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Friday, December 19, 2014

Teenagers Choose E-cigarettes

A new federal survey has hopefully shown a glimpse of a very bright future. It shows that e-

cigarette use among teenagers has leaped above the use of traditional poisonous tobacco

cigarettes. That industry is on the decline while the e-cigarette industry goes from strength to


Now we all know just how dangerous smoking tobacco is. We probably all know someone

who has had their health seriously affected by them or have sadly died years before they

should have. So the news that teenagers are turning to e-cigarettes should be greatly

welcomed. Sadly though health advocates don’t see it that way and believe it’s a dangerous

trend because it is making smoking seem normal again. These experts should perhaps

realize that using e-cigarettes isn’t smoking but vaping.

But you see health officials don’t always know what they are talking about and also love a bit

of scare-mongering.  It appears that these health officials worry that the increase in use of e-

cigarettes could lead to an increase in tobacco smoking. The fact is that the new data does

not show that so why are they going around claiming that this might happen?

It’s not just that the data released doesn’t indicate a gateway to tobacco smoking for vapers,

but a recent study showed that is simply not the case. Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the

British Lung Foundation, said: "These data should again alleviate the fears expressed by some over

an e-cigarette gateway effect - people trying e-cigarettes before moving on to the much more

harmful practice of smoking.

So why aren’t health officials taking account of positive studies about e-cigarettes? It

appears that’s not an option because they are so bigoted against the product. Shouldn’t they

be happy tobacco smoking figures are falling?

The survey, released Tuesday by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, measured drug and

alcohol use this year among middle and high school students across the country.  It covered

more than 41,000 students from 377 public and private schools.

It’s the first time the survey has measured the use of e-cigarettes and it showed that nearly

9% of 8th graders said they had used an e-cigarette in the previous month compared to 4%

using a tobacco cigarette.

“The numbers are stunning,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco

Free Kids, an advocacy group.  Is it “stunning” that educated students make the decision to

use a product that is far safer than a tobacco cigarette?  That figure of 9% is much higher

than the 4.5% measured by our good old friends the CDC which covered e-cigarette usage

between 2012 and 2013.

Some experts said that the new data suggested the rate may have increased substantially

since 2013. I wonder just how much they get paid for making such obvious statements such

as that. As 2014 comes to a close, it’s an important time to look back at the year that’s

ending. For the e-cigarette industry it’s been a year that has seen more studies show what a

great product it is. It’s just sad that health officials and politicians seem hell-bent on ignoring

those studies and continuing their scare-monger tactics.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Will this Positive Study On E-cigarettes be listened to?

For decades health officials have spoken out about the dangers of smoking tobacco, while

politicians are busy counting how much they can make from taxing the product. Now e-

cigarettes face the same kind of pressures but they have several major advantages over

tobacco cigarettes. One of those is the way they can be used to stop people smoking

tobacco and it’s about time they received credit for doing so.

An international review of available evidence - most of which is ignored by politicians and

health officials - has produced encouraging results. The Cochrane Review is a respected

research network that determines relative effectiveness of different health interventions.  A

member of the review team, Peter Hajek, says; “Although our confidence in the effects of

electronic cigarettes as smoking cessation interventions is limited because of the small

number of trials, the results are encouraging.”

The Cochrane Review's study  drew on two randomized trials that covered 662 smokers. It

also considered evidence from 11 observational studies, which again you’ll rarely hear a

politician talk about when trying to jump on the bandwagon and pass a law against the

product. The trials looked at the effect of e-cigarettes on quit rates and helping people

reduce their tobacco smoking levels by at least 50%. Another important part of the study was

a look at side-effects reported by those using e-cigarettes. It’s good news again as no

evidence was found of serious problems.

The results are great news for the e-cigarette industry and another blow for its critics. They

showed that about 9% of smokers who used e-cigarettes were able to stop smoking those

deadly tobacco cigarettes for up to a year. That’s compared with just 4% for those who were

given placebo e-cigarettes.

So what about those who didn’t manage to quit smoking tobacco? Well 36% of e-cigarette

users cut down the number of tobacco cigarettes they were smoking by half. That’s

compared to 28% of the placebo users.

One trial made a comparison between e-cigarettes and nicotine patches, the results came

out about equal. So e-cigarettes were just as good a tool as nicotine patches but no one is

going round saying they should be banned are they?

Robert West, director of tobacco research at University College London, has determined that

e-cigarettes could be a valuable public health tool. He said: “It's early days but so far it

seems that these devices are already helping tens of thousands of smokers to stop each


That last comment should be emailed to every single politician and health official in the USA.

Perhaps if they bothered to read all the information that is out there, they might realize the

damage they cause the e-cigarette industry with their relentless legislation.

Needless to say the FDA have been quiet on the results of the study. Surely though this is

evidence they and the World Health Organisation cannot ignore.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rise in Vaping Figures Should be Celebrated

It’s back to the subject of whether the e-cigarette industry is actively promoting their product

to youngsters. A study by the University of Hawaii Cancer Center showed more teens in

Hawaii are using e-cigarettes. “Growth is exploding among adolescents and also we don’t

completely know why this is,” said the cancer center’s Thomas Wills.

Well perhaps these teens read blogs like this and, unlike most politicians and health officials,

are prepared to look at both sides of the issue. They realise that e-cigarettes are safer to use

than the deadly tobacco cigarettes and decide to use them instead. It’s quite logical when

you bother to sit down and think about it.

The Hawaiian study polled 1,900 public and private school teens, aged 14 and 15. Nearly

30% of them said they had used e-cigarettes. That’s a figure higher than on the mainland.

Both the Cancer Center and the Hawaii Department of Health believe e-cigarettes are being

marketed to local youth and that is where they are making their big mistake.

If you’re going to be marketing a product to teens then it’s important that you have a distinct

intention to sell to them. That is not the case with e-cigarettes as Scott Rasek of Volcano E-

Cigs explains: “We’ve never sold to minors,” he said. “It’s a strong belief of ours. A lot of

other local retail stores share the same belief.”

So when you have a retailer coming out with a statement like that, just how do you say that

e-cigarettes are being marketed to local youths. One possible way is to go onto a website

selling e-cigarettes and clicking on the ‘yes, you’re legal’ button. But if people are doing that

it’s not a case of e-cigarette companies marketing the product to teens but youngsters acting

illegally. It’s the same as a 14-year-old getting their hands on some alcohol or getting behind

the wheels of a car.

One big criticism of e-cigarettes is the many flavors that are available. But Rasek answers

those critics by saying: “Flavors are there specifically to help people have a successful

transition from traditional cigs. If you have more options, the transition success rate will

significantly improve.” That makes total sense but politicians and health officials seem

unable to listen to comments like that.

The study also showed that only 3% used tobacco cigarettes. Surely that should be what

people are talking about. One suggested reason for the decline in smoking of tobacco

cigarettes in Hawaii is the high taxation of the product. You can bet your bottom dollar

politicians will be planning to do the same for e-cigarettes one day. But such actions hurt the

industry and hinder the good that e-cigarettes are doing in helping people stop smoking.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Taxing Time Ahead For Vaping in Utah

Tis the season to be merry and for some politicians that joy is achieved by coming up with

ideas to tax e-cigarettes.  Utah Governor Gary Herbert is one such politician intent on doing

just that but isn’t too keen on his plans being shown prominently.

Hidden away in a footnote on page 22 of his budget blueprint is the proposal for a new tax

on e-cigarettes. He’s rubbing his hands with glee at the thought of it raising $10m next year.

You can tell Herbert is a politician because he’s also a hypocrite and a bit dodgy when it

comes to telling the truth. He’s boasted that his budget is free of tax increases so what

exactly is this proposed tax on e-cigarettes?  Herbert claims that he doesn’t consider the

proposal to be a tax hike, it is in his eyes a change in the way the state treats e-cigarettes.

“It's just saying, 'Here's a product that should fit under the umbrella of tobacco.’” says the

Governor. But doesn’t he realize that e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco?  Is he unaware of

the fact this product can stop people smoking tobacco? Actually it’s probably better he

doesn’t know that because he’ll work out that means less tobacco tax revenue and more

need to tax their replacement.

According to the Governor, this is a “health issue” and then goes down the youth avenue

believing that “young people are getting hooked on” e-cigarettes, “that’s straight nicotine with

good flavors and all that stuff that makes it attractive.”  That’s why e-cigarettes “should be

taxed just like we tax tobacco.”

Didn’t he read the survey that said e-cigarettes are not as addictive as tobacco cigarettes?

Perhaps he doesn’t know that flavors help ex-smokers give up their deadly habit.  He

probably just read a few negative articles and then saw the dollar signs appear in front of his

eyes.  Herbert’s spokesman Marty Carpenter said the governor is willing to work with

legislators to find the best option, i.e. the one that makes most money.

Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, an anti-tobacco crusader in the Legislature but who still

describes e-cigarettes as a “tobacco derivative”  believes the best option is to tax the e-

cigarette liquid or e-juice at a lower rate than the tax on regular tobacco products. At present

they are taxed at 87.5% of the wholesale price in Utah. Ray is suggesting a rate of about half

that figure, still a whopping 43.75% thus adding several dollars to the price of the average

bottle of e-juice.

Ray also claims that within a few years, science will disprove the health benefits of e-

cigarettes. “I think it's going to be as bad as tobacco down the road. People will realize this

stuff is not as good as we were told and we're going to have health problems down the

road." Ray doesn’t produce any evidence to back up these claims probably because he


Aaron Frazier, executive director of the Utah Smoke-free Association, says increasing the

price of e-cigarette liquid will mean people just keep on smoking.  His view is the tax would

be “removing any benefit for a smoker to move over to a scientifically documented less

harmful product and drive them back to smoking tobacco cigarettes.”

Saturday, December 13, 2014

More Surveys Give Positive News for Vaping

The debate continues over e-cigarettes despite the growing number of surveys and studies

that have produced positive comments on the product.  More good news which answers

several criticisms of e-cigarettes came from The Health Survey in England.  Hopefully

American health officials and politicians will take note of it.

The survey answers criticisms of e-cigarettes being a gateway to tobacco smoking. It found

that among men who were not smokers, only 1% had ever tried e-cigarettes, while 29% of

smokers and 6% of ex-smokers had tried them. Proportions were similar for women, said the

survey, which was published this Wednesday (December 10).

The Health Survey for England was carried out by the Joint Health Surveys Unit of NatCen

Social Research and the Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at

University College London. It interviewed 8,795 adults and 2,185 children.

That’s one of several studies that have disproved the claim that once people, especially

youngsters, start using the healthier e-cigarettes, it’ll only be a question of time before they

use tobacco cigarettes.  So all those politicians eager to place restrictions on e-cigarettes

need not be afraid of a whole new generation of tobacco smokers being generated via the

use of e-cigarettes.

Can’t politicians and health officials see that these figures also disprove another one of their

claims? Namely their theories that e-cigarettes aren’t able to stop smokers continuing their

deadly habit.  This survey shows that smokers are in fact turning to e-cigarettes and we all

know there are countless stories of smokers who have successfully kicked the habit via their

use of e-cigarettes.

"While it is clearly important to continue to monitor both smoking rates and use of electronic

cigarettes in adults and children, so far there is no evidence that use of electronic cigarettes

is proving to be a gateway into smoking,"  said Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH

(Action on Smoking and Health).

The views are echoed by Peter Hajek in the open access journal BMC Medicine. Hajek is

the Professor and director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary

University of London. He rightly describes tobacco cigarettes as being “responsible for

disease and premature death” while e-cigarettes “only appeal to smoker and generates

negligible rates of regular use among non-smoking children who try it.” He continues: “Which

one would you prefer your nicotine addicted father to use? And if your children were to try a

nicotine product, which of these two would you prefer that they lay their hands on?”

As for the fear that using e-cigarettes will cause there to be an increase in use of cigarettes,

he says: “This appears a highly improbable concern. There is no precedent for a safer

technology to increase the use of its less safe competitor."

So that’s two more positive views on e-cigarettes that discredit most criticisms of the

product. Let’s hope US politicians will read them and take note before jumping on the anti-e-

cigarettes bandwagon.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Studies Show Vaping is Less Addictive than Smoking

We have another positive study on e-cigarettes to report today.  This one indicates that e-

cigarettes are less addictive than regular tobacco cigarettes. The study found that e-cigarette

dependence rates nearly always dipped below tobacco cigarette dependence rates.

It’s the latest in a number of studies that have provided evidence on just how useful e-

cigarettes can be. Politicians may be keen to jump on the bandwagon and pass unwanted

and unneeded laws against the product but how many times do you hear them mention the

positive studies that have been published? Anyone would think they just wanted to lay the

ground for e-cigarettes to be taxed in the future, that’s when they will really begin to

appreciate e-cigarettes for the help they can do for people (revenue collectors at the top of

the list).

Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D. professor of public health sciences and psychiatry, Penn State

College of Medicine said: “'We found that e-cigarettes appear to be less addictive than

tobacco cigarettes in a large sample of long-term users.”

Why is this the case? Well Foulds believes it is because of the lower average nicotine rates

that are found in e-cigarettes. Of course critics of the product often fail to mention the fact

that the amount of nicotine in an e-cigarette can be varied and there are actually e-cigarettes

that do not contain any nicotine. He added that e-cigarettes are much less toxic than tobacco

cigarettes. That, along with the fact they seem to be less addictive are “advantages when

you’re concerned about health.”  He added that they have “the potential to do good and help

a lot of people.”

A total of 3,500 e-cigarette smokers who used to smoke regular cigarettes filed out the

online questionnaires researchers named the Penn State Cigarette Dependence Index and

Penn State Electronic Cigarette Dependence Index, which assessed dependence rates.

The findings, which are published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, also have implications

for developing e-cigs for smoking cessation. "We might actually need e-cigarettes that are

better at delivering nicotine because that's what's more likely to help people quit," Foulds


So e-cigarettes are less addictive than tobacco cigarettes and contain less toxins. They also

help people give up smoking tobacco cigarettes but still politicians and health officials want

to make life difficult for the industry. How many more positive studies will have to be

published before this situation can change?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Just Listen To The Truth About Vaping

We head for Montgomery in Maryland today to discover the views of yet more politicians

who haven’t quite done their homework on e-cigarettes. They love launching bills to place

restrictions on the product but don’t bother to find out or even listen to the whole story about


For several months councilmember Nancy Floreen has been preparing a bill that will restrict

the use of e-cigarettes for minors, restrict their use in the same areas as for poisonous

tobacco cigarettes, govern product placement in stores and require child-resistant packaging

for liquid nicotine. In other words they want to stick their nose in where it’s not wanted and

treat e-cigarettes just like the life-shortening tobacco cigarettes.  Of course the more they do

that, the easier to then tax them in the future.

The bill doesn’t go to a public hearing until January 22.  It sees Montgomery attempting to

take action before the FDA finally publish their regulations on e-cigarettes.  That’s a long

wait the way the FDA are going and I still haven’t received any emails from them about e-


So what pearls of wisdom has Floreen to tell us?  Well she starts off by saying:  “Something

to remember about electronic cigarettes is that basically they are a nicotine delivery device.

There’s no question about that.”  Well sorry to disappoint you but actually there is a question

about that. There are e-cigarettes that don’t actually contain any nicotine at all.

Then Floreen decides to go down the flavor route declaring that “The real issue of course is

the marketing of these devices to young people with different flavors, different ways to

entrance a whole generation of smokers into the stream of addiction and concern.”

Obviously this politician hasn’t read the blogs that we write for you every week and has done

little research at all really.  But what’s really disgraceful is the fact that he stands by this

statement despite the fact that the council heard compelling evidence that shows the e-

cigarette industry is not carrying out this policy.

The council heard from Kevin Scrimgeour who owns Wheaton Vapor and disappointed the

council members when he said his target customer is just someone who needs to move from

smoking tobacco to the lower nicotine levels in e-cigarettes. In fact many of his customers

were older people wanting to get away from smoking tobacco.  “(They are) men and women

who have smoked a pack or two packs a day and they’ve gotten the scare... Something’s

happened and they show up at my booth,”

Scrimgeour further disappointed the council by stating that in the e-cigarette industry it’s bad

practice to appeal to minors. He added that the different flavors for the nicotine often appeal

to those already smoking hookah, not children who want to try out the flavors.  ““We don’t

welcome people under 18. We don’t want them in the store. We thank them very much but

we card people,” he said.

It beggars belief doesn’t it?  A respectable businessman, who is trying to earn money

through his e-cigarette business, tells the truth and yet the council still have members going

on about the industry trying to tempt minors to try their product.  Can’t politicians ever listen

to evidence like this and admit they are wrong?

Other members of the council are also busy scaremongering about e-cigarettes.

Councilmember Craig Rice is on record as saying he’s not willing to take a chance on a

family with a young child sitting next to someone in a restaurant who is vaping. Of course if

we’re to believe Floreen it may well be the young child who’s vaping because they’re

attracted by the flavors.

For Rice this legislation is all about their “responsibility to protect the public as well.” He

added that if more information proves that vaping is safe then the county could repeal the

restrictions.  It’s worth noting that while Rice has been busy scaremongering he hasn’t

actually provided any evidence that people are at risk from second-hand vapor yet will go

ahead with the legislation.

The comments made by Rice were rightly criticized by Bruce Bereano who is a lobbyist for

the tobacco industry. He felt that the comments were “grossly unfair and grossly


Also unhappy is Thomas Kiklas, co-founder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette

Association (TVECA).  He’s been quick to remind Montgomery council that there have been

plenty of studies that show e-cigarettes are safe and can be seen on their website.

Kiklas really talks sense when he says: “In time we feel people will better understand the

technology and not be fearful of it.”  Yes, we’re back to the fear of the unknown situation. It’s

common for every new piece of technology and sooner or later people will get used to e-

cigarettes and critics will have a lot of humble pie (or rice?) to eat.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Backlash against Vaping Laws Continues

When legislators pass laws there has to be a good reason for them doing so. Just jumping

on a bandwagon and passing laws because the neighbouring state has already done so isn’t

a good enough reason.  Legislators also need to look at the whole story not just take notice

of some bad publicity and decide it’s time to take action.

It’s often the reaction to the passing of a law that is really important. Sooner or later one

piece of legislation will be passed that will make people realize that the legislators are

overstepping their mark.  One such law was passed by the Minnesota City Council last week

and the reaction over the past couple of days has been a huge thumbs down.

The Minnesota Daily newspaper reacted badly to the decision of the Minnesota City Council

to ban indoor public use of e-cigarettes. This means vaping can’t take place in stores,

restaurants and at work but does allow people to vape at e-cigarette stores where sampling

is necessary.

The newspaper says that the bill is “premature” and come up with a reason for that belief

that should shame all the local politicians who voted in favour of the new law. Having

actually done some research into the subject, they realize that e-cigarettes “are helpful to

people in quitting smoking, or at least significantly reducing their consumption of traditional

cigarettes.”   Their view is that until “there is a scientific consensus” on the long-term health

effects of vaping, it should be up to businesses and institutions not politicians to decide

whether vaping can take place on their premises.

The papers anger at the legislation is summed up by this sentence: “This bill is yet another

example of the city overstepping its bounds and imposing an ill-conceived law that on the

surface is supposed to help solve a public health issue that in reality is not so simple.”

Now it’s not uncommon for one paper to come out and heavily criticize a piece of legislation.

However, the bungling politicians in Minnesota really seem to have totally misjudged the

opinions of people in the state as the Star Tribune has also covered the story and it doesn’t

make happy reading for the bandwagon politicians of Minnesota.

John McClay lives in Bloomington where the local council have also taken action against e-

cigarettes. They even banned vaping in vaping stores which is totally insanity. His views are

ones that politicians should really take notice of. He’s carried out plenty of research into e-

cigarettes and with that knowledge would never have passed the law that’s just been thrust

onto the citizens of Minnesota.

He knows that in recent years the number of people smoking tobacco cigarettes in the

States has fallen, while the numbers vaping have gone up and up.  Why can’t politicians take

notice of those figures and work out just what they mean?

It means the number of people smoking deadly tobacco cigarettes and putting their lives at

risk is falling.  E-cigarette use increasing is a major contribution to those tobacco cigarette

user figures falling but will it ever get credit for doing so?

McClay blames the under-threat tobacco industry for a lot of the ill-feeling shown against e-

cigarettes.  It’s hardly surprising of course that industry is worrying about their future.

McClay says “if e-cigs had become known by any other name  -‘vaporizers, atomizers,

inhalers’ – perhaps municipal officials would not be so inclined to conflate vaping and


He makes it clear that the vast majority of vapers are adults and former smokers. He adds

that most e-cigarette stores actively discourage non-smokers from trying e-cigarettes on

their site.  As for minors using e-cigarettes he puts it down to experimentation and the

willingness to “do anything that makes them feel “cool” and look older, especially if it’s not

legally accessible, which makes it all the more fun.”

Why can’t politicians see that?  They were young once and you can bet your bottom dollar

that some of them tried a cigarette before reaching legal age. The same probably goes for a

quick drink of alcohol, going into a bar or driving a car.  They should realize that if

youngsters are vaping then it’s not because the e-cigarette industry has targeted them.

They should also be happy that they are using e-cigarettes rather than heading down the

deadly route that tobacco cigarette use will take them on.

John McClay used e-cigarettes to end his addiction to tobacco. He smoked a pack a day for

55 years and started as a teenager because he thought it was “mature, sophisticated and

oh-so-cool.” When he realized how dangerous smoking is he tried to give up but despite

trying cold turkey, nicotine gum, lozenges and Zyban nothing worked for him but e-cigarettes


When politicians try and be clever they should listen to all sides of the story.  They may hate

the fact that vaping looks similar to smoking and the product includes the name ‘cigarette’

but they should delve deeper into the matter. McClay says that the fact e-cigarettes allow

you to “mimic the smoking experience” that’s why they help so many people give up


Politicians and health officials will complain about the fact e-cigarettes contain nicotine. But

the fact is that nicotine is not especially harmful and not carcinogenic unlike the many

chemicals in tobacco cigarettes.  McClay asks the question if nicotine was severely harmful

why is it available over the counter, unprescribed in gum and lozenge forms.

So come on politicians, why can’t you listen to people like John McClay or pay attention to

the opinions of newspapers and the occasional blog.  They can’t just pass laws because it

seems to be the flavor of the month.  Health officials in particular should be pointing out the

fact that e-cigarettes can be used to stop people smoking tobacco.  That fact alone should

be enough to stop the witch-hunt that politicians are carrying out without overwhelming

public support for doing so.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ignorance about Vaping Isn’t Bliss

You have to wonder sometimes if politicians actually think about the consequences of their

actions. While Americans celebrated Thanksgiving Day, Bloomington put into operation an

ordinance that really is a turkey.

A city ordinance went into effect that bans the use of e-cigarettes in public places. Amazingly

this actually includes the city’s two vapor shops Smokeless Smoking and E-CIG One Stop

Vape Shop. It’s like telling someone that owns a brewery that they can’t drink any alcohol

there. It really does take your breath away because who’s actually going to get upset if

someone actually uses an e-cigarette in a vaping store? Surely the people who are in that

store are users of e-cigarettes already or are looking at beginning to use the product?

Bloomington used to be “All the businesses that can fit” but this new law is going to seriously

affect the two vapor shops in the city.  The crazy ordinance states that customers must be at

least 25 feet away from the front door of the business in order to test any of the products.

Why 25 feet, does vapor suddenly disappear after travelling that far?

Violators of the ordinance will have to pay several hundred dollars in fines and could get

their licenses suspended for multiple offenses.  How do you enforce such a law anyway, will

there be officials standing outside the vapor store keeping an eye out for a shocking incident

when some unreasonable person uses an e-cigarette just 24 feet from the door?

Nathan Affield is a long-time employee of Bloomington vaping store Smokeless Smoking

and he knows just how useful e-cigarettes can be to the citizens of Bloomington.  He spent

eight years poisoning his body with tobacco cigarettes but has given up that deadly habit

since turning to e-cigarettes.  Speaking about the ordinance he said: “We make sure to grab

a couple that you want to try since you've got to make a bit of a trek.”

He now fears that with this new ordinance he may be forced back to being with tobacco

smokers after working so hard to give the terrible habit up: “If we're forced to go out into a

smoking section to use our vaporizers next to people who are using harmful cigarettes, that's

something that we got away from and now we're being pushed back into it.”

I guess the intelligent politicians in Bloomington never thought of that when they decided to

pass this ordinance.  But they’re not the only ones in the States who are intent on pushing

through such regulations.  The City Council in Minneapolis also jumped on the bandwagon

on Friday but as is the case at present, they have a slightly different law than that imposed

on the unfortunate citizens of Bloomington.

In Minneapolis there was an amendment passed that will include the allowing of sampling

inside e-cigarette stores. "Our intention is to allow sampling there just like we allow sampling

of cigars and cigarettes in other types of shops," said Minneapolis city council member Cam

Gordon, a sponsor of the ordinance.

Jennifer Swanson owns E-CIG One Stop Vape Shop last year and just like Nathan, she

used e-cigarettes to stop smoking tobacco. Now this new ordinance will make life difficult for

her business. She says: "We were just really hitting the peak and now the ban went into


Already Smokeless Smoking has gathered more than 1,000 signatures on a petition but the

Bloomington City Council has no intention of passing the law seen in Minneapolis. So why

are the politicians in Bloomington so upset about e-cigarettes? The answer is an easy one;

you see they just don’t know what they are talking about.

When the ordinance was passed in November, this ridiculously inaccurate statement was

made. “The proposals before you today are not groundbreaking. They are common sense,”

said Molly Moilanen, representing a coalition of health organizations including ClearWay

Minnesota, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and the American

Heart Association.

Yet the fact is they are damaging businesses in their own city. Angie Griffith, who co-owns

several e-cigarette retailers in Bloomington and other cities, said the ordinance would harm

her business and its 25 employees. “We’re not Big Tobacco,” she said. “We’re a thriving,

responsible small business.”

One council member even went down the old route of saying that using e-cigarettes is a

gateway for young people to start using tobacco. Now they obviously don’t do much

research on the topics they have to vote on.  Only last week there was a study published

that shows using e-cigarettes isn’t a gateway to smoking tobacco.

However data from the Office for National Statistics in the UK indicate those who use e-

cigarettes are almost entirely current or former smokers.

The survey found that e-cigarettes were mainly used to help smokers quit, and because

users saw them as being less harmful than cigarettes. Let’s hope that all the politicians and

health officials read this survey and take note that their criticisms are way off the mark.

Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation says: “These data should

again alleviate the fears expressed by some over an e-cigarette gateway effect - people

trying e-cigarettes before moving on to the much more harmful practice of smoking.”

But still the politicians pass their unwanted and unneeded rules.  A vote on the

website shows that only 43% agree that e-cigarettes should have the same restrictions as

regular cigarettes.  Actually 7% of those taking part in that survey voted for the “I don’t know

enough about it” option, it’s good to see local politicians taking part in online surveys.

Because the way they act on e-cigarettes show they haven’t a clue when it comes to the


Monday, December 8, 2014

Story Can’t Make Mind Up over Vaping

Another week and again we see a County Board of Health trying to act tough against e-

cigarettes and not having the easiest of times. This time around it’s the Story County Board 

of Health who held a meeting this week that was supposed to have a vote on measures they 

wanted to take against e-cigarettes. 

The proposed meddling was an ordinance that would ban e-cigarettes in public spaces and 

places of employment. However they held off on a vote to recommend that the Board of 

Supervisors approve the measure.

Chief villains in the area seem to be the Story County Prevention Policy Board. This anti-

drug coalition has spent most of the year trying to be troublesome attempting to establish a 

county ordinance to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. That’s despite the fact we all 

know that the e-cigarette industry doesn’t do that anyway. Trouble is their efforts were 

wasted ones because the State legislature passed a similar law this year.

Desperate to still cause trouble the Prevention Policy Board started a campaign to ban the 

use of e-cigarettes in public places. But it seems that their attempts are having problems 

convincing local officials to go ahead with such legislation.

We often call these attempts at legislation against the e-cigarette industry as unwanted and 

unneeded. Well Story County Supervisor Paul Toot, who chairs the Board of Health, has 

similar views. 

He said: “I don’t get calls or complaints from people who go into establishments and are 

offended by the use of e-cigarettes. If it’s a problem, I could see taking action on it, but I 

don’t necessarily think it’s our position to step in first and try to prevent that problem.”

At last some common sense, it’s not the duty of officials to tell people what to do in this area 

and besides, individual businesses can make their own decision on the matter.  Toot also 

feels that there is  a “serious lack of study and of evidence” on e-cigarettes which isn’t really 

true because anyone who reads our blogs will know there are plenty out there.  He did add; 

“The evidence is not necessarily there at this point to support a decision on whether or not 

they’re harmful.” 

Pointing out again that the ordinance isn’t exactly anywhere near the top of anyone’s worry 

list, Toot said: “If the county were to pass an ordinance, it’s going to affect the city of Ames 

more than it’s going to affect any place else in the county, and my conversations in the past 

with council members and city officials (indicated) they are not interested at this time in 

passing an ordinance citywide.”

But still the critics in the county press on with their campaign. They have pointed out that 

there have been news reports of small children being poisoned by liquid nicotine. But these 

are accidents and examples of negligence from parents that don’t look after their equipment 


Previous meetings on the subject had rightly raised concerns on how such an ordinance 

would affect local businesses. The Board agreed to discuss the proposed ordinance with 

Ames City officials and revisit it at a later date. It just shows that jumping on the bandwagon 

doesn’t always work and if there isn’t really a problem then it doesn’t really need a solution.

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Taxing Problem for E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes really are quite useful aren’t they?  If someone is desperate to kick their

addiction to tobacco cigarettes, then vaping can help them. If your State has a massive

budget shortfall then e-cigarettes can help with that problem too. Sadly the legislators aren’t

using them while trying to work out how to get out of the latest mess they’ve created. Instead

they are thinking of taxing e-cigarettes in order to help close that budget shortfall.

The latest State to start considering this idea is Arizona who is facing an estimated $1bn

budget shortfall next year.  Legislators may spend their time criticizing e-cigarettes and

imposing restrictions on them but when it comes to tax revenue they are about to fall in love

with them.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee in Arizona recently carried out an analysis of the

situation re taxing e-cigarettes. The analysis concluded that taxation could bring in as little as

$283,700 or as much as $13.4m revenue every year, depending on how the tax is


Figures show that if the taxation on e-cigarettes was the same as for tobacco cigarettes –

about $2 a pack – the State would receive revenue of around $6m.  Considering their

budgeted deficit is $1bn these projected figures aren’t going to make much of a difference is


That’s a view shared by Dennis Hoffman, director of the L. William Seidman Research

Institute at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. He says:  ““Certainly

taxing e-cigarettes isn’t going to put much of a dent in that particular challenge.”

However not every word that comes out of Hoffman’s mouth is so sensible. He believes that

taxation is about making it fair between competing businesses, i.e. e-cigarettes and tobacco

cigarettes  “If the products are really quite similar and they attract the same types of

consumers, it would be logical to say ‘level the playing field,’” Hoffman said.

That’s great isn’t it? Just stick some taxation on e-cigarettes to make it a level playing field

between a great product and one that has killed countless people over the years.

With so little revenue likely to be received, why bother with such a policy? The fact is that

taxing e-cigarettes is likely to cause a lot more damage than good to people’s health and to

the industry as a whole. A similar situation is taking place in Philadelphia where their funds

are in a right mess too.  Ray Ros, general manager of Love Vape says that taxing e-

cigarettes “would really hurt our business” and it “might drive people back to smoking

cigarettes.”  In fact Ros says that increases on taxation on tobacco cigarettes have seen “a

slight increase in smokers moving to e-cigarettes.”

Introducing taxation onto e-cigarettes could undo some of the great strides that are taking

place at present. We all know it’s cheaper to use e-cigarettes than tobacco and that is

another great reason for people to make the switch to a healthier product.  Taxation on e-

cigarettes will hit the industry in the pocket while barely changing the deficit situation in

Arizona. At present Minnesota and North Carolina are the only states in the USA that tax e-

cigarettes. Between them they are bringing in a total of $14.7m again barely scratching the

surface of their massive deficits.

One extremely sensible view on these taxation plans comes from David Brunori, deputy

publisher of the non-profit Tax Analysis publication and research professor at George

Washington University. Writing in Forbes in June 2014 he commented: “Taxing e-cigarettes

is a money grab. If people use e-cigarettes instead of real cigarettes, the state loses money,”

That’s the problem isn’t it? As people come to their senses and switch from tobacco to e-

cigarettes the revenue from tobacco goes down and down. Worried State officials are just

looking at replacing that revenue regardless of what damage they do the e-cigarette


Brunori added that research shows e-cigarette users are more likely to give up tobacco

cigarettes. His opinion on why it’s crazy to consider taxing e-cigarettes is fantastic:  “We

should be subsidizing e-cigarettes, not making them more expensive. Yet politicians

routinely say that e-cigarettes will lead people to start smoking, or worse — use drugs! Are

they daft? Shouldn’t those who want to impose a special tax on a product have the burden of

proving its dangers?”

2015 is going to be an interesting year for the e-cigarette industry. Not only will the FDA

probably work out their regulation policy but States will try to tax the product. Love and Hate

will be key emotions for politicians next year. Hate the product, love the tax revenue will be a

major theme but surely they must realize the damage they will cause?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Keep the Greeley Vaping Lounges Open

You can always tell an opponent of e-cigarettes because they are very selective at what they

say and read. They hate to mention any of the positive stories of people who have used e-

cigarettes to kick their deadly tobacco smoking habit. There are some of who have heard of

such positive stories but simply decide they are anecdotal and therefore not important.

Frankly that’s one of the most ridiculous arguments out there and there are a few believe


Greeley is just one of the many areas in the States that are discussing what to do about e-

cigarettes. Obviously the economy and policing take a side step when they start talking

about wanting to impose regulations on e-cigarettes. They’ve managed to get themselves in

a right old mess over whether or not to allow vaping lounges in the area to run their

businesses without being told what to do.

Greeley has recently seen two businesses open that sell e-cigarettes. Smokeless CG

Vapors and Vapor Core sell the products and also offer places for customers to sample or

use the e-cigarettes. For all you critics of e-cigarettes prepare yourself for some anecdotes

or as we call them, the truth about how e-cigarettes are helping people.

Twyla Gutierrez was just ten years old when she started smoking tobacco and did so for 20

years. Now she uses e-cigarettes and is reaping the benefits of life without tobacco: “It

satisfies my need,” she said, “but my clothes don’t smell anymore, and my car doesn’t


Now critics will quickly pounce on such a statement and say that even though she’s not

smoking tobacco cigarettes anymore she’s still addicted to nicotine because that’s what is in

e-cigarettes.  Well, yet again the critics are wrong because Gutierrez isn’t addicted to

nicotine any more. She started on e-cigarettes that contained nicotine but worked her way

down to a zero-nicotine cartridge. That’s an amazing achievement for someone who spent

20 years poisoning her body with all the deadly toxins contained in tobacco cigarettes.

As you might expect though there is opposition to e-cigarettes in Greeley. Rachel Freeman

is the tobacco control program co-ordinator for the Weld County Department of Public Health

and Environment.  Why can’t these people have shorter titles? Freeman has many concerns

over e-cigarettes, several of which are totally predictable.

She complains that e-cigarettes aren’t regulated (I still haven’t received a single email from

the FDA concerning e-cigarettes).  In her opinion every e-cigarette is different and that’s not

a good thing safety wise.  That’s not a view shared by Devin Matthews, co-owner of Vapor

Core who says ““We have a lot more control over the finished product. We know what’s

going into it. And carbon monoxide and all the other toxins in cigarettes are not coming out.”

Freeman is also worried about the dangers of second and third-hand smoke (her words not

ours) to bystanders from e-cigarettes.  She obviously likes ignoring the positive research into

e-cigarettes. Freeman must have missed the study by the University College of London in

which Professor Robert West stressed that the concentration of harmful substances in e-

cigarette vapor is more than 20 times lower than in tobacco smoke. “You have to be a bit

crazy to carry on smoking conventional cigarettes when there are e-cigarettes available," he

said. "The vapor contains nothing like the concentrations of carcinogens and toxins as

cigarette smoke. In fact, concentrations are almost all well below.”

Freeman also shows concern over the fact under-18s believe e-cigarettes are OK which in

her opinion they aren’t. Freeman says that latter point despite the fact that neither of the

vaping stores in Greeley will sell any e-cigarettes to under-18s but of course she doesn’t

mention that.

The next statement from Freeman is a big contender for the list of most ridiculous comments

made about e-cigarettes (coming soon to a blog near you). The ‘expert’ says of e-cigarettes:

“It is our job to prevent them from ever starting to use tobacco. But it is very appealing.” I

wonder if anyone has actually told this ‘expert’ that e-cigarettes have nothing to do with


Her comments have already been criticized by Chris Gauman, the owner of Smokeless CG

Vapors. He says: “No one has died from vapor. I’m tired of watching families bury their loved

ones. The idea is to get off tobacco.”

Meanwhile the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment say that e-

cigarettes make it difficult for business owners and officials to enforce smoke-free laws.

That’s despite the fact that e-cigarettes emit vapor not smoke.  They also go down the line

that e-cigarettes closely resemble marijuana vaporizes and some e-cigarette vaporizers can

be adapted to allow marijuana. If people are doing that then it’s not the fault of the e-

cigarette industry is it?  The Department also have concerns over youths using the product

and third-hand exposure from vapor that settles on walls and within ventilation systems.

Assistant City Manager Becky Safarik wants strong action taken against e-cigarettes but

sadly will never get a job compiling a dictionary after this effort:  “We came up with the

definition of an e-cigarette and treated it in the same manner as other cigarettes. It is clearly

a smoking activity that’s taking place. So we tried to include all the things that is part of that


Vapor Core co-owner Dustin Barnett said the city’s research was five years old and he gave

the council several more recent research documents to read (and most likely ignore). “The

industry advances so fast that the FDA says by the time they get research done we’re ahead

of them,” Barnett said. So perhaps that explains the Silent Night at the FDA.

Councilman John Gates at least speaks common sense. He’s not happy with the idea of

telling business owners whose sole purpose is to sell e-cigarettes how to run their business.

He commented: “I don’t think it is council’s job to prohibit someone from opening a vapor

lounge. If I don’t want to be exposed, I won’t go. It’s the same as a cigar bar.”

Also in support of vaping lounges being allowed to stay open was Councilman Michael Finn.

He said: “it’s not our business to prohibit other people who want to come in their bar. There

is plenty of research that it can help people stop smoking. And the worst thing is to smoke

cigarettes. If there is something to get people off, I’m all for It.”

Why can’t all politicians speak common sense like Gates and Finn? Greeley officials are

currently researching what has been done in other communities. They need to find some

kind of solution because their last meeting seemed intent on allowing vapor bars. A final

decision is expected in January 2015.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Chaos in the Counties Over Vaping

We’ve reported on several positive studies into e-cigarettes this past week but still health

boards are imposing regulations on the product. The problem is that different counties

impose different regulations on the e-cigarettes industry and that’s why there is chaos in the

counties over vaping.

The latest to do so is Utah County who voted this week to copy regulations other counties

have already put in place.

Four key requirements have been imposed by Utah County. Firstly they state that vendors

must obtain a retail permit to sell e-cigarettes. Secondly, manufacturers must use ingredients

in the e-liquid that are U.S. Pharmacopeia certified or FDA approved. Vendors must also

take specific steps to ensure no sales are made to people under the age of 19 (the legal age

minimum in Utah for e-cigarettes) and finally the e-liquid containers sold must have child-

proof caps.

Linnea Fletcher of the Utah County Health Department says “the purpose behind this is to

protect our youth. They have had easy access to these products. We want to know who is

selling them and who is manufacturing them.”

Yet the fact is that vaping stores in Utah County are already taking adequate steps towards

ensuring children don’t get their hands on e-cigarettes. One local store has a warning

declaring “You must be over the legal age in your state to buy or use this product.”  So again

it’s a case of an unwanted and unneeded regulation being passed.

The local website loved reporting the national statistics that state more than 2,700 people

have called poison control this year to report an exposure to liquid nicotine. The fact is that

over half of these cases have been with children under the age of 6.  These incidents are

what is commonly known as “accidents”.  People must learn to look after the e-liquid they

purchase and not leave them about for young children to get hold of. That’s common sense

and hardly the fault of the e-cigarette industry.

The Utah Smoke-Free Association say they are on board with the majority of the regulations.

Their executive director, Aaron Frazier says they ensure safety for consumers and

consistency for vendors and manufacturers.

Frazier also said:  “it’s very unfortunate, but there are people who think they can make their

own liquid. Rather than trying to understand true business practices, they start to

manufacture out of their house. We don’t want that. We want it in controlled situations.”

Well again that’s a situation that is not the fault of the e-cigarette industry. It’s also a practice

that the industry most definitely does not condone.

In Davis County, the health board scrapped a requirement that the e-liquid be in leak-proof

and tamper evident containers but must still be child proof. They also got rid of a

requirement that nicotine content be labelled to show milligrams or millilitres or percentage of

nicotine by volume. The changes were made in an effort to be fair to eight local retailers who

buy their products from distributors in other counties without the rules. Lewis Garrett, the

Davis County Health Director said: “Although I hate to be in a position to loosen the

regulations, it is the appropriate thing to do.”

That’s another sign that the legislative situation concerning e-cigarettes is just total chaos.

Take a trip around the States and you won’t have a clue what the rules are regarding e-

cigarettes from town to town. This affects both retailers as seen in Davis County and

consumers. As Aaron Frazier says: “It makes it a lot easier when you have one set of

regulations to follow,”

Monday, December 1, 2014

That Gateway from Vaping to Smoking Just Isn’t there

No one wants to see youngsters smoking because we all know where it leads. A potentially

life-long addiction to tobacco cigarettes (though we all know a good way of stopping

smoking, i.e., using e-cigarettes) and serious health problems.

Two new studies have shown that the number of youths smoking has fallen. At the same

time though, the studies have shown that the number using e-cigarettes has increased. So

what does this all mean?

The first study comes from our good old friends at the CDC who would rather cross a

highway blindfolded during rush hour than say something nice about e-cigarettes. Their

study has found that between 2011/12 and 2013 there was a marked fall in the number of

youths smoking tobacco cigarettes while their use of e-cigarettes doubled.

E-cigarette use among middle-school students increased to 1.1% while cigarette smoking

dropped to 2.9%.  Among high school students, e-cigarette use increased to 4.5% and

cigarette smoking went down to 12.7%. The study also reported that there were very few

youths who had never smoked but were currently using e-cigarettes.

The CDC love to criticize e-cigarettes and believe that they are a gateway to using tobacco

cigarettes. But where’s the evidence of this and why are they being quiet about the study

published this week that showed there is no gateway.

Last year the CDC director claimed:  “many kids are starting out with e-cigarettes and then

going on to smoke conventional cigarettes.”  Ok if that’s the case then show us the evidence

that this is the case. Why can’t the CDC produce interviews with youngsters who started

using e-cigarettes and are now using tobacco cigarettes?  It really is a case of put up or shut


Meanwhile in Minnesota, another study shows a marked increase in e-cigarette use among

teenagers in that state and a dramatic decline in tobacco cigarette smoking.

A report entitled: "The 2014 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey” saw the percentage of high

school students who’d smoking cigarettes in the past 30 days had fallen from 18.1% in 2011

to 10.6% this year.  The percentage of high school students who had used or tried an e-

cigarette in the past 30 days was 12.9% in 2011 but 28% in 2014.

So the figures in both surveys show that more high school students are trying e-cigarettes

but that’s not translating into them moving onto tobacco smoking.  More people are being

intelligent and using a safer product rather than being bombarded by the poisons found in

tobacco cigarettes it makes for a positive future for the e-cigarette industry.  More and more

people will begin using e-cigarettes rather than tobacco cigarette, and more tobacco users

will switch to e-cigarettes.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Evidence Grows that Vaping helps Smoking Cessation

There have been plenty of reasons recently for the e-cigarette industry to celebrate. While

bandwagon jumping politicians and scare mongering health officials try to make life difficult,

there have been several studies that show the industry in a very good light.

Another one we can report comes from the University of Massachusetts which concluded

that daily use of electronic cigarettes for at least one month is strongly associated with

quitting smoking at follow up

The new study from the Center for Survey Research shows smokers who used e-cigarettes

daily for at least a month were six times as likely to quit smoking forever. That’s compared to

those who have rarely or never tried one.

“This study provides strong support for the potential harm-reducing value of electronic

cigarettes, which allow smokers to get the nicotine they want without exposing themselves to

the 4,000 toxic chemicals in tobacco cigarettes,” said Lois Biener, the study’s lead author.

The research was supported with funding from the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Now isn’t this great news?  Well of course it is but here’s something just as important that

needs to happen. Next time your county tries to impose restrictions on e-cigarettes, look if

they’re mentioning the positive studies that we’ve told you about this week. If they don’t, then

the simple question is why not?  That’s the problem you see, critics will quickly adopt any

negative comments but forget to mention the positive ones.

Back to this important study which is the first to follow a representative sample of smokers

over the course of three years. The authors discovered that two out of three smokers had

tried e-cigarettes and one in five were “intensive users.” That means they’ve used e-

cigarettes daily for a month or more.

A total of 695 smokers in Dallas/Fort Worth and Indianapolis were followed over the three

year period. By the end of that time period, 13% had quit smoking altogether. When

considering gender, race, and other differences among smokers, the intensive users were

six times as likely to have quit as nonusers and those who had tried the product once or


This report differs from others because previous studies that concluded there was no

relationship between vaping and smoking cessation didn’t group respondents by frequency

of use. It also points a way forward because further research is required to find out why

some smokers use e-cigarettes intensively and some don’t. In this way it’ll be possible to

better understand how to maximize effectiveness for cessation.

All very interesting indeed but the best quote comes from Lois Beiner and is something

every politician ready to enact laws against e-cigarettes should read and take note of.  She

writes:  “Policy makers need to think carefully before enacting any laws that make adult

smokers less likely to try these products, such as taxing e-cigarettes or eliminating flavors.”

That really makes sense because now we have yet more evidence that shows just how

important e-cigarettes are going to be for smokers desperate to give up their habit. Why go

round making life difficult for a product that can stop people smoking and improve their

health?  It really doesn’t make sense, just like the next politician who goes round saying

there’s no evidence about how useful e-cigarettes can be.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

No Gateway To Smoking From Vaping

No Gateway To Smoking From Vaping
Last week we told you about a survey that showed just how e-cigarettes can help people give up smoking. Now we have news of another survey that shows that e-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking.
That’s a claim that critics always seem to throw at the e-cigarette industry, especially when discussing their use by teenagers.   However data from the Office for National Statistics in the UK indicate those who use e-cigarettes are almost entirely current or former smokers.
The survey found that e-cigarettes were mainly used to help smokers quit, and because users saw them as being less harmful than cigarettes. Let’s hope that all the politicians and health officials read this survey and take note that their criticisms are way off the mark.
The proportion of adults who smoke cigarettes in the UK has fallen to 19%, a decrease of 27% in the past 39 years. The figures relate to 2013 so that’s likely to have fallen further and if more and more are switching to e-cigarettes then the industry’s future is looking brighter and brighter.
How many times do you hear critics going on about the lack of research? Well the ONS say they decided to publish their preliminary findings on e-cigarettes simply because of that need for more information.
Data showed that about one in ten of current cigarette smokers surveyed and one in 20 of former smokers now used e-cigarettes. Over half of e-cigarette users surveyed said they used them to stop smoking. One in five said it was because they thought they were safer than smoking tobacco. That’s got to be one of the understatements of the year.
The ONS found only a very small proportion of people who use e-cigarettes had never smoked before. Some 0.14 percent who have never smoked tobacco said they used e-cigarettes.
Prof Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, said: “Balanced and effective regulation of e-cigarettes will help manage the risks and maximise the potential for these products to replace smoking - greatly reducing smoking related disease that kills nearly 80,000 people in England every year."
Another promising statement came from Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation: “These data should again alleviate the fears expressed by some over an e-cigarette gateway effect - people trying e-cigarettes before moving on to the much more harmful practice of smoking.”
The survey totally contradicts the study by Columbia University that was published a couple of months ago.  They somehow claimed that e-cigarettes may function as a “gateway drug”
Co-author Denise B. Kandel, phD, claimed that “While e-cigarettes do eliminate some of the health effects associated with combustible tobacco, they are pure nicotine-delivery devices.”  A comment that totally disregards the fact that it is possible to buy e-liquids that don’t contain any nicotine.
Mind you, Kandel later said: “We don’t know whether e-cigarettes will prove to be a gateway to the use of conventional cigarettes and illicit drugs, but that’s certainly a possibility.”  So someone with a phD goes round making statements that include “we don’t know” and “that’s certainly a possibility.” That’s hardly a convincing argument is it?  It’s like an NFL expert saying “I don’t know whether Washington Redskins will win the Superbowl anytime soon but that’s certainly a possibility.”  Doesn’t really mean that much does it?
The comments of Eric Kandel didn’t get any better as he commented:  “E-cigarettes may be a gateway to both combustible cigarettes and illicit drugs.”  That means he doesn’t actually know if they are or aren’t. Perhaps he should read this new survey and stop making the news with comments that are in no way conclusive.
The problem is that such statements continue to be used by opponents and often the media gives more weight to them than positive comments.  It’s all part of the act of scare-mongering and flashy headlines that the media love so much.
The survey we have reported today deserves all the publicity it can get. Perhaps that might stop these gateway claims and the accusations of the marketing of e-cigarettes to minors.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Councils Really are Obsessed with Vaping

It’s been an interesting week for the e-cigarette industry with a promising study and even

Oxford Dictionaries naming ‘vape’ 2014’s Word of the Year.

But despite the study we told you about earlier this week, politicians and health officials

continue to make life difficult for vapers.

This week the Buffalo City Council passed an ordinance that bans the sale, possession or

use of the devices for minors. As we’ve mentioned many times in the past, those selling e-

cigarettes really have no intention of having under-18s as their customers.  But still the

legislators believe they have to take action.

However in Buffalo the situation really is quite bizarre. The ordinance states that minors can’t

be in possession of e-cigarettes or vapor pens even if they don’t contain any nicotine.  Now

we all know that youngsters manage somehow to get their hands on something they’re not

supposed to be using.   Wouldn’t you rather see those youngsters using e-cigarettes rather

than smoking tobacco cigarettes?  Course you would but still the legislators make life

difficult, even if rather than smoking tobacco cigarettes they are trying e-cigarettes with no

nicotine.  It just doesn’t make sense at all, you’d think the decisions were being made by a

buffalo not a politician in Buffalo.

It’s not just the politicians who need educating though. Sheridan College student JD Pittsley

believes e-cigarettes can be a gateway dangerous to dangerous habits.  He says:  “I think in

the long run it’ll be okay because the younger generation really gets into the smoking. I’m

against smoking, I think it’s really bad for your health, so I agree with it because it can be a


Perhaps Pittsley should go to  the college library and get on a computer to do some more

research into the subject. There he might learn about the comments of Gregory Conley,

President of the American Vaping Association. He’s on record as saying: “There is no

evidence e-cigarettes are gateways to smoking.”

There was a bit more common sense shown in Crystal Lake where the City Council were

discussing imposing regulations that would treat e-cigarettes like their evil tobacco

counterparts. I’m beginning to wonder if all these city councils have anything else to do aside

talking ignorantly about e-cigarettes.

This council heard from several people who had used e-cigarettes to give up smoking.

However Mayor Aaron Shepley said that whether they can be used for smoking cessation

wasn’t the question before the City Council.  So saving people’s lives by getting them off

tobacco cigarettes isn’t that important then.

Making sure no one vapes in a public place is far more important to these politicians.  They

were more interested in the impact vaping has on “people who are not vapors.” Shepley

concluded that “based on all the studies that we’ve been provided, the jury is, in fact still

out.”  It was probably a jury that had more witnesses for the prosecution than the defence,

that’s the way it goes when politicians discuss e-cigarettes.

With the jury “still out”, the council decided not to take up any of the suggested amendments.

Councilman Cameron Hubbard commented that there had been “no public outcry to

regulate” e-cigarettes.  That view was shared by Councilman Brett Hopkins who said the

issue hadn’t reached the point where it needs to be regulated.  So for once a council worked

out that all the actions taken against e-cigarettes by various other councils, are both

unwanted and unneeded.

Meanwhile in Hawaii the County Council gave a Bill that would prohibit the use of e-

cigarettes anywhere smoking traditional cigarettes are banned, its first reading.  They voted

6-2 in favour with Hilo Councilman Dennis Onishi and Puna Councilman Greggor Ilagan

being the two councilors voting against the bill.

Onishi wanted the ban to simply cover enclosed and partially enclosed structures owned or

leased by the county government. He also questioned why it was the bill banned the use of

e-cigarettes at beaches and parks. “It’s not to me like a regular cigarette, where you have

that burning smoke,” Onishi said.  However Council Chairman J Yoshimoto disagreed

saying: “If it’s bad indoors, it’s bad outdoors.”

Also upset by the ideas put forward by Onishi was South Kona/Ka’u Councilwoman Brenda

Ford. In her opinion ““It guts the whole bill.”   Ford said that she had read a number of

scientific studies that indicated using e-cigarettes is unhealthy for both the user and those


Sadly the councilwoman is rather selective in what she reads. Perhaps before the next

reading of the bill she will have read the work of Professor Robert West. He wrote that “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.”

Councilman Greggor Ilagan wanted the vote delayed until December 17. Just a week before

that he’s planning to attend the FDA workshop on e-cigarettes. That’s where the FDA will

spend the day telling you all the negative aspects of vaping while carefully making sure they

don’t talk about positive studies.

Ilagan told the meeting: “I’m still not sure. Maybe with everything you’ve learned, you’re

already sure and I respect that. Please allow me to get more information. I’m still learning.”

The council refused the request to delay the vote and probably wondered why Ilagan

couldn’t have already done some more research so he could speak better on the subject.

The council made their decision despite hearing from e-cigarette users, who said using the

product had helped them kick smoking tobacco cigarettes.  They also heard from an asthma

sufferer who said e-cigarettes harm her health even outdoors.

The problem with meetings such as this is that anything which is said that is anti e-cigarettes

always seems to carry more weight. All it needs is one asthma sufferer to complain and the

determined politicians believe that gives them the right to do anything they want to rid their

county of these products. Hopefully one day they’ll realize both sides of the story should be

given equal weight.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Make That Switch To Vaping Now

Critics love to have a go criticizing e-cigarettes, but perhaps one day they’ll sit down and

learn just how much they help people.  Then they can spend their time attacking more

credible threats in their quest to make the world a better place to live in.

All across the States there are shops opening up that specifically deal with e-cigarettes. It’s a

booming business but put the financial figures aside for a moment and each store has plenty 

of stories to tell.

Take Maggie Kaleita for example, she’s a fantastic example of why we should all be backing

this fantastic product. Maggie is a Penn State senior who used to smoke tobacco cigarettes

and did so until she received a frightening diagnosis.  Maggie learnt that she had Ewing’s

sarcoma,  a cancer affecting bones in children and young adults up to age 30.   “After you

get cancer, you can’t even think about smoking cigarettes without feeling guilty, so e-cigs

were a good alternative,” she said. Now she works as a cashier at McLanahan’s  where both

cigarettes and e-cigarettes are displayed behind the counter.

It’s easy to see why people are switching from the deadly tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes.

The liquid in e-cigarettes has a vegetable base with added flavoring and contains a fraction

of the carcinogens in tobacco cigarettes.

Zachary Boyer, the manager at Chronic Town, said he successfully used e-cigs as a way to

stop smoking tobacco. He knows others who have tried it as well and can tell us why.  In his

view people who smoke tobacco or hookah “do not really want to smoke cigarettes

regularly.”  So why switch to e-cigarettes?  “With e-cigs, they still get the buzz without the

health risks that go along with smoking actual cigarettes.”

That makes total sense but still the health officials and politicians carry on with their crusade

against e-cigarettes. That makes life difficult for those using the product and increases the 

chances of them going back to smoking tobacco.

It’s not just the shop owners/workers who are talking positively about e-cigarettes. Hotline

workers around the country are receiving calls aplenty from smokers wanting information

about e-cigarettes so they can kick their deadly habit.

November sees the Great National Smokeout and Quit coaches at Arizona Smokers Hotline

say in the past 18 months the calls about e-cigarettes keep on growing. Cynthia Thompson

is the director of the Arizona Smokers Helpline. She takes plenty of calls from clients who

proudly tell her how they have used e-cigarette to cut back on the number of tobacco

cigarettes they smoke.  Thompson says when she hears that “we’re going to engage them

where they are.”  As more and more evidence comes along then she’ll be able to

recommend e-cigarettes even more.

As part of the Great American Smoke Out, there were discussions about e-cigarettes held in

Michigan.  They heard plenty more stories about smokers who have turned to vaping. One

example was Tony Reed who said: "I don't think anyone in my family smokes anymore. I've

converted them all slowly, but surely."

A lot of critics claim that the different flavors in e-cigarettes are there simply to attract

youngsters. That’s not the case with Tony though, he tried lots of different flavors and in the

end starting making his own.

Tony used to smoke a pack and a half of cigarettes every day and was desperate to kick the

habit. “"I tried you know the same old story the patch, tried nicorette, tried some other things

and nothing really worked.”   Then he tried e-cigarettes and it was a great success:  “Within

two weeks I was done smoking and I haven't smoked since.”

He suggested e-cigarettes to other members of his family and they also managed to get off

cigarettes. Now he runs ‘Indigo Vapor’ and had a great reason for doing so:  “It worked so

well for me and for my brother and some other family members so we knew we could help

other people.”

Mark Potuck is the tobacco treatment specialist at IU Goshen. He has some misgivings over

e-cigarettes but mainly due to the lack of research into them. But even he admits that if a

patient told him it’s either vaping or smoking, he’d tell them vaping is the better option

because of the fewer bad chemicals present.

So as you can see, e-cigarettes really are the way forward.  Just imagine the future where

more and more people switch from smoking to vaping. That’s countless people turning to a

safer product, one that is healthier and will help prolong their lives.  Sounds good doesn’t it

and that’s simply because it is.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Research Shows that Vaping Helps

It’s always great to be able to give you news about another positive study about e-cigarettes.

The latest comes from researchers at KU Leven and it provides great news for those trying

to use the product to give up smoking tobacco cigarettes.

The new study states that e-cigarettes contain anywhere from 100 to 1000 times fewer toxic

substances than tobacco cigarettes and significantly reduce tobacco cravings.  Hopefully this

will be read by all the politicians and health officials who seem so keen to make life difficult

for the e-cigarette industry. Sadly plenty of those critics fail somehow to read all the positive

information that is available to be read.

The study followed 48 smokers who did not plan to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes for eight

months. They were split into three groups with two being able to both vape and smoke for

the first two months, while the third could only smoke tobacco cigarettes, talk about drawing

the short straw.  In the second stage of the study, which has been published in The

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the third group were

also given e-cigarettes.

The study found that long-term smokers were likely to trade in tobacco cigarettes for e-

cigarettes. 21% stopped smoking tobacco entirely, an additional 23% reduced the number of

tobacco cigarettes they smoked by half. Across all the groups, the number of tobacco

cigarettes smoked was cut by 60%.

“All the groups showed similar results after we introduced the e-cigs,” concluded Professor

Frank Baeyens and postdoctoral researcher Dinska Van Gucht of the Psychology of

Learning and Experimental Psychopathology Unit. “With guidance on practical use, the

nicotine e-cig offers many smokers a successful alternative for smoking less – or even

quitting altogether. E-cig users get the experience of smoking a cigarette and inhale nicotine

vapor, but do not suffer the damaging effects of a tobacco cigarette.”

“By comparison: of all the smokers who quit using nothing but willpower, only 3 to 5% remain

smoke-free for 6 to 12 months after quitting,” says Baeyens.

That’s fantastic news for the e-cigarette industry and next time a politician or health official

starts criticizing the product, it’ll be quoted right back at them. Tobacco cigarettes have

caused so much damage to people’s health for decades, surely a study like this will make

critics stand up and take notice of the good e-cigarettes can do.

We can but hope that this study greatly changes the views of certain health officials. For

example, Claire Oakley who is the Director of Population Health Services at Riverstone

Health Oakley claims that ‘advocates of vaping make the unproven claim that e-cigarettes

are safer than tobacco and may help smokers to quit.”

Unproven? Well I sincerely hope Oakley gets a copy of this study and then her opinions and

those of many others might just change.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Madison Ignores the Truth about E-Cigarettes

Another days goes by while the FDA sits and twiddles its thumbs trying to work out just how

to regulate e-cigarettes. As they do that city councils all across the States jump on the

bandwagon and take unwanted and unneeded action against the industry.

The latest news comes from Madison where the Mayor Paul Soglin and nine City Council

members, want to add e-cigarettes to their smoking ban. That means prohibition of using e-

cigarettes in most indoor places as well as posted areas of parks and beaches.

“We don’t know what’s in that vapor and we don’t know if it affects the environment or the

person sitting next to you,” said Ald. Lauren Cnare, 3rd District, lead sponsor of the proposal.

“There’s no evidence this stuff is clean and pure.”

That’s despite the fact that there have been so many positive studies about e-cigarettes that

make you sit back and wonder why critics want to make life difficult for the industry. For

example there’s the study by the University College of London which politicians in Madison

don’t seem able to quote from but we can.

Professor Robert West stressed that the concentration of harmful substances in e-cigarette

vapor is more than 20 times lower than in tobacco smoke. “You have to be a bit crazy to

carry on smoking conventional cigarettes when there are e-cigarettes available," he said.

"The vapour contains nothing like the concentrations of carcinogens and toxins as cigarette

smoke. In fact, concentrations are almost all well below a twentieth of cigarettes."

The claims have also been rightly criticized by Kevin DeBauch who owns the Huffle Puff

Vapors store, one of seven e-cigarette stores that have opened in the area this year.

“Without proof, I think this is just a knee-jerk reaction that will get in the way of people using

these devices to quit smoking (regular) cigarettes,” DeBauch said.

The fact that e-cigarettes can be so useful in helping people give up deadly tobacco

cigarettes isn’t even mentioned by the meddling Madison officials. Like most politicians they

simply need to hear one sentence criticizing e-cigarettes and away they go with their

legislation. Rumour is that if you eat too many cream cakes you could end up obese and that

will shorten your life-span.  Where’s all the legislation banning the sale of cream cakes?

Doug Jorenby works as the clinical services director at UW-Madison’s Tobacco Center for

Tobacco Research and Intervention, surely his views should be considered important when

the county decides how to deal with e-cigarettes?

Joreny says that “it’s a no-brainer” that switching from regular cigarettes to e-cigarettes

reduces harm to the user.

At present Wisconsin has an indoor smoking ban but that doesn’t apply to vaping. Earlier

this year Sen. Gleen Grothman, R-West Bend, tried unsuccessfully to pass a bill that would

have excluded e-cigarettes from the state’s smoking ban. With the Republicans now having

more seats in the State Legislature it’s possible the bill could be introduced again.

While we wait to see whether that happens, plenty of other councils have already jumped on

the bandwagon and taken action against e-cigarettes. Madison County is more than likely to

follow suit with so many council members trying to look tough by saying they approve the


They fail to realize of course the dangers of taking such measures against the e-cigarette

industry. These officials are elected to help people but surely making life difficult for e-

cigarette users won’t help them one bit.  It may well force them to go back to using tobacco

cigarettes and further damage their health.  It won’t help the growing number of vaping

stores in the area either.

These councillors are simply being blind to the good that e-cigarettes can do for the

members of their community. Perhaps they’ll feel good that they have been seen to be

passing strict laws but will the voters really benefit from what they are doing? The answer is

most definitely no.