US Vaping Debate: the facts

US Vaping-related illnesses: What are the facts?

Amid cries of an ‘epidemic’ following a spate of vaping-related illnesses and increased scrutiny of the US vaping industry, we look at the facts and how the situation may affect vapers in the UK…

E-cigarettes and vaping have been the subject of huge debate in the United States of America over the past month as a result of at least 1080 people falling sick with vaping-related illnesses or lung injuries.

Eighteen deaths have been confirmed across 15 states by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the country’s federal health protection agency. The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) has launched a criminal investigation in parallel with the CDC’s public health investigation and the US Congress have begun hearings to investigate e-cigarettes’ effects on public health.

The executive branch of the US government has also weighed in. "It's not a wonderful thing," said US President Donald Trump of vaping. "It's got big problems. We have to find out the extent of the problem." Citing parallel concerns with the reported rise in youth vaping, the President announced that he would be taking steps to ban the sale of flavoured e-cigarette products, except for tobacco and menthol flavours.

The panic about the health effects of vaping has not been confined to the United States alone. Last month India banned the sale and import of e-cigarettes, citing an "epidemic" of vaping among young people, while countries such as Brazil and Japan have already outright banned or heavily restricted the sale of e-cigarette or nicotine products.

What was the cause of the illness?

The CDC have affirmed that no single e-cigarette or vaping product, brand or specific substance has been definitively linked to the outbreak in the US. And while authorities still don’t know the precise cause of the lung illnesses, most of the cases have been linked to the use of illicit black-market products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. About 77% of those cases being investigated by the CDC reported using THC-containing products.

Many of these black market and unregulated THC e-liquid products have been found to contain an oil derived from Vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate is commonly found as a nutritional supplement and is considered harmless when ingested orally or applied to the skin. However, experts say that its molecular structure and oil-like properties make it hazardous to inhale, such as you would with an e-cigarette, and could cause the kind of respiratory symptoms that many of the patients have reported such as chest pains, coughing and shortness of breath.

While the FDA investigates the THC market, both legitimate and illicit, health officials’ advice to e-cigarette users in North America has been to avoid using nicotine or THC containing-products if they’re concerned, but also that current vapers should not switch back to smoking cigarettes.

Are vapers at risk in the UK?

There have been no reports so far of any person in the UK exhibiting the same symptoms as those in the US, leading many health experts in the UK and EU to reiterate their position that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking cigarettes, as well as highlighting the differences in e-cigarette regulations found on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

Unlike the US, the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive of 2016 restricts the advertising of e-cigarette products and enforces a cap on the levels of nicotine and the capacity of devices available to consumers. Further, the rules and regulations surrounding the production of e-liquids enforces supervised, laboratory environments and limits the manufacture and sale of devices and e-liquid to accredited suppliers and producers only. Under the TPD, the production of any THC-containing e-liquids is strictly illegal.

Martin Dockrell, Tobacco Control Programme Lead at Public Health England, said: “We know that e-cigarettes are probably not completely safe, but that’s not the issue. The question is, are e-cigarettes safer than the alternative? And, for almost all e-cigarette users the alternative is smoking, and it's really important that they understand how much safer e-cigarettes are, compared to smoking".

In 2015, PHE claimed that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and are supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the British Medical Association and Cancer Research UK among other institutions.

What should you do if you have concerns about vaping?

-Only buy e-cigarette devices and e-liquid from reputable, TPD-compliant manufacturers and suppliers such as Vapestore.

-Talk to one of our professional customer services specialists for advice and guidance on all aspects of e-cigarettes and vaping at support@vapouriz.com or call 0800 644 0000.

-Talk to your GP or another certified health professional about using e-cigarettes.

Biggest public health opportunity in 120 years” at risk from E-cigarette panic says NYU Scientist

“Biggest public health opportunity in 120 years” at risk from E-cigarette panic says NYU Scientist

With politicians, activists and the media putting the US e-cigarette industry under intense pressure following over 1080 reported cases of vaping-related illnesses and nearly twenty deaths from lung injuries, the voices of health experts and scientists and their research into the public health benefits of vaping have been drowned out by the clamour.

But in an interview with the CBS This Morning programme in September, Dr David Abrams, a Global Public Health professor at New York University, made the case that the current panic about vaping in the US jeopardises one of the best chances in over a century to finally “get rid of the cigarette” and save millions of lives.

“The science has gotten extremely strong, especially in the last three to four years,” Dr Abrams told CBS’ Tony Dokoupil. “Both in England and some scientists here are looking at the best science and we see the same thing. E-cigarettes are way less harmful than cigarettes and they can, and do, help smokers switch if they can’t quit.”

“We could save as much as 6-7 million lives over 10 years who would otherwise die from smoking”

“What we know for sure is that based upon all the biomarkers of harm that we know from cigarettes, that they are far fewer and far lower in e-cigarettes than cigarettes.”

The professor provided a startling illustration of the public health benefit of e-cigarettes in the relative short-term from NYU’s own research. “Our studies suggested that if 10% of current smokers switched to e-cigarettes every year for the next ten years (100% switched within 10 years) we’d save as much as 6-7 million lives who otherwise would die from cigarette smoking. 87 million quality life years would be gained from switching completely in ten years to e-cigarettes.”

The NYU professor agrees with the FDA’s and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html#latest-outbreak-information">CDC’s</a> own reports that the source of the lung injuries most likely came from illicit or black-market oil containing Marijuana or THC oil, with other harmful additives like Vitamin E acetate. “These cases are people who bought marijuana oils on the street, made either illegally or a street version, like a dirty street drug. We haven’t seen a single case that a commercially made, legitimate e-cigarette that smokers are using has caused any of these illnesses. And I would say that smokers should not be scared by what they’re seeing, and that e-cigarettes should still be used instead of cigarettes if they’ve already switched.”

Addressing the alarm in the US surrounding vaping, Dr Abrams said, “I think there is legitimate concern that teens are using them at much higher rates, and there is a concern about nicotine and nicotine addiction, even though nicotine itself doesn’t cause the cancer, lung disease or heart ailments that cigarettes do. It’s the smoke and carbon monoxide. And there is a concern that teens who use it [e-cigarettes] might get addicted and go on to cigarette smoking, but the evidence doesn’t really support that at the level that we ought to panic about it.”

“If we lose this opportunity, I think we would have blown the single biggest public health opportunity we’ve ever had in 120 years”

Many opponents to vaping argue that as the long-term effects of e-cigarettes are not yet known, they should not be considered safe. “And that’s true that we don’t know the long-term risks or benefits, and we won’t for fifty years,” responded Dr Abrams. “But we know enough now from the science of the biomarkers of harm, especially cancer, that show us that there are so few of those chemicals and at such low levels, that e-cigarettes are biologically much less harmful in term of exposures. They’re not harmless, but they are dramatically less harmful. “

Public health would benefit dramatically if everybody switched to e-cigarettes, he said, and if society made cigarettes obsolete. “That would also solve the teen problem because we wouldn’t be afraid of the ‘gateway to cigarettes’ if nobody wanted cigarettes anymore.”

Over a century ago, the most disruptive technology to health to emerge was the industrial cigarette rolling machine, explained Dr Abrams. “It literally caused this epidemic of lung cancer and other diseases, and now we have an opportunity, 120 years later, to get rid of the cigarette with a new technology that delivers nicotine in a very satisfying way without the major harms of burning tobacco.

“If we lose this opportunity, I think we would have blown the single biggest public health opportunity we’ve ever had in 120 years.”

Dispelling Vaping Myths

Dispelling Vaping Myths

For a practice which has been proven to be 95% safer than smoking traditional tobacco, you would think that the scaremongering myths surrounding vaping would be significantly less.  

And yet, even now years after the introduction of e-cigarettes, there still exists a plethora of inaccuracies and misinformation which continue to crop up in conversation whenever the topic of e-cigarettes is visited.  

We’re here to dispel some of those myths and provide you with nothing more than the simple, honest facts. Armed with this information, you can make your own decision as to whether or not vaping is the right option for you.  

Myth 1 “E-Liquids Contain Anti-Freeze”  

This myth was probably born of the fact that e-liquids contain Propylene Glycol: a completely safe and non-toxic substance commonly used in food and cosmetic products. Propylene Glycol is indeed used in anti-freeze, but only to reduce the overall harm caused by ingesting the anti-freeze itself.  

Myth 2 “E-Cigarettes are Dangerous and Will Explode During Use or Travel”  

We’re all familiar with the sensationalised headlines which read "E-cigarette explodes in man’s pocket causing life-changing injuries!" or something to that effect.  However, articles of this nature rarely contain the important facts related to the story, such as mentioning the specific type of e-cigarette device, the place of purchase and the method of charging. All of these factors are crucial in ensuring the safety of e-cigarette use, as products should only be purchased from reputable manufactures and used, charged and stored exactly as instructed. As with all electrical items, failure to comply with the correct safety measures could compromise the safety of the device and lead to some sort of malfunction.  

However, all e-cig devices sold from reliable companies like Vapouriz are equipped with safety protection features which stop the device from overheating or accidentally firing.  It is only unregulated mods (aimed at experienced vapers with a knowledge of battery safety, Ohms Law and DIY coil building) which do not contain protection features, and as such these devices should not be used by anyone who is new to the practice of vaping. 

Myth 3 “Vaping Causes Popcorn Lung”  

This myth has been making the rounds for quite some time now, despite numerous credible sources completely debunking the theory.  

The rumour probably began when factory workers reported experiencing an ailment known as popcorn lung (a bronchial condition which causes coughing and shortness of breath) when exposed to high levels of diacetyl. Because some e-liquids contain diacetyl, the assumption was made that vaping e-liquids could also lead to the affliction. However, very few e-liquids actually use diacetyl and those that do contain far too small of an amount to cause any harm. It should also be noted that traditional tobacco cigarettes also contain diacetyl in significantly higher amounts than what is present in e-liquids.  

Myth 4 “E-Cigarettes Are Just As Harmful As Tobacco Cigarettes”  

Its certainly no myth that traditional tobacco cigarettes are packed with a multitude of nasty additives and potentially lethal chemicals.  

These chemicals derive from different sources along the journey of tobacco manufacture, from the soil to the act of burning the cigarette. There are as many as five-thousand chemicals present in cigarettes and the smoke which is produced from burning them, including (but not at all limited to) ammonia, arsenic, butane, carbon monoxide, methanol and tar.  

E-liquids on the other hand are made up of a simple blend of Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerine, flavourings and nicotine – all of which are safe, non-toxic and free from harmful chemicals and carcinogens.  

Although addictive, nicotine itself isn’t detrimental to health. That’s why nicotine-containing e-liquids are a great option for satisfying your cravings without exposing yourself to the cocktail of harmful additives found in tobacco.  

Myth 5 “Vaping Leads to Smoking” 

Public Heath England have long been advocating the benefits of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid, but a recent study carried out by the organisation stated that there wasno evidence so far to support the concern that e-cigarettes are a route into smoking among young people.”  

Another study published to the US National Library of Medicine found that “most e-cigarette experimentation does not turn into regular use, and levels of regular use in young people who have never smoked remain very low. 

Myth 6 “E-Cigarettes And E-Liquids Are Deliberately Targeted At Teens” 

Young people will always gravitate towards what they consider new and exciting, just as they have done for generations with tobacco cigarettes.  

However, it is important to remember that vaping was developed exclusively as a means of smoking cessation, to help people who already smoke kick the habit successfully and safely. That’s why e-cigarettes and e-liquids are strictly sold to over 18's only, to ensure that young people – especially young non-smokers - are not enticed to take up vaping.   

Sources

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review 

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-truths-you-need-to-know-about-vaping  

https://ascpjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1940-0640-8-5 

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/20/clearing-up-some-myths-around-e-cigarettes/  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28850065 

Vaping News Roundup October 2017

Vaping News

As more people embrace vaping and understand the positive benefits of e-cigarettes, vaping is slowly getting more positive recognition in the news.

Today we're rounding up some of the most interesting recent stories that have made headlines around the country.

Stoptober backs e-cigs for the first time

Vaping and e-cigarettes have been big news in recent weeks as Stoptober, the annual campaign to help people quit smoking, has backed e-cigarettes for the first time. This article from the BBC explains that vaping is being seen as the key to getting people to quit cigarettes for good. During the month of October vaping will feature in TV adverts across England for the first time.

The reason for this change Is simple: last year, e-cigarettes were the most effective tool to help people quit. 53% of people taking part in Stoptober last year used e-cigarettes to help them give up smoking. Since the campaign launched in 2012, over 1.5 million people have taken part.

Is scaremongering hampering research opportunities into e-cigarettes?

Prejudice and misinformation has stopped e-cigarettes and vaping from being more widely adopted and supported in the science and medical community, and this report from the Guardian highlights how disagreement between scientists over the effects of e-cigarettes is preventing other meaningful research studies from taking place.

The issue has divided the health community and much of the resistance is based on the belief that vaping and e-cigarettes will be used as a 'gateway' to smoking cigarettes. However, a number of recently published studies actually point to the opposite, and Public Health England has recently reported that e-cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking.

The switch from smoking to vaping could save millions

A report published on WebMD says millions of cigarette smokers could live substantially longer if they embraced vaping and e-cigarettes as a replacement to tobacco over the next decade.

The study from cancer researchers at Georgetown University in Washington D.C says 6.6 million cigarette smokers could live a combined 86.7 million more years if they were encouraged to swap from cigarettes to e-cigarettes.

Health officials clash over e-cigarette safety

The Sun is reporting that public health officials are disagreeing about the safety of e-cigarettes. Despite the high-profile Stoptober campaign, officials from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence are refusing to officially endorse vaping, though doctors have been informed patients should be told that others have found e-cigarettes a useful tool for quitting. Public Health England on the other hand believes e-cigarettes are the key to helping people quit. Professor John Newton said: "The evidence is clear - vaping is much less harmful than smoking, a fraction of the risk."

An etiquette guide to vaping in public

The Evening Standard has published a set of unofficial guidelines to vaping in public. Vaping is relatively new and public policy is still catching up, so there is no set of hard-and-fast rules about where it is and isn't acceptable to vape. Some bars and restaurants allow vaping indoors while others insist e-cigarettes are treated like traditional cigarettes and smoked outside away from the building.

The handy etiquette guide offers tips to help vapers from committing what it calls "serious social faux-pas".

Keep up with the latest vaping news, tips and tricks on the Vapouriz Blog.

Vaping News Round Up

Vaping News Round Up

It’s been a big few weeks for vaping news around the UK, so we thought we’d take a look at some recent big stories about vaping and the e-cigarette industry.

New Regulations

One of the biggest vape news stories just now is that new regulations shortly coming into force around the UK will have an impact on vapers, too. These new rules form part of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) from the EU.

The new TPD rules are part of a wider shake-up of laws regarding both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes. For traditional tobacco smokers, the laws mean that cigarette packs need to now be sold in drab, warning-filled packaging, in minimums of 20 in a pack to make them more expensive to buy. Menthol cigarettes and small packs of rolling tobacco are also being banned from the shelves. This is to stop cigarettes from being ‘appealing’ in both appearance and taste – for instance, menthol can disguise the taste of tobacco in cigarettes and result in people smoking more – and to discourage children and non-smokers from trying cigarettes. The big tobacco companies tried to appeal against the laws, but lost, so the new rules will come into effect on 20 May 2017.

What does this mean for vapers? Included in the new rules are vape specfic restrictions, like:

  • A limit of 10ml on e-liquid refill containers
  • A 2ml limit on tanks
  • Vitamins, colourings and additives (like caffeine) are banned
  • E-cigarettes must have a 'child-resistant' design
  • E-liquid packaging can’t describe taste or smell, but can describe flavouring
  • There must be clear ingredient listings on packaging

Much of this could actually be very good news for vapers, as you’ll be able to see exactly what is in your e-liquids, but a smaller tank size could be a nuisance for some. Find out more about the Tobacco Products Directive vaping laws.

In other vaping news on regulations, Scotland has also passed a new law banning the sale of e-cigarettes to under 18s. This is to stop children from being able to buy products with nicotine in them, and brings Scottish law in line with English law, which put the same ban in place in 2015.

Vaping on the rise

A new study has shown that one smoker switches to vaping every four minutes in Britain, with some 56.7% of smokers making the decision to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes in 2015. It’s also been found that many big cities have a good number of vaping shops – Edinburgh is currently in the lead with 17 vaping outlets, with London and Birmingham at 10 each and Belfast with 8.

One piece of vaping news has suggested that a number of vaping shops have been selling e-cigarettes to non-smokers, which goes against a voluntary code of conduct for the vaping industry. Some non-smokers want to use e-cigarettes in order to try cloud chasing and vaping tricks, but are being sold e-liquids containing nicotine, or are not being asked if they have used e-cigarettes before.

Hot news

Vape Jam was held in London on 7-9 April 2017, giving international e-cigarette and e-liquid suppliers around the world the chance to showcase their wares. Visitors were given a sneak peak at the hottest new flavours soon to be out on the market, as well as cool new kits.

There’s a 21-year-old ‘Vape God’ out there who does tricks so impressive that rapper Drake even flew him out to his LA mansion to get vaping tips from him. Austin Lawrence quit cigarettes in 2014 and turned to e-cigarettes – he now manages a vaping shop, creates amazing vaping videos, and impresses folk around the world with his awesome cloud shapes like triangles, jellyfish and giant Os.

Our final piece of vaping news is that Sheffield Hallam University is looking to recruit over 250 smokers for a three year study which will examine the benefits of using e-cigarettes when you quit smoking.

Vape Jam UK 2017 round-up

Vape Jam UK 2017 round-up

Here's our round-up from Vape Jam UK 2017 at the ExCel in London, which welcomed some of the biggest names in the industry.

2017 marks the third year of Vape Jam, a brilliant showcase of hardware and e-liquid from top quality manufacturers and suppliers from around the world; a truly great experience for the avid vaper at the ExCeL in London, UK.

This year, Vapouriz showcased new Double Drip flavours Lemon Sherbet, Orange Mango Chill, Mango Raspberry Ice Cream, Lemon Tart, Sun Drip and Crystal Mist; a succulent blend of fruity vapes with a hint of summer just in time for the exhibition. The stand also featured brands Pocket Fuel and Pure Evil, sub-brands of the Vapouriz eliquid family for sub-ohm lovers alike.

Check out our round-up video from the show below!

Long term study says e-cigarettes safer than smoking

Long term study says e-cigarettes safer than smoking

A new long-term study says e-cigarettes are less toxic and safer to use than conventional cigarettes.

The research, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, was conducted by Cancer Research UK-funded scientists.

The study showed that people who stopped smoking regular cigarettes in favour of e-cigarettes for at least six months were found to have much lower levels of toxic and cancer causing substances in their body, compared to people who continued to use traditional cigarettes over the course of the same period.

Researchers also studied saliva and urine of long-term e-cigarette and nicotine replacement therapy users for the first time and compared them with smokers to understand the body-level exposure to key chemicals.

Compared side by side, ex-smokers who switched to e-cigarettes had significantly lower levels of carcinogens and toxic chemicals in their body than those who continued smoking tobacco cigarettes.

Those who used e-cigarettes while also continuing to smoke did not show the same marked differences, indicating a complete switch from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes is needed to reduce exposure to toxins.

The report's lead author, Dr. Lion Shahab, said in a Cancer Research UK press release: "Our study adds to existing evidence showing that e-cigarettes and NRT are far safer than smoking, and suggests there is a very low risk associated with their long-term use.

"We've shown that the levels of toxic chemicals in the body from e-cigarettes are considerably lower than suggested in previous studies using simulated experiments. This means some doubts about the safety of e-cigarettes may be wrong.

"Our results also suggest that while e-cigarettes are not only safer, the amount of nicotine they provide is not noticeably different to conventional cigarettes. This can help people to stop smoking altogether by dealing with their cravings in a safer way.

Source: Cancer Research UK

Vaping News Roundup

Vaping News Roundup

While vaping and e-cigs are relatively new compared with other more traditional forms of tobacco, they’ve already made a big impact on the industry - in the UK alone it's estimated 2.8 million adults have made the switch to vaping.

Vaping's huge popularity has helped to put it under the spotlight - stories about e-cigarette legislation, health studies and technology advances are regularly being published all over the world.

If you're curious to know the latest, here's a look at some of the most interesting stories that have made the news the last few months.

E-cigarettes are a cost-effective way to help smokers quit, research shows

Research from Dublin's Health Information and Quality Authority has found e-cigarettes are a cost-effective solution to help people quit smoking when combined with other methods. In Ireland, a third of smokers who are trying to quit use e-cigarettes as an aid to stop smoking. When combined with other strategies including nicotine gum, patches and inhalers, doing so helps to increase the success rate. On their own, e-cigarettes were found to be twice as effective to help quit smoking when compared with no therapy. Read more about the findings of the study at the Huffington Post.

Vaping not a gateway to smoking, study shows

A small study conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University has revealed that current e-cigarette users were no more likely to progress to smoking than young adults who are not using e-cigarettes. The longitudinal study is the first of its kind and could help dispel myths that young adults who use e-cigarettes eventually transition to smoking. You can read more about the study's findings from the American Vaping Association.

Calls for rethink on vaping ban in hospital grounds

The Scotsman has published an article about the campaign to ease restrictions over vaping on hospital grounds and in other public places. Smoking was banned on Scottish hospital grounds in 2015. Public health expert Linda Bauld has argued there's little evidence to support the ban and that it sends the message e-cigarettes are as dangerous as smoking.

Cancer Research UK working to grow the research evidence on e-cigarettes

Though e-cigarette use is on the rise, there's still much we don't understand about the potential benefits and drawbacks. Cancer Research UK is working to help develop better quality studies on e-cigarettes. Together with Public Health England and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies the UK Electronic Cigarette Research Forum has been established. The Forum is to meet several times a year and has also funded a number of studies on e-cigarettes to help build up a more reliable body of information. Read more about their efforts on the Research CRUK blog.

WHO needs better understanding of the evidence on e-cigs say experts

The UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies says a new report from the World Health Organisation fails to evaluate the evidence on e-cigarettes properly and could undermine international efforts to reduce smoking as a result. A group of UK academics have called for a better understanding of e-cigarettes and the potential benefit in how the use of e-cigarettes can help reduce the smoking pandemic. Read the full report on the UKCTAS blog.

E-cigarettes are still found to be safer than smoking

More people than ever believe e-cigarettes to be just as harmful as cigarettes, despite evidence suggesting otherwise. There is strong evidence from a range of studies that vaping is far less risky than smoking cigarettes. The Royal College of General Practitioners has made it clear e-cigarettes should be promoted along with other non-tobacco nicotine products for smokers who are trying to quit. Read more about the efforts to address negative perceptions at The Guardian.

Can Synthetic Nicotine Defeat TPD Regulations?

Can Synthetic Nicotine Defeat TPD Regulations?

A new form of synthetic nicotine which copies the cell structure of tobacco placed nicotine has sparked an interesting debate over whether it should fall under vaping industry regulations. In this article, we explore both sides of the argument!

It’s a question commonly asked by so many vapers; why are e-cigarettes classified as tobacco products? The heavy regulations enforced upon the vaping industry under the Tobacco Products Directive are based on the fact the nicotine in nicotine-based e-liquids derives from the tobacco plant, so even though your favourite all day vape doesn’t actually contain tobacco, the nicotine hit that it delivers is still linked to tobacco and every piece of vaping hardware is seen as an accessory for that so-called ‘tobacco product’.

But what if there was a way to enjoy that same nicotine hit from a substance that doesn’t directly derive from the tobacco plant? There is in fact a small handful of companies producing synthetic nicotine, also referred to as ‘tobacco free nicotine’ and this new development in nicotine creation has become the subject of much debate over whether it could skirt TPD regulations in Europe and FDA regulations in the United States due to its tobacco-free origins.

The answer to whether ‘tobacco-free’ nicotine products are covered by regulations is currently uncertain. You could argue that your synthetic nicotine containing e-liquid is technically tobacco free but as a counter argument, regulatory bodies could argue that through scientific process, synthetic nicotine is mimicking that which genuinely derives from tobacco.

Then there’s the complications to consider when making a clear distinction between your ‘nicotine-free’ e-liquid containing synthetic nicotine and the traditional e-liquid containing real nicotine that many of your customer base may still prefer to the synthetic option. You might have to go as far as changing your packaging and perhaps even your branding to make a clear distinction between the two different products with a lot of cost involved in splitting your product line in two to skirt regulations with a product your customer base may not take to.

It's more than the likely that, if forced to make a decision over tobacco-free nicotine products, regulatory bodies would extend the reach of their regulations to cover those products. This is especially obvious when we you consider that vaping hardware is covered by regulations by association with the nicotine-containing e-liquid (yet potatoes, which contain small amounts of nicotine, are not).

You could also run into trouble when getting your products chemically tested. Through chemical analysis, your synthetic nicotine e-liquid would be so close to your nicotine-based e-liquid, give or take a few small impurities, it would be difficult to prove that one product differs from the other.

Although synthetic nicotine is far less prone to impurities and has a cleaner flavour with barely any smell or taste of nicotine in the e-liquid, it’s not yet reached a point where it’s cost-effective which brings into question whether it’s really a viable option for intendent e-liquid manufacturers hoping to find their way around regulations. Of course, with a cleaner flavour, there is far less need for other ingredients required to create a pleasant flavour, however, synthetic nicotine is not easy to obtain as there are so few companies producing it. Longer, more labour intensive production processes and the requirement for expensive raw materials all add to the cost. In fact, synthetic nicotine is currently around 13 times more expensive than normal nicotine!

What are your thoughts on using synthetic nicotine? Let us know in the comments section below!

E-Cig Policy: Cancer Research UK vs US Surgeon General!

E-Cig Policy: Cancer Research UK vs US Surgeon General!

A study by the US Surgeon General raises fresh concerns about vaping but Cancer Research UK have raised their own concerns about the study itself, calling into question the points that it raises!

A damaging report into vaping by US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy has been intercepted by Cancer Research UK, arguing that the report doesn’t tally up with UK evidence on the effects of vaping. Calling the arguments of the report into question, Cancer Research UK released a counter statement on their science blog highlighting the fact that the Surgeon General can’t distinguish between vaping products and products that contain tobacco.

The Surgeon General is the United States’ leading spokesperson on matters of public health and in the report published last week, Surgeon General Doctor Murthy claims that e-cigarette use among youth and young adults is a major public health concern. However, the statement which is packed full of misleading quotes such as ‘These products are now the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth’ is flawed in its understanding of the products in question.

One of the most obvious differences between e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes is the fact that e-cigs do not contain tobacco. For those who are not fully clued up on e-cigs, the e-liquid which the device heats up to produce the vapour that you inhale does contain nicotine, although nicotine-free liquids are widely available and there are various strengths of nicotine available depending on how many cigarettes you’re used to smoking each day. Under European legislation, e-cigs are classified as a tobacco product here in the UK due to the nicotine content of the liquid, despite containing no tobacco whatsoever. However, e-cigarettes are recognised as a safer alternative to smoking by many public health bodies including Public Health England who say that e-cigs are at least 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

In Cancer Research UK’s counter statement released on December 9th the organisation tackles the US report’s misleading stance on the danger of nicotine stating that ‘although nicotine is addictive and has some known harms, it doesn’t cause smoking-related diseases, such as cancer and heart disease’. Cancer Research UK also debunk the myth that it is possible to overdose on nicotine, reminding nicotine users that ‘you are in no danger of poisoning yourself, nor have there been any cases of overdose from inhaling the nicotine-containing fluid that an e-cigarette vaporises, known as e-liquid’.

Not only have Cancer Research UK condemned the US report over its damaging misrepresentation of e-cigarettes as a tobacco-based product, the organisation has placed much emphasis on the contrasting consensus held by UK based health professionals in addition to highlighting the e-cig industry’s key role in harm reduction – a public health policy aiming to diminish the impact on the health of individuals using items containing harmful substances.

Cancer Research UK outlined the e-cigarette industry’s contribution to harm reduction by drawing parallels with other innovations that have led to huge reductions in harm to the general public, stating that ‘condoms don’t completely eliminate the risk of sexually transmitted infections, but they reduce the risk of contracting one by about 99%. Same goes for seatbelts and airbags in car accidents’.

The Surgeon General’s report claims that the US has seen a rapid increase in the amount of middle school and high school students using e-cigarettes but the figures here in the UK are quite the opposite. Cancer Research UK state that ‘Smoking among young people is at an all-time low, and continues to go down. And surveys across the UK last year found that young people who hadn’t smoked weren’t becoming regular users of e-cigarettes’.

Cancer Research UK cite that controversy has arisen from the fact that while e-cigarettes are no more than a preferred smoking cessation for many, they’ve become a lifestyle choice for many others with a whole sub-culture evolving from the sub-ohm vaping scene and there. Concern has been expressed over teens becoming attracted to this sub-culture, however, the sub-ohm subculture has been established for a few years now and the evidence previously mentioned does suggest that e-cig use is extremely rare among young non-smokers.

Cancer Research UK are among 13 UK public health bodies who recently released a joint statement agreeing that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking and that there should be greater public awareness of the e-cigarette’s effectiveness as a smoking cessation method. The list of signatories includes Public Health England, Action on Smoking and Health, Association of Directors of Public Health, British Lung Foundation and Cancer Research UK.