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FDA Now Soliciting Public Comments on E-cigarettes!

Posted by on Jan 14, 2013 in e-Cigarette News, eCigs HQ Press Releases, FDA | 1 comment

The FDA is preparing to report to Congress on innovative products and treatments for tobacco dependence. eCigs HQ is urging e-cigarette users to add their voices to the dialogue. The public comment period ends on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LOS ANGELES, CA — January 14th, 2013 – eCigs HQ (http://www.ecigshq.com), a user-centric website featuring unbiased e-cigarette reviews, industry news, coupon codes, special offers and exclusive discounts, is encouraging the general public to join the conversation on electronic smoking products by submitting their comments to the FDA during the soon-to-expire public comment period.

According to the latest information posted to regulations.gov, “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is extending the comment period for the notice of public hearing … FDA requested comments on FDA consideration of applicable approval mechanisms and additional indications for nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), and input on a report to Congress examining the regulation and development of innovative products and treatments for tobacco dependence.”

I cannot stress enough how absolutely crucial it is for smokers who’ve switched to
e-cigarettes to make their voices heard.”

Laura Conzo Brady, e-Cigs HQ Editor

It has been more than three years since the FDA released the results of its e-cigarette study. While the FDA has been thwarted by the courts in its efforts to regulate electronic smoking products as drug-delivery devices, they may soon regulate electronic cigarettes as “tobacco products” under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) of 2009.

“Despite their inability to perform basic functions like passing budgets, Congress is very good at two things – leveling new taxes and imposing new regulations. It is more likely than not that these hearings will result in electronic cigarettes being subjected to both,” said eCigs HQ editor, Anne Metzger.

“The nearly inevitable legislation and regulation that follow these hearings will no doubt shape U.S. policy on electronic smoking products for the foreseeable future,” added eCigs HQ editor, Laura Conzo Brady. She continued, “I cannot stress enough how absolutely crucial it is for smokers who’ve switched to e-cigarettes to make their voices heard. The window of opportunity to make a difference is closing quickly.”

To submit your comments on electronic smoking products to the FDA, please visit: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2012-N-1148-0011
The public comment period ends Wednesday, January 16th, 2013.

About eCigs HQ

Founded in the spring of 2012 by three reformed smokers, eCigs HQ is dedicated to providing real and unbiased reviews of the worst and best electronic cigarettes on the market today. The reviews, special offers, coupon codes, videos, news and rankings presented are all geared towards providing consumers with the information they need to make informed e-cigarette buying decisions while enjoying the lowest possible prices on their purchases. eCigs HQ supports quality testing and standards that ensure consumer safety without impeding the availability of high-quality electronic smoking devices to adults. For additional information visit http://www.ecigshq.com.

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FDA Now Soliciting Public Comments on E-cigarettes!

Posted by on Jan 12, 2013 in e-Cigarette News, FDA | 34 comments

COMPILED BY LAURA CONZO BRADY
Editor, eCigs HQ


FDA Now Soliciting Public Comments on E-cigarettes photo 1.

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Now is the time to make your voice heard!

Public comments accepted only until Wednesday, January 16th, 2013.

The FDA has announced its intention to issue regulations deeming electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to be within the scope and jurisdiction of the FDA under the Tobacco Control Act. These new regulations may very well impact the manner in which electronic cigarettes are sold and may have the effect of making these products more expensive, less accessible, or both.

Please take advantage of the opportunity to have your opinion heard on this issue at your earliest convenience. The time to take action is limited.

The FDA is accepting public submissions from electronic cigarette users via the Internet through next Wednesday (January 16th, 2013).

If e-cigarettes have had a positive impact on your life or someone close to you, we encourage you to share your experience with and support for electronic cigarettes with the FDA urging them not to take any action that would make these products any more difficult and/or expensive to obtain than they currently are.

Please take a moment and follow the link below to have your voice heard on this very important topic.

To submit a comment to the FDA via the Internet:

Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2012-N-1148-0011.

Comments are limited to 2,000 characters. If you would like to make a longer comment, please upload a file to fully share your story and opinion.

Your opinion on this important issue really does matter, and eCigs HQ believes that our voices will be heard.

Thank you in advance for your time, cooperation, and support.

Click here to tell the FDA what you think about e-cigarettes!

Some content for this post provided courtesy of SmokeStik.


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eCigs HQ Publishes New Report: “The FDA’s War on E-cigarettes”

Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in e-Cigarette News, eCigs HQ Press Releases, FDA | Comments Off on eCigs HQ Publishes New Report: “The FDA’s War on E-cigarettes”

As an ever-increasing number of studies conclude that e-cigarettes are no more dangerous than their FDA-approved, big-pharma product counterparts, physicians are beginning to recognize that electronic cigarettes represent our best hope against the scourge of tobacco-related disease. Despite all this, the FDA has failed to alter its outdated and misguided stance against electronic smoking products, further jeopardizing the lives of millions of US smokers.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg illustration.

LOS ANGELES, CA — November 29, 2012 – eCigs HQ (http://www.ecigshq.com), a consumer-centric electronic cigarette review site, has published a new report on the FDA’s ongoing war on e-cigarettes.

The report reviews the most recent scientific findings related to the health effects of electronic cigarettes; the relative safety of these products when compared to tobacco cigarettes; their efficacy as a nicotine replacement therapy; their role in tobacco harm reduction efforts; as well as the differences between e-cigarettes and their tobacco counterparts.

“FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies, such as the patch, inhalers and nicotine gum, have proven largely ineffective, as they fail to address the psychological and tactile aspects of the smoking habit,” said eCigs HQ editor, Laura Conzo Brady. She continued, “Electronic smoking products offer a far more convincing “smoking” experience, making them our best hope against the myriad of the often-lethal diseases associated with tobacco use.”

The report goes on to question why the FDA has failed to embrace the technology as a way to save the lives of millions of addicted US smokers, while it continues to plead ignorance – relying on the same “we just don’t know enough about them” excuse.

FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies, such as the patch, inhalers and nicotine gum, have proven largely ineffective…”

Laura Conzo Brady, e-Cigs HQ Editor

It has been more than three years since the FDA’s produced a single, “small” and “sloppy” study of two electronic cigarette brands. Limited in scope, the study raised as many questions as it answered. The nascent electronic smoking industry has changed much during the ensuing three years. As the lives of millions of Americans hang in the balance, the report concludes that it is time for the FDA took a long, hard second look at e-cigarettes.

To read the complete report, “The FDA’a War on E-cigarettes,” please visit: http://www.ecigshq.com/the-fdas-war-on-e-cigarettes

About eCigs HQ

Founded in the spring of 2012 by three reformed smokers, eCigs HQ is dedicated to providing real and unbiased reviews of the worst and best electronic cigarettes on the market today. The special offers, coupon codes, videos, news, rankings and reviews presented are all geared towards providing consumers with the information they need to make informed e-cigarette buying decisions while enjoying the lowest possible prices on their purchases. eCigs HQ supports quality testing and standards that ensure consumer safety without impeding the availability of high-quality electronic smoking devices to adults. For additional information please visit http://www.ecigshq.com.

The FDA’s War on E-cigarettes (cont.)

Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in e-Cigarette News, FDA | 26 comments

BY LAURA CONZO BRADY
Editor, eCigs HQ

The FDA's War on E-cigarettes, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg illustration.

March of the Wooden Soldiers or The Nutcracker ? Who’s really calling the shots
on e-cigarettes? FDA Commissioner,
Margaret Hamburg.

Continued from previous page.

In the US

When e-cigarettes first became widely available in the US, they quickly caught the public’s imagination. With an ever-growing litany of diseases and conditions being blamed on conventional tobacco use, fewer and fewer venues permitting smoking and a growing public distaste for smoking, any workable alternative was likely to be well-received.

Just like their inventor, many US consumers see e-cigarettes as a means to wean themselves off their tobacco addiction. Nicotine gums and patches, once touted as the ideal solution for those looking to stop smoking, have proven largely ineffective, partly because they don’t offer a replacement for the physical act of smoking. 7 Nicotine inhalers (essentially a mouthpiece that attaches to a plastic nicotine cartridge) have produced a success rate of only 11-13% at 12 months compared to 5–10% for placebo test subjects. 8 While inhalers may be helpful in reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms, they do not create a convincing “smoking” experience, and are therefore of little assistance in overcoming the psychological aspects of tobacco addiction.

For these and other reasons, e-cigarettes, while not commanding the same kind of market share as conventional tobacco products, have enjoyed increasing popularity with more than 1 million current users. 9

Controversy

In July 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration held a press conference to address the growing use of e-cigarettes. The agency made much of “carcinogens” and “toxins” claimed to have been found in the liquid used to create the vapor; and that cartridges advertised as nicotine-free have been found to contain nicotine in some cases. 10 The FDA also emphasized the untested nature of the new devices and complained that e-cigarettes constitute a “nicotine delivery system.” Based on such criticisms, the FDA sought to restrict the import and sale of e-cigarettes from China, where most are manufactured.

These moves met with resistance from both e-cigarette users and those who saw the FDA’s stance as being at odds with good science. While traces of some toxic materials have indeed been found in some cartridges, it is pointed out that levels have been low. The issue could be resolved by the introduction and enforcement of smoke cartridge regulations. 11

Many of the FDA’s criticisms have related to the use of propylene glycol for the “smoke juice.” Although propylene glycol can, under certain circumstances and in certain dosages, exhibit carcinogenic properties, it’s not at all clear that the amounts inhaled by an e-cigarette user would be great enough to pose any serious cancer risk. Furthermore, propylene glycol is a very widely used chemical that is employed in many day-to-day products, from cosmetics and toiletries to paints and detergents. 12

E-cigarettes, having been introduced relatively recently, can be described as an untested product. One can’t prove a negative; therefore it would be counter-rational to completely discount the possibility of negative health effects relating to e-cigarette use appearing sometime in the future. That said, the alternative to e-cigarettes for many people isn’t nothing — it’s conventional cigarettes, one of the single most dangerous products one can buy. Compared to the very real dangers associated with tobacco use, the far more nebulous and unproven risks that theoretically might arise from e-cigarette use seem negligible.

The FDA blocked the importation of e-cigarettes in 2009. Two manufacturers then brought a successful lawsuit against the agency. In 2010, the resulting judgment ordered the FDA to lift its ban until it produces more convincing evidence that e-cigarettes are harmful. 13

Studies

…however, evidence is mounting to support the use of e-cigarettes, while evidence against their use remains in short supply…”

Laura Conzo Brady
eCigs HQ Editor

One major criticism raised by proponents of e-cigarettes is that the study relied upon by the FDA as their evidence for the dangers of the new devices is limited and flawed. The study, conducted in 2009, involved the analysis of only 19 types of cartridges and just two e-cigarette brands. Additionally, the FDA study did not examine the effects of e-cigarettes on human subjects 14 but was limited to a chemical analysis of the “smoke juice” used in them.

While a single cartridge was found to contain traces of the toxin diethlyene glycol, it is not clear that this represented a widespread hazard. The trace presence of nitrosamines (cancer-causing substances found in tobacco) is likewise not necessarily an indicator of a dangerous product. 15

Later and more wide-ranging studies have appeared to contradict the FDA’s position, finding no more than trace amounts of toxins (comparable to amounts found in FDA-approved nicotine patches and inhalers), or no toxins whatsoever.16, 17, 18, 19 While some negative impact on lung function has been demonstrated in the 10 minutes following the use of an e-cigarette, it’s not clear that how long these effects last or whether there is cause for concern in the long-term. Notably, COPD and asthma sufferers showed no reduction in lung function from using e-cigarettes. 20 Other studies have shown no impact on heart health, 21 and have even demonstrated the benefits of nicotine-infused “smoke juice” which included enhanced concentration abilities and improved memory function. 22 Further, concerns over “secondary smoke” effects related to e-cigarettes vapor have proven groundless. 23

It is also clear from studies into smokers’ behavior that switching from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes is a viable tactic for many. Even heavy smokers can successfully transition from one to the other, potentially reducing the harm they experience from their tobacco addiction while they work on cutting down for good. 24

In making its distorted, incomplete and misleading statement, FDA was violating its long-cherished tradition of sticking to sound science as the basis for its policies. And in doing so, it is putting the lives and health of millions of Americans at risk. 25

Dr. Elizabeth Whelan

President
The American Council on Science and Health

Conclusion

The electronic cigarette debate is far from over; however, evidence is mounting to support the use of e-cigarettes,26, 27 while evidence against their use remains in short supply. 28 It may only be a matter of time before the FDA is forced to embrace e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to tobacco products and a crucial part of tobacco-harm-reduction strategies that hold the potential to save millions of lives.

References

 1. Gilbert Ross, M.D. “The Deadly Crusade Against E-cigarettes,” The American (American.com, 11/15/2012).
 2. Joshua Holland. “E-cigarettes: Holy Grail for Addicted Smokers?,” The State Journal, Frankfort, Kentucky (State-Journal.com, 1/7/2011).
 3. Michael Siegel. “Smoke Screen” The Baltimore Sun (BaltimoreSun.com, 6/9/2009).
 4. Health New Zealand. The Ruyan e-cigarette Health New Zealand Ltd Information Sheet (HealthNZ.co.nz, 2007).
 5. Wiki Patents. A Non-Smokable Electronic Spray Cigarette (WikiPatents.com, 2007).
 6. Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, M.D. “FDA smoke screen on e-cigarettes” The Washington Times (WashingtonTimes.com, 8/6/2009).
 7. Gilbert Ross, M.D. “The Deadly Crusade Against E-cigarettes,” The American (American.com, 11/15/2012).
 8. Pfizer. Nicotrol® Inhaler (LAB-0345-3.0) (Pfizer.com, 12/2008).
 9. Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, M.D. “FDA smoke screen on e-cigarettes” The Washington Times (WashingtonTimes.com, 8/6/2009).
10. Melissa Vonder Harr. “Irresponsible E-Cigarette Advice From The Department Of Health?” (CSPNet.com, 11/20/2012).
11. Brad Rodu. “The scientific foundation for tobacco harm reduction, 2006-2011” Harm Reduction Journal (HarmReductionJournal.com, 8/19/2011).
12. PO/PG sector group of Cefic, Brussels. What is propylene glycol? (propylene-glycol.com, last accessed 11/22/2012).
13. Duff Wilson. “Judge Orders FDA to Stop Blocking Imports of E-Cigarettes From China” The New York Times (NYTimes.com, 1/14/2010).
14. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. E-Cigarettes: Questions and Answers (FDA.gov, 9/9/2010).
15. Katie Zezima. “Analysis Finds Toxic Substances in Electronic Cigarettes” The New York Times (NYTimes.com, 7/22/2009).
16. McCauley TR et al, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Comparison of the effects of e-cigarette vapor and cigarette smoke on indoor air quality (NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov, 10/24/2012).
17. Murray Laugesen, MBChB FNZCPHM, Health New Zealand Ltd. and Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, Dublin Ruyan E-cigarette Bench-top tests (HealthNZ.co.nz, 4/3/2009).
18. Zachary Cahn and Michael Siegel. “Electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy for tobacco control: A step forward or a repeat of past mistakes?” Journal of Public Health Policy (Palgrave-Journals.com, 12/10/2010).
19. Chris Bullen et al., The University of Auckland, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. Effect of an E-Cigarette on Cravings and Withdrawal, Acceptability and Nicotine Delivery: Randomised Cross-Over Trial (HealthNZ.co.nz, 4/9/2009).
20. Science Daily. “E-Cigarettes Can Damage the Lungs, Experts Warn” (ScienceDaily.com, 9/2/2012).
21. Science Daily. “Electronic Cigarettes Do Not Damage the Heart, Study Suggests” (ScienceDaily.com, 8/25/2012).
22. Science Daily. “Electronic Cigarettes May Help Smokers’ Memory While They Kick the Habit” (ScienceDaily.com, 4/16/2012).
23. McCauley TR et al, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Comparison of the effects of e-cigarette vapor and cigarette smoke on indoor air quality (NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov, 10/24/2012).
24. Michael B. Siegel, MD, MPH, Kerry L. Tanwar, BA and Kathleen S. Wood, MPH. “Electronic Cigarettes As a Smoking-Cessation Tool,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPMOnline.org, April 2011).
25. Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, M.D. “FDA smoke screen on e-cigarettes” The Washington Times (WashingtonTimes.com, 8/6/2009).
26. Science Daily. “Some Smokers Successfully Switch to Electronic Cigarettes” (ScienceDaily.com, 9/15/2012).
27. J. Foulds, S. Veldheer, and A. Berg. “Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs): views of aficionados and clinical/public health perspectives” The International Journal of Clinical Practice (Wiley.com, 8/1/2011).
28. B.J. Westenberger, Deputy Director, CDER/OPS/OTR, Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis. “Evaluation of e-cigarettes” (FDA.gov, 5/9/2009).


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The FDA’s War on E-cigarettes

Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in e-Cigarette News, FDA | Comments Off on The FDA’s War on E-cigarettes

BY LAURA CONZO BRADY
Editor, eCigs HQ

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

The FDA's War on E-cigarettes illustration.

Despite an ever-increasing number of studies demonstrating that electronic cigarettes are no more dangerous than their big-pharma product counterparts, the FDA has refused to alter its misguided stance on electronic smoking products. What’s really at play here, and who is the FDA really protecting?

Experts predict the global death toll of cigarettes will approach 1 billion lives lost this century. But misguided or agenda-driven public health officials worldwide are condemning one hope for slowing this catastrophe — electronic cigarettes, or “e-cigarettes”…” 1

Dr. Gilbert Ross

Executive and Medical Director
The American Council on Science and Health

Introduction

By providing inhaled doses of nicotine in vapor form, electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) are proving to be a far healthier option than conventional tobacco cigarettes, and perhaps our best hope in the battle against tobacco-related disease.

However, the FDA has been critical of the new devices, calling into question their potential for harm reduction and suggesting that the vapor may be harmful to users and those around them. Proponents of e-cigarettes argue that the FDA’s position is based on limited data from a single small, insufficient and biased study. Whether the FDA is being swayed by the combined weight of the tobacco and pharmaceutical lobbies (which have much to lose from this new competitor) 2, or are being unduly influenced by anti-smoking zealots (who are simply unable to tolerate the thought of a “safe cigarette”), makes little difference. They have unquestionably positioned themselves on the wrong side of history. Unfortunately, the stakes could not be much higher as the fate of millions of addicted smokers hangs in the balance. 3

This article will explore how e-cigarettes are different than their tobacco counterparts, and what is behind their growing popularity, while reviewing evidence relating to their safety and potential benefits.

How e-cigarettes work

When a traditional tobacco cigarette is smoked, the dried tobacco, inside a paper wrapping, is burned and the resulting smoke inhaled. Electronic cigarettes work differently. They use liquid containing nicotine, the active ingredient in tobacco. This liquid is typically propylene glycol, sometimes mixed with vegetable glycerine, and is known as “smoke juice”. For those who want to enjoy the experience of smoking without the addictive element, nicotine-free versions of the smoke cartridges are widely available.

Taken against the very real dangers associated with tobacco use, the far more nebulous and unproven risks that might theoretically arise from e-cigarette use seem negligible…”

Laura Conzo Brady
eCigs HQ Editor

When the e-cigarette is “smoked”, no combustion actually takes place. Instead, the liquid inside the cartridge is heated to produce a vapor that the user inhales in the same way as smoke from a traditional cigarette. The “smoke juice” is often given a dash of flavoring to make the inhalation more pleasurable. Typically, this flavor imitates tobacco for a more authentic experience, although other flavors are available. Coffee, vanilla, fruit, candy and menthol flavors are popular.

The exact designs and specifications may vary but an e-cigarette typically consists of three principle components:

  1. Vaporization chamber;
  2. Rechargeable lithium battery;
  3. Detachable cartridge containing the nicotine liquid.

The vaporization chamber contains a heating coil and various electronic controls plus an atomizer. The atomizer produces the inhalable vapor. The rechargeable lithium battery powers the unit. The cartridge is fixed to the end of the vaporization chamber. Often designed to look like the filter of a traditional cigarette, the cartridge also serves as the mouthpiece for the unit.

The user activates the e-cigarette either by pressing a switch or, in the case of some models, simply inhaling. This causes the atomizer’s heating coil to turn on, which heats the “smoke juice” in the cartridge and turns it into a vapor that the user then inhales. When the nicotine liquid is exhausted, the old cartridge is removed and a new one added. The lithium battery is recharged through the use of a charger, much like a cell phone. 4

Features

An e-cigarette may have various additional features. While the most popular designs seem to be those that look like an ordinary cigarette, with a white body and a smoke cartridge disguised as a light-brown filter, there are many other forms available. E-cigarettes are available in unconventional and eye-catching colors, such as black, metallic or pastel shades. E-cigarettes shaped like cigars or pipes are available. E-cigarettes often come in a “pack” which houses the charger unit for the lithium battery. The e-cigarette is placed in a socket inside the packet, which also holds the spare smoke cartridges.

Many models have an LED indicator that lights when the e-cigarette is activated. The LED indicator is sometimes red or orange to simulate a flame, but green, blue or white LEDs are often used instead. This is partly for reasons of style and partly to avoid confusion when using the e-cigarette in a non-smoking environment.

Origins

Although the primitive concept of an electronic cigarette has been around for some decades, Hon Lik, a Chinese innovator and pharmacist, is credited with devising the first truly workable electronic cigarette. Hon Lik, himself a heavy smoker, came up with the idea for his cigarette in the early 2000s and patented his design in 2004. After some refinements the “Ruyan” cigarette was made available to the Chinese public and became a great success. 5

Popularity

…wide-ranging studies have appeared to contradict the FDA’s position…”

Laura Conzo Brady
eCigs HQ Editor

The electronic cigarette concept soon spread to markets outside of China, finding a receptive consumer base in the US and many European nations. Some countries have taken the step of banning e-cigarettes outright, or classifying them as medical devices and restricting their sale. In many others, however, the devices can be advertised and sold freely. Where legal, e-cigarettes enjoy growing popularity. This is partly in response to the growing number of smoking bans affecting public buildings such as bars and restaurants. In many regions, sales continue to grow and show no signs of diminishing. 6


 

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eCigs HQ Publishes New Report, “Canada vs. E-cigarettes”

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in eCigs HQ Press Releases | Comments Off on eCigs HQ Publishes New Report, “Canada vs. E-cigarettes”

As billions of dollars in tobacco revenues continue to roll into government coffers, Health Canada enforces a ban on electronic cigarettes. Meanwhile more than 100 Canadians die of tobacco-related diseases daily. Where’s the outrage?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Canada vs. E-cigarettes illustration.

LOS ANGELES, CA — November 13, 2012 – eCigs HQ (http://www.ecigshq.com), a consumer-centric electronic cigarette review site, has published a new report on Canada’s ongoing electronic cigarette ban: “Canada vs. E-cigarettes.”

“Banning e-cigarettes is akin to banning seat belts because some were found to cause skin rashes,” said eCigs HQ Editor, Anne Metzger. She continued, “These products save lives. Period.”

Canada has long championed progressive harm reduction strategies in order to best protect their citizens from the detrimental health and social consequences associated with addiction. Rather than mimic the US’ law-and-order approach to substance abuse, Health Canada has consistently moved towards a European policy model that supports maintenance in addition to abstinence and enforcement. Advocates of these strategies point to the success of methadone maintenance and needle exchange programs for intravenous drug users.

However, such is not the case in the matter of nicotine addiction. Rather than pursue a harm reduction strategy that includes maintenance as well as abstinence, Canada has adopted a ‘quit-or-die’ approach. And in the case of all too many Canadians, the tragic result of this policy is death via tobacco-related disease.

…as a matter of policy, Health Canada treats heroin addicts with compassion and nicotine addicts with disdain.”

Anne Metzger, e-Cigs HQ Editor

“It is not overstating the case to associate the ban with certain death for many current smokers as the electronic cigarette has demonstrated heretofore unseen success rates as a nicotine replacement therapy and a smoking cessation aid,” said Ms. Laura Conzo Brady, eCigs HQ Editor and author of the “Canada vs. E-cigarettes” report.

“If even a modicum of common sense prevailed, Health Canada would be working with electronic cigarette manufacturers to implement reasonable safety standards while encouraging current tobacco users to make the switch, rather than wasting their time and the people’s money attempting to enforce an unenforceable ban,” concluded, Ms. Conzo Brady.

“The unfortunate truth is this,” added Ms. Metzger, “As a matter of policy, Health Canada treats heroin addicts with compassion and nicotine addicts with disdain.”

To read the complete report, “Canada vs. E-cigarettes,” please visit:
http://www.ecigshq.com/canada-vs-e-cigarettes.

About eCigs HQ

Founded in the spring of 2012 by three reformed smokers, eCigs HQ is dedicated to providing real and unbiased reviews of the worst and best electronic cigarettes on the market today. The special offers, coupon codes, videos, news, rankings and reviews presented are all geared towards providing consumers with the information they need to make informed e-cigarette buying decisions while enjoying the lowest possible prices on their purchases. eCigs HQ supports quality testing and standards that ensure consumer safety without impeding the availability of high-quality electronic smoking devices to adults. For additional information please visit http://www.ecigshq.com.


Canada vs. E-cigarettes (cont.)

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in e-Cigarette News | Comments Off on Canada vs. E-cigarettes (cont.)

Continued from previous page.

Canada electronic cigarette ban illustration.

Why would Canada continue to ban e-cigarettes?

The official “reasoning” can be found in the “E-cigarette Fact Sheet” published in October of 2011, “The sale of these electronic smoking products is not authorized in Canada. The products may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated by Health Canada.”26

Electronic cigarettes have been available world-wide since 2008. What are they waiting for? How many years will Health Canada require to complete their evaluation? Meanwhile, smokers continue to die.

…heavily taxed tobacco products have become a lucrative source of state revenue.”

Laura Conzo Brady, eCigs HQ Editor

Progressive social-welfare states like Canada have long championed the concept of harm-reduction healthcare policies. “Harm reduction is a framework for public health policy that focuses on reducing the harmful consequences of recreational drug use without necessarily reducing or eliminating the use itself.”27 Accepting the premise that intravenous drug use cannot be eradicated, harm reduction advocates espouse the proliferation of free needle campaigns for heroin addicts. Designated driver programs reduce the potential harm of alcohol abuse without eliminating the harmful behavior. However, when the issue is smoking, these same forces have espoused a radical “quit or die” approach. They seem unable to tolerate the thought of a safe — or even safer — cigarette. Their reaction to the widespread adoption of electronic smoking products has been to support onerous regulations, and in Canada’s case — an outright ban.

AAPHP (American Association of Public Health Physicians) favors a permissive approach to E-cigarettes because the possibility exists to save the lives of four million of
the eight million current adult American smokers who will otherwise die of a tobacco-related illness over the next twenty years.” 28

AAPHP Statement re State Regulation of E-cigarettes
Joel L. Nitzkin, MD, MPH; Chair, Tobacco Control Task Force, AAPHP, 4/2/10

Champix is dangerous

Meanwhile Health Canada continues to advocate the use of Pfizer’s controversial Champix (Chantix in the U.S.) medication as an effective tool to quit smoking. In British Columbia, the medication is provided free of charge to tobacco users as part of their smoking cessation efforts. Champix continues to receive Health Canada’s blessing despite the fact that the drug has been linked to at least 24 Canadian suicides and hundreds of cases of serious side effects including aggression, depression and suicidal thoughts with many resulting in hospitalization or disability. Further adding to the controversy, Health Canada has admitted that Champix side effects remain under-reported, while refusing to release the results of its own Champix studies. One can only wonder what could have been for the hundreds of Champix-linked suicides reported worldwide, had the smokers been prescribed e-cigarettes instead of what is clearly a dangerous yet legal smoking cessation treatment.29, 30, 31, 32

Some electronic smoking advocates have adopted a cynical view of the reasoning behind Canada’s e-cigarette ban. They theorize that it is in the government’s best interest to maintain the status quo, as heavily taxed tobacco products have become a lucrative source of state revenue.

Statistics from the Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada indicate that between 2006 and 2011 tobacco tax revenues surpassed $30 billion.33 It is difficult to imagine that any government would be willing to lose such a cash cow without a fight.

Prohibition regulations have been directly linked to powerful tobacco lobby groups which regard e-cigarettes as a threat to the tobacco industry’s survival. These lobby groups have funded dubious studies to portray e-cigarettes as harmful.

According to media reports, Big Tobacco lobbied not only to have e-cigs banned, but to get major online retailers like Amazon.com and eBay to stop selling them. Lobbyists for the NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapies) 34 industry and anti-smoking groups have worked hard to ban e-cigs at the state level, and a number of states have introduced legislation to do just that.” 35

E-Cigarettes: Holy Grail for Addicted Smokers?
Joshua Holland, The State Journal, Frankfort, Kentucky, 1/7/11

Undoubtedly the unhealthy marriage between Health Canada, big pharma and big tobacco has eroded the government’s credibility and rendered it incapable of making unbiased decisions concerning electronic cigarettes. Nevertheless, with continued vigilance through petitions,36 calls for judicious regulations, and insistence upon quality standards that ensure the safety of consumers; it is the belief of eCigs HQ that the ban will eventually be lifted. But how many Canadians will die of tobacco-related diseases before Health Canada comes to its senses?

…if everyone switched to e-cigarettes it could potentially save millions of lives, but regulation would certainly be useful at this time…” 37

Professor John Britton, Chair of the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group, 4/13/12

References

 1. Eva M. Makomaski Illing, BA, BEd and Murray J. Kaiserman, PhD, MBA. Mortality Attributable to Tobacco Use in Canada and its Regions, 1998. (Tobacco Control Programme, Health Canada, 2004).
 2. John Stossel. The FDA Kills Smokers (Reason.com, 11/17/2011).
 3. Daniel J. DeNoon. E-Cigarettes Under Fire (WebMD.com, 4/13/2009).
 4. Health Canada. Health Canada Advises Canadians Not to Use Electronic Cigarettes (HC-SC.GC.ca, 3/27/2009).
 5. Health Canada. Notice – To All Persons Interested in Importing, Advertising or Selling Electronic Smoking Products in Canada (HC-SC.GC.ca, 3/27/2009).
 6. CASAA. E-cigarette History (CASAA.org, 2011).
 7. Research and Development at British American Tobacco. Cigarette combustion science (BAT-Science.com, 11/23/2010).
 8. Carl V. Phillips and Brad Rodu. All about Nicotine (and Addiction) (TobaccoHarmReduction.org, Last accessed 11/8/2012).
 9. Michael B. Siegel, MD, MPH, Kerry L. Tanwar, BA and Kathleen S. Wood, MPH. “Electronic Cigarettes As a Smoking-Cessation Tool,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPMOnline.org, April 2011).
10. Carl V. Phillips and Paul L. Bergen. Tobacco Harm Reduction 2010: a yearbook of recent research and analysis (TobaccoHarmReduction.org, 2010).
11. B.J. Westenberger, Deputy Director, CDER/OPS/OTR, Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis. Evaluation of e-cigarettes (FDA.gov, 5/4/2009).
12. Daniel J. DeNoon. Survey: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit (WebMD.com, 2/8/2011).
13. Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. Electronic Cigarettes: A Review of the Clinical Evidence and Safety (CADTH.ca, 8/13/2012).
14. Zachary Cahn and Michael Siegel. “Electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy for tobacco control: A step forward or a repeat of past mistakes?” Journal of Public Health Policy (Palgrave-Journals.com, 12/10/2010).
15. Ibid.
16. John Tierney. “A Tool to Quit Smoking Has Some Unlikely Critics” The New York Times (NYTimes.com, 11/7/2011).
17. World Health Organization. Marketers of electronic cigarettes should halt unproved therapy claims (WHO.int, 9/18/2008).
18. Murray Laugesen, MBChB FNZCPHM, Health New Zealand Ltd. and Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, Dublin Ruyan E-cigarette Bench-top tests (HealthNZ.co.nz, 4/3/2009).
19. Chris Bullen et al., The University of Auckland, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. Effect of an E-Cigarette on Cravings and Withdrawal, Acceptability and Nicotine Delivery: Randomised Cross-Over Trial (HealthNZ.co.nz, 4/9/2009).
20. Zachary Cahn and Michael Siegel. “Electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy for tobacco control: A step forward or a repeat of past mistakes?” Journal of Public Health Policy (Palgrave-Journals.com, 12/10/2010).
21. Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Greece, and European Society of Cardiology. Electronic cigarettes do not damage the heart (ESCardio.org, 8/25/2012).
22. McCauley TR et al, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Comparison of the effects of e-cigarette vapor and cigarette smoke on indoor air quality (NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov, 10/24/2012).
23. Brad Rodu, Harm Reduction Journal. The scientific foundation for tobacco harm reduction, 2006-2011 (HarmReductionJournal.com, 8/19/2011).
24. Jesse Kline. “E-smoke ‘em if you got ‘em,” National Post (NationalPost.com, 1/2/2012).
25. Michael B. Siegel, MD, MPH, Kerry L. Tanwar, BA and Kathleen S. Wood, MPH. “Electronic Cigarettes As a Smoking-Cessation Tool,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPMOnline.org, April 2011).
26. British Columbia Tobacco Control Program. E-Cigarette Fact Sheet (Health.Gov.BC.ca, October 2011).
27. Jess Alderman, Katherine M Dollar and Lynn T Kozlowski. “Commentary: Understanding the origins of anger, contempt, and disgust in public health policy disputes: Applying moral psychology to harm reduction debates,” Journal of Public Health Policy (Palgrave-Journals.com, April 2010).
28. Joel L. Nitzkin, MD, MPH, Chair, Tobacco Control Task Force, American Association of Public Health Physicians. AAPHP Statement re State Regulation of E-cigarettes (AAPHP.org, 4/2/2010).
29. The Pharma Letter. Teva and Pfizer settle over Neurontin; France drops Champix; Actavis’ Aricept generic cleared (thePharmaLetter.com, 6/1/2011).
30. Jesse McLean and Andrew Bailey. “Health Canada tight-lipped on Champix suicides,” The Star (TheStar.com, 10/4/2012).
31. Gordon Gibb, Lawyers and Settlements. Chantix Suicide Measured in Lives Lost (LawyersAndSettlements.com, 8/10/2012).
32. Fierce Pharma. FDA gets 5,000 Chantix complaints (FiercePharma.com, 11/29/2007).
33. Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. Tax Revenues from Tobacco Sales (Smoke-Free.ca, November 2011).
34. Med Line Plus, US National Library of Medicine. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NLM.NIH.gov, 2/21/2011).
35. Joshua Holland. “E-cigarettes: Holy Grail for Addicted Smokers?,” The State Journal, Frankfort, Kentucky (State-Journal.com, 1/7/2011).
36. Andrew Goldenberg. Health Canada: Reverse the Decision Banning the Sale of Electronic Cigarettes and Liquids (Change.org, March 2012).
37. Daily Mail Reporter. “Safety fears over electronic cigarettes because they are ‘unclean’ and unregulated,” Mail Online (DailyMail.co.uk, 4/13/2012).


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Canada vs. E-cigarettes (cont.)

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in e-Cigarette News | Comments Off on Canada vs. E-cigarettes (cont.)

Continued from previous page.

Canada electronic cigarette ban illustration.

The FDA study has been faulted for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:

Why were only two e-cigarette brands tested?
There are hundreds of electronic cigarette manufacturers presently retailing products in the U.S. As one might expect, their products vary in degree of quality assurance and adherence to manufacturing best practices. Whatever the reason, two brands cannot be considered a representative sample. Further, independent tests conducted subsequent to the FDA report have identified a number of brands whose cartridges contain zero TSNAs.14

Why were FDA-approved, nicotine replacement therapies not tested as controls?
Perhaps, the answer is that these approved products (produced by major pharmaceutical companies) also contain trace amounts of the chemicals cited. For instance, “The maximum level of total TSNAs reported was 8.2 ng/g. This compares with a similar level of 8.0 ng in a nicotine patch, and it is orders of magnitude lower than TSNA levels in regular cigarettes.” Further, “electronic cigarettes contain only 0.07-0.2 per cent of the TSNAs present in cigarettes, a 500-fold to 1400-fold reduction in concentration.” The DEGs found in one sample account for the myth that electronic cigarettes contain anti-freeze. The most likely explanation for this single aberration is that the product in question utilized non-pharmaceutical-grade nicotine — something easily prevented by regulations requiring manufacturers to adhere to FDA-established nicotine quality standards.15

Why are the 8.0 ng/g of TSNAs found in nicotine patches acceptable to the FDA, while the 8.2 ng/g of TSNAs found in e-cigarettes unacceptable?
As the difference in TSNA levels is statistically insignificant, one can only conclude that the FDA applies a harsher standard to electronic cigarettes. This bias is indeed unfortunate as the technology has the potential to save the lives of millions of smokers worldwide. It is certainly ironic that misguided government agencies like Health Canada have banned the products in the interest of public safety.

The suspect methodologies employed by the FDA in their e-cig testing did not go unnoticed in the mainstream media:

But the agency has never presented evidence that the trace amounts actually cause any harm, and it has neglected to mention that similar traces of these chemicals have been found in other FDA-approved products, including nicotine patches and gum. The agency’s methodology and warnings have been lambasted in scientific journals by Dr. Polosa and other researchers, including Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.” 16

A Tool to Quit Smoking Has Some Unlikely Critics
John Tierney, The New York Times, 11/7/11

Do e-cigarettes have side effects?

The short answer is “no.”

Given that electronic cigarettes are relatively new to the market, their health benefits, immediate side effects and long-term risks have not been fully determined. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no sufficient peer reviewed research on the product to verify that e-cigarettes are an effective and safe nicotine replacement therapy. On the other hand, WHO does not rule out the possibility that the devices could be useful smoking cessation tools. It argues that safety claims should be backed by clinical studies and toxicity analysis. And while the WHO awaits the results of long-term clinical studies, smokers continue to die.17

…to a great extent they have based their reasoning on fear of the unknown rather than actual evidence.”

Laura Conzo Brady, eCigs HQ Editor
E-cigarette safety studies

A number of studies have been conducted to verify the safety of electronic cigarettes, with most providing remarkable results in e-cigs’ favor. For Instance, a study conducted by Health New Zealand in 2008 on the toxicity and carcinogenic levels of electronic cigarettes showed concentrations below harmful levels established by the WHO. The recorded nicotine dose was comparable to that of a medicinal nicotine-inhaler. The study concluded, “On the basis of findings to date, inhaling mist from the e-cigarette is rated several orders of magnitude (100 to 1000 times) less dangerous than smoking tobacco cigarettes.”18

A 2009 Health New Zealand Study found the e-cigarettes delivering nicotine were more effective in reducing tobacco withdrawal cravings than FDA-approved Nicorette Inhalers and e-cigarettes without nicotine. Further, they produced fewer side-effects than the inhaler while delivering approximately 1/10th the amount of nicotine contained in tobacco cigarettes. The study concluded that, “On the evidence to date, the e-cigarette appears to be akin to a medicinal nicotine inhalator in the safety of its emissions, and nicotine dose…E-cigarettes are cigarette substitutes. If they can wrest market share from cigarettes, they can improve smoker and population health. They may also have a more up-market role as medicinal nicotine inhaler to aid quitting.”19

A December 2010 research article by Dr. Zachary Kahn and Dr. Michael Siegel of the University of California at Berkeley and published in the Journal of Public Health Policy concluded that e-cigarettes have the potential to markedly improve the health of smokers who switch from tobacco cigarettes to electronic smoking products, “…electronic cigarettes show tremendous promise in the fight against tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. By dramatically expanding the potential for harm reduction strategies to achieve substantial health gains, they may fundamentally alter the tobacco harm reduction debate.”20

On August 25th, 2012, the European Society of Cardiology released the results of “the first clinical study of the acute effects of electronic cigarettes on cardiac function.” The findings were clear. According to Research Fellow at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, “Electronic cigarettes have no acute adverse effects on cardiac function.” He added, “considering the extreme hazards associated with cigarette smoking, currently available data suggest that electronic cigarettes are far less harmful and substituting tobacco with electronic cigarettes may be beneficial to health.”21

…medical researchers are proving with ever-greater frequency that e-cigarettes are definitively less harmful than tobacco cigarettes.”

Laura Conzo Brady, eCigs HQ Editor

While anti-smoking advocates, government regulators, and elected representatives have often cited the unknown effects of second-hand e-cigarette vapor as reason enough to restrict or ban the use of electronic smoking devices, to a great extent they have based their reasoning on fear of the unknown rather than actual evidence. A study published in the Journal of Inhalation Toxicology in October, 2012, entitled, “Comparison of the effects of e-cigarette vapor and cigarette smoke on indoor air quality” concluded that, “there are very low indoor air quality impacts from the use of an electronic cigarette based on the risk screening of measured emissions. It also indicates no apparent risk to human health from e-cigarette emissions based on the compounds analyzed.”22

Electronic cigarettes are much safer than tobacco cigarettes

It is with findings like these from across the globe, that medical researchers are proving with ever-greater frequency that e-cigarettes are definitively less harmful than tobacco cigarettes.

E-cigarettes produce a vapor composed of water, propylene glycol and nicotine, so e-cigarette users are not exposed to the thousands of toxic agents formed when tobacco is burned. Although laboratory studies have detected trace concentrations of some contaminants, this appears to be a small problem that is amenable to improvements in quality control and manufacturing that are likely with FDA regulation as tobacco products.” 23

The scientific foundation for tobacco harm reduction, 2006-2011
Brad Rodu, Harm Reduction Journal 2011, 7/29/11

If properly regulated rather than banned or unduly restricted, electronic cigarettes hold untold value in terms of both lives and healthcare costs. Judging by the thousands who have used them to successfully quit smoking, e-cigarettes are proving themselves to be the most effective form of nicotine replacement therapy currently available — or in the case of Canada — officially unavailable. These products have the potential to assist millions of tobacco users worldwide in their efforts to quit smoking.24

It is important to note that less-effective nicotine replacement therapies are already available in Canada using nicotine patches, gums, and inhalers that contain similar ingredients and produce health effects similar to e-cigarettes. This similarity is the basis that most petitions have adopted to argue for the reverse of the electronic smoking ban in Canada. However, the products are quite different in one crucial way; the Health Canada-approved methods of nicotine replacement therapies fail to wean smokers off cigarettes at a much higher rate.

Consider the following findings published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine from April 2011:

The primary finding was that the 6-month point prevalence of smoking abstinence among the e-cigarette users in the sample was 31.0%… A large percentage of respondents reported a reduction in the number of cigarettes they smoked (66.8%) and almost half reported abstinence from smoking for a period of time (48.8%). Those respondents using e-cigarettes more than 20 times per day had a quit rate of 70.0%. Of respondents who were not smoking at 6 months, 34.3% were not using e-cigarettes or any nicotine-containing products at the time.” 25

Electronic Cigarettes As a Smoking-Cessation Tool
Siegel, Tanwar & Wood, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, April 2011


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Canada vs. E-cigarettes

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012 in e-Cigarette News | Comments Off on Canada vs. E-cigarettes

Canada vs. E-cigarettes illustration.

Canada bans electronic cigarettes in the interest of public safety while tobacco kills more than 100 Canadians daily

BY LAURA CONZO BRADY
Editor, eCigs HQ

Friday, November 9th, 2012

..how many Canadians will die of tobacco-related diseases before Health Canada comes to its senses?”

Laura Conzo Brady
Editor, eCigs HQ

Despite their unprecedented success as a nicotine replacement therapy, e-cigarettes have been subjected to prohibitive regulations from a number of governments — notably Canada — which has banned the importation and sale of electronic smoking products that contain nicotine. The ban is based on the opinion that the “new” technology’s risks and benefits have yet to be adequately studied by the medical community and Health Canada regulators. Meanwhile, more than 100 Canadians die from tobacco-related diseases every single day.1

Laws prohibiting the sale and use of electronic smoking products are currently generating heated debate across the globe. On one side of the argument are e-cigarette advocates who view the technology as the most effective solution to the problem of tobacco-related disease.2 On the other side of the argument are the anti-electronic cigarettes activists, consisting mainly of government health agencies, anti-smoking advocates, the pharmaceutical lobby, and the tobacco lobby.3 Despite their known benefits as a nicotine replacement therapy and smoking cessation aid, they argue that electronic smoking technologies may pose profound, long-term health risks.4

Canada bans first, asks questions later

In 2009, Health Canada authorities issued a ban on the sale, advertising and importation of e-cigarettes containing nicotine. According to information provided on the health.gov.ca website, these products are banned in Canada on grounds that they may pose health risks, since there is little research to verify their long-term health effects. As per a Health Canada press release,5 the ban applies to all electric smoking products including electronic cigars, cigarettes, cigarillos, pipes, and cartridges for nicotine solutions as well as related products.

While this article focuses on the Canadian ban, to better understand the underlying health and legal issues, it may be useful to examine the components of an e-cigarette as well as the device’s invention and subsequent rise in popularity worldwide.

How do e-cigarettes work?

While electronic cigarettes resemble real cigarettes and may provide users with the same nicotine ‘kick’ as tobacco cigarettes, they are fundamentally different. An electronic cigarette, commonly referred to as e-cigarette or e-cig, is actually an electric inhaler device that vaporizes nicotine-infused glycerin, polyethylene glycol, or propylene glycol-based solvent into an aerosol mist. The inhalation/exhalation of vapor simulates the act of tobacco smoking and accounts for the e-cigarette’s popularity as a nicotine replacement therapy and smoking cessation aid. As tobacco users switch to electronic in ever-greater numbers, the technology has continued to gain acceptance as the leading alternative to tobacco cigarettes.

An e-cigarette is essentially composed of three parts: A cartridge that serves as the reservoir for the nicotine-infused liquid and acts as the mouthpiece, an atomizer that vaporizes the solution, and a battery that powers the atomizer. The essential components are each described briefly below:

While nicotine in its pure form is highly addictive, it is actually one of the most benign elements of tobacco.”

Laura Conzo Brady, eCigs HQ Editor

Cartridge: It consists of a small plastic container that serves as the mouth piece and liquid reservoir. It utilizes openings on both ends to allow the flow of liquid to the atomizer and movement of vapor from the atomizer to the mouth piece. Most manufactures insert a sponge or other wadding to keep the liquid in place, but there are larger, advanced models that use a refillable tank to store the liquid, which is linked to the atomizer via separate tubing. While some cartridges are refillable, most are disposable and discarded once the supply “e-juice” liquid has been exhausted.

Atomizer: This component contains a miniature heating element that vaporizes the liquid. The atomizer is centrally located between the cartridge and battery. It is common for the atomizer to burn out or wear out due to sediment accumulation, but it can be replaced in some models. In most new cigarette-style designs, a non-replaceable atomizer is integrated into the disposable cartridge. This advance integrating the cartridge and atomizer into a single screw-on component is often referred to as a cartomizer, while some manufacturers prefer to call it a cartridge. Whatever the name, this design change substantially simplifies electronic smoking by limiting the device to two parts — a rechargeable battery and a disposable cartomizer.

Battery: Most models are equipped with a portable lithium ion cigarette-style rechargeable battery and utilize an electronic airflow sensor to enable the activation heating the flavor and generally nicotine-infused liquid by drawing breath through the mouthpiece. E-cig batteries are commonly charged via an AC outlet, USB port or car adaptor. One popular manufacturer, Green Smoke presently markets a hard-wired e-cigarette that does not require a battery and draws power directly from a USB port, AC wall outlet or an automobile’s DC cigarette lighter socket.

E-juice: This term refers to the liquid found in the e-cig cartridges and cartomizers. Typically, the solution consists of vegetable glycerin and/or propylene glycol and/or polyethylene glycol blended with flavors and nicotine. The liquid is commonly sold in prefilled disposable cartridges, but also marketed separately for electronic smoking devices that provide refillable cartridges or reservoirs. The act of refilling a cartridge or reservoir is commonly known as “dripping.” While there are no current standards for nicotine concentrations in e-cigarettes, most manufacturers market their pre-filled cartridges in a variety of concentrations as a percentage by volume as well as an assortment of flavors. In addition, nicotine-free e-juice (legal in Canada) is widely available. The availability of various nicotine levels is crucial as it allows smokers to select a concentration that best matches their tobacco habit, and provides the option to utilize cartridges in sequentially lower concentrations in order to reduce and potentially eliminate their physical addiction to nicotine. E-juice flavors vary from one manufacturer to the next and range from tobacco and menthol to flavors like vanilla, coffee, chocolate and various fruits. The fruit flavors have become a point of controversy in many locales as anti-smoking activists insist they make smoking more appealing to minors. If the same logic were applied to alcohol — peppermint schnapps, peach brandy, and numerous flavored alcoholic beverages would be subject to bans as well.

Who invented e-cigarettes?

According to World Health Organization (WHO) reports, the first electronic cigarette was developed in China by Hon Lik in 2000. Lik was an inventor, pharmacist and heavy smoker. It is reported that this innovation was borne out of frustrations after his father, also a heavy smoker, died after a prolonged struggle with lung cancer. Subsequently, this innovation laid the foundation for modern electronic cigarettes models. The product was first introduced into the Chinese market in 2004 and was marketed as a tobacco replacement and as a smoking cessation aid. The company Lik worked for, Golden Dragon Holdings, later changed its name to Ruyan (Chinese for ‘like smoke’), which began exporting the devices in 2006 after securing an international patent the same year.6

In practice, e-cigarettes containing nicotine provide tobacco users with their best opportunity to quit smoking…”

Laura Conzo Brady, eCigs HQ Editor
Can smokers buy e-cigarettes in Canada?

The short answer is, “yes.”

Despite Health Canada’s ban on the sale and importation of e-cigarettes containing nicotine, market analysis indicates that these products have gained unprecedented popularity amongst Canadian smokers courtesy of loopholes in the regulatory system. Health Canada does not have the authority to prohibit the sale or importation of electronic cigarettes that do not contain nicotine. So Canadians may legally purchase e-cigarettes and accessories online, but not cartomizers, cartridges or e-juice containing nicotine. Studies have shown that the illusion of smoking created by e-cigs is often enough to satisfy psychological cigarette cravings. However nicotine-free e-juice cannot help smokers overcome the physiological dependence associated with nicotine addiction.

As a result of the increased demand for e-cigarettes, and despite the ban, numerous vendors continue to stock the products in defiance of the Health Canada regulations. Nevertheless, the government has been vigilant in their efforts to fully implement the ban. This has resulted in frequent supply disruptions for local vendors and has driven many Canadian e-smokers to the web, where they may order supplies from the U.S. and other e-cig-friendly jurisdictions. However, it is not uncommon for electronic cigarette shipments to be intercepted and confiscated at the border. Despite the threat of seizure, many e-cig manufacturers continue to ship the banned products to Canada.

Are e-cigarettes safe?

The short answer is, “yes.”

As pointed out by health experts the world over, the main source of harm caused by tobacco products is from inhaling the carcinogen-laden smoke produced as a result of tobacco combustion. There is no combustion with an electronic cigarette. The e-juice is heated and vaporized. As no carcinogenic smoke is produced, any potential harm would be contained in the nicotine-infused vapor.7

While nicotine in its pure form is highly addictive, it is actually one of the most benign elements of tobacco. A number of overzealous government entities have gone so far as to label it toxic, but that is a controversial assessment at best and a disingenuous conclusion at worst.8

In practice, e-cigarettes containing nicotine provide tobacco users with their best opportunity to quit smoking, offering a more appealing and less costly option than expensive nicotine patches, gums and inhalers. It is the opinion of a growing number of health experts that the benefits of e-cigarettes outweigh any potential disadvantages associated with the products.9

Preliminary studies and research findings on the benefits and risks associated with the product have been generally positive. Findings from a 2010 study published in the Journal of Public Health Policy indicate e-cigs are less harmful when compared to tobacco cigarettes since nothing is combusted. These findings were later verified by researchers from the Canadian non-profit organization, TobaccoHarmReduction.org, which added that “electronic cigarettes are the tobacco harm reduction phenomenon of the year.”10

However, studies conducted by FDA on two brands, Smoking Everywhere and NJOY, revealed that trace amounts of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) were found in the e-juice of half of samples analyzed. Trace amounts of diethylene glycol (DEG) were also found in one sample.11 The FDA then used this limited and biased study to offer an advisory warning, which has been used as the basis for government restrictions.12

In August of 2012, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) produced a compilation of 10 studies entitled, Electronic Cigarettes: A Review of the Clinical Evidence and Safety,13 which sought to assess the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation device while evaluating their safety. The overwhelming majority of studies utilized were supportive of electronic smoking technologies. However, CADTH included the much-maligned FDA study and seemed to employ it as the basis for their summary analysis, which included:

Given the limitations of the current low-quality evidence, the safety, efficacy and utility of e-cigarettes remain to be determined.”

Electronic Cigarettes: A Review of the Clinical Evidence and Safety
Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health


 

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eCigs HQ Official Spokesperson Contest Winners

Posted by on Nov 3, 2012 in e-Cigarette News | Comments Off on eCigs HQ Official Spokesperson Contest Winners

BY CHRISTIAN HOLLANDER
Editor, eCigs HQ

1st Prize $100.00: German Guy. Click to see video. 2nd Prize $50.00: Nicole. Click to see video. 3rd Prize (tie) $25.00: Drunk Guy. Click to see video. 3rd Prize (tie) $25.00: Oranje Girl. Click to see video.
Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

We are pleased to announce the Official eCigs HQ Spokesperson Contest Winners! The people — in their ultimate wisdom(?) — have spoken and selected the winners. First Prize of $100.00 — decided by a plurality of “Likes” — went to “German Guy” for his eloquent (we guess) reading of the script in German. The Second Prize of $50.00 was awarded to “Nicole” for her most-excellent performance in a language the majority of eCigs HQ visitors understand — English. Competition for the Third Prize of $25.00 ended in a tie. $25.00 was awarded to “Drunk Guy,” who was unable to stay on script, but scored big in entertainment value. Also receiving $25.00 for 3rd Prize was “Oranje Girl,” for her fine and enthusiastic performance.

Congratulations to the winners, and a big “thank you” to all who participated.

You may click the winners’ photos above to see their videos or click here to see all the videos.