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.
If you’ve recently switched to vaping you might have noticed that your gums are bleeding. This is something that never happened while you were smoking and you are probably putting it down to the vaping.
And in one sense you would be right, however, the general opinion is it is a side effect of stopping smoking, not because you have started vaping.
Smoking cigarettes causes vaso-constriction. This means it makes your blood vessels, especially the small peripheral ones in your gums to tighten up. Imagine that each cigarette squeezes your blood vessels every time you have one. This has the effect of reducing blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the vessels, and as a result to the surrounding areas.
MRI scans of people smoking have shown the blood supply to their fingers decreases by a considerable amount, and, as mentioned this is exactly what is or has been happening to your gums every time you have or had a cigarette.
So any gum disease that is there now, i.e. the bleeding gums is due to the smoking – (and there will be some – usually with a build up of plaque). The gum disease has been masked due to the vaso-constrictive effect of the tobacco.
As soon as you top smoking your gums will bleed if there is gum disease, as the blood vessels are no longer squeezed and they can function normally and deliver oxygen and nutrient rich blood back to your poor gums. The bleeding could be seen as a good thing as it is telling you about the gum disease – and you can now do something about it!
The obvious first step is to visit your dentist and get a professional clean, start flossing after you clean your teeth, and definitely don’t start smoking cigarettes again!
If you leave gum disease to develop it can eventually dissolve away your jawbone and your teeth will fall out, (I know this is a worse case scenario, but it is not a good look.)
Evidence, both scientific and anecdotal suggests that smokers who stop or switch to vaping do experience an increase in gum bleeding. It can take a little time for your gums to restore themselves back to normal, but it is well worth the wait if it prevents other problems.
You’ve made the switch to a less harmful product, why not take the next step and look after your oral hygiene?
If you can, it is wise to ditch the fags entirely, brush your teeth 2-3 times a day, mouthwash in between and floss twice a day plus visit your dentist.
You’ve gotten rid of the fag breath, don’t end up with rotten teeth instead!
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!