Tag Archives: e-cigarettes in the media

New York Rules State Law Does Designates Vaping As NOT Smoking

shutterstock_217325623“Vaping is not the same as smoking.” Vapers have repeated it for years, and finally the law is agreeing.

This week, a New York court ruled that under state law, vapers cannot be charged in violation of the state’s anti-smoking laws because as reality proves, vaping is not smoking.

Shawn Thomas was vaping on a subway platform, and when he was arrested, he was charged under state law, which does not designate using electronic cigarettes in public as illegal. Though in New York City the use of electronic cigarettes is banned in public places under the Smoke Free Air Act, it is not a state law, and this is exactly where Thomas was able to defend his actions and fight the charges he was assigned. In his favor, the judge ruled that smoking laws cannot be applied to vaping.

Vapers have always known this, and anyone else with common sense could have figured it out easily. Smoking involves tobacco, and cigarettes, and fire to light them, creating combustion, resulting in the burning of the plant matter, creating smoke. That’s the basic gist of smoking. Vaping, however, is an entirely different action, and it involves none of the above aspects of the process. Alternative cigarettes use nicotine e-liquid, burns nothing, produces vapor, dissipates without odor, uses no fire, creates no combustion, and does not produce smoking of the device. Clearly, no smoke involved.

This latest action in New York is an evident sign of reform occurring, showing that acceptance, though small, is happening, and however minute it may be, the fact that lawmakers are recognizing the difference is major. As the threat of FDA regulations looms, with the fear that they will attempt to classify vaping as smoking permanently, it is a very promising sign that awareness is occurring. While cases such as Shawn Thomas’ are going to be handled on an individual basis, and New York City will not be altering their Smoke Free Air Act anytime soon, any positive, justified action is a good sign!

What’s Going on With E-Cigs in the Media?

E-Cigs in the Media and Regulations Across the pond, in the UK, a First World nation full of educated, intelligent thinking people, with a democratic government, excellent physicians with a fully-functional healthcare system, and a high level of independent research done through their scientific endeavors as well as through their many highly-esteemed universities, they have been able to see through the spin, and understand the enormous potential of electronic cigarettes in regards to the betterment of their public. With 3 million people as smokers, they see the promise an alternative such as vapor devices presents. Instead of fighting over trivial suspicions, they are focusing on facts, and focusing on how many lives can be saved by offering vapor devices as legit cessation options.

In the US, however, we find a new reason to vilify e-cigarettes every week, and often base these suspicions on the conclusions of sporadic studies, often done with biased data, or select data from perfectly positioned groups that will enable the outcomes to sway in their predetermined directions.

According to vapor products advocate, David Sweanor (adjunct professor of law at the University of Ottowa as well as a special lecturer for the division of epidemiology and public health at the University of Nottingham): “There’s a very strong abstinence-only part of what’s going on in the anti-smoking movement. I think it’s one of the most counter-productive things that we’ve ever seen.” Having spent a huge amount of his career over the past 30 years dedicated to fighting the war on tobacco, Sweanor is more than capable of offering some insight to a muddled situation that could really use some common sense.

This week, reports of a study done the journal the Lancet Respiratory Medicine, claimed that according to their data, e-cigarettes do not help smokers quit smoking. Despite having been published by a legitimate medical journal, the study was loaded with inaccuracies, and has been labeled both “grossly misleading,” by Peter Hajek, currently the Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit of Queen Mary University of London, and “not scientific” by Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies, Ann McNeill, who also serves as a professor at King’s College London.

It’s rather interesting, though heavily confounding on why electronic cigarettes are being so vilified in the media. Sure, we could go all “conspiracy theory” on you as to why this could be part of some big, deep, underlying scheme, but that’s really not necessary. There’s enough going on at the surface to ponder, and it really is perplexing every way it’s examined. We’re certain, despite the current state of affairs, that the future holds much promise, but in the meantime, it’s a crazy path the industry is navigating!

ECC Expo Is Happening This Weekend!

ECC Expo 2015In the electronic cigarette industry, few events are as big and profound as ECC Expo. This major convention, regarding everything vape-related will be happening this week, from August 13 -16, in Pomona, CA at the Fairplex. It is the largest event of its kind, drawing in thousands of vape geeks, industry pros, and just about any- and everybody who has anything to do with the industry. If you are part of this community, whether as a vaper or an industry professional, this is an excellent event to be a part of, so if you’re local or in the area, we invite you to check it out!

The first two days of the event are open exclusively to those in the trade sector, while the following consecutive weekend days are for the public, 18+. The 13th and 14th are strictly for vape industry B2B professionals, making it the ideal time for businesses to connect with other businesses. Being able to view the industry as a whole in this manner, being able to meet others working within in it, and being able to meet and mingle among those who also live, breathe, eat, sleep vapor is an amazing opportunity. Hundreds of the industry’s top names will be present, making it an absolute must for any pros in this industry.

As a niche market founded on the premise of technology, this event, which is a meeting of the minds, a gathering of the community, and a viewing of what’s to come is of great significance. It allows everyone who is immersed in it to get a feel for where things are headed, as well as to simply experience all the amazingness that is occurring. For anyone in this culture, being able to be neck deep at an expo of this scale offers immense opportunities to meet, mingle, chat, and share in the awesomeness of it all! VaporFi will most definitely be present, so come check us out and say hi!

E-Cigs: Gateway or Excuse?

e-cigarettesAs the popularity of electronic cigarettes continues to grow and smokers continue to use these products in lieu of traditional tobacco, more and more bizarre excuses emerge on why these alternative devices are better off avoided.

One of the latest tirades is that e-cigarettes are causing harm because they are a gateway to smoking for youth. How such rant is even possible is a mystery, however here is a look why the vast majority of smokers who use them are not using them as an entry into the world of tobacco smoking.

Likening electronic cigarettes to drugs, as in, labeling it as a “gateway to smoking” is ludicrous. Studies that have examined e-cigarette usage show not even a full percentage of e-smokers started using electronic cigarette alternatives as a means to start smoking with. There are no statistics on smokers who began using e-cigarettes and transitioned into tobacco as a result, because the great majority of users turn to the products as an alternative to tobacco; not the other way around. In studies done on youth smokers who are vaping, they too are using the products in efforts to avoid smoking, not vice versa. However, there are studies that show e-cigarettes are not being used as an entry point for smokers.

Such labeling is reminiscent of marijuana being targeted in the past as “the gateway drug,” which can be considered an erroneous misnomer as well. Electronic cigarettes do not contain any substance other than nicotine, and should not be likened to drugs such as marijuana. Less and less people, including underage teens, begin smoking every year, and alternative cigarettes have an opposite effect of luring people into the trap of cigarettes. Yes, it cannot be denied that there are underage teens using e-cigarettes, however it must not be overlooked that teens are an exceptionally curious demographic. One finding in studies of underage e-smokers, however, is that the majority of them do not become addicted to nicotine as a result of their experimentation, nor do they have a tendency to become regular users of tobacco products as a result.

This argument is beyond pointless; it can be considered an entirely meaningless issue, as e-cigarettes are generally marketed as an alternative to the traditional products. Electronic cigarettes are used as alternatives to the conventional, and they really have no draw to nonsmokers. It’s time for lobbyists and regulators to take a good, clear look at their usage and trends, and see that calling them a gateway to smoking is simply not evident of the truth.

Vape Community & Social Media

social media and electronic cigarettesOne of the most interesting aspects of the popularity of electronic cigarettes is how this community has been built online, and particularly through social media. As these products highlight the age of digital everything; from fitness to fashion, socializing to smoking, it is indicative of the times we live in. Vaping and social media work exceptionally well together, and this sense of community, camaraderie, and exchange of info has contributed much to the usage of these incredible products!

In so many ways social media can be both a blessing and a curse. It can equally inspire motivation as well as envy, while having the ability to reach millions. Daily, across the planet, social media platforms in all their forms, assist with marketing efforts, personal reach, all the while enabling people to think outside of their preconceived notions.

When it comes to electronics cigarettes, the social media world has been very much a great thing. It has connected vapers worldwide, opening minds up to the endless options, while allowing them to share their experiences with people who are in the same boat. Because this is a niche market, it can be hard to find people in your daily life or local sphere who are also up on the latest vape technology and have first-hand experience. Being able to chat with others who are into the same thing and also experimenting and delving into the market gives you first hand experience to draw from.

Whether it’s connecting with specific brands or social groups on Facebook, connecting experienced users who have instructionals on YouTube, connecting with users on Instagram to check out cool user photos, or following companies on Twitter, there is so much going on within social media when it comes to the e-cigarette & vaporizer community. It has benefited the industry tremendously, propelling it into the lives of many in ways traditional advertising could not. In fact it can be said that this industry would not be where it is without the ability of social media, for how it has fueled the usefulness of these products into the hands and minds of inquiring smokers worldwide.

US Appoints New Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

Vivek Murthy E-CigarettesThis past December, the US appointed Dr. Vivek Murthy as the 19th Surgeon General. As his advice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the subject of public health and scientific issues impacts all Americans, here is a look at his background and what his advisement may mean for the electronic cigarette industry and those who are involved in it.

Dr. Vivek Murthy was born in England in 1977 to Indian immigrants, relocated to Miami, Fl when he was three. He graduated as valedictorian from Miami Palmetto Senior High in 1994, and then attended Harvard University where he graduated magna cum laude, with a bachelor’s in Biomedical Sciences. In 2003, he received an MD from Yale School of Medicine and an MBA in Healthcare Management.

Upon graduation, Dr. Murthy worked both as an internal medicine physician, as well as led and managed various medical care teams at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for more than a decade. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated excellence in leadership, having started a variety of nonprofit management organizations, including Doctors for America, which includes 15,000 physicians and medical students advocating for health care reform.

In 2011, Dr. Murthy was appointed by President Obama to serve the nation as an advisor on public health within the US Department of Health and Human Services, in the sector of the US Presidential Advisory Council on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.

In 2013, he was nominated by President Obama for the position of Surgeon General, with approval and backing from two former surgeons general, and over 100 medical and public health groups in the US, including the likes of the American College of Physicians, the American Public Health Association, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer  Society, and the American Diabetes Association. On December 15, 2014 his appointment was officially approved, in a 51-43 vote, and is the youngest surgeon general in history.

While Dr. Murthy has been criticized for his progressive views, including opposition from the National Rifle Association (NRA) because of his stance on gun control, he has stated that this will not be a focus of his position as Surgeon General.

As far as the e-cigarette industry is concerned, it is refreshing to have a voice of reason within the public health community who has been willing to take an unbiased stand. He has stated that electronic cigarettes hold the potential for many positives, especially in regards to public health, and that lawmakers are “in desperate need of clarity” on e-cigarettes to further guide public health policies. He is also known for his open perspective in regards to medical marijuana.

As the issue of electronic cigarettes continues to weigh on the public, and the need for reasonable regulating grows, it is great to see our new surgeon general understanding this. What this means for the e-cigarette industry is hopefully a continued unbiased outlook towards the great potential that lies in electronic cigarettes.

Formaldehyde and Electronic Cigarettes: The Lowdown

Formaldehyde and E-CigarettesAn e-cigarette news story broke last week and it sent the industry into an uproar. Surely, in the past few days, you’ve encountered headlines denouncing electronic cigarettes, claiming a new “study showed they produce more formaldehyde than traditional cigarettes. Scary headline, no doubt, however the article that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine was incomplete, and did not take into account a variety of factors.

What wasn’t covered in this article were several instances of truth. Dr. Konstantino Farsalinos, one of the foremost researchers involved in the study of electronic cigarettes, published a counter study, analyzing and discussing the omissions, as well as the realistic way such electronic cigarette devices would actually be used.

Here is our take on the subject matter, because as leaders in this industry, this is not a story we take lightly. Scientific research is one thing, blatant misinformation is another, and electronic cigarette users, as well as the mass public, deserve the truth.

The study published discussed the use of a variable voltage e-cigarette device, the brand make and model were not disclosed, and whether or not formaldehyde was released in the aerosol of the vapor during use.

Set to two different settings, during the lower of which: 3.3 volts (6-7 watts), vaporizing 5ml of liquid at 4 seconds per puff, no formaldehyde was produced. When switched up to 5 volts (14-16 watts), using the same limit of 4 seconds per puff, the device produced a tremendous amount of formaldehyde hemiacetals in the vapor.

What the study did not discuss was that formaldehyde hemiacetals are not the same as true formaldehyde; they are compounds consisting of formaldehyde and alcohols. There is also no evidence to support them to be toxic, or carcinogenic like formaldehyde.

The study also did not consider how users typically use variable voltage devices. Yes, they have the capability of running at such a high volt, however most users do not use them as such because it causes such high heat, that the atomizer will overheat, producing foul tasting vapor, that the majority of users would not be able to stomach. Set to a normal setting, 3.3 volts, no formaldehyde hemiacetals are produced, and this is the typical setting most users are using, and therefore not exposing themselves to unnecessary or unwanted formaldehyde.

Case in point: carcinogens can be found everywhere; from children’s toys (remember the uproar over lead contained in toys from China?), polluted air, to overcooked meat (hello, BBQ-lovers!). It is more important than ever to be an educated consumer. When it comes to electronic cigarettes and formaldehyde in vapor, read between the lines!

Truth VS Misreporting: Education is Key

E-Cigarette ReportsToo many times as of late are we hearing reports of public officials totally denouncing the use of electronic cigarettes, with little to no true credibility backing up their statements. Grouping them into the same lump as traditional cigarettes because they contain nicotine (yet no tobacco), and banning their usage simply because they mimic the look of conventional cigarettes. This attitude and method of action is simply erroneous. While they can get by under the premise that “there is not enough information at this time” or “there has yet to be valid research on these products,” the truth is that research is being performed, and electronic cigarettes are entirely different in nearly every way, from their tobacco counterparts.

This sad state of affairs needs to be remedied with education, because if those pointing fingers truly understood what they were denoting, they would realize: 1. Electronic cigarettes are not tobacco products. 2. They are designed and intended to be used as alternatives. 3. Users feel more comfortable with them because they are not producing smoke, they leave behind no tar, and have no smell at all. 4. Even though they offer users the ability to inhale and exhale nicotine carried by water vapor, there is no combustion created at all during the process. In any of these scenarios, how do e-cigarettes warrant the description of tobacco, and require the same classification?

Recent reports have stated that teen smoking has decreased tremendously in recent years, however teen vaping has seen a slight increase. Leading these reports to claim that teenage usage is causing a crisis, which will eventually lead to a more negative habit, reversing the progress we’ve seen as of late with significantly lower smoking numbers. Would it occur to those reporting such statistics that teens (very possibly) have been switching to vaping, over smoking? Or even, (realistically) that teens are using electronic cigarette products as an alternative to traditional cigarettes in an effort to gradually halt their smoking altogether using a device they have much more control over?

One thing that is certain for the future of this industry is that change is needed, including regards to how e-cigarette news is conveyed. While it is definitely coming, and the popularity of the products is forcing the issue, common sense is definitely necessary from legislators, the media, and government agencies such as the FDA. Education is key for everyone involved, as knowledge is the antidote to ignorance.

Teen Vaping: Trendy Gateway or Typical Experimentation?

E-Cigarette-Age-LimitTeens and vaping have been a very hot subject as of late. There’ve been many reports of high school aged teens getting into vaping and it is getting much discussion in the press this week.

So, are teenagers getting into the habit of nicotine now at a higher rate than previously reported? Are electronic cigarettes truly serving as a gateway into a smoking habit? Will this have the consequence of creating a new generation of tobacco smokers? Is the e-cigarette industry to blame for marketing their products in such a way that is enticing to the youth?

Well, to answer these questions bluntly, the answer is no.

Teen vaping has become a topic of discussion because it is very much is a given. As the anti-tobacco coalition has been pushing hard for decades to keep cigarettes out of the hands of minors, and with cigarette use by teens increasingly on the decline, seeing any slight uptick in teen smoking is cause for examination. As a whole, teens are not looking at electronic cigarettes as a way to start smoking, and using e-cigarettes is not having the effect of introducing teens to smoking, leading them to begin smoking cigarettes as a result.

Typically, teenagers are into experimenting. On the verge of adulthood, you can expect those pesky teens to get into just about everything; from alcohol, to drugs, to crime (both petty and extreme) to breaking curfews and testing their parents’ rules. It comes with the territory that teens are going to be poking their underage fingers into things they don’t belong in, and that is precisely why age restrictions are being enforced, and responsible e-cigarette brands and retailers will be doing their best to keep their products out of the hands of underage persons.

Recent statistics have stated that teenage usage of e-cigarettes has been increasing, with a report from Forbes magazine stating that current numbers have shown that electronic cigarette use by high schoolers has rose from 1.5% to 4.5%, and this figure includes teens who have stated that they have used e-cigarettes at least one time in a 30-day period. While at first glance, a 3% increase is alarming for some, it must be taken into account that the majority of the teens who are vaping are seeking alternatives to traditional cigarettes.

The e-cigarette industry as a whole is focused on adult usage, and products are designed and marketed to the adult population. It must be noted that the majority of electronic cigarette companies are not gearing their products towards impressionable young people, and teens are an inherently curious sector. While numbers have not been published as of yet, stating how many teens are using e-cigarettes as an introduction to the world of smoking tobacco, it is highly unlikely anyone will be.

E-Cigarettes: Looking Beyond the Misreporting

E-Cig GossipOne of the current themes occurring in the media regarding electronic cigarette use is in how the products and the industry as a whole are being reported. This is a very unfortunate occurrence, as it is preventing e-cigarettes from receiving the proper reputation they deserve, and it is also casting a dull tarnish over what these products have been able to accomplish thus far.

While e-cigarettes are seeing such tremendous growth and popularity, it is still unfortunate the way certain media outlets choose rumor and outrage in regards to e-cigarette news instead of stating straightforward facts and the many positives those who use them are experiencing. Half truths are commonly reported, facts are omitted entirely, and like so many areas of the news, the focus is on strategically marring the facts, sensationalism and misinforming for a more dramatic agenda.

One of the biggest “gray areas” when it comes to electronic cigarettes surrounds regulations. It has been a topic for years, with some advocating for extremes, and others seeking more moderate laws designed to protect minors and ensure that the products are made of safe ingredients.

In the past few years, the industry has experienced great public acceptance, however mass acceptance has seemed to dwindle in the past year or so due to a general bias against electronic cigarettes from the public health community. Yes it is true that the FDA isn’t backing anything (yet), however they have begun taking measures to regulate the products; not outright banning them. And while they are not considered “cessation devices,” the industry as a whole cites their countless benefits as “alternatives” to traditional cigarettes a great part of their success.

Electronic cigarettes have become as enormously popular, year after year, because they are a benefit to users. The industry would not be hitting $2 billion if they were not a comfortable, enjoyable product that gives users a better option to cigarettes. They are constantly being re-innovated, advanced, and further developed, which is why so many people, experts included, consider them to be the future of smoking. Besides, the gossip and rumors should be expected; you know you’ve attained success when the spin starts rolling in!