Game Changer, California, e-cig explodes, e-cigs harmful?, Future Regulation
September 19, 2013
E-cigs could be a game changer
The tobacco industry has long searched for a holy grail – a product that would give nicotine addicts their fix without also causing disease and death.
The jury is still out on whether e-cigarettes could be that change. Public health groups are highly skeptical, but few doubt that the technology represents a potential sea change.
Some industry observers view e-cigs as potentially the most disruptive force to hit the U.S. tobacco industry since the invention of the cigarette rolling machine.
The market potential for e-cigs has become big enough that major tobacco companies are now entering the category, and even the world’s largest tobacco leaf company has announced plans to become a supplier of nicotine for e-cigs.
While still only a small portion of the overall $80 billion U.S. cigarette market, e-cig sales could surpass traditional cigarette sales within the next decade as cigarette sales continue to decline while e-cig sales grow.
Analysts with Goldman Sachs wrote in late 2012 that if the e-cig market takes off, “there is potential for a big shake-up in the tobacco hierarchy.”
Altria Group consumer research shows that about 50 percent of adult cigarette smokers are interested in alternative products.
California city governments pondering what to do about E-cigs
Seal Beach, Calif., recently passed a 45-day moratorium halting any new e-cigarette and smoke shops from opening in the small beach community.
With fresh memories of how rapidly marijuana dispensaries multiplied and generated controversy, many cities want to slow the spread of electronic cigarette stores until they can figure out the ramifications.
For Jim Basham, Seal Beach's director of community development, the distinguishing line between pot dispensaries and vaping outlets is a bit blurry. He's seen e-cigarette stores evolve into hemp shops — and draw with them a ragtag crowd.
"You have other folks with different intentions," Basham said, "and you can have secondary adverse effects, like crime."
In August, Temple City passed a zoning ordinance that keeps all smoke shops, including those that sell only e-cigarettes, at least 1,000 feet from parks and schools. About a month earlier, Duarte passed an urgency ordinance that temporarily halted any new shops from opening there. And the city of Pico Rivera passed an ordinance that treats the vapor devices like traditional cigarettes.
Some city officials said they want more information about the devices and their health effects.
"I'm not saying you're going to die and go to hell if you use them," said Pico Rivera Councilman Gregory Salcido, who backed the city's decision to treat the devices as regular cigarettes. "But we don't know enough about them, and as a result we're going to cover our bases."
E-cig exploded, Atlanta woman claims
One Atlanta woman claims she's happy to be alive after a very difficult electronic smoking experience.
As WSB-TV reports, Elizabeth Wilkowski is sure that what she experienced was no ordinary event.
"I didn't hear a boom. It wasn't a pop. It was a kaboom!" she said.
Wilkowski claims that she had simply plugged the e-cigarette into her computer's USB port in order to charge it.
This particular e-cigarette was a Seego EHit, manufactured in China.
Are e-cigs harmful? Nobody knows for sure
The jury is still out on whether vaping is dangerous. And there are still plenty of conflicting opinions.
“People are inhaling some type of chemical vaporized compound into their lungs without really knowing what's in it," said Dr. Mike Feinstein, a spokesman for the American Lung Association.
Last year, the American Lung Association issued its own warning about e-cigarettes: “This is a buyer stay-away, a buyer health hazard, potentially."
Dr. Robert Greene, who treats lung cancer patients at Florida’s Palm Beach Cancer Institute, said the product is potentially a health hazard. “There really is no information about whether they're safe or not, and that's part of the problem," said Greene.
He says with no real data on e-cigarettes, the three-year-old tobacco alternative may actually be more harmful that traditional cigarettes.
"The doses of nicotine that you get could conceivably be higher than what you would get in a typical cigarette," said Greene.
According to the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, e-cigarettes contain just five ingredients, all approved by the FDA. Recently, the FDA announced it will begin to regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product.
Future of e-cigs hinges on regulation
There’s been little research done on e-cigarettes, but among those studying the devices is Dr. Greg Connolly, professor of public health at Harvard University.
The future of e-cigarettes, Connolly said, hinges on how the FDA approaches regulation of them.
"This could be a tool — if it's regulated correctly — to help end dependence on cigarettes and nicotine. This is probably the best quitting device known to man," said Connolly, who co-authored an early study on e-cigarettes.
But they just as easily could become a means to hook more people on nicotine, he said.
If the technology continues to develop...they could become even more addictive than the conventional cigarette — that's frightening," Connolly said.
Connolly plans to publish research on a set of habit-forming compounds, or so-called "super juices," that have been in conventional cigarettes like Merit and Marlboro since the late 1970s — and that he has found to be present in some popular e-cigarettes.
These super juices — which aren't present in nicotine gum or patches — could help make e-cigarettes a more effective quitting aid because they would deliver the kick of a regular cigarette, Connolly said. And like the patch, he said, users could wean themselves off nicotine by stepping down the dosage — that is, provided e-cigarettes are regulated such that graduated doses of nicotine are required to be availed.
But Connolly, who has served on FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, said the agency does not seem poised to regulate e-cigarettes as a quitting aid. Rather, he said, FDA seems headed toward regulating them as tobacco products, which would leave the companies free to market the highest allowable dosages and essentially assure an ongoing supply of addicts or customers.
"FDA seems to be poised to ban Internet sales, which is exactly what (big tobacco companies) want," Connolly said. "That will only destroy competition and hand the market over to (the big three companies) whose only mission is to make the most addictive product they can."
The three major companies are Lorillard, Philip Morris, and Reynolds American.
Have you or are you using the e-cigarette to quit smoking? Jed Rose, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Duke Center for Smoking Cessation at Duke University, recent wrote in the Wall Street Journal about how vaping can be a great way to kick the analog smoking habit. In fact, Rose said that e-cigarettes are indeed effective—and safer.
Rose used his article to talk about the public health impacts of vaping and where we are at based on information and studies currently out.
He said that he is “recognizing that an exhaustive analysis of all of the potential long-term effects will require many years of study. And the information we have now shows that electronic cigarettes can safely help people quit smoking.”
Some points Rose makes for e-cigarettes include:
-The U.S. Surgeon General and other experts have linked the vast majority of smoking-related disease to the combustion products of smoke, not to the nicotine that is present both in tobacco and in electronic cigarettes. Therefore, switching to e-cigs that don’t burn is better for your health.
-Researchers from highly credible organizations, among them the U.K. Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies and the University of Geneva’s Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, have concluded that e-cigarettes are helpful in reducing or eliminating tobacco use. And recently the British government’s drug regulatory authority approved an e-cigarette as a quit-smoking medicine.
-Every other form of nicotine replacement studied to date has been shown to help people stop smoking, including nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, nasal spray and inhalers. Further,
e-cigarettes can more effectively satisfy a smoker’s craving by delivering nicotine as rapidly as a cigarette, while also satisfying the habitual aspects of smoking.
-Available evidence also overwhelmingly supports the view that e-cigarettes are reasonably safe and—most important—far less risky than cigarettes.
-Because there are numerous carcinogens in cigarette smoke, the formaldehyde component of cigarette smoke has been estimated to raise smokers’ risk of cancer by less than 1 part in 1,000. Thus the overall cancer risk presented by formaldehyde in e-cigarette vapor is likely to be insignificant.
Most of us use our batteries day in and day out with little thought about what happens to the most delicate part of them when we put them in and take them out of our devices. A slight tear here, a nick there, no big deal right? Wrong! The thin outer skin of our batteries is the only thing protecting them from shorting on the metal casings of our mods. Keeping an eye on your battery wrappers is something that is not only overlooked by many; it is downright ignored by a good percentage of vapers.
Essentially the outer wall of a battery is just a big negative terminal hence why the positive terminal is isolated and the wrap covers the battery except on the negative terminal itself. If you have a tear near the top of your battery wrapper it can potentially arc with the top of your device and cause a short. “It’s okay, I use a regulated mod,” I can hear some of you saying. It doesn’t matter what type of mod you have, your battery can still make contact with the battery door and cause a short not to mention when you have the batteries outside of your device.
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Battery wrappers are dirt-cheap and easy to install so there is no excuse to walk around with dangerous batteries. Grab your batteries and go over it top to bottom, can you find any nicks? What about small tears?
If so it’s no big deal, just get yourself some battery wraps and follow these easy steps:
1 Remove the old wrapper by getting under the edge with your fingernail and tearing it off. The reason we don’t use tools is because we don’t want to damage the cell.
2 Prepare the new wrapper by trimming it (if necessary) leave it about ¼” long on both ends so that it will cover the top and bottom properly.
3 Slide the new wrapper onto your battery leaving an even amount of room at the top and bottom.
4 Take a hairdryer on high setting or heat gun and run it over the battery until the wrapper shrinks over the battery.
5 That’s it! Now your battery is like brand new again. Don’t forget to label it with the date it was purchased so you know when it’s time to replace it.
Batteries are not very volatile when used properly; usually it’s what we do to them as vapers that makes them more likely to malfunction. By reading these safety articles I hope to prevent accidents that end up on the news and put vaping under the microscope of the public and government leading us ever closer to being regulated. That being said another thing I see is vapers putting their batteries in their pockets with other metal objects like their keys or loose change. THIS NEEDS TO STOP IMMEDIATELY! I can’t stress enough how dangerous that is as we’ve seen with the latest case of a battery exploding at a Kentucky gas station. One of the easiest ways to keep yourself safe is to store your batteries properly when they’re not in your device.
Our devices would be nothing without the batteries so why not keep them safe and sound? There are a number of products on the market that are designed to keep you and your batteries safe. One would be a simple plastic battery box. These usually sell for about $1 and normally hold two batteries, which make it the perfect companion to your average daily vaper. Another great
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product is the silicone single battery sleeve. They’re lightweight, inexpensive and easy to carry around with no added bulk. They make it safe to carry around in your pocket even with keys/change although STILL not recommended. Finally a slightly more modern way to carry around spare cells, the 3D printed battery case. Expect to pay a little more for these (around $10-$20) but with varying designs and a little extra style; it’s definitely a worthy investment.
So now you know how to revive your old badly wrapped batteries and how to keep them safe but what about those batteries that have seen hell and back? Maybe they’re dented from using it in your hybrid mech mod or have scorch marks and scratches on the terminals or maybe they don’t seem to hold a charge for very long anymore. That’s what I like to call a “lost cause.” It’s time to move on, I know it’s tough because they served you so well for so long but there comes a time when it’s just better to walk away. But hey, think of the great feeling you’ll have walking out of the vape shop with brand-spanking-new batteries, that should make you feel a little better, right?
When many beginning vapers first hear about “dripping,” some rather interesting images often come to mind. The terminology seems to imply a process of placing tiny drops of e-liquid directly onto the wick or coil instead of filling a tank. While this process sounds simple enough, why would anyone want to do this in the first place? Vaping is already fun and easy. Just fill the tank, and vape away until the battery needs recharging, right? Well, not so fast. Dripping opens the door to a whole new world.
Dripping and Donuts
As newbies transition into more experienced vaping enthusiasts, many quickly turn into a kind of e-liquid connoisseur. They love experimenting with different flavors, blends, and brands, and may even begin creating their own. While this is all part of the fun of vaping, buying ten bottles of e-liquid every week can quickly wreak havoc on the wallet.
So what happens when the e-liquid doesn’t live up to its marketing hype?
Is the manufacturer simply trying to pull a fast one?
Why doesn’t the e-liquid taste as great as the Vlogger or Facebook post suggests?
What if the bottle lists the perfect combination of impossibleto- find flavors, but the e-liquid still tastes bland?
What is the buyer supposed to do next? Should she simply pour the e-liquid down the drain?
E-liquid doesn’t grow on trees. It costs money. Dripping might be a better alternative to tossing that bottle of e-liquid in the trash. Luckily, dripping also tends to produce bolder, richer flavors. It’s like heating a Krispy Kreme in the microwave before eating it. The donut still has the same combination of tasty ingredients, but the chocolate-covered delight always seems to taste even better with a good zap of high heat.
Now, the donut-lover can heat the circular pastry in the microwave, roast it over an open flame, or place it in a convection oven. Different heating methods tend to produce slightly different overall tastes. Dripping works in very much the same way.
Dripping, in its purest form, requires nothing more than applying e-liquid directly onto the coil/wick. Beginners might start by pulling out the polyfill material in a simple 510 cartomizer before hitting the firing button for a few seconds to burn off the residue, but most choose to purchase something called a dripping atomizer, which can cost as little as $20. An RDA (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer) component uses a “deck and posts” to achieve the drip effect. There are hundreds of different options on the market, allowing the ability to build single, dual, or even quad coils, depending on the brand.
All RDAs involve heating the juice directly from the coil and wick located on the deck and posts. However, every RDA alters the overall dripping experience in a slightly different way, depending on the model, its individual features, the selected wicking materials, the type of coil wire, and the personal dripping techniques of the vaper. The unlimited number of possible combinations is what makes dripping so much fun.
Dripping Pros and Cons
Once vapers learn that dripping tends to boost the flavor of their favorite e-liquids, the next likely question becomes, “Why isn’t everyone doing it?” The simple answer is that dripping is not for everyone. It comes with its share of interesting advantages while offering some rather compelling disadvantages at the same time. Some people drip all the time. Others drip only certain brands of e-liquid. And some vapers use the drip method to taste-test lots of different flavors in a single sitting. Before newbies consider dripping as an alternative style of vaping, they first need to learn some of the pros and cons.
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Bolder, Richer Flavor: A more direct heat applied to the e-liquid only enhances the flavor.
More Massive Cloud Production: Dripping tends to produce bigger clouds, making this style of vaping very popular among competitive cloudchasers.
Economical: As long as the vaper is careful when dripping the e-liquid onto the coil, then dripping can be very cost-effective. Instead of constantly losing tiny amounts of e-liquid during every tank change, vapers only vape what they drip.
“Lung Hit:” Dripping allows the user to inhale the vapor directly into the lungs without the temporary delay of holding it in the mouth. This slightly different inhaling technique is popular among dripping advocates because it provides a more robust experience, commonly called the “lung hit.”
Taste-testing: When checking out your local vape shop, dripping is a quick and easy way to taste-test a variety of interesting new blends.
Time-consuming: While vaping with a traditional tank tends to last for the length of the device’s battery charge, dripping generally requires a re-dousing of the wick after every few hits (there are certain exceptions though).
Messy: Direct dripping requires a steady hand. Otherwise, the vaper is at risk of wasting premium e-liquid. When it comes to dripping, less is more. Only three or four drops does the trick in most cases, especially for beginners.
Inconvenient: Dripping requires the vaper to be constantly carrying at least one bottle of e-juice at all times. Therefore, dripping while on a cross country road trip is probably not the best idea.
Takes Practice: Perfecting the Art of the Drip takes a bit of practice. Newbies to dripping can easily become frustrated before ultimately finding their groove.
Can be costly…at first: Until the vaper perfects his or her dripping technique, expect to go through e-liquid at a much faster rate.
Direct Dripping: Step-by-Step
Dripping is not a new invention. Long before the invention of the RDA, vaping enthusiasts were using dripping as a way to enhance the overall vaping experience. The basic method, also known as direct dripping, is not an overly complicated process to learn. The most challenging part of the entire process is keeping the hand steady to avoid wasting valuable and pricey e-liquid.
Open the atomizer of the personal vaping device.
Look inside for the coils and the “bridge,” which is usually a small piece of V-shaped wire mesh sitting directly above the coil.
Place three or four drops of e-liquid directly onto the coil. If the coil is not visible, perhaps due to the manufacturer’s design of the vaping device, place the drops onto the bridge instead.
Attach the drip tip.
Inhale, enjoy and repeat. Remember, direct dripping usually only provides a few hits at a time.
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RDAs, RBAs, RTAs, and RDTAs
One of the primary reasons that newbies often get so confused is the strange terminology that the vaping community tends to use. Learning the lingo is an important and essential step in the learning process. While each term refers to a type of vaping equipment, the most important thing for newbies to remember is that all of these acronyms can be used for dripping.
• RDA or Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer: Sometimes called a dripper, an RDA lacks the standard tank that holds the extra e-liquid. There is a system of deck and posts that offers the ability to build customized coils that the vaper eventually uses to catch and burn the dripping e-liquid. The number of posts will vary, depending on the model and the maximum number of coils that is possible to build. But all RDAs work on the same concept regardless of the number of posts.
All RDAs have one “positive” post (usually located in the center of the deck) and one or more “negative” posts (located on the sides). Most posts contain a tiny hole near the top. The user threads the wire through these holes before screwing down the bolt on top of the post to hold it in place. If the posts have no holes, then the wire remains in place by sandwiching it between the post and the bolt.
If the device has more than one negative post, this means that the unit has the capacity to house multiple coils. In some of these cases, the middle positive post might even have multiple holes to allow for easier manipulation of the wire.
• RBA or Rebuildable Atomizer: The RBA has a deck and posts just like an RDA, but the RBA also comes with a tank. This device offers the best of both worlds: dripping and standard vaping. Users still build individual coils, but the inclusion of a tank allows the vaper to transition the device instantly from a dripping atomizer to an everyday vaping device.
• RTA or Rebuildable Tank Atomizer: RTA and an RBA have exactly the same meaning. The two terms are interchangeable.
• RDTA or Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer: Sometimes called an auto dripper, an RTDA offers the unique ability to self-drip the e-liquid onto the coils, reducing much of the muss and fuss of traditional dripping practices. In general, the user achieves the dripping effect by pressing down on the drip tip, which initiates the device to drip the e-liquid onto the wick.
Vaping technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and new equipment is consistently flooding the market. When entering into the world of dripping, newbies should remember that just because an RBA costs more doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the better choice. Veteran vapers usually recommend purchasing a simple, inexpensive RDA or RBA with only two or three posts in the early stages of learning to drip vape.
Take the time to experiment with different dripping techniques and e-liquids. Do you like the harsher lung hit? Does dripping give you too much cloud production? How much do the tastes of your favorite e-liquids improve with dripping? Before going on a shopping spree and purchasing hundreds of dollars in different coil wires, wicking materials, and dripping attys, take a little time to learn if dripping is something that you really like. Dripping can be a great deal of fun, but remember, perfecting the Art of Dripping takes patience, practice, and more than a little creative experimentation.
Michael Siegel is an American tobacco control expert and public health researcher. In his latest “The Rest of the Story” for Tobacco Analysis, he tackles the latest article in the Rutland Herald, in which the local chapter of the American Cancer Society is “concerned that kids might switch away from smoking and start using electronic cigarettes instead.” In fact, the organization is for the 92 percent tax on e-cigs that is being shopped through the Vermont legislature. They say that it will deter youth smokers from switching to vaping, which is “absurd,” according to Siegel.
The American Cancer Society said in the article that since minors are price sensitive, a higher tax would “help slow down the skyrocketing use of the unregulated, addictive products by Vermont kids. This tax at 92 percent of wholesale would create parity with cigarettes and other tobacco products, which will help eliminate the switching to e-cigarettes.”
Siegel’s The Rest of the Story states that the American Cancer Society is saying that they prefer minors to smoke than vape.
“When it comes to the use of cigarettes by kids, the ACS has made it known that it prefers that you use tobacco-full cigarettes rather than tobacco-free cigarettes,” Siegel said. “That’s quite unfortunate, especially since this is an organization that is supposed to be reducing cancer, not increasing it.”
The Heartland Institute released a “The Vaping Wars” video with Victoria Vasconcellos, SFATA Illinois chapter chair, and Brian Fojtik, who has served in both policy and political positions in various states including working for a U.S. senator, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state senator and state representative. E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular. What impact do the new “vaping wars” have on science, public policy, business and jobs?