On Wednesday, December 4, 2013, New York city had a hearing for a bill to include e-cigarettes (referred to as e-cigs) in the Clean Indoor Air Act which prohibits smoking in public places. Both sides were able to voice their opinion of the issue. Vaping celebrities, Russ Wishtart, host of “Click Bang” radio on Vaper’s Place, Greg Conley, and Jenee Fowler, known as “Vape Girl” on Youtube were present at the meeting. There were many vapers present in the audience to show support for vaping and opposition of the inclusion of e-cigs in the smoking ban. Yesterday, the council unanimously voted in favor of the bill. As vapers, we know vaping has improved our health. I have personally introduced friends and family to vaping, and all of them have said how much better they feel after converting from combustible tobacco to an e-cig. Jenee Fowler remarked that vaping in public has introduced her (and many smokers) to how effective e-cigs can be in their attempts to stop smoking and relapsing to combustible cigarettes. The Anti-Nicotine and Tobacco Zealots (referred to as ANTZ) have common arguments we need to address whenever a ban on e-cig use in public is placed in any of the state and local jurisdictions across the United States. You can view the entire hearing on Mandycat Campbell’s Youtube page. It is four hours long, so it’s divided into five parts. You can find it here to watch in your leisure:
Throughout the entire hearing, seven points were continuously brought up by the ANTZ. These are the points with rebuttals to their claim:
“We can’t trust the Tobacco Industry.”
A representative for Blu Ecigs, as well as Logic and NJoy brands testified at the meeting. Blu Ecigs was the only company that is part of the Tobacco Industry on the panel. NJoy and Logic are independent e-cig companies. ANTZ complain that advertisements mimic ads of combustible cigarettes, and BT are using these ads to peddle their products to youth. ANTZ claim this industry was started by BT to hook the children and adult non-smokers to a lifelong addiction to nicotine.
E-cigs were not part of the Tobacco industry until 2012 when Lorillard (makers of NewPorts) bought Blu Ecigs. E-cigs were invented in 2003 by a Chinese pharmacist, named Hon Lik, who invented it to help his father who was dying of lung cancer. E-cigs were first made available in the U.S. in 2009, which means this fledgling industry was created by smokers who wanted a way to enjoy the act of smoking without the harm. Big Tobacco (referred to as BT) started selling e-cigs when they saw their profits drop due to the increase in e-cig sales by smaller companies. In fact, RJ Reynolds has pushed several states to ban online sales, tax e-cigs, and require small businesses to get more licenses to sell their products in hopes to eliminate competition with the smaller businesses. The ANTZ are funded by Pharmaceutical companies (referred to as Big Pharma) that make traditional Nicotine Replacement Therapy products. They do not disclose this fact in their statements. They know as e-cig usage rises, sales of these NRTs ( as well as fewer sin tax monies from states) will suffer. The Councilmen/Councilwomen and ANTZ are merely protecting their financial interests.
“…..it’s for the chiiiilllllldren!”
ANTZ claim that the variety of candy, fruit, and dessert flavors were made to attract children into a life long addiction to nicotine. They cite the recent CDC study which surveyed Middle and High School students usage of e-cigs found here:
What vapers and e-cig advocates point out is that the survey failed to mention whether the students were tobacco smokers before they started using an e-cig. The survey also failed to mention that it only studied the students who experimented with e-cigs, NOT habitual use. There were two male high school students who claimed that they have seen e-cigs being used in the classroom and hallways of their school and none of the teachers, principals, and staff have tried to stop them from using e-cigs on school grounds. They claimed that including e-cigs in the Clean Indoor Air Act would keep kids from using e-cigs. Vapers at the meeting expressed that laws will not stop teens from doing things they shouldn’t be doing, and it should be dealt with by school officials and parents of those teens, NOT the government.
“There’s not enough studies to determine the safety of e-cigs.”or “The FDA study shows there are trace amounts of Tobacco Specific Nitrosamines (TSNAs) present in the e-liquid and vapor.” or “There’s anti-freeze in e-liquid!”
E-cig advocates and vapers presented the council members with many studies which showed that the vapor emitted were not harmful to bystanders. You can find those studies on ECA’s blog by Klaus Kneale here. Vapers pointed out the false information in the press release the FDA made to the public. The e-cigs tested in the study were of only two companies and only 1 cartridge out of 17 found trace levels of diethylene glycol (or anti-freeze). Dr. Gilbert Ross from American Council on Science and Health, as well as, Dr. Michael Siegel from the Boston University School of Public Health said that the study was conducted using older technology and could not be replicated in later studies. Quotes by Dr. Michael Siegel, Dr. Thomas Eissenberg of Virginia Commonwealth University, and Dr. Igor Burstyn were also used regarding the efficacy and safety of e-cig usage. A letter to the NYC Council is posted on CASAA’s blog here.
“E-cigs will re-normalize smoking.”
Advocates cheered when VapeNY and Greg Conley said vaping will normalize NOT smoking. ANTZ referred to the AFLAC duck by saying, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must by a duck.” in reference to vaping looking like smoking. This suggests that the inclusion of e-cigs in the Clean Indoor Air Act goes beyond public health. It is to demonize e-cig users and smokers.
“It’ll be hard to enforce the smoking ban.”
Advocates stated that there is no side stream smoke, no ash, no smell (or short whiff of a pleasant smell), and the vapor dissipates quickly. There were three representatives in the hospitality industry (restaurant/bar owners and hotel managers) who said that e-cigs would greatly reduce the number of noise complaints from residents if e-cig users were allowed to use them inside. They explained that there would be a security issue if e-cig users were included in the smoking ban, because of the extra security they needed to search patrons going outside to vape and coming back inside to drink and socialize. Furthermore, the bar owners stated that it should be up to the owners discretion as to how they wanted to handle vaping in their establishments. One e-cig user even said that vapers would be able to vape indoors without anyone knowing just by holding their breath for 10 seconds after inhalation (also known as “stealth vaping”). As vapers blew plumes of vapor into the air, two councilmen stated that they noticed that the vapor disappeared quickly and it did smell pleasant.
“E-cigs are being used to smoke illegal substances.”
Advocates say it would be easy to tell if someone was using an illegal substance due to the smell of these illegal substances. Moreover, banning e-cigs just because some individuals are using e-cigs with illegal substances is insane. Marijuana smokers have used apples to smoke marijuana, yet apples have not been banned. Dr. Gilbert Ross also mentioned that a college roommate used to empty his Marlboro cigarettes and stuff marijuana into it, yet Marlboros have not been banned.
“E-cigs have been known to blow up.”
ANTZ stated two stories regarding a battery exploding 1) in a car and 2) in someone’s face. Advocates replied back that any product that uses Lithium-ion batteries have been known to explode. They cited cases where cell phones and laptops exploded due to user error. Basic battery care should be applied with any product that uses Lithium-ion batteries, including e-cigs.
While watching the hearing, I realized that, despite the opposition to e-cig use in public, vapers and the public health community (American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and American Heart Association) both have a desire to protect people from the dangers of smoking. The public health community refuses to see it this way. They equate vaping to smoking. They continuously ignore anecdotal evidence, both by vapers themselves and non-vapers, as well as, studies conducted by large Universities and prominent physicians and scientists. They cling to the fact that if people quit smoking, they need to quit nicotine, too. ANTZ stated that the inclusion of e-cigs in the smoking ban in New Jersey reduced the number of smokers in New Jersey. As vapers, we know vaping has helped us from going back to combustible cigarettes. As more studies come out in favor of e-cigs, the ANTZ will deny the validity of these studies. It is imperative that we stay vigilant for any legislation that would impede our rights. I recommend all vapers to become a member of CASAA to help in fighting these bans and promoting public health.
E-Cigarettes as Medicines – For and Against
Most of us cannot remember a time when smoking was considered good for you, however at one time it was. Today, everyone knows that smoking is harmful, leading to diseases such as emphysema, heart disease, and cancer. Smoking cessation devices such as nicotine gum and nicotine patches have been rolled out to help addicted smokers give up, often with limited success.
When electronic cigarettes first appeared commercially on the scene, they were hailed as a healthier alternative to smoking – a way for smokers to wean themselves off of their tobacco addiction in a way that mimicked the smoking action they were so accustomed to. The devices produce water vapour rather than smoke, and contain nicotine but none of the myriad harmful toxins of regular cigarettes.
Regulatory bodies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom have become concerned in recent years that e-cigs should be regulated and, ultimately, classed as medicines.
The MHRA’s concerns are as follows:
- There is no evidence that electronic cigarettes are safe or effective.
- The use of electronic cigarettes in public will make smoking seem far too ‘normal’.
The European Parliament Environmental and Health Committee recently voted in favour of regulating electronic cigarettes as medicinal products from 2016.
The FDA will decide in a month’s time whether to regulate or ban e-cigs in light of concerns aired by medical groups.
According to the FDA:
- The devices could promote smoking amongst young children and teens.
- E-cigarettes are not considered in the same category as nicotine patches and nicotine gum.
Both the US and UK have seen their fair share of nanny state policies over the years. Only last year, the UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence suggested that car park charges should be raised to encourage people to walk or cycle on short journeys – a way to counter what government advisors have called the national ‘epidemic’ of obesity. It makes one wonder just who we are voting for – government officials who are concerned about pressing issues like the economy and education, or a horde of mini-despots whose sole purpose is to save us from ourselves?
So, should electronic cigarettes be regulated? Yes – up to a point. The devices should be restricted for use when it comes to pregnant women and children, and, of course, there needs to be assurances as to their quality and safety.
Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe?
One of the biggest issues with the nay-sayers is that the devices contain nicotine and could lead the unwary (e.g. children) to a life of smoking. One could argue that egg-plants also contain nicotine – should they be classed as medicines?
A common misconception about e-cigs is that they were created to help a smoker quit. The idea behind the devices is that a smoker can switch and have a nicotine fix without ingesting harmful chemicals. E-cigs generally contain nicotine, but don’t have any of the harsh toxins that regular cigarettes have.
By and large, regular tobacco cigarettes are really just a recreational drug, though countless studies have proven that they do cause harm. Electronic cigarettes contain none of the harmful chemicals that cause medical problems, and have been taken up by millions of smokers in the US, UK, and around the world, as an alternative to smoking. Ask any committed ‘vaper’ if their health has improved and they will invariably say ‘yes’.
The classification of e-cigs as medicines will become a reality. What will be the impact?
Professor Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary’s University of London, says “Compared with hypothetical risks that seem unlikely in view of current knowledge about e-cigarettes, we know that the product e-cigarettes are replacing is seriously dangerous. If any new risks emerge, then appropriately tighter regulation can be implemented.”
Professor Hajek argues that placing e-cigarettes under the same regulation as medical devices now is likely to lead to increased costs and less product innovation, which could ultimately lead to a ‘winning situation for the tobacco industry’.
He asserts that undue regulation of e-cigarettes would protect the market monopoly of cigarettes and have the potential consequences of disease in and death of millions of smokers who suddenly found that obtaining e-cigarettes had become too complicated.
While it is true that we don’t know the long-term effects of the use of electronic cigarettes, the fact remains that we do know the effects of tobacco cigarettes. When measured against each other, the negative aspects of tobacco smoking far outweigh the so-called harm of electronic smoking devices.
This article is submitted by Mark from Vapourlites.com, following the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency decision to classify electronic cigarettes in the UK. Feeling s are mixed and he summarizes the range of attitudes towards electronic cigarettes in the UK with a touch of his own.
Every time I walk by a vapor mall stand I stop for a few minutes and let the salesmen go about his rant. When I ask them about their personal vaping experience, it is minimal to almost none. They have no idea what the name of the connection they are using is called. They do not even know the wattage/voltage of the device theyre selling. Recently when stopping by a stand, there was an enraged customer. he was trying to return the product due to lack of performance and battery life. I just so happen to have a few business card from online vendors that I purchase from and was able to make some great recommendations based on what the customer was looking for.. It took me a few minutes to give someone valuable information. Why can’t these stands do the same thing. The point im getting to is that vaping is being taken advantage of and those who are looking into it may be turned off to vaping indefinitely by their initial experience. As a community we need to stand up and help our fellow vapers! What are you doing for your local vaping community?!
We all already know about the vast influx of e cigarette website, mall stands, and stores. Whether you’re watching the terrible Courtney Love NJoy ad on Youtube or reading on the forums about the new Kanger T3S (which I’m pretty excited about!), you know that the business itself is booming. In fact, a good entrepreneur knows that this is THE perfect time to jump into the business. Brick and Mortar stores are becoming more common. Sites such as JWraps give you customization options that didn’t exist a while back. I’ve heard rumors of a vaping bar opening up in my city.
These successes are thrilling for the vaping community. Our sense of camaraderie is only fortified by the development of the industry. But with booming business comes opposition. As we all already know, the FDA is still working on its regulations. The stigma of “electronic smoke” isn’t quite gone yet. And for goodness’ sake, most of our mods still come from China!
This is a pivotal time for vaping. Every incident that happens will be crucial, every victory substantial, and every blow severe. Stay alert and vape on!
Now I have always thought that all of the warning labels on products are stupid, like Warning HOT Coffee!! Come on really? my hot coffee is hot I guess I shouldn’t spill it on my lap. But some warning labels are needed, for instance Pluid and other such liquids should have a warning on them to warn you that this juice can and will destroy plastic tanks. Adding warning labels should be a mandatory regulation that we as vapers should get behind. The MPAA(Motion Picture Association of America) is a collective group of people in the movie industry that self regulates, why shouldn’t we do the same for vaping. If we don’t regulate our self’s it gives the government more reason to take over.
If you are just wanting to get into the vaping world or maybe you just prefer the mini over a larger e-cigarette, odds are you have many options to choose from and have had many companies wanting you to try their products for various reasons. And with every brand saying that they are the best it is a very confusing time trying to search for the right starter e-cig. The VOLT by Smokeless Image and The Blu are two e-cigarettes I feel that any newbie vapor has probaly come by before. So I decided to give them each a test and to review my personal opinion on the two.
With today’s scientific knowledge about the horrible effects that cigarettes have on not only the person smoking it but the people around them, there needs to be a way of stopping the use of tobacco products or at least a safer alternative. There are several different types of stop smoking aids, such as Nicorette Gum, Nicotine patches and lozenges, prescription stop aids, and now Electronic cigarettes that unlike the others have not been approved by the FDA as a safe way of quitting or a safe product to use. One of the biggest problems today with electronic cigarettes is the lack of regulation and accurate tests that can show the effects on the human body or more importantly the improvements on health that it can have on tobacco users.
The Food and Drug Association current point of view is incorrect and ignorant to the effects that electronic cigarettes can have on the human body. They believe that electronic cigarettes are not a safe alternative due to the fact that the chemicals in these products when vaporized are hazardous. The FDA Kills Smokers a article by John Stossel, he writes about how the FDA wants to ban all sale and use of electronic cigarettes due to the fact that “ e-cigarettes contain trace chemicals that “may” be “toxic.”” and that these chemicals have not been proven to cause any harm and are also found in other products that the FDA has approved like Nicorette Gum, Nicotine patches and lozenges.
I recently started vaping again since having a bad run in a few years back with a store bought E-CIG. Needless to say there are thousands of more products on the market today than there was a few years ago. Now you have choices between mechanical and Variable Voltage. Each of them have their advantages and disadvantages. Plus there are so many to chose from regarding size, height and just about everything else you could imagine. I personally like the Ego when I am fishing because if I happen to drop it in the water I won’t be disappointed.
My goal is to have 20 Mechanical and 20 Variable Voltage by the end of the year. To me it’s like collecting and who knows what the value of some of these will be in the future. I promised myself that I would budget this like I do everything else from bills to monthly spending money, but it is tough to do when you run across a co-op and can save over 90% from a product.
I am also getting into the RBA’s and will be making my own coils and more than likely my own MOD’s. There is actually a lot of money to be saved when you can build your own things especially coils. When clearo’s and such start costing over a $1.50 a piece it makes sense to build your own coils for your tanks or drippers for pennies on the dollar versus shelling out the cost and shipping fee’s.
Anyways, my name is Chris and I am a VAPOHOLIC!
I pull up to the end of my driveway, yet another end to yet another workday. As usual, I open my driver’s door and step out into the street. The standard grunt and groan as my back and legs are stretched shortly follow. I walk over to my mailbox to fetch my daily junk mail, already keeping in mind that spot on the floor of my truck where it will no doubtingly end up.
What’s this? A strange plastic envelope-like container rests in my box, clueless as to what it may be, I reach in and examine it. There must have been some mistake, I hadn’t ordered anything. A quick look over of the package and oddly, it is addressed to me. A series of possibilities flash through my confused mind, to no avail.
I then recall that strange text I received from my father the week prior, asking for my exact address with no explanation or reason. Hmm, two and two go together easily enough I suppose, but what could this object be? The sender was some company whose name I had never heard of, and no other clue was presented externally.
Wanting to get home to let my dogs out back, I climb into the truck and crawl up the hill to my house. Once inside and my pup’s bladders emptied, I open the package to reveal an item I knew of but had never seen before.
An electronic cigarette.
Ugh, I remember my parents talking about them to me over the phone some time ago, this odd techno fad in which I had no interest. But what the hell, I open the box, read the instructions and plug the battery in.
Plugging in a cigarette, what a foreign concept.
Earlier today I was visiting with my cousin (she started vaping just a few months back) and the discussion turned to where can you vape and where can’t you vape. In most all of Central Florida there are no vape bans/laws yet…it’s still (rightfully) up to the business proprietor or property owner as to whether you can vape somewhere or not. Things may be different where you are. But much like passing gas, just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should.
Look, I’m no Vape Etiquette Master; and I’m certainly not some fount of Vaping Rules that one should follow — but sometimes all it takes is basic common sense and a little courtesy. One of my rowdier vaping buddies, Rick, usually has a healthy bit of both — but not always; especially after a few vodka-based beverages….
Last week we were at a small neighborhood dive kinda bar having a couple drinks when I asked the bartender if it was OK to vape in the place. “I’d prefer it if you don’t,” the guy said. “If you want to do that, you can go out to the patio around back. With our crowd, it’s just easier that way.”
Looking around the place, I got the gist of what he was saying. There was a pool table smack dab in the middle of the floor, some electronic dart machines against the wall near the front door and an assortment of hard-scrabble types scattered about the place. So after coming back in from the patio from grabbing a quick vape, Rick asked “Where’d you go?”
“Out back to grab a vape.”
“Out back? Screw that,” he said and grabbed his SB and worked up a huge cloud of vapor. There were some murmurs and gibbering at the sight of this cloud heading toward the pool table, and some guy in a leather jacket broke out a pack of Marlboros and lit one up. “Hey, you can’t smoke here,” the bartender said as discreetly as possible.