There’s been quite a stir in the e-cig Industry this week, it might have been blown slightly out of proportion, but this is something that is very well worth examining.
Can your e-cig corrupt your pc with Malware when you plug it in to recharge?
This whole story has come about due to a post by a man on Reddit , a social media site, and as you would expect there are a few conflicting stories – according to one source this is simply a ‘story’, from another the name of the malware was SpyWare and is designed to get information from your pc and send to another source that will no doubt be up to no good.
The Guardian reported “The made in China e-cigarette had malware hardcoded into the charger, and when plugged into a computer’s USB port the malware phoned home and infected the system.”
So who do you believe?
There has been plenty of debate on the likely hood of this happening, below are a few comments I have lifted from Facebook:
“Sounds pretty unlikely to me – especially if you’re buying your e-cigs from proper sources and not buying one from the market or a pound shop.
“Any USB charged device – phone, mp3 player etc – could be susceptible to malware. “
“ I would not rule it out as a possibility! After all, memory chips are extremely tiny these days and can be fitted practically anywhere! Though I cannot think of any reason an e-cig manufacturer would bother to do such a thing, it is still possible! ”
“It’s “possible” but unlikely.”
“There would have to be storage on the device that had enough memory to hold an .exe file, this would also require the user to run the file to install any kind of malware, there would have to be an “autoplay” script included on the device for the file to auto-install, but decent anti-malware software should stop this.”Basically, if there is any files on a usb device that you are unsure of, DO NOT open them and turn off autoplay “
“Somebody possibly asked Trend Micro could an e-cig do any damage. Trend is a very reputable company, and they answered the question correctly, yes it is possible. The real question is “is it likely”. Personally I charge off wall sockets mainly because I move desks, offices a lot during the day and can’t manage to have an e-cig hanging out of it. You should be cautious of anything you put in a usb slot but tbh you are more likely to be infected by spyware belonging to a foreign government than by this. ”
Further research on this subject finds an excellent post on the ‘naked security’ site, (link at the end). And they discuss the possibility of e-cigs infecting your PC.
First they describe that USB’s have made charging really simple and easy, and that the majority of USB are fairly basic, have only the power related parts connected and they can’t do any damage.
However, if the USB is part of a device that stores data, then it will be able to communicate in some way with your pc, should that be where you are charging your e-cig.
“To stick with the example of e-cigarettes, they fall into two main camps. In one kind the “charger” is just a simple adaptor, with a USB connector at one end and a screw thread at the other which connects to the business end of the e-cigarette battery.
“In the other “the “battery” connects via a standard micro-USB socket on the device itself, so it can be used while charging. This type tends to be rather more sophisticated, with adjustable power outputs and even LED displays showing settings – for which of course there must be some sort of processing going on inside.
With the first kind there’s very little danger – the charging adaptor would have to be carefully modified to include some data-carrying kit, which could potentially just about fit inside, the connectors would need tweaking so not only the power ones were enabled, and the data on it would have to be set up to somehow attack any machine it is connected to.
Not completely impossible, but rather a lot of effort for anyone to go to on the off-chance that they may end up infecting a PC or two.”
So there you have it – probably not worth worrying about – but if you are a worrier, make sure you have updated your Anti-Malware, and buy from reputable vendors!
Not sure if I am about to open a can of worm with this blog but vaping etiquette, is it important to you?
If it isn’t, it should be.
And not just so that you are pleasant to be around.
Currently vaping and many things e-cig related are under the scrutiny of the regulators. (I know I keep mentioning this, but it is vital you all become aware.) In 2016, unless the TW legal challenge can throw a huge spanner in the works, much of what we know and love about vaping today will disappear.
So it is vital that we vapers not only fight for our rights, but also make sure we don’t annoy potential allies along the way.
Hearts and minds vapers, hearts and minds.
I know there will always be people that believe black is white and will be disgusted with e-cigarettes, basically because they like to be disgusted by things, it makes them feel alive.
But we in the vaping community can behave in such a way that Disgusted from Pearly will know, deep down in their psyche that their disgust is a charade and they should start to behave themselves.
Back in April of this year, a vaping review website put out a post about the nine ways that vapers are damaging the vaping movement. (The vaping movement are those vapers that are actively attempting to stop the governmental juggernauts from wiping out e –cigarettes).
Not all that the review website wrote I agree with, and they left out a biggie, which is not to be rude to Public Health and people that don’t like e-cigs. While I can sympathise with the frustration that Public Health and their ilk can bring on – being rude is a no no. It does nothing but feed Public Health who then go crying to the media about how awful e cigarettes users are, and the media then delight in calling vapers trolls.
We can do without this.
So instead I am going to suggest some vaping etiquette, which you will either agree with or not!
- Don’t deliberately blow vapour in someone’s face to prove it isn’t cigarette smoke. It is not clever, it’s not nice, and it is really childlike behaviour. Explain that you are vaping, and let them have a look at your e cig instead. Educate, don’t intimidate.
- Don’t be a litterbug! Many smokers flick or drop their cigarette butts on the ground and leave them there to rot, oblivious of the litter they leave behind. Not nice. Doing this with your e cig cartridge or e-liquid bottle is just as bad, if not worse! Disposable of them sensibly.
- Don’t become a rabid ex-smoker and think your e-cig habit elevates you to something grand. You were a smoker once; you may still be – be kind, educate and feel lucky that you have made the switch.
- Vape responsibly, i.e. not in front of the kids in the playground. We know e cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking and kids are not interested in them, but there is no use in baiting teachers and other parents into a discussion.
- Public vaping. This can be a tricky one to navigate – and if you are unsure – ask. Cinemas and Theatres I would imagine are a no, I mean who wants to sit behind a vaper chucking out clouds every five minutes during the show? And if you are in a pub or club, and you don’t know if it is vape friendly – have that conversation with the manager – you might just tip the scales and make it vape friendly!
- Cloud chasing. This is an emotive one, because folk that like to blow huge billowing clouds of vaper like it and take great pride in their skills. If you are one of them… just ask those around you if it’s OK?
I’m sure many of you will disagree with this list – some of you might even add to it, but all I will say is etiquette is important. We all have so much to lose if we lose the war, so no point in losing small battles along the way too.
We’ve all heard the saying “curiosity killed the cat”.
Yet curiosity led to electricity, machines that slice your bread, purple hair dye, men on the moon and you now reading this post, because you are curious as to what it is about.
Well, it’s about a review we’ve had for one of our products.
We don’t usually blog about new products, because blogs aren’t really about selling you anything, they are instead about informing you – so I guess this could be viewed as an ‘infomercial’, only it’s not, (as I loathe them with a passion) and it won’t be going on for ages.
What this blog will do, is tell those of you that are curious about the V scope e cigarette, all about the V scope kit and an independent review we’ve received.
Well he actually said a lot more than that – and he’s quite taken with it.
But then you would be if you get all this in this in the box:
V scope – In the box
- 1 X V Scope Body
- 1 X Battery Extension Cover
- 1 x 18650 2600 mAh Battery
- 1 x V Scope Tank
- 2 X 1.8Ohm Atomiser Coil Heads (one already fitted in the tank)
- 2 x Mouthpiece
- Screwdriver tool for airflow adjustment
- 10ml e-liquid
- USB cable
Mains Battery Charger
Mr Reviewer really liked the kit – he liked the weight of the e cig, he felt the balance of it was just right; he liked the voltage range of 3.3v to 4.8v, though he acknowledged that some like to go higher than that. He was especially taken with the passthrough so you can vape while charging, and the replacement coils are very cost effective, (£4.49 for 2).
As for the huge 3.7ml tank with drip tip and an atomizer that slots in place instead of being screwed – well he thought that was pretty neat too.
You can see where this is leading…
Mr Reviewer thought the Dual Coil Atomizers, coupled with the ability to adjust the voltage made for spot on flavour and vapour, and for those that like to fiddle (he wasn’t much of a fan) you can change the airflow to make a tighter draw.
The V scope can be adjusted in length to take 2 different battery sizes – 18350 and the 18650, and with that huge 3.7ml tank – even the heaviest of vapers will be kept in e-liquid all day!
So, his final verdict on the V scope?
Overall – Final Thoughts
I had a great experience with the TECC V Scope VV E Cigarette. It is a great device for new vapers or current vapers looking to make the step up-to bigger battery models. Here are the good and not so good points I found:
- Superb build quality throughout and feels great in the hand
- Vapour volume and flavour very good.
- Battery can be charged without removing from the body
- Option to use both 18350 and 18650 batteries
The Not So Good:
- The airflow adjustment by screwdriver is a little too much messing around for my liking.
And if you are still curious as to what a vaper thought of the V scope after parting with his hard earned cash – (not just someone that makes a living from reviews) then read this:
“I’ve had the V SCOPE for a few months now and its a fantastic kit, after using the average starter kit type of e cig this was a real upgrade. It did however take a while to get use to but I would not use any other after purchasing this one. I can’t think of anything bad to say about it. The battery life is superb I only have to charge it twice a week and its heavily used on a daily basis. BRILLIANT”
So I guess you do read all the reviews, and the next thing you will be curious about is – do you want one, and will it be in Silver or Chrome finish?
You can read the full review here, just copy and paste the link into your browser: http://www.ecigclick.co.uk/tecc-v-scope-e-cig-review/
(And why there’s a huge difference between tests on real humans v’s a few lung epithelial cells in a petri dish)
A recent research article published in ‘Plosone’ Journal reported that lung epithelial cells, exposed to e-liquid, are more prone to infection from strains of rhinovirus, the virus responsible in the main for the common cold.
And this then got splashed across the papers.
However, Bernd Mayer PhD, lecturer in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Graz, (who also has a special interest in e cigarettes) decided to look further at this lung epithelial cell research, to see if it matched up to real world experience – i.e. did living breathing humans give the same results? Was it really true that the now several million vapers across Europe were experiencing more coughs and cold and runny noses now they were vaping?
Professor Mayer began by setting up a survey involving members of two German vaping forums.
Asking the following very simple question, participants had only three possible answers:
Since I have been switching to e-cigarettes the frequency of airway infections is
- a) Reduced
- b) Not markedly changed
- c) Increased
Answers had to be given in relation to the common cold, as the researchers from Plosone had looked specifically at rhinovirus, and so Professor Mayer wanted to keep it that way too.
According to Professor Mayer’s blog, (link at the end of the post) this survey is still ongoing, but he quotes his findings as of the 26th Sept 1014.
307 vapers had answered his very short questionnaire by then.
207 had reported reduced incidence and severity of colds, = 67.4%.
89 had reported no change, = 29%
11 reported an increase in frequency of colds, =3.6%
Now, these results have to have a huge caveat – it is a small survey, many parameters were not included, it was conducted on a forum and is considered qualitative research at best, but it does show that the living breathing (vaping) human responds differently to a group of cells in a petri dish.
Professor Myer makes several interesting conclusions in his post, which I have copied below, about the research with the cells, and reveals some interesting nicotine levels that must have been influential in the final results:
“ The result of this survey indicates that the cell culture model used by Wu et al. does not reflect the consequences of e-liquid inhalation by humans. Presumably incubation of lung epithelial cells for up to 48 hours with e-liquids does not adequately mimic the effects of inhaled vapor. Moreover, the authors were apparently mistaken about the final nicotine concentrations in their experiments. According to the Material and Methods section of their paper, cells were incubated with up to 0.3% (v/v) of liquid containing 18 mg of nicotine per ml. Though not explicitly stated in the manuscript, this dilution would result in 54 µg/ml final. The authors state “the final nicotine concentrations were within the serum nicotine range of e-cigarette users.” However, a serum nicotine concentration of 54 µg/ml is far above the lethal threshold of 2-4 µg/ml . Concentrations of 20 ng/ml or less were measured in plasma or serum of volunteers upon inhalation of nicotine containing e-liquids [5, 6]. Thus, the nicotine concentrations applied by Wu et al. are three orders of magnitude higher than typical nicotine plasma levels. The inhalation of e-liquids does not increase but rather decreases the frequency of airway infections. Sadly this is more research that appears not to have been done well, and a simple survey of vapers completely refuted the findings. Sadly within the vaping community we are learning that not all e cigarette related research is conducted effectively, well, and often the results are not properly reported.”
We however, are lucky to have Professors like Bernd Mayer that do look at the research and can, with a critical eye examine it and then let us non scientist understand the flaws if present.
The link to his blog: : http://www.bernd-mayer.com/electronic-cigarettes-airway-infection-dont-worry/
Complete the challenge and receive a £20 reward*
So why should you try an e cig – (apart from the £20 The Electronic Cigarette Company (TECC) will put into your TECC account?)
Because e cigs are not the demon some in the public arena have made out them to be, they are in fact a force for good that should be celebrated.
2. 1 million people in the UK alone are smoking less tobacco cigarettes now, and that’s thanks to e cigs.
More experts are realising the good e cigs are doing and are coming out in support of them, and
here at TECC, we are very serious about e cigs and we think that if you’ve not tried vaping yet – you should give it a go.
And here’s why.
E cigs have been proven to be between 100 to 1000 times safer than tobacco cigarettes. No, there are no long-term clinical studies yet, but from the millions that have now been vaping for more than three years, (long term clinical trials generally last 1 to 2 years), there have been no attributable deaths to e cigs, people are not reporting any adverse affects, in fact they are reporting the opposite.
More and more research is being done on e cigarettes, and more and more the results are positive.
E cigs are a product that has spread by word of mouth, by people who have had their lives changed for the better telling their friends about them. They must be telling other people for a good reason surely?
Reasons like the following….
Vaping will save you money. If you go to our home page here – you can use our calculator and work out just how much money you could save.
The flavour choices are endless – forget the delicate taste of burning tobacco that leaves your mouth feeling and tasting like the bottom of the budgie cage, think coffee flavour, sweet caramel, sour cherry – whatever your favourite is – there is an e liquid in that flavour available vape.
You won’t stink like an ashtray that hasn’t been washed for 6 months. Instead you’ll be fragrant and fresh and people will be coming up to you asking you what that lovely smell is!
You can use your e cig in many places that you can’t smoke, though do ask, as it’s polite and part of the e cig etiquette.
So just a very few reasons on why you might think about taking up our challenge.
And like I said at the beginning, they are now proven safer than tobacco cigarettes.
E cigarettes are not a quit smoking product – despite the way the media and health experts are trying to frame them. Yes you might stop smoking tobacco, but you might not, and that is entirely up to you.
This is not about quitting this is about switching.
E cigarettes are simply an alternative product, that as a smoker we think you might enjoy.
The truth is that e cigs taste nice, don’t have all the gunk that tobacco cigarettes do, and they’ll save you a small fortune.
We vapers are a friendly bunch and will do all we can to help you switch over with ease and simplicity.
But anyway, after all that explanation – here are the rules for the challenge that you’ll need to follow in order to claim your £20 for Switchover!
Switchover Challenge Terms and Conditions
- The switchover challenge will only apply to new customers ( if you are an existing customer read the rules for referrals…)
- The word switchover must be entered in the Special Instructions box at checkout when making your order to show that you are taking part in the challenge
- An e-cig kit or accessories to make up a full electronic cigarette must be purchased on the first order
- To redeem your £20 reward you need to e-mail your details and the details of your challenge including the kit you used, your e-liquid of choice and how you made the switch to e-cigs; did you cut down or switch over completely? to email@example.com
- e-mails to redeem the £20 reward need to be sent 30 days after the first order was made
- £20 will be given as an online store credit
- No Cash alternative can be given
- Credits can only be used at www.theelectroniccigarette.co.uk
But I’m already a vaper I hear you cry… Then challenge someone else! We will then reward you with £10 credits* for simply giving us their details. All you need to do is send us their name, contact number and/or e-mail address (do ask them first though…) and once they have ordered you will be rewarded!
Here are the rules and regs for existing vapers:
Switchover Referral Terms and Conditions
- The referral details need to be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
- You must be an existing customer to refer others and receive credits
- The referee must make an order for the referral to be valid
- The £10 credits will be applied after the referee’s order has been completed
- No cash alternative can be given
So go on, Switchover !