The Cloud Chasers
Every individual has requirements for what they would call the “perfect vape.” For some it’s all about flavor and it just has to taste good. For others it’s juice heated to a precise wattage in a fresh cartomizer and the resulting plume. For some it’s being able to blow massive clouds on a mechanical mod after toiling over sub ohm coils, repetitiously working with wire and cotton until they get the math right. These are the cloud chasers.
Cloud chasing, as the practice has been coined, is the art of using sub ohm coiled atomizers on mechanical mods. The coils can be single, dual or multi configurations. Some cloud chasers are using ribbon wire and others are configuring their setups with nifty micro-coils. They spend their time talking on message boards and subreddits about their .8 ohm coils, showing pictures of his or her builds, coils aglow resembling the color of the sun, gloating about the lack of hot spots. On YouTube you can find the cloud chasers recording themselves expelling clouds so voluminous that if you watch long enough you’ll eventually think you see an animal form. There is no wispiness in the world of the cloud chaser. I am in awe and I am jealous.
What is utterly remarkable about the cloud chasers is how, in each posting or thread, they explain that safety cannot be overemphasized. There is an inherent risk of having a mod blow up in your face and your body covered in scarring battery acid if you are not careful, do not have your math correct, or are not aware of the amp limit or discharge rate of your battery. If you do not understand Ohm’s Law and how that correlates to the drain of your battery, then cloud chasing is likely not for you. It is dangerous if not done correctly and can cause serious bodily harm or burn your house down.
There are a lot of subcultures that make up the vape community. There are folks perfectly content with their streamlined eGo setups, the juice heads that have every flavor imaginable and the mod collectors that can tell you every spec of each device they own. The cloud chasers are the builders or Pecos Bill of vapor, wrangling their equipment to tame the perfect cloud.
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Clearing the Haze:
Common E-Cigarette Misconceptions
By Cynthia Cabrera, SFATA Executive Director
There is a great deal of misinformation about electronic cigarettes (e-cigs):
what they are, how they work and how they compare to tobacco cigarettes. At the
Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, we’re committed to educating consumers,
regulatory officials and legislators about the category and getting to the truth about
e-cigs—“clearing the haze,” as we like to put it.
For starters, it’s critical to understand how vastly different e-cigs are from cigarettes.
An e-cig, often referred to as a personal vaporizer, is an electronic device that is noncombustible and emits no smoke; instead it releases a nearly odor-free vapor that
dissipates in seconds. Most importantly, e-cigs do not contain tobacco or the more than
4,000 toxic chemicals found in cigarettes that are linked to serious health risks.
So before you question your next vape, let’s clear up some of the confusion
Tar vs. “TAR”
Many people are confused about tar, what it is and whether it is found in cigarettes
and e-cigs. The TAR that’s referenced in the context of cigarettes and e-cigs is an acronym for Total Aerosol Residue. TAR refers to the scientific method for measuring the residual material left on a smoking pad by a laboratory-smoking machine. So, it’s a scientific label
for residue, NOT the sticky black form of petroleum that we associate with building or repairing roads.
The amount of TAR that remains on a filter pad varies depending on the tobacco blend and the cigarette design.
E-cigs, when used as intended, do not produce TAR.
Many people are not aware that nicotine, which is typically found in the e-liquid in e-cigs, is naturally occurring stimulant found in tobacco and other vegetation, like eggplant and tomato. Nicotine has an effect that has been compared to that of caffeine.
A chief benefit of e-cigs is that they allow vapers to select varying levels nicotine (or no nicotine at all), without the known health hazards associated with tobacco cigarettes.
Nicotine has been compared to drugs like alcohol, cocaine and even heroin. This comparison is flawed, because nicotine does not cause intoxication, nor does it impair judgment or motor skills; in fact, as a stimulant, it has been shown to improve mental acuity. Nicotine is being considered for use as a therapeutic agent to treat conditions like ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea, Tourette syndrome, obesity, Ulcerative Colitis and inflammatory skin disorders. It also has played a role in relieving depression and can reduce anxiety, improve concentration and even prevent weight gain.
The e-liquid solution in electronic cigarettes is typically made of three ingredients: propylene glycol (PG), flavoring and nicotine. The base ingredient, PG, sometimes is misrepresented as a harmful or toxic ingredient, which is not the case. PG is considered GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA and EPA; it’s a common ingredient in many foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, such as asthma inhalers.
SFATA will continue working to extinguish common e-cig myths and half-truths. The bottom line is that vaporizers such
as e-cigs are technology products, not tobacco. A growing and significant body of scientific research shows that electronic cigarettes simply do not present the same risks as cigarettes containing tobacco, and that in fact, they can reduce harm
when used by adults who wish to limit their use of combustible cigarettes.
For more information on e-cigs, visit www.sfata.org.
Do You Spell Glamour V.A.P.E.?
By Jenee Fowler
It seems that everyone is looking for a way to make him or her self more attractive, whether it's a new diet trend, exercise fad or something a little more risky like surgery. People are willing to go to extremes for sex appeal. If there's a shortcut you might want to stand back because every idiot in America is going to jump on it.
So, how do you avoid getting trampled when considering making the switch to electronic cigarettes? How do you know it's not just a flashy trend? Is vaping, because it looks so much like smoking, bringing smoking's sexy back.
Today a man contacted me via my YouTube channel telling me that he was "OK" with me having the choice between smoking or vaping, but he didn't think vaping was very sexy. He said it just wasn't the real thing, and he's right. In my opinion, it's much better than the "real" thing. In response, I told him I felt sexier than ever. But it's not the act of vaping, it's the health benefits I've experienced (and everyone's journey is different) since I stopped smoking and started vaping.
Can I attribute all of my good looks to vaping? No, but a considerable amount of change has occurred since I made the switch. First, I noticed I could breathe a little better. The next thing to go was that horrible hitch/cough that would happen at the end of a laugh that was a little too deep. I don't miss that at all. Next, it was an overall feeling of having energy again. I felt 10 years younger (which would put me squarely at 18). My teeth started getting whiter, and, slowly, my skin began to clear. I noticed that I didn't get tired from normal activities anymore, so I started trying new ones. Food was more brilliant, but instead of over-eating, I found myself choosing smaller, more healthy, portions.
So, vaping helped give me the tools to become a sexier me. Does that mean I make vaping sexy? Is my healthier new lifestyle a threat to your smoke-free world? Is the possible sex-appeal risk factor worth limiting those who might need an alternative to traditional cigarettes?
For comparison, consider what it was like for me to be a smoker: I spent much of my time feeling judged and unwanted by society. I stood in the cold of a balmy Arkansas fall, the rain of a Washington spring, the snow of a harsh Utah winter and the intense heat of a Nevada summer. I shivered in places filled with butts and sweated in places reeking of smoke. I carried with me a constant reminder that what I was doing was a slow suicide. Every drag was a few seconds off my life I would never get back.
It wasn't just my life I was affecting with my addiction. I was limiting perspective employers, friends and dating partners. I was isolated in a world of smoke. I built a wall so I would have a safe place to destroy myself. Society didn't want me within 25 feet of them. I had very little hope of ever getting away from cigarettes until I tried vaping for the first time.
We all know or have heard of a time when smoking was seen as, not only normal, but glamorous in some cases. My grandmother and my great aunt came from that time. A photo sits on my grandmother's mantle. It's her when she was in her early 20s, and she is holding a smoldering cigarette, exhaling just a little smoke, and wearing an off-the-shoulder dress. She is the picture of glamour and nostalgia.
Forty years later my great aunt has lost a breast to a mastectomy and has to be constantly attached to her oxygen machine because of her late-stage Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. There is nothing glamorous about the oxygen tubes running across her face. There is nothing glamorous about her constant doctor visits that my grandmother accompanies her on.
They have both said things to me like, “we didn't know better," or, "It was just a really normal thing to do. Everyone did it, from movie stars to doctors." Most of those actors and doctors have passed on; my aunt is lucky to be alive. We all know better than we did back then, don't we?
With all of the bans in place on smoking and all of those horrid anti-tobacco adds playing all the time, I think it's pretty clear that smoking is no longer idealized by the media. We are bombarded with information about how harmful tobacco use is. We are shown pictures of people with tracheotomies, who appeal to us to stop smoking while we still can.
When I heard and saw those ads, do you know what my first reaction was? To change the channel? No. First, I would light up a cigarette, take a deep inhale and then change the damned station. Those ads did nothing to make cigarette smoking unappealing to me, regardless of what the people looked like or even said. Mostly, the ads made me mad and nicotine made me calm. You do the math.
I never really enjoyed smoking. I enjoyed the habit, the social aspects and the five-to-seven-minute escape. Unfortunately, I continued smoking for nine years. Edging on a decade of smoking, I was desperate to get away from it. Was my desperation fueled by a need to be perceived as cooler? No. It was fueled by my desire to not die.
At first, I wanted my e-cig to be more like my traditional cigarette. I wanted the taste and feel of the "real" thing. That didn't last long. Soon I discovered flavors like strawberry shortcake and chocolate waffles. That's what got me. But, could that also get kids? Is the risk that children may find this product appealing worth the millions of lives it seems to be having and incredible impact on? What about all of the adult smokers who have children? Who do we save, the chicken or the egg?
Many shop owners across the United States and in other countries already are placing age restrictions on who they will sell to in an attempt to self-regulate. Many others go above that by making sure they're far from school zones and playgrounds when they chose locations for their shops.
The answer is an obvious one. It's a compromise.
I suggest that all vapers make it a point to not only vote against bans and regulations that would harm our ability to vape, but also to vote for reasonable laws. By getting involved and advocating for the protection of children we gain allies in people who do not smoke and never have joined our cause otherwise.
Our goals are similar: to get as many people away from cigarettes as possible. If we, those who vape and those who want to end tobacco, work together, we can create a future for our children with options. We can create a future free of tobacco dependence. I can't think of anything more glamorous.
Puppies and Babies
Last Valentine’s Day, I held a photo contest and gave away free e-cigarette starter kits to two lucky winners. The only requirement was that the contestants send in photos that best depicted the reasons why they had switched or wanted to switch to e-cigarettes.
Know what I got?
Puppies and babies. Lots of photos of puppies and babies.
In my last column, I said I believe many women want to look and feel sexy when vaping. Using sex to sell cigarettes worked for Big Tobacco, and it works for e-cigarettes, too.
And, there’s no quicker way to a woman’s heart than through her children and pets. Most mothers are like mama lions who will do anything to protect her young. When I asked women why they were switching to e-cigarettes, here’s what they told me:
“So I have more energy to keep up with my twin daughters.”
“So I won’t be banned from spending time with my grandchildren because I smoke.”
“So I can see my kids graduate from college, get married and I can meet my future grandkids.”
“Because second-hand smoke bothers the newborns (goats) here on our farm.”
“When people talk about second-hand smoke, they don't realize it affects our pets, too.”
They told me stories and sent me photos of their children, grandchildren, dogs, cats, horses, donkeys and newborn goats. Some of them made me cry. These were stories of love. And, it was out of this love that these women were able to win what was often a many-year battle over addiction to cigarettes.
People switch to e-cigarettes for all sorts of reasons. But women may be less motivated by how it will help them than for how it will help the children and animals they love.
Many women try to give up smoking when they learn they’re pregnant, only to have a difficult time beating the habit. Studies show that up to 30 percent of doctors prescribe NRT (nicotine replacement therapy), such as the nicotine patch. But, they’re not doing these women any favors.
First of all, nicotine in any form is not recommended for pregnant women. Second, multiple studies have found that the nicotine patch is no more effective than quitting cold turkey. And, now we have new research showing that the e-cigarette is more effective than the patch in helping people reduce their cigarette use or quit altogether.
Bans on e-cigarettes send the exact wrong message to the community and especially to women, because they instill baseless fears that secondhand vapor could also be harmful to their loved ones. We need to fight every single proposed community ban on e-cigarettes tooth and nail. I just sent a passionate e-mail to the commissioners of a Minnesota county with the subject line, “A ban on e-cigarettes is a vote for tobacco.”
Of all the experts who have weighed in on e-cigarettes, I think the most compelling statement was made by Dr. Igor Burstyn of Drexel University in his comprehensive analysis of e-cigarette safety. He said, “I wouldn't worry at all if someone was smoking one of these by my kids. It’s about as harmless as you can get.”
Join me in helping women understand that switching to e-cigs is not only good for their own health and well-being, but for the health and well-being of their loved ones.
You’ll see more women making the switch.
The Vapor Trail
A Bad Reputation?
By Steve Parke
The latest news on e-cigs seems to be mainly negative lately. E-cigs are harmful,
e-cigs are marketed to kids, e-cigs won't help you quit smoking, e-cigs are banned here, and there, e-cig commercial bans are coming and FDA this and that.
Maybe it's time for some facts.
Fact: E-cigs CAN help you quit smoking, which to me is a proven fact. Talk to the thousands who have quit the analogs. There are numerous studies of e-cigs versus the patch, e-cigs versus nicotine gum, e-cigs versus nicotine lozenges, and more, and in all studies, the e-cig was the most successful, but you don’t need a study to know that the electronic cigarette is helping folks to quit smoking. Go to any e-cig forum and personally talk to the thousands, tens of thousands who have done just that—quit smoking with the electronic cigarette.
Fact: Cigarettes have more than 4,000 chemicals in them, e-cigs only a few. *ABC News reported that one study found a total of nine contaminants in the ecig, but 11,000 in tobacco cigarettes. That’s 11,000 according to their study while only nine in the e-cig. (Most studies only find three in the electronic cigarette.) There are reports that what is in antifreeze is in what you are vaping in the e-cig. Do you not know that there is arsenic, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanides, all kinds of dangerous poisons, and ammonias in tobacco cigarettes? Again I point to the math, and then decide. (Hmmm, 11,000 to a max possible of nine. I like those odds.)
Fact: E-cigs are not marketed to kids. I understand some flavors make them sound good, but they are still not marketed to kids. Almost all online sites specify 18 years or older to purchase. I have yet to see a single online site that does not specify 18 years old older and require as much proof as possible to make a purchase. Just because they make flavors that sound and taste good does not mean they are targeted to kids. Are adults not supposed to like chocolate, candy, baked goods, and more? With that narrow point of view, then all e-cig flavors would be broccoli.
Fact: You can vape zero nicotine in e-cigs, and there are tons out there that do just that. There also are tons more that have started with 24 to 32 mgs of nicotine and slowly cut down to zero mgs. The majority of good manufacturers use medical grade products, in sterile environments, adhering to the strictest procedures, and laws. Check the companies out before you make a purchase if you are worried. If it is that important to you, then ask questions—ask about their products, policies, procedures, standards and quality. If the answers are unsatisfactory, then don’t buy from them.
Fact: There also are tons of people out there who have used the e-cig to quit the smokes, and then quit the e-cigs too. Yes, there are those who are vapers for life, and some who have gone back to the smokes, and some who used the e-cig to help him or her cut down on his or her smoking habit. To me, that is all positive information on the electronic cigarette.
Fact: Forgotten in all of the negative news is just how much money you can save vaping versus smoking. The average is $100 bucks a month, and that is being very conservative. Yes, you can really get into vaping and spend lots of money on e-cig devices and product, but that is optional. If you just switch to vaping versus smoking, and you normally smoke about a pack to a pack and a half a day, you will save $100 a month or more. In today’s economy, that is huge!
These are just some of the facts about e-cigs from my point of view. Can you argue my facts? E-cigs can help you to stop smoking; e-cigs have way less chemicals than cigarettes; e-cigs are not marketed to kids; you can vape zero nicotine in an e-cig; people have quit both the cigarettes and the e-cig; and e-cigs will save you money over smoking. Go ahead and argue over them, but the facts remain.
Responsibility lies within you, period. And parents must take responsibility for their kids. Only you can decide for yourself. For the millions who want to quit smoking and have tried everything and can’t afford to smoke in the first place and are desperate for any answer, the electronic cigarette is a God’s send. They can continue to try and give the e-cig a bad rap and report negative news after negative news, but we know the facts. No matter what, each person is an individual with his or her own individual issues. Not everyone can vape. But, you still have to make up your own mind and should check out the facts for yourself and for those you are responsible for.
Steve is the owner of TSN – The Stop Network, home to TheEcigStop.com and The Vapor Trail Digital Magazine. Where you can take advantage of his research, education, and everything he has learned about ecigs, and make the switch too.
After Regulation, E-Cig Brands Have Another Huge Hurdle:
Men’s Complacency About their Health
By Steve Hong, Roebling Research, LLC
Let’s imagine a world where all the regulation matters over e-cigs are settled.
In fact, let’s heighten the fantasy and also imagine that in this world, long-term studies have proven that vaping products pose minimal health risk and are effective smoking cessation aides. If you’re thinking, “Certainly this is a perfect world where tobacco cigarettes no longer exist,” you’d probably be wrong. Even if e-cigarette use was normalized, the next great hurdle for the industry is men’s complacency about their own health.
It has been well documented through the years that women tend to take better care of themselves. They see the doctor more often, they have better eating habits and partly for those reasons they tend to live longer.
“Women receive encouragement to be nurturers … a woman is so used to giving and taking care of others it’s not
too much of a leap for her to take care of herself,” Robert Sobut, M.D., a clinical instructor of psychiatry at Northwestern University, said. “For men the act of nurturing can be an unfamiliar concept, therefore they tend to be more neglectful
A recent study concluded that young men of today know what healthy behavior is, but social cues in their lives trigger unhealthy choices. The prevalence of obesity, binge drinking, sedentary lifestyles and smoking among men are evidence of this. The study goes on to say that sports can be a conduit by which men take an interest in their health. Specifically, the promise of better performance or opportunity to emulate an athlete can prompt healthy behavior.
A recent Roebling Research report Churn in the E-Cigarette Market confirms that adult male smokers who have tried
e-cigarettes make up 63 percent of all triers and are less likely to continue vaping than their female counterparts. Thus they comprise most of the triers who are churning out of the market, presumably to go back to smoking. So, it’s possible that we’re seeing male smokers exhibit this same complacent attitude about quitting smoking by substituting e-cigs for analogs.
This is the big marketing challenge that the industry will face. The brands that can crack this nut will likely be market leaders. A few random observations:
Downside: If e-cigs are subjected to the same advertising limitations that tobacco brands are, then sponsorship of sports or entertainment events would be illegal. Thus, e-cig brands could not use a forum through which men learn healthy behaviors.
Upside: Vaping culture may provide those social cues that men need to quit tobacco.
What do you think?
The State of the Vape Market
By Norm Bour, Industry advisor with VapeMentorS.com
Whether you are a casual or regular e-cig or vape user, a retail store, manufacturer or distributor, you must stay on top of the world of regulations and restrictions in this very controversial “vape space.”
There are numerous clichés and analogies that we use to describe this new vape market: “it’s like the Wild, Wild West!” or “Determining the direction of the industry is like hitting a moving target.” Both are true.
Since there are few regulations controlling the industry here are what I see as the most critical talking points:
The “Food and Drug Administration Situation”: The FDA is considering e-cigs and vaping as being a tobacco product or a drug delivery device.
This is the elephant in the room and has several possible outcomes.
Local cities outlawing or restricting vape shops, e-cigs or outside smoking or either. This actually is a problem that can be mitigated by some degree of self-control. After interviewing many mayors, city councilmembers and others that may be opponents, lawmakers stated that the heart of the problem is the perception (not reality) that e-cigs and vape products focus on “minors” and children. The colorful and cool brand icons, bright colors and names and hipness factor—plus the ease of getting THC inserts for the mods—make this a battle that is uphill, but worth fighting. When you read a headline like: “More than 40 percent of middle and high schoolers who smoke use flavored cigarettes,” and “E-cigarette use more than doubles among U.S. middle and high school students from 2011-2012,” which come straight from the CDC Newsroom, this is bad, bad, bad press for our industry.
Cities cannot limit or stop on-line sales, but they can stop issuance of permits for retail locations. Many of them equate vape shops with marijuana dispensaries or dive bars and say that they bring in an “undesirable element" to their fair city. The sales to minors issue is one that can be overcome with self-enforcement and good positive press along with an easy to implement action plan. Retail stores should place a notice that states explicitly that anyone entering the shop will be carded. Under 18, no entry. If you show by your actions that your sincere goal as a vape shop owner is to sell vape products only to adults that will take away much of the wind in their sails.
The “undesirable element” aspect is also within our control. Most cities want to create an image of wholesome, happy residents and to market that their city isthe place to live, work and open a business.
In many cities there are too many vape stores open in close proximity to each other and the population may not be able to sustain them. Common sense should dictate that having three or four stores within a few blocks is unwise and we must realize that vaping is not a commodity yet (unlike having a gas station on every corner) and we are still luxury sellers. California is the most significant player in the vape movement and historically so goes California, the rest of the country follows.
The lack of regulation within the industry.
As a consultant and trainer for many years, I have seen that many times business owners get wrapped up in their own internal world and do not pay attention to outside events. Usually we can get away with that but in this space, we cannot. I have seen hundreds of businesses “reinvent” themselves in the past few years and that has been the only thing that allowed them to survive. This industry is so volatile, so controversial, so wide open to massive changes, that you must remain flexible in your business model. Most businesses have to “adapt,” which indicates a massive shift, but the vape space must remain fluid and able to make small adjustments as the needs arise.
Sex Still Sells
Although I’m a self-acknowledged “vaping vamp,” I always feel a little out of place in e-cigarette stores.
I feel like I’ve entered the private domain of pierced and tattooed brawny young men. With e-cigarettes the size of bongs hanging from their necks, these guys are experts in these gizmos and are only too happy to regale you with all of their specs.
Problem is: I’ve glazed over. I’m looking at the shiny objects and pretty colors: pink, purple, turquoise.
Oh, and a beautiful young woman just walked in.
Now I’m a woman (and I’m heterosexual) and I’m immediately drawn to her. Social by nature, I want to know if I can identify with her. I want to know why she started smoking in the first place, what turned her onto vaping and how she feels now that she’s vaping instead of smoking.
I loved the cover of the latest issue VAPE News Magazine for that reason. A gorgeous woman with long dark hair holding a personal vaporizer (PV) stares back at you. She was proud, confident, beautiful, sexy. She embodied what I think is so cool about the e-cigarette: It’s starting to appeal to a wide range of people including young women, many of whom starting smoking as teenagers to look sexy and “cool.”
As a casual, “social” vaper, I’m probably not alone in feeling out of place in e-cigarette stores. And, I believe our industry needs to figure out how to reach women who call themselves “social smokers” with the message that e-cigarettes are not just for heavy smokers. They’re not just for guys who love gizmos. And, they’re not just for people who want to quit smoking.
E-cigarettes are perfect for women social smokers who want to look chic, elegant and trendy. E-cigarettes with no nicotine also are a great solution for the 40 percent of smokers who aren’t physically addicted to nicotine* but simply to the habit of smoking.
What will be the tipping point for e-cigarettes? I think it’s when women see most of their friends eschewing traditional cigarettes for the hipper, healthier, cheaper alternative.
And, I think it’s when we do a better job of what cigarette companies did years ago: To use sex to sell their products.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. Email us with your feedback and ideas on future columns.
*National Survey on Drug Use
Maria Verven is owner of Vaping Vamps
E-Cigarettes Cure Tobacco Addiction: Here's Why
By John Constantine
Why are electronic cigarettes so successful in getting people to stop smoking while in most cases all other systems have failed? I have found there are many reasons for this.
When I used to smoke, in my daily routine I had points in the day where I would have a cigarette just to have a cigarette. I would typically smoke a cigarette at three predetermined points on my trip to work every morning. I would smoke a cigarette after every meal and every time I completed a task at work. If I was driving on a long trip or sitting in large amounts of traffic (being from Long Island, N.Y. our expressways and parkways are joked around to be the largest parking lots in the world!)I would smoke like a fiend. I wasn’t craving a cigarette every time at these points in my day. So I asked myself, “Why was it that at those points in my day did I smoke a cigarette?” The answer is simple … habit! This brings us to the most obvious reason an electronic cigarette is so successful. It can do what no other system can by taking care of the habitual addiction, mimicking the act and sensation of smoking a cigarette by producing a water vapor and flavoring as a substitute to the smoke of an analog cigarette.
Secondly, nicotine is touted to be possibly the most addictive substance on earth. An electronic cigarette delivers nicotine to you via the vapor that it produces. The nicotine levels that you vape are totally up to you. You can vape strengths anywhere from zero nicotine to around 24mg/ml of nicotine—the choice is up to you. This satisfies your nicotine or chemical addiction.
So, up to this point we have covered the habitual and chemical addictions of smoking a cigarette. For some this is enough, but for others not so much. I see people vaping the small electronic cigarettes that look like a cigarette and are content one day and the next time I see them they are back to smoking analog cigarettes. I also know people who have been vaping on that style e-cigarette for three years or more and have no desire for anything different. It works for them! The small electronic cigarettes take care of both the habitual and chemical addictions just like all the devices out there and are available in the same strengths of nicotine, so I ask, “Why?” If you are meeting the two reasons people are addicted to cigarettes than why do these smaller devices work for some and not for others? The answer to this is not as simple. There are many reasons to why the smaller cigarette style electronic cigarettes do not work for some. In my personal experience, for some people it’s the taste, for some it is the performance, and yet others just can’t get past the fact that it is not a real cigarette. Other people may have other reasons as well.
So again, why have so many people made the switch? One of my theories is, the reason any regiment is successful from dieting to working out, playing on a sports team and many others. A support group. The reality of it is there isn’t just one support group, there are many. In the vaping community, there are many forums online that you can post to or read; the people you know who vape or even people you might run into while going through your daily routine. Vapers are exceptionally open to help out a fellow vaper, whether it be a question to be answered, help fixing a problem with your device, advise on products you might want to try and which ones you might want to stay away from. Informing you on any part of vaping and the vaping community, or just even a, “Hey, I see you vape, me too! Way to go, Keep on vaping!” This is all one giant support group.
Another reason is versatility! The electronic cigarette industry has become so big and has such a diverse amount of products; you can make it your own experience. The people that I have met that vape and have made the switch are using the more advanced products, where you can easily fill a tank or a cartomizer, drip into an atomizer, build your own wick and coil atomizer on a rebuildable or genesis style atomizer and choose from thousands of different flavors and hundreds of vendors.
Devices also have become elaborate in design, more technically advanced, customizable. This has brought about collectors. People want to have the latest and greatest devices and toppers (tanks, cartomizers, atomizers, etc.), as well as that cool looking new device. As I mentioned earlier thousands of different flavors by hundreds of different vendors, this has brought about connoisseurs. People rate the quality of the liquid, devices and toppers that they buy by the amount of vapor it produces and the thickness of that vapor, the throat hit it gives, any chemical tastes or after tastes, how smooth the flavor is, etc. People have turned vaping into a hobby. The hobby of vaping may alone be the biggest reason for why people have successfully quit smoking.
A Pro E-Cigarette Appeal—Keep Affordable and Flavorful Products Available
By Matt Bruner
The Food and Drug Administration planned to put e-cigs on the regulations chopping in October, but they put it off. They said this back in April too, but with all the recent press surrounding vaping, along with the European Parliament’s latest decision (albeit a decent one), the FDA is feeling pressure to make a decision soon. Part of the battle cry for regulation, if not an outright ban, of electronic cigarettes involves excluding their sale to minors, eliminating candy, dessert and fruit flavors, and outlawing Internet distribution.
The undercurrent here, and a popular soapbox for some lawmakers, anti-smoking activists, Big Pharma and Big 'Bacco representatives, is that children are the reason that e-cigs can't exist. These folks might shoot for the general prohibition of e-cigs, but I think they'll settle for an ineffective, expensive and tasteless product that's not easily accessible (to adult vapers, who heavily rely on the Internet for procuring e-cig products). The statistic I've seen most often and most recently—and one that's freaking out a lot of people—is the Center for Disease Control report that claimed e-cig use within the past 30 days rose from 1.5 to 2.8 percent among high school students.
The anti-e-cig campaigns are throwing children under the bus in a last-ditch “if-we-can’t-fight-this-topic-with-logic-we’ll-appeal-to-their-emotions” effort. Kids like toys. Kids like technology. Toys and technology generally are synonymous nowadays. It would make sense for kids to try the latest toy/technology. The distinction is not made in the report, but, as far as I know, "trying" or “experimenting" are far different than "regular habitual use." Furthermore, as Boston University public health professor Michael Siegel notes, among those students who claimed to use e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, only 0.5 percent of them identified as non-smokers.
Adults are worried about e-cigarettes acting as a gateway to the real stuff—and I get that—but I guess I can only speak for myself when I say that if I started vaping before I ever tasted a real tobacco cigarette, I would be appalled and disgusted by the taste and smell of tobacco cigarettes. Even now, my senses recoil when I smell cigarette smoke.
And for now, I have found e-cig advertising to be aimed at smokers—not children. There’s always a case to be made that candy and fruit flavors are for children, but, believe it or not, adults enjoy things that taste good, too. (I’m a blueberry or vanilla custard kind of guy, myself.) And I’ve yet to find an adult who doesn’t at least concede that my exhaled vapor smells good, regardless of whether they agree I should be doing it.
These only are my experiences, and they certainly aren’t rooted in data. But, I’m tired of these emotional appeals saturated in desperation, and since we don’t seem to battling with data anymore, I’ll offer an emotional appeal of my own: How about we appeal to the millions of Americans who hate cigarettes, who loathe paying for them and smelling like them, inhaling them in the morning, inhaling them at night and all throughout the day, folks young and old who have consistent “last ones,” who recognize and live the consequences day in and day out on television, on the subway, from their doctors, and from their own children and those who love them the most—and who can’t stop smoking. Imagine all those people—or even some of those people—freed from that bondage.
No, these things aren’t perfect yet. No, they probably shouldn’t be sold to minors. No, it’s not necessary that I be able to use them in indoors in public spaces. But, find me a logical excuse not to make a healthier alternative to smoking appealing through a variety of flavors and affordable and available through a variety of vendors—online and retail—to the people who could benefit from them.
*For more information (and better articulation) on this topic and more, check out Michael Siegel’s blog at tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com