Tag Archives: E-Smoking

E-Cigs May Spell the End for Tobacco Bonds

three-cigarettes-on-the-dollar-banknotes

For years now, economists have been seeing signs that traditional tobacco cigarettes are gradually going the way of the dinosaurs—a.k.a. extinct. This downward trend is likely due to the fact that many Americans are discovering that the many harmful side effects of smoking simply aren’t worth the risk.

To solidify this fact, recent data indicates that traditional cigs may actually be in trouble much sooner than anticipated thanks to the fast rising tide of demand for smoking alternatives—the most popular of which is electronic cigs.

Already Endangered

Last month, Reuters published a report saying the first tobacco bond defaults could be right around the corner.

In 1998, Big Tobacco made an agreement between 46 U.S. states essentially stating they would pay compensation each year for additional healthcare costs incurred through smoking. These payments are based on annual cigarette sales and run into the billions of dollars. As a result, the states sold bonds that would keep paying out as long as Big Tobacco made a profit. Up till now, tobacco has been a safe investment.

However, forecasters are warning investors that some tobacco bonds may start defaulting as soon as 2020 since Americans are giving up smoking at a faster rate than previously estimated.

Most bonds were only structured to withstand a 2 to 3 percent annual decline. Yet since 2000, cigarette sales have dropped an annual average of 3.4 percent.

“If the decline goes to 6 or 7 percent, it will be very quick,” said Tom Metzold, portfolio manager at Eaton Vance Investment Managers. “I think that the first [defaults] are probably five years away,” he said.

The Rise of the E-Cig

Meanwhile, as tobacco sales plummet, the e-cig industry is thriving due to a growing number of Americans switching to a less risky and more enjoyable smoking experience.

Currently, electronic cigs only make up a fraction of the market compared to Big Tobacco, but the industry is still so young. Four years ago, e-cigs were a niche subculture for just a handful of hobbyists. But in only a few years, sales of e-cigs have grown to more than $2.2 billion annually and the number of e-cigs sold has skyrocketed from 50,000 units to over 3.5 million by 2012, according to some estimates.

If this trend continues, it won’t be long before electronic cigs take control over a majority share of the market.

“We believe consumption of e-vapor will eclipse consumption of combustible cigs over the next decade as technology improves,” wrote Bonnie Herzog, an analyst at Wells Fargo who has tracked the tobacco industry for years, in a recent report.

In other words, it is an exciting time to be an e-smoker! Learn more about how e-cigs are becoming the new normal and where they might be headed by reading our related article in the Eversmoke Knowledge Center.

If you would like to try out e-cigs for yourself, take a look at our popular electronic cig starter kits today!

Are Vapers Considered Smokers?

The answer could be “yes” in the eyes of many insurance companies and could end up costing you more for premiums.

In an effort to get smokers to drop the habit, insurance companies are taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act bylaw that allows them to charge smokers and other tobacco product users more for the cost of their healthcare. These charges for smokers could be upwards of 50 percent more than a non-smoker pays for their health insurance policy.

But where does this leave e-cigarette users (known as vapers)?

As you may well know, e-cigarettes are battery-operated nicotine inhalers. They have a rechargeable lithium battery, a cartridge (known as a cartomizer) and an LED that simulates the lit end of a tobacco cigarette. These devices contain no tobacco (and cause no combustion); however, the FDA plans to regulate electronic cigarettes in the same ways they do tobacco cigarettes.

Rather than help insurance companies, a change in FDA ruling may end up complicating things further as there is no clear definition under the law of what constitutes a smoker.

Insurance companies could simply lump e-cigarettes with tobacco products—resulting in vapers being subject to higher premiums just like cigarette smokers. On the other hand, insurance companies could decide to cover the cost of e-cigarettes—treating them as a means to help people quit smoking. However, this move seems unlikely since the Affordable Care Act does not specify this action, nor does the FDA allow e-cigarettes to be labeled as such. Moreover, insurance companies could also simply choose to ignore e-cigarettes altogether.

Any changes that will be made on the part of insurance companies probably will not go into effect until the official FDA ruling about e-cigarettes. After that, insurance companies could change any of their current policies to reflect FDA rulings. Until then, most insurance companies claim they have too little experience with e-cigarettes to have an official position.

One problem vapers face, according to Carrie McLean, director of customer care for eHealth (an online health insurance brokerage), is that if they ask “is vaping an e-cig considered tobacco use” insurance agents are obliged to add on a smoking surcharge to their insurance premium. One reason for this is that customers are not asked specifically what kind of tobacco product they use—just whether they use them at all.

Having a clear definition as to whether vaping is considered smoking is important because the insurance premium price difference can be significant.

It’s an important question to settle, as the price differential can be significant.

A typical insurance plan for a 40-year-old non-smoker who has a $35,000 income would cost $3,857 a year after a $532 tax credit. This plan would rise to $5,254 if they’re labeled as a smoker according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s exchange subsidy calculator. The smoker rate increase may end up being greater than the 50 percent the ACA allows since the government tax credits apply to base premiums—not the tobacco surcharge.

This leaves vapers facing higher insurance premiums and it has them fuming.

Eversmoke.com—along with our blog and knowledge center—can allow you to learn about the exciting world of vaping and e-cigarettes. In addition, you can find information regarding e-cigarette laws and regulations. It is important that vapers are familiar with laws regarding e-cigarettes, and we aim to provide them with all the knowledge you need.

Can Vapor Cigarettes Damage the Lungs?

lungs

Many media reports about a University of Athens study from 2012 give the impression that vapor cigarettes cause just as much lung damage as traditional cigarettes do.

These reports in the DailyMail, Bloomberg and Science Daily illustrate the power of headlines to shape perceptions about these revolutionary devices.

While we maintain that vapor cigarettes are likely a safer alternative to “lighting up,” we remain very cautious and understand that long-term research is needed to determine what, if any, effects e-smoking has on the user’s health.

The study these media reports are referring to came from the University of Athens in Greece. The goal according to researchers was to study the short term effects of using a vapor cigarette.

Participants were broken into group – non-smokers, smokers and people with chronic conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Each were asked to use a vapor cigarette for 10 minutes, after which several tests measuring airway resistance were administered, including a spirometry test.

The tests showed that both healthy smokers and non-smokers using the vapor e-cig showed a fairly significant, yet temporary, increase in airway resistance. The participants with asthma or COPD showed no discernable increase.

While some of the media reports and the study’s abstract make the claim that airway resistance translates into lung damage, Dr. Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health says not so fast.

For starters, an increase in airway resistance can happen in a variety of situations, including breathing hot, humid air. Now certainly, smoking a regular cigarette over a long period of time can increase airway inflammation and ultimately lead to lung damage. However, the study results showed a temporary increase, which Dr. Siegel believes is caused by the propylene glycol in the vapor.

Once the irritation is gone, the airways return to normal.

Dr. Siegel also takes issue with media claims that vapor cigarettes lower the level of oxygen in the blood, a condition known as hypoxemia. The study didn’t even measure oxygen levels in the blood. And according to Dr. Siegel, a mild increase in airway resistance doesn’t lead to hypoxemia. If increased airway resistance had this effect, millions of people in Florida and other humid climates would suffer from this condition.

While it is true that more study is needed to determine the long-term effects of vapor cigarettes, we can’t conclusively say that e-smoking harms the lungs, at least in the short-term.

Perhaps the media took the abstract’s title and ran with it since the findings clearly demonstrate a temporary increase in airway resistance. But as Dr. Siegel points out, this doesn’t necessarily translate into lung damage.

We invite you to continue browsing our e-smoking blog and knowledge center, or click on over to our main site to learn more about vapor cigarettes today!

Making E-cigarettes Work for the Garden State

New Jersey governor Chris Christie proposes to reduce the state’s budget through taxes on green cigarettes

NY state seal

Taxation for e-cigarettes and accessories is not a new concept. In fact, a chance of high percentage taxes has been a hot button topic among vapers in the years ahead. Until recently though, there has been no mention of where this tax money would go.

In an effort to help reduce New Jersey’s $1.06 billion budget shortfall, Governor Chris Christie has proposed a new tax on e-cigarettes. It is estimated that by taxing green cigarettes, New Jersey could raise $35 million dollars in annual revenue. Under Christie’s plan, this revenue would be put toward general spending.

While New Jersey State Treasurer, Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, told the Senate budget committee the motivation for the proposed tax on e-cigarettes was for public health concerns, the taxation proposal, it would seem, is less about green cigarettes (or those who use the devices) and more about finding ways to close the budget gap.

However, as of April 1, New Jersey joined other states across the nation in treating e-cigarettes as equivalent to tobacco cigarettes (i.e. restricting sales to minors and smoke-free air laws).

E-cigarette taxes are not the only revenue New Jersey brings in from a nicotine delivery system – the sate brings in considerable revenue from tobacco sales, along with and payouts from the 1998 settlement for healthcare expenses from cigarette companies—estimated to be $947.2 million this year alone.

Even though money from the settlement is applied as general revenue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that New Jersey and other states spend more funds on tobacco cessation programs.

No state has allocated the full amount that the CDC recommends for tobacco cessation programs. In 2003, New Jersey spent roughly $30 million dollars on tobacco-related funding (leaning on the public’s efforts to quit) including counseling and nicotine-replacement therapy. This figure has dropped to about $1.6 million.

According to the CDC, cigarette smoking causes about one in five of 480,000 annual U.S. deaths. Moreover, 10,000-plus New Jerseyans die every year because of tobacco-related illness.

Find information regarding laws and regulations and general e-cig news by checking our blog and knowledge center. It is important that vapers with what’s going on with green cigarettes. We aim to provide all the information you need to make a decision.

The Best and Worst Hiding Places for Your E-Cigs

hiding an e-cigIs this really a topic we need to discuss?  Absolutely!  Maybe you have been enjoying your e-cig or are thinking of investing in one and other people may have a real curiosity about your purchase as well.

Therefore, we suggest you keep this most valued possession under lock and key.

Once you begin to enjoy vaping, we believe you will feel it is of extreme value as well.  It is priority for you to know where it is at all times but for others to not know!  This “others” can include adults, kids and even pets.

Best Places for Hiding

  • In a pillow case!  Why not?  It keeps dust and other particles off of your device.
  • Continue reading

Powering the Vaping World

Information about lithium-ion batteries and their usage in today’s techy world

In 1997, developers released a new battery that rather than using a liquid solvent to conduct a charge (like the nickel-metal hydride battery (NiMH), they used a solid polymer composite instead.

The Workings of Lithium-ion Batteries

In addition to using solid polymer composite, the electrodes and separators that generate the charge in a lithium-ion battery are laminated to each other. This allows for a flexible wrapping casing rather than a typical metal casing.

For this reason, shaping lithium-ion batteries to specific devices is easy, which eliminates the need for one size-fits all battery.

What Lithium-ion Batteries Power

Pretty much all of the devices we use today use lithium-ion batteries for a power source—including (but not limited to):

  • Portable devices
    • For example: mobile and smartphones, laptops and tablets, digital cameras and camcorders, handheld game consoles and flashlights and most e-cigarettes on the market (including EverSmoke)
  • Continue reading

Electronic Cigarette Etiquette

While vaping isn’t exactly new, many people still don’t know much about them. And most of the time, we are afraid of what we don’t know.

There is an amount of responsibility that comes with vaping outside of your home. At the very least, you will likely be introducing many spectators to their first live electronic cigarette. What they take away from the event is largely based on your actions.

We hate stereotyping, but it doesn’t stop us from naturally forming overall opinions based on a single interaction. Veteran vapers are well-versed in using their devices in public without causing a commotion or imposing on others’ rights.

If you are new to the world of vaping, here are some basic rules of etiquette of where you should NOT vape:

  • In any type of health care facility
  • In banks, grocery stores, or retail locations
  • Near children at family events
  • Where people can see you on planes, trains, or subways

Use Discretion

Vaping can require some covertness. You don’t need to walk down the aisles of Wal-Mart showing off and advertising the use of your device.  It’s called stealth vaping.

It’s quick and easy to make a pit stop at the restroom or corner of the room for a few puffs.  Some vapers are so slick they can position their device in the palm of their hand such that it isn’t noticeable when they use it.

Educate Yourself

Since you are somewhat of an ambassador for electronic cigarettes when you use them in public, it is highly advisable to learn as much as you can about these devices.

First, you want to be able to call someone on their erroneous statements and set the record straight. Once you know a bit about them, it is your job to nicely educate others who know nothing of what they speak.

Respect Others

Don’t get on a soap-box about e-cigs with everyone you meet; just keep people straight with honest responses and accurate information. Others have a right to disagree.

Show consideration for others by asking before you begin vaping. Chances are most people won’t object, but they will definitely appreciate being asked. It’s also a great way to start a conversation about e-cigs since many people are curious and want to know more about these amazing devices.

Set Good Examples

It all comes down to setting a good example. Remember, people unfamiliar with electronic cigarettes (http://www.eversmoke.com/electronic-cigarettes.html) will use you as their example of a typical vaper, so be mindful of other and polite. For example, if someone asks you politely to put your e-cig out, politely do so. It’s the right thing to do when you’re in public.

We invite you to check out our latest knowledge center article, E-Cig Etiquette: Tips for Vapor Smokers, to better understand the proper places and ways to enjoy your electronic cigarette.

Money Makes the (E-Cigarette) World Go ‘Round

sales' tax

What states are looking to tax e-cigarettes and what the vaping community can expect from taxation.

The regulations surrounding smokeless cigarettes are a hot-button topic currently involved on many state (and federal) legislatures. One such item of contention is whether e-cigarettes will be treated like tobacco cigarettes. This includes banning their use in public places and levying taxes on their sale.

The forerunner amongst states taxing electronic cigarettes is Minnesota – however, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Washington are all considering taxing smokeless cigarettes and accessories. The taxes levied would be anywhere from 20-95%.

Given the odds, each state in the U.S. will eventually debate whether to levy special taxes on e-cigarettes…

Smokeless cigarette taxes would bring in high revenues from their sales. For example, Minnesota’s Department of Revenue estimates that tobacco sales taxes will bring in $1.16 billion during the 2014-2015 fiscal year—which makes taxing attractive with many states still in economic woes.

Wells Fargo states that current sales of electronic cigarettes are around $2 billion annually – however, Wells Fargo suggests that the worldwide profits from the sale of electronic cigarettes may exceed $10 billion by 2017.

Problems with Taxing Smokeless Cigarettes

While the added money that e-cigarette taxes would bring in could help the economy, taxation does come with some problems—mostly in the form of opposition from those affected by the taxes. Heavy taxes would cripple small businesses who specialize in vaping products. Another problem that could arise from taxing e-cigarettes is backlash from the vaping community.

One example of a city that is imposing a high tax on smokeless cigarettes and accessories is Olympia, Washington. The Olympia House approved a 75% tax. However, the committee is looking to amend the bill. This amendment would raise taxes on a $10 bottle of e-liquid to $20. This level of taxation is double what the state levies on marijuana, alcohol, and (in some cases) tobacco cigarettes.

After all is said and done, this proposed raise in smokeless cigarette tax could bring $35 million a year to the city of Olympia.

Current vapers can keep themselves informed on the changing laws surrounding the world of vaping by checking our blog. And for more in-depth analysis on e-cigarettes and taxes, we invite you to read Taxing Smokeless Cigarettes in our knowledge center today.

And if you’re ready to consider a new alternative way of getting the nicotine your body craves, click on over to EverSmoke’s main site for more about smokeless cigarettes.

10 Best Ever Electric Cigarette Quotes

For such a small and simple device, electric cigarettes get a great deal of attention. Unfortunately, much of the attention is negative.

News about e-cigs, whether positive or negative, seems to pop-up daily. Some of the news explores different legislative and regulatory activity (…some good, some bad), while other news discusses research and social studies.

With such an interconnected world, it’s easy to see how different opinions about a given topic can get out there.

Here’s a taste of some of the top e-cig quotes found in the article Quotes from the Experts: a selection of quotes from the world’s most renowned experts in public health and tobacco issues.

  1.  “E-cigarettes deliver the same nicotine found in the pharmaceutical products, with no more contamination by toxic substances than the pharmaceutical products already approved by FDA.” By Dr. Joel Nitzkin, Chair, Tobacco Control Task Force, American Association of Public Health Physicians.
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More Cities Proposing to Ban E-Cigs

cities proposing to ban e-cigs

What’s eating Gilbert Ross, the Medical and Executive Director of the American Council on Science and Health and an M.D.? Apparently, it’s lawmakers and mayors in a number of major U.S. cities who are blindly jumping on the bandwagon to restrict the use of e-cigarettes.

In his Forbes’ article entitled, “Big U.S. Cities Foment Baseless, Superstitious Fear of Electronic Cigarettes,” Dr. Ross calls out city and state officials who are giving into bullying and propagating irrational fear because of pressure from other big cities.

“Whatever became of urban sophistication, especially on matters scientific and technological?” said Ross, who goes on to liken the craze to a witch hunt—with e-cigs being burned.

According to Ross, at first the Chicago City Council held strong against the demands of Mayor Rahm Emanueal, who was on a mission to ban public e-cig use last December. However, a month later, the Council caved into the Mayor’s bullying and forced e-smokers to stand out in the cold with tobacco cigarette smokers.

This move left Dr. Ross fuming:

Agenda-driven and conflicted opponents cry, “Regulate e-cigs!” They mean to regulate them off the market and into the hands of Big Tobacco. I say, Yes, regulate them, by all means: age restrictions, ingredient labels, and good manufacturing practices all need to be mandated. But making e-cigs inaccessible for desperate smokers by inane restrictions will send this message: “Keep on smoking.”

To those who say, “We just don’t know what might happen,” I respond, we sure do know what happens with the real ones: almost half a million dead American smokers every year.

Thus far, three major cities have established measures to include e-cigs in their public bans, starting with New York last December. Chicago followed suit shortly after by approving a proposal to ban e-cig use in indoor public areas like offices and within a certain distance of building entrances.

Now, the latest news out of L.A. indicates that the trend to restrict e-smoking has hit the west coast as well. A committee on the Los Angeles City Council is currently drafting a proposal to ban e-cigs in public places—including parks, recreational areas, farmer’s markets, beaches, bars, nightclubs and outdoor dining areas. Interestingly, vaping lounges and movie sets would be exempt from the proposed ban (much to Leonardo DiCaprio’s relief, undoubtedly).

To oppose the e-cig restrictions being discussed in L.A., or any other city for that matter, we encourage you to voice your concerns by calling your City Council Representative and telling them how e-smoking has affected your life.

And be sure to visit our E-Cig Resource Center to learn about the latest e-cig legislation.