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.


The C*nt Wants To Close Our Hospitals

04/03/2014

Jeremy Cun… sorry, Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, wants to close hospitals. He’s tried to close hospitals before, but has been stopped. So he’s added a clause to the Care Bill, which will be up in the House of Commons *next Monday*!! Last October, a court ruled that Hunt acted illegally when he tried to cut A&E and maternity services at Lewisham hospital in south-east London.. So now, he’s come up with Clause 119 of the Care Bill, which will let him close hospital facilities whenever and wherever he wants. Check out the video, then please share it with your friends. Facebook, Twitter, email, even face-to-face! When enough people know what he’s up to, we can stop him. Hopefully. But if we just sit on our arses and do or say nothing, it might be *you* or *your child* who dies because your local hospital has been closed!

 

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Minimum price for alcoholic drinks? Come on, ConLibs, give us a break!

23/03/2012

According to the Guardian, a minimum price for alcoholic drinks is on the cards… and it might be more than 40 pence per unit!

The government claim it’s to tackle binge drinking.  But you’d have to be pretty dense to swallow that one whole.  Sure, there is a problem with some people “pre-loading” with a bottle of vodka or something before they hit the town.  But these drinkers aren’t going to be affected by this minimum price.  They’ll still be buying their Smirnoff or whatever.  It’s the poor who will be really affected by this.  It’s those on fixed incomes who buy the “budget booze” – and a 40p per unit minimum price will make the supermarkets’ cheapest vodka cost £11.20 a bottle.  Not a problem for most folk, but a pretty drastic hike for those on fixed incomes – those who could really do with a drink after all the other crap that’s been thrown at them by our Con-Lib government.

Oh, and before anyone says this plan will help stop underage drinking – well duh! there’s already a way to stop that.  It’s called enforce the laws we already have.  In the UK it is illegal to sell booze to anyone under 18, and most places ask to see ID of any alcohol customer who looks under 25.  Hitting poor adults in the pocket is no solution to the problem of children drinking.

Come on, Cameron, give us all a break!  You want to take benefits away from the poor, now you want to make it impossible for them to even have a drink more than once a month.  The figures being bandied about might seem small change to those who aren’t poor.  But believe me, this will make a big difference to a lot of people!

 

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UK shops to sell cigarettes in plain packaging… whose stupid idea was *that*?

09/03/2011

It was UK health secretary Andrew Lansley’s idea, apparently. He has announced his intention over the next 5 years to reduce the number of smokers in Britain by a greater number than was reduced in the past 5 years. And he has identified cigarettes’ allegedly gaudy, inviting packaging as a chief reason why people take up the habit in the first place. He has also announced a “consultation” into the idea of banning cigarette displays entirely, so tobacco products will have to be sold from “under the counter”.

Obviously, Lansley is a massive tit. Plain packaging and discreet under-the-counter sales will make cigarettes seem very illicit… and we all know what teenagers in general think of illicit activities. I predict that these measures will not reduce the number of smokers at all. Maybe it’ll even increase the number of smokers. Which is, of course, no bad thing for a political party that counts amongst its members the very tobacco barons the government claims it wants to destroy.

The other day I was waiting in the queue for the tobacco counter at my local Sainsbury’s, and I was struck by the current packaging of cigarettes. Every single pack has emblazoned across its front in bold letters sentences like SMOKING KILLS and SMOKING WILL TURN YOUR UNBORN CHILD INTO A STUMP-HEADED MUTANT. If that hasn’t reduced the number of smokers by the “desired” amount, what in hell makes Lansley think his stupid idea will do any better? The answer, of course, is stupidity. And hypocrisy. We must never forget the hypocrisy factor when trying to figure out our Con-Dem government’s motives.

Incidentally, that same Guardian story says that 21.2% of adults in Britain are smokers. It’s a minority, for sure, but it’s one heck of a big minority. Who the hell do the government think they are, messing with more than 8 million people’s right to choose what they do? Plus the government makes a lot of money by taxing tobacco products. What are they going to do if we all stop smoking – increase the tax on road fuel (which, incidentally, is far more harmful to the general population’s health than a damn cigarette)? These pin-headed ministers really do need to think these things through…

Cigarette displays like this may soon be outlawed if the UK govt gets its way

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Mmm! Antihistamines!drugs

16/06/2007

benadryl2.jpg

It can be really hard for a drug user to get tranquillizers, benzos and sleeping pills from his doctor. Once the quack knows you are a recreational user, he will often refuse to prescribe anything that has a pleasurable side-effect.

But don’t panic! There is a drug that has sedative effects yet is available over-the-counter from any pharmacist’s. This wondrous substance is the antihistamine!

Not all antihistamines are sedative. Some sufferers of hay fever moaned about their medication causing them to fall asleep while driving and other such trivial complaints, so the pharmaceutical manufacturers created a “non-drowsy” variety. God knows what use there is for a “non-drowsy” anything (except amphetamines I guess), and they have caused problems for people experimenting with these legal highs. For instance, there is an anti-allergy drug called Benadryl which, in the USA, contains the drowsiness-inducing antihistamine diphenhydramine – but in the UK, the manufacturer has used the non-sedating acrivastine. So, if you’re going to use internet resources (like the Usenet newsgroup alt.drugs.hard) to find out which products are worthwhile, it’s important to check the ingredients used in your county’s version of the medicine.

Anyway, diphenhydramine is a sedative that some people find enjoyable. For instance, I have heard of someone who swears by injecting the US version of Benadryl! Now, I wouldn’t advise anyone to do this – for one thing, these medicines will rarely be pure diphenhydramine, and the other ingredients may have grave effects when injected. But anyway, back to having fun with the stuff… I’ve already mentioned that Benadryl in UK isn’t sedative. But there is an OTC sleeping pill called Nytol, which contains the elusive diphenhydramine. If you want to try this, get the “one-a-night” variety of Nytol as it contains a higher dosage.

I said that some people find diphenhydramine enjoyable – there are others who hate the stuff! Consider, for instance, what Wikipedia has to say on the subject of its recreational use:

“Those who use diphenhydramine recreationally take a higher dose than recommended dose (usually between 225mg and 450mg) for its deliriant effects. Diphenhydramine also is a component of the recreational form of heroin known as “cheese” or “chiva”. The mental effects are described by many as “dreaming while awake” involving visual and auditory hallucinations which, unlike those experienced with most psychedelic drugs, often cannot be readily distinguished from reality. Diphenhydramine generally has a low abuse profile due to the frequently unpleasant nature of the hallucinations. People who consume a high recreational dose can possibly find themselves in a hallucination which places them in a familiar situation with people and friends and rooms they know, while in reality being in a totally different setting. Inexperienced users of hallucinogens are liable to panic.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diphenhydramine#Recreational_use

Helen Leszke, in her blog “Open Door”, also describes unpleasant side-effects from prolonged use of the stuff:

“Figuring that taking an antihistamine that caused drowsiness couldn’t hurt when I was having trouble sleeping, I began taking the minimum dosage about twice a day (one caplet twice a day). One of the times I took it was, of course, right at bedtime. After about three or four days of taking tiny amounts of Benadryl (Diphenhydramine), I started to notice some strange occurrences with my sleep pattern, moods and one or two dubious physical symptoms.

“Firstly, as opposed to just waking through the night several times as had been the original problem, I had now begun to be physically and mentally UNABLE to sleep. It took me an hour or more on average to get to sleep – and when I woke through the night at about midnight or 2am I-WAS-WIRED. AND-I-MEAN-WIRED. I would wake, look at the clock, feel like I wanted to jump out of bed despite being dog-tired and be totally unable to just turn over and get back to sleep. I tossed and turned, STILL had trouble breathing, slept for a couple of hours on the sofa one night (in with the A/C unit), had to get up to do SOMETHING – ANYTHING.

“Secondly, every time I would sleep for a couple of hours and wake up – I would also wake up with an absolutely PARCHED mouth. I mean like I had been drinking……HEAVILY. I was continually reaching for glasses of water beside the bed to moisten my otherwise arid pallette.

“Thirdly, I had a nagging headache that just wouldn’t shift no matter what I tried. It was just bad enough to be constantly on my mind but not bad enough to be continually popping aspirin for.

After about a week and a half of not sleeping, I started to wonder what was REALLY going on with me. I was getting worse and worse – instead of naturally gradually shifting out of a temporary insomnia and back into a regular sleep pattern as had happened to me many times in the past. My allergies and nasal breathing problems had not shown any improvement, either. I began to cut out iced tea in the afternoons and evenings – wondering if my caffeine consumption was the root of the issue – but it wasn’t. I don’t drink that much of it anyhow.

http://stormskies.com/OpenDoor/?m=200608

So, this Benadryl/Nytol affair really does seem to be a horses for courses type thing. My personal experience has been fairly positive: taking twice to three times the recommended dosage would result in a pretty pleasurable sedated feeling. Nothing to write home about, but okay when nothing better was available. But it really dried me out – I’d be thirsty as all hell, my mouth would be dry, and I’d have spent a quite a bit of time pissing. Not bad… but not great.

nytol_one_a_night_16x.jpg

DISCLAIMER: If you have a crappy high or some freaky hallucinogenic shit happens, don’t try blaming me. I’ve pointed out all the pluses and minuses I could think of. And anyway, you’ve got a mind of your own… I assume. So whining that “IHateHate told me to do it” ain’t gonna get you nowhere!

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