Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Electronic Cigarette Organization Sponsors Auction for Research

The National Vapers Club is sponsoring an auction of high-end, custom electronic cigarette models and supplies and holding a "vape-a-thon" in order to raise funds to finance research on the safety and efficacy of electronic cigarettes.

"Some of the best modders in our community have donated some really special and unique mods and some of the suppliers have gone out of their way to donate some really sought after items as well!" said Spikey Babian, president of the National Vapers Club.

"Every penny from this auction goes directly to vaping research. It will be given to Vapers International Inc., which is a non-profit group doing research on the safety and efficacy of vaping."

"We will also take additional donations through vapersclub@aol.com by PayPal," added Babaian.

Electronic cigarettes first appeared in the U.S. market in early 2007, marketed as a "smoking alternative." However, the FDA has recently ruled that the devices are actually "drug delivery devices," fall under their regulation and retailers are making unproven claims that electronic cigarettes are smoking cessation devices. Their claim of jurisdiction has been challenged in federal court by two electroinic cigarette distributors and is now awaiting the judge's decision. (1)

In May 2009, the FDA did preliminary testing of eighteen electronic cigarette cartridges and announced finding trace carcinogens in the samples and less than 1% diethylene glycol in one cartridge and warned consumers to not use the devices. (2)

A study funded by Ruyan, an electronic cigarette manufacturer, was done in 2008 by Health New Zealand, an independent research company. The test results showed that the liquid and vapor was indeed "100 to 1,000 times safer" than tobacco cigarettes and contained acceptable levels of nitrosamines - no more than nictoine gum or patches. (3)

In spite of these findings and the anecdotal evidence to the contrary, anti-smoking groups and legislators have declared the electronic cigarettes as unsafe and also a danger to bystanders, in the form of "second-hand vapor.

"Vapers International Inc. is a non-profit organization formed in September of 2009. According to it's web site, it was formed "by members of the vaping community as a means of gathering resources, funds and information to complete clinical research studies on nicotine vaporizers and electronic cigarettes."

"Determining whether or not vaping is safe is of utmost importance to the consumers utilizing these devices. Vapers International has established a mission to analyze and determine the components of the vapor emitted from the device during use and determine the level of risk encountered by the users of the device and bystanders of the user." (4)

Information about the online auction, which is scheduled to run January 1, 2010 through February 7, 2010, may be found at http://vapersclub.com/modauction.html.

1. Smoking Everywhere vs. FDA, http://www.scribd.com/doc/14775111/Smoking-Everywhere-Verified-Complaint?secret_password=1ssh8mjyzy1urbwyeygd, Scribd.com

2. Food and Drug Adminstration, http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm173222.htm, FDA.gov

3. Health New Zealand, http://www.healthnz.co.nz/ecigarette.htm, Healthnz.co.nz

4. Vapers International Inc., http://vapersinternational.org/, VapersInternational.org

Monday, December 28, 2009

Smoke Free Wisconsin wins "Lie of the Year" award

Lie of the Year Award Winner

This year's Lie of the Year Award is presented to Smoke Free Wisconsin for its public communication which informed readers that electronic cigarettes are a Big Tobacco ploy to hook kids.

On March 25, 2009, the anti-smoking organization SmokeFree Wisconsin accused tobacco companies of using electronic cigarettes as a ploy to hook youths on these products. The group asserted that these products are being marketed to kids by virtue of their being produced in fruit flavors. For these reasons, SmokeFree Wisconsin joined a number of other health groups in supporting efforts to remove electronic cigarettes from the market. MORE

Friday, December 11, 2009

Legislators Jump On Elctronic Cigarette "Ban" Wagon

By Kristin Noll-Marsh

In a move that defies logic and reason, legislators and anti-smoking groups all over the country are attempting to modify the definition of "smoking," in public smoking bans, to include electronic cigarettes.

Bills just passed by New Jersey legislators (S-3053/S-3054), define electronic cigarettes as the same as tobacco cigarettes and prohibit use of the devices in indoor public places and workplaces, based largely on recent findings by the FDA:

"Electronic smoking devices have not been approved as to safety and efficacy by the federal Food and Drug Administration, and their use may pose a health risk to persons exposed to their smoke or vapor because of a known irritant contained therein and other substances that may, upon evaluation by that agency, be identified as potentially toxic to those inhaling the smoke or vapor," the bill's authors ascertained. (1)

In an email to the senators, the executive director of anti-tobacco group Smokefree Pennsylvania, William T. Godshall, urged the New Jersey lawmakers to vote down S-3053, while supporting proposed bill S-3054.

"To improve public health, Smokefree Pennsylvania urges you to SUPPORT [S-3054] (to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors under 19) and to REJECT [S-3053] (to ban adult use of electronic cigarettes in ALL indoor workplaces)," Godshall said.

"Unfortunately for public health and common sense, [S-3053] inaccurately redefines "smoking" as including the use of smokefree e-cigarettes in order to ban the use of these lifesaving products in all workplaces in NJ (including in the privacy of one's office, work station, etc.). Smokefree Pennsylvania has advocated smokefree workplace laws for more than 20 years (because tobacco smoke pollution poses a health hazard to people and property), we urge you to REJECT [S-3053] because it improperly defines the usage of smokefree products as "smoking", unfairly discriminates against e-cigarette users who have recently quit smoking, would force e-cigarette users outside into smoking areas to obtain smokefree nicotine, and would discourage hundreds of thousands of smokers from quitting and/or reducing cigarette consumption by switching to e-cigarettes."

"Proponents of [S-3053] have grossly and intentionally misrepresented the health risks of e-cigarettes in order to scare legislators into voting for this unwarranted legislation that threatens (instead of improves) public health. Smokers who have recently quit and/or are trying to quit need support, not harassment and ostracism," Godshall argued. (2)

Although many electronic cigarette models look similar to tobacco cigarettes and produce a vapor that looks similar to tobacco smoke, outward appearances are deceiving. Unlike tobacco cigarettes, the devices do not contain tobacco, burn any material nor produce side-stream smoke. Electronic cigarettes utilize a small heating element, which warms a flavored nicotine (or non-nicotine) and propylene glycol solution into a fog or vapor. The device does not produce side-stream vapor, because it only creates the vapor when the user inhales through it. The vapor, unlike tobacco smoke, does not linger and produces no unpleasant odor, nor irritation, for most bystanders.

Dr. Michael Siegel, a respected physician with 20 years of tobacco control research, stated in a March 2009 post on his blog, The Rest of the Story:Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary, "It strikes me that there is a tremendous abstinence-only mindset in tobacco control that isn't capable of even entertaining the possibility that harm could be reduced by a product that is called a cigarette. The very fact that the product is in the form of a cigarette is simply intolerable to many tobacco control advocates. It is not truly the health of smokers that is of concern; it is the act of smoking that is bothersome and unacceptable. So even if that smoking were to save thousands of lives, it is not a viable option. Better that people should use the traditional products and die [than] switch to a product which has not been fully studied but which is probably much safer." (3)

Health New Zealand, an independent research and consultancy company owned by Dr. Murray Laugesen, a respected anti-smoking advocate and New Zealand's most experienced researcher on smoking policy and cigarettes, tested the Ruyan brand of electronic cigarettes andAdvertisement concluded that there was no danger to bystanders from the exhaled vapor:

"Second hand mist from an e-cigarette is not smoke at all, and does not contain any substance known to cause death, short or long term, in the quantities found. It becomes invisible within a few seconds, and is not detectable by smell."

"The e-cigarette does not create side-stream smoke."

"Exhaled breath after e-smoking contains even less nicotine per puff, as much of the nicotine inhaled is absorbed. Similarly, propylene glycol is largely absorbed and little is exhaled," Dr. Laugesen's report revealed. (4)

Yet, this comprehensive report is largely ignored by those wishing to define electronic cigarette vapor to be as dangerous as tobacco smoke. Instead, the bill's authors, state Senators Robert M. Gordon and Joseph F. Vitale, point to the statements made by the FDA, which were based on the limited testing the agency did on two brands of liquid; however, the FDA report did not include any findings on the composition of the actual vapor when exhaled. The testing methods and report were criticized by numerous members of the medical and scientific community - and even some anti-smoking advocates - as incomplete and inconclusive. (5)

Despite the warnings by the FDA and condemnation by groups such as the American Lung Association, electronic cigarettes are currently being used by hundreds of thousands of consumers worldwide and the number is growing each day.

"I did my research," said John Opager, an electronic cigarette owner in Chicago, IL. "I found that, though one tested sample by the FDA contained small amounts [less than 1%] of DEG [diethylene glycol], it was a statistical anomaly. The FDA's comment that e-liquid contains nitrosamines actually made me laugh, as most manufactured products containing nicotine have nitrosamines, as the nicotine is extracted from tobacco. That would include traditional NRTs [Nicotine Replacement Therapy, such as nicotine gum] which I believe the FDA doesn't have a problem with."

Many electronic cigarette users are concerned that if the proposed ban in New Jersey is passed, they will be followed by other state legislators and are concerned about how this will impact their future health.

"I feel that legislators forcing me back outside to use my [electronic cigarette] next to tobacco smokers will put my health at risk," stated a concerned Dayna Streeting, of Sheboygan, WI. "Knowing how dangerous second hand smoke is, I don't want to be around it anymore! I quit for a reason and use an electronic cigarette for a reason - to save my health."

"They saved my life," Streeting continued, "and I am extremely thankful. My husband is also happy that I'm no longer risking his health by using tobacco cigarettes around him. My doctor even agrees that it's a good idea, knowing how dangerous tobacco is. Anyone who wants to ban electronic cigarettes, because of safety reasons, needs to take another look at the tobacco that is still on the market."

Brad Preston, an electronic cigarette convert from Apple Valley, MN, said he would also like to see more evidence, before any further legislation takes place.

"Unless there is conclusive evidence that second-hand electronic cigarette vapor is harmful," Preston commented, "I think that every establishment should be allowed to decide independently whether or not to allow its use, or to designate specific areas for its use. A bar, adult restaurant, business or place of employment might condone the use of electronic cigarettes, while perhaps a family restaurant may not care to. Considering that propylene glycol has been used as an air disinfectant in hospitals, I believe it is highly unlikely that second-hand electronic cigarette vapor is harmful in any measurable way."

Thaddeus Marney, who is a founding board member of CASAA (The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association), had another concern. "I would like to know how it is that the government agency [the FDA] tasked with preserving public health allows television commercials for a drug that has known lethal side effects [Chantix], while attempting to BAN a product that has not been linked to any serious side effects when used as intended?" Marney asked.

Dr. Siegel also questioned the true motivations of many electronic cigarette opponents.

"Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has announced that he wants the FDA to immediately take electronic cigarettes -- which deliver essentially pure nicotine (with no tar or other tobacco constituents) -- off the market. At the same time, he is a supporter of legislation that would provide special protection to actual tobacco-containing cigarettes and ensure that this most toxic variety of cigarettes always remains on the market and continues to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans each year," Siegel stated in a March 2009 blog post.

"What Senator Lautenberg and the health groups are trying to do is ban a much less harmful type of cigarette but to give an official government seal of approval to the much more toxic one that we know is killing hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. The logic of these actions completely escapes me. Or at least the logic did escape me until The Ashtray Blog pointed out that Senator Lautenberg is the recipient of more than $128,000 from pharmaceutical companies (in 2008 alone)," Siegel continued.

"The only real threat that electronic cigarettes pose is not to the public's health, but to the profits of the pharmaceutical companies, which manufacture competing products (nicotine replacement therapy). If lots of smokers turn to electronic cigarettes, rather than pharmaceuticals, in order to try to quit smoking, then the pharmaceutical companies stand to lose lots of money. So perhaps it is not surprising that Senator Lautenberg is standing up to protect the financial interests of the pharmaceutical companies over the interests of the public's health." (6)

Suddenly, the logic and reason behind the proposed bans becomes quite clear to electronic cigarette owners.

1. Senator ROBERT M. GORDON,District 38 (Bergen), Senator JOSEPH F. VITALE, District 19 (Middlesex) , SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE, Nos. 3053 and 3054 , njleg.state.nj.us

2. Bill Godshall, Smokefree Pennsylvania, Godshall email

3. Dr. Michael Siegel, Absurdity Gone Wild: Health Canada Asks Smokers Not to Use E-Cigarettes Because of Safety Concerns, But Not to Refrain from the Known Toxic Ones, TobaccoAnalysis.blogspot.com

4. Dr. Murray Laugesen, Health new Zealand, E-cigarettes: harmless inhaled or exhaled, No second hand smoke, HealthNZ.co.nz

5. Janci Chunn Lindsay, Ph.D., Exponent Health Sciences, Technical Review and Analysis of FDA Report: "Evaluation of e-cigarettes", Exponent.com

6. Dr. Michael Siegel, Senator and Anti-Smoking Groups Want to Ban Less Harmful E-Cigarettes and Protect the Most Toxic Ones, TobaccoAnalysis.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Smoke Free Wisconsin Opposes Smoke Free Electronic Cigarettes

In a recent post to it's blog, USA Today - Our Opinion On Public Health, Smoke Free Wisconsin continues it's irrational opposition to electronic cigarettes.

If their goal was truly "Preserving the right to live and breathe tobacco free" then this opposition makes absolutely no sense. Electronic cigarettes ARE tobacco free. What they really seem to object to is NICOTINE.

They post the following points:
When the FDA randomly tested the nicotine cartridges, it discovered carcinogens and a toxic chemical found in anti-freeze. Still, the most worrisome ingredient is nicotine itself. The FDA strictly regulates it in patches, gum and other smoking-cessation products, and it has banned nicotine lollipops and water. E-cigarettes deserve to be treated like other nicotine-delivery devices.

It has been shown in a few studies that the nicotine delivered by tobacco cigarettes is much higher than electronic cigarettes. No one seems concerned about the amount of nicotine in tobacco cigarettes - even though it has been reported that the tobacco companies are even using free base nicotine for greater strength. Electronic cigarettes use pharmacy-grade nicotine in clearly disclosed amounts. Even if the nicotine is higher than the extremely ineffective nicotine devices they regulate, it's still better than smoking tobacco cigarettes.

What is conveniently forgotten and never reported is what the FDA did NOT find in electronic cigarettes - no tar, carbon monoxide, ammonia, arsenic and hundreds, if not thousands, of other toxins found in tobacco cigarettes and second hand smoke. Why does Smoke Free Wisconsin refuse to acknowledge this?
E-cigarettes come in flavors — from traditional menthol to chocolate and
strawberry — that might lure curious youngsters and prompt them to move on to
the real thing. Distributors say their product is for adults only, but who's to
stop young people from buying it? Only a few locales have banned sales to

This argument simply does not hold water. Aside from the fact that the greater majority of retailers refuse to sell the devices to those under the age of 18, there is no indicationthat children even have the slightest interest in them - even with the attractive flavors. On the contrary, anecdotal evidence shows that teens feel it isn't worth the high cost, nor is it "cool."
Despite protests from the Electronic Cigarette Association that its members
don't make claims about helping smokers quit, plenty of sellers make far
more outrageous health claims. In recent weeks, one marketer
claimed e-cigarettes reduce the risk of heart disease and touted an endorsement
by a physician-and-nurses group. Another website, which says it reviews
e-cigarettes, went them one better: It claims, based on a 1942 study, that an
ingredient in e-cigarettes could prevent flu and other respiratory diseases.
While it may seem reasonable to disregard the claims from manufacturers, but what about the actual owners? Why do non-smoking advocates continuously ignore the experiences of the millions of people who have used these devices to quit smoking and report no adverse health effects? On the contrary, they report improved health and positive doctor's reports.
"The most important point that article makes is this, "All the public has to go on now is the word of the product's marketers. Before consumers inhale something that gives them "vapes" of highly addictive nicotine, they might want an independent authority testing the product to see what's in it." If the e-cig makers are anything like their Big Tobacco counterparts, truth in advertising is bent at the expensive of health and in the favor of profits. "

Again, the FDA did a study, so did Health New Zealand. Electronic cigarettes were found to be hundred's of times LESS toxic and contain hundred's of times LESS carcinogens than tobacco cigarettes.

Smoke Free Wisconsin did not print the follow up letter's to the USA Today editor - nor the hundreds of comments by electronic cigarette users. One letter was from a doctor endorsing their use and another was from an owner that made an excellent point:
"If the majority of users were substituting e-cigarettes for FDA-approved smoking cessation products, perhaps e-cigarettes would deserve to be treated like other nicotine-delivery devices. But the nicotine-delivery devices that e-cigarette users have given up are tobacco cigarettes. They are not using e-cigarettes because of any outrageous health claims on the part of retailers. They are using them because, unlike the FDA-approved smoking cessation products, these work. "

When will Smoke Free Wisconsin realize how wrong they are? By opposing electronic cigarettes, they are signing a death warrent for millions using them to stay away from tobacco cigarettes. Read the comments by the electronic cigarette users on these articles and decide for yourself.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Your Joye510

Welcome to the world of personal vaporizers! The Joye510 is one of the most popular models currently on the market.

Now that you have your new device, you may have heard that there is a bit of a learning curve. This guide is meant to answer the most common questions about the use and maintenance of the 510 model.
Guide Index:
What to Order
--Starter Kit
Getting Started
510 Components
----USB Pass-through
----Burnt/Chemical/Harsh Taste
----Loose Fitting Cartridge
----Filler Modifications

What to Order
The following list is what is most commonly advised by experienced owners for a basic starter kit:
2-4 Batteries
2-4 Atomizers
USB or AC Charger
Personal Charging Case
USB Pass-through
Empty Cartridges
Extra FillerTweezers (Pointed tip)

e-Liquid Nicotine Strength Recommendations:
Occasional Smoker: Zero to Low
Up to 1 pack/day: Low to Medium
Up to 2 packs/day: Medium to High
Over 2 packs/day: High to Extra High

Getting Started
When you first get your device, you will want to set it up properly for the best experience.

First, fully charge your batteries. Place them in the charger until the light turns green. Some recommend to charge for a minimum of 4 hours, regardless of the green light.

Second, blow out your atomizer. The atomizer comes from the factory with a “primer fluid” to keep it moist, but it tastes terrible. Simply place your mouth over the threaded end and blow hard onto a paper towel until no more liquid comes out.

Third, fill your cartridge. DO NOT OVERFILL. Use the dropper to drip the liquid until it no longer absorbs into the filler. Usually around 15 drops. If some liquid pools at the top, dab with a paper towel.

Fourth, drip TWO drops directly onto the metal coil in the atomizer.

Finally, attach the cartridge to the atomizer and then screw the atomizer onto the fully charged battery.

NOTE: There may still be some primer fluid on the atomizer, so you want to take a few puffs into your mouth and blow it directly out, to get the liquid flowing into the atomizer. Give 20-30 seconds between puffs, so the atomizer doesn’t get too hot. If you continue to taste a burnt/chemical taste, this is the atomizer burning off the primer fluid. Continue to “puff & blow” until the taste diminishes. If the taste gets worse, add two more drops directly onto atomizer again and continue to “puff and blow.”

For more information on the “burnt/bitter/chemical” taste issues, see this link: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/tips-tricks/42077-10-tips-avoid-harsh-burnt-taste-510-atomizers.html

Once the primer fluid has burned off, you should be good for up to 20 puffs before you have to "top off" (adding a couple of drops to the filler) or refilling. Read the sections below on cartridge modifications for optimal filling techniques and using the batteries properly.

Remember that this is NOT a tobacco cigarette. You don't draw on it as you would a cigarette. You want to take it easy on the draw. Slowly inhale, to allow the atomizer time to heat the liquid. Don't draw on it hard or you'll end up with a mouthful of unvaporized liquid!

510 Components

This is what powers your device. It is recommended that you charge it fully before first use. Batteries come in assorted body colors and LED colors. They are also available with no LED. Batteries come in automatic and manual styles.

The automatic has a switch built into it that activates by the air that rushes through it when you inhale. It is good for hands-free use, however, it is very sensitive and is known to activate by sound and light impact. This may cause it to turn on while in a pocket or purse and may have to be recharged more frequently. Automatic batteries also have an automatic shutoff built in that frustrates some users who want a longer, deeper draw. The automatic batteries have a hole in them to allow air flow for the switch. Consequently, it is recommended that caution be used not to overfill the cartridge, direct drip or flood the atomizer, because it can get into the battery. (More on flooding & dripping later.)

When using an automatic battery, it is recommended to employ a "primer puff" before every draw, to pre-heat the atomizer for optimal vapor production. This is taking a short puff, followed by the actual inhale draw.

The manual switch activated with a button. It is generally the more popular option with experienced vapers, because it allows more control over the draw and heat. It also allows the atomizer to get a little hotter and produce more vapor. It usually does not have a shutoff built in. With this kind of use, the battery life tends to be shorter. The manual battery does not have any hole and therefore, better adapted for dripping and less susceptible to damage from the liquid.

When using a manual battery, a "primer puff" is not needed. Simply press the button before you begin your draw, then release after you are finished.

Regular & Extra Long Batteries:
The 510 has two lengths of batteries available. The regular length is what comes in most kits. An extra long version is available from some vendors. The extra long battery, also known as the Titan MEGA, lasts longer, however, it takes longer to charge and will not fit in the 510 Personal Charging Case.

USB Pass-through:
This accessory allows for direct power from a computer or AC outlet. It looks like a battery, but has a cord with a USB plug. It can be plugged directly into a computer USB port or into a USB AC or Car Adapter and plugged into an AC outlet or car lighter outlet. There are two versions of this accessory – one has an actual battery that is continuously recharged by the USB port (in a small battery case near the plug) and the other just has wires that go directly from the connector to the USB plug. Neither has an LED.

The atomizer (atty) is a heating element that heats up the liquid and turns it into a vapor. One end screws into the battery and the other end fits the cartridge. It consists of a small pot or chamber, which holds a reserve of the liquid. There is a metal mesh coil or “bridge,” which draws in the liquid from the cartridge to a fiberglass wick. The heating element heats up the liquid and turns it into a vapor, which is then drawn back through vents in the mouthpiece by the user. The 510 atomizer is often the source of issues with performance and taste.

If you get a “gurgling” sound when you draw on the device, you have flooded the atomizer. This means that there is too much liquid in the atomizer for it to properly vaporize. Remove the atomizer from the battery and cartridge and blow out the excess liquid onto a paper towel from the threaded end.

The atomizers, by design, are not meant to last forever. However, you may be able to extend the life of your atomizer and improve performance with occasional cleaning. There are many tried and UN-proven methods for cleaning, some more successful than others. Most agree that occasionally blowing out the atomizer is a safe practice, as the liquid tends to build up in the atomizer.

Some signs that your atomizers may need cleaning are:
-Reduced vapor production
-Hard or difficult draw
-Burnt/Harsh taste

Here are the recommendations by the manufacturer, Joye Technologies: 510 usage and maintenance instructions from Joye Technology

The following cleaning methods have been tried by various ECF members. It is advised that these cleaning methods be tried ONLY AS A LAST RESORT. There are many, many opinions on cleaning and it is STRONGLY suggested that you read the various threads on this topic.

Hot Water Rinse: Run under VERY hot water. Dry 48 hours.

Soaking/Baths: Soak in one of the following; Everclear or 100 proof vodka, isopropyl alcohol, diet cola, Polident (denture cleaner), hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or ice machine cleaner. Rinse VERY well under hot running water. Dry 48 hours.

Read more on these methods:http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/tips-tricks/38167-cleaning-atomizers-5.html


Hot Water Boil: Boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously. Dry 48 hours.

Hot Water Boil w/Baking Soda: As above but with 1 tbsp baking soda added to the water. Rinse well. Dry 48 hours.

Dry Burn: Rinse under hot water. Dry 48 hours. Attach atomizer to battery. Press and hold battery button 4-7 seconds. Repeat until there is no vapor produced during the dry burn.

Burnt/Chemical/Bad Tastehttp://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/tips-tricks/42077-10-tips-avoid-harsh-burnt-taste-510-atomizers.html

The cartridge on a 510 is more complex than it seems at first glance. It is a combination of mouthpiece and filler/liquid chamber. One end is open to a chamber to add the filler material and liquid, the other end has another, smaller chamber, which is closed off with a removable end cap, with a hole in the center. This end can be round or have a “whistle tip,” which is flattened on two sides. If you look closely, there are two slots on the flat sides of the liquid chamber, going into the mouthpiece chamber. This is how the vapor gets from the atomizer to the mouth. The vapor does not travel through the filler material, it travels around the liquid chamber, into the mouthpiece chamber. When the filler end is fitted into the atomizer, the metal coil acts like a wick, drawing the liquid into the atomizer to be vaporized.

Loose Cartridges:
The diameter of 510 atomizer was recently made larger, resulting in the older, smaller cartridges not fitting properly and falling off. Loose cartridges were also a problem with the M-401 model and an ECF member came up with a modification to fix the problem. With the 510, you would make the modification to the outside of the cartridge, but you can get the idea here: Fixing loose cartridges on an M-401 electronic Cigarette

This is the material inside the refillable cartridge. It is a polyester batting material. It acts like a sponge, to keep the liquid from spilling out of the cartridge and available for the atomizer wick. This may be removed and replaced with another material, which is called a “modification” or “mod” for short. The liquid can eventually get "gummy" and affect the taste, throat hit or draw, so the filler should occasionally be removed, rinsed and dried for reuse.

Filler Modifications:
PTB (Pyramid Tea Bag) Mod: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/cartridge-mods/34401-ptb-plug-full-510-cart-2.html

Straw Mod: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/tips-tricks/11421-cart-mod-better-refilling.html#post176708

Fluval Mod: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/tips-tricks/20403-fluval-cartridge-restuffing-video-instructions.html

Blue Foam Mod: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/cartridge-mods/27723-eheim-filterpad-mod.html

Brass Screen Mod: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/cartridge-mods/38161-brass-screen-mod.html

More Ideas: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/cartridge-mods/index2.html

Some owners eschew filler altogether and choose to "direct drip." This simply means to take the filler out of the cartridge and "drip" 2-3 drops of liquid directly on the atomizer coil. Then, replace the mouthpiece and use as normal. Be careful not to over drip or you will flood the atomizer! Proponents of this method feel this gives a more consistant vapor and throat hit, without relying on filler materials.

Here is a modification made to aid with the drip method: Direct Drip Cart Mod (DDC)

There is also a cool little gadget for dripping called an e-Dobbit: .. : Sticker to it!, Vinyl Graphics & Lettering

Similar to dripping, dipping delivers the liquid directly to the atomizer. Dipping does not work well with the 510 atomizer, as the coil is recessed within its casing. Other models have an exposed atomizer coil, which allows for the owner to "dip" the coil into a small container of liquid. If you would like to try dipping with your 510, you can purchase a 306 model atomizer, which is compatible with the 510 battery. Proponents of this method sometimes prefer this over dripping, because it is less likely to flood the atomizer.

There are three common chargers available for most 510 batteries: USB, AC and PCC.

Charges a single battery and plugs directly into your computer’s USB port. Place the threaded end of the battery in the hole and screw it in place until the light turns red. It will turn green when charged.

Charges a single battery and plug into a standard wall outlet. Has a removable cord. Also has a port for a car charger. Place the threaded end of the battery in the hole and screw it in place until the light turns red. It will turn green when charged.

PCC (Personal Charging Case):
Charges a single battery and also holds one atomizer and two cartridges. Plugs into a USB port, with a mini USB on one end and a standard USB on the other. Place the battery in the far right hole, thread side down. The pressure from the lid will push it into place to charge - it does not screw in place.

There are three lights on the PCC:
Top Light - Red indicates a battery is charging. Turns off when charged.
Middle Light - Red indicates the PCC battery is too low to charge the battery inside.
Bottom Light - Red indicates the PCC needs to be charged. Green means the PCC is fully charged and ready for your battery.

USB to AC Adapter: Allows any USB cord to plug into a standard AC outlet.

USB Car Charger Adapter: Allows any USB cord to plug into a car lighter outlet.

Car Charger: Allows the AC charger to charge a battery using a car lighter outlet.

This is the liquid which gets vaporized by the atomizer. If you bought pre-filled cartridges, it has already been filled by the manufacturer. If you bought empty cartridges, you need to buy the liquid from a reputable vendor. Some liquids are factory-made in China and resold directly to the customers. Some liquids are custom-made by the vendor. The best way to decide on which liquid to buy is to visit the Supporting Suppliers forums: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/supporting-suppliers/ and read what their customers have to say about them.

e-Liquid is made of water, propylene or vegetable glycol, nicotine and food flavoring. Some also contain glycerine.

Common Nicotine Levels:
NONE (Zero)
Extra Low: 6-8MG
Low: 10-12mg
Medium: 16-18mg
High: 24-26mg
Extra High: 36mg
For Mixing/Diluting Only: 48mg, 60mg

Some vendors have created special mixes for higher temperature devices, which also work well with the 510 manual batteries. No one can tell you what tastes the best, it’s a matter of trial and error. It’s recommended that you buy samples from different vendors and find what works for you.

You can mix flavors to create your own. A couple of drops of "cola" with a drop or two of "vanilla" makes a great vanilla coke! Experiment and have fun. Don't limit yourself to just tobacco flavors, either - it's one of the best features of vaping.

Some people new to vaping complain that the flavors of the liquids are too faint or all taste the same in the 510. Give it some time. You have to break in/season the atomizer, to really get the full flavor. Also, after being off tobacco cigarettes for a few days, your taste buds will start to recover and the flavors will become more distinct. Some vendors even offer an option to double the flavor in their liquids. After a while, you be noticing all of the subtle tastes and smells you've been missing all of this time!

If you like menthol, you can increase the menthol content of your liquid by adding menthol crystals or menthol drops. Suprisingly, menthol liquid is popular with both former menthol tobacco smokers and non-menthol smokers alike. It's believed to add extra throat hit to other flavors, as well. Read more: Menthol fans!

It's recommended that you use a fresh atomizer for each flavor, as it's difficult to get certain flavors, such as menthol or clove, out if the atomizer wick. You don't want to have to do a throrough cleaning and wait 48 hours for drying time, every time you want to change flavors. So, get a new atomizer for each flavor you use. Some people label their atomizers or color code it with paint/nailpolish. You can also put the atomizer, with the cartridge, into a Ziploc Snack Bag with it's bottle, to keep them organized.

This guide is meant to be a primer and is not the definative guide to the Joye510! You can get advice and read more about your new 510 in the Model Specific Forum: Joye 510 - e-cigarette-forum.com • The place for electronic cigarette reviews, news and chat

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Governor Schwarzenegger Protects Adult Consumers’ Access to E-Cigarettes

Industry hails veto of anti-smoking alternative bill as victory for consumers, common sense Washington, D.C.

October 12, 2009

Matt Salmon, president of the Electronic Cigarette Association (ECA), today praised California Governor Schwarzenegger’s wise decision to veto Senate Bill 400, which would have banned electronic cigarette sales in the state, protecting adult consumers’ access to these alternative smoking devices.

“This is not just a victory for consumers and common sense but is smart public policy as well,” said Salmon. “Rejecting this bill is the right step and should serve as a model for other states to follow.”

In his veto message, Governor Schwarzenegger reiterated the stance of the ECA that strongly supports restricting access of electronic cigarettes to children under the age of 18. “We agree with the original intent of SB 400 to ban sales to those under the legal smoking age. And we support that on a national level as well,” added Salmon.

The Governor affirmed that this restriction should not apply to adult consumers: “If adults want to purchase and consume these products with an understanding of the associated health risks, they should be able to do so unless and until federal law changes the legal status of these tobacco products.”

The ECA actively communicated to the Governor its members’ concerns about the bill and the fact that banning these electronic cigarettes would disenfranchise thousands of California adult smokers who have difficulty quitting but want an alternative to combustible cigarettes without the host of carcinogens and harmful chemicals. Salmon credited this legislative victory to the efforts of thousands of consumers and ECA members who appealed directly to Governor Schwarzenegger to protect their rights.

“While we know that combustible tobacco smoking kills over 400,000 Americans annually, and the percentage of smokers that quit every year is dismally low, we ought to be looking for more alternatives to traditional combustible tobacco products,” said Salmon.

Electronic cigarette kits usually include the electronic cigarette, a replaceable cartridge pack (that may or may not contain nicotine), rechargeable lithium batteries, and a charger. There is some variation between different companies in what is included in their starter kit, but all components are listed on their Web sites. While ECA members do not market these devices as a healthy alternative or smoking cessation device, it is clear that they do not contain the harmful tars and hundreds of carcinogens that consumers get from combustible tobacco products.

“We look forward to working with all government agencies, including the FDA, to ensure that consumers who want an alternative to combustible tobacco products have access to e-cigarettes that contain fewer harmful substances and produce no secondhand smoke,” concluded Salmon.

About the Electronic Cigarette Association
The ECA (www.ecassoc.org <http://www.ecassoc.org>) is an association of private sector companies engaged in electronic cigarette technologies. Its mission is to provide the tools and information necessary for policy-makers, opinion leaders, media, and private sector companies worldwide to make informed decisions about the management and use of electronic cigarette technologies. The association institutes and promotes industry-wide standards and a code of conduct, works to maintain sound professional practices, educates the public and policy-makers on the industry’s activities and potential, and works to ensure the ethical use of electronic cigarette technologies.

Contact:Matt Salmon

Monday, October 12, 2009

FDA Miscalculates Real Danger to Smokers

© www.sxc.hu/ilan
The FDA is at a loss.

It knows why people want to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes - exposure to first and second hand smoke is proven to cause numerous health problems, from heart disease to cancer.

Up until now, the only way thought to quit smoking was to cure nicotine addiction. Beat the nicotine cravings, beat the urge to smoke - or so the theory goes. Consequently, the term "smoking cessation" has become synonymous with curing nicotine addiction with the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapies or NRTs.

However, focusing solely on nicotine addiction has been proven to be ineffective.

FDA-approved medications are tested in clinical trials and the enthusiasm of participants, close monitoring and counseling may all inflate the success numbers found in those studies, according to a report released in a 2002 edition of Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol. 288, No. 10: 1260-1264). "These products are designed to help with the cravings associated with smoking, but not the behavioral aspects," stated co-author Professor Elizabeth Gilpin, of the University of California. The report also pointed out that NRTs were originally by prescription only, giving patients trying to quit access to a physician's support and behavioral counseling.(1)

In the 2006 study, "Nicotine replacement therapy for long-term smoking cessation: a meta-analysis," the authors wrote, "Due to relapse, the overall efficacy of NRT treatment in terms of additional ex-smokers declined from 10.7% over and above placebo (6.6% to 14.8%) after one year to 7.2% (3.8% to 11.3%) at an average of 4.3 years follow up. "

"Because the long-term benefit of NRT is modest," the study concluded, "tobacco dependence treatment might be better viewed as a chronic disorder, requiring repeated episodes of treatment."(2)

So, why the extraordinary failure rate?

What Nicotine Replacement Therapy and other medications designed to solely treat nicotine addiction fail to address is the basic human tendencies of habit and ritual. Smokers don't just crave the nicotine. The physical act of smoking becomes integrated into their everyday activities to the point where the smokers are essentially lost without it. They become loyal to their cigarette brand. They find just the right holder and the best lighter.

Certain activities trigger the desire to light up, mostly common activities such as morning coffee, driving or after a meal. Just as people may bite on pen caps, twirl their hair or chew their lip, the act of taking a cigarette out, fiddling with it, lighting it, the sensation of inhaling the smoke, the feel of the smoke at the back of the throat and seeing the smoke swirling in the air are all part of the comfort mechanism for a smoker. That comforting ritual and habit is far and away the greatest reason why treatments that focus solely on nicotine addiction fail. After a year, there shouldn't be any more cravings for nicotine. Ask smokers why they started up again and they'll most likely point to a stressful event or period that caused them to seek out the comforting ritual of smoking, giving them a sense of control over their stress, not the craving for nicotine.

Nicotine is already acknowledged by the FDA and medical professionals to be one of the safer ingredients in tobacco cigarettes, as it's commonly used medically to assist smokers in the attempt to quit. Therefore, the FDA and medical professionals must agree that the greater danger in cigarettes is contained in the actual smoke, the known source of the tar, ammonia, acetone, carbon monoxide and other toxins and carcinogens.(3) So, why isn't the urgency to improve the smoker's health focused on removing the exposure to smoke, rather than the addiction to nicotine? Up until now, there hasn't been any alternative.

Enter the Personal Vaporizer or "electronic cigarette," a device whose growing popularity has left the FDA at a loss of how to properly categorize it.

For the first time in history, there is a device which, when used in lieu of tobacco cigarettes, targets the smoker's ritual and habit instead of the nicotine addiction. Nicotine is still present in the electronic cigarette and smokers are still comforted by the look and feel, as if they are still smoking, but the component most lethal to tobacco cigarette smokers and bystanders - the smoke - is absent.

Unlike NRTs, the consumer decides when and if they will reduce or eliminate their nicotine intake. The nicotine liquid sold by reputable manufacturers is available in measured levels of nicotine content, chosen by the consumer to match their former tobacco use. It consists of water, propylene glycol, nicotine and flavoring. Propylene glycol, a substance which is generally recognized as safe and approved for human inhalation by the EPA (4), is often confused with diethylene glycol, which is a toxic ingredient found in tobacco cigarettes (and antifreeze.) Propylene glycol is actually FDA-approved for human consumption and is used as a base for consumable products such as imitation vanilla and toothpaste and is the same substance used to create theatrical fog.

In July 2009, the FDA announced that laboratory analysis of two brands of electronic cigarettes found traces (approximately 1%) of diethylene glycol in one cartridge and certain tobacco-specific toxins, which are also found in tobacco cigarettes and FDA-approved NRTs. (5) However, the agency's analysis was also quite positive in the fact that researchers did not find the dangerous levels of toxins and carcinogens, such as the tar, carbon monoxide, ammonia, etc., that is found in tobacco smoke.(6)

The FDA, however, objected to some manufacturers' claims that the electronic cigarette is a smoking cessation device - falling back on the now outdated view that smoking cessation must involve nicotine replacement therapy - and electronic cigarettes have not been proven effective as NRTs through the proper studies. Electronic cigarette companies countered that their products are not intended for use as an NRT smoking cessation device, but rather as a smokeless alternative - one that mimics the habits and rituals of tobacco smoking, without giving up the nicotine. An FDA rebuttal cited numerous reports, including testimonials on vendor web sites, that consumers were using the device as a way to quit smoking and that indicated "intended use." As all NRTs fall under FDA jurisdiction, electronic cigarettes, the agency maintained, must be tested and shown to be as effective as other medicinal drugs.

Another July 2009 press release stated, "The FDA has been examining and detaining shipments of e-cigarettes at the border and products it has examined thus far meet the definition of a combination drug-device product under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA has been challenged regarding its jurisdiction over certain e-cigarettes in a case currently pending in federal district court. The agency is also planning additional activities to address its concerns about these products." (7)

Most would agree that the FDA has some valid points. The nicotine liquid does need to be regulated for consistency in ingredients, labeling and safe packaging. Studies should be done for the long-term effects of its use. Laws should be passed limiting the use and sale to legal adults. However, in its zeal to gain control over the regulation of electronic cigarettes, the FDA insisted that the product be removed from the market altogether, rather than cautious use while the studies are being made. This caused a snowball of misinformation in the media and gave the general public the impression that electronic cigarettes have all of the same dangers of tobacco cigarettes, if not worse. These concerns have prompted several anti-smoking groups and legislators to call for a complete ban of electronic cigarettes, ignoring the undeniable fact that, in the absence of an alternative, most electronic cigarette owners will return to smoking deadly tobacco cigarettes.

Because the FDA is at a loss as to how to categorize electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation device without classification as an NRT and furthermore, by insisting that a smoking cessation device must address nicotine addiction, many believe the agency has miscalculated the greater danger facing current tobacco smokers - the actual smoke.

1. ACS News Center, "Smoking Cessation Aids Use Increases, Success Rate Declines" American Cancer Society

2. Jean-Fran├žois Etter and John A Stapleton, "Nicotine replacement therapy for long-term smoking cessation: a meta-analysisTobacco Control

5. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA Warns of Health Risks Posed by E-Cigarettes FDA

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Negative Reactions Mystify Electronic Cigarette Owners

By Kristin Noll-Marsh

The booth at the Wisconsin State Fair Expo was black with big, gold lettering exclaiming, "Electronic Cigarettes - The Smoking Alternative!" Initially, I found the concept of electronic smoking laughable, as would most tobacco users. However, after dragging my husband over to the booth for a look, it only took us a moment to realize that this was a truly revolutionary invention. Surprisingly, the price was reasonable, too!

The vendor made it clear that it was not intended as a smoking cessation device, only a much safer and cheaper way to smoke. To date, there is no scientific proof that they are safer, but it didn't take a degree in rocket science to see that the absence of smoke, tar and a few thousand other ingredients - including the 60-70 known carcinogens and poisons found in tobacco - made the flavored nicotine liquid seem tame by comparison. Moreover, the ability to reduce the nicotine levels from high, medium and low to liquid containing no nicotine whatsoever was an appealing way to wean off nicotine altogether.

Of course, as soon as I got our new devices home, I had to log online to see what I could find out about them.

The first thing I found was a wide range of different devices and liquids available and not all devices are created equal.

Additionally, I found that a whole subculture has quickly built up around the new phenomenon of "vaping," the term coined by electronic cigarette owners to differentiate it from tobacco smoking. The electronic cigarette is known as a personal vaporizer, as it produces a fine mist or vapor, similar to the steam from a cup of hot coffee. Tobacco cigarettes are amusingly called "analogs." Personal vaporizer owners who have quit using tobacco cigarettes proudly consider themselves non-smokers.

"I feel free of cigarettes for the first time in my life," said James Solie, of Hudson, WI. Solie said his life has changed in so many ways since he has quit smoking. "I used to go to bed at night and could smell the smoke on myself, and it wasn't good. I don't miss that. I just feel better in every way imaginable. I breathe better, don't have that nasty congestion in the morning. My throat feels better. My sense of smell, thus taste, is much better." Solie added that his wife is happy that he has quit smoking, as well.

The fact that personal vaporizer owners are no longer smoking is difficult for non-smokers and smoke-free advocates to understand, because vapor looks similar in appearance to smoke. Thus many advocates welcomed recent news of the FDA's proposed ban on certain electronic cigarettes, due to safety concerns, and proposed bans on their use in public spaces in municipalities in New York, Connecticut and Oregon. Vaporizer owners fear the public has been falsely led to believe that personal vaporizers aren't any different than tobacco cigarettes.

"Because vaping looks like smoking people immediately associate the two and come to a bad conclusion," said Scott Brower, of Santa Clarita, CA. Brower said he was an occasional pipe and cigar tobacco smoker, but now enjoys only nicotine-free electronic pipes and cigars. "They need to be educated to understand the fundamental differences."

On the FDA report, Brower said, "The announcement was rushed and omitted critical details. What should have been a scientific process and conclusion felt more political and reactionary. While I applaud their recognition of vaping and the need for testing, I also have to admonish their lack of care and due process. The FDA serves a critical role and I want them to take a very hard look at vaping. However, they must follow the scientific method to the letter if they are to fulfill their purpose.
Given the potential significance of this to real tobacco users, and their fair and accurate treatment of this is literally life and death for millions."

Brower's response was typical of many vaporizer owners - one of shock and disbelief at the knee-jerk public and governmental reaction. It is hard for them to see the logic in allowing the sale and use of tobacco cigarettes, which are proven to contain dozens of poisons and carcinogens and create second-hand smoke while attempting to ban the vaporizers, which were found, in the FDA's own research, to possibly only contain trace amounts of adverse ingredients. As Brower pointed out, those results were based on incomplete data collected from only a few samples - out of hundreds of different liquids and cartridges available on the market.

Dr. Michael Siegel is a professor at Boston University School of Public Health and a physician who specialized in preventive medicine and public health. On his blog, The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary, he commented, "With the FDA now approving the sale and marketing of conventional cigarettes, it is absurd to think that the Agency would spend so much of its energy on an attempt to remove this much safer alternative from the market, while ignoring the very real threat posed by the cigarettes being smoked by 45 million Americans."

"While further testing of electronic cigarettes is certainly warranted, and while restrictions on the sales of these products to minors and the types of marketing claims that can be made are reasonable," Dr. Siegel stated, "it would be criminal to take these products off the market. Smokers who have found these products to be a life-saver, allowing them to stay off regular cigarettes, should be permitted to have the choice of continuing to use the product while more definitive studies are conducted."

Other physicians seem to agree with his conclusions.

Just a few days before she started using a personal vaporizer, Julie Williams of Manchester, TN had a blood pressure reading of 230/110 and her heart rate was elevated. "I was on medication but it wasn't working," she recalled. "Within a week of vaping and only smoking 2-3 cigarettes a day, all my numbers went down to normal ones. My primary care doctor and cardiologist both attribute the change to me stopping smoking and vaping [instead.] Both doctors are telling other patients about e-cigs." She said she has now quit smoking tobacco cigarettes altogether. "Both my primary care physician and my cardiologist are behind me 100% in my vaping. I even vape in the exam rooms while we discuss my ongoing treatments."

Williams' doctors don't seem too concerned about alleged "second-hand vapor" either, unlike a few legislators and anti-smoking groups across the country, such as Suffolk County, NY, which, sponsored by Majority Leader Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Neck), bans e-cigarette use in public spaces.

"There is no substantial evidence that these devices do any harm to the user or bystanders around the user," argued Spike Babaian, of Long Island, NY, in a recent press release. "Despite the plethora of evidence provided to the Suffolk County legislature, that shows evidence that these devices are no more harmful than consuming a hot dog, they have determined that the "stress, fear and confusion," which the public could potentially feel due to the presence of the fog, was sufficient reason to force vapers to follow the Suffolk County smoking ordinance and utilize these devices only in areas where smoking is allowed."

"This restriction would push thousands of non-smoking Suffolk County residents who utilize nicotine vaporizers into smoking areas where they would be exposed to the second hand smoke and toxic chemicals that they quit smoking to avoid," continued Babian. "This is a clear violation of the civil rights of non-smokers who wish to avoid the toxic chemicals given off by cigarette smoke. This law was passed based on public fear, rather than fact, and the total disregard for the safety of these former smokers is an unjustifiable disgrace. Suffolk County’s Health and Human Services Committee, which is supposed to protect the health of Suffolk County residents, has put "psychological discomfort" of the minority ahead of physical health and that is an unforgivable offense."

Aside from putting electronic cigarette owners back into the toxic cloud produced by tobacco smoke, personal vaporizer owners point out that their vapor doesn’t contain the amounts of lethal toxins nor does it behave in the same manner as cigarette smoke. The vapor isn't created unless actively in use, unlike the smoke that continuously comes from a lit cigarette and it doesn't appear to travel more than a couple of feet from the user. It also tends to dissipate more quickly than smoke, making it fairly undetectable and unobtrusive for those nearby, so presenting the two as the same thing is misleading.

In addition to the "second-hand vapor," legislators and anti-smoking groups such as ASH, the national anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health, argue that the electronic cigarettes are being marketed to appeal to children, specifically through fruit and candy-like flavors. Such claims leave a bad taste in vapers mouths.

"I didn't know that once I grew up I had to stop liking things that taste good," said a confused Julie Williams. "You can get the [nicotine] gum in a number of flavors and they are out in the open for any kid to grab. What is a kid going to choose to buy...an e-cig that they have to save up to buy online ($50 and up for a starter kit) or a pack of cigarettes they can get anywhere for $5.00?"

Ed Corcoran, of Lowell, MA, was equally shocked by the allegations. "I think that's ludicrous," he said. "Many alcohol products have sweet, fruity flavors. No one accuses those manufacturers of marketing their products to children based on that criteria. Just because something is meant for adults only, that doesn't mean it has to taste bad."

Others counter that many children get access to cigarettes because of the low cost or sneaking cigarettes from a parent – something which is almost impossible to do unnoticed with a personal vaporizer. And even if a child decided to spend over $100 on equipment and liquid refills and lie about their age to obtain it, what reason would they have to order a fruity flavor filled with nicotine? Nicotine produces no pleasant "rush" or "high" for a non-smoker and the liquids are available nicotine-free, with the same taste. The accusation holds no credibility and defies logic.

Many proponents of personal vaporizers have begun to suspect that the bad press is being manufactured and research results are being misrepresented purely for financial gain. Simple research online reveals that their claim can easily be substantiated.

ASH, one of the loudest opponents to electronic cigarettes and often a source of exaggerated or false propaganda, reportedly receives huge contributions from Pfizer Inc., the maker of numerous nicotine replacement drugs designed to assist smokers with quitting cigarettes. One of their products is Chantix, already known by the FDA to have been related to 78 deaths, 28 of which were suicides. Yet, the FDA has not banned that particular smoking cessation product and is going after electronic cigarettes, which have thus far not had any reported adverse effects or related deaths.

"If e-cigarettes really take off, they represent a huge threat to the profits of pharmaceutical companies, and in turn, they represent a threat to future funding of ASH," explained Dr. Siegel on his blog. "This conflict of interest is significant, but ASH has failed to disclose it in any of its statements about the dangers of electronic cigarettes. Each of the other anti-smoking groups which have warned the public about the dangers of e-cigarettes is also heavily funded by Big Pharma. Is this merely a coincidence? I think not."

While reputable electronic cigarette manufacturers and resellers do not advertise their product as a smoking cessation device, it is hard to ignore the anecdotal evidence that they end up being just that for many tobacco smokers who switch exclusively to personal vaporizers. It is common knowledge that most FDA-approved medical alternatives, such as nicotine gum and patches, are dismal failures, with some studies showing less than a 6.75% success rate after six months.

"The drugs are approved because they've shown in FDA studies that they're better than placebo," said Dr. Edward Levin, a psychopharmacological researcher at Duke University Medical Center in Raleigh, N.C., in a recent CNN article. "But being better than placebo doesn't take a whole lot, so there really is room for improvement." A University of Wisconsin study showed that the most successful drug, Chantix, only had a 44% success rate during 12 weeks of use. That success dropped to one in four in the weeks after the treatment was stopped.

In contrast, a survey of personal vaporizer owners at an electronic cigarette support site shows that 79% of respondents indicated that they have successfully quit smoking tobacco cigarettes. Some continue to use nicotine doses, others have reduced or eliminated the nicotine altogether. They feel that the gradual reduction of nicotine intake, with a familiar and comforting delivery system, allows them to immediately remove the known dangers of cigarette smoke while weaning off the nicotine.

Some may even continue to use the devices purely for recreational use, even with the nicotine. They see no difference in enjoying their nicotine alternative like others who enjoy recreational use of alcohol, caffine or chocolate. Personal vaporizers give them a way to do this without affecting those around them, as cigarette smoke did. Nicotine is a legal substance and adults should be allowed to enjoy it responsibly, they argue.

Dawn Brain, of Smith Mountain Lake, VA, did not start using personal vaporizers to quit smoking, she only wanted a lower cost alternative.

"I didn't start using them for health reasons," Brain said. "I decided to try [personal vaporizers] because I was tired of the cost of cigarettes going up. When the price of the brand I was smoking went from $23 to $35 in one week I was fed up. If I had not had PVs to turn to I would have kept smoking and just grumbled about the fact that my cost went up by 50% over night, but this time I had an option and I jumped on it.

"Added to the cost benefit," Brain continued, "I liked the fact that my house and clothes would no longer smell like cigarettes and I wouldn't be putting 35 cigarette butts into the landfill daily. I no longer have to worry about my cats knocking over my ashtray and having to clean up ashes and butts."

"It never occurred to me that I would feel so much better, be able to breathe deeply for the first time in 23 years, and be able to taste things that had lost much of their flavor from my smoking."

Electronic cigarettes may save many lives, providing the FDA doesn’t make them illegal. Responsible vaporizer owners are mystified about the reactions to the revolutionary device, and hope that as the public becomes more knowledgeable, they will be more positively received.

Thanks to a chance encounter at the expo that day, my husband and I are now ex-smokers. Like thousands of other personal vaporizer owners, who are now smoke free, I wonder how can that be considered a bad thing?

Dr. Michael Siegel, My Op-Ed in Hartford Courant Calls for a Scientific, Not an Ideological or Political Response to the Electronic Cigarette Issue, The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

Dr. Michael Siegel, Action on Smoking and Health Warns Public of the Dangers of "Secondhand Electronic Cigarette Smoke", The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary
U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Summary of Results: Laboratory Analysis of Electronic Cigarettes Conducted By FDA , FDA.gov

Suffolk County Legislature, Resolution No. 717: A local law banning the sale of e-cigarettes to persons under the age of 19, legis.suffolkcountyny.gov

Spike Babaian, Suffolk County, New York says Former Smokers are still "Smoking", PRLog.org
Aaron Smith, Antismoking drugs go up in smoke, CNNMoney.com

E-cigarette-forum.com Poll, E-Cig Success Rate?, e-cigarette-forum.com

National Cancer Institute, Cigarette Smoking and Cancer: Questions and Answers, Cancer.gov

John R. Polito , Chantix blamed for 3,063 serious injuries and 78 deaths, WhyQuit.com


Kristin Noll-Marsh is a real estate consultant, blogger, freelance writer and now an ex-smoker in Antigo, WI.
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