Tag Archives: E-cigarettes in the News

The War on E-Cigs

7fe32cb6d9a2459c08c20a8f6c5f15adPropaganda, half truths, twisting of scientific studies, and misreporting are running heavily rampant these days when it comes to e-cigarette research and usage. With recent reports, such as the one published by the New England Journal of Medicine that went viral through the media a few weeks back, followed by the state of California’s public health department running a statement that e-cigarettes should not be used due to their production of “chemicals” and that they can be viewed as a gateway to smoking tobacco, it seems that there is an unusual amount of negative information swirling, based on speculation, aimed at discouraging users from vaping.

What these reports fail to do, all the while playing up hype and sensation, is focus on the positives electronic cigarettes have accomplished in a short amount of time.

Smokers don’t turn to electronic smoking to gain a new habit. They do not enter the world of smoking as a result, either. They look to these products as a means of transitioning away from traditional cigarettes, as with vaping they have more control, more options, and can enjoy the experience of smoking without involving any tobacco.

“It is stunning that a public agency entrusted with the health of the population of California would promote such a one-sided, scientifically impoverished document” remarked Sally Satel, who disbunked much of the speculation and false reports in a piece for Forbes. Also noteworthy, is that even the newly appointed Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy has stated that there is a “desperate need for clarity” when it comes to electronic cigarettes. Obviously a blatantly negative, harmful label cannot be placed on e-cigarettes, so the media really needs to halt their efforts in doing so!

So, what is the deal? Why is the anti-smoking coalition so drastically anti-e-cigarette? Is it because electronic cigarettes make the idea of stopping tobacco usage too easy? Too simple? Too enjoyable? Is it the concept of an alternative, similar yet different, too hard to grasp because there should not be a pleasurable option? Whatever the reasoning may be, it’s time for these “public health experts” to take a hard look at the reality of e-cigarettes, and see the benefits right before their eyes. Instead of focusing on the idea of e-cigarettes being a scary endeavor out to tempt young people into the world of smoking cigarettes, they should be compounding their efforts into lobbying for e-cigarette regulations that guarantee product quality and purity. As this industry is in its infancy, only the future will tell, however one thing we are certain of, is that electronic cigarettes are not going anywhere!

E-Cig Use in California: Let’s be Unbiased, Shall We?

California E-Cig RegulationsThe popularity of electronic cigarettes has grown exponentially lately, and as a result, there is more talk than ever in the media regarding them. News on their effectiveness, what’s in them, how they are used, and who is using them are constant headlines, fueled by last week’s major focus on them on the subject of formaldehyde, it seems like right now everyone is talking about e-cigs.

Following the New England Journal of Medicine piece, (a biased and erroneous article) stating that electronic cigarette produce more formaldehyde than traditional cigarettes, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a statement this week stating that all residents of California should abstain from using the products. Citing that formaldehyde, nicotine, and other toxins and chemicals are the foundation of this statement, they feel e-cigarettes are not a valid option to traditional smoking, and they are a public health risk.

Members of the electronic cigarette community are outraged, as it seems this is just another notch on the belt of California’s ongoing propaganda against smoking and electronic smoking. It is astounding that an entire state is willing to take a stand on the usage of a product millions have embraced, citing a lack of scientific evidence, without having any actual scientific evidence to back up their claims! It is immensely unfortunate that such a broad, biased statement could be implemented to the whole state of California’s residents, and not based on scientific research and factual information. Caution is understandable, but fear mongering and attempting to make “concerned” claims runs more along the lines of propaganda, and less about the actual, factual e-cigarette research.

Yes, they do highlight the fact that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, but what they do not focus on is that users have the option to have nicotine-free liquid, as well as the ability to choose the level they desire. Instead, the head of the CPDH, Ron Chapman, states the nicotine in e-cigarettes is as addictive as the nicotine in traditional cigarettes, and that is sufficient basis for users to abstain.

We are all for regulations that serve a purpose and make sense, such as in the case of age restrictions, and adults taking measures to keep their products out of the hands of minors, however on matters of public health, it is imperative to the public to be served accurate information. The future of vaping will surely be met many more times with cases such as this one, and as difficult as it is to face such harsh admonishing, we’ve come too far and made too much progress to back down.

The Truth About Formaldehyde and E-Cigarettes

anastas-formaldehyde-toxic-300_tcm18-164951This week, a news story broke across all major news outlets reporting that according to a new study, e-cigarettes produce more formaldehyde than traditional cigarettes.

What was not reported in the study was that the device used to vaporize the liquid was used incorrectly, and the aerosols produced we’re not true formaldehyde. When you consider that this was a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine and written by scientists, it is rather unfortunate that the whole truth was not reported and facts were omitted. It was a classic case of misreporting in favor of a biased viewpoint, creating great media sensationalism.

After the study was published, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, who is one of the international leaders of electronic cigarette research, published a counter piece analyzing the  NEJM report, dissecting the research and comparing it to how a vaporizer and e-liquid would actually be used, and what the user would be more likely to encounter.

What he found was that the vaporizer used in the study, (which was an unnamed brand and model)  was used at several different settings. When used at normal settings, the device produced no formaldehyde hemiacetyls during vaporization. For example, the voltage was at 3.3, creating 6-7 watts, with a puff time of 4 seconds.

When the settings were turned up to their highest, 5 volts and 14-16 watts, at 4 seconds, the device vaporized the solution and produced 15 times more formaldehyde (hemiacetals) than traditional cigarettes. However at such a high voltage and wattage, the atomizer would absolutely be overheating and absolutely capable of producing formaldehyde hemiacetyl compounds.

It must be noted that formaldehyde hemiacetyls are not true formaldehyde; they are a combination of formaldehyde and alcohols, and there is no evidence to prove they have the same effect, or any toxic or carcinogenic properties.

To vapers, those who use vaporizer devices, the highest settings would never really be used because consuming liquids vaporized at such a high degree would taste entirely awful! In fact, there is a commonly known term for this and it’s called the dry puff phenomenon. Therefore, under the premises documented in this study, it is unlikely the majority of e-cigarette users are going to experience or encounter these elevated levels of formaldehyde. Similarly to the way most people would not be inclined to consume severely overcooked meat, (which contains carcinogens) most vapers would have no interest in vaping with overheated atomizers.

So, if you vape and were alarmed by these headlines, examine at your particular usage. If you use a variable voltage device, check your habits. If you find yourself dry puffing or using it at the highest available setting, you may have to readjust your habits. Otherwise, vape on and try to take such misreporting with a grain of salt!

The Deal with Diacetyl

Sensient-Flavors-says-it-is-addressing-worker-health-and-safety-issues_strict_xxlRecent discussions of e-cigarettes and what is contained in e-liquids has been centered on a substance known as diacetyl. Diacetyl is a chemical typically used to impart a buttery flavor, and though it is regarded as safe for ingestion, it is absolutely not when inhaled.

Because of the info regarding diacetyl as unsafe for inhalation, many anti-e-cig media outlets have been assumptively, and erroneously, reporting that all electronic cigarettes contain this substance, based on the World Health Organization’s findings, in an effort to continue the negative stereotype that surrounds e-cigarettes. What they fail to realize and report upon is, is  that not all brands use the chemical as a flavoring, EverSmoke being among them.

In fact, on a test of a variety of brands of e-liquid to see if they contain diacetyl, done on a TV program in the UK, only 1 of the 4 tested contained the substance! 1 in 4!

So, the big deal with diacetyl in e-liquid is that it is linked to a horrific lung disease known as “popcorn lung,” or bronchiolitis obliterans. It can occur after prolonged exposure to diacetyl that has been heated and inhaled. It affects the bronchioles, causing them to be obstructed and inflamed, restricting airflow, making breathing difficult, and coughing and wheezing prevalent.

Currently, researchers are studying the effects of diacetyl, and testing different brands’ liquids to determine whether they contain the substance, and what effect it is having. Dr. KE Farsalions, a prominent European physician who has done many studies on the effectiveness and benefit of electronic cigarettes, has lead the research on diacetyl. In a presentation he did at the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw this year, Dr. Farsalions sampled approximately 160 different e-liquids, mostly manufactured in Europe, in an effort to show what the exposure to diacetyl is exactly for vapers, particularly on a daily basis.

The outcome if this study showed that 74% of the e-liquids he tested contained some diacetyl, most often found in sweet liquid flavors. Even more disconcerting, however, was that a great number of these sweeter liquids contained levels of diacetyl that were higher than the safety limits were supposed to be. Even still, however, the range is anywhere between 10 and 100 times less than the exposure from traditional cigarettes.

So that is the current situation with diacetyl and vaping. Pick and choose your products wisely, and ultimately opt for a brand like EverSmoke, that is committed to keeping the diacetyl fake butter flavor out of our products! And for those of you who are scientifically-inclined, you can check out Dr. Farsalion’s study here (PDF download).

What is the Deal with Teens and Vaping?

Teen Use of E-CigsOne of the areas that concerns legislators and lawmakers most, on the subject of electronic cigarette products is that which regards usage by those who are underage, most often teens. The FDA recently ruled in favor of laws that prohibit minors from purchasing the alternative products, among the first e-cigarette regulations to come into effect nationally.

So what is the deal with e-cigarettes in the mainstream? Are teenagers even interested in them? Are they using them more voraciously than cigarettes? Do e-cigs really pose a problem that causes concern about teens becoming hooked on nicotine?

Teenagers have long been drawn to experimentation, and the majority of adult smokers picked up the habit during their teen years. Whether a result of rebellion or pleasurable escape, teens always have and always will be looking to test limits – be it their parents’, schoolteachers’, or those in place by society; cigarette usage among youth has always been a hot button topic. Even though tobacco companies marketed their products to impressionable young people in decades past, this practice has long been halted. Over the past 20 years, cigarette usage among minors has been on dramatic decline, especially when it is considered how unfashionable smoking has become. Less teens are looking at smoking as a cool way to rebel and create an image.

As recently reported by Forbes, the most recent statistics on high school students smoking, shows numbers that have fallen from 15.8% to 12.7%, which are the lowest numbers ever. While the usage of e-cigarette use by high schoolers has rose, from 1.5% to 4.5%, which includes those teens who have used a vapor cigarette at least once within a 30-day period, it is being looked at as less negative and rather encouraging. It is a suggestion that high school smokers are interested in alternatives, and are using electronic cigarettes instead of traditional cigarettes as a means to stop using tobacco.

If teen tobacco smoking is declining at great numbers, and teens in general are not interested in smoking, yet are turning to electronic cigarettes as alternatives, it is clear that vapor smoking is not serving as a gateway to traditional smoking for impressionable youth as anti-smoking groups claim.

To put it bluntly, the electronic cigarette industry aims to market and sell their products exclusively to adults over the age limit, and as teens will inevitably get their hands on things they have no business with (traditional and electronic cigarettes alike), vapor cigs are not luring teens into lifelong smoking habits.

And the Word of the Year is… Vape!

imagesVapor smoking, AKA Vaping, AKA to vape. It’s all gotten quite popular and mainstream year by year. And now the act of using electronic smoking devices has gotten so great, that the fine folks at Oxford Dictionaries have declared “vape” the word of the year for 2014. The electronic cigarette industry is quite pleased, as we should be!

The ‘word of the year’ is typically bestowed upon a term that has garnered a great amount of attention, has gained widespread acceptance, and appears to have obvious staying power. Vape managed to surpass other cultural favorites for 2014 such as “bae” and “bud tender,” due to it’s constant presence in popular culture. In major US cities, it has become as common to see traditional smokers as much as vapers, using their devices on the streets and in other public places.

What this is also indicative of is that vaping is here to stay, whether or not the tobacco industry, legislators, or naysayers like it. Millions of smokers have experienced the difference in what vaping brings to the table, and have chosen to smoke without the tobacco.

And now vaping has become such a culture of its own, with it’s own slang, millions of hashtags and posts across social media pages, thousands of retail shops appearing all over the country, and people obsessing over every different type of product they can get their hands on! Most importantly, though, vapers are able to get a highly satisfying experience in a method they are exceptionally comfortable with, and are noticing much greater results in comparison to smoking cigarettes. This is further evidence that shows that vaping is the future of smoking, and it is completely overtaking smoking.

To directly quote the editors at the Oxford Dictionaries precisely, as they explain why “vape” is the perfect term of the year: “As e-cigarettes (or e-cigs) have become much more common, so vape has grown significantly in popularity. You are thirty times more likely to come across the word vape than you were two years ago, and usage has more than doubled in the past year.”

Yes, it is clear. Electronic cigarettes are officially mainstream. Vape has entered the English lexicon.

Top Scientists Urge WHO to not Classify E-Cigarettes as Tobacco Products

scientistsIn the ongoing international debate over electronic cigarette research, the most recent news on this front has come from the World Health Organization, aka WHO, and the international group of renowned scientists who are urging the UN agency to avoid classifying the tobacco alternatives as “tobacco products.”

In an open letter to Margaret Chan, the Director General of WHO, scientists from across the world including Asia, Australia, North America, and Europe, stated that electronic cigarettes are a part of the answer, and that they are not the problem, in the fight against smoking. They also stated that they are low-risk products, and have the potential to drastically reduce the number of fatalities and illnesses associated with smoking. Considering that these are experts in the field of science, hopefully WHO will take into consideration their stance on the usefulness of the electronic alternatives.

WHO has continuously held a checkered relationship with the products, and has even gone so far as to consider them as a threat. However, as more and more research comes out in the international scope, top scientists are pushing for e-cigarettes to be viewed as positive, even citing them as very promising in the long run in the fight against tobacco and tobacco-related illnesses. It is general knowledge that tobacco is related to millions of deaths worldwide, and is one of the contributing factors behind increased risk of heart disease, many types of cancer, and serious respiratory illnesses.

“These products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century – perhaps saving hundreds of millions of lives. The urge to control and suppress them as tobacco products should be resisted,” wrote the scientists.

As electronic cigarettes are still in their infancy, and research is being performed throughout the world, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for this burgeoning industry, especially in terms of international e-cigarette regulations. In the meantime, it is certainly a positive that many of the world’s top scientists are willing to support the cause in favor of electronic cigarettes, seeing their many benefits, and voicing their beliefs to a major force such as the World Health Organization.

CVS is Dropping the Habit

cvs_logo_largeRecent news to hit the tobacco cigarette industry was that CVS has decided to drop tobacco sales from all of their 7,600 locations throughout the country. Set to go into effect on October 1, the move marks the company’s decision to create a more healthful image. CVS Caremark is the nation’s largest pharmacy, based on their prescription revenue, and this move to end tobacco sales has been praised by both President Obama and a variety of different health organizations.

While CVS cultivates a healthier image, they are facing a loss of approximately $2 billion yearly. Some industry experts see that number as being on the lower end, and depending on market conditions they may face even greater losses as a result of the change.

CVS cites the Affordable Care Act as their main motive in changing, however they have long stood by prevention as the best health strategy. Despite the financial ramifications, CVS’s president and CEO, Larry J. Merlo, has stated that selling tobacco is not in line with their values. “Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health,” he said in a statement. “Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

Interestingly, none of CVS’s competitors are considering the same cessation of tobacco sales. Considering that tobacco sales internationally topped the $554 billion mark in 2012, CVS tobacco sales account for a minute amount of that total.

Perhaps, however, it is time that CVS followed the lead of some of their competitors, such as Walgreens, which has sold electronic cigarettes for several years. While they are similar to traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes would have no problems fitting in with their more progressive image.

Even though this move is extremely bold, it certainly makes sense in terms of responsibility. It is obvious that the tobacco industry, as well as the electronic cigarette industry are in a point of major transition, and it will surely be interesting to see which retailers in the near future take the same stance as CVS. In the meantime, if you are interested in purchasing an e-cigarette starter kit, or want to learn more about them, feel free to browse our resources as well as products!

Get Ready for Vapefest 2014!

c1bfa86935d27d4cc144b17fb43328b1It’s that time of year again, with e-cigarette smokers across the country getting ready for DC Vapefest 2014. 2013 proved to be very eventful, with a great turnout, and this year it’s expected to be even better. Happening from Friday, March 21, 2014 through Saturday, March 22, the event will be held at the Hyatt Dulles, in Herndon, VA, in the metro DC area. It’s one of the top events for vapers throughout the USA to connect with other vapers, experience the up and coming products, and sample different products from a multitude of brands that will be exhibiting.

There will be numerous courses occurring in subjects such as Beginners Basics, Advocacy and Activism, Battery Safety, and Legal and Political Education. However, the event is not all work and no play; there will also be social events and afterparties held on both nights, as well as a raffle with prizes exceeding over $2000. If you are considering getting involved, or attending as a guest or vendor, guest passes cost $25, and vendor passes cost $50.

If you have not yet heard of it, Vapefest is a fundraiser sponsored by the National Vapers Club. The event has been in existence since 2010, and was created to serve the national community of electronic cigarette users as a social gathering, trade show, educational convention, and event based on networking for those in the industry.

Vapefest also raises funds for vapor cigarette research, such as the IVAQS study that was published in 2012. It also raises funds that go towards public awareness and protecting the rights of vapers. Through the National Vapers Club, supporters and scientists have actively testified at hearings in support of pro-e-cigarette legislation, which has helped them to stay legal and available to users at the national, state, local, and federal levels.

Since it’s beginnings in 2010, Vapefest remains the single longest running event for e-cigarette users in America. It is in this light that the event continues, hosting events annually, funding additional beneficial research, educating people on the facts of electronic cigarettes, and fighting for the rights of vapers.

Tobacco Industry Prepares for Change with Altria’s Purchase of Green Smoke

vaping_jan_036-In recent electronic cigarette news, tobacco giant Altria announced that they purchased the Green Smoke brand through their subsidiary, Nu Mark LLC. At a price approximated at $110 million, with an expected closing sometime in the second quarter, this is major headway for the e-cigarette industry.

While they are not the first tobacco company to expand into the e-cigarette market, the move is significant because they are one of the largest, and Green Smoke is one of the most known brands of alternative tobacco products. What this sale signifies on a larger scale is how big electronic cigarettes are getting, and how much competition they’ve put on the tobacco industry.

Nearly two years ago, in April of 2012, Lorillard expanded into the e-cigarette market, becoming the first tobacco company to do so. They acquired the brand Blu, and set the trend for other tobacco companies to start cutting their losses from smokers switching to e-cigs, by joining the competition.

While there is still plenty of speculation from skeptics in regards to the safety, standards, and research regarding them, time continues to show that consumers trust these products and are fully aware of the facts about e-cigarettes. They have experienced such positive results that they are only furthering the industry and inspiring others to do so. Along these same lines, the impending FDA regulations for e-cigarettes will hopefully prove to be promising, giving further credibility to the industry with quality standards and monitoring for safety.

With big tobacco moving into the e-cigarette market, it only solidifies the strength of alternative cigarettes as an industry. Business predictions slate e-cigarettes to overpass tobacco cigarette sales entirely within the next decade. Smokeless cigarette sales are expected to hit around $1.7 billion this year, so these numbers are quite promising. The recent purchase of Green Smoke only furthers this prediction, as the tobacco industry prepares for an electronic renaissance in the coming years.