandfathered in back in 2001).

See the agenda here.
See the CASAA Call To Action Here

Hearing Afterthoughts:

Later into the meeting many vapers voiced their opinions on the proposed NYC ordinances banning e-cigarette flavors by redefining e-cigarettes as tobacco products under city law. The end result was that the city council expressed their desire to examine in detail the e-cigarette issue and consider its removal from the proposed ordinances.

An amazing job was done by all the vapers who showed up to give testimony, so our hats are off to you for standing up and protecting vaping yet again. Great work!


Vapers gather outside the hearing to voice their opposition to the proposed city ordinance:


The overflow room for the hearing attendees, still waiting for the hearing to begin:

More photos and updates to come.

CASAA Listens So We Don’t Have To!

April 30, 2013 by · 8 Comments 

Yesterday, the CASAA leadership listened in on a webcast about state and local regulation of e-cigarettes, hosted by the Tobacco Control Network. They conveniently dropped all the CASAA members from the call except the one that did not register as being associated with the group. (Coincidence?) This was a CDC sponsored public call, so how much trouble could they get in?

Carl V Phillips had a few things to say about what was heard at this ANTZ meeting…

Since the anti-e-cigarette people are basically just the anti-smoking people with no additional education, they of course used the same old ANTZ playbook:  They talked about the importance years-old ads that ran briefly in such consumer-manipulation powerhouses as Convenience Store News.  They talked trash about specific companies, quite a few of which no longer exist.  Our favorite was their breathless concern about one e-cigarette merchant using women mimicking the old “cigarette girls” to sell e-cigarettes in a casino, which they seemed to think would appeal to young people.  Yes, it appeals to all of those young people who remember cigarette girls from c.1970 and who were in the casino.

CASAA was brought up during this call and were described as “theoretically a consumer advocacy organization”. What does that even mean, “Theoretically“??

Here is another interesting thought that Dr. Phillips shared with us about the “logic” that dominates the ANTZ approach:

Start with the assumption that e-cigarettes and THR are bad for the world and the public does not really like them.  Based on that, it is apparent that any company, advocacy group, or individual who acts out in support of the products or cause must be bad.  Having established that these people are bad, we will now tell you about their support THR and e-cigarettes.  With all those bad people supporting e-cigarettes and encouraging their use, it is obvious that they are bad for the world and that people only use them because they are being manipulated by bad people.  This proves our original point that e-cigarettes and THR are bad.

Please, please, please read the rest of the story!

Smoke and Die or Quit and Die

April 29, 2013 by · 12 Comments 

Michael Siegel released an article today about the FDA called “Why is the FDA Lying About Chantix Health Risks?” He points out some very interesting flaws in the system…

On the FDA’s tobacco website, they now have a new resource for smoking cessation. On this page they encourage smokers to quit using the recommended drugs… and one is Chantix. On this page the warning for Chantix shows: side effects of Chantix may include “nausea, trouble sleeping, change in dreaming, mood swings, depression, and suicidal thoughts.” Suicidal thoughts… They fail to tell us about the suicide attempts and completions. There have been more than 300 suicides due to the use of Chantix. Why is the FDA getting away with omitting this very important warning? They have no trouble warning smokers about the dangers of electronic cigarettes, with NOT ONE confirmed death.

According to Michael Siegel’s article today, if Pfizer itself were to disseminate the same lie, it would be in contempt of the law. The FDA has emphatically required Pfizer to label its drug with a warning.

The warning label actually reads: ”Serious neuropsychiatric events including, but not limited to, depression, suicidal ideation,suicide attempt, and completed suicide have been reported in patients taking CHANTIX.”

But yet, the FDA can say that electronic cigarettes pose a carcinogenic risk, as it contains “known carcinogens.” As Dr. Siegel brilliantly points out ”the FDA is lying to the public about the risks associated with Chantix is disturbing not only because of the serious damage it could cause, but also because it suggests that the agency is being driven by politics and not science.”

Please leave comments below to let me know what you think about this information.

Survey Results of 1000 Ecig Users

April 26, 2013 by · 19 Comments 

A survey was just released about vaping and the affect it has had on ecig users health. This survey was given to 1000 people currently using electronic cigarettes and the results were similar to what most of us would expect. Up to this point there hasn’t been much data like this, so maybe this will push for more studies like it. New studies performed by Universities and Doctors specializing in lung function might influence the decisions for the bans on electronic cigarettes popping up all over the world.

There were 8 questions presented on this survey.

On the graph to the right it shows that the majority of ecig users have quit smoking cigarettes entirely. The risks of dual use, due to the increase in nicotine, has been an argument that the ANTZ have been using all along and shown on this graph, 77% are now using electronic cigarettes exclusively. This also shows the stagering number of people that were able to use the ecig as a cessation device to quit smoking cigarettes.

I encourage everyone to read the results of the survey and watch for a further detailed analysis by scientist and researcher Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos.

No Sensitive Vapers Allowed

April 22, 2013 by · 9 Comments 

The vaping extremists, Matt and I, will be appearing as guests tonight on the live vape show called Vapelink.

The Vapelink show hosts are Michael Cozzi, Michael D’Ulisse, and Basil Ray. It’s on every Monday night at 9:30pm est. The normal discussions include, legislative updates, device reviews, and other things of interest to vapers.

Tonight they will be talking about the eVod and asking the question: Is Ellen Hahn a fascist? This should get interesting really quick!

Please come join the discussion in the live chat or even call in to tell us what you think!

See you there!

 

I am the Vaping Extremist

April 18, 2013 by · 29 Comments 

I had the pleasure of attending a conference today presented by The Kentucky Center for Smoke-Free Policy. Kevin and Matt both attended with me. We went as advocates for electronic cigarettes, but at the same time we were very interested in hearing why they are so opposed to them. We knew that Ellen Hahn, who is the Director of this organization and the Clean Indoor Air Partnership, would be the lead speaker and representative of this spring conference. As many of you know, we have had interactions with her before, mainly the attempted cancelation of our Lexington VapeMeet.

I want to state right off the bat, that this blog is my opinion and experience, not necessarily the same as other attendees.

We noticed immediately that we were required to sign an agreement that we would not use any of their material presented without consent from the organization. We also realized there was security positioned in the hall around the conference rooms. We spoke with this guard and asked if they were asked to be there due to our presence. This was confirmed and was followed up with the statement that there were supposed to be more of us and we were considered extremists. We were also expected to be vaping and blowing it in their faces when we know that this is a smoke free facility. In my opinion, they were hoping to have a reason to throw us out and prove the point that we are ‘extreme’.

The conference began with a couple lectures from various representatives of organizations supporting the smoke-free policy. The second speaker, Jodi Radke with the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids, took the podium to discuss the North Dakota indoor smoking ban and the struggles they went through to get it passed. One of the statements that of course caught my attention, was that electronic cigarettes were included in the ban because it is too hard to enforce the smoking ban when they look so similar to cigarettes. It was also claimed that on the Facebook page (I am not aware of the title of the group), there were 70-90 comment posts aggressively arguing with anything that was presented on this page. These vapers argued with everything that the local smoke-free advocates tried to post as proof against the ecig devices.

Throughout the morning sessions, audience members were allowed to give statements and/or questions. One person stood up to say that they ignore and write off the opposition to the smoke-free policies, because it is a waste of time to listen to them. I have to say the most memorable person to stand up to give their opinion, was a man who said that he attended our Lexington VapeMeet last year and attendees were opposing his opinion aggressively and we in such represent ourselves as “wife beaters”. I would never claim that all ecig users are courteous and professional when handling situations such as this, but there are some who are passionate and would do anything to get their point across. There is obviously a problem with this approach, but we can’t control the vaping population and how they handle the situations they are put in. I’m pretty sure there are these people in every type of movement, including the banning of guns, the disagreements with gay marriage, how to handle terrorism, etc.

During the lunch break, Ellen Hahn was presented with “The Nanny” award from her peers for her efforts in smoke free advocacy.

Starting in the afternoon there were four smaller break-out sessions that you could choose from. We chose to attend “Covering Emerging Products: Alerting Policymakers” by Ellen Hahn. Oh man, did we pick the right one! I can take a wild guess that they weren’t happy to see us, as the guard was positioned 2 feet from the door. She began by listing the different smokeless tobacco products that are known and advertised. We all know what they are, but as expected electronic cigarettes was the main point of this session. Ellen wanted to focus on the harm of ecigs, including the ads, such as “doctor approvals”, and the possibility of the appeal they might have on children due to their bright colored packaging. She posted pictures of them in packaging that looked like they might be trying to look like candy, especially having different flavor options. There are also “dual use” concerns. She points right at Matt and continues to say, that they may have helped him quit, and congrats, but will it do that for the population as a whole? She stated after that, “In KY, it’s useless to discuss smokeless tobacco products”.

There was a list of “combustible products”, including, machines to assist in rolling your own cigarettes, small cigars (with 6x the toxins of regular cigarettes), Hookahs, the new Green Smoke Hookah, and electronic cigarettes. Ecigs were the main focus claiming “the majority look like cigarettes”, they have a “heating element” and the effects of “second-hand vapor”.  We were also told the ecigs have “tobacco in them, not just water vapor and it smells and looks like tobacco smoke”. The discussion went on to another topic that Ellen stated, “laws should include heated products”, so that there is no confusion that ecigs are undoubtedly included in the bans.

More quotes by Ellen include:

– There are “1700 chemicals found in tobacco” and very few studies on ecigs, but we’re “learning everyday” and “don’t know a lot”.

– She is “concerned that it is called water vapor”.

– “You don’t know what you’re getting” and it’s like “brewing beer in a bathtub!”.

– “The marketers and companies are taking advantage of gaps in regulation.”

– “They may pollute the air less, but still do… they don’t know.” (pollute less than cigarettes)

– “People get addicted with dual-use.”

– The “best practice” is to wait for evidence through science.

– She also stated that there have yet to be studies to prove it can be used as a cessation device.

Included in some of the slides for this topic were, a Casaa advertisement, Vape Magazine, a picture of David Letterman with Catherine Heigel, and a picture of the EcigAdvanced logo with the poster for the Lexington VapeMeet.

A man, I’m not sure his name or qualifications, spoke up during the open discussion and brought up ecigs and became a little heated in his speech. He said something along the lines, that the advertisements/images on our site, EcigAdvanced, glorifies e-cigarettes or vaping. We try to make it look really attractive and not represent it as a cessation tool. I now have a hard time remembering what exactly was said, because the little voice in my head was screaming “LIES LIES LIES”. (I’m sure Ellen knew this was coming.)

In closing, I wanted to end on a positive note. We were approached by State Representative Susan Westrom and invited to meet with her sometime to present our information on electronic cigarettes. She also thanked us for our presence at the conference. We spoke with about a dozen of the attendees from various organizations, privately, about our stance on ecigs including our advocacy of their success and our position on fighting to exempt them from the indoor smoke-free state wide ban. We handed out flyers with the bullet points of studies and facts surrounding ecig use. There was a very positive reply, including many questions, and piqued interest from most of these individuals. I had a speaker sitting next to me that I had the privilege of engaging for 20 minutes, about our presence and our cause. He took our flyer and, I believe, proceeded to research the information provided. There was a representative of another county who came to tell her us her story about her sister switching to ecigs for health reasons. She stated she was aware that they may not be 100% safe, but she’s happy her sister could quit the use of real cigarettes.

I am so happy I was able to attend this conference to hear what The Kentucky Center for Smoke-Free Policy group had to say about ecigs and their thoughts on everything surrounding this policy.

A big thank you to Ellen Hahn for allowing us to attend! (even if it was under guard)

 

The FDA And Electronic Cigarettes: Neither Enemies, Nor Allies

May 10, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

According to many within the e-cig industry, the story of the FDA and electronic cigarettes follows as such:

E-Cigs entered the market and the FDA decided they should be regulated as a drug delivery device.  Upon failing to qualify e-cigs as drug delivery devices the FDA engaged in a revenge campaign to smear e-cigs as dangerous, toxic devices and now the budding industry fights to prove its worth in the face of a prolonged FDA tantrum.

The FDA is not the moral compass that people seem to expect it to be — and, surprise, it isn’t supposed to be.  The FDA is first and foremost a regulatory agency.  What it does isn’t about morality or fairness — it’s about ensuring people know the risks of what they put into their bodies and assuming they have the competence to decide whether they will or not.

Read more

The FDA And Electronic Cigarettes: Unfortunate Enemies

May 10, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

According to many within the e-cig industry, the story of the FDA and electronic cigarettes follows as such:

E-Cigs entered the market and the FDA decided they should be regulated as a drug delivery device.  Upon failing to qualify e-cigs as drug delivery devices the FDA engaged in a revenge campaign to smear e-cigs as dangerous, toxic devices and now the budding industry fights to prove its worth in the face of a prolonged FDA tantrum.

It’s easy to make any conflict as big as that of the FDA and Electronic Cigarettes sound over-blown and largely unnecessary.  Those on the side of regulation want to assume that e-cig users are taking on that classic “Don’t harsh my mellow, man” mentality when the FDA is just trying to protect them against potentially dangerous substances.  There are, however, specific circumstances to the FDA and electronic cigarette conflict that deny the FDA a “Just doing my job” defense.

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