The truth is coming. Get updates at http://ABillionLives.com
The truth is coming. Get updates at http://ABillionLives.com
California is on the wrong path if it moves forward with a regressive “sin” tax on vapor products, as supported by The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board (“Another shot at e-cigarettes,” Jan. 24).
The end result will only lead adults back to smoking cigarettes or force them to purchase products out of state or on the black market. The sad truth is that California received $1.52 billion in tobacco excise taxes and settlements in 2014, but only used 4.3 percent on prevention and cessation programs.
The statewide referendum to equate and tax vapor products like tobacco also is fundamentally flawedbecause it misleads voters by falsely implying that the harmful health effects of tobacco are similar to vapor products. Using students to politicize this debate is disingenuous.
Research shows that vapor products are less harmful alternatives to smoking, which accounts for 37,000 deaths and $18 billion in economic and health care costs each year in California.
Citing false data contributes to the misunderstanding of vapor products as effective replacements to smoking. The University of California, San Francisco, used faulty metadata to draw its conclusions on cessation and vapor products. A cadre of leading scientists called UCSF’s data “unscientific” and “incorrect.”
Another example of misrepresenting scientific data was the editorial’s reference to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics about teens and a “gateway effect.” The study’s authors cannot conclude that the use of vapor products directly leads to smoking. The same goes for advertising. Time and again these studies get widely reported without any due diligence, further adding to confusion.
The vapor industry – which primarily consists of independent manufacturers, suppliers and vape shops, and not Big Tobacco – continues to lobby for sensible regulations at the state and federal levels, including banning sales to minors and adopting child-resistant packaging.
Rather than tax consumers looking for a solution to smoking, the debate needs to focus on getting the 4 million adult smokers in California to switch to vaping.
Cynthia Cabrera is president of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Phil Kerpen
After a lengthy and heavily contested regulatory process, a final rule deeming vapor products to be subject to pervasive FDA regulation is currently in the White House Office of Management and Budget for a final review before it is published and takes effect this year. Leaks of the purported final rule suggest it remains deeply flawed and will impose a draconian, one-size-fits-all model that risks disrupting the fast-growing vapor industry and denying access to products that pose vastly less health danger than conventional tobacco cigarettes. Unfortunately, in the final negotiations over last year’s omnibus bill a provision addressing this issue was dropped, but that should not be the last word on the issue from Congress.
Mitch Zeller, the FDA’s top tobacco regulator, told Congress “If we could get all of those people [who smoke] to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health.”
Indeed, vapor products are displacing regular cigarettes. The most recent data from the CDC show the percentage of the adult population that smokes has dropped six consecutive years, from 20.6 percent in 2009 to 14.9 percent in the first half of 2015. An estimated two million ex-smokers are using vapor products.
So we’re on the right track, and Zeller warned: “Let’s not lose our focus on what the primary cause is for those 480,000 avoidable deaths each year—it’s primarily burning, combusting cigarettes.”
Unfortunately, his agency is poised to do precisely that with its deeming rule.
“This is not really regulation. It’s prohibition,” says Boston University community health sciences professor Dr. Michael Siegel.
He’s referring to a feature of the rule that sets a grandfather date of February 15, 2007 – effectively denying grandfather status to nearly every vapor product on the market and forcing each to go through a lengthy approval process or be pulled from the market within 24 months.
That date and timeline were established by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, passed by Congress in 2009 – and it grandfathered all but the very newest cigarette products. By now deeming vapor products subject to regulation seven years later, the FDA is subjecting these safer products to more draconian regulation.
Jan Verleur, co-founder and CEO of VMR Products, a major manufacturer of vapor devices, said: “It’s essentially a death sentence for industry. It could be held up in litigation for many years.”
That’s only slight hyperbole.
Once the rule is final, manufacturers would be required to submit to the FDA, for each product, a Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) or a Substantial Equivalence (SE) report. The PMTA process is complex and expensive and would be challenging for all but the largest manufacturers – the major tobacco companies – to navigate. The SE choice depends upon showing that a predicate product is already approved, but vapor technology is new and rapidly evolving, ruling this option out. The investment driving that innovation would be chilled by time and expense of submitting every product for regulatory approval – and the agency already has a substantial backlog.
The solutions are simple but will require Congress to act quickly, because the rule currently sits at OMB and could be published any day. On the next appropriate must pass vehicle Congress should include language that either delays the rule completely or fixes its most egregious flaws – the imposition of an inappropriate grandfather date and an insufficient approval period. Failure to do so will result in regulating vapor more strictly than cigarettes, destroying thousands of small businesses, and, tragically, likely increasing tobacco-related sickness and death.
Over the past week there have been headline grabbing statements in press. News on studies of formaldehyde in e cigs, begging for the attention of the public and smoker too. Statements like “high levels of formaldehyde hidden in e-cigs” and “researchers find cancer-causing agent in electronic cigarettes or vape pens”. As the week passed it evolved into ” e-cigs are worse than normal cigarettes studies show”.
What is amazing amongst these Chinese whispers are the facts that remain still: smoking is within the top 5 killers in the UK and US and note that it is the tobacco, not the nicotine, that kills. Unfortunately vaping is linked to smoking because you mimic the actions and there is nicotine. But that is where the similarities end. The public are being brain washed into thinking that vaping is worse than smoking- there are no facts to prove this. The press has recently sensationalized these studies on formaldehyde in e cigs but it’s worth remembering that their conclusions are misleading. Furthermore it’s difficult to deny that vaping is a smarter and safer alternative to smoking tobacco.
The study conducted by the Portland State concluded that vaping at high voltage will cause formaldehyde releasing agents to develop. We dont believe this is typical of vaping. There are few vapers who use high voltage hardware. Why? well it is like drinking burnt coffee, the taste is simply not the same. When you vape at high voltage the taste changes, in fact, it can be unbearable.
The press hasn’t been completely thorough. What they have neglected to highlight is that vaping at normal voltage does not produce formaldehyde in e cigs.
There is no proof that e-cigs / vaping are worse for you than smoking. This is a fact. We at Matchless will continue enjoying our vaping sessions, while remaining sensible about the voltage levels we vape at
Vaper’s tongue… it doesn’t sound too pleasant, does it? The good news is it’s not a medical condition. The bad news is, it still isn’t that pleasant to have.
So what exactly is it? Well, it’s basically a situation where you stop sensing the flavour in whatever e-liquid you are using. Let’s say you’ve bought a nice mint e-liquid to use. At first you can taste it fine, but after a while you realise you can’t actually taste anything at all. This is vaper’s tongue.
Except that isn’t actually an accurate name. The proper name for the experience is olfactory fatigue. As you may or may not know, olfactory relates to our sense of smell. This means it’s your nose that has the issue, not your tongue or mouth.
No – just a bit frustrating. The effect can last for anything from a few days to several weeks. Even though there is nothing actually wrong with your tongue, your nose’s temporary inability to smell the particular flavour you like to vape with means you won’t be able to taste much either.
New vapers are particularly prone to being affected in this way. Remember, you’re coming from smoking a certain number of cigarettes a day. Smoking reduces your ability to smell and taste things to the same degree non-smokers do. As such, it won’t be any surprise to find you might have trouble identifying the milder flavours used in some e-liquids.
You might also get it if you like a particular flavour of e-liquid and you never change to anything else. Your senses will get used to that same flavour time and time again, and you’ll suddenly realise you can’t taste it like you used to.
People taking various types of medication might also be affected. For example, drugs that treat depression, high blood pressure and thyroid problems can all contribute to vaper’s tongue.
You may not be able to avoid it completely, but you can certainly reduce the odds of this affecting you.
For example, we mentioned that it can happen to people who vape the exact same flavour all the time. If this includes you, you might want to try experimenting with a few different flavours. Some people have one flavour for first thing in the morning, one for during the day and another one to enjoy after dinner. This is just an example of course, but you get the idea. As you switch from one flavour to another, you’re giving your taste buds and senses something different to experience.
You should also make the effort to drink more water. This is always a good idea for your general health anyway, but it helps to rinse out your mouth and you’ll avoid dehydration too. Surprisingly, it’s the latter that can lead to vaper’s tongue, since vaping can dehydrate the parts of your body that inhale the vapour. If you can avoid this, you can hopefully avoid vaper’s tongue as well.
Trying different flavours, drinking more water and even brushing your teeth twice a day (if you don’t already) is all going to help you. But if you are still experiencing problems, you should consider whether any medication you are taking could be having a side-effect you are not aware of.
Trying to avoid being ill is a good move to make too. You can’t always avoid it of course, but colds and illnesses can deaden your senses more than you might believe. Try and think back to the last time you had a cold. How many foods did you really enjoy eating? Chances are you lost your appetite completely – and not just because you didn’t much feel like eating anything. If you lose your senses of taste and smell because you’re feeling poorly, you won’t get any enjoyment out of your food.
If you do suffer from vaper’s tongue, don’t just try swapping flavours. Swap to something stronger than you would normally vape with, too. Many people recommend menthol to help things start moving along again. A stronger tobacco flavour or even cinnamon can also work. If you want to steer clear of tobacco flavours because you’ve left those behind, stick with menthol and cinnamon and see how you get on with those.
Sometimes you might be afflicted with vaper’s tongue even when you have done everything possible to try and avoid it. If so, keep on repeating all the steps and suggestions given above. These should at least help keep the period of ‘suffering’ to a minimum, and get you back onto vaping you can taste and enjoy again in the near future. Most importantly of all, don’t give up and go back to cigarettes!
When taking up vaping, many people, including myself, ask if e-cigarettes are harmful – a sensible question to ask. After spending some time reading through articles, reports, opinions and advice from medical circles it became apparent that the most toxic element I would need to be concerned about in e-cigarettes was Nicotine and this was only toxic in large volumes, massively larger than the amount inhaled through e-cigarette vapour. Coming to the world of vaping as a smoker, it was clear that there were fewer health risks associated with vaping and that vaping instead of smoking would be extremely positive change in my lifestyle.
Despite the occasional ‘scare tactic’ article in the media about vaping, the prevailing wisdom in heath circles and in the general public is that vaping is by far a healthier alternative to smoking. To further add to the body of evidence which supports this claim, a recent study shows that e-cigarette vapour is almost as harmless as air, which even to the already convinced vapour, will come as a pleasant surprise.
The tobacco giant – British American Tobacco recently funded research which seems to suggest that e-cigarette vapour could be as safe as air. The study uses human lung cells and robotic smokers to investigate the health risks and effects of smoking cigarettes and e-cigarette vapour.
The research was a joined venture between British American Tobacco and MatTek Corporation, which produces models of human cells used in laboratory experiments. The experiment involved using a smoking robot designed to emulate the smoking / inhaling process of humans. The smoking robot was used to expose the model lung cells to cigarette smoke, e-cig vapour from two different brands and plain air.
When the cells were exposed to traditional cigarette smoke for six hours, the cells died – not a surprise. However, much more surprisingly, when the cells were exposed to an aggressive and continuous dose of e-cigarette vapour, the damage to the airway tissue was “similar to that of air”.
British American Tobacco plans to conduct further research and test a wider range and brand of e-cigarettes and e-liquids to further prove their findings.
The new findings have been welcomed by health professionals and those campaigning for healthier lifestyles. Health officials are being encouraged by such professionals to promote vaping to smokers in a bid to achieve a public health victory.
So, no doubt the debate on whether or not e-cigarette vapour is safe will continue, and despite the arguments, the science and research based argument continues to add to the ever growing body of evidence that e-cigarettes are not as harmful as some misleading opinions and thoughts on the subject suggest.
Some smokers may be aware that smoking raises blood pressure, among other things. So where do we stand if we switch from cigarettes to e-cigs?
The first thing to be aware of is that smoking doesn’t necessarily cause high blood pressure. However, the exposure to nicotine in a cigarette does raise the blood pressure. It’s just that it happens for a short period of time. So you smoke a cigarette, your BP rises, and after a while it falls back to its normal level.
Cutting down or switching to e-cigs seems to be better for your blood pressure than stopping smoking altogether without switching to e-cigs. It sounds crazy, but the research appears to back it up. Dr Farsalinos has written extensively about the effects of e-cigs on blood pressure. He has explored the results taken from the ECLAT study – a study looking into how effective e-cigs are as a method for quitting smoking.
According to the results of this study, people who had normal BP readings at the start continued to get similar results throughout the 52 weeks the study lasted for. The real interest started when looking at those whose BP was already raised. This group experienced a drop in systolic BP when either switching to e-cigs or cutting their cigarette smoking habit in half.
Other studies have also highlighted the power nicotine seems to have to reduce blood pressure. One doctor has researched whether nicotine could help those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. He discovered nicotine had the effect of reducing blood pressure in test subjects.
Many people have been able to quit smoking completely with the aid of electronic cigarettes. We know smoking is bad for our health, so it might come as a surprise to realise that nicotine may not have quite the effect we first thought.
Of course, plenty more research must be done before we know for certain how BP can change (for the better or worse) as a result of smoking or using e-cigs. But this particular research does give food for thought. In fact, if you’re considering switching from smoking to vaping, it could give you the final push you need to make the change.
Finally, staying healthy in other ways will no doubt help too, although weight and age were factored into the results with this particular study.