Vaping Science: The Evidence For Vaping

09/02/2016

If you need a scientist’s permission to take up vaping, check out the studies linked to here.

Closet Fascination

http://onvaping.com/the-ultimate-list-of-studies-on-e-cigarettes-and-their-safety/

Here is a comprehensive list of studies on vaping that address it’s safety. It only includes studies that support vaping, however it still might be an interesting read for those of you that like this sort of thing.

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The e-cig that tried to kill me! A true story

31/01/2016

I’d been led to believe that e-cigs were safer than conventional cigarettes. You got your dose of nicotine without all the nasty tar and gunk that comes in smoke. They were electronic gizmos, and we all love our gizmos, right? I was surprised that Apple hadn’t released an i-cigarette. So imagine my surprise when my e-cig came at me with a steak-knife, determined to cut out my lungs and crap on them!

Alas, my story isn’t quite that dramatic. But it could have come to a similar end.

I remember all those stories I’d read and heard, about various electronic devices burning people’s houses down. Xboxes were prone to it at a time – or was it Playstations? One or the other anway – perhaps both! Not satisfied with turning our children into crazed, prostitute-cheating irresponsible drivers through Grand Theft Auto and making old folk think they were super-fit geniuses with Wii-Fit and “brain-training” apps, now they were determined to burn down our houses!

I never thought it would happen to me. I didn’t buy dodgy devices that had “fallen off the back of a lorry”. But it wasn’t as simple as that. At the back of a drawer I found an old e-cig battery. I charged it up, connected it to some tasty blueberry e-liquid and puffed away. The battery went flat: I recharged it, and re-charged it again. I knew I ought to get some fresher batteries, so I ordered some online. But in the meantime, waiting for the new kit to arrive, I kept charging and vaping, charging and vaping…

… And that’s when it happened. I had the charger connected to a usb-plug, that has served me well with my smart-phone. But I could smell burning! Burning plastic! I looked round the room – no flames. But my spidey-sense said the e-cig charger! The e-cig charger! I quickly disconnected it and had a look. And my spidey-sense was right: the charger was hot and misshapen where it was going to melt. I had been maybe seconds away from a devastating electrical fire! Only my nose had stood between me and smoky, flamy, sparky death!

Of course it wasn’t the e-cig’s fault. Just as it isn’t King Kong’s fault when the gunner on a biplane shoots the giant ape and it falls onto your car! And, just as the commuter doesn’t quit driving after being crushed by a 10-ton gorilla, I’m not going to let Sparky the evil old battery put me off e-cigarettes. They are the safer option. And remember, conventional cigarettes have caused thousands of house fires!

I just need to learn the lesson – and you need to learn from my experience. E-cigs are not magic vapour machines powered by fairy-dust and ponies and bunnies. They run on electricity – the same stuff that tries to lightning-zap you in thunder-storms! When your e-cig battery gets old, retire it and buy a shiny new one! That way you won’t burn to death. I mean, what’s the point of trying to avoid lung cancer if you’re going to burst into flames?


The rich will vape, the poor will smoke. And guess who will died first.

29/01/2016

The EGO-CE4 e-cigarette is cheap and flimsy

The EGO-CE4 e-cigarette and others based on the CE4 battery are inexpensive; which is just as well, as it is of poor quality and easily broken. I have accidentally broken these devices a few times, and only its low price has convinced me to buy more. When first introduced, it was priced similarly to its competitors (around £17), but the manufacturer has clearly realised that the product has a short working life and has reduced the price accordingly so as to stay on the market.

ego-ce4

The EGO CE4.  Cheap, poorly made, and on its way out

The EGO’s problem is its battery. It takes only a relatively short number of recharges before it starts to fail, keeping a working charge for much less time than competitors. And the construction of the battery and the rest of the e-cigarette is poorly designed. If the user drops it a short distance (the kind of fall that a laptop computer, for instance, takes in its stride) the battery can separate from the e-cig’s body easily. The same can happen if, for instance, the user puts the EGO in a trouser pocket and then sits down: stress that should not pose a problem for such a device.

The battery easily detaches from the part of the body that should keep it in place, the mouthpiece and the part of the body that holds the operation button comes apart far too easily. If the battery wires do not disconnect, the e-cigarette can be fixed: a thin, blunt object such as the non-business end of a pencil can push the battery back into the body, and the mouthpiece/button section can be reconnected. But of course such a McGuyver-style repair is not a lasting solution. And if the battery wires become disconnected, that is the end of the e-cigarette’s useful life. The wires are far too thin and weak to attempt soldering, even if such an operation could be deemed safe and satisfactory.

Luckily, the manufacturer has recognised the problem, and has priced the device accordingly. When e-cigarettes first became popular, the cost per unit was about £17. Now, replacement batteries are available via Amazon for as little as £3.50; and the glass “clearomizer” can be found at outlets such as Poundland, costing £1 per unit. Also, it seems manufacturers of the e-liquid are finding the market too saturated: at my local Poundland, 10 ml bottles of 88vape e-liquid in a range of flavours can be bought, again for £1.

vype-epen-kit

The safer, pricier Vype e-pen.  That’s where the smart money’s going.  If you actually have any money, that is.  Twenty Benson & Hedges is so much cheaper… if you don’t mind the hacking cough and cancer…

Of course this situation will not last. Stocks of 88vape will run out, the clearomisers and batteries will not work with the pen-style devices that are now taking over the market, and so the days of cheap EGO-CE4 e-cigarettes are numbered. It is a shame that it costs more than £20 to get a starter kit of the modern pen-like device. Poorer smokers will continue to smoke tobacco, which does not have such a “starter kit” expense. So poorer nicotine addicts will keep using the much more harmful tobacco product, perhaps forming a kind of economic apartheid wherein the less affluent will get higher rates of cancer and pulmonary-cardiac illness. When the cheaper but more electrically dangerous CE4 runs out of stock, less affluent nicotine addicts will be stuch with cigarettes and will most likely live shorter, harsher lives than their richer counterparts. This will remain the case until the pen-like devices are sold for less. And at the moment it doesn’t look like a price drop is likely.


E-cigs are good for you! And that’s official!

25/11/2014

Okay okay, I admit the title of this post is a touch… kooky. But now I have your attention, here’s the real news about e-cigarettes. The British Office of National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that vaping is not a gateway to tobacco use. The vast majority of e-cig users are smokers or ex-smokers.

There are currently no known adverse effects from vaping.  And sexy people do it!!

There are currently no known adverse effects from vaping. And sexy people do it!! (pic from http://www.vapestick.co.uk)

A recent study by Columbia University claimed that e-cigs could act as a “gateway” not only to tobacco smoking but also to the use of illegal drugs! Nonsense, of course. The recent ONS report reveals that only 0.14% of non-smokers use e-cigarettes compared to 11.8% of smokers and 4.8% of ex-smokers in Great Britain. It says “e-cigarettes are used almost exclusively by smokers and ex-smokers.”

This follows the change in UK TV advertising rules that now allows ads to show people actually vaping. Anti-smoking bodies have claimed that e-cig use will “normalise” smoking. What a stupid argument. If anything “normalises” smoking, it is actual cigarette smoking, which by the way is not illegal no matter how loudly the anti-smokers howl. The only thing that vaping “normalises” is vaping. Which is not harmful, as the ONS report indicates. Just like the YouGov survey commissioned by the anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) which found that “electronic cigarette use amongst never smokers
remains negligible. Less than 1 per cent of never smokers have ever tried electronic cigarettes
and virtually none continue to use them. Among former smokers, 11.8 per cent have tried
electronic cigarettes but only 4.7 per cent use them on a regular basis.”

It seems that e-cigs are not harmful, medically or socially. If a hitherto unknown danger is discovered, of course some kind of action will be taken by our legislation-happy government. But as things stand, everyone needs to lay off the vapers. All this crap about “normalisation of smoking” really pisses me off: when I asked Sainsburys why they have banned vaping in their stores, they said it was this “normalisation” business. Shoppers vaping on an e-cig pose no danger to other shoppers, vaping does not create an odour nor spread carcinogens. Shops and offices ban vaping simply because they don’t like the way it looks. This is the kind of prejudice we should be stamping out. Discrimination based on superficialities has no place in a civilised society.

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Free supermarket carrier bags in England about to be banned

04/06/2014

Bloody Daily Mail! They’re responsible!  Checkout their headline:

At last! Plastic bags are banished: Victory for Mail’s six-year campaign as Ministers force reluctant supermarkets to impose 5p charge

I understand the thinking: if carrier bags cot 10p, a number of customers will reuse old bags, cutting down on littering, perfectly fine bags being chucked in the bin ending up in landfill where it takes a billion years for the bags to decompose etc.  And it’s certainly an idea.  But a good idea? I HATE HATE!!! says Nooo!!!

I collect free carrier bags cos I have a dog and use bags to pick up her turds whn she craps.  From personal observation, I have seen the amount of dog shit being left on open ground.  True, some bags of shit get thrown up into trees, which must be a pita for the street cleaning folk etc.  But the cleaning people get paid for their work.  So, is this all part of a process to justify sacking cleaners?  If you read this blog often, you may have noticed my opinion on all the laws that get passed without good reas on.

I’m  not a user of e-cigs – I’ve tried them and I don’t like the taste.  But when I’m out and about in a large no-smoking area, the e-cig comes into its own: it has the “ritual” of smoking (holding the -e-cig, having a vape when the user feels like it) with no discernible health threat to owners.  And there’s also some evidence that e-cigs work helping smokers to quit where patches, chewing gum etc are useless.  Hard-core tobacco fiends have been able to cut down/quit the evil weed.

But no.  France, and now England have plans to ban the use of e-cigs in “public places”.  Their argument is two-fold: no-one knows the “long-term” side-effects of e-cigs, and their use somehow “normalise” smoking.  Complete bollocks of course.  Smoking is already normalised.  There are lots of cigarette smokers out there, who might be saved by e-cigs.  The harmful effects of smoking are all connected with the various tars and other substances in tobacco – not e-cigs.  The e-cigs deliver nicotine, which has no discernible effect on the “passive smoking” crowd (along with the pictures of the horrible internal organs used to decorate cigarette packs).  Smoking is here,get used to it.  And if they successfully help smokers too quit, all the better.  Nicotine addiction is hard to fight, anything available to help smokers to quit should be celebrated, not frowned on.

The JD Witherspoon chain of pubs has said e-cigs have been banned because “bar staff had found it difficult to distinguish e-cigarette users from real smokers”.  Of course, when a pub staff member is close-by, the appearance of the e-cigs, they fact they don’t produce any smoke or smell… FFS do Wetherspoon employ idiots?  Or is it just a poxy excuse?

I emailed the manager of my local Sainsburys, asking why the supermarket has decided to ban the use of e-cigs: all I got back was a pre-planned response that it hadn’t yet been proved that e-cigs are harmless and some kind of “gateway” product that will cause people  to “graduate” to tobacco, then probably crack and smack…

I said before that I can see a future where cigarette smoking has died off, with e-cig use being the norm amongst nicotine addicts.  But the puritanical state don’t like that.  If something is enjoyable, governments want to ban it before it becomes too popular. Hence the strict laws concerning o-called “legal highs”, hence bans on cannabis and, soon, e-cigs.  The bastards want us to do without of comforts, while they use e-cigs  and tobacco and who knows whatever other products that make one feel nice. We are the subjects of a puritanical-for-the-masses government. Insane.  So, how can we, the millions of Brits and billions around the world who smoke, challenge this?  Simply put: we can’t.  No party I’m aware of wants to abolish the nicotine laws.  So what we gonna do, mass civil disobedience?  Crowds of millions marching through London chanting: What do we want? Cigarettes! When do we want them?   Now!!

 


spider-smoke-rings-resized

 

 

+

The government’s stance is based on hygiene and on saving on all the emissions that come from manufacturing carrier bags.  I can buy expensive scented nappy (diaper) disposal bage, I can use paper from junk mail to somehow magic the smelly shit away…I dunno, maybe the Revolution will happen soon. Other dog  owners will let their mutts shit wherever (outside).  The government want me to use my magic powers to reverse this trend.  Bloody ridiculous.  I’m absolutely livid; I want to have a country of my own where I can smoke e-cigs and even real tobacco!   FFS!!!
I’m not too bad at writing. But there are obviously other things required that I don’t know crap about. Let’s crowd-source some cash (I don’t know shit about that either). We can buy or rent an island, live there (“This entire island is a designated smokingF zone. If you don’t like it, stop breathing. Or reveal yourself. The majority of people don’t smoke, but the smoking minority is a pretty big minority. Smoking is hard and cool, and you can’t get better than it!

BTW: interesting reading based on the pro-ban argument. The Daily Mail: France to ban e-cigarettes from public places and subject them to same controls as tobacco.
And:
E-cigarettes ‘help smokers to quit’
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Governments hate fun… and any questioning of the status quo

08/06/2013

When e-cigarettes came out, many hailed them as the solution to getting die-hard tobacco smokers off the evil weed (tobacco, not the other “evil” weed…). After all, it isn’t the nicotine in tobacco that kills smokers, it’s the assorted poisonous ingredients like arsenic, formaldehyde, nickel cadmium… I could go on, but there’s no point really. Suffice to say, the only “harmful” effect of nicotine is its addictiveness. The stuff that gives you cancers, heart problems and the rest of it is the other stuff in the tobacco.

So, the e-cigs are the solution, right? The ingredients of an e-cig are basically nicotine, water, and a touch of propylene glycol, (which helps vaporise the liquid nicotine). So, the e-cig provides the “ritual” of smoking (the cigarette prop, the inhalation and exhalation, and the nicotine) but none of the tars and other poisons that kill smokers – all good, right?

Well actually, no it’s not all good, according to the British Medical Association and associated OORDs* The BMA squeals that there have not been enough “rigorous, peer-reviewed studies”. French bodies are actually considering a ban on e-cig use in public places, even though there are no so-called “passive smoking” dangers. And there are even illogical claims that e-cigs might be a “gateway drug” which would lead youngsters on to try “the real thing”!

I believe that e-cigs are a wonderful invention and probably the solution to the tobacco problem. Occasionally I even imagine a future in which tobacco is banned and e-cig “vaping” (ie inhaling nicotine vapour) has taken its place. But too many ignorant puritans are opposed to that. Nicotine is enjoyable and addictive, therefore it’s evil and should be banned in spite of its general harmlessness. It’s like how the government “temporarily” bans “legal highs” like “Benzo Fury” and “NBOMe” while it looks for an excuse to make the ban permanent. They say this is done for the sake of public health, but that’s a lie. The authorities don’t want us to enjoy ourselves. They let us get pissed, but make sure we pay for it – through exorbitant taxation and hangovers. Equally, the government taxes tobacco to the hilt, hence the ridiculous price-tag on a pack of cigarettes. But if vaping became more popular, it could drop in price dramatically.

I would encourage cigarette smokers to give e-cigs a try-out (I’ve tried the disposable nicolites and they’re not bad – a bit of an aftertaste, but they’re cheaper than their tobacco rivals, and if the market increases as projected the price could fall even more) – while you obviously have to take any manufacturers’ claims with a pinch of salt, it’s clear e-cigs are nowhere near as toxic as regular cigarettes, and they pose absolutely no threat to other people – so the idea of banning vaping in public places is illogical to anyone except a puritan.

Please, please, PLEASE – check out both sides of the argument before you make a judgement on this. And if you’re a non-smoker, ask yourself: if these e-cigs pose me no dangers, and they don’t pose real danger to the user, why would I want them banned? This arguments is about more than e-cigs: it’s about the freedom to do what you like to your own body. You might not like tattoos or body piercing – does that mean we should make tattoos and nipple-rings illegal? Please, give this some serious, genuine thought. If someone’s vaping in a train station, posing no danger to you and yours. is it fair to make it a crime?

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