Are electronic cigarettes safe?


E-cigarettes may help smokers to quit, but are they safe? Our writer investigates whether e-cigarettes are really saving lives.

“Am I going to get arrested by the P.C. police?” asks actor Katherine Heigl as she puffs on an e-cigarette during a recent interview with David Letterman. Meanwhile, Jenny McCarthy takes a drag on one in a TV advertisement, while celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Moss are spotted with them in their off hours.

Is smoking cool again? Not exactly, but “vaping” seems to be.If you haven’t seen an e-cigarette yet, you will soon. Despite warnings from Health Canada not to purchase or use e-cigarettes, they were openly peddled at last year’s Academy Awards, various fashion weeks and the Toronto International Film Festival.

What is an e-cigarette?
An electronic cigarette is a cylindrical device made of stainless steel or plastic that mimics an ordinary cigarette in appearance and use, but does not contain tobacco. Instead, it contains water, flavouring, propylene glycol and sometimes nicotine. There are prefilled disposable varieties and rechargeable varieties, the latter providing the closest approximation of the experience of smoking.

Though e-cigarettes vary in size and flavour, a typical e-cigarette consists of a battery and an atomizer (or “clearomizer”) for converting “e-juice” to vapour. If nicotine is added, vapers—the common name for e-cigarette users—tend to start with 28-milligram varieties and transition to lower amounts over time, with 14 and seven milligrams being the most popular. Batteries are usually rechargeable, and there’s an indicator light that glows like a lit cigarette when the vaper inhales. Small e-cigarette batteries last just 60 to 90 minutes, but larger ones can last for up to six hours.

Vaping requires a longer, gentler pull than ordinary cigarette smoking and produces only a slight odour, similar to that of theatrical fog. Although the start-up cost of e-cigarettes is a bit steep (about $75), it costs just $1.75 per day thereafter for a pack-a-daysmoker—much less than the minimum $10-per-day cost of smoking tobacco.

Can you buy e-cigarettes in Canada?

American Herbert Gilbert invented the mechanical smokeless cigarette in 1963, but vapour-producing electronic cigarettes weren’t developed until 2003 in Beijing. Disposables came to Canada in 2007 and went largely unnoticed until Health Canada issued an advisory on March 27, 2009, warning Canadians not to purchase or use electronic smoking products. The reason for the warning? E-cigarettes hadn’t been fully evaluated for safety, quality or efficacy by Health Canada. That was the organization’s first and last official statement on the matter.

Since then, the popularity of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed. Between 2010 and 2011, five online Canadian e-cigarette companies were launched. During that same period, Health Canada issued compliance letters to 18 online Canadian companies selling e-cigarettes, at least one of which closed down out of fear of repercussions by government regulators.

Electronic cigarettes that contain nicotine or come with health claims fall within the scope of the Food and Drugs Act and require market authorization by Health Canada prior to being imported, advertised or sold. No electronic cigarettes with nicotine have been authorized by Health Canada. Which isn’t to say they aren’t being sold. The Internet is the largest source of e-cigarette sales in the country, but many convenience stores, gas stations, tobacconists and mall kiosks openly sell them, too, often with nicotine. Health Canada can refuse e-cigarette products with health claims or nicotine at the border, but enforcement is compliance-based.

Some vendors are now selling the e-cigarette hardware separately. “If you sell dry kits, they’re considered a consumer product,” says Rob Kane, owner of Evapers, an online Canadian supplier of e-cigarette gear. “It’s similar to the way it is legal to sell bongs but not marijuana.”

Accordingly, there’s a sort of “underground” approach to the sale of e-cigarettes, which can make quality assurance difficult. “What’s happening is you’re getting the sort of products that are willing to be sold in that way,” says David Sweanor, an adjunct professor of law at the University of Ottawa. “Health Canada has chased the legitimate companies out of the country.” While some larger companies are looking to enter the market—NJOY opened a Canadian office in September with one employee—the domestic e-cigarette industry remains mostly small businesses.

Who uses e-cigarettes?
Most e-cigarette users are smokers aiming to cut back on cigarettes or quit them altogether. There is evidence the devices are helping. “The use of small doses of nicotine is very helpful in getting individuals to stop smoking, which is reflected in the success of nicotine-replacement therapy,” says Dr. Andrew Pipe, MD, chief of prevention and rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Also, many smokers feel the action of smoking is just as addictive as the nicotine. “Nicotine-free e-cigarettes have reduced the amount I smoke,” says a 28-year-old, a North Vancouver–based smoker who asked not to be named. “If e-cigarettes with nicotine were readily available, I would likely stop smoking completely, and I think it would help others.”

The average vaper is a 35- to 65-year-old former or current smoker. “There are a lot of new parents in their 20s who vape because they don’t want to smoke around the baby,” says Kate Ackerman, owner of  Electrovapors and one of the founding directors of Canada’s Electronic Cigarette Trade Association (ECTA), which was started in 2011 by 10 e-cigarette companies. There is also an emerging market of young 20-somethings who vape in clubs simply to avoid going outside.

Yes, that’s right, you can vape almost anywhere: in your office, in a restaurant and even on live television. Smoke-free bylaws don’t apply to e-cigarettes, and laws regulating their use in public places are not under Health Canada’s jurisdiction; any such laws would be the responsibility of provincial, territorial or municipal governments. “The fact that e-cigarettes can be smoked in defiance of smoking bans is a common theme in many advertising campaigns,” says Suzanne Gaby, manager of Quit Now Services for the B.C. Lung Association. Gaby worries that increased social exposure to e-smoking may contribute to a new acceptance of cigarette use. “Several schools have reported that students are flaunting the use of e-cigarettes on school property,” she says.

According to the American National Youth Tobacco Survey, electronic cigarette usage in high schools more than doubled between 2011 and 2012, and a Quebec study commissioned by the University of Montreal found that nearly a quarter of 18- to 24-year-olds have used electronic cigarettes. “When you take the risk away from nicotine, more people will use it,” says Carl V. Phillips, PhD, scientific director of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association.

Are electronic cigarettes harmful?
One thing is abundantly clear: “E-cigarettes are about 99 percent less harmful than ordinary cigarettes,” says Phillips, who has extensively researched low-risk smoking substitutes.

Phillips and other experts believe nicotine is indeed addictive, but that its health risks are, like caffeine, so low they can’t be measured. “Nicotine is not cancer causing,” says Gaby. Smoking tobacco kills people; nicotine doesn’t. With a few exceptions, such as pregnant women, nicotine has not been shown to cause harm to humans. And the propylene glycol found in e-juice has been used in asthma inhalers and nebulizers since the 1950s, and is often found in atomized medication. (Propylene glycol also produces the fog in theatrical stage productions.) It is included on the FDA’s list of substances that are “generally recognized as safe.”

Even Sweanor—who helped establish policies in the ’80s and ’90s that led to a 40 percent reduction in smoking and helped get cigarettes out of airplanes, restaurants and bars—is pro e-cigarettes. “What I am against is unnecessary disease and death, so I am in favour of things that keep people alive,” he says.

Sweanor admits the inhalation of fine particulate matter could have long-term risks. “Nothing is completely safe,” he says. “Driving is not safe. Driving drunk is really not safe.

It makes sense to ban drunk driving but still let people drive cars. Life will always have some risk—you need to learn to manage it.”

The benefits of e-cigarette regulation
“By age 30, most smokers want to quit, but we’re not giving them anything effective to help,” says Sweanor. “We know cigarettes kill over half of long-term users.” Worldwide, 1.5 billion people get their nicotine from tobacco products; e-cigarettes are the first viable alternative for many. So why won’t the government authorize them?

“It’s our culture of fear and our inability to manage and understand risk,” says Sweanor. In Britain, where the percentage of smokers who’ve switched to e-cigarettes has grown from two percent in May 2011 to 16 percent in August 2013, a risk-reduction approach has been taken, leading e-cigarettes to be regulated like medicine.

“Canada should regulate e-cigarettes immediately,” says Dr. Pipe. Not only does lack of regulation make it difficult to get safer nicotine-based e-cigarettes, it means consumers have no way of knowing what they’re getting. In some cases, e-juice is being mixed in distributors’ basements.

Worst-case scenario: A consumer could buy e-juice with a higher nicotine content than advertised, possibly even toxic levels. (It should be noted, however, that nicotine toxicity can also be reached by smoking too many cigarettes or chewing too much nicotine gum.) “Health Canada should impose regulations including accuracy in labelling, the use of only pure ingredients, and controlled manufacturing,” says Phillips. Until then, the ECTA is setting its own regulations in an attempt to be more accountable. Consumers worried about the quality of their e-cigarettes can look for the ECTA label on vendor displays.

Government regulations could make the sale of e-cigarettes to minors illegal, could limit where e-cigarettes can be vaped, could limit advertising and could make ownership by tobacco companies more difficult. In October, Lorillard, America’s third-biggest tobacco company, acquired the U.K.-based e-cigarette maker SKYCIG for $49 million. If more tobacco companies gain control, why would they encourage people to move to a potentially safer, less profitable option? “I’m worried what will happen if the tobacco industry gains control of e-cigarettes,” says Gaby.

We have more information about smoking, including what happens to your body when you smoke.

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Health professor attacks Otago University’s vaping ban



A vaping ban on the University of Otago’s campus is based more on prejudice than science, a Massey public health professor says.

“It’s shocking,” longtime tobacco researcher Associate Prof Marewa Glover, of Massey University, said.

In an internal memo circulated about the change, Otago University told staff its smoke-free campus policy had been changed to include “e-cigarettes, e-hookah, and any other vaporisers (whether delivering nicotine or not)”.

The amendment to the policy came after the vice-chancellor’s advisory group “took advice from some of our public health researchers”.

“Advice will continue to be sought as more research comes to light,” it said.

In response to questions about the university’s amended policy, human resources director Kevin Seales said it was an approach “taken by a number of other universities”.

Prof Glover said although many public health academics remained sceptical, there was much evidence electronic cigarettes helped people who wanted to quit smoking.

And she was not opposed to smoke-free campuses — quite the opposite.

“The prevalence of smoking is highest among 18-25 year olds,” she said.

“We should be trying to help students — and staff, if they still smoke — to quit smoking.”

That was why vaping should not be discouraged, she said.

“There’s no medical reason and no social reasons for banning vaping. There’ve been studies, there’s nothing to fear, there’s no second-hand vape effect.

“Let’s put that to the side, that one’s clear.”

Another reason offered up by electronic cigarette opponents, she said, was that it would undermine the “smoke-free culture” fostered by smoke-free campuses, because vaping, at first glance, looked like smoking.

But that, too, was unfounded, Prof Glover said.

“I’ve done research with children, we showed them videos of someone smoking [and of] someone vaping, and tried to get from them — what did they think, what did they see?”

Once the children learned what an electronic cigarette was, they distinguished between smoking and vaping with ease, she said.

Mr Seales cited both reasons dismissed by Prof Glover as justifications for the change.

“The advice taken by the university noted that … [e-cigarettes] still emit toxins, and those passively exposed to e-cigarette vapour absorb nicotine.”

And allowing vaping “within a designated smoke-free environment is likely to promote dual use (e.g. cigarettes and vaporisers) and deter cessation, complicate policy enforcement, and potentially attract current non-smokers to vaping and then to combustible tobacco”, he wrote.

Prof Glover was not entirely surprised by the change, because the Wellington branch of the university’s public health department housed “the strongest opponents against electronic cigarettes in the country”, she said.

In May, eight researchers from the department co-authored a lengthy blog post on Otago’s website about electronic cigarettes.

But blog post lead author Associate Prof Nick Wilson said he was not aware of the change in the university’s policy, and did not think the department had been consulted on it. He was not sure who the “public health researchers” cited in the university’s memo were.

“But I may be out of the loop on that,” he said.

Cannabis activists are also up in arms about the change, saying it was a political move designed to shut down thrice-weekly cannabis vaping sessions on campus.

Pro-cannabis law reform student group Otago Norml spokesman Abe Gray, who organises the sessions as a protest against New Zealand’s cannabis legislation, said the university had a “hidden agenda” in changing its policy on vaping — forcing the session off campus.

“There’s this vindictive element as well,” he said.

The university did not respond directly to questions about whether its new policy was designed to shut down the cannabis sessions, saying only the policy changed “after the vice-chancellor’s advisory group took public health advice”.

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Keep vaping China, don’t listen to the World Health Organization on e-cigarettes

When it comes to smoking and vaping, the world of public health seems more like Oceania, 1984, every day. In that Orwellian realm, Big Brother issued nonsense statements such as “war is peace, slavery is freedom, ignorance is strength.”


In the U.S., the CDC and the California Department of Health have assumed the role of Big Brother, effectively telling smokers they might as well keep puffing because e-cigarettes are hardly any safer. Talk about an Orwellian inversion statement!

In truth, vaping is far less risky than smoking. E-cigarettes and other devices heat a nicotine solution to produce an inhalable vapor. They release none of the carcinogenic tar of cigarette smoke, making them the ideal nicotine-delivery system for smokers seeking to reduce or halt their intake of combusted tobacco products.

On a global scale, the World Health Organization is Big Brother. Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO’s director-general, is a confirmed skeptic. As she told China Daily last week– “I recommend that national governments ban, or at least regulate, them,” she said. (Elsewhere, Dr. Chan has opined that e-cigarettes should be regulated the same way cigarettes are regulated– even though they are not remotely equivalent in terms of harm.)

Dr. Chan’s comments were contained in a news story on Beijing’s crackdown on indoor smoking which began on June 1st. The ban has reportedly boosted the public profile of e-cigarettes. As a result, the article said, vaping is becoming increasingly popular, particularly with young urbanites, according to Gan Quan, China director of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.

This is good news. As a just-published report in Lancet about the toll of smoking in China makes clear, switching from smoking to vaping for people who can’t quit on their own or via traditional means is a public health imperative. Researchers reported that two in three men there smoke (under four percent of women do). They estimate that smoking will cause about 20% of all adult male deaths in China during the 2010s. In raw numbers, the annual deaths in China caused by tobacco will rise from about 1 million in 2010 to 2 million in 2030 and 3 million in 2050, unless there is widespread cessation.

Beijing’s vaping trend is promising but country-wide, rapid transition from smoking to vaping is unlikely because smoking is deeply embedded in the culture. As a commenter in China Daily wrote: “Serving a cigarette is good manners. When we meet our boss, we serve a cigarette to him to show our respect. When we talk to somebody, we offer a cigarette as a peace offering, which will build trust observably. We thank our plumber with his fee and a cigarette, we serve a cigarette to a guest, suggesting ‘You are very welcome.’ A cigarette (a nice cigarette is better) is an external, material expression of a compliment. To our shy, not-good-with-words Chinese, cigarettes helps us talk.”

These facts show how nonsensical it is to consider a ban on e-cigarettes while failing to call for one on cigarettes. After all, cigarettes are 20-100 times more dangerous than vaping.

In fact, if China truly wants to be smoke-free, it is not clear why the government, which is not known to be shy about imposing paternalistic policies in other areas, does not simply ban cigarette production and let e-cigarette use bloom.

After all, e-cigarettes are a homegrown product, invented in China in 2003. Shenzhen province housed 900 manufacturers of the devices in 2013, up 200% from the previous year, and accounted for over 95% of global e-cigarette production. Yet, despite considerable progress in e-cigarette industry, China’s traditional cigarettes still dominate the Chinese market.

As Yanzhong Huang of the Council on Foreign Relations recently pointed out, “If only 1% of China’s smoking population turned to e-cigarettes, it would mean a market of about 3.5 million e-cigarette users.” The state-owned China National Tobacco Corporation, which sells almost all of the cigarettes consumed in the country, could become the world’s largest e-cigarette maker.

Right now, however, the Corporation is a massive income source for the nation. It generates CN¥816 billion (7-10% of GDP) in revenue. Indeed, tobacco receipts finance as much as half of some provincial governments’ budgets. The loss of so much income would make prohibition a huge challenge.

Another barrier is low public awareness. Only 25 percent of Chinese adults have a comprehensive understanding of thehealth risks of smoking, and less than a third are aware of the dangers of second-hand smoking, according to World Health OrganizationLess than 10 percent of Chinese smokers quit by choice and Chinese people are beginning to smoke atyounger ages.

As for those Chinese smokers who do turn to vaping, China’s e-cigarette industry is currently very poorly regulated and the quality of vaping products is uneven. If e-cigarettes are to replace traditional cigarettes and offset lost tobacco revenues, the government must regulate the industry more carefully to ensure safety and quality.

In the end, China is unlikely to ban cigarettes. At the very least, then, the environment should be made as friendly as possible for moving smokers to quality-made e-cigarettes.

Is there any hope for WHO on this issue? Dr. Chan has already received important information about the promise of electronic cigarettes. In spring 2014, 53 international health experts wrote a joint letter encouraging her to “resist the urge” to “control and suppress” electronic cigarettes by classifying them as equivalent to cigarettes for purposes of regulation. The letter was issued in the run up to the sixth Conference of the Parties, COP6, under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The signatories advocated for tobacco harm reduction, or safer nicotine use in the form of vaping, to be considered by the parties.

In the fall of 2014, COP6 culminated in a decision to “prepare an expert report, with independent scientists and concerned regulators, for the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties. The report will include an update on the evidence of thehealth impacts of [electronic nicotine delivery systems], [their] potential role in quitting tobacco usage, [and their] impact on tobacco control efforts.”

This sounds promising – if the scientists involved are truly independent of a pre-existing animus against harm reduction. Geneva insiders, such as Dr. Delon Human of Switzerland-based Health Diplomats, anticipate that such an analysis won’t be available until the next COP meeting, probably slated for fall 2016.

One wants to be optimistic about COP7, but just in case, I hope many of the experts who penned the earlier letter to Dr. Chan, will write her again with a detailed, data-rich assessment of the virtues of tobacco harm reduction. If WHO is a responsible, evidence-driven agency, it will quit the doublespeak on e-cigarettes.

Maverick BankCard Sponsors and Exhibits at Vape Nights 2015 in Ontario, California

AGOURA HILLS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Maverick BankCard, an industry leader in merchant services and payment processing with a reputation for their consulting-based approach and outstanding customer support, has announced they’ll be sponsoring and exhibiting at Vape Nights 2015 in Ontario, California on October 29th and 30th.

Vape Nights is an exclusive business-to-business trade show for the vape and electronic cigarette (e-cig) industry to bring manufacturers, retailers, activists, wholesalers and other professionals together. With a goal to invite over 5,000 stores, distributors, and e-tailers across the US along with several hundred international businesses, Vape Nights is a great expo for anyone in the industry looking to network and gain more knowledge.

Alan Griefer, CEO of Maverick BankCard, said, “Maverick is very excited and looks forward to attending Vape Nights to meet with partners, clients and others in the industry. We are excited to share our knowledge and expertise in all fields of the electronic payments market with other attendees, and to help all e-cig and vape businesses create solutions that will help them grow their business. Our unique approach with our clients allows each payment solution to be customized for their business’s needs whether they’re brick & mortar, online or a wholesaler. The vape and e-cig market has always been a non-traditional industry in the eyes of mainstream banks but our knowledge of the industry and banking partners allows us to remain a top provider for this industry, offering low-cost and streamlined solutions. As an e-cig and vape specialist, our solutions and services are built for both card-present and card-not-present businesses regardless of their size to help mitigate fraud, stay competitive, remain efficient, and utilize high-tech equipment and software.”

With hundreds of businesses scheduled to attend the convention, Maverick is excited to strategize with merchants to discuss their payment processing needs and how we can improve them. Maverick’s booth number is 1713 and they’ll have a team of payment experts ready to discuss anything payment-related and showcase cutting-edge equipment and software.

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How insurers are fleecing e-cigarette users

e-cigarette_2781811bAdmitting that you use e-cigarettes could cost you thousands of pounds in additional premiums. What basis is there for this price difference, asks James Daley

It’s no secret that smoking tobacco isn’t great for your health. But when it comes to the world of insurance, it’s always been a little more complicated.

When you’re young, and buy your first life insurance policy, being a smoker can be costly. In fact, it’s likely to double your premiums. Same goes for any other kind of protection insurance – like critical illness cover or income protection.

But if you make it all the way to retirement as a smoker, it finally starts to pay back in your favour. Smokers can buy a better retirement income than their clean living peers.

As always, these prices are driven by statistics. Life insurance is more costly as a smoker because you’re more likely to die while your policy’s in force. And for exactly the same reason, pension companies will offer you more in retirement – because they expect to be paying it to you for fewer years than someone who doesn’t smoke.

The safe alternative to smoking?

But what about so-called “vaping” and electronic cigarettes? These have been the key to many heavy smokers giving up over the past few years – and a few months back, a UK government study even suggested it is 95% less harmful than smoking regular cigarettes.

So in the face of broadly positive press for e-cigarettes, why is it that the insurance industry has decided that they are just as bad for you as the real thing? What do they know that we don’t?

Take out a life insurance policy today and you’ll almost certainly be asked if you’ve “smoked any tobacco products over the past 12 months (including e-cigarettes)”. It’s a yes or no answer – and if you answer yes, your premium will be twice as expensive.

No evidence

If the life insurers were able to base their decision in statistics – this decision may be more defensible. But given that they don’t even ask people to specify whether they vape or smoke – they don’t even have the data. Not to mention the fact that e-cigarettes have only been around for about a decade – which isn’t enough time to compile any meaningful results.

It’s hard to see this as anything other than a cynical ploy to pocket a few extra quid.

This is not the only anomaly to be found in a life insurance application form. Insurers routinely ask questions about alcohol consumption, family health history, and even your waist line. These are fairly intrusive questions – but are perhaps fair enough in terms of the clear links between these factors and an individual’s mortality. But insurers also ask if you’ve ever suffered from “stress”. Anyone who answers no to that question is surely not being honest with themselves. But anyone who answers yes may find their premium pushed up – as they’re shoved into the mental health problems bucket.

It’s time for the regulator to take a look at the way insurers set their prices – not just in life insurance, but in all areas of insurance. There are too many areas where the evidence is simply not clear enough to justify the way that insurers choose to treat prospective or even existing customers. One of my greatest bugbears is an insurer’s right to put your car insurance premium up if you’re involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault. Regardless of whether the statistics justify their reasoning, it’s simply not fair play.

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KIMREE’s STL Electronic Cigarette Comes Out On Top

KIMREE STL Electronic Cigarette

SHENZHEN, China, Oct. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — With smoking bans and modern health awareness, tobacco alternatives such as nicotine tablets, chewing tobacco, nicotine gum, smokeless tobacco, flue-cured tobacco and electronic cigarettes have all into being.With such a variety of options, it may be difficult for consumers to choose.

A multi-angle impartial comparison about various tobacco alternatives has been done by Andre, the chairman of Huizhou KIMREE Technology Co., Ltd. which has successfully submitted a listing application report to NASDAQ.

The results are as follows:

1. Consumer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction of use/process
Nicotine tablets Take tablets with water, like. No medicine satisfaction.
Chewing tobacco Consume by chewing; the satisfaction is different than traditional smoking. There is a certain sense of satisfaction.
Nicotine gum Consume by chewing; ; the satisfaction is different than traditional smoking, like chewing gum. There is a certain sense of satisfaction.
Chemical smoking Like cigarette to smoke, because at room temperature, it relies on chemical reagent, no smoking feeling. Poor satisfaction.
Fire flue-cured tobacco Like cigarette to smoke, high temperature and strong simulation.
Electronic flue-cured tobacco Like cigarette to smoke, high temperature and strong simulation.
Electronic cigarette Like cigarette to smoke, high temperature and strong simulation.

Chemical smoking is in the poor rating. Without the feeling of smoking, nicotine tablets, chewing tobacco and nicotine gum are also unsatisfactory. While flue-cured tobacco and electronic cigarette use temperature baking and have high simulation degree, they havestrong consumer satisfaction.

2. The effect of customers’ use:

The effect of customers’ use
Nicotine tablets Nicotine absorbed into the body through the digestive system, which will take you about 30 minutes to feel.
Chewing tobacco Nicotine absorbed into the body through the digestive system, which will take you about 30 minutes to feel.
Nicotine gum Nicotine absorbed into the body through the digestive system, which will take you about 30 minutes to feel.
Chemical smoking Most nicotine absorbed into the body through digestive system while a small amount absorbed through respiratory system, it needs about 20-30 minutes to feel.
Fire flue-cured tobacco Nicotine absorbed into the body through digestive system and respiratory system, it needs about 15-30 minutes to feel.
Electronic flue-cured tobacco Nicotine absorbed into the body through digestive system and respiratory system, it needs about 15-30 minutes to feel.
Electronic cigarette STM (Straight to Mouth) e-cigarette: Most nicotine absorbed into the body through digestive system while a small amount absorbed through respiratory system, it needs about 20-30 minutes to feel.STL (Straight to Lung) e-cigarette: Nicotine only absorbed into the body through digestive system, it needs about 10 minutes to feel.

Nicotine tablets, chewing tobacco and nicotine gum are absorbed through the digestive system, needing 30 minutes to work.Chemical smoking, flue-cured tobacco, STM electronic cigarettes are through the digestive system and the respiratory system into the body, need 15 – 30 minutes to work. STL electronic cigarette is through the respiratory system, needs only 10 minutes to work.

3. The cost performance:

The possible tax policy of future vs. now The cost performance for consumers
Nicotine tablets Special nicotine drugs, low taxation Affordable
Chewing tobacco Special tobacco tax, moderate tax Not Affordable
Nicotine gum Special nicotine food, low taxation Affordable
Chemical smoking Special tobacco tax, moderate tax Not Affordable
Fire flue-cured tobacco Special tobacco tax, moderate tax Not Affordable
Electronic flue-cured tobacco Special tobacco tax, moderate tax Not Affordable
Electronic cigarette Special nicotine products, low taxation Affordable

Regarding the cost performance, due to chewing tobacco, chemical smoking and flue-cured tobacco being listed as special tobacco it is levied a medium tax and therefore relatively not affordable; but nicotine tablets, nicotine gum and electronic cigarettes are special nicotine products, and are therefore relatively affordable due to low taxation.

4. Versatility:

Nicotine tablets None
Chewing tobacco None
Nicotine gum None
Chemical smoking None
Fire flue-cured tobacco None
Electronic flue-cured tobacco None
Electronic cigarette Medical devices

Compared to other tobacco alternatives, electronic cigarettes have a special feature that it can be developed in the future, possibly as a medical device.

According to the comprehensive comparison, electronic cigarettes in aspects such as cost and user experience it is the most suitablealternative. Furthermore, KIMREE original constant temperature STL electronic cigarette’s advantage is highlight. KIMREE STL e-cigarette due to the absorption process efficient and highly realistic experience is widley enjoyed by consumers.

Photo –

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Up in vapour

The rising trend of vaping, why it is exploding, and what it means for public health



On season two of the Netflix drama House of Cards, when U.S. Vice President Frank Underwood gestured, electronic cigarette in hand, and uttered in his famous southern drawl, “It’s addiction without the consequences,” vaping society had already passed the point of no return.

Many assume the popularity of conventional cigarettes is maintained at least partly through smoking’s portrayal in the media; it is safe to assume, then, that vaping – the use of electronic coils as a heating mechanism for inhaling vapour which until recently may have been considered a passing fad – has thoroughly permeated the realm of niche culture and continues to work its way into the territory of normalization.

Views on this cultural trend are varied. There are those who swear by vaping as a way to stop smoking regular cigarettes. Others question its effectiveness, and decry the fact that there’s still so much we don’t know about the devices and their potential dangers.

Experts are still trying to paint a clear picture of various vaping products and their potential impacts on public health. In the meantime, there is no doubt that this trend is on the rise, which means that policymakers are under pressure to address e-smoking in an environment shrouded with uncertainty.

From smoke-ring blowing novelty users to lifetime researchers of smoking, U of T is home to people from all ends of the vaping scene. Right now, the possibilities span from the widespread resurgence of smoking addictions to the eradication of conventional cigarettes, and everything in between, leaving the future of these devices decidely murky.

Picking up vape

There are at least nine vape shops within walking distance of U of T. On my walk from Hart House and the closest one, EsmokerCanada at Yonge and Gloucester, I passed at least half a dozen people drawing on the curious and increasingly ubiquitous devices.

I went there to speak with Mario Martinasevic, the owner of the Canadian chain, to ask him about how he thinks the trend is evolving. When I arrived, I admit I was surprised to observe that the shop did not fit in with the ambiance of the surrounding downtown Yonge Street. EsmokerCanada is bright and spacious, with impressive glass displays lining the edge displaying hundreds of different products.

I found Martinasevic minding his shop, clutching an elaborate vape in hand. He invited me to sit and talk, occasionally dragging on an instrument which, to me, looks closer to a clarinet than a tobacco cigarette.

Martinasevic told me that he opened EsmokerCanada in 2011, and that the Yonge Street location is the one of the newest “brick and mortar” installations of the growing company.

“Our business has pretty much tenfolded since 2011,” Martinasevic says.

The clientele coming in are 70 per cent established smokers looking to quit, says Martinasevic, adding that he believes this is because the product has a higher success rate than other smoking cessation tools.

“This is due to not just giving you the nicotine fix but also giving you something to hold and actually gives you the physical satisfaction and also the psychological satisfaction,” he explains.

When a new client comes in looking to ease off of nicotine, Martinasevic will recommend they start with low vapour, high nicotine products and transition to ones that are lower in nicotine, substituting higher volumes of vapour.

The other 30 per cent of customers are reportedly hobbyists, or weekend users.

There are over 170 different products available at this shop, from simple, tubular systems with a battery, an atomizer, and a cartridge which resemble cigarettes (when I went, there was a sign out front offering these for free to new clients) to more sophisticated, systems with larger batteries and reservoirs for e-juice. Some of the products contain nicotine at varying strengths; others are just vapour fluids.

Kelvin Xu, a second year industrial engineering student, says he falls under the category of those using vape products to stop smoking cigarettes.

“[T]he smell, the taste and the health benefit… are why I prefer it over cigarettes,” said Xu.

While Xu said he picked up vaping on the advice of a friend, he doesn’t really see vaping as part of a cool trend.

“I would say there’s a slightly more edgier perception towards smoking cigarettes. Just because of movies and stuff,” Xu says, adding, “You kind of seem a bit cooler but also… it gives off sort of a bad feeling…So then vaping would be the not as cool alternative.”

At the same time, Xu is aware of a perception of vapers as a performative hobbyist group, as opposed to people who genuinely want to make healthier choices. “A lot of people rip on people who vape because of that,” he said.

One fairly recent user is Edmure,* a fifth-year U of T student who took up vaping about three weeks ago as a way to try to curb his reliance on cigarettes.

“This is not a sexy object. I always sort of took pride in being kind of like a cinematic smoker …I got a lot of compliments when I was younger,” Edmure said.

In contrast, Edmure described his use of e-smoking as a utility, not a performance.

“When I first bought it my roommate made fun of me a lot because I guess he had a better sense of there being a culture or at least an understood scene for vaping [of] a lot of guys with neckbeards on Youtube trying to see who can blow the biggest cloud,” he said.

“It was never really about that for me.”

Cessation, replacement, or new health hazard?

While Martinasevic attributes the growth of EsmokerCanada to the product’s usefulness as a cessation device, researchers in the field don’t agree about whether this is the case, or if cessation is even the right term to use when referring to smokers seeking out vape products.

“It’s quite split the field,” said Dr. Roberta Ferrence, Principal Investigator and Senior Scientific Advisor at the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU), and professor at U of T’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. “There’s a group even among scientists who feel …this may be a way out of the tobacco epidemic, or the cigarette epidemic, and there are others who feel that you need to look at the net impact,” Ferrence explained.

Ferrence works with Dr. Robert Schwartz, executive director of OTRU and principal investigator of RECIG, a Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)-OTRU collaboration backed by provincial funding. The RECIG team is currently working on a widespread literature distillation and its own research, which will inform public policy decisions surrounding e-cigarettes in Ontario.

For Schwartz, the question of e-cigarettes as smoking cessation tools simply cannot be answered at this time due to a lack of scientific evidence.

“ …[W]e’ve just completed a systematic review of the literature that looks at studies of different sorts that have been done on whether people who are smokers of tobacco cigarettes successfully quit using e-cigarettes and whether we can attribute any increase in the likelihood of successfully quitting regular cigarettes to the use of e-cigarettes,” Schwartz explained. “And the answer is definitely no at this point.”

Schwartz went on to say that this doesn’t mean e-cigarettes might not still be useful for this purpose, but that the available evidence does not show that it is.

For Xu’s part, he feels that vaping has allowed him to reduce his dependence not just on cigarettes, but on the vape – and the nicotine it contains – itself.

“Personally…with cigarettes before it was a full on addiction. I ha[d] to smoke. Now that I have this vape pen on hand, and I don’t have to spend as much money to smoke it …I haven’t done it as frequently,” he explained.

If the evidence did arise in favour of e-smoking as a cessation tool however, Schwartz says this would entirely change the role that e-cigarettes play in society, especially in how they are sold.

In that event, he says “it should be brought in as a medicine probably and marketed in that way.”

Another member of the RECIG team and clinical director, addictions at CAMH, Dr. Peter Selby, says that cessation might not even be the right way to look at the role of vaping in public health.

“It would require [vaping] to become like a medicine which would then make it very difficult for it to then develop down that path,” Selby said of the devices as cessation tools.

“What might be a better way to think about it is… is it good replacement for cigarettes?”

Selby said that one way to look at vaping is as a technological advance.

“ …[C]igarettes are technologies that potentially came into being prior to the telephone, just a little after morse code. And we’re still using it. [I]t delivers 7000 chemicals, it still requires combustion, causes fires etc., and causes a lot of death and destruction, not so much from the nicotine in the device but from the non-nicotine constituents of cigarette smoke.”

He goes on to explain that vaping may be seen as a technological alternative to this outdated product, if it meets certain qualifications.

“ …[A]s long as this product becomes as safe as it possibly can and does not lead to harm by how it delivers the nicotine, and doesn’t lead to harm by propylene glycol – which is the other constituent [that] can lead to problems – then we might have a way safer product on the market that is more acceptable to smokers, and that creates the climate to ban cigarettes completely.”

And while the idea of banning cigarettes completely is enticing, there are many questions that follow Selby’s thought process of which he and his colleagues are acutely aware.

What are the health effects of vaping in and of itself? All other toxins aside, what problems arise from inhaling nicotine? Do e-cigarettes cause an addiction to nicotine the same way that tobacco cigarettes do? And, the “million dollar question” as Selby calls it, are e-cigarettes a gateway to using tobacco cigarettes, especially for youth?

What do we know? 

I asked Schwartz to shed some light on what we know about some of these questions. He tells me that, while there are some things we can say conclusively, e-smoking still occupies an enormous grey area in research.

“Well we know that [vaping is] not completely benign. We also can say with some degree of certainty that it’s less harmful than regular cigarettes.”

Knowing what we know about the impact of cigarettes, the space in between “not benign” and “less harmful than cigarettes” is huge. Meanwhile, Martinasevic reports that customers regularly come to his shop seeking a healthier lifestyle.

“ …[T]hey’re trying to get the nicotine out of their system, the tar out of their system, they’re trying to do more walking and what not, and more exercise…The nicotine is addicting but it doesn’t really kill us at the end of the day. It’s as addictive, as bad as caffeine, for instance,” Martinasevic says of his customers.

The perception, if not the evidence, indicates that e-smoking is an improvement to regular cigarette use. The effects of this trend, however, do not stop at the vaping devices themselves.

The evidence is inconclusive, according to Schwartz, as to whether vaping does lead to regular cigarette use, and notes that this is a concern among researchers.

Tobacco smoking rates are low among youth aged 12-18: six per cent according to Schwartz. This rate increases, however, to 23 per cent for the university-aged demographic. Meanwhile, the ever-use rates for vape are higher in both categories.

“There’s one good reasoned article from the states that track these people over time and they did find that a reasonable number then did pick up regular cigarettes after starting with e-cigarettes,” Schwartz said, adding that this one study is not sufficient to prove causation.

“Another concern is that people will start becoming regular e-cigarette users.”

Part of the reason this is a concern, according to Ferrence, is that there is a lot of misinformation about what e-cigarettes contain.

“You hear from people selling it that it’s just water vapour. That’s not true. There’s certainly propylene glycol which is a lung irritant. So you don’t really want to be inhaling that,” Ferrence said.

Schwartz also said that talking about e-smoking as a singular, cohesive practice is, in and of itself, a myth. Vape products, after all, vary enormously, and Schwartz pointed out that some flavourings in e-juices may contain additional toxins

To Ferrence, all of this is to say that we are dealing with a very risky product. “ …[A]s far as I know the only real potential value of e-cigarettes would be either to help people quit smoking or to be an alternative to smoking to people who might have smoked. But if they never would have smoked then it’s certainly not an advantage, “ she said.

A response in the face of uncertainty

In May 2015, the Ontario Legislature passed Bill 45, the “Making Healthier Choices Act,” which places restrictions on e-cigarette use akin to those placed on regular cigarettes.

Under the new law, which comes into effect January 2016, it will be illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors under the age of 19 or to vape in indoor common spaces, and restrictions will be put on the products’ marketing and display. It is already illegal, according to Health Canada, to sell e-cigarettes and e-juices with nicotine, but, as Ferrence and Schwartz were quick to mention, this is seldom enforced.

For Schwartz, the precautionary principle – a public health term which refers to proceeding cautiously with trends whose impacts are not yet known – applies here.

“ …[I]deally the policy is evidence informed or evidence based. However, we have a situation now where the government is feeling pressure to do something about e-cigarettes when the evidence isn’t in yet.”

In Schwartz’ view, this precaution is a good idea.

Others are less sure. Dustyn Kennedy, an employee of EsmokerCanada, said that while some of the act’s measures – namelyage restrictions and indoor use – make sense, he is less convinced about steps to restrict marketing and display.

“That would probably help out tobacco companies if anything. Because our products are very unknown so there is a lot of learning, seeing, feeling, touching,” he explained.

Kennedy also said that it is presumptive to place these controls on the sale of e-cigarettes when there is still much to learn about the products’ health impacts. “If it’s that bad, why don’t we have testing to show that?” Kennedy mused.

And yet, as much as these measures are a precautionary response to vape products themselves, marketing is also undoubtedly on the radars of researchers.

Currently, Ferrence explained, companies are free to advertize e-smoking devices in Canada, something that is not the case for tobacco cigarettes.

“But, how can you tell from a photo?” Ferrence asked. “So you can have a big picture of a[n] [electronic] cigarette and it’s legal to put it up… even though we ban cigarette advertising in Canada, generally. So a big advantage to the industry is the opportunity to advertise again.”

The marketing climate of e-cigarettes is further complicated by the fact that there is more to market about them. High on this list is flavouring.

“ …[W]ho’s picking up bubble gum flavour? All these fruit flavours and ice cream like flavours?” asked Schwartz. Though he says he cannot be certain, he suspects the vaping industry is attempting to appeal to youth.

“ …[T]hat’s problematic if … the other half are saying it’s a great cessation device. Because they’re trying to lure people in with flavours who are not [yet] cigarette smokers,” Schwartz said.

In some cases, it is Big Tobacco doing the selling. In our conversation, Ferrence brought up the fact that she thinks all three major tobacco companies in the US have now acquired vaping companies as their subsidiaries.

She is right. Philip Morris (Altria corporation) has the rights to NuMark, a vape company using the tagline, “An Altria Innovation Company.” R.J Reynolds has the inventively named “R.J Reynolds Vapour,” which makes Vuse e-cigarette products. Lorillard bought blu eCigs in 2012, and was recently acquired by R.J. Reynolds in 2014.

Should this be a concern? As Ferrence pointed out, “Many times historically the tobacco industry have said, ‘we’re in the nicotine business.’ They never said ‘we’re in the cigarette business.”

Future outlook

So, what does the future of vaping have in store? It is a question that, Schwartz said, we would need a crystal ball to adequately answer at this point in time.

One benchmark to observe will be in January, when the Bill 45 legislation comes into effect. If the legislation is rigorously enforced, shops like EsmokerCanada will have to completely rearrange their store so as to comply with the rules prohibiting materials to be displayed.

Some of the advantages that e-smokers currently enjoy over tobacco smokers will also be taken away, including the ability to use their devices in indoor public spaces.

Schwartz also wonders whether the government will soon take a stand on the sale of e-products with nicotine. “[T]he government is going to have to make a decision at some point,” he said.

I am curious to see – if shops like EsmokerCanada are really growing due to the desire to quit smoking – whether their business will remain as robust if smokers do, in fact, quit.

Ann Kennedy, another EsmokerCanada employee, thinks a certain customer base will remain. “Some people just continue to do it. They don’t see nicotine as harmful compared to say alcohol or caffeine or things like that,” she says.

Another factor is what Ferrence calls co-use with marijuana, which, even if it is not as common as use with water pipes, happens.

“And if the government does decriminalize or legalize cannabis, then that is another whole factor in the market analysis of what’s going to happen with these.”

Given that the Liberals and the Greens are promising marijuana legalization in the present election campaign, and the NDP are calling for decriminalization of the drug, this kind of speculation is imminently relevant.

What remains are lots of big questions. How harmful is e-smoking? Does it act as a gateway to smoking tobacco cigarettes? Is it a better replacement for tobacco cigarettes? If so, is its uptake equivalent to the population that would otherwise have been smoking tobacco cigarettes?

These are important questions for which we do not yet have answers. While the OTRU tries to sort them out, people like Edmure,* and Xu remain optimistic that the trend is, at least for them, a step in the right direction.

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Why Not Let E-Cigarette Companies Tell the Truth?

The problem is too much FDA regulation, not too little.

New York Times columnist Joe Nocera once againcalls attention to the lifesaving potential of electronic cigarettes and bemoans resistance to this form of harm reduction by the anti-smoking movement. Describing a new e-cigarette model from NJOY that is designed to more closely simulate smoking by delivering more nicotine and a stronger “hit to the back of the throat,” Nocera writes:

As [NJOY CEO Paul] Sturman was describing the Daily, I thought to myself, “The tobacco-control community is going to hate this thing.” Most anti-tobacco advocates view replicating the feel and satisfaction of a cigarette as an effort to “renormalize smoking.” And though some believe that smokers should be encouraged to move to e-cigarettes, most refuse even to acknowledge the health benefits of “vaping” over smoking.

Nocera talks to Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, who has expressed a willingness to consider the possible public health benefits of vaping but also worries that teenagers who otherwise never would have tried tobacco will get hooked on e-cigarettes and then move on to the real thing (even though there is virtually no evidence that is actually happening). Myers finds the marketing tactics of e-cigarette companies distasteful because they remind him of the approach taken by tobacco companies, implying that vaping will make you cool and sexy. Nocera points out that e-cigarette companies are legally barred from making more substantive claims—for example, noting the clear safety advantages of a product that does not contain tobacco and does not burn anything. Myers responds by criticizing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for being slow to regulate e-cigarettes. “I think the FDA deserves to be pilloried,” he says.

I agree, although for exactly the opposite reason. It is the threat of FDA sanctions that stops e-cigarette companies from promoting their products based on their main advantage: They are indisputably far less hazardous than conventional cigarettes. According to the FDA, e-cigarettes are tobacco products (even though they contain no tobacco), and any e-cigarette sold based on its health advantages would qualify as a “modified risk tobacco product” under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the 2009 law that gave the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco. That designation requires the manufacturer to “jump through some near-impossible hoops,” as Nocera puts it, if it wants the FDA’s permission to sell the product. The problem, in other words, is too much regulation, not too little.

Nocera’s solution—a collaboration between anti-smoking activists like Myers and e-cigarette companies, “perhaps with state attorneys general to oversee it”—seems highly implausible to me. I say that not just because of the tobacco control movement’s irrational animosity toward e-cigarettes (which Nocera is commendably trying to overcome) but because the accomplishment that Nocera cites as reason to hope Myers would lead such a project is passage of the Tobacco Control Act, the very statute that put the FDA in a position to suppress truthful information about e-cigarettes to begin with. Nocera hopes that anti-smoking activists, once they see the light, will tell the truth about e-cigarettes that the companies selling these products are forbidden to tell. While I’d be happy to see such a conversion, I think e-cigarette companies should also be allowed to tell the truth. In fact, I think the First Amendment requires it.

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Can E-Cigarettes Save Lives?

Two weeks ago, I received an email from NJOY, a company that sells electronic cigarettes. Its purpose was to introduce the Daily, a new product that NJOY described as “a superior e-cigarette scientifically developed to deliver quick-and-strong nicotine satisfaction at levels close to an actual cigarette.”

One reason many adult smokers haven’t switched to e-cigarettes is that most e-cigarettes don’t provide the same nicotine kick as a real cigarette. With some 42 million American adults still smoking, and 480,000 of them dying each year as a result, this is tragic. Though nicotine is addictive, it is the tobacco that kills.

An e-cigarette that could truly replicate the experience of smoking would dramatically reduce — not eliminate, but reduce — the dangers of smoking. NJOY claims that the Daily comes closer to that experience than anything on the market. When I spoke to Paul Sturman, NJOY’s chief executive, he emphasized not only the nicotine aspect, but also the Daily’s “feel,” and “the intensity of the hit to the back of the throat.” Sturman added that the company’s target market is adult smokers who have tried, but rejected, e-cigarettes. He thinks it’s a huge market

As Sturman was describing the Daily, I thought to myself, “The tobacco-control community is going to hate this thing.” Most anti-tobacco advocates view replicating the feel and satisfaction of a cigarette as an effort to “renormalize smoking.” And though some believe that smokers should be encouraged to move to e-cigarettes, most refuse even to acknowledge the health benefits of “vaping” over smoking.

Indeed, thanks to this vociferous opposition, an increasing number of Americans view vaping as no safer than smoking, which is absurd. And e-cigarette manufacturers like NJOY can’t set them straight: The law giving the Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over tobacco products, which passed in 2009, prohibits e-cigarette companies from making reduced-harm claims unless they jump through some near-impossible hoops. Thus, NJOY has no way to convey to adult smokers the critical message that e-cigarettes could save their lives.

The undisputed leader of the tobacco-control community is Matt Myers, who helped found and is the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Unlike many of his anti-tobacco peers, Myers is on the record as saying that if “responsibly marketed and properly regulated, e-cigarettes could benefit the public health.” But, like many others, he also fears that e-cigarettes may hook a new generation of children on nicotine, and could lead them to start smoking. And in truth, those fears get far more prominence in the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ various statements about e-cigarettes than its cautious support for them under the right circumstances.

One thing that particularly bothers Myers about e-cigarette companies is their advertising, which he believes employs the same tactics Big Tobacco once used to hook youths on cigarettes. But when I noted that NJOY can’t market the Daily as a reduced-risk product, thanks to the 2009 law — and thus had to find less straightforward ways to induce smokers to try the product — Myers told me that I should blame the F.D.A., which, six years in, has yet to impose a single regulation on e-cigarettes. “I think the F.D.A. deserves to be pilloried,” he said.

He may be right about that. On the other hand, it’s hardly news that government agencies take forever to get things done — and meanwhile, nearly half a million smokers continue to die each year. It seems to me that if the tobacco-control community wants to start saving lives by employing the reduced-harm strategy that e-cigarettes offer, it needs to forget about the F.D.A. and take matters into its own hands.
It’s happened before. Two decades ago, seeing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to impose real restrictions on Big Tobacco, Myers engaged in negotiations that included the states’ attorneys general — and Steve Parrish, then a Philip Morris executive. It was an act of tremendous courage — Myers was pilloried when his involvement was revealed — but without his willingness to look the enemy straight in the eye, Big Tobacco would never have been brought to heel.That means engaging with companies like NJOY that profess to be trying to do the right thing. Instead of demonizing them, the tobacco control community needs to find common ground, and come up with a set of standards — for marketing, manufacturing, and keeping e-cigarettes away from kids — that both sides can agree to. If such a deal were put in place, perhaps with state attorneys general to oversee it, anti-tobacco advocates could talk about the reduced harm potential of e-cigarettes with a clear conscience, without the involvement of the federal government. They then could describe the benefits of e-cigarettes for smokers that the companies themselves can’t.

I believe the time has come for Myers to screw up his courage again. It could be the beginning of the end for one of the greatest scourges on earth.

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Let’s vape!

There is a new trend shrouded in mystery, slowly appearing out of its own thick white cloud. It’s vaping, the futuristic pastime of smoking an electronic cigarette. Like the haberdasheries of old, vape lounges are popping up everywhere, but besides the nicotine, vaping has little in common with its predecessor, traditional smoking. It’s natural to equate the two, as Maine did when it recently passed a law banning vaping wherever smoking is banned, but are they really the same?

Ostensibly the law was meant to protect people from second-hand vapor, an odorless byproduct of vaping. But, since the vapor hasn’t been proven to be dangerous, it seems to really be about something else.

We have attempted to demonize smoking and ostracize smokers pretty successfully over the last 20 years. When you see someone smoking now, it’s usually at an arbitrary spot in a parking lot, away from their workplace. It looks like a lonely, sad existence, especially in winter. Along with other efforts to curb smoking, this has led to an all-time low number of people who smoke, or will admit to it for a survey. What vaping has done is to allow a behavior that emulates smoking to become socially acceptable.

Did you think we could eradicate nicotine use by making it more difficult, expensive, and humiliating to smoke? Human beings do so many things that are bad for us, but to stop would be to cease to be human. The demon that is nicotine has a new disguise, and hundreds of flavors.



Besides, the popularity of vaping is not necessarily a loss for public health. In fact, many heavy smokers who had been unable to quit even while facing serious health problems, are breathing easier thanks to vaping. True, it would be best if they never smoked in the first place, but vaping offers a practical alternative without the carcinogens and tar associated with traditional smoking.

Recently I visited my local vape lounge, Vapeology on Stillwater Ave. in Bangor. The name sounds like either a scholastic pursuit or a secret finishing move from Mortal Kombat (Baraka Wins: Vapeology). Inside the store was a haze of vapor and an overwhelming number of flavored juices to choose from. For about $50 you can get a vaping starter pack and poof, you’re on your way. There is even e-juice with no nicotine if you just want to mimic the act of smoking, and a pumpkin latte flavor just in time for fall.

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