Recent figures released show that women now make up 53% of vapers in the UK.
The reasons often cited for so many women now vaping – at least over a million if we stick to the 2.4 million figure, is that they are vaping to save their appearance and to stop them from getting fat.
There are several e-cig websites designed specifically for women, and with e-cigarettes allegedly designed just for women. Having had a look at one of the sites, their main e-cig, I must admit could easily be mistaken for a mascara wand.
Displayed prominently on the same home page are several articles dedicated to smoking and weight, social smoking, smoking and wrinkles and second hand smoke, next to a picture of a baby. They advertise their e-liquid flavours as ‘kissable’ and depending upon your level of feminism this could be quite funny and cute, or totally offensive.
Looking at it from a marketing standpoint, this is astute marketing in a world that appears to be geared toward the men. Buxom bikini clad women are more the norm for e-cig advertising, and when researching for this post I even found a Pinterest page dedicated to ‘female vapers’, and yes, it was bordering on the soft porn side.
Another theory as to why women are now overtaking men is that women have a different quit process to men. Women need the ‘smoking cues’ more than the men, i.e. the hand mouth action. A trial that looked at the difference between men and women using NRT found that after 6 months, the relapse was higher in women.
Yet another theory is because celebrities vape.
Again, your feminism may kick in here, or not, but so far we have looks, weight, babies, different quit process and celebs. The reason any woman does anything really??
If women are leading the vaping revolution, why does the market continue appear to be geared towards men? Is it because men are buying more of the big gear? The box mods? Market research has shown that women want something simple and easy, especially on a night out. It is during nights out apparently that many women briefly go back to smoking, as they find it easier than fiddling around with a 3rd generation e-cig.
So, gathering all these reasons up it makes women out to be fairly vacuous; weight, looks and copying celebrities, but I’m pretty sure there are more reasons, such as feeling better, better flavours, more fun, cheaper and yes, vaping probably won’t give you the wrinkles that smoking will.
But once we get past the stereotypical, there are some tough vaping questions that relate only to women, such as pregnancy and breastfeeding.
It is not recommended to vape while pregnant, as nicotine narrows the blood vessels and during pregnancy this will affect the blood flow to the placenta – the organ that provides nourishment and oxygen to the foetus. The general opinion is that abstinence is best during pregnancy. Nicotine apparently also passes through to the breast milk, so again abstinence is best.
There have been no studies done regarding pregnancy and e-cigarettes, hence the advice for caution.
Your body will undergo a few changes if you have managed to switch completely, or seriously cut down.
There are many pages of information online about what happens after you have stopped smoking, so here is some information if you’ve switched to vaping.
Not everyone will experience these changes, not every one will experience them in the same order, at the same time in their journey, or for the same length of time, but there are around 6 changes that you may notice:
- You will feel thirstier. You may find your mouth is drier than usual. PG and VG that are the main ingredients in e-liquid are humectants. This means they attract/ draw water to them, and as a vaper this includes some of the moisture in your mouth. As you adjust to vaping, to avoid that dry mouth feeling consider increasing your water uptake. Signs of dehydration can often be a headache and not feeling too great, so have a bottle of water handy at all time, drink several litres a day, and you should feel fine.
- Your sense of smell and taste will improve, and you may find you are more sensitive to certain smells than you were before.
- After 2-3 weeks of loving vaping, you may experience what is known as vapers tongue. This is normal, and happens to most of us. There is no real explanation for this, some say it’s because after your taste buds come alive, they may have a ‘relapse’ before coming back even stronger – others say it’s because of using the same flavour too much – but you essentially stop tasting your e-liquids. The solution is to vape something completely different, and that generally resolves the problem.
- Lung purge…. Sounds horrid, but this is your lungs finally having the chance to get rid of some of the gunk that has been accumulating while you were smoking. You may cough much more, have more phlegm, but see this as a detox and clear out. Obviously if you are concerned at all, visit your Dr, but after a week you should feel better and you may find that your morning cough has gone.
- Yup, teenage acne may come back – again this is a sign of detox, your skin is an eliminatory organ of your body, and it makes sense for your body to get rid of toxins via the skin – hence the spots. But don’t fret, they don’t last too long!
- General sense of well being increases. Many find that you can run up the stairs now without getting out of breath, and when many vapers visit their doctors, their lung function is improving, and they just generally feel better.
So here are a few things that may or may not happen to you as you switch, or during those first few months of switching to vaping. Know that they are normal, but of course if you are worried at all, do get yourself checked
Please don’t groan if you are reading this and thinking why don’t they shut up about this….
I understand you too might be fed up with all the politics and campaigning, but this is our vaping future – so please keep reading as to why I’m writing about this yet again.
The Article 20 team have a date for their day in court; October the 1st, in the afternoon. The European Courts of Justice are in Luxembourg, so no, we are not asking you to fly there and support them on the day – though if you did feel like doing this – it would go down a storm!
What we are asking you all to do is support them in getting the signature numbers up as high as possible for the petition handover, which is scheduled for the 29th September, 11 am outside the Department of Health.
Current figures are just over the 61K mark, and it would be fantastic to reach 70K.
The handover of the petition is historic, as it shows the Department of Health, (who agree with the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), and quite like Article 20 which they are defending in the CJEU –) that many in Europe see it as a terrible law and that it needs to be thrown in the bin and everyone start from scratch.
Should Article 20 be implemented in the UK, which is due to happen in May of next year, it will decimate vaping and possibly have the result of many that did vape, return to smoking. The devices they currently rely upon will become illegal, so once the devices start to show signs of wear and tear, there will be no other option than to try the ciggie-likes or go back to smoking.
Many will say – ‘well they should just stop altogether’ but as we know, this quit or die attitude serves no one and helps even less.
If you like vaping, your family and friends like you vaping – please ask them to sign the petition, and then, if you can – rock up outside the Department of Health and support the handover.
The address is: Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2NS.
The nearest tube station is Westminster tube station, on the circle and district lines http://www.londontown.com/TransportInformation/Attractions/Whitehall/e437f/
There will be vaping advocates there – but the more vapers that turn up the louder and stronger we will be heard.
This is your future health they are legislating on – and if it’s important to you – then please – take some action? Please help?
e-liquid reviews on YouTube.
We’ve all seen them, we all watch them, and we all look on in utter amazement at some of the people that put themselves forward to do this.
Can you trust the reviews?
After all, we have no idea what the reviewers personal tastes are, what they’ve been eating prior to the review, (garlic? Cheeseburger? Green wheat smoothie?) What have they’ve been vaping all day or all week?
Then we have to ask the motivation – are they doing this for their ego, for free stuff or because they love e-liquid and genuinely want to share? Have they been paid?
I guess with most things, we have to be discerning and do our best to evaluate if they are good judges of e-liquid.
So far this post may sound pretty negative about video e-liquid reviews….
But reviews can be very useful.
The tips to being able to actually make use of the reviews for yourself; i.e. trust what the guy says, buy the e-liquid he recommends and know you’ll probably like it are the following:
First, find a reviewer that has similar likes and dislikes to you. Some may specialise in certain flavours or certain types of e-liquid.
Make sure they know where the e-liquid comes from; that it has been bottled correctly, labelled correctly and most importantly have been tested correctly, i.e. this isn’t Granny’s best made in the back of her chicken shed.
Know that taste is subjective – meaning it is entirely personal. I love olives, my daughter hates them, she loves strawberry sweets, I would rather eat my own leg – you get the idea.
Hop around, don’t be faithful, find several reviewers, check them out, and look for reviews of the same e-liquid. See what they all say because if it is really dire they should all say it, if it’s top quality juice, they’ll all say it. The only thing they will agree/disagree on will be if they like the flavour or not.
If a reviewer gives their opinion after just 3 puffs ignore them. E-liquid flavours taste different depending on; what you’ve eaten, how you feel, what you’ve been drinking. It takes more than 3 puffs to know a flavour.
Some reviewers will only vape the brand they are reviewing. (It won’t be a quick 3 puffs and that’s it either) they do this thoroughly, the entire team gets involved and they usually review at least 10 flavours from the same range.
There is absolutely a place for e-liquid reviews on YouTube, they can be very informative and help steer you in the right direction. Should you be wondering about a certain e-liquid, or even have a few spare minutes to spend on YouTube to find a new flavour YouTube reviews are ideal.
And one last point, genuine reviewers will review an e-liquid even if they don’t like the taste. They will be honest about it, and if they review it properly, they may even tell you that after a day of vaping it, they actually now quite like it.
In a mixed way to be honest.
The newspapers decided the angle to this report was the NHS to prescribe e-cigarette story, a few went with the 95% less harmful angle, and radio talk shows were buzzing about both up an down the country. The TV news bulletins seemed to be full of cloud chasers and incredulous newsreaders.
Looking on twitter and Facebook though, the report has been met with both jubilation and some degree of scepticism.
The jubilation comes from the fact that finally the evidence dam seems to have burst and here we have a Public Health body repeating information that we vapers have known for some time – that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco, they don’t harm bystanders, when used properly they can help people get off the cigarettes and they don’t lure anybody to start smoking, no matter how old you are, and it is a good idea to use them.
Of course the detractors (BMA, WHO and the Welsh Labour Government) are still detracting and saying, “we don’t know about the long term”, and to be fair we don’t, but when placing a product besides another that is said to be 95% less harmful, it’s not rocket science which one will do the least damage.
Many are hoping that regulators around the globe will pick up on this report and they will start to see informed debate in their own regions and perhaps some regulations will start shifting or changing
But what about the sceptical responses?
What are they saying?
They are worried that this will lead right into the hands of the medical regulators. Public Health England (PHE) is about public health, so smoking cessation is at the top of their agenda. They can clearly see the benefits that e-cigs are having and they absolutely do not want to miss this golden opportunity. But, as smoking cessation is medicalised in many parts of the world, (including the UK) the only way e-cigs will get prescribed on the NHS is if they have a medical licence.
The medical route has been allowed for within the TPD, it has a two tier approach, but what PHE seem to be saying in the report is that at the moment there is only one company (a tobacco company at that) that has a licence for one nicotine inhalator to be prescribed as a medicine.
What many in Public Health also recognise is that inhalator/ciggie like e-cigarettes do not fair well in long term vaping, to stay away from the cigarettes, you need at least a second generation device.
The current situation could be that neither track approach will work as the regulations for both consumer and medicinal e-cigarettes are too severe and neither will exist.
It’s hard to say at this moment what the results will be from the report, as there have been many machinations and plenty of lobbying from both Tobacco and Pharma, both of which have vast resources and want this Industry for themselves for various reasons.
What we do know:
The TPD is horrendous; it will change the face of vaping, and we need to prevent it being implemented if we can. See Article 20 legal challenge on what you can do to help.
What we don’t know:
Will this report influence the medical licencing in anyway? Will it influence the parts of the stringent TPD regulations we yet don’t know about? Will it mean the TPD is now defunct? Could this be used in defence of e-cigarettes and we see the TPD changed?
But no matter the sceptics and cynics, or indeed the jubilant or optimists, we should take delight in the fact that this week e-cigarettes have been seen as the phenomenal product they are by those in charge of the nations health.