Patterns of electronic cigarette use and user beliefs about their safety and benefits: An Internet survey

A new study name “Patterns of electronic cigarette use and user beliefs about their safety and benefits: An Internet survey” has been published.  The study was an Internet survey aimed at gathering scientific data regarding how e-cigarettes are used and how those users perceive them. The summarized conclusion from the study authors reads:

The participants primarily used e-cigarettes as a stop-smoking aid or as an alternative to conventional cigarettes, and the majority reported that they successfully stopped smoking. More data on e-cigarette safety and its efficacy in harm-reduction and smoking cessation are needed.

Bill Godshall from SmokeFree Pennsylvania added further details:

Survey of 179 Polish e-cigarette users finds 66% of users no longer smoked any cigarettes and 25% smoked fewer than 5 cigarettes per day, 41% primarily used e-cigarettes to quit smoking, 41% primarily used e-cigarettes to reduce harm associated with smoking, and 82% believed e-cigarettes to be less hazardous than cigarette smoking.

The survey results are not surprising to most vapers or those familiar with e-cigarettes or those who use them.

The study details can be found here.

Coupon Code For E-Cigarettes at SmokeInstead.ca

e-cigarette coupon codeWe are pleased to offer our readers a discount code for 15% off all orders at www.smokeinstead.ca, the premier website for e-cigarettes and vaping accessories in Canada.  When checking out you will see a space to type in a coupon code.  Just use the code 15discount and a 15% discount will automatically be calculated from your order total.  The code can be used on any products including the Aurora PV One kit, the Joyetech eGo-T kit, cartridges or e-liquid.

If you live in Canada and smoke tobacco cigarettes, you will be happy you tried an electronic cigarette.  Not only can they generally be used where smoking is prohibited, but they are also cheaper than “analogue” cigarettes.  Try one today at www.smokeinstead.ca using the code 15discount!

Free Electronic Cigarettes?

electronic cigarette free trialIf you are looking for electronic cigarettes online, it is hard not to come across an offer for “free electronic cigarettes” or “free starter kit” or some sort of trial offer.  Tempting to be sure, but two old adages come to mind; if it seems to good to be true it probably is and you get what you pay for.  These so called freebies can turn out to cost you more time and money than you think.  Here is how most work, although I am sure there are other methods with the same outcome.

You sign up with your information and credit card with the promise of receiving a free e-cig starter kit.  These kits may or may not be quality.  You also agree to a monthly subscription to receive cartridges on a monthly basis.  This is analogous to the old buy a CD for a penny scam.  At first glance it seems like a great deal since you will of course need new cartridges for as long as you continue vaping.  The issue arises when you decide to not continue receiving cartridges for one reason or another.  It may be because the unit broke or you moved on to a different model or you simply don’t vape anymore.  When you try to cancel you subscription and subsequently monthly billing, you can’t get a hold of customer service or even if you do the billing doesn’t stop.

This is compounded when you compare the cost of cartridges for “free” starter kits compared to those provided by reputable companies or especially compared to the cost of buying e-liquid and refilling your own cartridges.   Companies don’t make money by giving away electronic cigarettes and they do make money.  So obviously they make enough from the cartridges to cover the cost of the kits.

Don’t get fooled.  E-Cigarette kits cost money.  If you want to vape, buy one.  If you want a free one, dream on…..maybe the best things in life are free but electronic cigarettes are not.

If you are looking for electronic cigarettes, here are some companies with good product and good reputations:  V2 Cigs, Green Smoke, Dragonfly Ecigs, Aurora Cigs, Joyetech.

The Biggest Misconceptions About Electronic Cigarettes

Here are the most quoted and wrong ideas about electronic cigarettes:e-cigarette misinformation

1.  It’s water vapour

No….it’s not.  Creating water vapour would mean boiling water, which e-cigs do not do.  The majority of the vapour is made up of propylene glycol lesser amounts of other compounds such as glycerin, nicotine (if nicotine e-liquid is vaporized) and the make up of the flavoring.  He is a study done on the second hand vapour produced from an electronic cigarette.

2.  The FDA found cancer causing chemicals in e-cigarettes.

They found trace amounts of smoke TSNAs in some samples.  They quantities they found pose no threat to human health.  Detectable levels of TSNAs can also be found in nicotine gum.  An analysis of the FDA testing on e-cigs can be found here.

3.  E-Cigarettes are banned in Canada.

No, only e-cigarettes with cartridges that contain nicotine are banned.  E-Cigarettes work just fine with no nicotine e-liquid.

4. Without nicotine, electronic cigarettes serve no purpose.

If smokers just wanted nicotine, then the nicotine gum would have 100% success rate helping smokers quit.  But they don’t.  So is it the action of smoking they want?  Is it the “break” they get when they smoke?  Whatever the answer is for each individual smoker; the e-cigarette does closely mimic the action of smoking…..with or without nicotine.

5. Flavored e-liquid and cartridges entice children to use e-cigarettes.

I suppose flavored vodka gets kids drinking?   I doubt it.  Kids don’t smoke or drink because it tastes good.

6.  We just don’t know what’s in an electronic cigarette.

Yes we do.  Many tests have been done.  Click here for some e-cig testing.  Or just know that e-liquid must contain a majority of propylene glycol and/or glycerin in order to work at all.  The rest of the ingredients are water and optionally flavoring and nicotine.

 

If you hear of other misconceptions, drop us a note or leave a comment here and we will try to further curb the mass amount of mis-information about electronic cigarettes.

Former Smoker Wants End To E-Cigarette Ban In Canada

no vapingRussell Daikens is not alone.  He wants Health Canada to end it’s ban on electronic cigarettes that contain nicotine.  He smoked for 50 years at two packs per day.  Quick math tells us he smoked about 730,000 tobacco cigarettes over this period….and that is at 20 cigarettes per pack, while many come in 25.  But in January he found the e-cig and never turned back.  The story appear in this news article on metronews.ca.

It’s not hard to see why Russell is an advocate for the new vaping technology.  He is a retired sailor who’s health was obviously adversely effected by smoking.  But now, Russell says “I’m done hacking and coughing, and haven’t touched a cigarette since.”  But he, like other former smokers, is concerned about the supply of nicotine e-liquid for their e-cigarettes.  Although none nicotine liquid and the vaping units themselves can be found online at such retailers as www.smokeinstead.ca, the nicotine refill liquid is banned.  And those attempting to import across the Canadian border risk having Canadian Customs seize their shipment.  Hardly seems far to those who gave up smoking.  Russell speculates why Health Canada is against the new “smoking” product, “You’re up against Big Tobacco, and you’re up against the government, too, because they want their revenue.”  The real reason may never be known, but let’s look at their current reasoning:

Although these electronic smoking products may be marketed as a safer alternative to conventional tobacco products and, in some cases, as an aid to quitting smoking, electronic smoking products may pose risks such as nicotine poisoning and addiction,” Health Canada said, in a statement.

Funny that Health Canada is worried about nicotine addiction when they authorize the sale of tobacco cigarettes, which have nicotine.  They also approved many other products with nicotine in them such as nicotine gum and patches.  And the concern over nicotine poisoning is unlikely.  In fact it has never happened.  E-Cigarettes have been used in North America for over 5 years without one case of nicotine poisoning.  This is not to say it is a none issue.  If a user where to drink a bottle of e-liquid with nicotine, it would be very, very dangerous.  But banning (rather than regulating) e-cigarettes because of potential consumer misuse is analogous to banning mouthwash because of the off chance someone would drink it in quantities that would harm them.  Reasonable regulation and labeling would seem to be a more logical course of action.

So will Health Canada re-consider it’s ban on electronic cigarettes with nicotine?  It seems unlikely until someone ponies up the money to make it a pharmaceutical product.  And even then, sales would likely be limited to pharmacies.  For Russell’s sake, and  for the sake of every other smoker in Canada, we hope Health Canada looks at the e-cigarette as a blessing, not a danger.

Best Newbie E-Cigarette

newbie e-cigaretteIf you have smoked for some time and recently came across the idea of an electronic cigarette, you are now probably wondering what model/brand of e-cig you should start with.  I am sure you have found many different options out there but are unsure what would be the best choice for a vaping “noob”.  Well here are some guidelines and points to consider when buying your first e-cigarette.

1. Any e-cigarette is better than smoking.  Don’t let the choices overwhelm you.  Don’t worry about buying the perfect e-cigarette right off the bat.  The fact that e-cigs are so much cheaper (in the long run) than tobacco cigarettes, gives you some margin for error.

2. Don’t get caught up in the add-ons and accessories.  There are many options from portable chargers to drip tips to laynards.  Just get the basic kit to try.  You may even want to start with a disposable just to get an idea of what it is like.  The only issue with disposables is that if you don’t like the e-liquid that comes in it, there is no way to change it.  This leads to the third point.

3. Get an easy to use unit with multiple e-liquid flavor options.  Flavor is based on the individual and what your friend likes may not suit you.  So flavor options are important.

4. Don’t buy from out of country.  E-cigarettes are still in regulatory no-mans land.  If you buy from outside of your country, customs may be an issue.

5.  Our recommendation in Canada?  SmokeInstead.ca is a good option.  They carry Aurora which is a great starter kit for newbies.  They also carry Joyetech products for more advanced vapers.  In the US, try E-Cig.org for some reviews and ratings on different options.

Is Health Canada Contradicting Itself?

Health CanadaSince 2009 Health Canada has placed a ban on marketing or selling e-cigarettes with nicotine.  Their stance is they need market authorization in the same way a nicotine patch or gum needs authorization within Canada.  As we mentioned in the past, non-nicotine electronic cigarettes are fine, since they do not contain any substances that warrant involvement with Health Canada.

What is curious is that it appears Health Canada does know the benefits of vaporization over combustion, as they state on their website with regards to vaporizing marijuana:

The advantages of vaporization apparently include the formation of a smaller quantity of toxic by-products such as carbon monoxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and tar, as well as a more efficient extraction of THC from the cannabis material (47,48,49,43,50). The subjective effects and plasma concentrations of THC are comparable to those of smoked cannabis with absorption being somewhat faster with the vaporizer (43). The vaporizer is well-tolerated, with no reported adverse effects, and is generally preferred over smoking by most subjects (43)

And as Brad Rodu (Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville) points out in his recent blog post:

Among the comment’s scientific references, the most frequently cited is a study of vaporized marijuana published in 2007 by scientists at the University of California at San Francisco (abstract here).  It concluded:
“Whereas smoking marijuana increased [carbon monoxide, CO] levels as expected for inhalation of a combustion product, there was little if any increase in CO after inhalation of THC from the vaporizer. This indicates little or no exposure to gaseous combustion toxins. Combustion products are harmful to health and reflect a major concern about the use of marijuana cigarettes for medical therapy as expressed by the Institute of Medicine… Vaporization of marijuana does not result in exposure to combustion gases, and therefore is expected to be much safer than smoking marijuana cigarettes. The vaporizer was well tolerated and preferred by most subjects compared to marijuana cigarettes.”
From this, let’s make a leap:  Health Canada would recommend, if you were intent on smoking marijuana, that you vaporize it because it is better for you.  However, they would NOT recommend, if you were intent on smoking cigarettes, that you use an e-cigarette.
Yes, there are other nicotine replacement “therapies” such as the patch or gum, but these are to quit smoking.  What if a smoker wanted to keep smoking and getting nicotine, but wanted a safer method?  Is Health Canada going against it’s stated mission of “helping Canadians maintain and improve their health, while respecting individual choices and circumstance”.  If they know vaporization is safer than combustion and they want to respect individual choices, they why would they deny Canadians the option of an electronic cigarette?
We encourage you to write Health Canada and your Member of Parliament and ask them.

 

Electronic Cigarettes Featured On SNL

e-cigarettes on saturday night liveThe time has come when e-cigarettes have made it into pop culture via Saturday Night Live.  Although in the past, such icons as Johnny Depp in The Tourist and Katherine Heigl on David Letterman have introduced the electronic cigarette to the masses, SNL holds a special place when it comes to shaping and displaying pop culture.

It is a great step for the e-cigarette, especially considering the content surrounding the use of the smokeless cigarette. Actor Fred Armisen used an e-cigarette during the skit and then proceeded to tap it against a plate  in an attempt to put it out.  The electronic cigarette itself is the basis of the joke.  Our take away?  E-cigarettes are so much like tobacco cigarettes that the general public doesn’t see the difference…..there is no burning, no ashes, no tobacco, so no way to “butt” it out.

If nothing else, this get more smokers interested in vaping which considering the mortality rate of smoking, is a great thing for everyone.

Although the clip is on Hulu, which can only be viewed when within the United States, once aired the video and it’s repercussions for the e-cig industry will be fully realized.

Electronic Cigarette Article From The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

We came across an article written in January, 18th, 2012 by Susie Stachan from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  The article, entitled “E-cigarettes not the answer to quitting smoking” (full article can be found here) is full of misleading and incorrect information.  And although we respect what the WRHA has done over the years, we also believe in facts and science so here are some corrections.  Below are excerpts from the article and our opinion on their factuality.

Proponents say e-cigarettes help them to cut down on the health risks, eliminate the odour of burning tobacco, and cut down on the amount of nicotine they get with each inhalation.

The issue here is the word proponents, or rather than missing word “users”.  The fact is, the internet is full of e-cigarette users praising the technology.  It should be important what e-cigarette users and current/former smokers have to say, but it appears it is not.

Yet e-cigarette kits are both sold online through Canadian websites, and in stores in Winnipeg, all of which contain nicotine.

Simply not true.  Some electronic cigarette retailers do sell e-cigs with nicotine, but many do not.  One example is this online e-cigarette retailer which carries a couple different brands, all without nicotine.

Health-care providers don’t know if they are a safe alternative to regular cigarettes, or if they are a bid by Big Tobacco to continue having people buying their product.

How can they not know?  Everyone in the industry and on the forums know the big players, and they aren’t tobacco companies.  In fact the first sign of the tobacco industry getting involved in electronic cigarettes was when the tobacco company Lorillard bought the established e-cig brand, Blu.  Most e-cigarette companies are small start-ups with some better funded companies slowly rising to the top.

As for the safer alternative, let’s compare.  Tobacco cigarettes contain 4000 chemicals and kill about half the long time users.  E-Cigarettes use propylene glycol, glycerin, water, flavoring, and optionally nicotine.  All ingredients (minus the nicotine) are approved for use in food.  Nicotine is found in all NRT products.  And there have been multiple tests of the electronic cigarette.

“There are concerns about second-hand smoke, too. There’s no clear evidence on what’s in that vapour, and whether this will have a second-hand smoke effect on other people,”

At the time of the article, there wasn’t.  But now there is testing showing that e-cig vapor is not dangerous to bystanders indoors.

In May 2009, the FDA’s Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis tested the contents of 18 varieties of electronic cigarette cartridges produced by two vendors: NJoy and Smoking Everywhere. They found known cancer-causing agents in a number of the cartridges, and also that the actual nicotine levels did not always correspond to the amount they purported to contain.

What the FDA found was trace amounts of TSNA (Tobacco-specific nitrosamines) and as Dr. Michael Siegel noted on his tobacco harm reduction blog: “The rest of the story is that an independent scientific expert report has now confirmed that – at least in the case of NJOY electronic cigarettes – there is no evidence that these products pose any increased health risks compared to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products and that they pose much less health risk than FDA-approved tobacco cigarettes.”

We do believe that nicotine content should be regulated to ensure accuracy.

The Winnipeg Health Region offers smoking cessation support and supplies patients with nicotine patches and gum while they are staying in region hospitals.

That is great.  But seems odd that they would recommend a patch or gum with nicotine rather than recommend an electronic cigarette with no nicotine.  Last time I checked, they don’t give alcoholics beer so they will stop drinking.

We hope all public health organizations in Canada will base their opinions and recommendations on facts and science and not blindly tow the company line.

Testing Shows Electronic Cigarette Vapor OK

Ever wonder if that vaper next to you blowing out plums of vapor is effecting you?  The scientific answer is no.  A study recently peer reviewed and published in the journal Inhalation Toxicology concluded that “Non-cancer risk analysis revealed “No Significant Risk” of harm to human health for vapor samples from e-liquids” and “For all byproducts measured, electronic cigarettes produce very small exposures relative to tobacco cigarettes.  The study indicates no apparent risk to human health from e-cigarette emissions based on the compounds analyzed.”  The full abstract can be found at the IVAQS (Indoor Vapor Air Quality Study) website.

It appears unfortunately that they did not test the non nicotine e-liquid, however since e-cigarette liquid with no nicotine is made up of the same stuff as that with nicotine (propylene glycol, glycerin, water, flavoring) it would be logical to conclude it would have the same, if not better results.

The study compared the emissions for an e-cigarette to those of a traditional tobacco cigarette as well as from a stand point of current regulatory standards for indoor pollution.  It was not surprising that “for tobacco smoke most findings markedly exceeded risk limits indicating a condition of “Significant Risk” of harm to human health.”  And although it was not surprising to those knowledgeable about e-cigarettes, it may have been for others to find out there was not any actual risk to non-users of e-cigarettes in vapor filled rooms.

We wish the National Vapers Club much success in using this scientific data to battle past and future electronic cigarette bans.  These bans were full of hypotheticals and unfounded bias.  At least now the lawmakers will have to concede that their laws are based on their own perceptions and not facts. Long live the e-cigarette!!!