I can’t express enough how vital fundraising for cancer research is,
most of us will be affected by cancer at some point in our lives,
whether it be a personal diagnosis or that of a close family member.
I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in October 2011 at the age of 39 and spent the next few years undergoing chemotherapy, mastectomy and full reconstruction. To say the least it took the wind out of my sails. I always said it was like being in a car happily travelling along when suddenly the brakes are slammed on and you are thrown from the vehicle. That pretty much sums up what it feels like.
There are many fundraising activities across the UK every year with people including myself, taking part in Race for Life, the Three Peaks Challenge, cycling events, swimming events and even coffee mornings. These fundraising efforts all help so much to fund important lifesaving treatment for cancer patients and over the last few years survival rates have dramatically increased for many types of cancer.
The Electronic Cigarette Company is adding to the ever growing list of fundraisers to help fund cancer research and save more lives. Breast cancer research and treatments have undoubtedly improved but there is still more work to be done. Although breast cancer survival rates are increasing, many women go on to develop secondary cancers as the breast cancer cells split off from the original tumour and take up residence elsewhere in the body. Unfortunately these secondary cancers do not have the same survival rates and more research is needed to help these women. There are also many different type of breast cancer, each responding in their own way to different treatments.
The Electronic Cigarette Company’s (TECC) new campaign aims to raise vital funds for Cancer Research. When you purchase a Curve 30W in Pink £5.00 will go directly to Cancer Research to support them in their work to find a cure for breast cancer and related secondary cancers.
I was lucky, my cancer was detected early through self-examination (pleases check yourself, no matter your age, men that means you too) and because of research, I survived and I’m back to my old self again, with renewed strength and a totally different outlook on life.
During my cancer journey I lost friends I had made along the way, young children lost their mums and families have been left devastated. So if you are a vaper, please support TECCs fundraising campaign by purchasing a Pink Curve 30W e-cigarette here.
Julie, The Electronic Cigarette Company
You can find out all about reports on Tobacco Harm Reduction and e-cigarettes here on the Cancer Research website.
Several other branded e –liquids have been shown to contain high levels of diacetyl and acetyl propionyl, chemicals known to cause harm if inhaled over the long term. Diacetyl has been linked to the condition ‘popcorn lung’.
The release of this information has been met with mixed reactions with in the vaping community, with some applauding the bold move of the companies on becoming more transparent and essentially calling out their suppliers, whilst others are outraged at the poor quality, and possibly dangerous e-liquid they have been buying.
But what this has done, (to find the silver lining and the positive spin) is to raise very important questions about e-liquids, about what we do and don’t know about them, and the steps that manufacturers should be taking.
The research and knowledge surrounding e-liquids is always improving and expanding, but it behoves e-liquid companies to keep up to date.
E-cigarettes are under such scrutiny at the moment; this is not a good time for the industry and finding such poor results hands the industry to the naysayers on a plate. However, some companies are leading the way to gold standards with rigorous in house testing and further independent testing by well-regarded laboratories.
TECC and TW have this week released their testing results that include all the ranges we (TECC) sell – the Titan range, the Titus ADV range, the Red label Range and the Patriot Range.
Read the test results and the company statement for yourself, and you will see that we have looked to independent verification to prove that our e-liquids don’t contain chemicals that are considered harmful upon inhalation, as per a specific regime laid down by Dr Farsalinos.
(This next part is the science bit, taken from the TW results page):
“The Totally Wicked (and TECC) e-liquids were tested by an analytical method called gas chromatography, utilizing a highly sensitive detection method called flame ionisation (FID). The SkyLab-Med team also used gas chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer (GC-MS), enabling the team to maximize the sensitivity of their testing procedures. Sample preparation was performed to rigorously high standards, providing maximum sensitivity for the GC instrument. For validated analytical chemical testing, the lowest quantity of an analyte that can be distinguished from the absence of the analyte is called the limit of detection (LOD). The lowest amount of an analyte which can be quantitatively determined with suitable precision and accuracy is known as the limit of quantification (LOQ). In simple terms the LOQ is the most precise measurement that can be made by an instrument, and the LOD is the level below which a qualified expert can state that the chemical is of no concern. Dr Farsalinos established a suitable LOD as 10 μg per ml for flavour concentrates, which are diluted before use, and as 0.5-1 μg per ml for ready to use liquids. The Totally Wicked e-liquid range was tested for three chemicals of concern, as defined by our independent expert, Dr Farsalinos, namely: diacetyl, acetyl propionyl and acetoin.”
So there you have it – how it was done and what they looked for. 2 flavour concentrates came up as slightly problematic and were immediately withdrawn from sale and production.
For the e-liquids that we sell, we know where the ingredients originate from, we know how they are manufactured and to what standards. All of our e-liquids are made in a clean room facility, using highly precise metering of quantities and effective quality systems. All batches are carefully sampled and recorded, with the bottles marked to enable recall or withdrawal should any issue ever be detected. Packaging is also an important part of this process, as we have to make sure we provide all the correct and required information and that the bottles comply with child proof ISO and CLP standards.
So we are doing our bit, we keep a very close eye on the research. We now have a PhD Chemist on the team, and Liam, our Engineer, has been involved in meetings defining the more technical aspects of TPD implementation with the European Commission, as well as working with the BSI and other industry representatives on defining standards for e-liquids and e-cigarettes.
We at TECC will continue to do all that we can to ensure that or e-liquids are the best that we can make them.
Devolved government is a good thing, right?
Scottish kids don’t pay University fees, the Welsh have everything in their own language, and both nations have a large say about what goes on in their own back yard.
But when it comes to maters of health – can we have a Union that isn’t joined up?
Because when it comes to vaping, the Welsh are going it alone.
The Welsh Health Department believe that they know better than Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, ASH and many other prominent scientists when it comes to e-cigarettes.
They are also doing the complete opposite of the English and Scottish Governments.
The Welsh want to ban vaping in public places.
The Welsh Health Department are firmly standing with the WHO on this one, so we won’t mention too loudly the criticism the WHO received when they issued their paper on e-cigarettes and threw everybody out of COP 6 when they began discussing e-cigs.
But you can read it here:
Suffice to say the critics of the WHO’s stand on e-cigarettes ended with this conclusion: The language of the report, the selective use and misrepresentation of evidence is problematic in a major policy-relevant document. Policymakers and the public require scientists to present evidence objectively, and when they offer unsubstantiated opinions, scientists should make it clear that this is what they are doing.
That’s right, the entire proposed ban is based on unsubstantiated opinions.
In their non – wisdom, the Welsh have decided to pursue a policy of banning vaping in public places and enclosed public places. You won’t be able to vape in pubs, and probably not even in a vape shop… as can be seen from this snippet from the white paper. (apologies for the poor quality)
Yes, you read that right too – no impact assessment, as no data. Probably because no one could be bothered to do it?
There is no evidence that vapour is harmful to bystanders – the very reason why smoking was banned – there is no evidence that vaping is a gateway to smoking – (a Welsh Health Department favourite), in fact the evidence shows this clearly not to be the case, plus, there is no evidence that vaping ‘re normalises’ smoking – another Welsh favourite.
In fact there is roughly 97% compliance rate with the smoking ban.
The arguments the Welsh are using have all been torn apart and discredited, but it seems Mr Drakeford, the Welsh Health Minister must know something that all the experts don’t.
However, he’s not playing ball and he’s not telling us.
What has been reassuring in all this, (look for the silver lining people..) is that there is a sea change within the media – (at least on this issue) – plenty of the press came out against the vaping ban – with one newspaper using the excellent title, ‘ bored wales in militant pro-cancer e-cigarette stance’ . The Welsh vaping ban will mean more people smoking, which as we have all been told- leads to cancer.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been very vocal in their opposition to the vaping ban – they have a petition that you could sign ( link at the end) – but if you are Welsh, and you don’t want your vaping freedom eroded, then I strongly suggest that you write to your AM – or better still go and visit them.
DON’T leave it up to someone else – because someone else may be just as non-arsed as you are – and then before you know – BOOM! No more vaping in public or public places…. All because you didn’t fight for what was right.
What do they say – you get the government and rules you deserve?
So come on Wales – don’t let them get away with it!
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH to you and me) have release new stats for vaping, and they are positive, AND the media is picking up on it too!
I know – shocking eh?
Even the Mirror – that bastion of e-cig hatefulness ended their piece on a positive note – ““The proven harm of tobacco is currently getting less coverage than the much smaller and far less certain harm from electronic cigarettes. We owe it to smokers to provide them with accurate information.”
I think we can all do a wee happy jig for that one.
I am not so naïve to believe that suddenly the media are going to fall in love with e-cigs and all the bashing will go away –
But lets look at what ASH have found – and is it yet again another case of the statisticians and scientists catching up with the vapers??
- There are now 2.6 million vapers in the UK – both full and part time (by part time I mean dual use….)
- 95% of smokers and 93% of non smokers have now heard about e-cigs
- Ex smokers are the main group of users and new users
- Main use for e-cigs is to switch from tobacco entirely
- Most vapers are using tanks and refillables, only 5% use ciga-likes, though most did start vaping using these devices.
- Flavours – most dual users prefer the tobacco flavours, it is the full time vapers that are using the variety of flavours.
- Vaping is NOT a gateway to smoking – never smokers using e-cigs remains negligible.
Interestingly this year ASH has looked at the perceptions of harm, and what they found is curious – there is a decrease in the group that didn’t know that e-cigs are more or less harmful than tobacco, but an increase in the number – a staggering increase – from 6% to 20% that believe e-cigs are as harmful as tobacco cigarettes.
Well done to the Main Stream Media (MMS) for that one guys!
Without donning tin foil hats etc., this just shows the power of the media to influence our thought processes and our lives. Theory (wisdom?) has it that the media need us to feel anxious and scared – as that apparently keeps us coming back for more news, we buy more papers – surf more sites – hence the news always being about death and destruction. It plays into the part of the brain that is continually alert for danger – so we take heed.
This is why good news is barely reported.
Having you feeling relaxed about your choice of nicotine delivery device is not in the MMS interest.
Hence the jumping for glee when they do pick up solid good news!
ASH have been following and monitoring e-cigs since 2010, and they have gradually increased the scope of their studies to include children – aged 11-18, they now ask questions about flavours, devices, amount of use – (no surprises when full time vapers score higher than part time) but also perception.
And it is this perception question that is a stroke of almost genius, as it shows quite clearly the harm that misinformation can do.
ASH at the start of the e-cig revolution were clearly seen as the ‘enemy’, and to be fair, their preference for regulation of e-cigs is for them to be all licenced as medicinal. However, Deborah Arnott, their Chief, has been stoical in the face of much e-cig hostility and has stuck to the science and is being incredibly fair in what she says. The science is stating e-cigs are less harmful – the numbers are showing that 2.6 million smokers and ex smokers in the UK are finding them of benefit – they are not a gateway to smoking, so thank you to ASH for publishing these figures.
If you are a seasoned vaper, you are probably already aware of this, if not, then let me tell you how much good news this is, because it is yet another example of the science catching up with vapers.
And information that e-cigs are less addictive has now been shown in several studies….
One study came to the media’s attention during a recent senate committee hearing. It was the Rhode Island Senate Committee on Health and Human Services that held a hearing on the 16th April 2015, regarding e-cigarette labelling and if e-cigs should be added to the existing public smoking ban. It was at that hearing that an e-cig vendor named Dino Baccari told the Committee that e-cigs are not as addictive as tobacco cigarettes and he had the proof.
The proof was a study done last year that was published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research Journal.
Taking 3’600 e-cig users, they asked them to fill out an online questionnaire that had over 100 questions in it, and they were designed to assess the withdrawal, craving and frequency of e-cigs compared to tobacco cigarettes.
Here are some of the findings:
- While 86 percent reported “strong,” “very strong” or “extremely strong” urges to smoke a cigarette, the rate was just 12 percent with e-cigarettes.
- While 41 percent said their cravings were so strong they had woken up at night to smoke cigarettes, only 7 percent of e-cigarette users said they had done that.
- While 92 percent said they were more irritable when they were unable to smoke their cigarettes, only 26 percent reported that type of irritability when they can’t use their e-cigarette.
- Over 90 percent reported that they had experienced strong urges to smoke and withdrawal symptoms when a smoker, but only 25 to 35 percent reported experiencing these symptoms of dependence as an e-cig user.
This research, like all research is not without errors, bias and people that will say it should have been done differently – this is why respected journals have peer review, where other scientists look at the research and critique it.
One possible issue with this research could be that people don’t always remember their cravings etc, but I think the numbers speak for themselves, and indeed the American Lung Association have stated that this study is legitimate, through and balanced.
A separate study, published in February 2015 in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol dependence, studied dual use – when vapers vape and smoke, compared to smokers that don’t vape, and they came to similar conclusions after looking at all 2498 smokers, e-cig users and NRT users that were involved in the study.
The Authors, Dr. Jean-Francois Etter of the Institute of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; and Dr. Thomas Eissenberg of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products, Dept. of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. Stated: “Some e-cigarette users were dependent on nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, but these products were less addictive than tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes may be as or less addictive than nicotine gums, which themselves are not very addictive.”
This re-enforcement of what many us know will add to the growing body of evidence that e-cigarettes are less harmful, and are less addictive