e-Cigarette News Update 12/9/11: The Jig is Up!

Welcome, you’ve made it to another week and another e-cigarette news roundup! We have a few different e-cigarette stories here.  An overwhelming portion of the stories, however, seem to be folks who have taken offense to e-cigarette bans.  Notably, these aren’t sites from the vaping community, but rather general sites who don’t normally report on the devices.  So, kick back, enjoy your Friday, and read all the e-cigarette news that fits.

Greek Tragedy
It’s a sad day in Greece.  According to a report on keep talking Greece, the country has up and banned e-cigarettes.  The country’s health ministry apparently made up a whole bunch of stuff and said those made e-cigarettes dangerous to humans.

Greece will ban the selling of “electronic cigarettes” as the National Organication for Medicines (EOF) came to the conclusion that the E-cigarette is harmful to the human body due to substances like drops of nicotine, lugid ingredients and essential oils. The EOF proposed the prohibition of both the sale and the use of e-cigarettes in Greece and the Health Ministry announced that strict controls will start next week.

Let’s see here, nicotine: well duh! Lugid ingredients: that might be a translation problem, so dunno. and essential oils: umm.. double huh?  Flavorings maybe? Maybe another translation issue, but most DIYers will tell you essential oils will mess up an atomizer quick.  Oh, did I mention Greece is also sharply raising cigarette taxes?  I’m sure that’s totally unrelated.

e-Cigarettes Featured on Popular UK TV

UK e-cigarette vendor SKYCIG recently issued a press release touting the brand’s appearance on a TV show.  The company’s e-cigs were featured in the season finale of the show “Made in Chelsea” The show is sort of the equivalent to the US’s Real Housewives of… series of reality shows.

Electronic cigarettes are all the rage right now as a host of British celebs are lining up to try new SKYCIG. A recent hit with the cast of E4’s primetime reality show Made In Chelsea, Gabriella Ellis was seen smoking the favoured e-cig brand during the explosive season finale. SKYCIG’s unique blue tip end, lit up the party at Francis Boulle’s and Mark-Francis Vandelli’s joint 20th birthday.

Having no real clue about UK TV, I haven’t seen the show.  So I have no idea if this is roughly the equivalent of the e-cigarette using psychic that showed up in the US equivalent of the UK show.  Either way, as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Buy Low, Sell High
Investment blog Seeking Alpha published a post analyzing electronic cigarettes and the potential threat they pose to traditional tobacco companies.  The author looks at e-cigarettes current advantages in price and not killing consumers as potential risks to the cigarette companies.

The e-cigarette’s advantages, together with it making it so easy to cease smoking regular cigarettes (or “analogs”, as vapers usually say), is naturally leading to strong growth in what is, right now, a widely dispersed industry that gets most of its devices from China, with the e-liquids being sourced both domestically and from foreign suppliers

The analysis seems pretty spot on, and it’s something long-time vapers have felt for quite a while.  I think what will determine if this comes to fruition is how e-cigarettes fare in the upcoming months and years in the face of potential regulation by the FDA.  Let’s hear your thoughts on how the e-cigarette vs tobacco battle will play out in the comments.

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Johnson Creek to Enter Hardware Business?

e-Liquid producer Johnson Creek created quite a stir when they posted an announcement about hardware on their Facebook page.  Apparently the company has been mulling the idea for quite some time.  They say that they are looking for a way to deliver hardware that works better than a lot of the gear currently on the market.

Make your e-cigarette a classic, with Johnson Creek.From our VP of Product Development, Bob Kieckbusch: “… when setting out to develop an e-cig we didn’t want to simply contact some factory in China to provide us with low cost hardware, slap our name on it and make some quick cash. We wanted to improve our customer’s enjoyment and develop a product that would compliment our core business. Johnson Creek has put a lot of time, money and resources into developing an e-cig designed around our smoke juices, that would enhance our already world class products. Our development team looked at the type of heating element, the surface area of the heating element, the flash points of our flavors, vapor temperature, wattage, voltage, resistance, type of fill material, density of fill material, air flow, ease of fill/refill, fill volume, ease of charging, battery life, size of the unit, weight of the unit, etc. We insisted on nothing short of an e-cig that would increase the flavor, throat hit, vapor and enhance the overall vaping experience. We left no stone unturned. Although it didn’t happen quickly, we feel our customers will agree that it was well worth the wait…”

No further details were given.  It’s hard to say if this will be some novel new type of hardware, or if it will end up being some sort of (hopefully) decent performance existing product rebranded or tweaked for JCOSJ.  No timeline was given.  I will try my best to get a hold of one of these devices when it hits the market and give my opinion on it.

Prohibitionists all About Control

Political blog Spiked published an article analyzing the recent Boston e-cigarette ban. The article goes through Boston’s long, rich history of cigarette bans.  When it comes to the e-cigarette ban, Boston uses the same arguments but doesn’t back it up with actual detail.  The author notes that the prime reason behind the ban is because e-cigarettes look like regular cigarettes.

Image: Spiked

Most of these restrictions on tobacco sales and smoking in public places have been backed up by studies claiming that the dangers of secondhand smoke justify intervention. But when it comes to the new e-cigarette rules, Boston authorities are barely even bothering to back up their decisions with scientific evidence.

The author concludes that this ban appears to be all about controlling people and how they act more than trying to reduce public health hazards.  When pressed, even the people behind the Boston ban admit the problem is more of a superficial appearance issue than a second hand toxin concern.

More Hate for e-Cigarette Bans
Blasting the latest e-cigarette ban seems to be a popular topic among political pundits in the blogosphere. Policy Mic also put out an article blasting the Boston ban and other recent bans of the devices.  Basically, the same subject keeps coming up, the lack of scientific evidence showing that e-cigarettes are anything but helpful.

You’d think smart people using authoritative language would have evidence to back up their claims, but they don’t in this case. E-cigs do indeed deliver nicotine, but without the cornucopia of chemicals contained in traditional cigarettes, nicotine isn’t the monster it’s made out to be. Yes, as Johnson claims, it is toxic. But overdose through cigarette smoke is unlikely, according to the University of Utah’s genetics department. An e-cig user would need multiple nicotine sources to do any serious harm to their health in this regard.

I sense a theme here.  It seems like the dirty little secret the prohibitionists have been hiding is out.  They need to start backing up their sweeping claims.  For too long the burden has been on e-cigarette companies (often tiny businesses) to prove these devices are safe.  Let’s look at it another way.  If we were to use the anti-smokers’ logic, anything at all should be vetted completely before being put on the market.  So before  the local Pizza joint can start making pies with bigger pepperoni, they’d need 3 years of clinical trials to prove the meat is safe.

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And Another One
Science 2.0 has also chimed in on the latest events.  In an article posted Thursday, the central question once again is raised about these attacks on e-cigarettes being about safety or about culture.  And yet another publication that is not directly related to the e-cigarette industry puts forth that these bans have no real scientific basis behind them.

If you have a risk factor for lung cancer, smoking is going to make it worse. Sure, if you have a [risk] factor you may get lung cancer whether you smoke or not and 90% of smokers will never get lung cancer, but the multi-billion dollar marketing campaign against smoking doesn’t like to engage in science or fact – yet an “e-cigarette” would seem to be a happy medium for everyone, right? They mimic mimic the look, feel and taste of traditional cigarettes, and deliver the dose of nicotine a smoker craves without most of the 10,000 chemicals in cigarettes. That has to be better, for people who just will not quit.

I’m sort of running out of things to say at this point.  Three different blogs with different focuses all saying roughly the same thing.  It makes me wonder, have the prohibitionists finally gotten caught overstepping their mission?

Is Nicotine Poisoning Likely?

Australian e-cigarette blog Smokescreen.info posted a great article on nicotine and the possibility of accidental ingestion.  The article looks at the argument often raised by prohibitionists concerned over children getting their hands on nicotine.  Based on existing data, traditional NRTs pose a greater risk of accidental ingestion.

In the 5 years that e-cigs have been available on the American market not a single case of overdose or injury has been reported. These products have been on the Australian market for around 3-4 years, and again, not a single reported incident. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for approved NRT methods.

For some reason, none of the same people so freaked out about e-liquid seem to have any bit of concern for kids getting a hold of nicotine gum or patches. Poisonings from any nicotine source tend to be rare.  If some groups are still so concerned, why aren’t they screaming to get anything with nicotine in it off the market?

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Deal of the Moment
Vapor Alley is running a Christmas sale.  You can find a lot of discounts on items to put in your stocking from simple cartomizers to very reasonably priced starter kits (PCC KR808 kit for %12.99 anyone?).  Visit Vapor Alley and hit the Christmas Specials section.  If you need help picking something, there’s always my e-cig holiday buying guide as well!

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Disclosure: I feature affiliate links and banners for Johnson Creek Original Smoke Juice

Title Image: worradmu / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Steve K

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