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.
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.