(828) 698-5795 

Mountain Vapor Blog

Welcome to the blog area of our site where we hope to keep you updated on the trends of the e-cigarette industry as well as product reviews.

As Millions Volunteer, E-cigarette Researchers Count Puffs, Scour Facebook

New York:  One team of researchers assessing the risks of electronic cigarettes is counting the puffs taken by volunteer "vapers." Another will comb Facebook for posts on how people are tinkering with e-cigarettes to make the devices deliver extra nicotine. A third is building a virtual convenience store for 13-to-17-year-olds, measuring how e-cigarette displays and price promotions influence whether minors buy the increasingly popular devices.The US Food and Drug Administration is spending $270 million on these and 45 other research projects to determine the risks of e-cigarettes before millions more Americans become hooked on the devices."They want data and they want it yesterday," said Dr Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin of Yale University, who is leading four projects."Yesterday," however, is years away.Final results may not be available before 2018, researchers leading the FDA-funded projects told Reuters. That timetable, which has not been reported before, underscores how the slow pace of science is contributing to a regulatory vacuum, allowing e-cigarette makers to sell their products virtually unchallenged.To be sure, studies of e-cigarettes not funded by the FDA are also under way, and the agency can factor those results into any action it takes. But the FDA chose these 48 projects because they address questions central to future regulations.The e-cigarette industry, which Wells Fargo Securities estimates will make $2 billion in global sales this year, says the FDA must wait for the results of the research before it issues any regulations, or manufacturers risk being driven out of business by unproven fears about their products."There shouldn't be regulations akin to those for cigarettes without evidence of similar health impact, especially since the preliminary evidence is positive for the industry" when it comes to comparing the contents of e-cigarette vapor to tobacco smoke, said attorney Bryan Haynes. His Richmond, Virginia-based firm Troutman Sanders represents e-cigarette manufacturers.Backed by the world's biggest tobacco companies, the industry is aggressively expanding its marketing across the country. More than 14 million US adults and nearly 2 million teens and tweens have used e-cigarettes, and the rate of use among high-schoolers doubled from 2011 to 2012, the latest data available.The FDA "will always make regulatory decisions based on the best available science," said an agency spokeswoman. "With regard to e-cigarettes, the agency does not believe it will take many years to create the regulatory framework" once the FDA has the basic authority to regulate the products, which could happen next year.   The missing science includes basic questions such as what compounds are in the vapor produced by e-cigarettes. It also includes complicated ones like whether flavors such as butterscotch and bubble gum entice children to vape, how e-cigarette displays in online stores affect teenagers' desire to buy vaping liquid, and, perhaps most crucial, whether e-cigarettes will reduce the number of smokers or produce millions of new nicotine addicts.The Yale team, for instance, will study whether menthol and flavors such as chocolate and cherry increase the appeal of e-cigarettes, especially to 16-to-18-year-old smokers or "dual users" who both smoke and vape. If that turns out to be the case, the FDA would have scientific support for regulating."We'll have the first results within two years" and complete ones in four to five, Krishnan-Sarin said.Real-Time ExperimentAs an uncontrolled experiment in public health, the use of electronic cigarettes is rivaled only by conventional tobacco smoking, a habit adopted by half of American men and one-third of women during its peak in the 1960s. The first Surgeon General's report on the health dangers of cigarettes was released in 1964, when more than 40 percent of American adults were already hooked. To date, more than 10 million Americans have died from illnesses tied to smoking tobacco.Research on e-cigarettes has moved more quickly, partly because scientists can draw on regular tobacco research to establish the biological effects of vaping.The cartridge-like devices were first introduced in the United States by start-up manufacturers in 2007. Now, the US market is dominated by blu, a brand owned by Lorillard Inc.Other leading tobacco companies are making a big push for a share of the growing market: R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., a subsidiary of Reynolds American, began selling its Vuse e-cigarette nationwide last month and Altria's NuMark subsidiary plans to do so with its MarkTen later this year.The FDA got authority to regulate tobacco products, both traditional and novel, with the 2009 Tobacco Control Act. In April, the FDA proposed banning e-cigarette sales to minors, angering public health advocates who want more far-reaching prohibitions on online sales, advertising and flavors.The FDA began funding e-cigarette research in 2012. An FDA-funded project at the University of Louisville in Kentucky illustrates why the pace of science is slow.Scientists there will look at three or four brands of e-cigarettes and analyze their volatile organic compounds, flavorings and particulate matter to see how they affect lung and other cells in lab mice, said lead researcher Dr Sanjay Srivastata.This spring, he began exposing the animals to e-cigarette vapor for up to six months, with full results expected in 2015. While those findings could help FDA quantify risks from vaping, results extending the conclusions to humans are as much as five years away.  The Pleasures Of NicotineAnother crucial question researchers are trying to answer is whether e-cigarettes will be used mostly by nicotine newbies, including adolescents; by ex-smokers craving a nicotine hit without the carcinogens of tobacco; or by smokers trying to quit.To get a handle on who is likely to use e-cigarettes, scientists at Georgia State University School of Public Health will conduct online surveys of 6,000 people to assess whether they perceive e-cigarettes as less harmful than the traditional kind, why those who have switched from the latter to e-cigarettes did so, and what influences people's perceptions of the product's risk. "This is the kind of research that is going to be informing the FDA's regulatory process," said Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health and leader of three FDA-funded projects on tobacco.The FDA's proposed e-cigarette rules would give it the power to regulate the ingredients in the vaping liquid, but are silent on the plumes of vapor produced when the liquid is heated. According to research at Virginia Commonwealth University, that may be a dangerous oversight: a form of e-cigarettes called tank systems can get so hot the vapor can contain the carcinogen formaldehyde and other toxic compounds."We want to know what's in the emissions, not just the ingredients," said VCU toxicologist Robert Balster, who is helping to oversee four FDA-funded projects.To find out, VCU engineers are constructing mechanical vaping devices to measure how temperature, voltage, and other parameters affect the content of the plumes from e-cigarettes. They will next comb through Facebook and blog postings to see whether vapers like super-hot temperatures, for instance. Combining the results of the mechanical vaper and real-life habits should show what emissions people are exposed to."If it turns out that people are tinkering with the electronics to increase the voltage of e-cigarettes, and FDA regulations limit the maximum voltage, that's useful to know," since it may justify a requirement that the devices be tinker-proof, said Balster.Full results are years away, he said, "but we're mindful of getting information to FDA in a timely manner. They're under a lot of pressure to get moving."© Thomson Reuters 2014Original author: Wilbur
  1664 Hits
  0 Comments

Electronic cigarette franchisor eyes Richmond market

An Oklahoma-based retailer of electronic cigarettes says it is planning to open franchise stores in the Richmond area. An executive with Tulsa, Okla.-based Palm Beach Vapors said Wednesday the company wants to open seven to 10 stores in the Richmond region in the next year and a half, and it has received interest from potential franchise operators. Subscription Required An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety. Login Create or log into your All Access account To log in, enter the email and password for your Times-Dispatch All Access account.

  1581 Hits
  0 Comments

E-Cigarette Charger Explodes, Causes House Fire

OKLAHOMA CITY -Scary moments for one metro family Thursday morning when their back bedroom quickly caught fire after an e-cigarette charger exploded.Thankfully, the mother and daughter were able to escape.It's happening across the country and has happened several times in Oklahoma, including the latest fire that broke out just before 2 a.m. Thursday inside the back room of a home on Leaning Elm Road near May Avenue and Hefner Road."You don't believe it until you pull up to see what's going on, but everybody's fine," Richard Zahn's family was in the home at the time.Zahn said his daughter-in-law was asleep when a fire started near her bed coming from her e-cigarette charger. Flames took over the entire bedroom and swept through the hallway and attic."It grew really fast, and that's all she kept stressing is how fast it did go," Oklahoma City Fire District Chief Chad Everett said.7/3/2014 Related Story: E-Cigarette Charger Sparks OKC Home Fire; Woman BurnedThe woman tried to put the fire out herself but had to grab her daughter and leave, suffering a burned hand in the process.The fire brings more attention to how improper charging of an e-cigarette can spark fires."There's no more risk than any other battery-operated device," David Kapple is the manager of Get Vaped and Vice President of the National Vapors Club.Kapple said although e-cigs have a common USB port, if you charge it inside the wrong port like in a laptop, desktop computer, Xbox or with a cell phone charger, it can overheat your battery and cause it to fail or burn up."The output voltage on the phone charger is two amps, whereas on the charger for an e-cig, it's 500 milli-amps or 0.5 amps," said Kapple. "If you use anything other than the proper charger your mod came with, it's wrong."If you ever have any questions about what type of charger to use, Kapple suggested just going to your nearest Vape shop, and there are more than 300 in Oklahoma alone.Zahn said, in the meantime, his daughter-in-law and her 16-year-old daughter will stay with him. He said the house fire came at the worst possible time as his son is currently in the hospital being treated for a stomach disease.Original author: Luisa
  1556 Hits
  0 Comments

E-Cigarette Charger Sparks OKC Home Fire; Woman Burned

The fire happened just before 2 a.m. Thursday inside the back bedroom of a home in the 11000 block of Leaning Elm Road near May Avenue and Hefner Road.OKLAHOMA CITY -An electronic cigarette charger is being blamed for a fire that burned an Oklahoma City woman early Thursday morning.The fire happened just before 2 a.m. Thursday inside the back bedroom of a home in the 11000 block of Leaning Elm Road near May Avenue and Hefner Road. The victim and her daughter were inside when the fire started. Firefighters say the woman attempted to put the fire out herself, but burned her hand and the fire was spreading too fast to stop it. The blaze burned the bedroom, furniture and parts of a back porch. Firefighters estimate the damage is around $75,000.A fire spokesman on scene told News 9 this isn't the first time they've responded to a fire that was started by an e-cigarette charger. Several other fires have been reported across Oklahoma and the nation.Original author: Gwen
  1636 Hits
  0 Comments

E-cigarette factory to create 80 jobs

Enda Kenny: Announced Zenith jobs on German visitAn Irish e-cigarette manufacturer is to create 80 jobs at a new manufacturing facility in Waterford, with hundreds more potentially in the pipeline in the next 12 months.Healthier Smoker, which produces e-liquids and e-cigarettes says that the new facility will allow it to increase its current production of 50,000 bottles of e-liquid forty-fold in just a few months, as demand for its products continues to increase sharply.Half of the initial 80 positions will be filled in its retail outlets across the country, with the remainder in the manufacturing arm of the business.With 50,000 people using e-cigarettes in Ireland, and sales growth of 478% across the industry last year, there is room for further expansion, according to company spokesperson, Stephen Ryan.“There is huge growth potential in this industry and we look forward to being at the forefront of that. In export terms, we anticipate that our business, just from this facility alone, could be worth €100m in the next five years.“The potential for growth is staggering, and Ireland could possibly become a world-class centre of excellence for the production of e-liquids,” said Mr Ryan.Meanwhile, in Germany, Taoiseach Enda Kenny delivered more good news on the employment front, with the announcement that Cork-based Zenith Technologies is to create a further 30 jobs, half of which will be based in Ireland.All the jobs announced by the company, which currently employs 400 people globally, will be graduate engineering positions.The dual jobs boost comes as it was claimed that more job opportunities are being advertised across almost every foreign direct investment (FDI) sector of the economy.The Employment Market Monitor compiled by recruitment firm, Cpl shows double-digit year-on-year growth in a number of sectors; climbing by as much as 35% for science, engineering and supply-chain jobs.Companies operating in IT, accountancy, finance and banking also posted more jobs in the second quarter of this year, compared with 2013.The results indicate the likelihood of continued growth in the FDI sector, according to Cpl director, Peter Cosgrave.© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reservedOriginal author: Riley
  1668 Hits
  0 Comments

Predicting the black market in e-cigarettes


by Carl V Phillips The anti-tobacco movement is fundamentally dishonest and unethical, and it is also led by minimally-skilled people who isolate themselves in an echo chamber that avoids scientific review.  As a result, it is frequently difficult to determine … Continue reading →Original author: Carl V Phillips
  1851 Hits
  0 Comments

As E-Cigarette Growth Booms, 3 Major Challenges Loom

The war on tobacco has been one of the largest conflicts that has ensued within the U.S. over the past 50 years.Led by public campaigns packed with knowledge, as well as a recent print, media, and online ad campaign from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the first of its kind for the CDC -- the U.S. adult smoking rate in the U.S. has dropped from 42% in 1965 to just 18% as of 2011. This is what you would call a successful reeducation campaign.Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Unfortunately, this still means that somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 million Americans are classified as smokers. With the negative health effects of smoking well known, the CDC, Food and Drug Administration, and U.S.regulators would like to persuade as many people as possible to put down their cigarettes and quit for good.Electronic cigarette growth is boomingHowever, nicotine is a highly addictive substance and most smokers won't be able to simply quit "cold turkey." This is where electronic cigarettes come in, and why a number of smokers have turned to these devices as a way to wean themselves off cigarettes.Source: Lindsay Fox, Flickr.Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs for short, heat a flavored liquid solution containing nicotine inside a metal tube, turning the liquid into an inhalable vapor. The allure of these devices is that they contain the nicotine that smokers are addicted to without a number of the harmful chemicals typically found in cigarette smoke. In other words, the perception would be that e-cigs are a safer alternative source for nicotine.Growth in e-cigs is absolutely soaring, at least according to a study published this week by my alma mater, the University of California, San Diego. Researchers at UCSD's School of Medicine noted that "10 new e-cigarette brands have entered the Internet marketplace every month, on average, from 2012 to 2014, and that there are currently 466 e-cigarette brands online, offering more than 7,700 flavors."UCSD's study also demonstrated a distinctive shift between established e-cigarette brands and newer brands. As lead author Shu-Hong Zhu noted, older e-cig brands tended to focus their marketing message around the cost-effectiveness and comparable health benefits of e-cigarettes compared to traditional cigarettes. Newer brands try and avoid any comparisons to cigarettes whatsoever, emphasizing flavor and choice instead. Three major challenges loom for e-cigarette industry Growth might be off the charts for the e-cig industry, but that doesn't mean it won't face a number of challenges over the near-term. Specifically, I see three hurdles it will need to overcome in the coming years in order to be successful.Source: Alex Proimos, Wikimedia Commons.One we dove into just last month: the Food and Drug Administration's initial proposal to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products. The truth of the matter is that we don't know a lot about the long-term effects of e-cig vapor as of yet, and until more is known the FDA would much rather take a conservative approach to classification. More so, the FDA wants to ensure that minors aren't allowed access to e-cigarettes as this could actually cause tobacco addiction rates to rise.While these seem like fair concerns, the FDA's decision could have an adverse impact on the bottom-line of e-cig manufacturers like Lorillard (NYSE: LO  ) , the company behind the dominant Blu E-Cigs brand, while potentially boosting insurers' profits. If insurers choose to classify e-cigs as tobacco products they could jack up the premium rates of those using the inhalable devices and would likely reap significant financial benefits as the long-term health effects of inhaled vapor versus traditional cigarette smoke is portrayed as night and day by the e-cigarette industry. If insurance costs rise because of e-cigarette use it's possible that companies like Lorillard could see their sales growth stall. For the moment we're still waiting to see where most insurers will stand on their classification of these devices.Secondly, while pundits have focused to no end on the possible health benefits and risks of e-cigarettes, they've ignored the potential for market oversaturation that UCSD's study exposed. Competition is good for the consumer, but it can be bad for businesses as it has the potential to reduce pricing power and pressure margins. More e-cigarette manufacturers means higher advertising budgets just to stand out from the crowd.Furthermore, the rapid growth of e-cigarette brands creates a Catch-22-like dilemma for consumers and investors.E-liquid vapor shop, Source: Lindsay Fox, Flickr.On one hand, I'd be concerned about the quality of product given the rapid influx of new brands. As UCSD's study points out, newer e-cig brands appear to be more focused on flavor, which lends concern that they could be enticing the wrong audience (i.e., minors) or sending the wrong signal. The FDA has been pretty clear that e-cigs are to be used as smoking cessation tool and nothing more.On the other hand, if the FDA does choose to regulate each new brand that comes to market we could be looking at a veritable mountain of paperwork that could slow new e-cig brand emergence to a crawl and divert FDA attention away from where it should be – regulating pharmaceutical drug development.Finally, investors have been gung-ho about the potential for the e-cig industry -- and with good reason given initial consumer demand -- but the question no one seems to be asking is whether or not this is a viable business model over the long-term.In 2013, for example, e-cigarette sales crossed the $1 billion mark. By comparison, total tobacco revenue for the largest six tobacco companies in the world – China National Tobacco, Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, Imperial Tobacco, and Altria – tallied $346 billion with $35 billion in profits in 2010. Put simply, the impact of e-cigarettes is but a blip on tobacco producers' radars at the moment.Lorillard, which controls 45% of U.S. e-cigarette market share based on its first-quarter results, actually saw sales slip year-over-year to $51 million from its Blu E-Cigs brand from $57 million in the year-ago quarter. Additionally, a near-doubling in selling, general and administrative costs pushed its e-cigarette segment to an $11 million net loss. If the biggest e-cigarette maker in the U.S. is having trouble turning a steady profit with 45% market share, then what exactly does it take for this industry to be economically viable? For now I'd suggest that there are far too many questions and few answers. While the industry does offer rapid revenue growth opportunities, the potential for industry regulation and slower growth through tougher competition remain distinct possibilities. Until we see healthy profits from e-cigarette manufacturers, it's probably best not to fall for their smoke and mirror growth promises.If you think e-cigarette growth is impressive, wait till you get a closer look at the potential behind this top stock!The best investors consistently reap gigantic profits by recognizing true potential earlier and more accurately than anyone else. Let me cut right to the chase. There is a product in development that will revolutionize not how we treat a common chronic illness, but potentially the entire health industry. Analysts are already licking their chops at the sales potential. In order to outsmart Wall Street and realize multi-bagger returns you will need The Motley Fool’s new free report on the dream-team responsible for this game-changing blockbuster. CLICK HERE NOW.Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.Original author: Warner
  1763 Hits
  0 Comments

"Groundbreaking" Legislation in New Jersey Provides No Human Health Protection While Sacrificing the Health and Lives of Casino Workers

According to an article in the Sand Paper, the New Jersey state legislature has passed legislation that would ban smoking in all state parks and beaches, with no exceptions. Smoking would also be banned in municipal parks, but localities would be allowed to designate 15% of the park as a smoking area.According to the article: "“The bill first has to be signed by Gov. Christie,” said Karen Blumenfeld, executive director of Global Advisors on Smokefree Policies. ... “This law is nationally groundbreaking as New Jersey will become the first state in the United States to require that all state, county and local parks, recreation areas and beaches be 100 percent smoke-free,” said Blumenfeld. “It provides for consistent, uniform healthful environments from town to town.  New Jersey is ready for a 100 percent smoke-free parks and recreation areas policy statewide. ... One hundred percent smokefree parks and recreational areas also generate health, environmental and economic health benefits. It normalizes smokefree environments where children engage in recreational activities, reducing the likelihood they’ll start smoking.” She said there is no safe level of secondhand smoke even outdoors, especially for children and seniors. “Studies show outdoor smoke levels can be as high as indoor smoking-permitted locations,” said Blumenfeld."The Rest of the StoryI doubt that the smoke levels in New Jersey parks were anything like the levels that are being experienced by the tens of thousands of the state's casino workers.Vince Rennich is a casino floor worker who at age 47 was diagnosed with lung cancer due to 25 years of heavy exposure to secondhand smoke, which he described as working in "a modern-day coal mine." "A good majority of the time, I'm surrounded in a cloud of smoke," he said.While New Jersey anti-smoking groups and policy makers pat themselves on the back for what they claim is "groundbreaking" public health protection, New Jersey remains one of the two worst states in the country in terms of failure to protect a huge segment of its workers - casino workers - from the devastating health effects of heavy and chronic secondhand smoke exposure.While the new law may provide for "consistent, uniform healthful environments from town to town," it doesn't do so if that town is named "Atlantic City."In my opinion, New Jersey has no business pretending that achieving "100 percent smoke-free parks and recreation areas" is some sort of huge public health victory when the reality is that thousands of its casino workers continue to suffer disease and disability from exposure to high levels of secondhand smoke.Banning smoking in public parks and beaches may have environmental benefits, but in terms of human health, there is no evidence that these policies are actually addressing any substantial public health problem. In contrast, the problem of secondhand smoke exposure in New Jersey's casinos is truly a life and death issue.The rest of the story is that New Jersey lawmakers and anti-smoking groups should be ashamed of celebrating the "groundbreaking" human health protection represented by eliminating all wisks of tobacco smoke in public parks while doing nothing to eliminate the literal clouds of smoke that enshroud the state's casino workers who are simply trying to make a living and support themselves and their families, but have to breathe in high levels of carcinogens in order to make a living.I'm sure those casino workers will sleep well at night knowing that never again will they have to walk by a smoker in a park.Original author: Michael Siegel
  1532 Hits
  0 Comments

Eden School Board considers letting staff confiscate and keep e-cigarettes

[unable to retrieve full-text content]To address an increase in e-cigarette use, a revised policy may take effect in the Eden Central School District. Board of Education members will consider a change to the code of conduct that will allow teachers and administrators to confiscate and keep e-cigarettes.Original author: Raquel
  1469 Hits
  0 Comments

In Ironic Twist, Glantz is Acting as Tobacco Front Group While Defamed "Front Groups" are Trying to Make Cigarettes Obsolete

Sometimes, reality isn't what it seems. And once in a rare while, it is exactly the opposite. That is the case in today's Rest of the Story.Yesterday, I revealed that Dr. Stan Glantz has accused electronic cigarette associations of being front groups for Big Tobacco, insinuating that they are masquerading as grassroots vapers' groups but in reality are working to protect Big Tobacco profits.Today, I show that ironically, it is Dr. Glantz who is working to protect Big Tobacco profits, while the electronic cigarette groups are working to make cigarettes obsolete.The most telling point is Dr. Glantz's opposition to legislation that classifies electronic cigarettes as being separate from tobacco products. The electronic cigarette associations have been lobbying local and state governments not to classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products. This makes perfect sense because they are not tobacco products. They contain no tobacco. They are orders of magnitude safer than cigarettes and should not be treated in the same category for regulatory purposes.Obviously, it is to the great disadvantage of cigarette profits to have e-cigarettes classified and treated separately. For example, if e-cigarettes are taxed as heavily as cigarettes, then cigarettes are protected from competition and have a huge market advantage. If e-cigarette use is not allows in the same places where smoking is allowed, then cigarettes also are protected from competition and gain a huge market advantage.By opposing the classification of e-cigarettes as tobacco products, the e-cigarette associations have been everything they can to avoid regulations that treat these products in the same way. The reason is simple: such regulations would give cigarettes a huge competitive advantage in the market place. Laws that categorize e-cigarettes the same way as tobacco products are essentially protective legislation for tobacco cigarettes. By fighting such a classification, e-cigarette associations are doing what they can to reject the idea of this protective legislation so that they can gain the upper hand on cigarettes and eventually, make these products obsolete.Ironically, Dr. Glantz (and numerous anti-smoking groups) are supporting the protective legislation. Which raises the question: Who is acting more as a Big Tobacco front group? The e-cigarette associations, which are fighting protective legislation for tobacco cigarettes, or Glantz and the anti-smoking groups, which are trying to get protective legislation ensconced in every state throughout the country, so that cigarette profits are protected nationwide?Original author: Michael Siegel
  1517 Hits
  0 Comments

Swedish Study: After a Heart Attack, Quitting Tobacco Better Than No Tobacco

A recent study by Gabriel Arefalk and colleagues at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, published in the American Heart Association flagship journal Circulation(abstract here), was purported by the authors, the AHA (here) and the media (here) to show that continuing snus use or smoking after a heart attack (myocardial infarction, MI) is twice as harmful as quitting. These conclusions are questionable. Using the Arefalk numbers, Carl Phillips and I found that snus users, and perhaps even some smokers, are better off than non-users. We have submitted a letter to the editor of Circulation, and Carl has the full text of our letter in his CASAA blog post (here). The bottom line is that the authors tried to spin the results as suggesting that continuing snus use is dangerous after an MI. In fact, continuing snus users actually had a lower death rate than people who used neither snus nor cigarettes. Whatever is happening in this population, it clearly does not support the simplistic “snus is bad” mantra. There is a glaringly obvious explanation for why people who quit snus (or smoking) after an MI fare better than those who do not: Those who are healthy (except for the recent MI, of course) and hope to recover are more likely to take steps to minimize their risks. After being advised to give up snus, many also get physical therapy, exercise and maintain a healthier diet. Meanwhile, those who are less healthy may not make changes in an attempt to regain long-term health. The Arefalk analysis may not have adequately controlled for these confounding factors.Of course, this would only partially explain the better outcomes of quitters compared to continuing users; it does nothing to explain why all of them (except those who continued to smoke) apparently fared better than non-users. There are possible explanations for this in the form of statistical artifacts or real effects. The key observation is that these unreported results do not support the authors’ main interpretation that snus use is dangerous after an MI.With the publication of this article, peer review appears to have been woefully inadequate. The prime statistical error we discovered is the key number reported in the first paragraph of the article’s results section. Reviewers of this study failed to detect the glaring error.Even without correcting that error or calculating the mortality rate for non-users, the (incorrect) number for the population as a whole the authors reported can still be compared to rates for people who used snus or cigarettes at the time of their MI. This is enough to raise red flags about the analysis and conclusions, since it is still higher than the rate for those who kept using snus, and far higher than the rates for those who stopped using either product. In 2011 Arefalk was lead author on a study making dubious claims about snus use and heart failure. I described that effort as “neither legitimate nor persuasive until the authors resolve the fundamental questions about the analysis.” (here). The current article in Circulation is a classic example of anti-tobacco propaganda. Credible epidemiologic studies do not report risks in exposed groups without reporting the comparable baseline risk among the unexposed. The authors, and the journal editors and reviewers who enabled them, omitted this critical information. Our letter to the editor gives them a chance to correct these deficiencies.Original author: Vince
  1540 Hits
  0 Comments

E-Cigarettes: Turning Harm Reduction Into Harm Addiction?

Electronic cigarettes have become a lightening rod for controversy among experts in the medical profession, with studies supporting their potential to help some smokers quit, while others believe that the electronic devices may serve as a gateway to nicotine addiction by luring teen smokers.Simply put, nicotine is a highly addictive compound, whether delivered as a vapor or through combustion as a regular tobacco cigarette.  It raises your heart rate and blood pressure, and has a direct effect as a stimulant on your central nervous system.With their alluring colors, flavors and packaging–and without formal FDA regulation of packaging, advertising and distribution at this time–experts and critics have legitimate concerns about Big Tobacco’s ability to mold and influence the delivery of nicotine to teens.  And, as Big Tobacco continues to invest greater sums in production and distribution of electronic cigarettes, gaining a greater foothold in overall revenues, critics are now more concerned than ever.With e-cigarettes presently accounting for nearly 2 billion a year in revenue, big tobacco companies are entering the game in greater numbers. In fact, the maker of Camel cigarettes is scheduled to begin distribution of an e-cigarette by the end of this month.  And a subsidiary of Altria, the maker of Marlboro, plans to enter the field later this year, along with Lorillard, the manufacturer of the leading US e-cigarette brand, Blu.Electronic Cigarette Inhalation (Photo credit: planetc1)“It has been beneficial for helping people to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes but turning e-cigarettes into an entry port for young people is shameful,” said Klaus D. Lessnau MD, FCCP a pulmonary and critical care specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.As both a concerned parent and a physician, Lessnau is adamant that intervention and education by parents and teachers is essential in order to prevent future generations of teens from becoming nicotine addicts before they graduate from high school.“My 15 year old daughter tells me that some of her friends smoke e-cigarettes frequently,” Lessnau explains, “and to make this possible is dishonest behavior from greedy companies.”“That is the very reason that the FDA should regulate e-cigarettes. It remains unscrupulous to use electronic cigarettes to turn teenagers and young adults into nicotine addicts,” adds Lessnau.While e-cigarettes may certainly have a role in promoting harm reduction—reducing the risk of lung cancer and heart disease and helping some chronic smokers eventually quit–the potential for nicotine addiction developing in teens deserves a spotlight in the national conversation, especially among parents and teachers.FDA regulation of all aspects of the production, distribution, as well as a strict ban on all advertising of the liquid nicotine devices must come sooner than later, Lessnau believes.While the FDA passed a rule in April of this year to enact legislation to regulate electronic cigarettes as “tobacco products”. This would effectively ban sales to minors,  and would include a requirement that e-cigarette companies disclose strength of nicotine and all ingredients.  Some feel that that the ongoing delay until formal passage may pose a risk to the health and safety of teens. And until such a rule is adopted, the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products does not have the authority to regulate the sale or use of electronic cigarettes as tobacco products.  This extensive process could actually take years due to the legal issues and multiple interests at stake.And interestingly, the FDA has yet to suggest marketing restrictions on e-cigarette manufacturers involving any ban on candy or fruit flavors, which are prohibited for use in regular tobacco cigarettes.So far, 38 states, have already prohibited sales of electronic cigarettes to minors. This is based on a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. In addition, nearly a dozen states have passed some form of a ban in public places such as schools and government buildings.According to a survey in 2012 released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 3 percent of US teenagers admitted to using an electronic cigarette in the past month.  More importantly, the study noted that middle school students’ use of e-cigarettes had actually doubled from 2011 to 2012. Overall, that more than 1.78 million U.S. middle and high school students had tried e-cigarettes in 2012.The CDC study also noted that among those teenagers who tried e-cigarettes, early 75 percent also smoked a regular tobacco cigarettes, making the argument that e-cigarettes could be an entry point to use of conventional tobacco products.Meanwhile, Senator Charles Schumer (D, New York) has been quite vocal in pressing to advance regulation of liquid nicotine since it can pose such a danger to children and teens.  He continues to argue for mandatory child-proof safety caps and warning labels as part of developing regulations on liquid nicotine cartridges stemming from overdoses of liquid nicotine in teens and children (seen in New York State and nationwide).On July 1, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott will enact a ban on sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. He joins governors in Kentucky, Delaware, Connecticut and Oklahoma who have already prohibited the sale of the products to minors. Schumer hopes New York will soon join the list and enact stronger rules to protect children and teens.Original author: Vince
  1538 Hits
  0 Comments

E-cigarette skeptics unnecessarily alarmed by water vapor

As if resurrected from the 1970s, smoking advertisements have been springing up nationwide in the form of televised commercials. But these ads aren’t for the traditional tobacco cigarette; instead the e-cigarette is rising to fame.One chemical that particularly alarms the public seems to be nicotine, which isn’t as notably harmful as other components of a tobacco cigarette; its most dangerous quality is its addictiveness, but it has minimal effects on health. Taking all this into consideration, it simply seems that people are over-reacting when they demonize the e-cig, especially when it is trying to replace its much deadlier cousin.Unlike the tobacco cigarette, which contains hundreds of chemical ingredients, the e-cigarette contains hardly any chemicals at all. The e-cig instead consists mostly of distilled water, nicotine and artificial flavoring. Opponents of the e-cigarette, however, claim that they have found traces of formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-specific nitrosamines in the vapor emissions. Even if these chemicals are there, they exist in minimal quantities. So why is everyone freaking out about e-cigs when the chemicals allegedly found in them are so few you can count them on both hands? The dangers of the e-cigarette pale in comparison to dangers of a real cigarette, which contains over 600 ingredients (like arsenic, lead and tar) and emits 4,000 chemicals when burned.Though the e-cig is much healthier than regular cigarettes, there are arguments that because e-cigarettes are being advertised, they are making the act of smoking cigarettes look cool again. Well, first off, e-cig commercials are not in any way promotional of real cigarettes. In fact, in the most well-known e-cig commercials, celebrities tout the Blu e-cig as a healthier and better choice than tobacco cigarettes. Stephen Dorff declares the e-cig as a “smarter alternative” to real cigarettes after his 20 years of smoking tobacco, and celebrity Jenny McCarthy opens her e-cig promotion with “I love being single, but here’s what I don’t like — a kiss that tastes like an ashtray.” Both of these celebrities list personal disadvantages to smoking real cigarettes.Yes, these celebrities do look edgy as they breathe clouds of water vapor, but the purpose of these ads is to make the e-cig look cool; they are marketing themselves as better than real cigarettes. These e-cig commercials are also appearing alongside the well-recognized Ugly Truth commercials, which show everyday citizens reacting to anti-tobacco statements (for instance, the cowboy singing the catchy “You don’t always die from tobacco” tune through a hole in his throat). These ads popping up on the same television channel are not making tobacco cigarettes look good.Another concern springs up about whether e-cigs will be a gateway to real cigarettes. However, a 2012 Center for Disease Control and Prevention study on tobacco product use among high school students showed that 14 percent were reported to have tried cigarettes while 2.8 percent were reported to have tried e-cigs. So, if anything, people should be more concerned that high school students are inhaling tobacco and toxins into their lungs, not that they might be trying out water vapor instead.CNN reports that the number of e-cig experimenters has doubled since then, but this doesn’t seem like it should be a cause for alarm if high school students are choosing e-cigs over tobacco cigarettes, since according to the CDC, “current cigarette smoking among middle school and high school youth declined between 2000 and 2011.” Would you rather your child was breathing tobacco smoke or water vapor?Obviously, not smoking is the healthiest choice, but we are far from banning all tobacco products. E-cigs were originally developed as a tool to help current smokers switch to a healthier alternative. And they are doing better than any gum or patch out there, as they’ve been shown in studies to help a slightly larger percent of smokers quit, including one where 7 percent of smokers quit after six months. True, they have not brought a huge number of people away from tobacco cigarettes, but they are still doing better than their predecessors and can continue to produce good results. Introducing e-cigarettes to current smokers is not a bad thing; it’s a step toward a healthier and less-polluted society.Several over-reactors seem to be demanding that the FDA ban e-cigs; this is startling because it makes no sense to make a healthier alternative to smoking less available than real, harmful cigarettes. Even UC campuses, who recently banned all tobacco products, are denying the e-cigarette access to academic grounds. It is understandable to be wary, since there are still studies that have yet to be done and are some unanswered questions circling the product, but the overwhelming evidence is that e-cigs are a much smarter alternative to tobacco cigarettes.So, if you smoke, it’s not a bad idea to switch to smoking e-cigs instead. It’s essentially just nicotine and distilled water, and emulates the taste of a real cigarette, but without the guarantee of lung damage. If you have to smoke something, I am definitely in favor of saying, “Out with the tobacco cigarette, and in with the e-cig!”Written by Brenna Dilger E-cigarette skeptics unnecessarily alarmed by water vaporOriginal author: Riley
  1926 Hits
  0 Comments

More Defamatory Accusations from Glantz: This Time, Vaper Associations are Attacked

Vapers Club, Vapers Forum, Vapers Place, Utah Vapers, Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette AssociationWhat do all of these organizations have in common?According to Dr. Stan Glantz, they are all tobacco front groups because they "bear an uncanny resemblance" to front groups that the tobacco industry historically formed to oppose clean indoor air legislation.Dr. Glantz writes: "It turns out that ABC spiked a second documentary, prepared for its documentary program Turning Point, "Tobacco Under Fire." The first segment, which deals with advertising, is mostly of historical interest (to show that we have actually made some progress, although nothing close to most other countries, which have ad bans). The second segment, dealing with how the tobacco companies create front groups, however, is highly relevant today, since the "grassroots" vaper associations bear uncanny resemblances to what the tobacco companies did in (generally ineffective) efforts to organize smokers to oppose clean indoor air laws and other tobacco control policies."In other words, the efforts of grassroots organizations like these vaper associations are not genuine displays of the opinions of vapers. Instead, these organizations are merely front groups created by the tobacco industry in order to have the appearance of a grassroots group, but actually intended to lobby for the tobacco industry's interests.The Rest of the StoryFortunately, Dr. Glantz is living in the past. While it is quite true that the tobacco companies used to form front groups to masquerade as genuine grassroots organizations in order to oppose smoke-free laws, the fact that Big Tobacco acted this way in the 1980s and 1990s does not mean that any organization that supports electronic cigarette use in 2014 is a Big Tobacco front group.In fact, the accusation is a defamatory one because it is intended to harm the credibility of these groups and it is not based on any careful attempt to present the truth.Nearly all of the vaper groups and associations are genuine grassroots organizations that truly represent the interests of the vaping community, not Big Tobacco. The accusation makes no sense even on its face - these groups are trying to replace tobacco cigarettes with electronic ones. Why would Big Tobacco fund groups that are trying to make tobacco cigarettes obsolete?This is just another example of the defamatory tactics that a number of electronic cigarette opponents are using to try to discredit these products and their potential role in public health.Original author: Michael Siegel
  1454 Hits
  0 Comments

New Study Reveals No Drop in Use of Smokeless Tobacco for U.S. Workers – Journeyworks Publishing Offers Materials for Workplace Wellness Efforts

Link: http://ww1.prweb.com/prfiles/2014/06/25/11975496/tN_83820_quittingspittobacco.pngOriginal author: Barry
  1351 Hits
  0 Comments

E-cigs could stub out tobacco bonds

"Here's your catalyst," said Metzold, who sold all of his tobacco bonds more than a year ago. "Tobacco companies are buying the e-cigarette companies."Lorillard acquired blu for $135 million in 2012, and also bought the U.K. e-cigarette brand SKYCIG for $49 million. Reynolds began distributing Vuse e-cigarettes in June and the No.1 U.S. tobacco company, Altria Group, is soon due to roll out its e-cig brand MarkTen nationally.Not everyone's a believerStill, not everyone is convinced about the e-cigarettes boom and the likelihood of early default on the bonds."E-cigarettes are not a real replacement. They are another tool for people to quit smoking, but they are not a substitute. To me, it's a fad," said Dick Larkin, senior vice president and director of Credit Analysis, himself a smoker. "E-cigarettes are a threat to the MSA, but I don't think they are a material threat."And the bonds are enticing for some, largely because they're so cheap and offer juicy yields at a time when high rates of return in the fixed income market are relatively scarce.Boston-based investment firm Loomis Sayles bought tobacco bonds several years ago when they were trading at deep discounts."I don't think you can say with 100 percent certainty that e-cigarettes will supplant normal cigarettes. How does anyone even know that?" said Steven Bocamazo, credit research manager and senior research analyst at Loomis Sayles. "They have a small market share and, while growing, it isn't the big threat that everyone is making it out to be."Tobacco-settlement debt currently counts among the highest-yielding in the municipal bond market.The Standard & Poor's Municipal Bond Tobacco Index sports an average yield to maturity of 6.24 percent for the $23.9 billion of bonds it tracks. By comparison, S&P's index for general obligation muni bonds has a yield of just 2.9 percent.But, even with a rally underway this year - the S&P tobacco bond index is up more than 13 percent—most continue to trade at distressed levels, reflecting their perceived default risk. Moody's rates around 80 percent of all tobacco bonds at "B1"—which is four notches below investment grade—or lower."There are fund groups like ourselves, that said, 'We don't like what is going on here, we're getting out,'" said Metzold.Some states soften the blowThe softening revenue flowing to the bonds from weakening consumption trends has prompted some states to step in to support the bonds.Original author: Shirlee
  1648 Hits
  0 Comments

New study shows that if you have an MI, you should hope you use tobacco


by Carl V Phillips A recent study by Arefalk et al., published in Circulation, was claimed by the authors, the AHA, and the corporate media to show that continuing snus use after an MI (heart attack) is harmful. In reality – … Continue reading →Original author: Carl V Phillips
  1411 Hits
  0 Comments

Researcher at UCSF Tobacco Research Center Involved in Unethical Facebook Research

A scientist who is currently with the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (home of Dr. Stan Glantz) is part of a research team that conducted an unethical experiment on hundreds of thousands of Facebook users, whose Facebook news feed content was manipulated without their informed consent in order to try to trigger their emotions.The purpose of the experiment was to determine whether manipulation of an individual's Facebook news feed by blocking either positive or negative emotional content could affect the mood and emotional expression of that person. In short, the experiment sought to determine whether emotion is "contagious." The paper defends its ethical standards by arguing that it "was consistent with Facebook's Data Use Policy, to which all users agree prior to creating an account on Facebook, constituting informed consent for this research."Regarding the engagement of Facebook users in research, Facebook's Data Use Policy states the following:"We use the information we receive about you in connection with the services and features we provide to you and other users like your friends, our partners, the advertisers that purchase ads on the site, and the developers that build the games, applications, and websites you use. For example, in addition to helping people see and find things that you do and share, we may use the information we receive about you: ... for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement."The policy also states: "We give your information to the people and companies that help us provide, understand and improve the services we offer. For example, we may use outside vendors to help host our website, serve photos and videos, process payments, analyze data, conduct and publish research, measure the effectiveness of ads, or provide search results."The Rest of the StoryThis research violates basic ethical standards of informed consent for two reasons:1. The subjects did not consent to participate in the study.In fact, the subjects had no idea that they were part of an experiment involving artificial manipulation of their news feed for the purposes of potential inducing happiness or sadness as part of a research study. This potential use of their Facebook account is simply not mentioned in the Data Use Policy. The policy states that the information provided by users may be used for research purposes. It also states that the information may be shared with outside vendors to conduct research. However, nowhere does the policy state that users agree to intentional manipulation by Facebook staff for research purposes.In other words, while the policy allows Facebook to collect and use user information for research purposes, it does not allow Facebook to conduct interventions in which it manipulates feeds shared with users in order to try to control their emotions as part of a research experiment.Thus, before even getting to the issue of informed consent, the subjects in this research did not even consent to the research in the first place. 2. The subjects did not provide informed consent for their participation in the research.Contrary to the assertion of the authors of this paper, simply being aware that the information one provides to Facebook may be used for research purposes does not constitute informed consent. The fact that users agreed to a Data Use Policy which notes that information may be used for research purposes does not, as the authors state, "[constitute] informed consent for this research."In order to represent informed consent, there are several other elements which must take place. These are explained best by Professor James Grimmelmann over at The Laboratorium:"The standard of consent for terms of service is low. But that “consent” is a legal fiction, designed to facilitate online interactions. (See Nancy Kim and Margaret Jane Radin’s books for more.) It’s very different from informed consent, the ethical and legal standard for human subjects research (HSR). The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, a/k/a the Common Rule, requires that informed consent include: (1) A statement that the study involves research, an explanation of the purposes of the research and the expected duration of the subject’s participation, a description of the procedures to be followed, and identification of any procedures which are experimental; (2) A description of any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts to the subject; … (7) An explanation of whom to contact for answers to pertinent questions about the research and research subjects’ rights, and whom to contact in the event of a research-related injury to the subject; (8) A statement that participation is voluntary, refusal to participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which the subject is otherwise entitled, and the subject may discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which the subject is otherwise entitled. Facebook’s actual Data Use Policy contains none of these, only general statements that “we may use the information we receive about you … for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.” and “We give your information to the people and companies that help us provide, understand and improve the services we offer. For example, we may use outside vendors to … conduct and publish research.” Neither of these comes close to a “description of the procedures to be followed” or a “description of any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts,” and the Data Use Policy doesn’t even attempt to offer a contact for questions or an opt-out."It is clear, then, that this study violated the principles of informed consent, as subjects did not provide informed consent prior to being enrolled in the research.There is a provision for waiver of informed consent; however, the conditions for such a waiver were not met because: (1) the level of risk was not minimal; (2) the waiver did affect the rights and welfare of the subjects; (3) the research could still practicably have been carried out with informed consent; (4) subjects were not provided with information after the study to explain what occurred.An Unethical ExperimentBecause this research was funded by the federal government (by the Army Research Office, according to Cornell), it is subject to the human subjects research requirements. In addition, the involvement of two researchers at academic (federally-funded) institutions requires that the research be approved by an Institutional Review Board. Apparently, the research was approved by an academic IRB, a decision which I publicly question, for the above reasons.The rest of the story is that despite the Common Rule and the intense efforts to try to prevent human subject violations in research, there are still occasional studies which find their way through the cracks. This is one bad example. It is an example of an unethical experiment that should never have been approved by an IRB in its current form because it blatantly violates the ethical principles of both consent and informed consent. Original author: Michael Siegel
  1750 Hits
  0 Comments

Philip Morris buys e-cigarette maker Nicocigs

Philip Morris has snapped up one of Britain’s fastest-growing electronic cigarette-makers, Nicocigs.

Original author: Shirlee
  1672 Hits
  0 Comments

Sen. Schumer Proposes Regulations For Liquid E-Cigarette Containers

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINESFrom our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.Sign UpNEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York Sen. Charles Schumer unveiled a proposal Sunday to require child-proof safety caps and warning labels on e-cigarette liquid containers.Schumer was joined by Dr. Maida Galvez and students from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine to urge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require the regulations.Dr. Maida Galvez told WCBS 880′s Monica Miller liquid nicotine and flavors like bubble gum and mint chocolate chip don’t mix.“Calls to poison centers across the country have risen dramatically,” she said.Sen. Schumer Proposes Regulations For Liquid E-Cigarette ContainersWCBS 880's Monica Miller reportsSchumer said New York State Poison Control centers have received nearly 70 calls regarding e-cigarettes so far in 2014, up from just 46 calls in all of 2013.Nationally, the CDC warned that poison control calls related to e-cigarettes have jumped from 1 per month in 2010 to about 200 per month in 2014.Liquid nicotine may look and smell like candy, but can be lethal if ingested.“E-cig liquid flavored like bubble gum, chocolate and cotton candy is alarmingly attractive to kids. Feds must do more to prevent the rapidly rising number of poisonings and illness in children and adults alike,” Schumer said.Many parents are not aware of the potentially lethal nature of the liquid if it’s ingested, inhaled or comes into contact with skin.When swallowed or absorbed through skin, it can cause nausea, vomiting, seizures and even death.Schumer said more than half of e-cigarette related poisonings have involved children under the age of 5 years old.The lawmaker is now calling on the FDA to include his proposal in the final draft of the administration’s e-cigarette regulations, which is part of the implementation for the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that was passed in 2009.Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:Original author: Luisa
  1485 Hits
  0 Comments