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Top 5 Electronic Cigarette Industry Influencers

While I would be honored if you remember my name in the electronic cigarette industry as time goes on, I am definitely, by no means, one of the top influencers in the e-cig industry. So, since that is the case, lets talk about those people you definitely want to listen to and watch out for news from! We will start from bottom to top.

paulbergen5. Paul Bergen – Alberta, Canada

Mr. Bergen is a member of the Tobacco Harm Reduction Institute of the University of Alberta, Canada. He is regularly stepping in to speak on the behalf of e-cigarettes and their users. You will find frequent blogs from him in the News and Opinions section of University’s site. He is also well known for being a myth buster in the e-cig industry. Mr. Bergen is also the co-author of Electronic Cigarettes: What the Experts Say.

When asked about the controversy in the e-cigarette industry, Mr. Bergen had the following to say, “some people…are vehemently anti-smoking and will fight any product that makes smoking more acceptable.” Good point! And we definitely find that to be the case everywhere.

murraylaugesen4. Dr. Murray Laugesen – New Zealand

Dr. Laugesen actually founded Health New Zealand and has more experience in the tobacco industry than most – over 18 years! He has worked as a researcher for tobacco policies and cigarettes in general for many years. He written over 40 research papers on the subject of tobacco and cigarettes and also founded End Smoking NZ – a charitable organization dedicated to ending smoking altogether by 2025.

Since the rise of electronic cigarettes, Dr. Laugesen has taken a keen interest. He has become one of the most prominent voices in the industry, to date.

scottballin3. Scott Ballin – Washington DC

Coming in at number 3 is Mr. Scott Ballin, from Washington DC. He is active in the tobacco community and a health policy consultant. He also runs the Tobacco at a Crossroads alliance. He has not been extremely involved in research for the electronic cigarette, but he is deeply involved with the policies of it all. He has been VP for Public Policy and Legislative Counsel at the American Heart Association and the chairman for the Coalition on Smoking OR Health.

Mr. Ballin is very outspoken in his opinions of modernizing tobacco laws so that they account for products like electronic cigarettes. He is the current advisor at the University of Virginia on a series of harm reduction dialogues.

michaelsiegel2. Professor Michael Siegel - Boston, MA

It is no surprise that Professor Michael Siegel is on this list. If you have followed the e-cigarette industry at all, you will definitely recognize this name! Professor Siegel has made it his life’s ambition (more recently) to debunk all the myths that are spread about e-cigarettes. There is no one who spends more scientific time researching e-cigarettes than this man. He plays a very important role in the e-cig industry, including his highly coveted blog, Tobacco Analysis (if you don’t read it, you should!). His blog always provides readers with the “other side of the story” (since we know there are always two sides).

Siegel is one of the few to stand up to the FDA’s claims about electronic cigarettes and their content of carcinogens, saying that, “based on the same logic (about e-cigs) peanut butter would also have to be banned.” He is often featured in the media defending e-cigs.

carlphillips1. Professor Carl Phillips – Alberta, Canada

Professor Phillips and Professor Siegel definitely come close to tying. If I could assign #1 to both, I would. Professor Phillips is world renowned as it pertains to tobacco control. He has been a part of the Tobacco Harm Reduction Institute at the University of Alberta Canada. He is a very important voice in the science community that has put a lot of time and research into smokeless cigarettes.

He’s been interviewd on Discovery Network’s Daily Planet and regularly posts on his Anti-THR (Tobacco Harm Reduction) Lie of the Day blog. He’s very vocal about his opinions on electronic cigarettes and is often quoted across the internet in research and studies you will read.

Well, there you have it. Make sure to keep an eye and ear out for these names as you continue your walk through the your life as a vaper!

- Jessica

A special thank you to Ecigarette Reviewed for posting this information for us to read and write about.

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Nitrosamines in E-Cigarettes & Other Products We Consume

Nitrosamines in Electronic CigarettesThe initial analysis of electronic cigarette cartridges in 2009, revealed that the liquid in e-cigarettes contains nitrosamines. This minor finding is what started all the red flags with the electronic cigarette industry over the last few years. But what exactly did the scientists find, you ask? I’m so glad you asked!

  • Nitrosamines found were below recommeneded guidelines
  • Levels were 14,000 times lower than those found in Marlboro cigarettes
  • They were NOT detected in the vapor of e-cigs, just the ingredients
  • Nothing else was found – just nitrosamines

So, now you wonder, well what is a nitrosamine? Sounds scary – maybe. Truthfully, you are regularly exposed to nitrosamines through nitrates in your food and your water. Even filtered drinking water contains traces of nitrosamines. For those chocolate lovers out there, even chocolate contains nitrates.

Since nitrates cannot be eliminated altogether, governments have set “allowable” amounts – here in the US, that is 60 parts per billion. To put this into perspective and how it relates to electronic cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes, e-cigs have 8 parts per billion, compared to the 11,190 parts per billion that tobacco cigarettes have. Most nicotine patches also come in at 8 parts per billion.

To read more about this study on nitrosamines, visit the Ashtray Blog’s post on Nitrosamines and Electronic Cigarettes.

- Jessica

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The FDA Wants to See Electronic Cigarettes Go Down in Smokes

FDA Wants E-cigs to Go Down in SmokesIn May of 2012 the FDA announced that they would be monitoring all online websites and online advertising of electronic cigarettes. This announcement was said to be in conjunction with their efforts to regulate electronic cigarettes as they do tobacco cigarettes (including the high taxes that go along with tobacco cigarettes). We have now caught wind that “the FDA is proposing a rule to bring new “tobacco” products under their regulation by April 2013,” reports ECigarette Reviewed on February 20 in their PR Newswire press release. This proposal actually happened during the hustle and bustle of the holidays – at a time we were all least suspecting, according to the Tobacco Law blog.

Low blow? We think so. Get us all at a time we aren’t paying attention to the news, on the last business day at the White House before Christmas. Low blow indeed, Mr. President.

Our friends, and advocates, E Cigarette Reviewed, have written a formal press release addressing the FDA, asking them to take an “evidence-based” approach before regulating electronic cigarettes as they do tobacco. In 2009, when electronic cigarettes became a blip on the map, the FDA did a small test on electronic cigarettes – results of which were never actually officially released, only reported on (which you can imagine could be easily skewed without proper backup documentation). The test was so small and inconclusive (which is very unlike the FDA) that e-cig advocates around the country are demanding a better study – a study, as E Cigarette Reviewed asks for, is evidence-based, instead of inconclusive. Tests like this can take years – usually at least 24 months. Since 2009, the FDA has had plenty of time to re-conduct a more thorough test on electronic cigarettes, but instead of doing so, have simply made announcements that e-cigarettes are just as bad, if not worse, than tobacco cigarettes and people should either quit using the FDA’s approved methods or just keep smoking tobacco.

In the press release written by E Cigarette Reviewed, Lindsey Fox points out that the reports by the FDA did return traces of nitrosamines, but the amount found was not reported on because nitrosamines are also found in nicotine patches and gum that are approved by the FDA for “safe and effective cessation”. In rebuttal to the FDA finding diethylene glycol in one single e-cigarette cartridge that they tested, Lindsey points out that diethylene glycol can be found in asprin up to 10 time the quantity that was reported to be found in one single cartridge.

We will keep you posted as we hear more about the FDA and electronic cigarettes.

- Jessica

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The Media Jumps on the Anti-Electronic Cigarette Bandwagon

ABC News States Concerns About E-CigsIt is hard enough for smokeless cigarette users to fight the swarms of people that are against electronic cigarettes, now we have to hear our own local news crews twisting the truth on them as well. Will we ever catch a break?

This news anchor (pictured on the left) helps spread the news that electronic cigarettes could actually be worse than tobacco cigarettes. Umm… Lets think about this… how can that be possible?

Dr. Michael Feinstein weighs into the interview with his thoughts on the matter. Saying that people are inhaling chemicals into their lungs that they don’t even know what they are. Even Dr. Green, a lung cancer specialist, from Palm Beach, speaks on the topic, saying there isn’t any information known about their dangers. And also says there is no “real data” on e-cigarettes. Dr. Green also states that the nicotine dosage can “conceivably” be higher than those that you get in a traditional cigarette. Perhaps, but only if you’re over doing it. There is a technique to vaping e-cigarettes and some vape more than others. But still, that’s a personal choice.

At just over half way through the clip, the news anchor states the “this tobacco alternative may even be MORE harmful than traditional cigarettes”, but nowhere in this clip does anyone substantiate this information. No where do they say how they can be more harmful. She even mentions that “authorities” don’t even know what is inside of an e-cig. Well, if they have questions, they are more than welcome to see our ingredients list on our Frequently Asked Questions page. Just a little research would tell you what is inside of a smokeless cigarette.

She then goes on to speak on the topic of Diethylene Glycol and how it was found in a “small sampling” of e-cigs that were tested by the FDA. However, simple research will show you that it is in fact Propylene Glycol that can be found in e-cigs, an ingredient that is recognized as safe by the FDA, per our “Myth about Antifreeze in E-cigs is Finally Solved” blog post.

The fact of the matter is these kinds of stories have to be stopped. This is the information that our communities is receiving on smokeless cigarettes. This is why people are do blindly opposing them – because of news stories like this that don’t even present a half truth!

Please click on this YouTube link to watch the video and post your comments on the matter. Please feel free to also leave your comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

- Jessica

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How Can You Help Fight Against E-Cigarette Bans?

E-Cig LegislationOur friends at the Consumer Advocates for Smokefree Alternatives Association (CASAA) have put together a very informative piece that helps us vapers understand how we can help make a difference. Sometimes we think, “I am only one person, what can I do?” But, when we all work together to fight against e-cigarette bans across the nation, we can be a powerful influence!

Right now, e-cig advocate groups are referred to as Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) groups. These groups need our help to fight the legislative battles. CASAA Membership Director, Ron Ward, has put together a brief powerpoint outlining how you can help. The first step is to know your legislative process in your state – every state varies so this might take some research. However, the research and time put into it is well worth it if you want to keep your vaping rights! You can learn more about State Legislative Sessions by visiting Ballotpedia’s page, State Legislative Session.

You can help others in your state by posting your state’s legislative information on the CASAA Forum – make sure to check there first to see if someone has already don’t your state’s research for you.

When you hear of legislation being passed in your state in regards to smokeless cigarettes, you will want to start gathering contact information for administrative offices and relevant legislators. Regional Representatives for CASAA (unpaid volunteers) will use their Forum, Facebook, Twitter, vape club and vape networks to spread the news about legislation in local areas. CASAA asks for your help in monitoring the legislation and making contact to legislators.

After you’ve made contact with your local CASAA Representative, they will be able to help you through the rest of the process. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer representative for your area, please contact CASAA today!

For more information about this important fight for electronic cigarettes and how you can help, visit this CASAA blog post.

- Jessica

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WANTED: Vaper’s Testimonies

Food & Drug AdministrationOn December 17, the FDA hosted a public hearing in regards to Section 918 of the Tobacco Act. There were many Tobacco Harm Reduction advocates that testified that day. Now, the FDA is actually asking for your testimony. Between now and January 16, 2013, you have the ability to submit your testimony about your e-cigarette experience. The FDA will use your testimonies, in combination with those given at the hearing on December 17, as valid input for the the Tobacco Act report to Congress.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you. Now is your chance to make a difference in the world as it pertains to electronic cigarettes and their success in the United States. Below is the information on how you can submit your comments to the FDA, electronically:
- Visit: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2012-N-1148-0011 (Link updated 1/3/13)
- Click the “Comment Now” button
- Comments that you type into the comment field are limited to 2,000 characters; If your comment is longer, you can upload a file that contains your comment and just type “See attachment” into the Comment field

If you prefer to sumbit a comment by mail (which we encourage you to do soon since the time is drawing to a close) you can follow these instructions:

- Send to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852
- Identify comments with the docket number [Docket No. FDA-2012-N-1148]

For more information about what you should say in your testimony to the FDA, visit the Consumer Advocates  for Smoke-free Alernatives Association website.

- Jessica

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FDA Seeks Public Help on Tobacco Violations

Food & Drug AdministrationYou never want to start out a blog post with a *sigh* but that is exactly how I wanted to start this one. My story today brings us back to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which is always a solemn topic in itself. So, when it involves using the general public to monitor tobacco advertising, it is even more of a solemn topic to cover.

On Tuesday, the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that it approved the FDA’s request to call on the general public for help finding tobacco advertisement violations. The FDA will soon make a form available to the people, called a “Potential Tobacco Product Violations Report” form. This will be available in a smartphone app or a downloadable PDF that can be mailed in to the FDA.

This form allows the public to label the violation and leave contact information for the FDA to inquire more information about the instance that is being reported. The categories of violation are as follows:
- Sales to minors
- Flavored cigarette sales
- Advertising/promotion/marketing (of any kind)
- Free samples
- Vending machine/self-service displays/direct access to cigarette or smokeless tobacco
- Sales of cigarettes in packs of less than 20
- and the ever famous “Unsure”

Despite the opposition from many members of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) and National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the OMB’s decision stands.

Currently, e-cigs are regulated as tobacco products, but not held to the same advertising laws as traditional tobacco. This is where this new violation report could be a detriment to the smokeless cigarette category. The general public is a bit confused about electronic cigarettes at this stage in their development, which means that those who participate in this kind of reporting system will most likely be those that are confused and do not understand that e-cigarettes are NOT tobacco cigarettes. Plus, the FDA announced in May 2012 that it would scouring the internet for electronic cigarette ads for a full 12 months – they announced they would be compiling the data and “releasing their findings” sometime in 2013.

Nevertheless, I will leave my opinions on the matter there. I will not delve too far into my personal feelings on the subject matter but I will allow you to form your own opinion.

To read the full article, visit the OMB Approves FDA’s Potential Tobacco Product Violations Reporting Form on CSP’s website.

- Jessica

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The Electronic Cigarette, an Alternative to Tobacco – by JF Etter

booksThe french author, Jean-Francois Etter just released a new book on November 26, 2012, that introduces electronic cigarettes to a market that may not understand them yet. Etter explains the exploding market of e-cigarettes and how even search results are surpassing those of smoking cessation devices. He also outlines the current “knowns” about smokeless cigarettes, refillable cartridges, as well as other insightful reflections that will help the consumer make their decision about electronic cigarettes.

Jean-Francois Etter, PhD, has spent 18 years researching smoking prevention and tobacco dependence. A professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, Etter has published over 120 research reports that are original to his own studies. He has pioneered e-cigarette research, preforming some of the first studies ever done on the vaping community.

The book is available on Amazon for the Kindle Fire for only $9.99. We encourage you to pickup your copy today:

http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/media-general-news/355161-new-book-jf-etter-electronic-cigarette-alternative-tobacco.html

According to E-Cigarette Forum, there are so controversial points covered in this book that we may not all agree with. However, it is a good start!

Happy Reading!

- Jessica

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Some Say Vaping at Work Gives the Wrong Message

Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade AssociationSmokeless cigarettes are becoming a big thing not only in the US but the UK as well. We hear about opposition that we face here in the states all the time, and now the UK is also facing some interesting opposition – about vaping in the workplace. The question being posed to employers is whether or not they should allow it. And the question being posed to employees is if they saw someone vaping at work, would they challenge it?

Because of what employers feel is a “grey area”, many employers have already started to ban them from being used in the workplace at all. They ban the vapers to vape with the smokers instead. Oxymoron? Perhaps. Seems like vaping at your desk would increase your productivity since you don’t have to go outside to vape/smoke anymore, but that isn’t the point that is being made. The point being made is that allowing employees to vape in the workplace “re-normalizes the concept of smoking”. (BBC UK)

If you could see me, you would notice that I’m hanging and shaking my head. Really? Re-normalizes it? Sheesh.

Fortunately, vapers in the UK have advocates on their side, just like we have groups like CASAA and Tobacco Harm Reduction. The Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association is encouraging employers to “consider allowing staff to us them at work.” (BBC UK) Saying that, “it [certainly] depends on the situation and whether or not you have a customer-facing role…It should be regarded in exactly the same way as having a cup of coffee on your desk at work. If that is allowed in your workplace, then e-cigarettes should be allowed too.”

What are your thoughts? Would you prefer to be allowed to vape at your desk? Do you still feel obligated to go outside to vape with the smokers? Are you still forced to go outside with the smokers?

To read more on this story, visit this link to BBC News UK.

- Jessica

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E-Cigarettes Become Endoresed by California Alcohol & Drug Educators

California Association for Alcohol/Drug EducatorsWhat better way to start a week (a week of Thanksgiving, nonetheless) than to report on some great news! We have received information from an e-cig activist on the E-Cigarette Forum that the California Association for Alcohol & Drug Educators (CAADE) has just formally endorsed electronic cigarettes. Our information sources from Fr. Jack Kearney, Professor of Human Services and Addition Studies at Cypress College and Loyola Marymount University.

CAADE is the first educational group to formally endorse smokeless cigarettes in their addiction treatments. While this is not a huge step for the smokeless cigarette industry, it is a step nonetheless in a good direction.

The official policy statement is below:

“The California Association for Alcohol & Drug Educators (CAADE) supports efforts by the addiction treatment community to utilize its treatment expertise in developing tobacco cessation tools that include both abstinence-based and harm-reduction models including the use of electronic cigarettes.

“CAADE accredits addiction studies programs in over 40 colleges and universities in California, Arizona and Nevada. It also issues the highest level of addiction counselor certification in California, and currently represents more than 6000 counselors, college faculty members and students.”

If you’d like to join in on the forum discussion about this new endorsement, visit this link for the E-Cigarette Forum post.

Have a great Thanksgiving all!

- Jessica

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