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Thursday, October 30, 2014

E-cigarettes are a gateway to what?

Time for another outlandish and ridiculous claim about e-cigarettes, this time from Genesee

County and you’ll never guess what e-cigarettes are a gateway to now.

Jennifer Zambito is the assistant director for prevention at Genesee/Orleans Council on

Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. She was invited to take part in a panel discussing e-

cigarettes held at Batavia High School. Zambito declared that one of the problems with e-

cigarettes (we’re sure she can think of quite a few) was the fact that the nicotine contained

can be replaced with other substances. “You can put anything in these,” she said. “You

can crush a prescription pill. It’s a gateway to heroin. Heroin is a huge problem in Genesee

County.”

Not many people can follow a sentence discussing prescription pills with one mentioning

heroin. It’s a claim though that has nothing to do with the e-cigarette industry. If someone

wants to replace the nicotine with some other substance then that is entirely down to them.

You’ll never find any e-cigarette company saying if you don’t fancy using nicotine, then stick

a bit of heroin in instead. If Genesee County does have a “huge problem” with heroin, then

perhaps Zambito should be spending more time trying to reduce that problem rather than

getting worked up over the e-cigarette industry.

Batavia High School has already dealt with the problem by prohibiting the use or possession

of e-cigarettes or other smoking materials. The school is also trying to raise awareness

among parents as well as youngsters who might want to use them. Bringing somebody in

who tells parents that e-cigarettes can be a gateway to heroin isn’t the cleverest example of

awareness ever seen.

It appears that some of the students attending the High School have been using a variety of

methods to smuggle e-cigarettes into the school. This includes ceiling tiles, spandex shorts,

fake water bottles and even bras. It seems children these days are just as clever at hiding

banned items as I was when at school many years ago. To think some of the teachers at

our school actually thought it was lemonade in those bottles! Again though this behaviour is

not the fault of the e-cigarette industry is it?

I particularly loved the fact that the article reporting the panel included this sentence:

“Raised awareness is important, and so is valid information.” Well perhaps they should

spend more time reading this website and taking in the positive information about e-

cigarettes and all the studies held. Or perhaps they’d rather just listen to someone who links

e-cigarettes with heroin use which doesn’t really help anyone.


What is important here though is that it isn’t right to criticize any product when it’s not being

used for its actual purpose. If the school has a problem with its students using illegal drugs

then they should be sorting that issue out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The dangers of taxing e-cigarettes

Every week there seems to be moves made against the e-cigarette industry but perhaps the biggest danger is lurking just around the corner.  However much health officials may be way of e-cigarettes there are other lawmakers out there rubbing their hands with glee as they plan to tax the product.

That’s what could be on the horizon in Arizona as the e-cigarette industry may find itself being used a pawn to help plug a $1b budget shortfall.  State Democratic Rep. Stefanie Mach of Tucson, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, says:  "It's one option of many that we should look at the Legislature. It certainly isn't going to come close to the amount of money that we need to make up the deficit, but any little bit helps."
“Any little bit helps”, charming isn’t it?  Politicians make a right mess of the economy and expect others to dig them out of trouble without any regard for the damage it may cause. Two states have already enacted ‘sin taxes’ on e-cigarettes while the good old FDA still haven’t worked out how to categorize and regulate the product. 

Not every politician is in favour of taxing e-cigarettes though.  Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, of Fountain Hills, said taxing e-cigarettes could discourage people from using them in an effort to quit smoking:  “The e-cigarettes, I am told, are not nearly as damaging to the body as tobacco is, and part of the reasoning for the tobacco tax is to compensate society for the additional costs in medical care that smokers cause."
Taxation on e-cigarettes isn’t anything to do with how healthy they are for people. It’s all down to cash because the industry is doing well financially and the politicians want a slice of the pie for themselves.

Tobacco cigarettes have taxes of around $2 a pack, some kind of taxation on e-cigarettes is perhaps inevitable but there’s no reason for it to be as high as that for tobacco.  That’s a view shared by Ben Denny who works at the vape shop ‘Butt Out’ in Phoenix. He says: “Nobody serious is even getting close to claiming that (e-cigarettes) do similar harm (as smoking tobacco), so by attempting to tax them the same way, lawmakers are making a claim nobody else is making. And really, they're just saying they want to bring in more money.”


But when there are interviews with people like Palm Beach Vapors founder Chip Paul, the legislators will be even keener on taxing e-cigarettes. He’s compared thegrowth of the e-cigarette business to the boom in coffee shops that took place in the 1990s.  “Coffee shops started out as mom and pop businesses. We’re really just growing like crazy.”  Paul now has two corporate stores and 13 franchise locations with more on their way.  That noise you can possibly hear is legislators rubbing their hands together just waiting for the millions of dollars tax revenue the e-cigarette industry can provide them.  

Of course another reason the legislators want to tax e-cigarettes is because you don’t always need a crystal ball to predict the future.  If more and more people switch from smoking to vaping that will affect the amount of taxation received from tobacco cigarettes.  So the e-cigarette industry could well become a victim of its own success. 

But any taxation has to be fair and legislators have to accept that e-cigarettes can save lives by stopping people smoking.  Don’t deter those people from making the switch by increasing the price of the product.  What is more important?  Cutting deficits or cutting the number of people dying because they use tobacco cigarettes?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Somebody tell Harford the truth about Vaping


Our around the States tour of county’s doing their best to disrupt the e-cigarette industry arrives in Harford County.   Local health officials have warned residents that e-cigarettes are just as bad as tobacco cigarettes.  So just how have they arrived at this ludicrous conclusion?
Susan Kelly is the director of the Harford county health department, and recently told the County Council of the worries the health department has over e-cigarettes.  Despite the many statements from studies that have taken place around the world, none seem to have made their way to Harford County.  Their tobacco work group is busily distributing fliers and other ‘information’ that fights the claims that vaping is safer, more socially accepted than smoking, nicotine-free and can help people give up smoking.
Susan isn’t the only one in Harford County who doesn’t quite know what she’s talking about. Vickie Ensor Bands leads community outreach for Upper Chesapeake Health and is also a critic of the e-cigarette industry. Her work group is recommending that e-cigarettes be treated like any tobacco product and be banned from being used indoors in public places.
One of the fliers being distributed around Harford County states that just one tablespoon of e-liquid can kill a 65-pound child.  Well that’s a horrible thought but the e-cigarette industry doesn’t target children at all, let alone those weighing just 65 pounds. Nor do they suggest that these children tuck into a tablespoon of e-liquid. If they do get hold of the e-liquid and consume it, then that’s what is commonly called an accident. 
Ensor Bands is concerned about the number of middle-school and high-school students who are using e-cigarettes.  We’re sure she would be a lot more concerned if those students were using tobacco cigarettes and setting out on a path of addiction that will lead to serious illness in the future.
"We really felt it was important for folks to really have the education and information out there," Ensor Bands said.   That’s ok but I suppose the quality and accuracy of the education and information is more important.
Time for Ensor to show her total ignorance on the subject of e-cigarettes with this ridiculous comment:  "There has not been a lot of science and research done.”  Now that really is a scandalous comment to come from someone who holds such an important position.  Does she not read the journal ‘Addiction’ that has published the results of several studies into e-cigarettes?
How about the comments of Professor Robert West from the University College of London speaking after the publication of a positive study into e-cigarettes: “You have to be a bit crazy to carry on smoking conventional cigarettes when there are e-cigarettes available. The vapor contains nothing like the concentrations of carcinogens and toxins as cigarette smoke. In fact, concentrations are almost all well below a twentieth of cigarettes." 

That’s the study that claimed that thousands and thousands of lives would be saved if people gave up smoking tobacco and started using e-cigarettes.  Perhaps that should be on one of the fliers in Harford County.
Or how about the comments of Dr. Gary Blume from Care Now in Deltoa? He says the signs of e-cigarettes helping people stop smoking are promising. He’d rather see people using e-cigarettes than continuing to smoke tobacco and concerning the bans that keep getting imposed, he says: “Personally, if I had to make the decision, I would not outlaw it. As a doctor, at this moment, the pros outweigh the cons.

There are lots more positive evidence like that which health officials in Harford County continue to ignore, that’s if they know about it at all.
Bands continued to show how little her work group knows by adding that its members “recommend they certainly not be used and that they be considered as a regular tobacco product.”  Perhaps this work group should sp nend more time researching the subject rather than being given just one side of the story.  Surely someone has the guts in that group to ask why a product that doesn’t contain tobacco should be considered a regular tobacco product?
Back to the views of Susan Kelly who says that the county showed “a lot of forethought” when including e-cigarettes in its no-smoking policy on government property two years ago. Perhaps the county actually shows a lot of ignorance in trying to put obstacles in front of a product that is helping people stop smoking and is safer than using tobacco. But with people like Kelly and Bands around that’s not going to happen is it?

Monday, October 27, 2014

E-Cigarette Industry grows despite restrictions


It seems that not a week goes by without some area of the USA imposing restrictions on e-cigarettes. But just how are these obstacles that are being erected affecting the industry?
In August of this year, Tempe became the first city in Arizona to see an ordinance passed that restricted the use of e-cigarettes in public places.  The restrictions include bars and restaurants but it seems the new rules aren’t slowing down the e-cigarette industry.
Carl Dewberry runs the e-cigarette shop Valor Vapor and his business isn’t slowing down at all, in fact he’s due to be opening a second shop soon.  It’s not all good news though because Dewberry and other owners of e-cigarette businesses realize that the negative publicity that is continually coming out of the media may have long-term effects on the industry and their livelihoods.
Dewberry says of the negative publicity: “What we worry about is it sends the wrong message to people. We are trying to brand a healthier alternative of living here.”  That’s the sad side of the current situation because critics keep attacking e-cigarettes without having full knowledge of the subject. They also fail to mention any positive comments made by health studies and cause potential damage to a product that can really help people.
Ask anyone who owns a shop selling e-cigarettes and they’ll have stories to tell about how their products have helped people give up smoking tobacco cigarettes and how the product is a better alternative health wise. Carl Dewberry is most definitely no exception to the rule.  “I have people come in every day that tell me how much their life has improved,” he said. “It really backs what we’re doing here.”
Lee Phemister also owns an e-cigarette shop in Tempe. The owner of Synergy Vapor Labs knows just how beneficial e-cigarettes can be in stopping people smoking. He was a smoker himself for 25 years but hasn’t had one since he turned to vaping.
“I know that it works, and I can tell from my own personal health that it is,” he said. “I see it as a benefit to the community, so to see it frowned upon or banned or regulated in a way that restricts access or the freedom to use the product is never good for business.”
There are plenty more stories like that but still the criticism and disbelief remains. Take for example the comments of Nicole Olmstead, government relations direction for the American Heart Association in Arizona.  You could line up hundreds of ex-smokers to tell her how they used e-cigarettes to kick their life-threatening habit, but she just wouldn’t listen to them.  You see she says that “all of those stories are anecdotal.”  Well actually they’re the truth Nicole.  She continues “There’s no solid, scientific evidence that shows that those products are cessation products.” That is of course total rubbish from Nicole.  We all know that if there were hundreds of anecdotal stories that said e-cigarettes didn’t stop me smoking, she’d soon be telling the media all about them.
Her views aren’t shared by ASHLine, a helpline in Arizona that works with smokers wanting to kick the habit. Dr Cyndi Thompson is Director of the helpline and says they have received over 300 calls from people wanting to use e-cigarettes as a way of giving up smoking. She says that their policy is to work with such people and provide them with the necessary coaching.

Perhaps Olmstead hasn’t read a study by the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, partly funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which stated that allowing e-cigarettes to compete with regular cigarettes might cut tobacco-related deaths and illness.
Thomas Eissenberg, co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at the university says “Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes and are considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use."  The new study concluded that the benefits of e-cigarettes as a no-smoking aid outweigh potential harms.  

Kevin Kim is the co-owner of Haus of Vapors in Tempe and he believes that it should be the business owners not the politicians making the decisions over where e-cigarettes can be used saying: “I think at the end of the day, if you’re at a bar and it’s vape friendly (and) people there don’t mind, I think it should be allowed at the owner’s consent.”
Natalie Higgins, who runs Valor Vapor with Carl Dewberry sees the ordinance affecting those who want to switch to vaping.  She’s concerned that vapers now have to go into the same area as smokers and says “it’s acted almost as a deterrent for people to want to quit smoking.”
But despite all the restrictions the e-cigarette industry continues to prosper. Just why that is the case is summed up by Carl Dewberry:  “People are always going to want to find that healthier alternative, and we’re here now, and the success stories are abound,” he said. “It’s only natural that in the 21st century in the age of technology that we find a better alternative technology base for smoking.”

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How can a health official be so ignorant about vaping?

We head to Billings today to study some articles published online by the Billings Gazette. In

particular our attention is turned on the writings of Claire Oakley who needs to read a little bit

more about the subject of e-cigarettes methinks.

Oakley is the Director of Population Health Services at Riverstone Health and isn’t too happy

about the fact there have been several vape shops opening in Billings lately. Whether or not

she’s actually visited any of them is extremely doubtful which is a shame really. Because as

you’ll learn if she had then her article might be a lot more informed than it actually is.


The Yellowstone County Health Department is concerned about “glamorizing e-cigarettes”

and you just know what’s coming next don’t you? Yes we’re back to the discussion about

the number of adolescents who are using e-cigarettes. That’s youngsters’ vaping rather

than using the tobacco cigarettes that will lead to serious health problems in their future.

Oakley alleges that “Tobacco and e-cigarette marketing targets youth by using celebrity role

models, social media and flavors like cherry crush and bubble gum.” Now we’ve all heard

this plenty of times before but sadly the writer of this article has made a disastrous error. You

see, she may well be pleased that the Billings Gazette has allowed her to write an article on

the subject of e-cigarettes but she hasn’t read their previous writings on the subject, so let’s

tell her what she’s missed out on.

Recently the Billings Gazette included an article about Kevin Erickson who has opened

Montana Vapor Outlet in Billings, one of several to open in the area. Now his store just

happens to include over 170 flavors of e-cigarettes, some of which have racy names such

as ‘Come Hither’ and ‘XXX.’ Other flavors include those that the critics of the e-cigarette

industry believe exist in order to attract youngsters.

Now all these flavors will cheer up Claire Oakley and she’ll claim they back up her concerns.

However, that is most definitely not the case and if she’d bothered to do some research and

read the article or actually visit the Montana Vapor Outlet she’d know that. You see there’s a

sign outside the store that bans children younger than 18 from even entering the building let

alone buying the products. Erickson told the Billings Gazette that he doesn’t want children

trying his product and added that he used e-cigarettes to successfully quit smoking.

There’s one more piece of information that Claire really should take note of. It states

“customers can choose how much nicotine they want to add, or none at all.” You can’t do

that with tobacco cigarettes can you?



Now one thing I really hate health officials doing is using the word ‘may.’ It doesn’t actually

mean anything does it? I may get run over running for the bus tomorrow but it doesn’t mean

I actually will does it? So Oakley pleases me even less when she writes: “For young people,

e-cigarettes may prove to be a gateway to other tobacco products.”

One question for Oakley, where’s the evidence of that claim and if it exists then why didn’t

you tell your readers all the interesting details? It really isn’t good enough.

It gets worse though because this health official then starts to discuss the possible dangers

of e-cigarettes. She just had to mention that they contain glycols which are most commonly

found in anti-freeze and the fog used in theaters. But even the FDA has said that they aren’t

dangerous.

Can it get any worse? Sadly it can because Oakley claims that ‘advocates of vaping make

the unproven claim that e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco and may help smokers to quit.”

Unproven? Just what does this woman read on the web because if she read this website

she’d know there are plenty of studies that say e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco and even

more that say it can help people quit smoking.

Has Oakley ever heard of the University College of London study that spoke so positively

about e-cigarettes? It was published in the journal ‘Addiction’, perhaps she should start

reading that too. Lead author Professor Ann McNeill from the National Addiction Centre

at King’s College London wrote of e-cigarettes: “what we do know is that they are much

safer than tobacco cigarettes, which kill over six million people a year worldwide.”

As for the claim about e-cigarettes being a gateway to smoking tobacco. Gregory Conley,

President of the American Vaping Association has commented: “There is no evidence e-

cigarettes are gateways to smoking, and in fact, for millions of Americans they are anti-

tobacco protects.”


Reaction to Oakley’s article hasn’t been that complimentary. ‘The Vapeorium’ wrote on the

Billings Gazette site that “whoever wrote this article should be fired for incompetence.” Also

commenting was ‘Greg Dj-g’ who described the article as “a bunch of dis-information” and

criticizing Oakley for “the normal scare tactic of ‘used in anti-freeze” concluding the article

was nothing but “horrible journalism and scare mongering.”

It’s disappointing that there are people in well paid positions who can’t sit down and do

some research before writing an article. How anyone can write on the subject of e-cigarettes

without referring to the large number of positive comments is beyond me. Or perhaps they’re

just so biased towards the topic they don’t even bother to look for anything positive.

Perhaps more disappointing is the fact the article was published at all. The site has featured

many articles on the subject so why did they publish an article that contained so many errors

and showed such an ignorance of the subject.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No Accidents in how the Media Covers E-Cigarettes

It seems that critics of e-cigarettes will stop at nothing to criticize the product. They even

resort to using accidents as an opportunity to create trouble for the growing industry.

 In the States a big worry is children becoming ill after becoming exposed to e-liquids.

National statistics have reported that more than 2,700 people have reported exposure to

liquid nicotine with over half of those cases in children younger than 6.

An article reporting this had of course to mention the overused argument that e-cigarettes

come in “brightly colored reflll packages and an array of candy flavors that can make it

attractive to young children”

They fail to mention of course that e-cigarette companies don’t sell to under-18s, let alone

those under the age of eight. As for the color of the refill packages, what company in the

world wants their product to be placed in dull and uninteresting packaging?

Headlines such as: “More kids poisoned by liquid nicotine for e-cigarettes” are suitably

dramatic and designed to make the e-cigarette industry look far more dangerous than

it actually is. But the key to the problem is answered by Ashley Webb, director of the

Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center who says: ““With kids, the exposure we're seeing

is usually parents or family members leave out refill bottles that they try and open.

So there’s the answer, it’s not a question of e-cigarettes being aimed at young children and

causing serious problems. It’s more the fact that people are being incompetent and leaving

their refill bottles where children can get hold of them. Figures show that the number of

liquid nicotine exposures is still less than half of traditional cigarettes.

While Robert Bassett, a medical toxicologist in Philadelphia, says e-liquid is potentially

more toxic because it’s in bottles, it simply shows that anyone who has e-liquid needs to

adequately look after it. There are calls for child-resistant caps and many manufacturers

have already begun using these, so hopefully the industry will look after itself.


Meanwhile the Men’s Fitness website came up with one of the most ridiculous statements 

of the year. They wrote: “Conventional tobacco-packed cigarettes are starting to look safer

than their electronic alternatives.” Absolute garbage of course and we’ll do our best to prove

that.

Now that crazy sentence was actually followed by one that said: “Kicking your Camels to the

curb in favour of e-cigarettes may provide a “healthier” nicotine buzz” which isn’t too bad a

comment really. The focus of the article though was to report an accident, because that’s

what it was, that recently happened in the UK.

David Aspinall from Wigan, England, was using an e-cigarette when it overheated, exploded

and impaled his legs with shards of metal. He now needs skin grafts to repair the damage.

But this was simply an accident as the store that sold Aspinall the e-cigarette blame faulty

batteries for the explosion. The same incident could happen with any product that needs

a battery but it gives the critics a great chance to criticize the product which of course they

gleefully take with open arms.

Their article ended with this sentence: “Word of advice: nix the bad habit altogether. Cancer

and dismemberment aren’t pleasurable for anyone.” We’re pretty sure the number of

dismemberments among e-cigarette users isn’t going to rise anytime soon and if it does, well

it’ll be down to a probably avoidable accident.


The Mirror website reported that Aspinall has now stopped using e-cigarettes and returned

to smoking tobacco as he thinks they are “safer”. His lungs and other vital organs may

decide in time to disagree with that opinion.


They also decided to dig up another accident which sadly saw a man die after an e-cigarette 

exploded and set fire to an oxygen container. It gave the press another chance to link

the industry with scandal but there was more to the story than any danger presented by e-

cigarettes. A fire brigade spokesman revealed that the deceased was using a charger that

was not the one supplied with the e-cigarette. He added: “We urge people to always use

electrical equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s instruction and guidance.”

It was an unfortunate accident but no reason to scandalize the e-cigarette industry. If the

product is used properly and the equipment is not faulty then there’s no problem using e-

cigarettes.

Properly used and maintained e-cigarettes certainly don’t possess the same damaging

results that can be achieved by discarded tobacco cigarettes. There are always concerns

about the number of fires that are caused that way.



The reporting of accidents linked to e-cigarettes is another typical example of how the media

is dealing with the industry. They love a scandal and even if it’s proved the incident was a

total accident some publications just don’t care. It’s just another chance to moan about one

of their favourite targets.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

E-Cigarettes selling at Local Pharmacies?

What do you expect to see in your local pharmacy? Obviously you’ll expect to see plenty

of medicines but a new poll has come out in favour of e-cigarettes being stocked by

pharmacies.

The poll was carried out by no less than The Pharmaceutical Journal with more than half

of those questioned coming out in favour of the move. So exactly how did they come to a

conclusion that’s hardly going to please the FDA, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and

all the others who love to criticize the e-cigarette industry.

Of 544 people who took part in the online poll, 46.1% said that e-cigarettes should be

available from pharmacies because they were a “safer option for smokers.” A further 7.1%

felt that those being stocked would allow pharmacists to have “new opportunities to offer

smoking advice.”

That’s a view that certainly won’t go down well with the WHO after their report in August of

this year. They spoke out against e-cigarette manufacturers from marketing their products as

“smoking cessation aids” until robust scientific evidence backing up this claim is produced.

Their report claimed there had only been “anecdotal reports” and only a few studies had

examined whether their use “is an effective method for quitting tobacco smoking.”



But there is plenty of evidence that e-cigarettes can help tobacco smokers give up their

deadly habit. A report by the Smoking Toolkit Study this year showed exactly that. More

people are using e-cigarettes to get them off smoking tobacco and “may be contributing to a

reduction in smoking prevalence through increased success at quitting smoking.”



Nearly 20% of those surveyed weren’t sure whether e-cigarettes should be stocked in

pharmacies. Reasons given included 15% believing e-cigarettes should be regulated as

medicines and 3.8% were concerned about the fact the products were linked with tobacco

companies. That latter worry shouldn’t really have too much influence. Tobacco companies

only want a piece of the e-cigarette pie because they smell profits in the air and decreasing

sales in the long-run of their tobacco products.

Out of 544 people asked, there were 146 who were against the stocking of e-cigarettes in 

pharmacies. Reasons given included a preference for a licensed stop-smoking product to be

offered and a belief that smoking related “lifestyle products” shouldn’t be in a pharmacy.



The selling of e-cigarettes in pharmacies is nothing new. Boots started selling them in

February of this year. A spokesperson said the move came after they had listened to

their customers and as a result now knows that “many people are looking for access to

an alternative to smoking, such as e- cigarettes.”

As long as advice is given about e-cigarettes then the product certainly has a place in

pharmacies. Anything that can help stop people smoking has to be promoted so hopefully

this poll will show that it fully deserves its place.

Monday, October 20, 2014

They Hate E-Cigarettes, but love tax revenue!

Critics continually moan about e-cigarettes but some can’t wait to see them adding important

tax revenues as soon as possible.

That’s definitely the case in Philadelphia who is looking forward to enjoying making money

out of people’s addiction to tobacco cigarettes. They recently enacted a $2-per-pack tobacco

cigarette tax and now City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown wants that aimed at e-

cigarettes too. She wants a $2 tax on e-cigarettes and a $0.50 tax per millimeter of e-liquids

(not exceeding $5 a transaction) with the levy going to the underfunded Philadelphia school

district. “Every penny counts” says Brown, who adds: “We have to think outside the box and

come up with new reoccurring revenue streams.”

Worryingly an e-cigarette tax would not need state approval because the city is allowed to

tax items that the state doesn’t already regulate and tax. Just how much additional revenue

would be raised hasn’t been confirmed. Brown’s office said they didn’t have that information;

they were probably still counting up the amount they can make out of the rapidly increasing

e-cigarette industry.

Brown knows what she’s talking about though because she says that the taxation of e-

cigarettes is an untapped resource. “Sales [of e-cigarettes] are exponentially growing. We

need to capitalize on that, especially knowing our school district is not being funded at

appropriate levels."

So are e-cigarettes going to be the fall guy here simply because politicians can’t adequate

fund school districts?

The taxation of e-cigarettes looks to be a sad inevitability. No politician is going to miss out

on the fact that sales of the product have grown from $20m in 2008 to $1.5b this year. They

may complain till the cows come home about e-cigarettes but the chance of using them to

increase tax revenues is going to be too good to miss.

Another important fact is of course the fact that e-cigarettes are such a great product. They

are safer to use than tobacco cigarettes and can help smokers give up the habit of inhaling

poisons galore. If the e-cigarette continues to grow and less people smoke then that means

potentially less tax revenue from tobacco cigarettes, so the gap in revenues has to come

from somewhere and no prizes for guessing where. Already Minnesota and North Carolina

tax e-cigarettes so the floodgates may well be open already.

So the school district gets some extra cash but how would the planned taxation affect the

e-cigarette industry and its users? Considering the fact the e-cigarettes can provide the

service of helping people to live healthier lives should it be penalised? Surely the fact is

that if e-cigarettes are taxed then people will be less willing to purchase them and more than

likely carry on smoking.

Ray Ros is general manager of Love Vape on South Street, Philadelphia. He says of the

planned changes: “This would really hurt our business. We make most of our money in the

[nicotine] juices." He adds that the recent increase in taxation on tobacco cigarettes has

seen a slight increase in smokers moving to e-cigarettes. Tax on e-cigarettes “might drive

people back to smoking cigarettes.”

The School Reform Commission would have to approve any decision and so far they are in

favour of accepting the massive cash injection. “Any revenue opportunity that is supported

by City Council, we will pursue” said SRC Chairman Bill Green.

Also supporting the move is the beautifully named Mayor Nutter (not sure about his politics

so I can’t confirm if he’s a Right Nutter). That’s no surprise as Nutter has already signed

bills outlawing the sale of e-cigarettes to minors within the city and the banning of vaping in

workplaces, bars, restaurants and other public areas. With this Nutter in charge the future

for e-cigarettes looks difficult in Philadelphia.


So let’s try and work this one out. All the time we hear deserved criticism of tobacco

cigarettes (apart from the tax revenue they provide) and along comes a product that is

cutting the numbers smoking. What do the politicians do? They reach out their tax hungry

hands and try to get some money out of e-cigarettes and as a result stop people switching to

a safer product. Not very logical is it?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ashland Ignores Pro-Vaping Comments

It’s almost like a USA tour and this week we arrive in Ashland where its Board of Health

approved new regulations this Tuesday (October 14) against e-cigarettes.

The Board voted to restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and the use of the product in any

area where smoking is prohibited. The regulations come into effect on January 1st

Flavored e-cigarettes are of course a favourite hobby horse for those opposed to the

growing e-cigarette industry. Under the new regulations flavored e-cigarettes can only be

sold in smoking bars or retail tobacco stores. Now the latter venue is an interesting one

because it’s defined as a store that can sell tobacco and nicotine products but doesn’t sell

food or admit any customers under the age of 21.


Ashland (a name more suitable for tobacco cigarettes than e-cigarettes) doesn’t actually

have any retail tobacco stores so another waste of legislation there then. With such laws

being passed it’s hardly an incentive for anyone to suddenly decide to open a retail tobacco

store in the area so that’s another kick in the teeth for the industry.

The vote came after a public hearing was held last month at which advocates for e-

cigarettes were able to make their views known. These included Karen Casey from the

Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association. Their work is to find less

harmful alternatives for smokers and she believes that e-cigarettes should be available as a

viable option for any adults trying their best to give up smoking.



Time for some comments from Karen that all opponents of e-cigarettes should read and

learn from. She says: “This product has the potential to help more adults quit smoking more

than any other product on the market right now.” Carey should know that because she’d

been smoking for over 30 years and gave up after turning to e-cigarettes.

Those are some great words of support from Karen who by the ways works for a non-profit

association. Yet still the opponents of e-cigarettes step up their bid to make life very difficult

for the industry.

When it came to the subject of flavored e-cigarettes the Board of Health went down the

usual route saying that they are often marketed to young people. This despite the fact the

e-cigarette industry doesn’t sell its products to under-18s.

Don’t they read the comments of people like e-cigarette shop owner Phillip Lish? He says:

“We don’t cater to youth. I have children of my own, and I sure as heck wouldn’t be pushing

it on them.”


So we have yet another group of officials who decide to forget the fact that e-cigarettes can

help people quit smoking and is a far healthier alternative. Instead they just want to spend

their time passing laws that will make it more difficult for the industry to flourish even though

the evidence of their usefulness is clearly there to be seen.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Truth about E-Cigarettes is Out There

E-cigarette businesses continue to open around the USA and critics of the industry should

listen more to the people who are turning to e-cigarettes.

The move from smoking to vaping isn’t just something that helps a growing industry; it has

some fantastic personal benefits too. Smokers, who have been indulging in the habit for

years and putting their health at great risk, finally find a way of giving up their addiction. Now

surely that is something that should never be criticized.

But of course it is and there are plenty of high-level critics out there who won’t even admit

that e-cigarettes can be a positive tool in achieving smoking cessation. That includes Dr.

Adedayo Onitilo who wrote in a medical column that “no proof is available that e-cigs can

help a smoker quit.”

Several new businesses have cropped up in Butte and one, entitled ‘406 Vapor’ is owned

by Shawn Durham. He knows exactly how useful e-cigarettes can be in helping with the

incredibly difficult task of quitting tobacco. “I quit chewing and smoking on it,” said Durham,

“I don’t wake up coughing up tar.”

That last statement is really shocking isn’t it? Can you imagine waking up coughing up

tar? It’s a horrible experience created by tobacco use. No such problems like that with e-

cigarettes yet the critics still continue.

Another local e-cigarette shop owner is Phillip Lish who owns ‘The Vaping Outlet.’ He puts

across an important point about e-cigarettes saying: “A smoker has a ritual.” That’s true,

because one problem that tobacco smokers have when trying to give up is the ritual of

having a smoking device in their hand, inhaling and exhaling. When they try nicotine gum or

patches, that might help a bit but they can’t replace that ritual, e-cigarettes can though.

One of the most controversial topics that keep on rearing its ugly head is that of the different

flavors available. Plenty of critics go to town on the use of candy flavors believing it’s just

the e-cigarette industry trying to attract under-18s to their product. This includes Stanton

Glantz, Professor of Medicine at the University of California who says of e-cigarette

marketing: “It is very much like old-fashioned cigarette marketing, with the addition of all

those high tech and kiddie things like flavors.”

I love the comments of Christine Gentry from the e-cigarette store ‘Vapure’ in Mission

Valley. A former smoker who used e-cigarettes to get off the habit, she says: “If we are

marketing to children, then so is cherry vodka or vanilla rum.”

Durham says: “The candy flavors are big sellers. You can actually enjoy what your habit is.”

Flavors do help make the product more entertaining and users can concentrate on enjoying

strawberry, coconut or cinnamon flavors and gradually forget about the horrible taste of

tobacco that they have been addicted to for years.

Are e-cigarettes being aimed at under-18s? It’s another subject that is continually being

mentioned by critics but both Durham and Lish oppose their views. “We don’t cater to

youth,” Lish said. “I have children of my own, and I sure as heck wouldn’t be pushing it on

them.” Both businesses have identification procedures to ensure under-18s don’t come in

and buy their products.

Durham comes up with another important point when he talked about the need to publicize

e-cigarettes and how they can help you improve your health: “Nobody was educating how to

properly use them,” he said.


It really is time that those who can’t stop criticizing e-cigarettes actually start surfing the web

and reading the many positive comments out there. Why can’t they applaud the e-cigarette

industry for producing a product that has succeeded in stopping people smoking? Why can’t

they realize that the e-cigarette industry isn’t targeting under-18s and can take their own

precautions to ensure they don’t sell to those under-age? The truth about e-cigarettes is out

there, but do the critics even want to search for it?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New York won't give up on e-cigarette ban

The subject of flavored e-cigarettes is in the news again as New York continues its eager

campaign against the industry.

Queens City Councilman, Costa Constantinides, has introduced a bill which would limit the

sale of flavored e-cigarettes to tobacco bars. He wants flavored e-cigarettes “to be treated

the same way as flavored tobacco products and help prevent children from starting a lifetime

of addiction.”

In reply to the planned legislation, Greg Conley, President of the American Vaping Association (AVA), said he supported “common-sense regulation of its products, such as

New York City’s existing ban on the sale to minors.”

Now wait a minute, if a body like the AVA is coming out with statements such as that, then

why do politicians and health officials continually say that e-cigarettes are being targeted

towards minors?

Conley continued: “Adults are free to make their own choices. This proposed law would not

only take away a consumer choice, it would eliminate a competitor to Big Tobacco.” He also

stated that if the law was to come into effect it would hurt the several vaporiums in the city.


The proposed bill has been criticized by Tony Newman, Director of Media Relations for the

Drug Policy Alliance. As far as he’s concerned if this legislation is passed it will simply lead

to more people continuing to smoke.

In a blog written for the Huffington Post, he says that “While I understand the concern of

marketing e-cigarettes to young people and non-smokers, we cannot lose sight of the fact

that these products are helping millions of people stop or cut back on smoking.”

Regarding the many flavors of e-cigarettes available, Constantanides claims: “These flavors

are direct marketing to children. They appeal to children, and we're taking them out of that

market."

That’s absolute rubbish and is countered by Newman who comments: “Vaping is a safer

delivery system for nicotine, and many people enjoy the flavor and find it pleasant -- that's

why more and more people are turning to it. Do we really want to limit flavors if they are

helping people move away from smoking?

It is ironic that anti-smoking advocates, whose goal is to get people not to smoke, are

attacking a practice that is succeeding in getting people not to smoke. Shouldn't we be

applauding the fact that so many people are embracing this harm reduction practice?”

Doesn’t Constantanides also wonder why dozens of health experts sent a letter to the World

Health Organization praising the product? They claimed that e-cigarettes “could be among

the most significant health innovations of the 21st century, perhaps saving hundreds of

millions of lives.”

That’s a big statement, probably as big as they come but still politicians like Constantanides

gleefully make life difficult for the e-cigarette industry probably because it’s the in-thing to do.

His ridiculous view on e-cigarettes as a way of stopping smoking is: “I’ve heard the argument

that it’ll help addiction. I disagree. It just moves it to a different addiction. They’re being used

as a way to find new users, not to get people to stop smoking.”

So why does he feel that e-cigarettes can do nothing to stop addiction to tobacco? Perhaps

he should read a report by the Smoking Toolkit study that shows how useful they actually

are in this area.

Their report in June of this year showed more people using e-cigarettes as an aid to

stop smoking. It also concluded that their evidence “conflicts with the view that electronic

cigarettes are undermining tobacco control or ‘renormalizing smoking, and they may be

contributing to a reduction in smoking prevalence through increased success at quitting

smoking.”


New York politicians really do seem to dislike e-cigarettes. But shouldn’t they be spending

more time looking at positive studies about the industry? If they did then perhaps these

politicians might act a little bit differently and not set out to make life so difficult. We can but

hope I guess.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The bad smell in Mohave County isn’t Vapors

Every week there seems to be a statement made about e-cigarettes that is just so ludicrous

you struggle to believe the person making it is actually being serious.

This week it’s the turn of District 2 Sup. Hildy Angius of Bullhead City to come out with such

a statement. Isn’t it a bit worrying that those making such crazy comments are actually in

pretty important jobs?

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors have been discussing whether e-cigarettes are

harmful to others.

Angius claims that her assistant blew an odorous smoke from an e-cigarette in her face and

she almost threw up. That’s a ridiculous statement to make and let’s hope no one is wearing

their favourite clothes around her just in case she meets someone smoking a tobacco

cigarette.

Contrast that ridiculous statement with the comments made by 20 year old Stetson

University student, Alex Schelb. A former smoker she now uses e-cigarettes and says: “I

haven’t had a problem with smoking an e-cigarette. I’ve never heard a complaint about it.

I’ve never heard anyone say ‘Don’t blow that smoke towards me.’ Nobody really cares.”


Back to the knowledgeable Hildy Angius who added that e-cigarettes are just a replacement

for cigarettes. Now I doubt she meant that in a good way because of course the dream is

that people will give up the dangerous tobacco cigarettes in favour of the more healthy e-
cigarettes.

Thankfully someone in the area can speak with common sense, that’s definitely the case

with District 5 Sup. Steve Moss of Fort Mohave. He believes e-cigarettes don’t cause

any health concerns and that’s because they emit water vapor rather than the smelly and

dangerous smoke from tobacco cigarettes.

Sadly Moss appears to be the only supervisor in the county who knows what he’s talking

about. All the others voted to change the policy of smoke-free buildings to include a ban on

e-cigarettes. The Smoke-Free Arizona Act reads that smoking means inhaling, exhaling,

burning or carrying or possessing any lighted tobacco product. It also allows a city or county

to adopt a more restrictive ordinance. The act does not include e-cigarettes. In order to ban e-cigarettes at county facilities, a county ordinance has to be enacted.

Imposing this new county ordinance comes at a ridiculous cost. The county will also install

about 245 new signs around the county, costing $3,675, which would come from the county

general fund. The signs will be 12 inches by 18 inches. They must have money to burn in

that county.


It really is astonishing how comments like this continue to be made. Surely there must have

been some supervisors who have done some research into e-cigarettes before voting on

the issue in hand? If they had then they would have instantly cast doubt on the rubbish that

was spoken by Angius.

Perhaps the supervisors should pay attention to Stanton Glantz, PhD, who said “compared to traditional cigarettes, sure these aren’t so bad.”

I doubt they read an article by Details.com editor James Oliver Cury on the subject of the

banning of e-cigarettes in public places. His views are: “You won’t smell the e-cig of the

person at the next table because these battery-powered devices emit vapor - like the stuff

that comes out of your mouth when you breathe. No one’s palate will be wrecked by sitting

near an e-smoker, as far as I can tell.”

So there doesn’t really appear to be much chance of people smelling vapors and almost

throwing up then Miss Angius. But the vote has been cast now so it’s all a bit late sadly and

that really produces a bad smell.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Don’t let the past cloud judgement on e-cigarettes



A group of Democratic U.S. Senators are calling for there to be improved health warnings on e-cigarettes.  But it seems that the fact some e-cigarette companies are now owned by tobacco companies is clouding their judgement.

They can’t forgive the tobacco companies for the havoc they have caused to people’s health and perhaps rightly so.  However they should remember this is a different product now and one that is a lot safer than the poisonous tobacco product.

The Senators are calling on the FDA to adopt stronger warning labels for e-cigarettes and claim the big tobacco companies aren’t telling the whole story.  In a letter to the FDA they wrote:  “in the absence of a clear federal standard, e-cigarette manufacturers owned by big tobacco companies are beginning to concoct their own health warning about their products that lack uniformity and are not  comprehensive in listing all of the health threats the products pose.”
This of course comes from politicians who are expert at not revealing all of their real policies when trying to gain election. The Senators are keen on the FDA quickly finalizing their proposed deemed regulations.  The dithering FDA do seem to be taking a while to sort something out, perhaps they spend too much time having to read letters from politicians.
The Senators aren’t that satisfied with the FDA, claiming that the warning label proposed in the FDA’s ‘deeming regulation’ doesn’t adequately warn consumers on the known dangers of nicotine use.  The proposed label mentions that e-cigarettes contain nicotine which is an addictive chemical. That’s not enough for the Senators who want more extensive warnings that address the health risks that e-cigarettes pose.

We live in a different world from the ones when tobacco cigarettes were launched. Consumers can spend all day and night online finding out as much as they want about nicotine.  Hiding facts just isn’t an easy job these days not even for politicians.

The list of Senators responsible for the letter includes Barbara Boxer who seems to spend quite a lot of time writing on the subject.  In February of this year she was one of the Senators who introduce the Protecting Children from Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act. This would prohibit the marketing of e-cigarettes to children and teens.

Perhaps Senator Boxer should spend more time reading about the subject rather than just writing Acts and letters to the FDA.  She should look around the e-cigarette industry and realise that marketing to children and teens simply isn’t happening.  Vaping lounges won’t let under-18s into their stores, websites mention the fact you have to be 18 or over to enter sites and buy products. In the absence of FDA regulation, the industry is doing a pretty good job itself.

That’s the belief of Colin Olsen who owns the vaping lounge ‘Vape Station’ in Lethbridge who wouldn’t dream of selling an e-cigarette to a minor.  He says: “You probably will never find a vape shop that will sell minors because we don’t believe in it.”

I loved the comment made by Robert Heyes to the article about the Senator’s call for more explanation  of the health risks e-cigarettes pose.  He simply put:  “That’s going to be a very small label then.”
Politicians should also cut out their attacks on the fact some e-cigarette companies are owned by tobacco companies.  It’s hardly surprising that’s happening because they can see the e-cigarette industry expanding while the tobacco industry goes in the opposite direction.   But don’t let the sins of the past in the tobacco industry cloud judgement on what happens in the e-cigarette industry.
I’ve seen posters that have quite a lot of health information at the bottom. Information such as the fact they contain nicotine, aren’t for use by under-18s or pregnant women.  Another example of the e-cigarette industry informing people rather than hiding facts, perhaps the industry could give politicians the odd lesson or two on that subject.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fighting back against the E-cigarette critics

There are many criticisms of e-cigarettes but all can be successfully answered factually. Thankfully there are people out there who are leading the fight to prove that e-cigarettes can help people give up smoking, aren’t being targeted at youngsters and should definitely not be classified as tobacco products.

Jonah Primrose used to be a smoker, starting at the age of 11 and continuing the habit for 26 years. He’d get through a pack and half, sometimes two a day but knew he should give up smoking for the sake of his family.  He tried several methods but none could help him, then he tried e-cigarettes and he hasn’t smoked for over two months.  He says of his new life:  “I haven’t had one single cigarette at all, which for me, is a miracle.”

Contrast those comments with the critics who still say that there is no evidence that e-cigarettes can be used as a tool to help smokers kick the life-threatening habit.
Another criticism that is always being levelled at the e-cigarette industry is the alleged promotion of the product to youngsters.  This has led to frantic calls for legislation to ensure that e-cigarettes are not sold to under-18s.  Yet those seeking to clog up important legislative time with such laws simply fail to see what’s actually happening.

Colin Olson owns ‘Vape Station’ which was recently opened in Lethbridge but don’t expect hoards of under-18s to be heading for his store for quick e-cigarette.  There are no regulations in place that prevent selling to minors but Olsen has enforced his own strict policies on the matter.

Anyone who is worried about the e-cigarette industry selling its products to under-18s should take note of his comments on the subject.  He says:  “You probably will never find a vape shop that will sell to minors because we don’t believe in it.”

Why can’t the critics listen to such comments?  They go on about regulation 24/7 yet fail to realise that the e-cigarette industry can look after itself in a fair and proper way.
But the critics carry on and their favourite task is to ensure a certain classification for e-cigarettes.  I keep seeing adverts that talk about becoming tobacco free, yet bandwagon chasing politicians and health officials long to see e-cigarettes classified as tobacco products.

It’s a problem that’s happening throughout America and also in Europe but there’s a major fightback happening across the pond.  Totally Wicked is a British e-cigarette company and they’re taking legal action against the European Union Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) that will class e-cigarettes as tobacco products.  They’ve just been granted the right to challenge the TPD which is due to come into force in 2016.

Time for the most obvious statement of the year and it comes from Fraser Cropper, the MD of Totally Wicked. He says e-cigarettes contain no tobacco and thus should not be classed as “tobacco related products.”

It’s a statement so obvious you wonder why it has to be made don’t you.  Of course there’s a motive behind the desire to classify e-cigarettes in this way.  It makes future regulation easier and paves the way to governments making tons of cash out of e-cigarettes.  You see they’re pretty scared that in the future more and more people will be vaping rather than smoking and that’s going to affect their all-important tax revenues.

That’s what governments need more than anything and it means more to them than the fact e-cigarettes can help improve the health of people all over the world.
The TPD may undermine the availability of good quality e-cigarettes and e-liquids, the company added. This could jeopardize the “life-changing potential of e-cigarettes, resulting in a major detrimental impact on the public health of millions of people across the EU.”
Just how this case progresses is important to the future of the e-cigarette industry not just in Europe but globally.  It could well be used as a precedent and Mr Cropper fears that the TPD “would result in e-cigarettes being subjected to a stricter regulatory regime than some tobacco products.”

He added:  ““For the sake of e-cigarette users and potential users, it is vital that our industry is allowed to mature within a proportionate regulatory framework, which supports appropriate controls and safety requirements, and necessary social responsibility and continues to provide consumer choice to maximize the enormous potential of these products. Article 20 of this Directive patently will not deliver this environment.”
Totally Wicked’s lawyer, Susan Garrett, described the TPD as a misconceived and disproportionate attempt to regulate e-cigarettes.


So as you can see the e-cigarette industry has plenty of critics but also has plenty of evidence to back up the case for its great product.  It’s just a shame that those who jump on bandwagons and want to rush into legislation don’t take the time to listen to both sides of the story.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Shamrock Voice of inexperience tackles e-cigarettes

If it wasn’t bad enough having a load of health officials and politicians trying to jump on the

anti-cigarette bandwagon, now the students have started.

Mark Bilger from Livornia joined Shamrock Voice, a political discussion club at Detroit

Catholic Central High School. Now he’s joining in the criticism that e-cigarettes are being 

targeted at under-18s.

Bilger claims that “kids would try and be sneaky and try to puff it (e-cigarettes) behind the

teachers.” Well I never, would kids actually do something like that, how scandalous! Face

it, kids have been doing that with tobacco cigarettes for years and years, so it’s inevitable

it would happen with e-cigarettes too. Just wait till Mark finds out what some kids get up to

behind the bike sheds then we’re in trouble.

Bilger then tells us what e-cigarettes are actually like: “It’s got that kind of faint sticky-sweet

smell, but not very strong.” That’s much better than those who still try tobacco cigarettes

and say they give you deadly diseases and make our school uniforms stink.

Fancying himself as a bit of a political crusader, Bilger sent an email to state Sen. Glenn

Anderson asking him to consider taking to issue up. Well since then, Anderson has

introduced Senate Bills 667 and 668 which would restrict the sale and possession of e-

cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18.

The Bill isn’t to the agreement of everyone and some want more stringent action already

applied to tobacco products added. They don’t want e-cigarette to be given a different status

even though they are in fact a different product. As usual they seem to be unable to work

out the answer to the question ‘when is a tobacco product not a tobacco product?’ The

answer of course being when it’s an e-cigarette.

Bilger has helped Anderson and thinks the political club he’s a member of is “a great start to

solving these problems.” But does he actually understand the problem?

The National Centers for Disease Control estimate that between 2011 and 2013 the number

of children trying an e-cigarette but not a tobacco cigarette went up from 79,000 to 263,000.

Surely this reflects the fact that e-cigarettes have become more popular in recent years so

when it comes to the experimentation that all youngsters go through, they try an e-cigarette.

Surely the fact that they are trying a safer product rather than smoking a cigarette that can

lead to cancer is a good thing? If they continue to use e-cigarettes then a great reduction

in the number of people smoking tobacco cigarettes will be seen and that’s definitely good

news.

Those who continue to say that e-cigarettes are being aimed at youngsters simply aren’t

correct. I keep seeing shops selling e-cigarettes that clearly have signs saying they won’t sell

their products to under-18s. But do the critics of e-cigarettes ever mention that? Course not

because it defeats their already shaky argument. Perhaps Mark Bilger ought to pay as much

attention to those shops rather than spying on fellow schoolmates having a quick e-cigarette

during lunch break.

Interestingly, Senator Anderson actually sees the argument that e-cigarettes can help those

looking to quit tobacco, yet still believes they should be regulated like traditional cigarettes.

So here’s a product that can help people quit smoking and possibly save their lives, yet he

still wants to make life difficult for the e-cigarette industry. He says “It shouldn’t be in the

hands of kids” and as for young Mr Bilger he says: “Had it not been for Mark bringing it to

my attention, I may have discovered it later on, but he was instrumental in getting in the ball

rolling.” I’m not sure what it says when an elected senator has to rely on students to find out

about such important issues as e-cigarettes.


This is just another example of politicians trying to make life difficult for an expanding

industry that can do a tremendous lot of good for people. There is no evidence that the

e-cigarette industry want load of under-18s to be trying their products. Just like alcohol

and cars there will always be kids who have a quick beer or a drive in a car. It’s called

experimenting, trying something that older people do and that’s what is happening with kids

trying e-cigarettes. But at least in this case, although not targeted, they’d be going down a

much healthier route than smoking tobacco.