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Vape for Thought

Latest news, updates and opinions regarding the on-going electronic cigarette debate.

  • Proposed E-Cig Regulations in WA

    March has been a strange month for vapers in Washington State, with all of us on tenterhooks awaiting the news on the many proposed e-cig regulations. Although the worst of it is now over, there's still a new bill in the works that you need to know about, and there's a lot of work to be done to help protect our health.

    Around the middle of March, CASAA posted a call to action to help prevent the multiple bills that would have:

    • Banned online sales
    • Banned flavored e-liquid
    • Added a 95% tax to all vaping products
    • Impose labeling requirements
    • Require name and address registration of all purchasers of e-cig and e-liquid products

    As Michael Siegel has noted, this legislation would have constituted the strictest regulations in the country. Thanks in part to Rep. Chris Hurst, this bill did not pass.

    HOWEVER, a new bill -  HB 2211 was recently introduced, and it will be heard in the House Committee on Finance this Friday, April 3, 2015. HB 2211 would:

    • Introduce a 60% tax on all vaping products
    • Require the recording of the name and address of all purchasers
    • Require the licensing of all e-cig/e-liquid manufacturers, wholesalers, and vendors

    Bill HB 2211 is nearly as regressive as the bills that failed. Thankfully, it is not yet in danger of passing.

    EcigExpress opposes this bill on account of its requirement that personal details of all purchasers of vaping products be recorded. Cigarette purchases are not recorded in this way, nor alcohol, nor most other dangerous substances. Why Governor Inslee believes that vapers must be monitored to this degree is unknown to us, but it puts an undue burden on both vapor merchants and the law enforcement agencies charged with enforcement.

    For more information, including potential lobbying calls for action, please keep track of developments related to bill HB 2211 at http://casaa.org/.

    Discussion and breaking news about many vaping-related issues can be found at E-Cigarette Forum.

    Together, we can help resist this regressive bill. Write to Rep. Hurst to thank him for his evidence-based lawmaking, and contact your local representative to express your concern over a bill that seems to prefer that residents of Washington State smoke themselves to death with tobacco rather than live longer, healthier lives while vaping.

  • The Flavor Journey of Immortal Fog

     

    Last time I wrote about Immortal Fog, I explained the rationale and concept behind our new line of delicious premium e-liquid. Now, it's time to introduce the six exciting flavors that we're releasing tomorrow.

    The flavors we developed for Immortal Fog were conceived with the idea of a journey in mind. The more you vape, the further away you get from analog cigarettes and their harmful, carcinogenic, toxins. Each flavor of Immortal Fog, therefore, is meant to have special significance for different stages on your journey of vaping.

    Immortal Fog - The Beast

    The reason most first-time vapers use cig-alike vaporizers and try tobacco flavors is because they are the most familiar. It's really easy to get in to vaping when you start with a predictable flavor because as a device, an electronic cigarette is already strange enough at first. This led us to develop The Beast. With its realistic tobacco flavor, aroma, and aftertaste, The Beast may well be the most realistic tobacco flavor on the market today. The familiarity of this e-liquid makes it harder to backslide to traditional cigarettes.

    Immortal Fog - Awakening

    Over the course of our five years of retail experience with electronic cigarettes and e-liquids, we have learned that the vaping bug catches easily, and that most vapers begin to expand their horizons by experimenting with new flavors to use in their e-cigs. Awakening is meant to reflect this aspect of a vaper's journey. With its simple, yet strangely compelling sweet flavor, Awakening is the perfect introduction to the limitless delicious possibilities that help vaping stand out from smoking.

    Immortal Fog - Avalon

    Once vapers begin to get used to how sweet-flavored e-liquids not only help make vaping fun, but also more enjoyable, they often enjoy trying a variety of predictable flavors to see how the taste compares to the real thing. In a lot of ways, this is one of the best things about vaping, in the sense that there are so many e-liquids, and so many possibilities, that the extent of your enjoyment can seem limitless. With Avalon, we wanted to make sure that our customers would have a great opportunity to try a familiar taste - Strawberry Lemonade - using our own recipe. We wanted the flavor of this e-juice to be familiar, but not overwhelming, and we think we've done an excellent job with the recipe.

    Immortal Fog - Legendary

    By starting our more familiar flavors with a mild one, of course we felt we also had to try our hand at a stronger one. Enter Legendary, with its unique candied peach flavor. With Legendary, it was important that we truly satisfied everybody's sweet tooth, because we have already been gesturing towards the satisfaction of sweet e-liquid flavors with Awakening and Avalon. We hope you agree that Legendary is the perfect flavor for vapers who want to truly explore the potential of richly flavored e-liquids. It helps that this flavor produces a really great lasting aroma.

    Immortal Fog - Ascension

    For a lot of people who really get into electronic cigarettes, one of the pleasures of the hobby is the tech. Whether we're talking about variable voltage or variable wattage batteries, adjustable airflow cartomizers, or even wholly mechanical MODs and rebuildable dripping atomizers, we all love playing with the newest gadgets. If you count yourself among this group, Ascension may well be the flavor for you! With its unique earthy flavor and its rich combination of taste and aroma notes, you'll enjoy tinkering with your e-cig and your heat settings to get the perfect puff from this dessert e-juice, and that's exactly why we think you'll love it.

    Immortal Fog - Infinite Bliss

    Whether you're a straightforward vaper, a tinkerer, or just someone who loves e-liquid in general, we had to get really creative with our "ultimate" flavor. What, after all, can you give for the person who has everything? Well, with Infinite Bliss, that's exactly what we give you: everything! The flavor notes in Infinite Bliss run all across the fruit spectrum, so whether you're just starting out and want some variety in your flavoring, or you're super-advanced and love to tinker with your settings, we've designed this e-liquid flavor to reward your curiosity and good taste. Infinite Bliss will surprise you with its depth.

    So, there you have it: six flavors for everybody, but with the idea of a journey in mind, too! We've spent a long time developing Immortal Fog for you to enjoy, and we hope you'll spend an even longer time enjoying it. No matter where you are in *your* vaping journey, we hope that you'll stay the course, and we've developed Immortal Fog to help you out, every puff along the way.

  • All about Immortal Fog

    Immortal Fog, ecigExpress' all-new premium e-liquid line is touching down in just over three days' time, and you might be asking yourself what's up with the name. Immortal Fog was formulated with two goals in mind. First, it's a line of delicious e-liquid that's sure to appeal to every vaper, and secondly, it's the answer to two of the most important questions about vaping: "why should I vape," and "what do I vape." We'll be discussing the flavors in more detail later this week, so here's why those questions are important.

    Immortal Fog Immortal Fog Logo

     

    The two key concepts behind some of the language we use to describe Immortal Fog are "lifetime" and "journey." The concept of life is very important to us here at ecigExpress because our business began with a respiratory therapist's frustration in watching the negative effects of long-term smoking on his patients' health.

    We wanted to key into this concept because electronic cigarettes are known to help smokers reduce their smoking, or even to quit altogether. The American Heart Association confirms that E-liquids are a safer alternative to nicotine and can help reduce the risk of respiratory illness. In short: if you're a smoker, switching to vaping is going to lengthen your life and improve its quality.

    Immortal Fog Labels Immortal Fog Labels

     

    Well, if vaping's going to help imrpove your quality of life, then what did we mean when I said that Immortal Fog was also about the idea of a journey? Above, you can see the image label for our flavor Infinite Bliss, Immortal Fog is meant to take care of you for every step in your vaping journey.

    Consequently, although we encourage you to try each of our delicious flavors, we very carefully considered how each of them can help you stay away from analogue cigarettes. Thus, The Beast is is an excellent flavor for vapers who are beginning their transition away from traditional cigarettes, Awakening's simple sweetness and uncomplicated flavor profile make it ideal for vapers who are starting to get used to sweet e-liquid flavors, and different flavor notes in Ascension and Infinite Bliss come out at different voltage settings on your electronic cigarette.

    With Immortal Fog, we want to support your journey into vaping every step of the way. With Immortal Fog, we wish you the best, and we hope you'll love our flavors as much as we do.

    Immortal Fog will be available at ecigExpress retail and online stores, as well as at other participating retail locations, on Friday, March 6, 2015.

  • E-Cig Regulations: Unsupported Statements Accepted as Truth

    Hey everybody! We've been really busy over here at ecigExpress updating the website and preparing ourselves for the launch of a very exciting line of ALL NEW premium e-liquid: Immortal Fog. While we wait for the good stuff to come down the pipes, I thought it would be worth taking a moment to step back and remind ourselves why vaping is awesome.

    Lately, there has been a lot of news about states and cities attempting to ban, restrict, and tax electronic cigarettes as though they were the same as analog cigarettes. Obviously, that isn't the case.

    Sadly, what is the case is that public health organizations, academic researchers, and others, seem to be forced to act this way. In the UK's Spectator, former WHO Tobacco Control chief Derek Yack has recently discussed what he calls the toxic legacy of tobacco, noting that even though electronic cigarettes save lives by helping 38% of users stop smoking entirely, while over-the-counter Nicotine Replacement Therapy (like the patch) has only a 5% success rate.

    As Damian Thompson's blog post about this article reminds us, Yack is in agreement with the Royal College of Physicians in saying that "‘Switching completely from tobacco to e-cigarettes achieves much the same in health terms as does quitting smoking and all nicotine use completely." However, too many medical professionals endorse the view that vaping is somehow harmful, and it is these unsupported statements that all too often get accepted as truth.

    In the US context, Brad Rodu has recently challenged us to look at the NIH funding data to figure out why tobacco harm reduction research is so regularly stifled. As it turns out, that's because the NIH won't fund it. Moreover, the same academic critics who argue against tobacco harm reduction are likely doing so in order to keep their grants.

    On the federal level, it's easy to see where things have gone insane. As Gilbert Ross tells us in his blog post The Madness of the War on E-Cigs, it's actually the Center for Disease Control that's the most extreme advocate against them, more so than even the FDA, whose mandate it is to regulate them. And, of course, we have to think about all of those large pharmaceutical companies who stand to benefit from the marketing and sale of ineffective NRT products.

    As we move forward in vaping, developing ever more sophisticated e-liquids and hardware, we should always remember that we're doing the right thing, and we're doing it ahead of the curve. Just remember, it's smoking that kills, not nicotine.

    Happy Vaping!

  • FDA Urged to Grandfather Recent E-Cigs

    Some of you may have seen CASAA's recent blog post, in which they break the news that Reps.  John Boehner (House Speaker), Kevin McCarthy (House Majority Leader), and Fred Upton (Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee) co-signed a letter to the  FDA , urging them to reconsider the draconian grandfather date in their regressive and misguided proposed anti-e-cig legislation for electronic cigarette hardware.

    This is good news! As we have  been saying  for a long time, enacting a band on e-cig hardware produced after 2007 is tantamount to banning electronic cigarettes entirely - a move that would harm public health while stuffing money down tobacco companies' trousers.

    For those of you who have read it, CASAA's blog post seem over-critical, suggesting that this is an effective short-term solution, but not an effective long-term plan. By and large, CASAA's assessment is correct, and when their action plan is released, we encourage you to follow it.

    However, it is worth mentioning that based on our reading of the FDA's proposed legislation, the new proposed grandfather date of April 2014 would only barely stifle the market. All of the hardware and e-liquids that we have come to know and love would still remain available, and we would be able to continue vaping in confidence, knowing that some of the most time-tested e-cig parts would still be available.

    As usual, it's the little things that help us through. And if you decide to buy someone a starter kit for Christmas, you know they'll be able to keep using it!

  • Youth Smoking Down: Go E-Cigs!

    According to a study released yesterday by the CDC, middle- and high school student smoking rates have continued to decrease. Among high school students, the smoking rate has dropped from 15.8% to 12.7%. This is excellent news. As smoking rates continue to drop among children, we can expect that they will live longer, healthier lives as they grow up.

    However, the CDC also reports that the use of electronic cigarettes among high school aged youth has increased from 1.5% to 4.5%. CDC Director Thomas Frieden has stated that "kids are starting out with e-cigarettes and then going on to smoke conventional cigarettes." This argument is doubtful.

    As Michael Siegel has pointed out on his blog post about this news, the CDC "has not identified a single youth who started with electronic cigarettes and then progressed to cigarette smoking." Why, then, are we getting two stories from the CDC?

    Given that knee-jerk reactions to any kind of tobacco use are part-and-parcel of the crusade against electronic cigarettes, it seems as there is no good reason for a science and health organization such as the Center for Disease Control to say that children are being lured to smoking via electronic cigarettes. Here's why:

    Anybody who has tried both traditional and electronic cigarettes know that the sensation of smoking them is nothing alike.

    Just because cigarettes are known to be the source of health problems does not mean that electronic cigarettes are, too.

    The center for disease control's mandate is not the reduction of smoking - that would more properly fall under the domain of the FDA or the ATF.

    So, the deal here seems to be that the CDC, or at least its director, wants to be visibly seen to be standing on what he wrongly perceives to the the "right" side of the public debate about e-cigs - the side that stands against them. Shame on you, Mr. Frieden, for working to prevent people from quitting smoking. Public health is about saving lives, not about political theater.

  • 3 Things Vapers Should Know Before Elections

    With election season coming up soon and the FDA (and its allies) continuing to put pressure on vapers, there’s more and more to think about in the world of electronic cigarettes. Here are a few recent noteworthy items:

    1 – Tobacco CEOs are pushing the FDA to Adopt E-Cig Rules Faster

    According to a recent Bloomberg report, the CEOs of Reynolds American and Lorillard are trying to pressure the FDA to speed up its process by “saying the lack of clear rules makes it harder for smokers to switch to the less-hazardous products.”

    Now, broadly speaking, this may well be true. Many of the recent posts here at the Express Blog (and, of course, the common sense of anybody who vapes) have shown how much less hazardous e-cigs are than regular cigarettes. The implications of this pressure, however, are huge. In the E-Cig market, Tobacco companies are largely in the business of selling cig-alike products, which both are more expensive and less effective than personal vaporizers at helping smokers reduce or cease smoking traditional cigarettes. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, but it seems like this pressure may well be more about closing off the market than about protecting consumer health.

    2 – The FDA Jeopardizes Public Health

    Speaking of consumer health, Michael L. Marlow’s recent article in Regulation, “Regulating a Less Unhealthy Cigarette,” stands out on exposing this very basic fact. Beginning with the well-known fact that the FDA does not approve of harm reduction strategies, Marlow suggests that “placing highest priority on reducing risks from combustible tobacco products is a reasonable strategy that the FDA should at least discuss” because “such a model is in line with estimates that up to 98 percent of tobacco-related deaths are attributable to combustible products such as cigarettes, pipes, and cigars.”

    Based on the FDA’s admitted awareness of the impact its proposal will have on tobacco use, Marlow rightly observes that the FDA proposal fails to make a compelling case for restricting e-cigs. Worse yet, Marlow observes that the FDA avoided emphasizing the negative consequences to public health that would be the result of their proposal.

    3 – Think Before Applying Warning Labels

    The American Vaping Association has just responded to a call by Senate Democrats to label e-cigs. According to the AVA, “hastily designed warnings could lead tobacco users to believe that e-cigarettes have similar risk profiles as combustible cigarettes,” which they don’t.

    Why, then, are we seeing so many attempts to restrict vaping before the FDA’s proposed regulations get resolved? As more and more studies are published that demonstrate the effectiveness of e-cigs, the chances are that policymakers are more likely to be acting based on ideology than on reason.

    This year, when election time comes, show your representatives how much vaping matters to you, and tell them what it has done for your health. Let’s make this issue important, because your health is important.

  • FDA Friday, September 26: Time to Fight Back

    Hello everybody! I’m back from a much-needed holiday, ready to bring you more of the latest and greatest news and developments on the vaping front. I hope you’ve all been keeping well.

    This week, it feels like I’ve come back to the computer to find out that the rhetoric on both sides of the current public discussion about the safety and value of e-cigs has escalated radically. Michael Siegel, who is always an insightful commentator on the subject, shortly before castigating a study with weak methodology for suggesting that e-cigs don’t help cancer patients quit smoking, draws our attention to an article published by KCUR in which anti-smoking groups admit that all they care about is money and protecting cigarette sales. This is a great, great article, and one that you owe it to yourself to read.

    In related news, now that he is fed up with writing about the bad science supported by opponents of vaping, Siegel has announced that he is raising funds for proper research on the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes. I’m about to donate some money to this great cause, and you should, too!  Now that the CDC demonstrates glee at the tragic news that fewer smokers are trying to quit, it’s especially timely, too!

    “The CDC is actually stating that the finding that fewer smokers are trying to quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes is a good thing.” – Siegel

    Advocacy analyst Clive Bates suggests discusses what he considers one of the worst papers of all time: a tobacco product risk awareness study that proves that exaggerated risks frighten people. The problem, as Bates puts it, is that by falsely claiming that products such as electronic cigarettes cause mouth cancer, the researchers very likely spread misinformation about a product that has not been proven to cause any kind of cancer at all.

    Better news is KFBB’s Justin Cambell’s report that e-cigs have saved at least one long-term Montana smoker to regain his ability to breathe effortlessly while maintaining his lifestyle. In an interview with vape shop owner Joseph Aluaces, Campbell reports him saying, rightly, that “the reason using patches to quit won’t work is because they don’t address the lifestyle changes of a long time smoker.”

    For those of you wondering what kind of horrible chain of events led to “public health” activists evident disdain for the public, I strongly recommend reading these three lengthy articles by Carl V. Phillips (1, 2, 3), which begins with the bold assertion “Dear public health…you are doing it wrong,” and which includes, among its conclusion, the observation that:

    “THR advocacy in the face of the “public health” establishment is saddled with not just the political burden associated with THR being an “impure” behavior that they hate, but also the entrenched anti-science that public health mis-learned from its origins in clinical medicine.” - Phillips

    To summarize, the language that vaping and THR advocates have begun to use has become increasingly aggressive. Much of this has been in response to language used by “public health” pundits like John Ashton called e-cig supporters “obsessive compulsive abusive Onanists” on Twitter. It is indeed time to fund good science to defend our health.

  • FDA Friday, September 5: Cartoonishly Delinquent

    Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of FDA Fridays. If you haven’t been paying attention, e-cigarette, tobacco harm reduction, and opinions from health officials this week have been completely, staggeringly, and utterly insane. Maybe it’s because it’s back-to-school season?

    The most absurd thing that happened was the publication (and the unjustifiably histrionic press release to go along with it) of an article that, despite its title, in no way suggests that electronic cigarettes are a gateway for cocaine use, of all things. This article isn’t particularly good science in the first place, but what’s worse is that one of its authors, Denise Kandel, is the originator of the deeply flawed “gateway theory” of drug use. In a turn of good news for vapers, CASAA’s press release about this paper was actually read by American journalists, who ultimately reported on this topic with a critical eye, rather than by repeating the content of the press release. These politically convenient distortions cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged. I’m glad this one isn’t.

    In other good news, the journal Addiction published a review of the WHO’s commissioned screed on e-cigarette safety (available for free from the website), showing that the WHO article, as well as the biased review by Grana, Benowitz and Glantz, was alarmist, misleading, and dramatic. Which is good, because it was.

    More about the WHO article, the UK’s Independent reports that Ann McNeil of the National Addiction Centre of King’s College, London, said that “we were surprised by the negativity of the review […] what we do know about [e-cigarettes] is that they are much safer than cigarettes.” This is just a great article, and it’s full of juicy quotes about why vaping is awesome, so you should just go over there and read it.

    More insanity developed stateside recently, as a study on vaping jointly commissioned by both the FDA and CDC decided that for the questions “Do you think you will smoke a cigarette in the next year?” and “If one of your best friends were to offer you a cigarette, would you smoke it?,” “probably not” was tallied as a “positive response.” Surely neither the CDC nor the FDA is reading this, but, seriously, could you be any more cartoonishly delinquent in your responsibility to the public trust?

    Even more insanity: did you know that an article was recently published claiming that third-hand (ie: deposits left on surfaces following use, that would affect a third party) exposure to nicotine is a strong claim against electronic cigarettes? That’s because it isn’t. And yet a poorly-conceived study claiming such a thing somehow made it to press! Even if this was a major concern (it isn’t), this study, in which some public health researchers sprayed some nicotine liquid on surfaces in order to “discover” nicotine on those very same surfaces, claims that it is.

    When stuff like that is the best the anti-vaping zealots can do, it always feels like they’re at their wits’ end. It’s too bad some people take this stuff seriously.

    Thankfully, only part of the world is mad. The American Heart Association, treading a fine line between common sense and the wrong side of the anti-vaping firing squad just came out in favor of electronic cigarettes, stating that vaping is preferable to smoking combustible cigarettes.

    Of course it is. Thanks for noticing.

    That's it for this week! I look forward to your comments!

  • Vape for Thought: Lying about E-Cigarettes

    If you haven’t seen it yet, Carl V. Phillips has been recently been posting his thoughts on the strangeness of the odd use of peer-reviewed journal articles in the field of public health, and in the midst of doing so, rightly criticized the CDC and the FDA for their complicity in the pursuit of junk science and harmful public health policies. You should go and read his posts “What is peer review really” (part 1) and (part 2), followed by CDC refines their lies about kids and e-cigarettes (which contains a copy of the article in question!), his post on the very embarrassing CDC press release, and his post about the FDA’s complicity in the CDC’s lies.

    Briefly, Phillips questions the integrity of the peer review process in academic journals putatively dedicated to the field of public health, with special notes towards the CDC’s claims in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research erroneously reporting that trying e-cigarettes is the same as using them regularly, and argues convincingly that articles published on these topics are rarely, if ever, free from ideological bias.

    What Phillips does not touch on in these excellent posts is why this kind of bad science, and bad scientific reporting, is being promoted. Phillips mentions ANTZ (anti-nicotine/tobacco zealots) as one possible reason. However, it seems to me that any system that rewards lies, improper summaries of facts, incorrect reporting of evidence, and weak analysis of data, can only work to the benefit of those organizations already entrenched within the circles of power: the big tobacco companies.

    Why, exactly, the CDC and the FDA are misleading the public and funneling money into the pockets of organizations which are already that powerful is a mystery yet to be resolved.

    What do you think?

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