How to Get Started with E-Cigarettes

Over the last year, vaping (or “smoking” e-cigarettes) has gone mainstream, as more former smokers turn to this alternative to the dangers of smoking real cigarettes. Because vaping emulates the smoking experience, now 70 percent of American smokers who are looking to quit are turning to e-cigs, according to statistics compiled by Ecigsopedia. Vaping is now the most popular over-the-counter cessation option, which researchers have found to be 60 percent more effective than nicotine patches.

The e-cig industry is projected to reach $2 billion in the U.S. alone. Celebrities like Katherine Heigl and Lindsay Lohan, both publicly criticized for their smoking habits (among other things), have become e-cig advocates. And companies like blu Cigs and ploom are capitalizing on the surging popularity of these products.

For smokers looking to try e-cigarettes and vaping to help them quit smoking, here are a few tips on making the potentially life-saving decision.

Even though vaping is designed to emulate the experience of smoking a real cigarette, it’s not exactly an identical experience, and it may not be to everyone’s liking. In fact, vaping more closely resembles the experience of smoking a hookah pipe. To start, smokers should consider purchasing a disposable e-cigarette. They are sold individually for around $10 or in a pack. They last for about 400 puffs and come in two flavors: tobacco and menthol. Disposable e-cigs are more affordable than rechargeable e-cigs and are about the same size as real cigarettes.

It may take some time to get adjusted to the taste and feel of the disposable e-cigarette and expect to continue craving real cigarettes in the beginning. If you are able to adopt the disposable e-cigarette, however, investing in a rechargeable e-cig (or vaping pen) will be more affordable in the long run than to continue purchase disposable e-cigs.

Because they have a rechargeable battery, vaping pens are bigger and heavier than real cigarettes and disposable e-cigs. Starter packs include the pen with internal battery, charger, replaceable coils and fluid of your choice that comes in a wide variety of flavors from tobacco to marshmallow. Starter packs can cost anywhere from $50 to $80 depending on the brand and can be purchased at e-cig retailers, smoke shops or online.

The vaping pen requires more upkeep but offers and endless array of choices and customization options than your standard disposable e-cig. The battery needs to be charged about once a week but only for about an hour. The coils burn out after about a month but they offer different resistance to determine how hard you have to inhale the vapor. Lastly, the fluid also comes in a variety of nicotine levels and flavors, so you can test different ways and find the best vaping experience for you.

For former pipe smokers looking to quit, the world of vaping has also created e-cigs designed to look exactly like a pipe, even with a varnished wood finish. These pipes work similarly to the vaping pens but tend to cost a little more. Certainly worth the price difference, however, if you want to look like a modern-day Cary Grant.

Source : huffingtonpost

ELECTRONIC cigarettes may be the greatest tool in the fight against lung cancer that the world has ever seen.

ELECTRONIC cigarettes may be the greatest tool in the fight against lung cancer that the world has ever seen. They’re cheap, convenient and they’re helping smokers everywhere to quit.

And the best part about this health solution? It doesn’t involve government.

Demands for governments to identify and solve problems are a recipe for disaster. They lead to higher taxes and less freedom. A cure administered by the nanny state is worse than the disease.

Meanwhile, free markets are coming up with innovative ways to tackle some of our most deep-seated problems.

Take lung cancer. According to Cancer Australia, lung cancer was responsible for 8,114 deaths in Australia in 2011. Smoking increases the risk of cancer. The government response is regulation, taxes, advertising and sponsorship restrictions and bans.

A better response involves opening up markets and allowing individuals to make choices about their own lives.

There are a range of cigarette substitutes already on the market. Electronic cigarettes are the most prominent, and they’re currently taking the world by storm.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered nicotine vaporisers. They do not contain tobacco or produce smoke. E-cigarette users inhale vapour, which produces a similar effect to smoking without the health risks caused by the carcinogenic and toxins of combustible tobacco products.

The global e-cigarette market is worth around $2 billion. This is predicted to grow to $10 billion by 2020. Part of the success of this new product is that it is used as a device to help traditional cigarette smokers to quit tobacco.

Continue reading ELECTRONIC cigarettes may be the greatest tool in the fight against lung cancer that the world has ever seen.

E-cigarettes: Is a smoking alternative being choked by regulation?

Dozens of countries are introducing legislation restricting the use of electronic cigarettes, but their proponents say they are harmless and their use could in fact save millions of lives. Could they be right?

A group of friends sits around a table in a pub in south London, exchanging stories and putting the world to rights in a cloud of scented vapour.

One of them is 31-year-old Jonny Lavery.

“I had a big problem with death, a really big problem with dying,” he says. “I wanted to avoid dying at all costs.”

But three years ago, Lavery realised that as a smoker of 15 years, his chance of doing this was diminishing. Roughly half the world’s smokers die from their habit. The trouble was Johnny just enjoyed it too much to quit.

Then he found an alternative – the electronic cigarette

These gizmos contain batteries and “e-liquid” – a solution of propylene glycol or glycerine – containing a nicotine dose. A battery inside the e-cigarette heats up a coil attached to a wick. When the liquid is presented to the hot wick it produces vapour which can be inhaled.

They don’t quite match the nicotine hit of a real cigarette, but they come close enough to have won over 1.3 million users in the UK alone (compared to nine million tobacco smokers). In the US, e-cigarette sales could pass $1bn (£650m) this year – up from $600m (£390m) in 2012.

Since there is no smoke, puffing on e-cigarettes is called vaping, not smoking. The group of men and women sitting in the pub call themselves vapers – they meet regularly to vape and to talk about vaping.

A little nerdy, they resemble a gang of home-brewing enthusiasts more than a stop-smoking support group.

They inspect one another’s vaporisers – which come in all manner of shapes and sizes – and sniff one another’s vapour. “I’m currently vaping toffee popcorn,” says Shari Levy, emanating sweetness. “And this one here is coffee. And this one is tutti frutti – that’s nice for the summer. Amaretto with a morning coffee is just delicious.”


Like everyone else in the group, Levy initially used e-cigarettes to help wean herself off the real thing. After a while she realised she no longer really liked the taste of tobacco.

While e-cigarettes can be used as a stepping stone to ending nicotine addiction, some vapers see them as a way to continue a hobby they enjoy without the attendant fear of death. That’s because although nicotine is the addictive ingredient in cigarettes many experts do not think it is especially harmful. It’s the tar and other nasties in tobacco that kill.

“Nicotine is not very dangerous, and it’s very unlikely someone will overdose on the nicotine in electronic cigarettes by inhaling the vapour,” says Maciej Goniewicz from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York – an oncologist who has analysed e-cigarettes and the vapours they produce.

He says that in the absence of research into the effects of long-term vaping, it is impossible to say that e-cigarettes are absolutely safe, but we know enough to say they are safer than the real thing. There is no such thing as passive vaping.

Nevertheless, a wave of legislation is threatening to extinguish e-cigarettes all over the world.

Brazil, Singapore and Mexico have banned importing and selling the devices, even though tobacco is still on sale in all those countries.

In the US, state-level legislation inhibits vaping in different ways. Arizona has banned the sale of the products to minors. The same rule applies in New York State, where vaping is also prohibited within 100m of a school entrance. In Washington State, all vaping in public is banned.

Draft legislation in the EU – including a UK version that will affect the London vapers – will restrict the sale of e-cigarettes and bring them within medical regulation. Manufacturers will need to be licensed, and the components labelled clearly with their precise nicotine content. The products will not be marketed or sold to young people under 16.

So if e-cigarettes are relatively safe, what’s motivating all this legislation?

One set of concerns has to do with safety and standardisation. The UK body that oversees the regulation of medicines, the MHRA, says e-cigarettes currently available do not meet appropriate standards of “safety, quality and efficacy”. Anecdotal reports point to dangers caused by variations in product quality, including facial burns after a vaporiser exploded in a consumer’s mouth. The US Food and Drug Administration has also found that nicotine doses vary between devices, and have been found to vary from the advertised dose on the label – while the ingredients in e-liquid are also not listed.

But there are also other concerns:

  • Some pressure groups fear that electronic cigarettes may “re-normalise” smoking, thereby undermining the smoking bans which have helped de-glamorise cigarettes – the British Medical Association (the UK’s trade body for doctors) cites this concern in calling for a ban on public vaping.
  • Others point to the possibility that the red-glowing tips might prove enticing to children – New Jersey assemblywoman Connie Wagner has also voiced a common fear that children may enjoy the fruity flavours.

It’s clear that some children have tried electronic cigarettes, but Prof Robert West, director of Tobacco Studies at University College London, says there is no sign they are becoming popular in the UK – the only country he knows where the uptake is monitored closely.

He adds that if and when young people do start smoking e-cigarettes, public health experts will have to study the causes carefully.

“If those young people are people who would have smoked but instead they’re using e-cigarettes, then that’s a huge public health gain. If they’re people who would never have smoked but they’ve taken up e-cigarettes, frankly in public health terms it’s not really an issue – it’s like drinking coffee or something, there’s no real risk associated with it.

“The real risk is if they start using e-cigarettes and this acts as a gateway into smoking. Now which of those things happens none of us knows at the moment.”

As for the idea that e-cigarettes undo the work to de-glamorise tobacco smoking, West, who has done consultancy work for nicotine cessation medication, says the public health opportunity provided by e-cigarettes lies in their remaining trendy.

“The opportunity here is for something that’s seen in a different light,” he says.

“We never got communities of people really enthusing about nicotine patches or nicotine gum. You didn’t get a sort of nicotine gum users’ group, in which they’d rave about the gum and sort of say: ‘This sort of gum’s so much better, and I make my own gum,’ and stuff like that.”

Ninety per cent of e-cigarette users are also smoking, he says, indicating that the devices are being used as a quitting aid. Countries that have banned them are, in his view, “nuts”.

Jonny Lavery and others are planning a trip to Brussels next week to protest against the draft European legislation, which they see as a threat to their hobby.

The organiser of the London and South-East Vapers meet-ups, Alan Hodgson, had tried quitting three times before he found e-cigarettes. Each time a rough spell in his personal life sent him back to the fags.

He would like to stop vaping altogether or lower the nicotine content of his e-liquid to zero – but it’s not something he feels he needs to worry about too much.

“My worst-case scenario is really that I might be vaping for the rest of my life,” he says, “rather than dying from normal tobacco cigarettes.”

Source : BBC

Daily users of ‘tank’-style e-cigarettes ‘more likely to quit tobacco’

Daily users of ‘tank’-style e-cigarettes ‘more likely to quit tobacco’

Smokers who use e-cigarettes seemed to be most likely to have stopped smoking if they regularly use the newer generation ‘tank’-style devices, according to UK research.

And smokers who infrequently use disposable ‘cigalike’ models seemed to be less likely to have quit than those who don’t use e-cigarettes at all, the research also suggests.

The findings come from two studies conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London and University College London.

Both studies based their analyses on a 2012 survey of over 4,000 UK smokers, around 1,600 of whom were then followed up a year later.

The first study, published in the journal Addiction(link is external), looked at overall e-cigarette use, and how it related to smokers’ likelihood of trying to quit.

It found that more than six in 10 (65 per cent) of daily e-cigarette users tried to quit within a year, compared with just over four in 10 (44 per cent) of non-users.

And more than 14 in every 100 people (14 per cent) who used an e-cigarette daily had managed to reduce their cigarette consumption by more than half over a year. This was compared with just six in every 100 non-users (six per cent).

But overall, the researchers found that even daily e-cigarette users were not more likely to have quit over the course of the study. And lead author, Dr Leonie Brose from IoPPN, cautioned that further studies would be needed to test how useful these devices are in helping people quit.

“This study did not test how helpful they are as quitting aids because we looked at smokers who were using them for any reason, including just to cut down on their smoking or in situations when they cannot smoke,” she said.

“But it is encouraging to see that even then, regular e-cigarette use was linked to reduced numbers of lethal cigarettes smoked, and increased attempts to quit smoking in the following year,” she added.

The second study, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research(link is external), looked at the type of device used, as well as how regularly people used them.

There are two main types of e-cigarettes:

  • ‘Cigalikes’ – these look like regular cigarettes and are disposable or use replaceable cartridges.
  • ‘Tank’ models – these devices contain a tank of ‘e-liquid’, which can be refilled.

‘Cigalike’ devices appeared to be more popular among those questioned – with just over three quarters of people (75 per cent) using them. So results for ‘tank-style’ users are based on small numbers.

But when the researchers looked at how many people had quit, those using ‘tank’-style devices seemed to be much more likely to have quit than those using ‘cigalikes’.

Just under three in 10 (28 per cent) of those who used ‘tank’-style devices had quit smoking a year later, compared with just over one in 10 (11 per cent) among daily ‘cigalike’ users.

For non-daily tank users the number dropped to just under one in 10 (9 per cent). And for non-daily ‘cigalike’ users, five in every 100 people (5 per cent) quit smoking.

In comparison, just over one in 10 (13 per cent) of those not using an e-cigarette had quit one year later.

Lead researcher, Dr Sara Hitchman from IoPPN, said their findings highlighted how this study could shape future research.

“Our research demonstrates the importance of distinguishing between different types of e-cigarettes and frequency of use when examining the association between e-cigarettes and quitting,” she said.

“At this point we don’t know why people who use tank type e-cigarettes daily are more likely to have quit,” she added.

Nicola Smith, senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK, explained that more research is needed to clarify the role e-cigarettes might play in tobacco control.

“These studies boost our understanding of how e-cigarettes might help people stop smoking. Like the consistent use needed with nicotine-replacement therapy(link is external) (NRT), only those who used tank-style e-cigarettes every day were more likely to have quit smoking tobacco a year on,” she said.

“The survey looked at all smokers using e-cigarettes, not just those using them in a determined attempt to quit – but it didn’t represent a cross section of the UK population. Questions remain about the long term safety of these products.

Cancer Research UK will fund more research on how e-cigarettes might support people to quit smoking tobacco – an addiction that kills up to two-thirds of all long-term users. The best possible way to improve your chances of stopping smoking for good is using the behavioural support and prescription medication from Stop Smoking Services(link is external),” she added.

A recent article claimed there’s no evidence that vaping is less harmful than smoking. Tobacco expert Linda Bauld argues otherwise

In his recent ‘Comment is free’ piece Nash Riggins claims that vaping is just as dangerous as smoking, and expresses robust support for NHS Boards in Scotland who intend to ban the use of electronic cigarettes when their grounds go tobacco free in April.

The reader might be left with impression that the use of nicotine is simply not compatible with public health aims, and that e-cigarettes should be subject to the same restrictions as tobacco products. However, to reach such a conclusion Riggins overlooks an extraordinary body of evidence pointing to the contrary. Disregarding this evidence could mean missing out on the potential of e-cigarettes to save lives. Let’s look at his assertions.

E-cigarettes are not safer than smoking
Smoked tobacco is a lethal product that kills one in two of its regular users, who lose on average 10 years of life. Smokers die from the tar particles and toxic gases drawn into the body from smoking rather than from the nicotine. However it is the nicotine that is addictive. Many smokers find it very difficult to give up nicotine and will continue to smoke cigarettes without an alternative. That’s why products like nicotine replacement therapy were invented and are licensed as safe to use, including for groups like pregnant women who smoke and children over the age of 12 who smoke.

E-cigarettes are currently unlicensed, but both the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Associationacknowledge that their use is safer than continued smoking. This is not simply an opinion, it is an evidence-based statement, and one that is supported by tobacco control organisations in the UK. To imply otherwise is incorrect. This does not mean e-cigarettes are risk free, but few things are. What it does mean is that their use is safer than continued smoking.

The nicotine in e-cigarettes is dangerous
The author claims “E-cigs don’t contain the same type of nicotine you might find in an ordinary tobacco leaf. They contain liquid nicotine, which can be lethal.”

Nicotine is a substance naturally found in particular plants, not just tobacco leaves but aubergines, tomatoes, potatoes and some flowers. However, when derived from the tobacco leaf it is addictive and tobacco is possibly the most used drug in the world following caffeine.

In its base form, nicotine is a liquid. Although synthetic nicotine has been manufactured, it is not commercially viable and the nicotine in electronic cigarette liquid comes from exactly the same source as the nicotine in tobacco – it is extracted from plants including the tobacco leaf. This is also the source for nicotine in Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

Public misunderstanding of nicotine prevails and even those involved in delivering support to smokers to stop can hold the view that longer term nicotine use (of licensed or unlicensed products) is harmful. So it is a common misperception. The NICE guidance makes it clear that this concern is misplaced. It is about understanding the difference between high risk and low risk.

Riggins is correct that drinking liquid nicotine could be lethal particularly for a child. However, there are many poisons in households that can kill or harm children if consumed, and ingesting licensed nicotine-containing medicines also confers risk.

To put this in context, in the USA there were 2.6 million calls to poison control centres in 2013 and 0.06% of these related to nicotine products including e-liquids. These liquids need to be safely packaged and clearly labelled, and users need to keep these products away from children.

Electronic cigarette use should be banned in public places
There is an ongoing debate about e-cigarette use in public places and the recent case of NHS grounds in Scotland highlights this. Public consultations in Wales and Scotland have asked whether they should be included in smokefree laws. However, it is important to be clear about the health evidence. E-cigarette vapour is not second hand smoke. In fact, it is not smoke at all and there is no good evidence that exposure is harmful to bystanders (particularly outside, as in NHS grounds). To claim otherwise is simply factually incorrect.

While some of the longer term impacts of continued vaping are unknown, using health arguments to support public places bans is not viable. Other grounds including etiquette or aesthetics are issues for individual businesses or premisesto consider.

In the near future at least some electronic cigarettes will become licensed as stop smoking medicines, and when that happens NHS bans will be unworkable. For the moment, however, they simply serve to discourage smokers from trying what appears to currently be the most popular aid to stopping smoking in the UK. These products are a disruptive technology and debates on their merits will continue. However, while it does, those who feel moved to comment should do some reading first.

Linda Bauld is Professor of Health Policy at the University of Stirling and Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies. She is a former scientific adviser on tobacco control to the UK government, and recently chaired the NICE guidance group on tobacco harm reduction.

Linda Bauld
Monday 23 February 2015